Every time I talk about Pixel with my friends, I don't realize there are two emotions-admiration and regret.
What I admire is that Google has taken a unique path with its excellent software and even algorithms in this market full of materials and increasingly differentiated mobile phones. Unfortunately, although the price of Pixel has caught up with the flagship, its performance It's a little bit worse after all.
Compared with mainstream mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple, the bright spots and shortcomings of last year's Pixel 5 and even earlier Pixels are very obvious.
However, Google seems to make up for this regret in the Pixel 6 series, not only the appearance is completely renewed, but also the common multi-camera system in the industry, and even the core Soc chip inside has to be replaced with its own.
Renew from the inside to the outside
If one word is used to describe the exposure of the Pixel 6 series, I think it should be "brand new".
According to foreign media broke the news 9to5Google signings of people OnLeaks broke the news information , the Pixel 6 series not only increases the size of the lot, Pixel 6 Pro and Standard Edition also differ more.
First, let’s take a look at Pixel 6. According to the exposure rendering, its size is not small, reaching 6.4 inches, specifically 158.6mm x 74.8mm x 8.9mm. According to the side and front digging screen, it is likely to use the fingerprint under the front screen. technology.
Finally, it is not the back fingerprint recognition. Although the technology itself is not high or low, from the perspective of people's holding habits, the front fingerprint is undoubtedly suitable for more people. The back fingerprint still has a certain learning cost, and it takes a certain time to become familiar with and form a habit. .
And the fingerprints on the back also destroy the integrity and aesthetics of the back of the phone to a certain extent. Judging from the exposure rendering of the Pixel 6 this time, the back of the Pixel 6 adopts a contrast design, and there are three colors of the back cover, namely the lower back The white, light orange, and highly saturated orange or gold on the top of the board.
The black in the middle is the camera area. This partitioned color contrast design is also the aesthetic design style of the Pixel series.
Although it is not clear what the material of the back cover is, it is likely to be glossy glass from the picture, and the texture is quite good. I hope that Google will adjust it well and not become a new generation of fingerprint collector.
In addition, it was revealed that the Pixel 6 series frame will be narrower and will also be equipped with stereo speakers.
As for the key hardware upgrade, of course, it is the camera. This is also one of the biggest differences between the standard version and the Pro version. According to the picture, the Pixel 6 uses a dual-camera design, while the Pixel 6 Pro has caught up with its peers. A new periscope lens is added to form a 3-camera system.
▲ Another difference is that the size of Pixel 6 Pro has reached 6.7 inches, which is larger than the standard version
In the previous article , I introduced the development of the Pixel imaging system. It can be said that "computational photography" has always been the focus of this series. Since Nexus 6P, Google has been applying HDR+ photography algorithms.
The principle is that while pressing the shutter button, the phone quickly takes multiple pictures with different exposures and definitions. Finally, through the synthesis of multiple pictures, the final output is that the details of the dark parts are clearer, the highlights are sharp, and it is more pleasing to the human eye. High-quality pictures.
Including the amazing Night Sight night scene mode and astrophotography, most of them evolved on the basis of HDR+ algorithm. This is also the reason why the Pixel series has insisted on an old single camera for a long time. The camera on this phone is like A sensor is responsible for collecting information, and more importantly, the calculation algorithm.
▲Night Sight effect proofs. Picture from Google
It wasn't until the Pixel 4 series that it changed to dual cameras, and this time Google uses 3 cameras in the Pixel 6 Pro, which makes me even more looking forward to what new heights Google can bring to computational photography with better hardware.
Of course, frequent shooting and algorithm synthesis also place higher requirements on hardware computing power. The HDR+ algorithm used on Nexus 6P is not recognized to a large extent because of insufficient computing power, which leads to too long waiting for shooting or heating of the camera body. serious.
But this time obviously Google has made enough preparations. In addition to changes in appearance and imaging hardware, this time Pixel 6 may also use a new self-developed chip.
This core is not only for Pixel 6
Today's mobile phone chip no longer refers to the CPU, it is only a part of the mobile phone chip, more professionally called Soc (System on Chip, system-level chip), which also means that it integrates more units.
Google’s self-developed chips are no exception. According to 9to5Google’s report, the self-developed chip Google was developed in cooperation with Samsung and is called GS101. It is based on the Arm architecture and is produced using a 5nm process. It also integrates a number of Google’s self-developed technologies. In it.
It is also a large and small core design. 9to5Google said that GS101 contains two Cortex-A78 cores, two Cortex-A76 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores.
As for performance, the common opinion in the industry is that between the Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 888, it is equivalent to the Snapdragon 870. Of course, the actual situation still depends on Google's specific release.
However, in the past of Google, the focus of this chip should be the layout of artificial intelligence and image processing. The original Pixel uses the same image module as the Nexus 6P, but its performance is one sky and one underground, relying on the HDR+ algorithm.
In Pixel 2, in order to ensure the effect and speed of algorithm synthesis, Google deliberately added a customized image processing chip-Pixel Visual Core.
On Pixel 3, Google has added a security chip called Titan M. Its function is the same as that of Apple's T-series chips. It saves private data from the hardware level and reduces the risk of data leakage.
It is believed that these will be integrated in Google’s new self-developed chip, and the design of integrating multiple units on the one hand speeds up the data transmission speed between the units and is more efficient, on the other hand, integrating these unit modules is also saving to a certain extent. There is a lot of mobile phone space, you can install a larger capacity battery.
In addition, self-developed chips are also conducive to Google's further promotion of the mobile phone system update support cycle. Google has previously reached a cooperation with Qualcomm to jointly undertake part of the upgrade and adaptation work, so that mobile phones equipped with Qualcomm chips can support 4 years of Android system updates and security updates. And improve the update speed.
However, mobile phone users who can benefit from this cooperation, provided that your mobile phone uses the Snapdragon 888 chip, hold the chip in your own hands, and longer system update cycle support can also enhance the competitiveness of Pixel. After all, it It's about how long the phone can be used.
Of course, as the first-generation self-developed chip, I am afraid that GS101 cannot have too high expectations. It is more like a choice under Google’s ecological layout. The superb performance of Apple’s A-series chips and M1 chips have proven the potential of the Arm architecture. Google's bet that Arm is also not limited to the Pixel series.
According to 9to5Google, this time GS101 will also be used in Chromebooks. Many people ridiculed it as being highly dependent on the Internet. It has grown tremendously in the past two years. According to a report released by the international data agency IDC, Chromebook sales were affected by the epidemic. It will soar in 2020, and even Chrome OS installed more than Mac.
It is possible to further reduce the size of the product with a more powerful Arm chip. The new iMac is the most typical case, and Google can use GS101 to optimize the shape of the Chromebook, which is lighter, thinner, and lasts longer.
▲ Thanks to the integration of multiple computing units in the M1, the iMac has successfully "slimened" down
Gain advantages in the competition with tablets and traditional computers, gain more educated users, and even promote the price increase of Chromebook series products to gain more profits.
Back to the mobile phone, the Pixel is more like a sway from left to right than the Chromebook’s clear identity. This big update from the inside to the outside seems to confirm Google’s hope that the Pixel can truly occupy a place in the mobile phone market.
From applause to popular?
The Pixel, known as Google's "pro son", was originally not prominent in the entire mobile phone market. When it was also called Nexus, the hardware was designed by large mobile phone manufacturers such as HTC and Huawei. Google was in charge of the software. Of course, Nexus was at that time. The higher price-performance ratio among the flagships has given it a lot of crowds.
As for the Pixel series, although it has become a product of Google’s self-developed design, it looks more like a sample of Google’s cutting-edge software technology. From the original Pixel to Pixel 5, its hardware evolution is faster than the flagship of the same period. It's a lot slower.
Although it has been recognized by certain users by relying on native Android and Google’s outstanding image processing algorithms, sales are not very good. The gap in hardware and even appearance made it a niche product, and it was even called the "best Android development." machine".
It sounds like a compliment, but in fact it also limits the scope of application of Pixel. It is only suitable for geeks or a small number of people who are willing to try new things. It is good but not popular.
Affected by the epidemic, in 2020 mobile phone shipments have some volatility in the foreign media Phonearena according to reports , Google shipment target in 2020 is 300 million units, while in 2020 it did not publish equipped with Pixel flagship chip products.
Judging from the current exposure information of the Pixel 6 series, the big change from the internal chip to the external form is obviously intended to compete with the mainstream Android flagships to promote sales and move towards a favorable and popular situation.
The big changes in the Android 12 system this year are also one of the factors driving sales growth. In our previous report, we mentioned that Android 12 will support more custom configurations, so that the system UI will more closely match the user’s preferences, and the appearance has become One of the important influences that people buy now.
The past sales of Pixel also proved that it was originally acceptable to the public. According to IDC’s report, Google sold 7.2 million Pixels in 2019, even surpassing the OnePlus in the same period. The Pixel 4 in 2019 is also the same. A stronger product in the series.
In addition, Huawei was forced to give up part of the high-end market due to chip restrictions, and LG announced its withdrawal from the mobile phone market. Part of the market space will inevitably be occupied by the other major manufacturers. The Pixel, which has changed blood from the inside out, also has the opportunity to compete with Samsung. Wait for the vendors to compete for it.
Like Microsoft, Google has always been regarded as a software company. Pixel is often regarded as a platform for Google’s artificial intelligence and even software algorithm technology. However, just as Microsoft pushed Surface to the benchmark position of the Windows platform, Google also has the opportunity to pass software. The hard combination will take the Pixel to new heights.
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