Google Pixel 6 Pro leak reveals three upgrades iPhone 13 can’t match

Google Pixel 6 in multiple colors on a blue background
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel 6 leaks just keep coming, and the latest ones suggest the new Pixel is going to be a powerful phone for photography.

As revealed in a huge leak of marketing material from Carphone Warehouse, as well as older leaks, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both look like they're coming with an arsenal full of photo tricks that will let them take some of the best smartphone shots ever.

In fact, some of the rumored features look so good, they could surpass the iPhone 13 as the best camera phone around. 

We think there are three main areas where the Pixel 6 could surpass the iPhone 13 series in photography. We've broken them down below.

Higher-res main camera

Google and Apple have been two of the only smartphone makers to stick with 12MP main sensors as cameras with resolutions of 48MP and higher became the norm — but according to the rumors, that's about to change. 

Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are tipped to be using a 50MP main camera, which could enable them to take far more detailed images than even the iPhone 13 Pro Max is capable of capturing.

A diagram of the Google Pixel 6 Pro's rear camera block, showing main, ultrawide and telephoto cameras

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Cameras are not purely defined by their megapixels, though: sensor size, tuning and post-processing all play a role in the overall quality of the final photo. Given that Google already showed it could take on the best camera phones in the world with older Pixel models, that bodes well for the Pixel 6 range. With a new, much more substantial camera, these phones could well be the ones to beat.

More powerful zoom

On a similar note, the Pixel 6 Pro is rumored to be equipped with a 48MP telephoto camera capable of 4x optical zoom and 20x digital "SuperRes" zoom. Although the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have the highest magnification zoom yet offered on an iPhone, it's still only 3x optical and 15x digital. 

Google Pixel 6

(Image credit: Google)

There are phones with higher magnifications than both Apple and Google's offerings, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (10x optical, 100x digital). Again, however, Google's excellent photo processing system could mean that the Pixel 6 Pro is able to beat out other telephoto cameras when it comes to overall quality, even if the maximum zoom range is lower.

New photo editing tricks

Built-in photo editors on phones are surprisingly powerful, but even the excellent system found on iPhones can't help you if you get photobombed or your subject is moving too fast for the camera to focus on it. However, Google's got answers to both of these challenges coming with the Pixel 6, the leaks claim.

Part of the leaked marketing materials for the Google Pixel 6 Pro, showing how the Magic Eraser feature works by removing people from the background of an image

(Image credit: Carphone Warehouse)

Magic Eraser will apparently, as the name suggests, allow you to easily remove people or objects in the background to design your perfect shot. 

Part of the leaked marketing materials for the Google Pixel 6 Pro, showing how the Face Unblur feature works by showing a clearer image of a moving person

(Image credit: Carphone Warehouse)

The other rumored feature, Face Unblur will make blurred faces sharper, in turn making action shots easier to get. 

You can effectively do these things with any image from any phone if you open them up in one of the best photo editing apps, but Google's apparent promise that you can do this from your phone without needing new software is more enticing. It's another thing that iOS' photo editor can't match right now.

We won't have long to wait until we find out for sure what the Google Pixel 6 is capable of, with a Google Pixel event now confirmed for October 19 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. We'll be covering it all as it happens, so be sure to stay tuned to Tom's Guide for the latest news on the day.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.