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Google Pixel 7: What to expect from the next Tensor flagships

Google Pixel 7: 2022 is almost certain to bring a new Google Pixel 7 smartphone. After the revolution of the Pixel 6, we’re expecting a modest Pixel 7 update.

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro provided the biggest upheaval in the history of the series. A brand new, premium design, the addition of cameras and a brand new Google-made Tensor processor that promises massive advancements in terms of machine learning. 

With Android 12 out of the box, a clean experience free of annoying UI interference and access to quick updates, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro came close to being the complete package and sit among the best Android phones on the market.

However, they aren’t perfect. Google has left plenty of room for improvement on both phones and we hope they’ll come with the Pixel 7 as part of what to expect from Google in 2022.

Google Pixel 7 design and screen

Any change to the design on the Google Pixel 7 is likely to be a refinement rather than a reinvention. Google changed tack and went bold with the Pixel 6, a far cry from previous iterations, and we don’t expect the company to back away from that. The camera bar across the rear of the phone could become a signature look over time. 

However, our reviewers for both the Pixel 6 and its Pro counterpart commented on the decision to use a glossy glass finish for the rear. The Pixel 6 Pro was like “trying to type on a bar of soap with sweaty hands”, while the Pixel 6 picked up all the fingerprints, our testers commented. Perhaps Google will rectify this with the Pixel 7.

Google Pixel 6 front image

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro had 6.4-inch and 6.7-inch displays respectively and we’d imagine Google will stick with this format for 2022’s Pixel 7 Series. Only the Pro version offered 120Hz variable refresh rate and we would expect parity for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, making both phones excellent options for gamers.

So far there have been no credible rumours on how Google will approach the design and screen.

Google Pixel 7 specs

Google was mostly excited about its new Tensor chipset, which made its debut on the Pixel 6 range. So far, so good. It outperformed the Snapdragon 888 within the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, for example. Whether it can defeat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 remains to be seen.

However, Google isn’t particularly enthusiastic about benchmarking tests, it wants to talk about the AI and machine learning capabilities that power (and will get better at powering) things like image processing and real-time translation. 

It would stand to reason then, we’ll get a second generation system-on-a-chip for the Pixel 7 range. Back in October 2021, 9to5Google discovered evidence the second generation Tensor chip is already in the works.

In researching apps that are included in the Google Pixel 6, our APK Insight team found references to a new Pixel-related codename, “Cloudripper.” Rather than being the codename for next year’s Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, we believe that Cloudripper is the name for a baseboard or developer board that shares hardware in common with the two phones. A similar codename appeared earlier this year, with “Slider” for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.


Another area for improvement could be battery life. Our Pixel 6 Pro review called the output from the 5003mAh battery “mediocre”. Perhaps further optimisation of the chipset, rather than the presence of a larger cell, could rectify that. Given the max storage option is 256GB (with no microSD expansion option) we’d also like to see Google launch a 1TB option for power users. 

Google Pixel 6 camera in use

Google Pixel 7 cameras

Google’s computational photography skills have proved excellent substitutes for bleeding edge camera hardware, throughout the Pixel series’ lifespan, but the company stepped things up a notch with the Pixel 6 range. 

Both Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer a 50-megapixel main wide sensor (1.2μ pixels, f/1.85, 1/13in sensor), 12-megapixel ultra-wide with a 114-degree field of view. The Pro added third sensor; a 48-megapixel (f/3.5) telephoto with 4x optical zoom and 20x Super Res Zoom.

Again, Google may stick with this set-up for the Pixel 7 range, although it’s possible the base model could get a telephoto lens too.

Pixel 6 Pro camera

However, new camera features could arrive via software and algorithm enhancements. For example, when launching the Pixel 6, Google focused heavily on features like Real Tone, which promise more accurate reproduction of skin tones, Motion Mode, which is designed to help with action shots, and Magic Eraser, which enables unwanted elements of shots to be easily removed.

Google Pixel 7 price and availability

When it comes to the flagship models, Google has been reliable in terms of release dates. As thus, we’d very much expect the Pixel 7 to arrive in late October 2022 as the first device to run Android 13. We’d expect Google to maintain the starting £599/£699 price points for both phones. 

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