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Hey Google, stop making us wait so long for the Pixel 6 already

Google Pixel 6 on display in NYC Google store
(Image credit: Future)

We are officially less than a week away from the launch of the Google Pixel 6 series, which should be the final big phone launch of 2021. And I say thank god for that, because I’ve been going crazy waiting for Google to get its act together and release the darn thing.

As someone who is rapidly getting sick of the OnePlus 7 Pro I’ve been rocking for almost two and a half years, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Pixel 6’s launch. Well, technically the Pixel 6 Pro, but that’s splitting hairs. However, Google’s insistence on taking so long to fully unveil the phone has been getting on my nerves.

I need a new phone, and the Pixel 6 Pro looks like my best option

My OnePlus 7 Pro is on its last legs, for plenty of reasons. The battery doesn’t quite last as long as I’d like; the screen has been picking up scratches and dents for over two years now; and the display is starting to suffer from some very noticeable OLED burn in. 

That last part is partly down to OnePlus changing the size of system icons a few months back, but also because I’m a dope that leaves my phone screen on and doing nothing for extended periods of time.

I am in dire need of an upgrade, and the constant flow of Pixel 6 Pro leaks has me quite excited about what the phone has to offer. 

Not only will it have all the usual Pixel perks, including first access to new Android updates, it’s also expected to pack in a great camera with top-tier computational photography (something OnePlus has struggled with), a solid battery, and the Tensor chip that Google has built specifically to bolster the Pixel range’s existing set of AI and machine-learning capabilities.

It’s not the first time I’ve had this situation with Google either. Back in 2014 I was in a similar bind, wanting to scrap my ailing (and frankly, utterly awful) HTC Sensation for something better). But having such a terrible phone for over three years meant I wanted to be sure I knew what all my options were.

So I waited for all the major phone companies to announce their Fall flagships, and it was of course Google that took the longest to get there. In the end I didn’t pick up a Nexus 6, mainly because it was almost double the price of its predecessor, the $349 Nexus 5. I picked up a Sony Xperia Z3 instead, and have zero regrets about that decision.

What’s with such a long wait?

So why has Google been waiting so darn long to sell us a Pixel 6?

There has been a noticeable lack of major phone launches in the second half of 2021, and the last one of any importance was the iPhone 13 launch event. That took place on September 14, well over a month before Google’s Pixel 6 event.

Meanwhile, information about the Pixel 6 has been leaking all over the place. But that’s basically business as usual for Google’s phone division, which is about as effective at containing leaks as a colander. 

To make matters worse Google hasn’t been that secretive about the Pixel 6 range. Not only is the phone on display in its New York store, I feel like I can’t turn on the TV without being bombarded with Pixel 6 ads. Ads that don’t contain anything of note, other than the fact the phone is coming. Which we all knew anyway, even before Google confirmed the October 19 launch.

Phone leaks happen, and it’s not uncommon to head into a launch event with a pretty clear picture of what to expect. In the case of the Pixel 6 we seem to have known pretty much everything for the past few weeks. 

Surprisingly, there’s still been information to leak, and it feels like we’re going to end up with a repeat of the Pixel 3’s launch event back in 2018. But in that case it was thanks to a supply of pre-release devices being stolen and sold on the black market.

This time these leaks seem to be making their way online the normal way. It’s not clear why they’re so in-depth, but it’s obvious that the later launch date is not helping things. And to be honest, at this point, we know so much about the phone it feels like Google could save the effort of a fancy launch event and just release the phone tomorrow without much fanfare.

Pixel 6 leaks are still useful

But in a funny sort of twist, the main reason I want to buy a Pixel 6 Pro is because of all the leaks. Knowing what I know ahead of time means I could easily decide between it and some other phone — not that there are many phones I find particularly impressive right now.

Other than the Pixel 5a, but Google won’t let me buy one in the U.K., so that idea is out of the window. I like having shiny new hardware as much as the next person, but I’m not so obsessed with having it that I will continually upgrade to the latest and best flagship devices.

I like saving moneym too, and while clearly not as good as the Pixel 6 range the Pixel 5a does have a lot of the same advantages as its sibling. Quick Android updates, strong photography, Pixel-exclusive features and, of course, something previous Pixel phones tended to lack: good battery life.

But there is a point where enough is enough. We passed that point at least a month ago, and I’m quite happy we’re finally this close to October 19 when the Pixel 6 series launches and I can start counting down the final few days to release day.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.