Update: September 23, 2022 (03:43 AM ET): We’ve updated the Pixel 7 series rumor hub with info and leaks related to the Tensor G2 processor, storage, pricing, availability, and more.
Original article: It’s hard not to argue that the Google Pixel 6 series were the most exciting Pixels in years. Between the use of the semi-custom Tensor processor, new main camera sensors, and impressive specs, these flagships have a lot going for them.
Google has already shown off its next generation of Pixels though, and we’ve even seen multiple leaks in recent months. Here’s everything we know about the Pixel 7 series.
Google Pixel 7: Name and release date
David Imel / Android Authority
- Pixel 4 series — October 15, 2019
- Google Pixel 5 — September 30, 2020
- Pixel 6 series — October 19, 2021
At Google I/O 2022, the company confirmed that it’ll call the new phones the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Google also announced that the Pixel 7 series will launch in the fall. It has traditionally chosen September or October to launch its flagship phones, dating all the way back to the original models in 2016. So it seems all but guaranteed that we’d see the Pixel 7 series in September or October. Lending credence to this estimation, a recent leak we reported on in August suggests that we could see the Pixel 7 series go up for preorder on October 6 and launch on October 13.
Google has since confirmed that it will be hosting a live, in-person hardware event in Brooklyn, New York, on October 6 at 10 AM ET. It’s expected that the Pixel 7 series will be joined by the Pixel Watch and possibly other products during this show.
The phones hit the FCC in the middle of August, which usually happens very close to the launch date. Given this information and Google’s announced show, this is more evidence we could see an October release date. We’ll need to wait and see.
Google introduced a brand-new design language with the Pixel 6 series, offering a camera “visor” of sorts that runs horizontally across the back of the phones. It’s really unlike anything else in the industry today, giving the company’s devices a distinctive look for better or worse.
It looks like this design language will be carried forward to the Pixel 7 series. Google gave us an early look at the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro during the I/O 2022 press conference.
We still see that familiar rear camera visor here (albeit made out of aluminum), along with a dual rear setup for the standard phone and a triple rear camera combo for the Pro model. So if you were hoping for a vanilla Pixel 7 with a triple-camera setup, you may be disappointed.
The images Google shared also broadly line up with renders leaked earlier this year. You can see those renders below.
Pixel 7 renders
Pixel 7 Pro renders
As you can see, there isn’t much of a difference between the apparent Pixel 7 series renders above and the Pixel 6 duo. But prominent display industry analyst and insider Ross Young recently claimed that while the Pixel 7 Pro won’t see any screen size changes, the standard model will go from 6.4 inches to a slightly smaller 6.3 inches.
For what it’s worth, the devices are said to measure in at 155.6 x 73.1 x 8.7mm for the Pixel 7 (making it slightly shorter and a little wider than the Pixel 6) and 163 x 76.6 x 8.7mm for the Pixel 7 Pro.
Pixel 7 prototype
On May 30, some real-life images of the Pixel 7 appeared on an eBay listing. They have since been removed, but the device shown included all the hallmarks of a Google prototype, including the logo insignia. You can see those photos below. Later, a Reddit user also claimed they purchased a Pixel 7 Pro prototype off Facebook Marketplace. However, Google reportedly wiped the device remotely once it realized the phone was out there.
Pixel 7 Pro prototype
In July, a person claimed to have received a Pixel 7 Pro prototype through Facebook Marketplace. They posted photos of the phone in working order. Check them out below:
Note that the middle photo is the Pixel 7 Pro prototype in a Pixel 6 Pro case. This means some cases for the Pixel 6 series will likely not work with the Pixel 7 series, despite the similarities in the looks between the two lines.
Google also posted an official picture of the front of the Pixel 7 Pro on its website on September 22. Check it out below.
The image suggests that the Pixel 7 Pro screen is less curved than expected. This might be the right choice if the results of a recent Android Authority poll are anything to go on. Roughly one in five respondents said they actually liked curved screens on smartphones, while the vast majority either didn’t care or hated curved panels.
Specs and features
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Google hasn’t revealed much about the Pixel 7 line’s specs. However, the company confirmed it will be powered by a next-generation Tensor processor and ship with Android 13.
Rumors indicate the display on the Pixel 7 series will be largely unchanged. Spotted by 9to5Google, Google has released some new specs that seem to indicate the Pixel 7 series will feature the same basic display tech as the Pixel 6 series. This means that the vanilla Pixel 7 will likely have up to a 90Hz refresh rate, while the Pro model would get a 120Hz refresh rate.
It also looks like both models could use the same Samsung display panels as their predecessors. While the 7 Pro could be identical in size compared to its predecessor, the Pixel 7’s display may be slightly smaller, coming in at 1mm narrower and 2mm shorter than the baseline Pixel 6.
The new Tensor processor is officially called the Tensor G2. The chipset is also said to arrive with an unreleased Samsung Exynos 5300 modem and 4nm design. Moreover, the aforementioned Pixel 7 Pro prototype’s bootloader screen noted a few interesting details, such as the “Cheetah” codename, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, what seems like the Exynos 5300 modem (based on the baseband version number), and the Cloudripper name which is tipped to be the new Tensor SoC.
So what would the Tensor G2 SoC look like? Well, developer Kuba Wojciechowski dug into a Pixel 7 series benchmark test file, finding that it has two Cortex-X1 CPU cores. This suggests that it has the same octa-core CPU setup as the original chipset (2x Cortex-X1, 2x Cortex-A76, 4x Cortex-A55). Wojciechowski adds that the Tensor G2 CPU does seem to offer a mild clock speed boost though.
The Pixel 7 series will be powered by the Tensor G2 processor, but it doesn’t seem like a major upgrade across the board.
Lending credence to the Tensor G2 CPU being more of the same was a log from a bricked Pixel 7 Pro prototype. It suggested that the Tensor G2 maintains a 2+2+4 CPU layout, consisting of two high-powered cores, two medium cores, and four lightweight cores. The logs reportedly suggest that Google is sticking with the Cortex-A55 core as its lightweight core. When we combine this info with Wojciechowski’s findings, it paints the picture of a CPU that’s almost identical to its predecessor. Expect benchmarks to show that the Tensor G2 CPU lags even further behind rival SoCs.
However, the developer also noted that the new Tensor processor has a Mali-G710 GPU. This is the same GPU inside the Mediatek Dimensity 9000 flagship processor, so it should make for an upgrade on paper over the original Tensor’s Mali-G78 graphics.
Cameras and other specs
In terms of the camera experience, all leaked and official imagery of the phones show a dual rear camera system for the Pixel 7 and a triple rear camera setup for the Pro model. It thus seems likely that Google will maintain a main/ultrawide setup for the standard phone and a main/ultrawide/periscope system for the Pro device.
More details of the Pixel 7 series’ camera loadout came to light on July 26, when developer Kuba Wojciechowski seemingly uncovered the hardware Google intends to use. For starters, both the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro may use the same 50MP Isocell GN1 main camera sensors and 12MP Sony IMX381 ultrawide shooters as found on the Pixel 6 lineup. In terms of selfie shooting, both Pixel 7 series models could see the 11MP Samsung 3J1 sensor. The Pixel 7 Pro could also switch out the 48MP Sony IMX586 in its telephoto slot for a 48MP Samsung GM1 sensor instead.
The Pixel 7 series is looking like an iterative upgrade over the Pixel 6 line in many ways.
There’s no word on battery size for the Pixel 7 series, but the 2021 flagships both gave us some large batteries. We’re guessing that the standard Pixel 7 could see a slight capacity decrease if it is indeed slightly smaller than the Pixel 6. We also previously discovered that the Pixel 6 phones offered much slower charging than implied, so we hope the new phones address this.
Google promoted machine learning in a big way with the Pixel 6 series, offering features like speedy offline voice dictation, Magic Eraser functionality, and face unblurring for photos. It seems like a safe bet that the company will expand on-device machine learning smarts with the Pixel 7 series, likely targeting natural language processing and camera features once again.
In terms of storage, German outlet WinFuture has claimed that the European models will only be available in 128GB or 256GB options. We saw the same thing happen with the Pixel 6 series in Europe, but with 512GB variants available in the US. So don’t be surprised if the US gets more storage options with the Pixel 7 series as well.
Pixel 7 series: Price and availability
Google delivered a fantastic surprise when it announced pricing for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The Pro model came in at $899, which was a competitive price compared to Samsung and Apple’s Ultra and Pro phones respectively. However, it was the Pixel 6 that stole the limelight due to its $599 price tag. This price undercut devices like the iPhone 13, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy S21 FE, and the OnePlus 9.
We’re expecting Google to stick with this pricing strategy for the Pixel 7 series, especially after it translated into high initial demand for the phones and record sales. Actual availability could be a tricky question though, as Google initially struggled to fulfill orders due to this high demand.
More Pixel coverage: The best Pixel 6 cases you can get
The first major price leak occurred on September 22, as Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii claimed to have received pricing from a trusted source. The source claims that the Pixel 7 will start at $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will start at $899. So we could have the same pricing as last year’s phones.
We’re also not sure about launch markets, although the Pixel 6 series might give us a good idea once again. The 2021 phones were initially available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. But the devices were launched in Italy, Singapore, and Spain in early 2022. We aren’t holding our breath for a huge expansion here.
In saying so, it looks like an Indian flagship launch is on the cards again for the first time in years. Local online retailer Flipkart has listed the phones, claiming that they’re “coming soon.” So India could see a flagship Pixel release for the first time since the Pixel 3 series.
The Pixel 7 will come in Obsidian, Snow, and Lemongrass colorways, while the Pixel 7 Pro will launch in Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel colors. Google confirmed in a strange ad on September 20 that the phones will be available to pre-order from October 6.
What we want to see from the Pixel 7 series
Above, we’ve detailed things we either know for certain or have heard through reliable leaks. Below, though, is what we hope to see.
Bring more Pro-exclusive features
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
We got a 120Hz QHD+ screen versus 90Hz FHD+, the addition of a periscope camera, and a slightly bigger battery. These were all great to have, but does that equate to $300 worth of extra features? We didn’t think so in our reviews.
Google could up the ante even more here on the Pixel 7 Pro, offering faster wired and wireless charging speeds, more base storage, and/or an improved ultrawide camera. It could also theoretically cut the price of the Pixel 7 Pro a little bit if things stayed the same.
Speed up the charging times
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
We discovered late last year that the Pixel 6 series charged much slower than Google actually stated. Google claimed that the phones topped up at 30W in its review guide, but our testing led to the company admitting that the phones topped out at 21W and 23W.
Still, the phones charged incredibly slowly even compared to Samsung’s 25W charging solution. We therefore want to see Google speed up charging times, be it by staying at a high wattage for longer or by supporting a much higher wattage. Because two-hour charging times are ridiculous in 2022.
Stop with the buggy software
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Google Pixel 6
Google’s Pixels have a pretty shady reputation for bugs, and the Pixel 6 series is no exception. Some of the complaints we’ve seen in recent months include Wi-Fi being broken, drastically reduced signal strength, and the device making calls out of nowhere. Those are some major issues.
More Pixel coverage: Google actually tried with the Pixel 6 series and it’s working
Needless to say, Google needs to pull its socks up for the Pixel 7 series in this regard. Whether it improves matters by devoting more resources to software releases or hiring more testers, it needs to take concrete steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Google isn’t the only company to struggle with software polish, as OnePlus has also struggled in recent years. But you don’t really expect many major bugs from the Android platform-holder in the first place.
Match Samsung for update pledges
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Staying with software, another thing we’d like to see from the Pixel 7 series is an update commitment that matches Samsung. The Korean manufacturer recently announced that its recent high-end phones would be getting four years of OS updates and five years of security patches.
More reading: Google just surrendered its update authority to Samsung
Google currently matches Samsung in terms of security updates, but it only tops out at three years for OS updates. This needs to change in 2022 as the search giant is indeed the Android platform-holder and should be the one setting an example for OEMs.
Fix the fingerprint scanner
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
We thought the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s in-display fingerprint sensors were too slow and unreliable for our liking. Google went so far as to initially claim that the scanners were slower due to “enhanced” security algorithms, subsequently issuing an update to speed things up.
Faster, more reliable biometrics should therefore be a priority for the Pixel 7 series in 2022. There are several options on the table in theory, such as an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner or introducing more software optimizations. Either way, Google should consider all the options.
Beef up the camera experience
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Google’s flagships have long been renowned for great image quality, and the Pixel 6 series marks the first time in years that Google offered a new main camera sensor. The company even brought a versatile triple rear camera system to one of its phones for the first time.
However, it must be said that both phones still offer lackluster ultrawide rear cameras. More specifically, these shooters lack autofocus, meaning there’s no macro mode here. This is disappointing when phones from OnePlus, Vivo, and Apple offer this option today.