Pixel 6 leaks: Five years of security updates, ~$749 and $1,049 price tags

Time for a Pixel 6 leak roundup! There are such a lot of leaks.

Over the weekend, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse posted an official-looking teaser web site (which has since been taken down) for the Pixel 6. The location was full of information, most notably claiming that the Pixel 6 will include “5 years of updates.” The Pixel 6 options Google’s first major SoC, the “Google Tensor” chip, and the corporate hasn’t mentioned why it determined to drop Qualcomm and strike out by itself within the chip market. Google is not designing any customized CPU or GPU cores (although it’s getting creative with the configuration), and it has solely alluded to a small handful of AI use-cases as promoting factors for the SoC.

We have long speculated that Google’s chip plans are actually about extending Android’s help timelines, permitting the corporate to raised compete with Apple, and now we lastly have affirmation. Apple is as much as seven years of help on the iPhone 6S, by the best way.

Qualcomm presents a major problem if you wish to help a telephone for longer than three years, since that is the restrict of the corporate’s SoC help. Some firms, like Samsung, are slightly extending that timeframe with three years of main working system updates and 4 years of main safety updates, however none of Qualcomm’s clients are empowered to help telephones for for much longer. With the Tensor-equipped Pixel 6, Google has solely itself to reply to on the subject of the help timeline. The corporate makes the OS, the telephone {hardware}, and the telephone SoC, so it might probably help the Pixel 6 for so long as it desires.

The Pixel 6 is getting five years of updates, but the fine print clarifies that the updates are security-related only.
Enlarge / The Pixel 6 is getting 5 years of updates, however the effective print clarifies that the updates are security-related solely.

Carphone Warehouse

The “5 years of updates” declare on the Carphone Warehouse web page is clarified within the effective print as “Android safety updates for no less than 5 years,” so we do not truly know what number of main Android updates the Pixel 6 will get. Google may provide 5 years of main Android OS updates, permitting the Pixel 6 to final till Android 17, however that is not what this web page guarantees. For now, we will solely say that the telephone will get an unknown variety of main OS updates and 5 years of safety updates.

Google has definitely accomplished quite a lot of software program work to make the Pixel 6 the longest-supported Pixel telephone ever. Android 12 will dramatically change how new gadgets roll out Android’s Linux kernel with the “GKI,” or “Generic Kernel Picture.” Android telephones all run the Linux kernel, however historically, three forks occur in between mainline Linux and what ships on an Android telephone—a fork for Google’s “Android Widespread” kernel, then a fork of that for the SoC Vendor, then a fork of the SoC kernel on your particular system. This course of leads to gadgets all working distinctive forks of the kernel, all of that are round two years outdated and run as a lot as 50 % out-of-tree code.

With the GKI, which is anticipated to debut on the Pixel 6, Google will lower the method right down to a single fork with a module system for everybody’s customizations and drivers and can lower the age of the kernel in half. Google can also be introducing a proper kernel replace system that may let the corporate ship Linux kernel updates by the Play Retailer. For now, the system solely applies to Linux’s LTS kernel updates, however there are plans (which can or might not come to the Pixel 6) to permit different kernel updates. All of this work on standardizing and updating the inspiration of Android bodes properly for giving Android telephones longer lives.

"80 percent faster performance" claims aren't as impressive as they seem when you realize that the Pixel 5 was a mid-range phone.
Enlarge / “80 % quicker efficiency” claims aren’t as spectacular as they appear whenever you understand that the Pixel 5 was a mid-range telephone.

Carphone Warehouse

The location additionally makes some claims concerning the Google Tensor SoC. Apart from repeating the standard claims about spectacular photograph capabilities, the positioning says the chip provides “as much as 80% quicker efficiency, so apps load faster and gaming is extra responsive.” This assertion is compared to the earlier Pixel telephones, although, and remember that the Pixel 5 was a $700 mid-range system with a Snapdragon 765G. Google is leaping product classes—from delivering a mid-range telephone to releasing a flagship—so after sandbagging final yr, claims like this are usually not as dramatic as they appear.

The promo web site additionally particulars charging. It lists good-but-not-great 30 W wired charging for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional and a brand new wi-fi charging stand suitable with each gadgets. The Pixel 6 does 21 W wi-fi charging, and the Pixel 6 Professional does 23 W wi-fi charging.

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