Google has offered an early glimpse of its new Pixel smartphone, featuring a camera bar to house its improved sensors and lenses.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are not due to officially launch until the autumn, but the firm has released information about a new chip system that will power the new handsets.
Since starting the Pixel range in 2016, Google has largely focused on artificial intelligence in its upgrades, but the firm said it has “run into computing limitations that prevented us from fully pursuing our mission”.
Tensor, the firm’s first custom-built SoC (system on a chip) for Pixel phones, will enable improvements to AI features such as the camera system and speech recognition.
Google also revealed model images of the smartphones, with a matt aluminium finish for the Pixel 6 and light polished aluminium for the Pro version.
A bar along the rear of the phones has been added because the sensors and lenses are “now too big to fit into the traditional square”.
“The team that designed our silicon wanted to make Pixel even more capable,” said Rick Osterlor, Google’s senior vice president for devices and services.
“For example, with Tensor we thought about every piece of the chip and customised it to run Google’s computational photography models.
“For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones.
“Tensor enables us to make the Google phones we’ve always envisioned — phones that keep getting better, while tapping the most powerful parts of Google, all in a highly personalised experience.”