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Pixel 6 and 6 Pro come with Camera upgrades and in-house Tensor SoC

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Google has announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro at its online event held Tuesday. The phones are powered by Google’s in-house Tensor chip and ship with Android 12, promising a unique experience to the user. 

The phones feature a complete design overhaul from the previous Pixel designs. The hole-punch camera has been moved to the centre, and the rear cameras are now housed in a symmetric camera bar that runs along the phone’s width. 

The company has also announced the Titan M2 embedded in the phones for advanced privacy and security features. Apart from that, Google has promised five years of security updates to the new phones.  

The Pixel 6 and Pixel Pro are available for pre-order today starting at $599 and $899 respectively. The phones are expected to be available with all major US carriers starting October 28. 

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A new design

As mentioned above, the new Pixels are a massive redesign over the existing Pixel lineup. Apart from the obvious differences in front and rear camera placements, the new phones feature much slimmer bezels and faster displays, with the Pixel 6 going up to 90Hz and the 6 Pro up to 120Hz. 

Material You

One of the factors that Google is most heavily leaning into when marketing the Pixel 6 and 6 Pros is Android 12. The Material You OS focuses on personalising the phone exactly down to your liking. 

These new personalisation features include the OS changing colour schemes system-wide according to the home screen wallpaper. The widgets have been redesigned as well.

The notification shade, quick actions and the power button have all been redesigned, and a lot of animations have been added to make the overall experience feel more fluid. The power button can now summon the Google Assistant, open apps, ask questions or read aloud text-heavy articles.

Apart from the new personalisation features, the next iteration of Android also features a security centre that controls things like app permissions and has controls for the mic and cameras.

Finally, an upgraded camera hardware

Google’s claiming the Pixel 6 cameras are “the most advanced cameras” they’ve ever built. Both the new phones get a new 1/1.3-inch sensor that captures over 150% more light than the previous-gen Pixel 5’s camera. 

The new Pixel 6 primary camera | Source: Google

The Pixel 6 gets a 50MP primary shooter and a 12MP ultrawide. The 6 Pro gets the same two cameras, along with a 48MP telephoto lens that features 4x optical zoom and up to 20x digital zoom, courtesy of an improved version of the Super Res Zoom. 

The front camera has been upgraded to an 8MP ultrawide and an 11.1MP ultrawide in the Pixel 6 and the 6 Pro, respectively, which supports 4k video recording at 60fps. Apart from that, the new Pixels also get Face Unblur for clearer portraits under motion and Magic Eraser, a tool that can remove background objects and distractions with a single tap. 

Google’s in-house Tensor silicon

The main advantage of the Tensor SoC will be the use of TPUs in your phone for accelerating AI and ML applications. Google already uses TPUs (or Tensor Processing Units) in its data centres and is now looking to bring those to its smartphone lineup.

The new Tensor SoC is supposed to bring significant improvements to AI and ML functions on the phone | Source: Google

Users can expect improvements in photography, many Pixel-specific experiences, and even whole new features such as Face Unblur, Magic Eraser, and Motion Mode. The SoC can run more advanced ML models but at lower power consumption than the previous Pixels.

Tensor also has a new security core, a CPU based subsystem called the Titan M2. The chip protects your data, ensuring that sensitive information never leaves your phone unless by your explicit actions. The M2 is protected against electromagnetic analysis, voltage glitching and even laser fault injection

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Specsheet

Here are the hardware specifications for the new Pixels 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

SpecificationsPixel 6Pixel 6 Pro
Display6.4-inch 1080 x 2400 OLED at 411 PPI
Up to 90Hz
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
6.7-inch 1440 x 3120 LTPO OLED at 512 PPI
Up to 120Hz
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
ProcessorGoogle Tensor
Titan M2
Google Tensor
Titan M2
Storage126GB / 256GB UFS 3.1 126GB / 256GB / 512GB UFS 3.1
Front Camera8MP ultrawide f/2.0
84° field of view
11,1MP ultrawide f/2.2
94° field of view
Rear Cameras50MP main sensor f/1.85
12MP ultrawide camera f/2,2
OIS and LDAF support
50MP main sensor f/1.85
12MP ultrawide camera f/2,2
48MP telephoto cameras with 4x optical zoom
OIS and LDAF support
Battery4524 mAh battery
30W fast charging
Qi-certified fast wireless charging
4905 mAh
30W fast charging
Qi-certified fast wireless charging
ConnectivityWiFi 6E with 2.4G+5GHz+6GHz, HE160, MIMO
Bluetooth v5.2
5G Support
WiFi 6E with 2.4G+5GHz+6GHz, HE160, MIMO
Bluetooth v5.2
5G Support

The company has also announced a subscription plan called the Pixel Pass. This will allow customers in the US a brand new Pixel 6 alongwith Google One, YouTube and YouTube Music Premium, Google Play Pass and Preferred Care, all starting at $45 a month. For users who want the Pixel 6 Pro, the subscription starts at $55 a month. All users will have the option to upgrade to a new Pixel after two years.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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