The Google Pixel 6 XL rumor has me excited about the return of the big Pixel phone
The Google Pixel 5 was one of my favorite phones of 2020, featuring the best tech on Android with a simple design, an excellent camera, solid mid-range performance, and a surprisingly good screen. But I’m a big phone guy, so the Oppo Find X3 Pro is my everyday phone. So the Pixel 5 didn’t do anything special for me.
But that may change as we’ve heard a suite of rumors that have been tipped to return the Google Pixel 6 to the phone-shaped brace that the Pixel 5 had from its inception. The latest tidbit comes from XDA Developers, who saw references to “Pixel 6″ and Pixel 6 XL” in official Android developer form.
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This corroborates the rumor that the next Pixel phone will have two sizes. The “XL” suffix was used by Google from the original Pixel to the Pixel 6 XL, so it makes sense to return to that naming convention, though we’ve heard the Pixel 6 Pro thrown into the field of leaks and rumors goes. .
But regardless of its naming, I’m very drawn to the XL Pixel 6.
Pixel Pair Please Google
Lately, I’ve been a little tired of having too many phones in one handset series. There are four iPhone 12 models to choose from, a trio of Samsung Galaxy S21 handsets and a brace of OnePlus 9 phones. Obviously each offers different features, but some are so close to each other that choosing one of these, or in my case recommending, is apt to say the least.
But when it comes to Google Phones, I’m a proponent of oversize. First of all, everyone should be able to enjoy pure Android with Pixel Launcher on top, as it best showcases Android in my opinion. It’s not stock per se, but pure and neat; Even OnePlus can’t do that. So the two sizes of Pixel phones democratize Android access for those with bigger or smaller hands.
As much as I love the Pixel 5, the compact size felt a little too small for me, as someone who uses their phone as a do-it-yourself device. So I missed the option for an XL model last year.
Granted, the XL models of the previous Pixel phones haven’t been perfect. The Pixel 4 XL looked a bit clunky with its large top bezel, yet didn’t deliver as wide a display as other 2019 Android handsets. The Pixel 3 XL had dual selfie cameras in a chunky display notch, which made the phone look like it had a pair of comedy robots; It was strangely disturbing.
And despite my positive outlook with the Google Pixel 2 XL’s curved edges and satisfactory hands-on feel, the polarized display wasn’t great and has some annoying audio issues. The original Pixel XL was a delight but quickly seemed dated.
But according to the latest rumors the Pixel 6 Pro or Pixel 6 XL is set to learn from the successes of Google’s past and other Android phones and deliver a serious flagship phone that looks modern yet has some Pixel design quirks.
size does matter
The Pixel 6 XL is recommended to use a larger 6.71-inch display, and keeps things simple with a single focused front-facing camera; There doesn’t seem to be any fiddly radar sensor parts. I’d be happy if the display replicates the Pixel 5’s screen quality but adds in a 120Hz refresh rate.
I find it a pleasure to use pure Android on the big screen; Everything looks clean, simple and clear and the interplay between Google apps without any additional third-party skin or user interface elements boosts my productivity.
Sadly, the current crop of Android flagships can offer stunning, high-refresh displays, but they’re meant to deal with ‘skinned’ versions of Android. Some are better than others, but even my current favorite, Oppo’s ColorOS, still has the weirdly fussy escaping pure Android. And Samsung still has some work to do for One UI to win over me.
But the bigger display is just one advantage of the bigger Pixel phones. The cameras on the XL/Pro models are tipped to upgrade to the Pixel 5. The next big handset is expected to have three cameras with a 50MP main camera, a 48MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.
Combine those cameras with Google’s great computational photography and we can see that the next Pixel phone will edge out the iPhone 12 Pro Max out of the best camera phone spot. The standard Pixel 6 is only expected to use two cameras – the 50MP main and 12MP ultra-wide camera – so as someone who likes some zooming action, I’d be happy if the XL handset was found to be really high quality. Get telephoto camera.
Obviously, bigger phones mean bigger batteries, and the Pixel 6 XL is likely to house a 5,000mAh battery; Which is expected from a big phone these days.
But what I find more interesting is that a larger chassis means more scope for better internal cooling, such as the use of vapor chambers like in the best gaming phones and high-end Samsung phones like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Cooling could be key here as the Pixel 6 is expected to use a custom Whitechapel chipset to deliver serious raw performance to challenge Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon chips, so will need room to breathe.
Using this logic, I can see the larger Pixel 6 as a powerhouse handset for gamers and people who want a screamingly fast phone, while the smaller phone is more for those who just want a clean Android experience and a decent Android experience. Want a killer camera or two.
Pixel 6 Pro: Flying the flag again
Priced at $699, the Pixel 5 arguably doesn’t offer enough in terms of on-paper specs compared to the OnePlus 8T and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. But the Pixel 6 XL or Pixel 6 Pro may change that, bringing Google back to making full-fat flagship phones.
If the rumors turn out to be true, the Pixel 6 XL could be an impressive Android flagship to rival the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but still retains some Pixel exclusivity in terms of design. This may be part of a one-two punch from Google, with the standard Pixel 6 targeting Mi-range phone territory and the XL model poised to seek a spot on our best Android phones list.
In short, I’m excited to see Google potentially return to making the XL Pixel phone. And if Google can make a flagship phone like this for $1,000 or less, I think the Pixel 6 XL could be the phone of the year.
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