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Google Pixel 6 biggest upgrades just teased ahead of launch

Google Pixel 6 render image
(Image credit: Google)

It looks like the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could be the most AI-centric phones Google has ever made, as a new advertisement has teased a suite of smart features that upcoming smartphones are likely to have. These could range from improved language translation to dramatically boosted computational photography. 

On Twitter, Rich Brome posted a shot of what appears to be an advert from the September 27 issue of The New Yorker, which posed a series of questions that hint at the type of capabilities the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could come with. 

Starting with "what if smartphones weren't just smart?" And then escalating that to ask if phones could be more "intuitive," "perceptive" and "personal." The advert gives us a clear clue that the Pixel 6 will lean heavily into its AI-centric Tensor chip to deliver smarter and more personalized features. This is to be expected from what Google has said before, but other questions posed point towards the Pixel 6 having more specific features, 

For example, "what if your phone understood your accent?" It hints at there being improved voice recognition features, while another question asks what if your phone "spoke dozens of languages fluently?" This gives us a clue that there’ll be improved real-time language translation features on the Pixel 6. 

"Know to save power for the apps you use most," seemingly points towards improved battery life management powered by AI, much like the current Google Pixel 5 battery management. 

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And another notable question posed is "[what if your phone] could capture every skin tone accurately and beautifully?" We suspect that might be in reference to dramatically improved portrait modes and skin tone capture from the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s cameras; the former will have a main camera and ultra-wide camera, while the latter is expected to add a telephoto camera into the rear array as well. 

And a final question asks "What if your phone learned, adapted, evolved and became a reflection of you?" This again suggests the Tensor chip and overall Pixel 6 experience will be more user-centric and possibly automatically calibrate itself to an individual's habits and preferences rather than needing them to apply certain settings and features manually; this is all educated speculation on our part however. 

Given plenty of phones already offer automatic options and AI features, including Google’s previous Pixel phones, the Pixel 6 will really need to offer something a bit special here to stand out from the crowd. On the hardware side, while the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have a dramatic rear camera bar, their overall design is fairly standard for current Android smartphones. The former will apparently offer a 6.4-inch 90Hz 1080p display with a punch-hole camera and the latter, a 120Hz 6.71-inch display with a QHD resolution. 

But Google has proven to deliver impressive features before thanks to its smart software. And with custom AI-focused silicon at the heart of the Pixel 6 phones, it looks set to have the hardware and software to really make a smartphone smarter. 

We’re expecting to see the new Pixel phones get fully revealed in October, so we've not got too long to wait to see if Google can come up with a phone to challenge the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.