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The latest Pixel 6 Pro leak comes directly from Google itself

Updated Aug 24th, 2021 10:59AM EDT
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Image: Google

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The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are no longer just rumored product names for Google’s 2021 Pixel handsets. Google announced the Pixel 6 phones in early August, confirming all the recent leaks. Google unveiled its first custom System-on-Chip for Pixel phones, confirming the Tensor SoC will power both devices. It also showed off the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro designs and confirmed the main specs. In interviews that followed, Google also said the two handsets will be premium devices that will be priced accordingly. As expected, the Pixel 6 Pro will be the most expensive of the two.

Google’s Pixel 6 reveal wasn’t an actual launch event, however. That will follow later this fall, most likely in early October. That’s where Google will unveil the complete set of specs, the prices, and the release date for the two phones. This gives us plenty of time for more Pixel leaks. And the Pixel 6 Pro might be the star of an accidental Google leak.

Hiroshi Lockheimer is a well-known Googler. He is the company’s senior vice president for Android and Chrome OS, among other things. He posted an image on Twitter late on Monday that xda-developers scooped up. The exec used the image to show how Android 12’s new Material You themes work. Material You will let you customize the user interface in Android 12 without installing third-party themes. In Lockheimer’s case, Material You adapted the UI to a personal photo set as the phone’s wallpaper.

Googler leaks purported Pixel 6 Pro screenshot

As seen below, that wallpaper image shows an airplane’s engine during flight and indicates that Android 12’s smart Material You adapts the screen color palette to match the image.

Lockheimer removed the image from Twitter, but not before people started wondering whether the image comes from the Pixel 6 Pro. Lockheimer removing the image further reinforces the idea that the Googler might have accidentally leaked a screenshot taken on the Pixel 6 Pro.

Aside from Material You, the screenshot offers additional clues about the device. The handset runs on Verizon’s 5G network and features an under-display fingerprint sensor. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be the first Google phones with fingerprint sensors placed under the screen.

Also, the screenshot’s resolution is 3200 x 1440. That’s because someone saved it on a Galaxy S21 Ultra after viewing it on Twitter. The Pixel 6 Pro’s resolution should be 3120 x 1440. 9to5Google says the leading theory is that the screenshot comes from a Pixel 6 Pro device, given all these details.

On the other hand, other Android devices can run Android 12 beta right now. And Lockheimer might have used any of them to demo the Material You themes. Lockheimer deleting the image further reinforces theories that he might have used a Pixel 6 Pro to show Material You in action.

Finally, it makes more sense for high-ranking Google execs involved in the development of Android to test the newest releases on Google’s newest Android phones. That happens to be the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

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.