The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will debut later this month at Google’s Pixel Fall launch event on October 19. And so far, it looks like Tensor will be the star of the show.
Tensor is the Google-designed chipset that the company says will power new phones. It certainly gets the tech world talking, as new silicon tends to grab attention. But will Tensor’s official arrival aboard the Pixel 6 spark the interest of smartphone buyers who are less inclined to dig into the nuts and bolts of handset hardware?
It seems unlikely.
“Tensor itself won’t even interest mainstream consumers a bit,” agreed Avi Greengart, chief analyst at Techsponential, when I asked him about the possibility of Tensor-mania taking over the nation anymore. late this month. “However, if the new silicon allows for unique capabilities, it could break the noise.”
And that’s the challenge Google faces ahead of the launch of its Pixel Fall Phone. It’s one thing to have a branded feature like a new system on a chip to make your phone stand out from the crowd. It’s another to make it clear why people should be excited about this change and what it means for everyday phone use.
For the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to make a splash, Google is going to have to offer us more than the arrival of Tensor. Here’s how the company could do it.
Google Pixel 6: a refresher course on Tensor
First, a little Tensor background. Google first confirmed that the chipset was planned for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in early August. (Revealing your new surprise feature two months before phones see the light of day is another reason Google’s Pixel Fall Launch event requires more than just specs recitation.) And this chip focuses less on performance. brutes than on intelligence-advice.
Specifically, Tensor offers enhanced artificial intelligence and machine learning features. These take place on the Tensor processing unit, freeing up the phone’s processor to handle other tasks. In addition, the TPU is a central part of the Tensor system-on-a-chip pipeline, so it will handle a lot of tasks.
Greengart is right when he says it’s the sort of thing that interests “tech journalists, analysts, and YouTubers … and the extra attention should help Google’s efforts on smartphones.” But talking about tensor processing, machine learning, and neural motors makes the average person’s eyes chill. It will be up to Google to use the Pixel 6’s launch to explain what a dedicated tensor processing unit means for everyday phone use.
“Although Google has previewed what the Pixel 6 looks like, it has yet to provide details on what the Tensor chip will actually do,” Greengart said. motivated interactions. “
Adding to the Pixel’s already formidable photo intelligence is probably the most tangible benefit Tensor will bring. Already, Pixel users can see Google flexing its computer photography prowess with features like Super Res Zoom, which leverages software to minimize the noise that can result from digital zooming (handy, as current Pixel phones don’t ‘have no telephoto lens). Pixels’ ability to capture low-light photos has also been increased by software, so hopefully a dedicated TPU opens up new possibilities on this front.
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The Pixel 6 could certainly add more, especially with Apple’s iPhone 13 raising the heat. Apple’s new phones have introduced a cinematic mode that automatically blurs the background when shooting video and, even more impressively, can shift focus as you switch between subjects. If Google has anything fancy to add to the Pixel 6’s toolkit, we’ll find out on October 19.
When it comes to voice interactions, we are already experimenting with some of them with the Google Assistant. But the machine learning capabilities of the Tensor chip could further fuel speech recognition and similar functionality, though Google’s challenge is to explain exactly how.
A recent Pixel 6 leak may have given us another idea of how Tensor might introduce new features to Google’s line of smartphones. The leak talks about a potential “Live Space” widget appearing on the Pixel 6, which automatically appears to bring the information you need to the foreground of the phone screen.
In the leaked screenshot of the Live Spaces feature, we see a widget with a QR code accompanied by flight information – the idea being that the Pixel will be smart enough to know your timeline and location, pulling the map out. boarding for the flight you require upon your arrival at the airport. Other phones do something similar – my iPhone displays game tickets when I walk into a stadium, for example – but it looks like Google is aiming to make that kind of intelligence a more regular part of the experience. Pixel 6.
Other ways the Pixel 6 can stand out
Expect Google to point out features beyond its simple Tensor chip when it argues for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. And we expect the phone maker to focus on a lot of features that are essential to using their smartphones.
To that end, we’d like Google to talk a lot about the cameras on the new Pixels, and based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s more to it than just the computer photography boost that Tensor has. should provide. The Pixel 6 Pro is confirmed to have three rear cameras – information leaked suggests that it will be a 50 MP main camera, as well as a 12 MP ultra-wide shooter and a telephoto lens. 48 MP. The Pixel 6 will do without the telephoto lens. In any case, it’s a far cry from the two 12MP sensors that Google uses recently.
With Apple joining the ranks of phones with dynamically refreshing displays – at least as far as the iPhone 13 Pro models go – Google will be stepping up its own panels. The Pixel 5 already featured a 90Hz refresh rate, but this drops to 120Hz on the Pixel 6 Pro. While this is already a known feature, you would expect Google to spend time at its launch event explaining the benefits to end users.
Finally, improving battery life could be the focus of Google’s Pixel 6 pitch, especially since the Pixel 5 offered below-average longevity based on our testing. Rumors point to larger batteries for both Pixel 6 models. We’ve also heard that Google may be boosting the charging speeds of its phones thanks to the 18W pedestrian wired charging of its current handsets.
Google Pixel 6 Outlook
In a smartphone world dominated by iPhones and Galaxy S flagships, unnamed companies Apple and Samsung need to go the extra mile to explain why their device deserves more attention. From what we’ve heard so far about the Pixel 6, it certainly looks like Google is lining up some notable features for its new phones. Now all that’s left for the company to do is explain why these Pixel 6 additions should make a difference to us.
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