The new chip is only part of a major overhaul of Google’s phones. The most notable hardware change is a black camera strip toward the top of the phone that runs along the width of the back. By contrast, the camera on last year’s phone was housed in a small square on the top left corner of the back. Both phones have a new sensor that takes in 150% more light than the Pixel 5, as well as an ultrawide lens. The 6 Pro has an additional telephoto lens with 4-times optical zoom.
The latest phones from the search giant feature a whole new appearance. Will it be enough to entice customers? Google announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the next generation of its flagship phone line, on Monday, to compete in a congested industry dominated by Apple and Samsung. The 5G phones, which will be available in the autumn, will be powered by a new system-on-chip created in-house by Google. Google, like the majority of Android phone manufacturers, has long depended on Qualcomm’s SOCs to power its smartphones. However, developing its own processor to act as the device’s brain allows Google to better tune the chip for the aspects that are most essential to it. Tensor, the new semiconductor, can boost processing power while also improving visual capabilities.
In the US, no companies have been able to compete with the two giants. In the second quarter of 2021, Pixel owned 0.7% of the market, down from 1.3% during the same period a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics. Still, Google has defended its decision to continue investing in high-end phones. “Part of the goal is to show the very best that Google can offer,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of Google’s hardware division, said in an interview last week. “There is a big segment of the market that wants the latest, and we love building technology. So we’re going to try to appeal to that part of the market, too.”
The phones are also more colorful than previous models, with pastel schemes in green, blue, pink, and more. The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch display that stretches across the front of the device, while the 6 Pro’s screen is 6.7 inches. Both are larger than last year’s 6-inch Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 lineup faces serious pressure as Google continues to struggle in the premium phone market. When it comes to smartphone software, Google’s Android is the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, powering almost nine out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally. But the company hasn’t managed to gain traction with its own branded phones, and sales have been lackluster for years. Google executives have in the past blamed the slow uptake on fierce competition in a premium phone market led by Apple and Samsung.