Google Pixel 6 & 6a: News, Price, Release Date, and Specs

The 2021 Pixel has a brand-new design, inside and out

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were unveiled on October 19, 2021, and the Pixel 6a is still expected. A few major leaks revealed essentially everything before the announcement confirmed them: a significant physical design change with an under-display fingerprint reader, Google's custom-made Tensor chip with an 80% performance boost, and new cameras that do a better job capturing more light and detail.

Pixel 6 three colors

Google

When Was the Pixel 6 Released?

Google made an official announcement on August 2, 2021, confirming rumors that we'll see both a regular Pixel 6 and a Pixel 6 Pro. After a cryptic "coming later this year" tweet in early August, the company finally confirmed the new phone at the October 19, 2021, Pixel Fall Launch event.

The 2021 Pixel was available for pre-orders after the unveiling event. Online and in-store orders began October 28; here are the Google Store links: Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6.

The Pixel 6a (codenamed Bluejay) isn't out yet, but there have been some leaks that point to its screen size and other features.

Pixel 6 Price

There are five options for the Pixel 6, depending on the amount of storage you want:

  • Pixel 6: $599 (128 GB) or $699 (256 GB)
  • Pixel 6 Pro: $899 (128 GB), $999 (256 GB), $1,099 (512 GB)

For comparison, the Pixel 5 started at $699 for 128 GB of storage.

The 6a version will be cheaper due to fewer features and/or lower quality hardware, but we won't know the exact price until its announcement.

Pixel 6 Pro front and back
Pixel 6 Pro.

Google

Pixel 6 Features

Most features stick around with a new Pixel phone, such as NFC and Nearby Share. Here are some new additions:

  • Extreme Battery Saver to make the phone last up to 48 hours
  • Translate live video captions and signs in up to 55 languages, completely offline
  • Post-processing effects like Magic Eraser to remove things from photos, Face Unblur, and Motion Mode
  • Real Tone to more accurately show different skin tones and better highlight the details
  • At least 5 years of Android security updates
  • Android 12 includes a widget for your most important conversations, scrolling screenshots, quick-access mic and camera controls, and more privacy controls

It's assumed that most of these features will make their way into the Pixel 6a.

Magic Eraser on Pixel 6
Magic Eraser on Pixel 6.

Google

Pixel 6 Specs and Hardware

The Pixel 6 is built from Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which means twice the scratch resistance as previous Pixel phones. There's also IP68 water and dust protection.

The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch screen, and the Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch screen; the 6a is expected to have a 6.2-inch flat OLED display. Here's a video showcasing the Pixel 6:

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. The Pro models has three cameras, including a telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom. The Pixel 6 (regular) has the same cameras, but no telephoto.

Pixel 6 Pro cameras
Pixel 6 Pro cameras.

Google

According to 9to5Google, the Pixel 6a is said to feature a 12.2 MP primary sensor, the same sensor used in Google's older Pixel phones. On the back of the phone is a 12 MP ultrawide and the same 8 MP selfie camera from the Pixel 6.

The Pixel 6 is powered by Tensor, the company's own chip. This is where the phone outshines previous models. It "makes Pixel 6 Pro the smartest and fastest Pixel yet." The chip enables maximum power efficiency for better battery life, and the phone is said to be 80% faster than the Pixel 5, and includes on-device AI and built-in computational photography for enhanced photos and videos. The Pixel 6a will most likely come with that same chip, if not something slightly less powerful, like a mid-range Tensor processor.

One neat thing that comes from this is improved on-device power and machine learning qualities. This means better-developed processing of accents and other languages, things that are necessary for improving voice recognition, translations, closed captioning, etc.

The 2021 Pixel also has the next-gen Titan M2 security chip, which Google says works with Tensor to protect sensitive details like your passwords.

Early rumors suggested that we'd see an under-display fingerprint reader in this phone; this is available on both the entry-level and Pro version. The sensor is built-in under the display, but you can also use a pattern, PIN, or password to secure it.

Both the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are available in three colors. The former can be had in Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, or Sorta Seafoam, and the latter in Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny, or Stormy Black.

Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6

Google

The Pixel Pro has the biggest battery capacity of any past Pixel. No models support Active Edge (the squeeze for Google Assistant feature).

OnLeaks has these renders of the Pixel 6a, as well as a "first look" video showcasing all angles:

Pixel 6 Specs
Pixel 6 Pixel 6 Pro
Screen: 6.4" 90hz FHD+ / 20:9 aspect ratio 6.7" 120hz QHD+ / 19.5:9 aspect ratio
RAM: 8 GB 12 GB
Storage: 128/256 GB UFS 3.1 storage 128/256/512 GB UFS 3.1 storage
Camera: 50MP primary; 12MP wide-angle secondary; 8MP front-facing 50MP primary; 12MP wide-angle secondary; 48MP telephoto 4x zoom; 12MP front-facing
Video: Front: 1080p at 30 FPS Rear: 4K/1080p at 30/60 FPS 7x digital zoom Front: 4K at 30 FPS / 1080p at 30/60 FPS Rear: 4K/1080p at 30/60 FPS 20x digital zoom
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E; 5G mmWave and Sub 6Ghz Wi-Fi 6E; 5G mmWave and Sub 6Ghz
Battery: 4614 mAh 5003 mAh
Charging: Battery Share / Fast wireless charging / 30W USB-C charger Battery Share / Fast wireless charging / 30W USB-C charger
OS: Android 12 Android 12

The Latest News About the Pixel 6

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are the latest stories, and some of those early rumors, regarding the Google Pixel 6:

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