Google Pixel 6 (Pixel XE): News, Price, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors

Is this the Pixel 6? Don't count on anything just yet

Screenshots of the pixel xe about phone and connection preferences screens

Slashleaks

A Google Pixel 5 successor is surely in the works, and it could be called Pixel XE, as some rumors have suggested. This could even be a new name for the Pixel 6 or a version that will be released along with it...but it's all speculation right now, like the possibility of an under-display camera and fingerprint sensor, an XL model, Face Unlock, two SIM card slots, and a foldable version.

When Will the Pixel XE Be Released?

The Pixel XE is definitely in the super early rumor stages. A release date of any real value just isn’t available yet.

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

Our bet for when the Pixel 6/XE will come out is September 2021. From Pixel 5 through all the Pixel 4 versions, Google's past several phones were announced in the US between August and October, so a similar 2021 estimate isn’t too wild. We might even hear about it first in May at this year's Google I/O event.

Pixel XE Price Rumors

From the looks of the (very little) hardware information we have below, this phone could have the same octa-core processor found in the $499 Pixel 4a 5G, though the same is in the $699 Pixel 5. 

Translation: there’s really no telling what it might cost. It could have upgraded cameras, a larger screen, a bigger battery, or more RAM or storage to place it at a much higher price point. It could also slash some of those things and be advertised as an affordable device and released at an even more reasonable price. When we know more, you will, too.

Pre-Order Information

Assuming our September 2021 release guesstimate is accurate, the Pixel XE will be available for pre-orders that same month, likely on the same day that the phone is officially announced.

For comparison, this is the best bet because the Pixel 5 was up for pre-orders in September 2020. That phone shipped out to US customers the following month; we might see the same timeline with the 2021 Pixel.

The Latest News About the Pixel XE

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are some of the latest rumors we've found regarding the possibility of a new Pixel:

Pixel XE Features

Most features stick around with a new Pixel phone, and if the leaks are real, we'll see some of them with the Pixel XE. From the very few supposed screenshots we've found, here are some of the features of this new phone from Google:

  • NFC
  • Nearby Share
  • Android Beam
  • Chromebook linking
  • Two SIM card slots

Pixel XE Specs and Hardware

US patent D903,618 suggests a striking change to the Pixel's design: an under-display selfie camera. Figure 2 in that document shows the rear view with the camera section at the top left like we're used to, but Figure 3 doesn't show a lens of any kind, suggesting it's beneath the display.

Could this be what we see in the Pixel XE or Pixel 6? Sure. We won't know without a doubt until official details are revealed from Google, but given that Qualcomm introduced the same tech at CES 2021, it's looking more like this will become a reality.

Phone images from Google in US patent D903,618

Another rumor we've seen recently is that the new Pixel will actually be a foldable phone. This comes from the fact that Google published two patents in January 2021 (here and here) for a foldable device, and that Samsung is developing foldable OLED panels for Google.

It's unclear if it's for a phone (this Pixel or a future one) or something completely different like an e-reader—the illustrations don't show a camera like most drawings (though it could be under the display)—but you can bet that we'll be keeping a close eye on it.

Illustration of a foldable device from Google
Foldable device illustration from Google's patent US20210018961.

It’s too early for any other details regarding the new Pixel’s specs, but we have found a couple of screenshots claiming to be of the phone’s settings.

You can see here that the model says that it’s of a device called Google Pixel XE that's running Android 11 with an 8-core CPU and two SIM slots:

Another tip from Slashleaks shows connection preferences (NFC, Cast, Bluetooth, etc.). Something else to note from these early photos (and a contradiction to the patent drawings above) is that the camera lens is in the center instead of the corner like other Pixels. This design matches up with the most recent assumption about the camera from 9to5Google's APK teardown.

Picture of the Pixel XE camera lens in the center of the top edge

Slashleaks

It's possible that this will allow for a different kind of camera hardware, or maybe it's just a position change to show that it's different from other Pixels. Regardless, it's still too early to deduce anything.

Rumors of an XL version are circulating, too. This comes out of an inside look at Android 12 Developer Preview which seems to suggest bigger on-screen menus, something you'd want on a larger screen. The same inspection points to an in-screen fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock.

A recent report from 9to5Google says that the Pixel 6 will be powered by Google's own chip.

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