It’s been a big year for Google. Not only did the Pixel 6a win over our hearts, taking everything that was good about the Pixel 6 and packaging it into a mid-range phone, but the company has already teased the upcoming Pixel 7 and 7 Pro for a fall 2022 launch. All three of Google’s most recent launches are among the best Android devices you can buy today, and these upcoming premium models promise to offer improvements in some crucial categories.
While we’ve only seen a glimpse of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro through official channels, leaks, rumors, and prototype devices have served up plenty of details about what’s to come. Expect to learn more about the upcoming handsets throughout the next few months, but for now, here’s everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Google Pixel 7 series: Hardware and specs
Last year, Google swung big with its design for the Google Pixel 6, giving the series a complete overhaul. From the controversial under-display fingerprint sensor—a first for the series—to the massive rear camera bar, it seems like the company has finally cemented a new design for its in-house smartphones. The first pictures of the Pixel 7 confirm that the design is largely similar for 2022, but there are some important tweaks on each phone.
The visor-like camera strip remains on the Google Pixel 7, but its cameras are changing to a pill-and-dot cutout. The Pixel’s glass rear camera bar has changed to metal, which was previously glass on the Google Pixel 6 series. We’re hoping this camera change may mean less of an issue with lens flare in photos from this next pair of phones as there’s less glass around the shooter itself. The two phones differ here, with the Pixel 7 sporting two cameras in a pill cut-out while the Google Pixel 7 Pro adds a third dot cut-out to the mix.
Colors differ between the two models, and there are changes from the Pixel 6 range. Both phones will come in Obsidian and Snow, basically black and white color options. The Pixel 7 also comes in a unique Lemongrass shade (top right of the image below), and the pro model comes in Hazel as a third color option (bottom middle below). We don’t yet know if there will be any market limitations to each color.
Leaks have suggested that the mmWave window along the top edge of both models has been redesigned from the unsightly transparent window we saw on the Pixel 6 Pro (and specific carrier versions of the Pixel 6). Google’s official images don’t show this part of the phone, so I’m unsure if it’s true. A leaked Pixel 7 prototype put up for sale on eBay shows a cleaner, smaller window built into the metal rail of the smaller model, suggesting both phones will include the feature this time around — no carrier markup necessary.
Apart from these changes, the Pixel 7 series seems to sport a similar design to the Pixel 6. It has a glass rear—confirmed to be glossy, just as with the previous generation—the bottom edge features a USB-C port, and the right-hand edge is home to the power button and the volume rocker. The left-hand edge is feature free, apart from the phone’s SIM tray. We don’t yet know anything about protection or an IP rating, though it seems safe to assume it’ll line up with last year’s phone.
Whether or not the displays have been changed remains a mystery. Early reports suggested that the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro retained identical panels as last year’s models, albeit with the latter adding support for a 1080p mode to save on battery life. However, a bricked Pixel 7 Pro prototype revealed it was using a newer generation of Samsung’s display, possibly setting up for some slight year-over-year improvements. We’re still waiting on details on the displays’ refresh rates and other specs, but we probably won’t have all the details until the phones are in our hands.
We don’t yet have exact dimensions for either phone, but Android Police’s Ryne Hager has compared the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro images, finding a difference of about 3–4% in height. That’s around the same as the Pixel 6 series. Some previous rumors suggested the Pixel 7’s screen size would be smaller than the one on the Pixel 6, but it’s difficult to tell whether that’s the case here or not. We’ll have to wait for Google’s official confirmation and any more news about the phones’ weights.
It’s unclear if Google’s new phones will use the same fingerprint sensor as their predecessors. Software updates have solved most of the Pixel 6’s bugs, but the under-display fingerprint sensor has only improved a modest amount since it launched last year. Google is confirmed to be using a different sensor in the Pixel 6a, and early results seem to suggest it is faster than the one found in the Pixel 6. That bodes well for the Pixel 7, though we don’t know if that different sensor will actually show up in Google’s 2022 flagships. And speaking of sensors, the Pixel 7 could bring back the hall sensor — something that would allow for flip covers to make a much-needed return.
Inside each phone is what the company refers to as the “next-generation” Google Tensor (aka Tensor 2). It is the reported sequel to the company’s in-house chipset that debuted on the Pixel 6 series, and this is expected to be a new variant of the chip. We don’t know the exact specs and what it’ll offer yet, but the next-gen Tensor chip will feature better performance and other improvements according to Google.
This GS201 chip, internally known as “Cloudripper,” is rumored to be paired with an unreleased “g5300b” Samsung modem. Early rumors suggest it’s being manufacturered by Samsung on the company’s 4nm node, with mass production starting in June. That bricked Pixel 7 Pro prototype suggests it’s using Cortex-A55 cores again for low-power tasks, though it’s unclear what makes up the other cores in Google’s architecture. Expect the usual round of performance gains and improved camera processing, though we’ll have to wait for more clues to make further predictions.
Finally, we should mention rumors of a third model, codenamed Lynx. This variant has popped up in rumors a couple of times over the last several months, appearing alongside other upcoming Pixel products like Google’s first wearable and its return to tablets. Right now, it remains unclear exactly what Lynx is. While some theorize it’s a high-end model priced above the Pixel 7 Pro — think Pixel Ultra — others think it could be an internal prototype for testing cameras and chips for future devices.
Google Pixel 7 series: Camera
Multiple leaks have suggested the camera technology will stick to the same as the Pixel 6 range. If that’s true, expect 50MP f/1.85 GN1 primary and 12.5MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lenses on both phones. That said, it does sound like the Pro variant is switching up its telephoto sensor, opting for Samsung’s GM1 over the Sony IMX586 found on last year’s phone. According to recent leaks, it has less to do with a jump in quality; the two sensors should offer similar performance. Rather, this effort is to ensure photos look more consistent across the lineup of lenses, whether you’re shooting with the primary GN1 or the telephoto GM1.
As for the front-facing camera, there’s good news for fans of the “smaller”—you know, relatively speaking—model. An update to Google’s Camera app revealed some stats for the company’s upcoming phones, specifically highlighting support for 4K video recordings using the selfie camera. It’s something the Pixel 6 Pro was capable of, but notably, the Pixel 6 was not. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, we’ve since learned that both devices will use an 11MP Samsung 3J1 sensor. Allegedly, this change could bring improved face unlock capabilities to both devices — something rumored for the Pixel 6 Pro, though it has yet to materialize for that phone.
Google Pixel 7 series: Software
Google’s annual Pixel launch has been not only one of the most anticipated Android phone events of the year but it has also served as the perfect time for a major Android update to roll out to users. That said, it seems highly unlikely to happen this year, especially since Android 13’s release candidate dropped in July. Right now, Android 13 seems to be on track for a September launch, weeks before we expect to see the Pixel 7.
Whether or not Android 13 arrives alongside the Pixel 7 doesn’t really matter to prospective buyers. One way or another, these phones will come running the latest and greatest OS version when they arrive on store shelves. Android 12 brought along a considerable redesign with Material You, so we don’t expect many visual changes with this year’s update. Still, improvements to Pixel-exclusive features — At a Glance, camera tricks, and more — seem likely to arrive with the phone.
Google Pixel 7 series: Availability & Price
Pixel flagships have always launched in October, and it seems like that pattern will continue for another year. Google has said we should expect the Pixel 7 release date in the fall, so we’d look for it around the standard October window. One leak suggests pre-orders will begin on October 6th, with retail availability on October 13th.
As for how much the phones will cost, that’s just speculation. The Pixel 6 debuted at $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro at $899, and while inflation is rampant at the moment, Google appears pretty set on undercutting the competition with its device pricing. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pixel 7 series debut at or slightly above their predecessors, around $629 or $649 and $929 or $949, respectively. The Pixel 6a launched at the same price as the Pixel 5a, so that may be a sign that Google will keep the same prices as the last-gen for these new devices.
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