Pixel Fall Launch: Pixel 6, Pixel Stand, and more [Video]

The Pixel Fall Launch isn’t just reserved for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. In fact, we’re going to see an added selection of products, services, and even a little software added to the Made by Google lineup. Here’s what to expect:

Pixel 6 / 6 Pro

Let’s start with the most obvious new additions and the headline makers. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are the reason for the entire launch event taking place. Over the past few weeks, the duo has leaked extensively, and, dare we say it, we know a fair few things about what is coming.

However, we don’t know everything. We’re still intrigued by the new Tensor chip and its overall capabilities and really hope it can be the silver bullet the Pixel series has been lacking in recent years. It’s a big deal as the success of the Pixel 6 series could rest on the shoulders of this internally developed chipset. Qualcomm has piled on the pressure recently by taking thinly veiled swipes at Google on Twitter over the past few days over the decision to switch to a new chipset.

The design of both new devices channels the Nexus 6P camera visor and Pixel 2 XL’s two-tone colors for a look that is uniquely “Pixel.” Frustratingly, this year Google is following the Apple lineup structure. That means the Pixel 6 — much like the iPhone 11/12/13 series — is slightly less capable than the “Pro” and includes fewer of the bells and whistles.

To recap, the Pixel 6 will have a 6.4-inch 90Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner, Tensor chip, 50-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide, plus a 4,614mAh battery with 30W wired charging and 21W wireless charging via the Pixel Stand. It’ll come in Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam, and Stormy Black.

As for the Pixel 6 Pro, it will pack a 6.71-inch 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner, Tensor chip, 50-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 48-megapixel 4x periscope zoom lens, a 5,000mAh battery that can be topped up at 30W wired and 21W wireless speeds via the Pixel Stand. Colors include Stormy Black, Sorta Sunny, and Cloudy White.

Pixel Stand + 33W charger

You may remember that the original Pixel Stand debuted alongside the Pixel 3 and 3 XL way back in 2018 — yes, 2018! In the three years since launch, new features have been added to this enhanced Qi charger with Pixel phones supporting wireless charging able to take greater take advantage. One weird quirk with this original Pixel Stand involved the Pixel Buds from 2020. You had to place the earbuds upside down to ensure that a charge was received, and we definitely hope that this is resolved with the new model without a workaround.

While the stars of the Pixel Fall Launch will undoubtedly be the new smartphones, some people will be looking at the upgrades made to the wireless charging stand. At this stage, we are not 100% certain if some of the supposed new features will be available on existing and compatible Pixel devices.

The new Pixel Stand UI looks like it will show the day and date in the top-left corner of your Pixel display. Media controls will appear next with your grid of smart home device controls following, while it will also offer two shortcuts for “Performance mode” and “Quiet mode” at the bottom of your screen.

Alongside the new Pixel Stand, we’ll also see a new power brick to enable 33W fast charging. If you want to access these charging speeds, you’ll need to pick it up separately, as it won’t come in the box with the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro.

Android 12

The delayed launch of Android 12 means that Pixel owners will have to wait until the Pixel Fall Launch event to get or learn when the latest OS upgrade will be available. This differentiates the Android 12 release from recent years of prompt OTA updates rolling out from the beginning of October. However, this is not just a “regular” build of our favorite mobile OS.

In fact, Android 12 signifies the biggest ever shift in the smartphone OS. Material You is an evolution of Material Design — which was introduced way back in 2014. Google touts this as a “more humanistic approach to design”. In basic terms, this means rounded corners, softer UI portions and simplification to appeal to a wider audience while taking cues from Samsung’s One UI.

Your on-device wallpaper plays a prominent role in the UI with Dynamic Color changes accenting and even supported app interfaces and widgets based upon this. In action it’s impressive but this does come at the cost of deep, granular customization.

Pixel Pass

Pixel Pass looks like it will be a shock inclusion for those in selected regions as you’ll be able to make one flat monthly payment to get access to a brand-new Pixel 6 device, a Google Fi plan, YouTube Premium, Google Play Pass, and Device Protection.

It’s not clear if all of those services and plans will come at full price or at a discount, and it appears that any purchased device is financed rather than bought outright. There are very few companies or smartphone OEMs offering anything similar to this “package,” and this could be a real winner for getting people fully entrenched into Google services and wider products.

Pixel Fall Launch: Potential or surprise announcements

Dead certainties aside, there are a few products where there is less evidence of a showcase at the Pixel Fall Launch event, but we can’t dismiss a very surprise unveiling. One would imagine that with the volume of leaks in recent months that we know everything already. Could Google have some surprises for us come October 19?

Pixel Fold

Google has been working on a foldable since August 2020, and we’ve seen more evidence of a device codenamed “Passport” being worked on throughout 2021. While it’s likely we’ll see a folding Pixel phone at some point, it is not immediately clear if we’ll see it alongside the Pixel 6 series.

Because a recent report suggests that the production of Pixel Fold displays was set to start in October 2021, you could be forgiven for expecting to see the device at the Pixel Fall Launch event. We do know that the proposed Android 12.1 update includes more tuning for smartphones with folding displays.

Leaks are a good indicator if we’ll see a product imminently or in the future and information about a potential Pixel Fold is very insignificant compared to other Made by Google hardware. A folding device could also take a lot of the limelight from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro — which might not be a good move for Google. However, we’d love to learn more.

Pixel Fall Launch: Highly unlikely or not coming

While a Pixel Fold is very much in the “potential announcements” camp, there are a few products that are certainly not coming during the Pixel Fall Launch event — no matter how many fans wish they would. We’re not saying these products do not exist, as we’re sure they will come at some point in future. Just don’t get your hopes up for any of the following:

New Pixel Buds

The arrival of the Pixel Buds A-series earlier this year and discontinuation of the 2020 Pixel Buds might set alarm bells ringing, but we are not expecting new headphones or Bluetooth earbuds at the Pixel Fall Launch event.

There is little actual evidence for a refresh beyond the lack of a “premium” set of earbuds on the Google Store. If you are picking up the new smartphones, then you’ll have to select the less feature-rich Pixel Buds A-series or track down a pair of Pixel Buds (2020).

Pixelbook

We haven’t seen a follow-up to the Pixelbook Go from 2019, but recent evidence suggests that Google is developing dedicated Chromebook chips to replace CPUs from AMD, MediaTek, Intel, and Qualcomm. With Tensor in the Pixel 6, don’t expect to see Google unveil an updated Pixelbook or even a refreshed Pixel Slate (RIP) during the Fall keynote. Maybe we’ll see a Tensor-powered Pixelbook in the next 12-24 months, but for now, Chrome OS will run on chips from other OEMs.

Pixel Watch

The silence has been deafening with regard to the Pixel Watch, and with so many leaks for other products, it’s very improbable that we’ll see Google introduce their own Wear OS watch next week. Some rumors suggest chip shortages could be to blame but while that could very well be true, there has been little evidence to suggest that the Pixel Watch was ever coming in 2021.

Let’s hope that Google has some information on plans for Fitbit and Wear OS soon as the interest in a Pixel Watch has grown immensely over the past 12-24 months. Our last evidence of a Google-branded wearable comes from way back in 2019, and it’s been practically silent since then.

What product or announcement are you most excited for ahead of the Pixel Fall Launch?

While the product lineup is smaller than in previous years, just what are you looking forward to the most ahead of the keynote? Let us know down in the comments sections below.

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