There’s been a lot of talk about the Google Pixel 6 leading up to Pixel Fall Launch event on Oct. 19. But that’s only one of the phones Google is set to launch next week. There’s also the not-so-small matter of the Google Pixel 6 Pro — a larger version of Google’s upcoming flagship phone with a few extra features you won’t find on the standard Pixel 6.
Because Google teased both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro back in August, there’s already a lot we know about this upcoming phablet. The Pixel 6 Pro will have the biggest screen and fastest refresh rate of any phone in Google’s handset of lineup. It will also be the first Pixel to sport a triple camera array. And like the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6 Pro will see the debut of Google’s new Tensor chipset.
That’s a lot to pack into any phone, and there are still a few things we’re waiting to hear about leading into the Pixel 6 Pro launch — though fortunately, the rumor mill is happy to fill in the details.
Here’s a closer look at the Pixel 6 Pro — what we already know, what leaks have told us about the phone and what we’re still hoping to find once Google unveils its new flagship device on Oct. 19.
Google Pixel 6 Pro specs (Rumored)
|Google Pixel 6||Google Pixel 6 Pro|
|OS||Android 12||Android 12|
|Display||6.4 inches AMOLED (90Hz)||6.71 inches AMOLED (120Hz)|
|Rear camera||50MP (Wide) + 12MP (Ultra wide)||50MP (Wide) + 48MP (Tele) + 12MP (Ultra wide)|
|Battery||4,614 mAh||5,000 mAh|
Google Pixel 6 Pro release date
There’s no guesswork here. Google has set a date for its Pixel Fall Launch event, which means that on Tuesday, Oct. 19, we’ll get our first official look at the Pixel 6 Pro. Well, our first look after those other looks, at any rate.
The Pixel launch event begins at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. We’ve got a guide on how you can watch the Pixel Fall Launch event using Google’s official stream.
It’s less clear when the Pixel 6 Pro could actually ship. If you figure that Pixel 6 Pro pre-orders will likely begin the same day as the launch event — or at least by that Friday (Oct. 22), that would put the Pixel on track to hit stores by the following week. At any rate, it’s a fairly solid bet that the phone will be out before the end of the month.
Google Pixel 6 Pro price
Here’s something Google hasn’t let slip yet, except to give people a heads up that the Pixel 6 Pro “will be expensive,” to quote Rick Osterloh in an interview with Der Spiegel. That’s likely a pre-emptive strike by Google to set expectations after last year’s Google flagship started at $699.
The Pixel 6 might approach that lower price, but not the Pixel 6 Pro. In lieu of clearer guidance from Google, we can only turn to rumors. A YouTuber cites €899 as the Pixel 6 Pro price, which is €250 more than what the Pixel 6 will reportedly cost. That Pixel 6 Pro price translates to more than $1,040, using current exchange rates, though phone makers often adjust prices depending on the market. Another would-be leaker claims the Pixel 6 Pro will cost closer to $1,099.
Over the weekend, we heard some potentially good news about the Pixel 6 Pro price — someone spotted a display at a Target store that listed the Pixel 6 Pro at $898. If accurate, that would place Google’s premium flagship at $100 less than the iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S21 Plus.
Even if that low price is accurate, you’re going to pay more for a Pixel 6 Pro than you would for a Pixel 5 back when that phone debuted a year ago. And when you see the Pixel 6 Pro’s promised feature set, it will be clear why.
Google Pixel 6 Pro Tensor processor
Tensor will be the start of the show for the Pixel 6 models. That’s true of the Pixel 6, so it will certainly be true of the Pixel 6 Pro.
We got our first hint of Tensor back in August when Google confirmed its next flagships would run on its own silicon rather than the Snapdragon chipsets from Qualcomm that had powered previous Pixels. The focus this time around is less on performance and more about machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Specifically, we know that Tensor chipsets come with a dedicated Tensor Processing Unit for handling AI/ML tasks. That will free up the CPU for other activities, potentially bolstering performance and battery life. Because the TPU is part of the Tensor chip’s core pipeline, potentially every process will go through it.
We’re expecting the Pixel 6 launch event to talk about specific benefits to this approach and what it means in terms of everyday use. For now, we expect the Tensor chip to provide a boost to the computational photography Pixel phones are known for and there could be more voice-powered commands involving the new phones.
In terms of performance, leaked benchmarks suggest the Tensor will be similar to a Snapdragon 888 but nowhere near the pace of the A15 Bionic that powers the latest iPhone 13 models. The latest Pixel 6 Pro benchmark scores place Google’s upcoming phone in the vicinity of Snapdragon 888-powered Android devices, but the usual caveats about leaked benchmarks for unreleased phones apply to those numbers.
Google Pixel 6 Pro design and colors
We already have a very good idea of what the Pixel 6 Pro is going to look like, precisely because Google already has the phone on the display at its store in New York. The most noticeable thing about the phone would be the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera array — the cameras are housed in a black rectangular bar that stretches across the phone.
Both the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 feature rounded edges. Up front, the selfie cam is housed in a center cut-out. There’s no notch or Pixel 4-sized bezel here.
That rectangular bar contributes to what’s being described as a color-block design, with a bright tone above the camera array and a softer tone beneath it. In terms of your choice in colors, leaker Evan Blass says the Pixel 6 Pro will come in Stormy Black, Cloudy White and Sorta Sunny. That latter shade involves a two-tone yellow shade.
Google Pixel 6 Pro display
We know that the Pixel 6 Pro will feature a 6.71-inch display, which compares to a 6.4-inch screen for the regular Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 Pro’s screen size puts it in the same class as the iPhone 13 Pro Max (6.7 inches), Galaxy S21 Plus (6.7 inches) and Galaxy S21 Ultra (6.8 inches).
We also know from Google’s Pixel 6 preview back in August that the Pixel 6 Pro will offer a 120Hz refresh rate — an increasingly standard feature on leading phones. (The standard Pixel 6, in contrast, will feature a 90Hz refresh rate.)
There are rumors that the Pixel 6 Pro’s front camera will be equipped to handle facial recognition, likely for unlocking the phone. Additionally, the Pixel 6 Pro is rumored to offer an under-display fingerprint sensor, so it seems like there will be multiple ways to unlock the phone — something iPhone users would appreciate having.
Google Pixel 6 Pro cameras
Thanks to the all the Pixel 6 Pro sneak peaks, we also know how many cameras Google is sticking on its higher-end flagship. We’re looking at three lenses — a main camera along with a ultrawide angle shooter and a telephoto lens. The Pixel 4 featured a telephoto lens, but this is the first time Google’s including one alongside an ultrawide camera.
The actual specs of the cameras remain a mystery, but the rumor mill can fill in some of the gaps there. That main wide angle lens will reportedly feature a 50MP sensor, which is quite the step up from the 12MP camera Google has used previously. The ultrawide angle camera will reportedly feature a 12MP sensor, while the telephoto lens looks to be a 48MP shooter capable of a 4x optical zoom.
Google has already confirmed that it’s working with image experts to improve color accuracy for its cameras, particularly when it comes to capturing images featuring people of color. You would think the Tensor chipset would be playing a big part here. Other rumored camera features include a magic eraser for removing people from the background of a shot, a face deblurring tool and manual white balance adjustment.
The Pixel 6 Pro could also include a feature not found on the Pixel 6. The Android 12 beta includes code suggesting that the Pixel 6 Pro’s front camera will be able to capture 4k video.
You can get a sense of what the Pixel 6 Pro’s cameras will be able to do, thanks to some leaked images reportedly shot by the upcoming phone.
Google Pixel 6 Pro battery and charging
While Google has told us a lot about the Pixel 6 Pro, it hasn’t mentioned anything about battery size and how it could compare to the Pixel 5. Assorted leaks surrounding the Pixel 6 phones point to a 5,000 mAh battery inside the Pixel 6 Pro, which would certainly be larger than the 4,000 mAh Pixel 5 battery. We’ll have to test the phone to see if that means longer battery life, assuming rumors of a 5,000 mAh battery are true.
The bigger story could be that faster charging is in the works for Google’s Pixel 6 phones. Currently, the Pixel 5 tops out at 18W. A number of leaks have suggested that will get boosted with the Pixel 6, as the new phones will be capable of 33W wired charging. A new Pixel Stand reportedly in the works could support 23W wireless charging.
Google Pixel 6 Pro connectivity — 5G and Wi-Fi 6E
Like the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6 Pro is expected to feature Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. That’s the new wireless standard that adds a 6GHz band to go with 2.5GHz and 5GHz. That translates to faster speeds and lower latency, though you will need a Wi-Fi 6E-capable router to reap those benefits. Even if you don’t have the necessary networking equipment just yet, Wi-Fi 6E support future-proofs the Pixel 6 Pro, meaning it will be able to connect to the improved wireless standard as more devices come online.
5G has been a standard part of the Pixel lineup since the Pixel 5 Pixel 4a 5G, and that’s going to continue with the Pixel 6 Pro.
Google Pixel 6 Pro and Android 12
There’s no guesswork here — the Pixel 6 Pro is going to ship with Android 12 installed. The Pixels have always featured the latest version of Google’s software, and Android 12 is ready and just waiting for a flagship phone to trumpet its arrival.
Based on the betas and Google’s own Android 12 previews, expect a new Material You interface for Android, offering tweaks like bigger, rounder bubbles in the notification shade. Widgets will be front and center in the new interface as well, and if a Japanese TV ad is to be believed, they’ll also play a big role in how you interact with the Pixel 6 Pro.
You could be able to hold onto your Pixel 6 Pro longer if another rumor about software support pans out. A leak suggests the Pixel 6 models will get five years of Android security updates, bringing the phone more on par with the iPhone and its lengthy support from Apple.
Google Pixel 6 Pro: What we’re hoping to see
Based on what Google’s already revealed, we’re looking forward to seeing the Pixel 6 Pro in the flesh. And if just a few of these rumored specs pan out, the new Pixel figures to be a formidable flagship. A 4x optical zoom would be a terrific addition to the phone, and the extended software support is a promising addition as well.
The big question surrounding the Pixel 6 Pro hinges on its Tensor processor. Google will have to fully explain the benefits of this switch, focusing specifically on how it will positively impact everyday phone use. In theory, Tensor sounds like a game-changer for the Pixel lineup, but we’ll want more details on what it means for how we use our Pixel 6 Pro.