By Nicholas Sutrich published about 9 hours ago
Google unveiled its first official Pixel 7 renders at Google IO 2022, but left plenty of mysteries for us to solve.
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Google surprised the tech world by announcing the Pixel 7 at Google I/O 2022 in May. It typically announces its new flagship phones just a few weeks before launch, around September or October. This time, it gave us a sneak peek at the phone’s design and hinted at a release date, but otherwise didn’t give us any other information, saving that for later.
While the Pixel 7 mirrors the Pixel 6 in its design, it also has some subtle differences. And based on leaked rumors about Google’s 2022 flagship, it could make some significant strides over last year’s model in specs and cameras.
Below, we’ve collected everything we know or suspect about the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, as well as what we hope Google improves with its newest phones.Sponsored LinksShe Sticks a Rose Stalk Into a Potato and Look What Happens a Week LaterTips and Tricks
PIXEL 7 RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
We know for a fact that the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch will all ship together sometime “this fall,” but don’t have an exact release date as of yet. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 5 both shipped on the last Thursday of October, 10/28 and 10/29. It’s not a stretch to assume the Pixel 7 would arrive on Thursday, October 27, or some date around that.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.516.0_en.html#goog_21218175081 second of 57 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND
One counter to this rumor is a Pixel 7 display leak from DSCC CEO Ross Young that Google will start Pixel 7 production a month earlier than in previous years. In theory, that could signal a late September or early October launch, which would still qualify as “fall.”
But this isn’t firm evidence. Google could simply be lengthening its production timeline to give itself more flexibility. And an earlier launch date puts pressure on Google to release Android 13 more quickly than it did Android 12, because the Pixel 7 will launch with it.
As for pricing, most rumors we’ve seen thus far suggest the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will have similar cameras and displays as last year’s model. We won’t be shocked if the newer models have the same pricing as before: $599 / £599 and $899 / £849, respectively, with a $100 / £100 upcharge for extra storage. But again, Google hasn’t given an official number yet, so we can only speculate.
PIXEL 7 DESIGN
All four Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 models have thick, striking camera bars that have become Google’s signature look, given the Pixel 6a will also add one. While we don’t have official dimensions, it appears the camera bar protrudes as much as before.
Whether you consider its return a good or bad thing will depend on your perspective. Our Pixel 6 Pro reviewer loved how it keeps the phone balanced and tilted up on a desk, while our Pixel 6 reviewer appreciated its striking look but noted there’s “no denying that the bump will catch your fingers, table edges, and pocket hems.”
As for what’s different, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro all had matte black bars that made the camera sensors blend in seamlessly and gave each phone — except the all-black models — a cool two-tone look. For Google’s upcoming Pixels, the bars have an aluminum silver or gold finish that accentuates the sensors, so it’s easy to tell apart the dual-camera Pixel 7 and triple-camera Pixel 7 Pro.
In terms of colors, the Pixel 7 ships in black, white, and light green — possibly called Charcoal, Chalk, and Sage, if it shares the same color-naming scheme as the Pixel 6a. The Pixel 7 Pro comes in white, black, and a more muted gray-green.
We don’t have official sizing from Google, but the aforementioned DSCC leak claimed the Pixel 7 will shrink 0.1 inch to a 6.3-inch display, while the Pixel 7 Pro allegedly will stick to 6.7 inches. We expect the Pixel 7 to retain its flat display while the Pixel 7 Pro remains curved, though Google only showed off the phones’ backs in its official renders.
PIXEL 7 SPECS
With Google teasing the Pixel 7 design but giving us no proper details on the hardware inside it, we’ll turn to leakers to give us an idea of how the Pixel 7 will improve — or stay the same as before, as the case may be.
We know that Google will employ a new Google Tensor chipset, known internally as GS201 (the first Tensor was GS101) and possibly codenamed “Cloudripper.” Aside from the fact that it’ll use a revamped modem that could help solve the Pixel 6’s connectivity issues, we don’t know how it’ll shape up to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus or Apple’s A16 Bionic chip.
Google will likely stick to the same base memory configurations as last year, with 8GB/128GB for the Pixel 7 and 12GB/128GB for the Pixel 7 Pro. So it’s Cloudripper that’ll do the heavy lifting and make the next-gen Pixels stand out. Otherwise, we haven’t seen much evidence of drastic changes.
While leaking the Pixel 7 display sizes, Ross Young said the Pixel 7 Pro should have the same 120Hz LTPO panel as last year, but gave no indication whether the Pixel 7 will remain stuck at 90Hz or jump to 120Hz as well.
Both displays will have in-display fingerprint sensors, which we can only hope will avoid the notorious fingerprint sensor problems on the Pixel 6.
For the Pixel 7 cameras, leaker Yogesh Brar says we’ll see “the same optics on the Pixel 7/ 7 Pro that Pixel 6/ 6 Pro had,” with most changes to photo quality being handled by software.
In theory, that would mean the return of the 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 8MP front sensors on the Pixel 7, while the Pixel 7 Pro would have an identical 48MP telephoto lens with 4X optical zoom and a slightly upgraded 11.1MP selfie cam. The Pixel 6 was the first Google flagship in years to upgrade its sensors, so it makes sense the Pixel 7 would stick with the same hardware.
We don’t have any leaked information on whether the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will enlarge the batteries or offer faster wired or wireless charging, both of which would offer welcome improvements over last year’s models.
The Pixel 6 series dealt with a laundry list of frustrating bugs since launch, possibly due to Tensor being Google’s first stab at its own SoC. We’re hoping that the Pixel 7, armed with Tensor 2.0 and using much of the same hardware as its predecessor, will have a cleaner launch.
Just as the Pixel 6 launched with Android 12, the Pixel 7 will sport Android 13 at launch. Google will, at the very least, offer three OS updates to Android 16 and five years of security updates through late 2027. Given Samsung now offers four OS updates for its flagship phones, we hope Google will do the same with the Pixel 7, but we have no evidence of this yet.
Once we know more about Android 13 and any new Pixel-exclusive features, we’ll provide more details here.
EVERYTHING WE WANT FROM THE PIXEL 7
Without a doubt, the Pixel 6 family is the most premium line of phones Google has ever created. Featuring a unique design — a feat that’s becoming more and more difficult to pull off these days — a blazing-fast in-house-developed processor, incredible cameras with meaningful new features, and a sorely-needed visual overhaul to Android, the Pixel 6 was almost everything we ever wanted from a Google-branded phone.
But it wasn’t perfect, especially if you’re one of the many customers who have been plagued by the constant barrage of bugs that seem to pop up at every turn. That’s no doubt the Pixel 6’s biggest flaw, but there are a few other things we can think of that would improve a Pixel 7 when it eventually debuts. Here’s what we think the Pixel 7 will need to reclaim the top spot in the list of best Android phones.
Stable as a rock
Right now, the Pixel 6 family feels a bit like it had its foundation built upon sand. The launch looked very strong and former AC writer Ara Wagoner and I gave it high marks, calling them the best flagship phones of the year. But the foundation washed away pretty quickly, and, by December, the inadequacies of Google’s own Pixel software began eroding away at the goodwill that was made at launch.
Since then, we’ve seen a significant number of bugs and problems plaguing users. Some users have been able to look past these issues because the camera is just so darn good, but we’d be remiss not to mention the bugs as the number one issue Google needs to fix in the Pixel 6, much less a proper successor the company expects consumers to spend money on later this year.
To say the least, the number of Pixel 6 bugs is higher than any flagship in recent memory. While most of these bugs are just irritating, some, like the recent bug that rejects some calls without ever notifying the Pixel owner, are huge problems. Previously, we saw issues where folks couldn’t connect to their home’s Wi-Fi network and, worse yet, some folks that couldn’t achieve connectivity to cell towers.
Needless to say, Google is going to need to do better next time around unless it enjoys the ire of users it’s trying to keep on its platform.
Better fingerprint sensor
Initially, one of the only issues I had with the Pixel 6 hardware was the fingerprint sensor. Alone, it was a nuisance and only worked for me half of the time. When compared to almost any other smartphone with the same fingerprint sensor method, the Pixel 6 felt generations behind. That’s something that absolutely needs to be fixed with the Pixel 7.
Now, to be fair, Google has improved the fingerprint sensor quite a bit since launch via software updates. Whether this is because they made it less secure in order to make it quicker or if they actually fixed something is anyone’s best guess, but the end result is a daily experience that’s much more tolerable.Advertisement
Recently, we saw the reappearance of face unlock in the Pixel 6’s settings which could help alleviate some of the frustration of the fingerprint sensor for folks who don’t mind a less secure biometric authentication method. For anyone looking to buy a Pixel 7 when it eventually debuts, however, Google should just use a better fingerprint sensor like the one found in the Galaxy S21 or S22 series, or any of the sensors OnePlus has used in its phones for years.
With the Pixel 6, it was clear Google had finally come up with a design language that it could really get behind. For the first time since Android introduced Material Design nearly a decade ago, Android had a clear and unique design that felt fresh and modern. In many ways, it felt like Android had finally gotten its soul back after years of acting like iOS UX design was the only way to go.