After a disappointing Pixel 5 handset last year, Google seems ready to return to its previous Pixel philosophy this year — the new Pixels launched in the fall are supposed to be real flagship handsets. Several signs indicate that Google is getting more serious about its hardware. First of all, Google confirmed its interest to launch its own retail stores, which suggests Google has big plans in mind for its products. It’s products like the Pixel phones, watches, and tablets/laptops that will drive sales, not just Nest-branded smart home products. Rumors also say that the first Google custom chip for the Pixel is coming this fall, powering the Pixel 6 series. That’s an indication that Google won’t make the same Qualcomm compromise as last fall.
Finally, we’ve seen a few Pixel 6 design leaks from separate trusted sources that reveal the same thing: Google has planned a radical design for the new Pixels, which seems to confirm its renewed interest in Pixel hardware. The design also implies that the Pixel 6 will feature significant camera upgrades, with one of the models expected to receive a third camera lens on the back. A brand new leak from China further corroborates previous rumors, indicating that the leaked Pixel 6 designs might be genuine.
Ice Universe, a leaker who focuses mainly on Samsung products, posted on Twitter the following images of a clear protective case made for the Pixel 6 handsets:
Google Pixel 6 pic.twitter.com/kOczGk0PRz
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 15, 2021
The case design matches the Pixel 6 renders we saw in the past few weeks when leakers Jon Prosser and OnLeaks shared nearly identical images for the two Pixel 6 phones expected to hit stores this fall. Here’s one of those renders:
The images in Ice’s tweet suggest the case would fit the phone in the render above. The massive camera bump on the back is present, with the case providing protection to the curved sides of the rear camera module.
Recent reports said Google will use that more prominent camera bump to deliver a few significant upgrades to the camera experience, including larger sensors and a third telephoto lens on the larger Pixel 6 Pro model. The new Pixel phones would also feature better optical image stabilization than before and supposedly big video recording improvements.
The purported Pixel 6 case above also has an unusual opening at the top, suggesting the new handset might feature a regular 3.5mm headphone jack. That would be a strange decision, given that Google removed the port from flagship Pixels. The opening might accommodate a microphone rather than an audio jack.
It’s unclear who made the Pixel 6 cases in those images and whether they’re based on actual information from Google or the previous Pixel 6 design leaks. However, Pixel phones tend to leak in full well before official launch events. The same will probably happen with the Pixel 6 series this year. Google is expected to unveil the Pixel 6 phones during a late September or early October “Made by Google” press conference.