Google Pixel 5Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

It's become a tradition that every year brings us a new Pixel, and for 2021, we're expecting Google to deliver the Pixel 6. It seems like yesterday Google was unveiling the series for the first time, but somehow, we're already looking ahead to the sixth generation of the phone.

We still have a long way to go before we can get our hands on the Pixel 6, but that doesn't mean we can't start speculating and making informed guesses as to what it'll offer. From price, specs, availability, and more, here's everything we know so far about the Google Pixel 6.

Current flagship

Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5

The best Pixel you can buy right now

We expect the Pixel 6 to be a darn good phone, but if you need something right now, the Pixel 5 has a ton to offer. Whether you're searching for amazing cameras, a quality display, snappy performance, or reliable battery life, you get all of that with the Pixel 5. And thanks to its $699 price, it's a lot more affordable than some competing handsets.

Google Pixel 6 Announcement & release date

Going all the way back to the original Pixel and up to the most recent Pixel 5, Google has stuck with a pretty consistent time frame for announcing its new smartphones. Looking at all past announcements, launch events have taken place as follows:

  • Pixel — October 4, 2016
  • Pixel 2 — October 4, 2017
  • Pixel 3 — October 9, 2018
  • Pixel 4 — October 15, 2019
  • Pixel 5 — September 30, 2020

It's a sure bet that the Pixel 6 will be unveiled in late-2021, likely during or near October. There's been some talk about Google announcing a new flagship Pixel as soon as March, but that seems incredibly unlikely right now.

As for when you'll be able to actually buy the Pixel 6, that remains a bit more uncertain. Pixel phones typically go on sale a couple of weeks or so after their unveiling, but Pixel 5 sales didn't begin until October 29 — almost a full month after Google announced the thing. A large part of that delay likely had to do with Google trying to launch a phone in the midst of a pandemic, so fingers crossed the launch process is a bit smoother for the Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 6 Price

Pixel 5 screenSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Looking ahead at the Pixel 6, one of the most interesting things to keep an eye on is its price. Between the Pixel and Pixel 4, Google was focused on competing toe-to-toe with high-end flagships. Naturally, this resulted in high price tags that we had to stomach.

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL started at $799 and $899, respectively, with 64GB storage configurations. If you wanted 128GB, you had to spend another $100 on top of those prices (bringing them up to $899 and $999). Those Samsung and Apple-level costs have always been one of the biggest downsides to the Pixel series, and with the Pixel 5, Google finally changed that.

If you want a brand new Pixel 5 with 128GB of storage, you'll spend $699. That value focus is one of the phone's greatest strengths and looking ahead to the Pixel 6, it's something we think Google will continue with. This "value flagship" space is perfect for Google as it can offer high-end user experiences for considerably less than the competition.

It'd be great if Google could hit that $699 price once again for the Pixel 6, though it wouldn't be too surprising if it goes up a bit more to $749 or so.

Google Pixel 6 Models

Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4a 5GSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Along with pricing, the Pixel 5 caused another big shift for the Pixel release strategy that could carry over to the Pixel 6.

Every Pixel up until the 5 came in two flavors — regular and XL. However, for the Pixel 5, Google nixed the XL variant entirely in favor of one single offering. For the Pixel 6, we aren't entirely sure how Google will play its cards.

Looking at old codenames for Google's 2020 Pixels, we know that the company had originally planned to offer two Pixel 5 options: the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5s. The phone that we know today as the Pixel 4a 5G would have been the regular Pixel 5, with the Pixel 5s (which ended up being the Pixel 5 we have now) being a more premium version of it.

Google ultimately settled on just releasing one Pixel 5, but who knows what'll happen with the Pixel 6. Releasing just one model again is entirely possible, but since we know Google was at least thinking about introducing a new "s" branding, we could also see that come to fruition in the form of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6s.

Google Pixel 6 Design

Google Pixel 5 Hands OnSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

If there's one thing that remains a complete mystery about the Pixel 6, it's how the phone will look. Google has gone through quite a few different designs for its Pixel phones, with the company seeming to introduce new ideas every year. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL had wildly different bezel designs, the Pixel 4 series got rid of the two-tone back while adding larger top bezels for Motion Sense, and the Pixel 5 ushered in an aluminum unibody with the smallest bezels we've ever seen on a Pixel.

It's hard to imagine Google bringing back Motion Sense to the Pixel 6, so the phone's front will likely look a lot like it does on the Pixel 5. The camera cutout may be moved to the right or centered, but don't expect too much to change there.

As for the back, there are a couple of things Google could do. The Pixel 6 could keep the same unibody aluminum design as the Pixel 5 with an identical camera housing, or Google may introduce a completely new design we haven't seen before. My money is on the former, but it's anyone's guess at this point.

Google Pixel 6 Specs

Google Pixel 5Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Next, let's talk about everyone's favorite subject — specs. We think the Pixel 6 will go for the same strategy as the Pixel 5, meaning it'll offer very capable specs that aren't necessarily the highest-end on offer. Given that it's a new generation of a phone, there will be a few key upgrades.

The Pixel 6 will more than likely be powered by the successor to the Snapdragon 765G, which should be called the Snapdragon 775G. Details on the chip aren't 100% confirmed quite yet, though it is expected to be a 6nm chip compared to the 7nm design of the 765G. In other words, there should be nice performance and efficiency boosts across the board.

It wouldn't be surprising for Google to stick with a 90Hz AMOLED screen once again, though the company may finally step up to a 120Hz panel. As for the cameras, we'd love to see Google launch a Pixel with three rear cameras — including wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensors all in one phone.

A 4,000 mAh or higher battery is expected, too, along with at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Google Pixel 6 FAQ

Google Pixel 5 ReviewSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Is the Pixel 6 going to be another "value flagship?"

Pixel phones used to be seen as regular flagships, but as we know, that changed with the Pixel 5. It's still very much a high-end phone, but by using a lower-end processor, Google was able to cut back on costs considerably while still delivering an excellent product.

Google hasn't confirmed anything yet, but we fully expect the Pixel 6 to follow in these footsteps. The Pixel 5 may not be the most technically impressive phone we've ever seen, but specs only tell part of the story. When you factor in everything it brings to the table, it ends up being one of the best Android phones around. If Google can mimic that formula with the Pixel 6 while offering a few upgrades here and there, it'll have a recipe for success.

Will there be a Pixel 6 XL?

Yes, no, maybe — we honestly don't know right now. There was just one Pixel 5, but evidence shows that there could have been a world with a Pixel 5 and Pixel 5s. Even if it isn't branded as a Pixel 6 XL, we wouldn't be surprised to see Google go back to offering two sizes/models for the Pixel 6 series.

It's also possible that the company is more comfortable sticking with just one version of its flagship offering. Still, either way, we're definitely keeping our ear to the ground for any new information on this front.

The Pixel 5 is still a fantastic phone

Pixel 5 backSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

We can't wait to see what comes of the Pixel 6, but for anyone that's shopping for a new phone right now, there's no sense in waiting months and months for it to come out. Instead, just go out and buy the Pixel 5.

The Pixel 5 is a seriously incredible handset, no matter how you slice it. Its 90Hz AMOLED screen looks great, it's more than fast enough for just about any task you throw at it, and the cameras continue to be nothing short of incredible. And, unlike the Pixel 4, the battery is actually usable.

If you want a premium Android phone without going completely broke, it's hard to do much better than the Pixel 5.

Current flagship

Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5

The best Pixel you can buy right now

We expect the Pixel 6 to be a darn good phone, but if you need something right now, the Pixel 5 has a ton to offer. Whether you're searching for amazing cameras, a quality display, snappy performance, or reliable battery life, you get all of that with the Pixel 5. And thanks to its $699 price, it's a lot more affordable than some competing handsets.

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