Following this morning’s tease, Google today announced that this year’s flagship phones are the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Both phones will be available in the fall and be powered by a brand new chip.

“Tensor” is Google’s first custom-built SoC for Pixel phones that will debut this fall. According to CEO Sundar Pichai, the company has been working on this custom silicon for the past four years. The big focus is on improving machine learning performance.

AI is the future of our innovation work, but the problem is we’ve run into computing limitations that prevented us from fully pursuing our mission. So we set about building a technology platform built for mobile that enabled us to bring our most innovative AI and machine learning (ML) to our Pixel users. We set out to make our own System on a Chip (SoC) to power Pixel 6. And now, years later, it’s almost here. 

Custom chip benefits include improvements to existing computational photography-backed capabilities and “entirely new features” — like what seems to be computational video, as well as enhancements to speech recognition with real-time translation and voice typing. There’s a “new security core” and Titan M2 chip for the “most layers of hardware security in any phone.”

On the design front, Google boldly says these “new phones redefine what it means to be a Pixel.” We see a revamped industrial design with the distinctive “camera bar” since the company says it’s now too big to fit components into a “traditional” square.

The 90Hz 6.4-inch FHD+ display on the Pixel 6 is flat, while there’s a matte aluminum finish for the side “rails.” On the back, there’s a wide-angle main sensor and an ultrawide.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 Pro’s perimeter-curved 6.7-inch QHD+ with 120Hz refresh rate features a “light polished” aluminum frame/sides and 4x telephoto. Both the 6 (seen at the top below) and 6 Pro (underneath it) will be available in three colors each, while there’s an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Precise specs, like battery size and more lens/sensor details, will be coming in the fall.

We also upgraded the rear camera system. The improved sensors and lenses are now too big to fit into the traditional square — so the new design gives the whole camera system a new home with the camera bar.


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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: