Google will launch at least two phones this year. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL/Pro seem inevitable at this point, even though we don’t have an actual release date. The Pixel 6 rumors are a lot more exciting than last year’s Pixel 5 leaks. They all point to Google returning to Pixel flagships after last year’s unfortunate experiment. The Pixel line might get even more exciting than that this fall.
The first Pixel Fold is reportedly in the works, and those are exciting rumors as well. That’s because Google won’t walk the foldable phone path alone. Samsung should provide formidable assistance if this all pans out. Google CEO Sundar Pichai teased this fall’s Pixel hardware during the company’s June 2021 earnings call on Tuesday. We’re about to see “deep technology investments” that help Google “push boundaries.”
Pixel 6 release date expected this fall
Pichai knows better than to reveal any Pixel 6 secrets during an earnings call. Yet the CEO did tease the upcoming Pixel line and confirmed that we’ll see new hardware this fall. Here’s what he had to say about Android 12 and the Pixels:
Turning to Android. We previewed Android 12 at Google I/O. The latest version will include new ways to personalize devices and significantly improved speed and power efficiency. We have built new privacy protections directly into the OS. So there’s a new privacy dashboard to help people keep information safe and private.
Android 12 will, of course, be central to Google phone devices. I’m very excited by our fall lineup which will showcase Android 12 and some of the deep technology investments that are helping us push boundaries. Pixel remains at the heart of that long-term strategy and I’m proud of how the team continues to deliver the best of Google through our family of helpful devices, including Nest and Fitbit. You can see all of these devices at our first retail store in New York City and I’m looking forward to seeing some new ones there soon.
If you were worried about Google’s commitment to the Pixel, Pichai’s remark above should address your concerns. After all, you don’t open a physical retail store without planning some massive hardware launches for it.
What are Google’s deep technology investments?
We might not have a release date for the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 XL, and Pixel Fold, but we do have plenty of rumors that allow us to guess what the “deep technology investments” might be.
First of all there’s Whitechapel. That’s the codename for Google’s custom silicon for the Pixel 6 series. The chip will power this year’s Pixel phones and other Pixel devices. It might not be on par with the upcoming A15 Bionic or the Snapdragon 888, but we’re still looking at a high-end processor. That’s according to recent reports.
The Pixel 6 XL is also supposed to be the first Google phone to rock three cameras on the back. The new Pixels will also be the first to feature under-display fingerprint sensors.
Add to that up to five years of software updates, and the Pixel 6 already sounds amazing several months before its expected release date.
Things get better if all the Pixel Fold rumors pan out. We’d expect that phone to match the Pixel 6’s hardware. On top of that, it’ll feature a foldable OLED display from Samsung. Protecting the screen is Samsung’s Ultra Thing Glass (UTG) foldable panel. These are technologies that Samsung perfected over the past three years. We’ll see both of them on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 this summer.
Finally, the first Pixel Fold will give us a look at Google’s own vision for a mobile operating system running on a foldable screen.