Google has posted an official “sneak peek” of its upcoming Pixel 6 flagship. Recorded in a tweet storm and a teaser website we finally get official photos and confirmation for many of the rumors out there.
First up, one of the most exciting aspects of the Pixel 6 is the inclusion of the Google “Whitechapel” SoC. This is Google’s first internal SoC that will serve as the main chip for the phone. It represents Google ditching Qualcomm as the SoC manufacturer and taking a more Apple-esque vertical approach to its phone hardware. The chip is officially called “Google Tensor” and is described by the company as “the brand new chip designed by Google, custom-made for Pixel.”
“The highlight of Tensor is that it can process Google’s most powerful AI and ML models directly on Pixel6. You will see a transformed experience for the camera, voice recognition and many other Pixel 6 features,” Google said in its posts today. . † “Speech recognition is another fundamental technology where you’ll see a huge improvement in #Pixel6. With Google Tensor, we can make big strides in: voice commands, translation, captioning and dictation.”
Another supposed benefit not mentioned in the thread is that the Google Tensor chip should allow Google to support the Pixel 6 for more than three years. When producing an Android update, the first step is to obtain updated hardware support from the SoC vendor. Most commercial operations only support a device as long as the SoC manufacturer is on board. For Qualcomm (a chip supplier), supporting a device longer means fewer chips are sold, so the company doesn’t want to compare Apple’s long iPhone support period of five to six years with a competing package. With Qualcomm out of the way, though, the Pixel 6’s support timeline is entirely up to Google.
Officially, the Pixel 6 comes in two sizes, the “Pixel 6” and “Pixel 6 Pro”. Both come in three different colors, and if you look at the photos, Google says the “Pro” model is the one with the most space above the camera block. The Pro has three cameras, including a 4x telephoto, while the base model has two cameras (the zoom skips). Also not mentioned in the thread, this should be Google’s first camera chip upgrade since the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2, 3, 4 and 5 all use the same camera chip, with only newer software offering additional features.
There is a Pixel 6 teaser page in the Google Store where you can sign up to learn more. Google says the phone will ship in the fall with Android 12 and the new color-changing UI.
Listing image by Google