Since we realized that Google and Samsung had been co-developing a brand new chipset for the Google Pixel 6 meant to run Android 12 extra effectively than a Snapdragon, I have been excited by the prospect of a ‘inventory’ Android telephone with correctly highly effective specs.
Then Google introduced the brand new Materials You UI with customizable colour choices throughout all apps – and stated it was unique to Pixels, solely elevating my untimely hype ranges.
My hype was tempered considerably by the newest Pixel 6 leak from information engineer @heyitsyogesh. He leaked the news that Pixel 6 take a look at fashions matched the Snapdragon 870 in efficiency. For context, it is a mid-range 2021 chipset a lot slower than the Snapdragon 888 present in most 2021 flagships, such because the Galaxy S21.
Effectively sure, Whitechapel is a 5nm chip with present efficiency on PVT items nearer to SD870, they aren’t making an attempt to match SD888. Google’s focus is on ML & so the uncooked AI efficiency is matched to that of different main cell chips. Plus that Mali GPU is performing good below stress.May 24, 2021
Yogesh emphasised in his tweet that Google is not ‘making an attempt to match SD888’, that its ‘focus is on [machine learning]’, and that its ‘uncooked AI efficiency…match[es] different main cell chips.’
It is truthful to say that Google desires to draw Pixel consumers with a telephone that seamlessly runs Android 12 software program and Google Assistant, not by matching up pound-for-pound in opposition to Samsung or OnePlus. Actually, Google’s instant competitor would be the iPhone 13, which we count on to ship out in September 2021 as effectively.
Till then, we cannot know the way quick the Pixel 6 really performs below stress; however based mostly on the current leaks, my hopes are fading that Google will make a very thrilling telephone. Here is why.
Predicting Pixel 6’s efficiency
In line with Android Central, the Pixel 6’s proprietary Whitechapel GS101 SoC has ‘two Cortex A78 cores, two A76 cores, and 4 A55 cores’, with the A78s dealing with probably the most rigorous actions like gaming. For comparability, the Snapdragon 888 has three Cortex A78 cores and a extra highly effective Cortex X-1 alongside 4 A55s.
We additionally know from Yogesh that the Pixel 6 sports activities the Mali-G78 GPU, which can also be discovered within the Samsung Galaxy S21. The worldwide model of the S21 with the Samsung-made Exynos 2100 SoC, to be particular. Contemplating Samsung constructed Whitechapel for Google, it is unsurprising that the 2 telephones would sport related silicon.
Many tech shops are speculating that the Mali GPU will generate S21-like energy within the Pixel 6; it is essential to notice, nonetheless, that each Android Authority and AnandTech rigorously examined the Snapdragon 888 vs. Exynos 2100 and located that the Galaxy S21 telephones with Qualcomm tech usually carried out quicker and extra effectively.
Simply as essential, this comparability does not fairly work as a result of the Exynos 2100 is quicker than the Snapdragon 870, which the Pixel 6 reportedly matches in pace.
Once more, uncooked specs do not all the time translate 1:1 to efficiency, and Google probably will promote the Pixel 6 at a extra inexpensive value than Samsung with the S21. However will 2020-level speeds and a reasonably new interface persuade Apple or Samsung groupies to change groups?
Pixel 6: Google’s try at an iPhone?
What Google is doing with Android 12 strikes me as the corporate’s try to draw Apple’s customers with a extra streamlined, snazzier expertise.
Android has all the time been about customization, however focused to hobbyists who will put within the time to determine widgets and launchers for themselves. iOS has all the time held customers’ arms on the expense of selection, solely providing some respectable customization with iOS 14.
With Materials You, Google provides much less devoted or technically savvy customers extra instant gratification: select a brand new wallpaper or your favourite colours, and Android will immediately change its colour palette throughout all of your principal apps and residential display screen. The brand new UI additionally makes the textual content extra readable, provides new shapes to widgets, and customarily makes Android extra enjoyable to make use of.
A co-worker tested out the Android 12 beta, and whereas there are nonetheless kinks to work out, it usually makes inventory Android extra aggressive with different Android telephones with extra dynamic and trendy layouts.
Android 12 additionally streamlines privateness and safety controls, making certain it does not fall behind Apple and its App Tracking Transparency instruments. Plus, Google teamed up with Samsung (once more) to revamp Wear OS, within the hopes that each firms can higher compete in opposition to the Apple Watch and watchOS.
Google and Samsung are doubling down on their partnership too clearly for Google to deal with Galaxy telephones as a rival product. As an alternative, it is focusing solely on making Android as a complete extra engaging in opposition to iOS, hoping that can result in higher Pixel gross sales.
I am totally on board with all of those adjustments, together with the promise of quicker AI speeds with decrease latency in Google Assistant responses. However I am not satisfied that folks will purchase the Pixel 6 simply because Android 12 seems to be nice. Different Android producers (together with Samsung) will shortly cherry-pick the perfect options for their very own 2022 telephones, which could have extra highly effective specs. And contemplating the iPhone 12 outperformed nearly each Android telephone this 12 months, the iPhone 13 stands an opportunity to widen the hole.
What the Pixel 6 ought to steal from the iPhone 13
One other benefit to iPhones is their sheer longevity. When iOS 15 arrives in September alongside the 13, Apple may even add it to the 2016 iPhone 7 – 5 years because it launched with iOS 10. And despite the fact that older iPhones will not get software program updates, most of them nonetheless get common safety updates.
There are authentic explanation why Google and Android OEMs solely supported their telephones for 2 or three years previously. Most individuals blame Qualcomm’s adjustments to every technology of Snapdragon chips, which makes it troublesome to make older OSs work on newer infrastructure.
With the introduction of Google’s Whitechapel chipset, that excuse is gone. When it formally proclaims the Pixel 6, with its (alleged) common processing speeds, Google had higher promise upfront to assist the telephone for greater than three years of updates. The extra years, the higher.
Lack of long-term assist is usually why Android telephones’ resale worth dips so considerably only a few months after launch, whereas older iPhones retain extra worth. It is why Samsung lately increased its promised assist to a few OS updates and 4 years of safety updates: it needed to persuade buyers that their $1,000+ telephones would final lengthy sufficient to justify the associated fee.
The Pixel 6 is bigger, extra highly effective, extra dynamic, and certain dearer than the Pixel 5. Nonetheless, exterior of the area of interest of Google stans, different buyers will look to both cheaper phones or the best phones with extra horsepower.
4 or 5 years upfront of promised assist, alongside the brand new Android 12 exclusives, may assist the Google Pixel stand out once more amidst very robust competitors. Significantly in opposition to Apple.
Show me improper, Google
As somebody who used iPhones for years, solely to change over to utilizing Android telephones this 12 months, I am actually rooting for the Pixel 6 to succeed right here, regardless of my doom-and-gloom prediction. I hope that Google’s new telephone performs effectively sufficient to make the Pixel a authentic model once more.
I imagine that begins with Google making Android updates extra common throughout as many generations of telephones as doable, as an alternative of tying them to the latest telephones. I hope the Whitechapel chip begins that course of.
Moreover that, I count on my new telephone to really feel cutting-edge and highly effective out of the field. The Pixel 6, slower than the S21 and certain a lot slower than the iPhone 13 launching alongside it and the Galaxy S22 arriving only a few months later, might not match the invoice there.