Google Pixel 7 colors on display in leaked renders — and we're underwhelmed

Pixel 7 Pro colors displayed in renders
(Image credit: Evan Blass/Twitter)

We've known what the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro are going to look like since both phones got the sneak peek treatment this spring at the Google I/O developer conference. But with the launch of the phones looming next week, we're getting a sense of what each of the different Pixel 7 colors will look like, too.

Leaker Evan Blass posted what appear to be official renders of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) on Twitter. The actual design of the phones is no surprise if you've been following Google's many Pixel teasers since the spring. The new models are retaining the horizontal camera bar introduced with last year's Pixel 6, though the camera lenses are more distinct. That's particularly true on the Pixel 7 Pro where the telephoto lens has a separate cutout from the other two cameras.

The look of these renders may not surprise, but it does give us a chance to see the Pixel 7 colors all in one place. Google has already told us what colors to expect for each model — the Pixel 7 will come in Snow, Obsidian Black and Lemongrass while the Pixel 7 Pro will feature Snow, Obsidian Black and Hazel options.

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Since phone makers get more creative with color names than the actual colors these days, that means the Pixel 7 will include white, black and lime-green options. Based on the images posted by Blass, Lemongrass looks to be the most vibrant of the Pixel 7 color options, though you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between that and the Sorta Sage shade of green that the Pixel 6 featured, at least based on the photo. Perhaps the color differences are more striking in real life.

In a more disappointing move, Google seems to have dropped the two-tone approach to color it used on the Pixel 6 models. Those phones had a brighter variation of the color on the strip above the camera bar, but the Pixel 7 models appear to have one consistent color tone. Perhaps that's appealing to a wider swath of smartphone shoppers, but I found the two-tone look coupled with the camera bar helped set Google's phones apart from other Android phones.

As for the Pixel 7 Pro colors, the choices seem pretty subdued. Besides a repeat of the white and black options offered with the Pixel 7, the Pro also features a Hazel variant that seems to tilt more toward brown. Phone makers tend to play it pretty safe with the color options on Pro phones, but the Pixel 7 Pro choices don't look particularly vibrant.

Google's approach to colors is a stark contrast to what Apple and Samsung have been doing with their flagships. Yes, you'll find fancily-named black and white versions of the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S22 models. But Apple and Samsung also include less conservative choices — you can get either the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro in purple for example, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a burgundy model.

While cameras and battery life are the primary drivers of what smartphones people purchase, you can't overlook the importance of colors. After all, a phone's color is the first thing a person sees when they spot your phone, so you're going to want a color option that reflects your personal taste. By offering only a handful of colors — and pretty conservative ones at that — Google's not giving potential Pixel 7 shoppers much to choose from.

In the end, it might not matter, as the main focus of the Pixel 7 release will be the new Tensor chip coming with this year's phones and what exclusive software experience it can power. We'll also be interested to see what camera improvements Google makes to allow the Pixel 7 to challenge the iPhone 14 Pro Max's place at the top of our best camera phones list.

But first impressions matter, too. And in advance of the Google October 6 event, this look at the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro colors isn't going to create a lot of buss for the company's new phones.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.