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Massive Google Pixel 6 leak reveals cameras, wireless charging stand, facial recognition and more

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Between the Google Pixel 6's officially published details and the plentiful rumors, it feels like there are no mysteries left to solve about Google's next flagship phone. But that's far from true — and a massive new leak has revealed a whole batch of new details.

The leak comes from Evan Blass, who shared a huge quantity of images of the Pixel 6 via a Twitter thread. These help show off the phone from multiple angles, but also shed new light on some of the most interesting features we expect to see on the new Google phones when they're revealed on October 19.

Google Pixel 6 release date, price, Tensor chip, specs and newsTake the finest portraits and selfies with the best camera phonesPlus: check out our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review

While there are lots of smaller details to check out as part of Blass' leak, we've boiled it down to the five key things that we think are most interesting. Read on for all the important info.

Pixel 6 Pro cameras

Google has already revealed some of the Pixel 6 series' specs, but a few key features, like the cameras, haven't been announced yet. However, if these images shared by Blass are indeed genuine Google marketing materials, then we may have an answer.

The three sensors — already notable for being the most on the back of a Pixel phone ever — consist of a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 48MP telephoto camera. We don't know the magnification of that final lens, but it's rumored to be capable of 4x zoom.

Previous Pixel phones have already made it onto our best camera phones guide with fewer, smaller sensors than rival phones, all thanks to Google's industry-leading photo post-processing software. We've got high hopes that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will do the same.

Live Space Widget

We've heard many things from Google about how the Pixel 6 is going to be smarter and more helpful than any other phone, thanks to the combination of its new Tensor chip and well-implemented Android 12 features. And the appearance of a QR code ticket in a new widget seems to demonstrate this.

It's not that difficult to access tickets or payment cards on Android phones, thanks to various button and icon shortcuts to Google Pay which vary depending on the phone you're using. Google, however, wants to serve you what you need more directly, via this "Live Space" widget, as it's described by XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman, who commented on Blass' leaks based on his own knowledge of Android 12.

It's hard to get too excited about promises of phone smarts without any real examples, but now we've got an idea of the kind of thing Google has in mind. It will be interesting to see if it has many more helpful features in this style.

New Pixel Stand (and charging block)

Google's Pixel Stand wireless charger has been around since the Pixel 3, and is starting to look dated. Therefore, it's exciting to see the rumors about a new Pixel Stand seemingly confirmed in these leaks.

The new stand appears to have a much more substantial build than the original model, which makes sense when you consider the rumors also claim it will offer a higher charging speed than before, potentially at 23W.

Another detail that caught our eye is at the bottom of the screen, where icons for the Performance and Quiet modes appear as part of the ambient charging display. These icons make sense when considering the rumored addition of a cooling fan to the stand, and suggest there will be a lower charging speed on offer if you want the fan to stay off, while the full speed will require the fan on, to keep the stand and phone cool.

Google has sadly already confirmed it won't ship its Pixel 6 handsets with charging bricks, following the example of Apple and Samsung. However, a new charger design, featuring an engraved G logo, appears in the leaked images. This could be another accessory on offer for Pixel 6 owners to pick up at launch, or could be part of the Pixel Stand package to provide the correct power.

Facial recognition

With Google having clearly removed the rear fingerprint sensor from the Pixel 6, it was assumed it was adopting an under-display scanner for unlocking the phone instead. However, what we may also see is the return of facial recognition security to a Pixel phone. Both fingerprint and face-unlocking options are mentioned in the security menu seen in this shot from Evan Blass.

The only Pixel that can currently manage secure face unlocking is 2019's Pixel 4 series, which did a decent job of implementing face unlocking but didn't match up to Apple's Face ID. The Pixel 6 seems to have an even trickier job than the Pixel 4 had ahead of it, since the leaked images show no sign of a secondary sensor to help ensure the camera's seeing your face, and not just a photo.

As a result, it may end up being only a secondary unlock method to the fingerprint sensor, similar to how many Android phones already offer it.

Cases

The final thing to talk about is the appearance of some Google-made matching cases for the Pixel 6 series. You can see them in the images below, although you may think at first glance these are just the naked phones, since the cases are in matching colors.

A previous unofficial leak of a Pixel 6 Pro case implied that the phone won't be particularly bulky, which should mean you can easily add a case for protection without making it uncomfortable to use. Of course, if you want something tougher to protect your Pixel 6, there will no doubt be plenty of third-party case offerings available to buy shortly after launch.

We won't have to wait long to find out everything about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, given that the next Google Pixel event has been confirmed for October 19. We'll be covering it in full, so check back for all the news as it breaks.

More: Google Pixel Fall Launch event: Could we see the Pixel Fold?Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.


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