The rest of the hardware was good, but nothing particularly special. Companies like Samsung and even Apple had flashier phones with more character and extra features. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro series had more versatile cameras and much more powerful chipsets. Well, as it turns out, Google’s partnership with Samsung for the Pixel 6’s Tensor processor; camera sensors; displays, and modems, started way before the Pixel 6, or even the Pixel 5 was released. Also, by all signs, the Google Pixel 5 was a “flagship” that Google had to rush out the door, after the Tensor plan fell apart. If you look at Google’s proper mid-ranger – the Pixel 4A (5G) that accompanied the Pixel 5, everything aligns:
That’s correct! According to new information provided by Marques Brownlee, Google attempted to introduce the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in 2020. Whether it was due to a global chip scarcity or internal delays inside Google’s operations, the search engine giant did not complete the phone on time, despite its best efforts. When the Google Pixel 5 was unveiled in 2020, I, like everyone else, was startled and shocked. It was powered by the mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset and had only two rear cameras.
As you can see, the Pixel 5 is pretty much a Pixel 4A (5G) with a fresh coat of paint (Sorta Sage), including some extra features like wireless charging, water-resistance, a barely bigger battery, and a 90Hz refresh-rate screen. It’s as if Google was in a hurry to find enough extra features which can differentiate the Pixel 5 from the Pixel 4A (5G), so it can pass for a flagship device. They couldn’t come up with a brand new chip or camera system on short notice, so we got some other extras.
Yes – in case you’re wondering, it’s highly unlikely that Google’s built an SoC from the ground up. That’s why it needed Samsung to provide the CPU and GPU in the face of Exynos and Mali. Also, yes – combined with Google’s unique TPU for things like image, and speech processing, we get what Google calls “Tensor”. “The difference between CPU, GPU and TPU is that the CPU handles all the logics, calculations, and input/output of the computer, it is a general-purpose processor. … TPUs are powerful custom-built processors to run the project made on a specific framework, i.e. TensorFlow.”
Another piece of hardware on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that’s not necessarily new is Samsung’s GN1 camera sensor. This sensor was released back in May 2020, and by all looks it was supposed to be first used in the Pixel 5. As we already know, this didn’t happen. Samsung’s GN1 camera sensor is now over a year old, and the South Korean tech giant already released its GN2 camera sensor, used in flagship phones like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which delivers stellar camera experience.
Is the Samsung GN1 camera sensor rather dated now? Yes. Is it a bad sensor? Absolutely not. We’ve already explored this in a recent story about what Samsung’s GN1 camera sensor would allow you to do in combination with Tensor on the Pixel 6.
Furthermore, given the fact that the Pixel 5 used the Pixel 3’s primary camera sensor, which itself was pretty much the same as the one on the Pixel 2 – any newer sensor was going to be a massive upgrade for Google. Google’s already shown that it can deliver a great experience even with four-year old hardware. Samsung’s GN1 is only about a year old.
The News Highlights
- Pixel 6: After not appearing in 2020, the long-awaited flagship of Google and Samsung takes over iPhone 13
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