Pixel 6 leaks: 5 years of safety updates, ~$749 and $1,049 value tags

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

Over the weekend, Carphone Warehouse posted an official-looking teaser web site (it has since been taken down) for the Pixel 6. The positioning was full of information, the most important information of which is that the Pixel 6 will include “5 years of updates.” The Pixel 6 options Google’s first primary SoC, the “Google Tensor” chip, and the corporate hasn’t been very forthcoming on 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 inventive with the configuration) and has solely alluded to a small handful of AI use-cases as promoting factors of the SoC.

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

Qualcomm is a serious drawback if you wish to help a cellphone for longer than three years, since that is the restrict of the corporate’s SoC help. Some corporations, like Samsung, are barely extending that with three years of main OS updates and 4 years of main updates, however none of Qualcomm’s clients are actually empowered to help telephones for for much longer. With the Tensor-equipped Pixel 6, Google has nobody to reply to apart from Google on the subject of the help timeline. It makes the working system, the cellphone {hardware}, and the cellphone SoC, so it is empowered to help the Pixel 6 for so long as it needs.

The Pixel 6 is getting five years of updates, but the fine print clarifies those are "security" updates only.
Enlarge / The Pixel 6 is getting 5 years of updates, however the tremendous print clarifies these are “safety” updates solely.

Carphone Warehouse

It is vital to level out that the “5 years of updates” declare on the Carphone Warehouse web page is clarified within the tremendous print as “Android safety updates for not less than 5 years,” so we do not truly know what number of main Android updates the Pixel 6 will get but. Google might provide 5 years of main Android OS updates (that is nonetheless what my cash is on), permitting the Pixel 6 to final till Android 17, however that is simply not what this web page is promising. For now, we will solely say an unknown variety of main OS updates and 5 years of safety updates.

Google has definitely completed a number of software program work that might make the Pixel 6 the longest supported Pixel cellphone ever. Android 12 will dramatically change how new units roll out Android’s Linux kernel with the “GKI” or “Generic Kernel Picture.” Android telephones all run the Linux kernel, however historically, there are three completely different forks that occur in between mainline Linux and what ships on an Android cellphone—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 gadget. This leads to units all operating distinctive forks of the kernel, all of that are round two years previous and run as a lot as 50 {6cbbbb67e95c3f109947fadfebeeb11ee83a276a35d831570b0c245adb54be1b} out-of-tree code.

With the GKI, which is anticipated to debut on the Pixel 6, Google’s going to chop this right down to a single fork with a module system for everybody’s customizations and drivers, and it is chopping the age of the kernel in half. It is also operating out a proper kernel replace system, which is able to see Google ship Linux kernel updates by way of the Play Retailer. For now, it is going to solely be Linux’s LTS kernel updates, however there are plans sooner or later (which can or could not come to the Pixel 6) to replace the kernel. All of this work on with the ability to standardize and replace the inspiration of Android bodes nicely for a cellphone with a protracted life.

"80 percent faster performance" claims aren't as impressive as they seem once you realize the Pixel 5 was a mid-range phone.
Enlarge / “80 {6cbbbb67e95c3f109947fadfebeeb11ee83a276a35d831570b0c245adb54be1b} quicker efficiency” claims aren’t as spectacular as they appear when you understand the Pixel 5 was a mid-range cellphone.

Carphone Warehouse

The positioning additionally makes some claims concerning the Google Tensor SoC. Apart from the standard claims about good photograph capabilities, it says the chip affords “As much as 80{6cbbbb67e95c3f109947fadfebeeb11ee83a276a35d831570b0c245adb54be1b} quicker efficiency, so apps load faster and gaming is extra responsive.” This can be a comparability to the earlier Pixel telephones, although, and consider the Pixel 5 was a $700 mid-range gadget with a Snapdragon 765G. Google is leaping product classes from a mid-range cellphone to a flagship, so after sandbagging final yr, claims like this aren’t as dramatic as they appear.

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

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