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Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: Biggest upgrades to expect

Google Pixel 6
(Image credit: Jon Prosser x rendersbyIan)

The Google Pixel 6, at least as far as the rumors are concerned, will be almost unrecognizable as a sequel to the Google Pixel 5, except for the "G" badge on the back.

Some of these differences will likely be aesthetic, but many more should be notable hardware upgrades that several independent sources have mentioned. If these leakers have their facts right, then there's going to be a lot of new tech on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and we couldn't be more excited.

Read on to find out the most important changes rumored for the Pixel 6, and how they compare to the Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: All-new design

After refreshing the design from the Pixel 4 to the Pixel 5, Google's making even bigger changes for the Pixel 6. Based on unofficial renders, the most notable change would be the addition of a large horizontal bar towards the top of the phone's back.

This area would house the new camera array, a departure from the simple square camera bump from the Pixel 5. These renders also show a tri-color design, with black, white and orange areas across the phone's body.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel 6. (Image credit: Jon Prosser x Rendersbyian)

This body is perhaps getting larger too. The Pixel 5 was a 6-inch handset, which is on the small side for modern Android flagships. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are said to measure 6.4 and 6.67 inches respectively, which are more conventional sizes for 2021 flagships.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: Display and refresh rate

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro's displays are reportedly getting larger, with the Pixel 6 sporting a 6.4-inch panel and the Pixel 6 Pro featuring a 6.67-inch screen. The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display.

More interestingly, Google is also said to be boosting the refresh rate from 90Hz on the Pixel 5 to 120Hz on the Pixel 6 series. Hopefully, this is an adaptive or variable refresh rate, which will let users access 120Hz smoothness when needed, but otherwise keep the refresh rate low to preserve battery.

Google Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Pixel 6 Pro is supposedly getting a QHD resolution, instead of FHD like the basic Pixel 6 or Pixel 5. Add this to the presumed return of AMOLED display technology, and the Pixel 6 series should offer some class-topping visuals.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: More cameras

Google used to be the phone maker that assured everyone only needed one rear camera to be competitive with hardware-packed rivals. But the Pixel 5 was the second generation of Pixel to use two rear cameras: a 12MP main sensor and a 16MP ultrawide sensor, plus an 8MP selfie camera.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel 6 Pro. (Image credit: OnLeaks/Digit)

The basic Pixel 6 will reportedly boost the main camera up to 50MP. In keeping with the Pro title, the Pixel 6 Pro will supposedly get an extra camera on top, which will likely be an 8MP telephoto sensor based on the rumors. Currently, there are no rumors about the selfie camera, so we can't evaluate the rumors fully. But given how good Google's photography already is, we're interested to see where the extra hardware will take the Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: Specs and a new Google chip

Google broke with precedent last year when it offered the Pixel 5 with a non-flagship chip, the Snapdragon 765G. It looks like it might be about to do it again with the rumored Whitechapel chip, designed by Google itself.

Google Pixel 6

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel 6. (Image credit: OnLeaks/91mobiles)

This chip could, just like Apple manages with the A Series chip and iOS, allow Google to more tightly integrate Android into the Pixel 6, making for more responsive and more powerful performance. The Pixel 5 already offers one of the best Android experiences around, so we're excited to see what the Pixel 6 could do.

It seems a given that the Whitechapel chip will be 5G-compatible too. The Pixel 5 was the first 5G flagship Pixel, with mmWave and sub6GHz support, so it will likely be the same with the Pixel 6 series.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: Battery and new Pixel Stand

In keeping with its below-average size, the Pixel 5 used a 4,000 mAh battery. The base Pixel 6, however, is tipped to have a 5,000 mAh battery, which should help support the larger and faster display. The Pixel 6 Pro's battery size is unknown, but since it's meant to be a little larger, we expect it to pack more battery capacity.

Google Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We don't know if anything will change about Google's 18W wired charging system that the Pixel 5 (and earlier Pixels) used, but the Pixel Stand wireless charger may be receiving upgrades. A rumor says that the next-gen Pixel Stand features cooling fans, which implies it would use a much faster charging speed than the current Stand's 10W.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5: Outlook

With so many features getting upgrades, or outright replaced, according to the current crop of rumors, the Pixel 6 looks to be a huge improvement over the Pixel 5. We're particularly intrigued to see what Google does with the so-called Pixel 6 Pro, and if the extra hardware that's said to be packed into it will give Google a handset capable of rivaling or even beating the best Android phones from Samsung and OnePlus.