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Google might have accidentally leaked the name of the Pixel 6 XL

Published Jul 13th, 2021 7:14PM EDT
Pixel 6 XL
Image: Waqar Khan

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We noticed earlier this week that we’re not seeing as many Pixel 6 rumors as we expect for this time of the year. Google has never managed to stop leaks, and all of its Pixel devices have been unearthed well ahead of official announcements. Several Pixel 6 leaks have already spoiled the phone’s main secrets, so it’s not like Google is running a tighter ship. But just as we questioned the purported live Pixel 6 Pro image that hit the web a few days ago, Google was accidentally spoiling the name of the Pixel 6 XL.

The earliest Pixel 6 leaks claimed that Google would make a change this year. The phones would be called Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The latter would replace the more traditional Pixel XL branding.

The same leaks indicated both phones would feature a radical new design, unlike anything seen on other devices. The camera module on the back occupies the entire width of the device, which is unusual for modern handsets. That’s assuming the design leaks are accurate.

Other rumors revealed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL’s specs. One potential hardware highlight is Google’s custom Whitechapel chip that will power the phone. Another amazing feature is support for at least five years of Android updates. That’s the kind of support that Apple gives new iPhone models, but it’s something that Google has never been able to match.

Pixel 6 XL or Pixel 6 Pro?

Google will probably unveil the Pixel 6 phones in early October during its annual Made by Google hardware event. But the company just listed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL names in a document for Android developers.

Google posted a form on the new Game Mode interventions, which are part of the new Game Mode API that Google just unveiled. Game Mode API will let game developers propose Game Mode interventions settings to smartphone makers. Google encouraged game makers to approach smartphone vendors separately.

The form that xda-developers saw lets developers reach out to Google about Pixel hardware. 
That’s where the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL names appeared instead of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. This might be an innocent mistake from Google, or the company is just trying to keep the final Pixel 6 name secret. Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL are the expected monikers for this year’s Pixels. That’s the best way to refer to them in the documentation for developers.

However, Google removed the Pixel 6 name mentions from the form relatively quickly, suggesting it was an error.

Whatever name Google chooses for the bigger Pixel 6, the phone will have a larger screen, better battery life, and an improved camera experience. The Pixel 6 XL / Pro will feature a triple-lens camera on the back, according to other leaks. The regular Pixel 6 will only sport a dual-lens camera.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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