This morning, Evan Blass (@evleaks) dropped a ton of photos on Twitter that show off the Pixel 6 in a bunch of new settings that we’ve not seen before. The photos are primarily marketing/training materials that show the phone in various lifestyle situations, so there’s not a whole lot of new info to glean from them. There is a proper photo of the Pixel Stand (Google’s beefed-up wireless charging stand that should launch alongside the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro) that at least lets us know it is real and should be announced on October 19th as well. Oh, and there’s a few photos that highlight a new widget I don’t recall seeing before (boarding pass info) and more confirmation on the camera megapixel counts.
If you are shrugging your shoulders a bit, you aren’t alone. In any other time with any other major phone release, this would have been a massive leak with massive buzz and massive implications. As it stands here in October of 2021, this is basically an “Oh, cool” moment. We’ve seen the phone in multiple angles and we’ve seen it in people’s hands and we’ve got our heads around most of the specs. Because of the custom processor, no one really knows what it will be fully capable of and early benchmarks simply can’t give us that info until final hardware and software get tested.
To put it plainly, Google won the leaker wars this year with this phone. For a company that has been notoriously bad about leaks spoiling every bit of surprise they have ever tried to maintain for their events, this year’s choice to be more transparent has been pretty effective. I’ve talked about it before, but Google has – in essence – taken control of the narrative around Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Instead of constantly looking like they got caught with their pants down, Google feels completely in control this year.
When massive leaks like this one come out and most of us look at the photos and move on, it is safe to say that Google got it right. To be honest, I think major hardware releases should be handled this way from everyone moving forward. There’s no way to stop the leaks. There’s no way to keep every single thing under wraps and have a full-blown surprise on the day of a scheduled event. Someone will leak it. Someone will spill the beans. Someone will tell a friend of a friend of a friend. It’s just the way things are and will likely remain until companies look at what Google did with Pixel 6 and realize a bit more transparency about upcoming products – announced at the right time – can be a very powerful thing.