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

What we know about Google's upcoming Pixel

A Google Pixel 5 successor is in the works, and it could be called Pixel XE, as some rumors have suggested. What's been speculated right now is the possibility of an in-display fingerprint sensor, a Pro/XL model, Face Unlock, and two SIM card slots.

Pixel 6 Pro render
Pixel 6 Pro render.

Jon Prosser / Rendersbyian

When Will the Pixel 6 Be Released?

Google hasn't officially announced the Pixel 6, so a confirmed release date isn't available yet. However, one huge indicator that this phone is coming is from information pulled from the Android 12 beta software.

Four models were uncovered, including their codenames and Japanese model numbers:

  • Barbet (Pixel 5a 5G) – G4S1M
  • Oriole (Pixel 6 family) – GR1YH
  • Raven (Pixel 6 family) – GF5KQ
  • Passport (Pixel Fold) – GPQ72

Those Pixel 6 versions are most likely the base and Pro models confirmed through the mockups below.

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

Our bet for when the Pixel 6 will come out is September or October 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. This year's Google I/O also appeared to back up this timeline.

Pixel 6 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/October 2021 release guesstimate is accurate, the Pixel 6 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.

Pixel 6 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 6. 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 6 Specs and Hardware

Real photos taken of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been translated into renders that you can learn more about in this video from leaker Jon Prosser. This design is also confirmed through case leaks.

As you can see, there's a wide housing for the back-facing cameras (two on the regular version and three on the Pro model) that creates a substantial bump. On that note, a recent leak reveals that we'll see a new camera sensor this year, a change not seen even in the last few years of Pixel releases. A 50MP main camera with 5x optical zoom is expected on the Pro/XL model.

Pixel 6 Pro render
Pixel 6 Pro render.

Jon Prosser / Rendersbyian

It’s too early for too many 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:

A tip from Slashleaks shows connection preferences (NFC, Cast, Bluetooth, etc.). Something else to note from these early photos 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 the renders above and from 9to5Google's APK teardown.

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


Rumors of an XL version were at one point circulating, too, but from the Prosser video above, it's now clear that we're looking at a Pro model instead. Those XL rumors came from an inside look at Android 12 Developer Preview which also suggested bigger on-screen menus, 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. It might also support ultra-wideband connectivity.

Rumors say that Google's upcoming phone will have the biggest battery capacity of any past Pixel, and both the regular and Pro version will support 5G in addition to these specs:

Pixel 6 Specs (Rumored)
Standard Pro
Screen: 6.4" AMOLED  6.71" POLED
RAM: 8 GB 12 GB
Storage: 128/256 GB 128/256/512 GB
Camera: 8MP selfie; 50MP primary; 12 MP ultra-wide rear 12 MP selfie; 48 MP telephoto; 12 MP ultra-wide rear
Battery: 4614 mAh 5000 mAh

The Latest News About the Pixel 6

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:

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