At a virtual event today, Google formally launched the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones, a new Pixel Pass subscription option, and much more.
“The wait is over: Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the completely redesigned Google phones, are here,” Google vice president Brian Rakowski writes. “Powered by Google Tensor, Google’s first-ever processor, and shipping with Android 12, both phones are fast, smart, secure, and designed to adapt to you.”
I’m happy to report that the pricing rumors are true: Pixel 6 starts at just $599 and Pixel 6 Pro starts at just $899, so both neatly undercut market leaders like Apple iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. The base Pixel 6 provides a two-lens camera system, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage, while the base Pixel 6 Pro provides a three-lens camera system, 12 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage.
Alternatively, you can opt for a two-year Pixel Pass subscription, which adds Google One, YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, Google Play Pass, and Preferred Care. Pixel Pass with Pixel 6 starts at $45 per month or $55 per month with Pixel 6 Pro.
Both handsets are powered by Google’s new Tensor system-on-a-chip (SoC), which the firm designed specifically for its AI prowess, and the new Titan M2 security chipset. And Google will support the Pixel 6 family with security updates for five years.
Other announcements from the event include:
Magic Eraser. This is a new Photoshop-like feature that lets you tap on unwanted objects in photos to remove them from the scene seamlessly.
Camera inclusion improvements. To combat issues where people of color are not photographed correctly, the Pixel 6 cameras have been trained to correctly see a broader range of faces and skin types, and photos will be auto-white balanced, auto-exposed, and made sharper automatically.
New phone features. Two new calling features, Wait Times and Direct My Call, make calling businesses easier. “Before you even place your call to a toll-free business number, you’ll see the current and projected Wait Times for the rest of the week,” Google notes. “[And ] once you ring the business, Direct My Call uses Google Assistant to transcribe the automated message and menu options for you in real-time and displays them on your screen for you to see and tap, so you don’t need to remember all the options.”
New cases. The Pixel 6 family is getting a new series of protective cases that seem a lot like the new version it previously released for Pixel 5a. I didn’t like mine and I replaced it.
Good luck getting a Pixel 6 right away: The Google Store website has been a dumpster fire since Google first announced the devices, and I’ve been rejected after basically completing my own order multiple times over a two-plus hour timeframe. I guess I’ll try again later.