Google’s Pixel 6 smartphone is set to ship soon, as is the company’s Android 12 software. And while Google has already given us a pretty good idea of what the phone will look like, the company hasn’t said too much about special features… like the new Google Tensor processor that makes will make this the first phone to ship with a Google-designed processor rather than a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.

But the leaks are strong with this phone, and the folks at xda-developers has us covered with a bunch of details concerning Google’s next flagship.

Google Tensor processor

In other recent tech news from around the web, Pine64’s monthly update includes the latest details on upcoming accessories for the company’s Linux-friendly smartphone plus new companion apps for its open source smartwatch. Nintendo finally lets you use Bluetooth headphones with the Nintendo Switch, four years after the console first launched. And Xiaomi’s latest inexpensive fitness tracker is getting a global launch.

  • Here’s everything we learned about the Pixel 6 Pro from the actual phone [xda-developers]
    The phone will reportedly not support Active Edge, which means there’s no support for squeezing the sides to activate Google Assistant. But it will have flagship-class specs, including 12GB of RAM and a speedy Google Tensor processor (more on that below). It also supports Ultra Wide Band technology for short-range wireless location tracking (maybe Google has a Tile/Samsung SmartThings style tracker in the works?). 
  • Here are the likely specs of the Google Tensor chip in the Pixel 6 [xda-developers]
    Specs for the Pixel 6 processor (the first Google Tensor processor for phones) likely leaked: 2 x 2.8GHz Cortex-X1, 2 x 2.25GHz Cortex-A76, 4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55, 848 MHz Mali-G78 GPU, WiFi 6E, 5G, AV1 decode, aptX and aptX HD, but no video output.
  • The new iPad mini has 4GB of RAM [MacRumors]
    Apple introduced two new iPads this week, but the company always leaves out some specs, like the amount of RAM. Turns out that the new 8.3 inch iPad mini has 4GB (1GB more than the previous-gen), while the new 10.3 inch iPad still has 3GB.
  • Xiaomi’s global product launch [Xiaomi]
    Xiaomi is giving the Mi Band 6 NFC activity tracker a global launch for 55 Euros, along with the Mi Smart Projector 2 (599 Euros) and an AX3000 mesh wifi router system (2-pack) for 149 Euros.
  • Fitbit starts rolling out ‘Snore & Noise Detect’ for Sense, Versa 3 [9to5Google]
    Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches are picking up an optional “Snore & Noise Detect” feature that uses the microphone to track snoring and/or noise levels every few seconds (which can take a toll on battery life when you’re sleeping).
  • Pine64 September Update [Pine64]
    Developers have already created Android, Linux, and Windows companion apps for the $27 PineTime smartwatch (designed to run open source software). Now there are two work-in-progress iOS companion apps and a new Ubuntu Touch app as well. Other news from this month’s update includes status updates on the PinePhone keyboard, initial impressions of the PineNote E Ink tablet and more.
  • Nintendo Switch finally picks up Bluetooth audio support [@NintendoAmerica]
    The Nintendo Switch picks up support for Bluetooth audio, allowing you to use wireless headphones & speakers four years after the console first launched. But you can only use up to two wireless controllers if also using wireless audio.

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  1. Not sure, the Pixel 6 seems a tad disappointing.
    I think the Dual-X1 chips are going to make it a thermal nightmare, then eat into the efficiency. The Exynos modem isn’t good. The GPU is quiet meh. Not sure about the special Tensor/AI/Neural-Processing Unit, I think that’s probably hype.

    The best design would be using Apple’s cores in a 3+5 configuration. Since that’s obviously not available, you would probably have to resort to using reference cores instead. To be honest, the Snapdragon 860/865/865+/870/888/888+ …that’s SIX different chipsets, are all basically the same Performance and Battery Life. And to make things worse, they’re not really faster or better than the Snapdragon 855/855+/778G/780G chipsets either.

    So Google goofed this one up in my books, as expected. They should’ve just stuck the “budget” QSD 778 processor and called it a day. And they should’ve reserved their focus on a Custom ARMv9 chipset instead. That way they can start with a clean-slate, and have a long-term support (5 years?). Granted the first-gen ARMv9 cores are actually a slight regress, it should be fine.

    The second-gen is where Google could’ve actually made huge strides:
    – Proper/much improved Exynos Modem
    – Display-out via USB-C
    – Custom RDNA-2 iGPU plausible
    – Faster sRAM
    – More efficient UFS storage
    – 2xBIG (Cortex X3) + 6xMedium (Cortex A730)… Medium cores are designed so they can be clocked very low and optimised to double-duty as the “small cores”.