The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro won our hearts when Google dropped them back in October. Although it is among the best Android phones that you can buy, it is not without its drawbacks. By switching to the new custom Tensor chipset, the company was able to maximize performance for all sorts of AI-related features — seemingly at the cost of a slew of bugs and late updates. But it’s a brand new year, and with a 2021 flagship experience under its belt, Google is ready to head ahead and higher with the Pixel 7 series. Here’s everything we know about the phones so far.
Google Pixel 7 Series: Hardware
Last year, Google swung heavily with its Pixel 6 design, giving the series a complete overhaul. From the controversial under-display fingerprint sensor – a first of its kind – to the massive camera bar on the back of the phone, it looks like the company has finally sported a new design for its in-house smartphones. Perhaps not surprisingly, early leaks indicate that Google doesn’t plan to change much in the appearance department, while retaining a similar architecture for another year.
We’ve seen renderings of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, and comparing them to their predecessors is like playing a spot the difference game. The camera bar receives a slight makeover, with the edges now overlapping the smartphone’s range. This change removes a strange feature from the Pixel 6, which appears a bit more reminiscent of Samsung’s camera effect on its recent flagship phones. The sensors also appear to be much larger, although it is possible that the final product hides these lenses a bit more than it appears in the photos.
Meanwhile, the mmWave window on the tops of both models has been redesigned. On the Pixel 6 Pro — and carrier-selected versions of the smaller Pixel 6 — a somewhat transparent window bumped into the back of the phone. On the Pixel 7, we’re looking at a much cleaner, smaller window built into the rail for each model. It’s unclear if every Pixel model this year will support mmWave, or if the smaller, cheaper device will depend on the carrier’s intervention. Whatever the case, it’s good to see some improvements in its implementation.
It might be early, but we have a pretty good idea of what the Pixel 7 will look like, too. Unsurprisingly, Google is going ahead with its second-generation Tensor chipset — after all, I don’t think anyone would expect the company to cancel its silicon-dedicated efforts just a generation later. This GS201 chip, known internally as “Cloudripper”, was paired with the unreleased Samsung “g5300b” modem. Expect the usual round of performance gains and improved camera handling, although we’ll have to wait for more clues to make any other predictions.
Google Pixel 7 series: Software
The annual Google Pixel launch has often been the perfect time to roll out a major Android update to users, but it’s unclear if that will happen this year. We’re still in the early stages of public previews of Android 13, but the developers timeline appears to be pointing to an earlier release date than usual this year.
This wouldn’t be the first time Google has released an update in the summer. The announcement of Android 8.0 Oreo was perfectly timed for the August 2018 solar eclipse, launching a few days later.
Whether or not Android 13 arrives alongside the Pixel 7 truly It matters to potential buyers, of course. One way or another, these phones will absolutely run the latest and greatest version of the operating system when it hits store shelves.
Android 12 brought a major design with Material You, so we don’t expect many visual changes with this year’s update. However, you never know what might appear in future betas — especially after I/O later this spring.
Google Pixel 7 series: Availability and price
Pixel phones have always been launched in October, and it looks like the Pixel 6a is on its way to a late spring launch, it looks like this pattern will continue for another year. However, the Pixel is rumored to be foldable could Throw a wrench into these plans, depending on when (and if) she finally gets her head up. Right now, there’s really no reason not to expect the Pixel 7 to launch in the fall, but in this ever-changing world, there’s always a chance something could change along the way.
As for the cost of the phones, this is just speculation at this point. The Pixel 6 debuted at $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro at $899, and while inflation is rampant for the time being, Google seems bent on undermining the competition by pricing its devices. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pixel 7 series debut at or slightly above its predecessors, around $629 or $649 and $929 or $949 respectively.
Bugs aside, the Pixel 6 has laid a solid foundation for Google to build on in 2022. We’ll have to wait to find out what secrets lie in this year’s flagship hardware. If history is any indication, we’ll see plenty of leaks along the way.
That is, the actual rollout takes place “in the coming weeks”
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