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Google Pixel 6 leak reveals key advantages over iPhone 13

Google Pixel 6
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel 6 has been so massively leaked at this point that there's little information left to uncover. But one tidbit from the latest Pixel 6 leak has revealed some things we wish the iPhone 13 had. 

As reported by Evan Blass on Twitter, who goes by @evleaks, the Pixel 6 will offer both face unlock and fingerprint unlock. It's right there on the Security options page shown in one of the leaked renders. We can't confirm whether this functionality will be coming to both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but our money is on yes. 

We've seen previous rumors that the Pixel 6 will offer an in-display fingerprint sensor, which would be very welcome at a time when millions of people are being asked to wear masks in public places. In our iPhone 13 review, we noted that you can't unlock the phone with Face ID while wearing a mask. So you have to resort to a PIN code, though you can bypass that if you're wearing an Apple Watch

Google Pixel 6 fingerprint and face unlock

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Apple is reportedly working on a way to recognize faces even when masks are being worn, but there's no telling whether this upgrade would come to the iPhone 13 or if it would have to wait until next year's iPhone 14.

We've also heard rumors for and against the prospect of Apple offering in-display Touch ID on the iPhone 14. The company seems to be going all-in on Face ID for the foreseeable future. 

Now, based on the relatively small size of the punch hole in the Google Pixel 6, it doesn't appear to have the sensors required to offer sophisticated 3D facial recognition like the iPhone 13's TrueDepth system. The Pixel 4 offered a dedicated Soli chip and Motion Sense technology, which lead to an oversized forehead on the device, but Google ditched that in the name of slimmer bezels for the Pixel 5

So at this stage it's really hard to tell how good the face unlock technology on the Pixel 6 will be. But I'd personally rather have an easy unlocking option with my finger when wearing a mask. It would have been nice if Apple added even a Touch ID sensor to the iPhone 13's power button, but that never happened. 

Pixel 6: Faster wireless charging, sharper cameras

An image of a Pixel 6 resting on a Pixel Stand, with a user interacting with the ambient display interface, including the Performance and Quiet mode charging options.

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

The rest of the Pixel 6 leak from Evan Blass looks pretty promising, as it reveals some other possible advantages over the iPhone 13. This includes a faster wireless charging dock that can go up to 23W and a trio of sharper rear cameras for the Pixel 6 Pro, including a 50MP wide lens, 48MP telephoto and 12MP ultrawide. Apple's three shooters are 12MP, but we all know that camera quality is about more than megapixels.

Google is also biting off of Apple's widget action with a Live Space widget that could display your airline flight ticket right on your phone's lock screen when you need it. This reminds us of how Apple Wallet works, but we'll have to wait to see it in action. 

With the Pixel 6 event set for October 19, it won't be long until all the details on Google's new flagship Android phones are official. In the meantime, check out our Pixel 6 hub to get up to speed on all the latest leaks and rumors. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.