The Google Pixel 7 Pro figures to be the more impressive of the two handsets Google releases this week — and it's going to need to be. Given the size and likely specs of Google's upcoming phone, we expect it to face some stiff competition from the Pro, Plus and Ultra handsets that Apple and Samsung have already introduced.
To go up against those phones, the Pixel 7 Pro is going to have to deliver something special.
We still don't know exactly what that will be, though we're getting a more complete picture now that we can count down the hours until the October 6 Google event. Google has already given us a preview of the Pixel 7 lineup earlier this year, and more detailed specs have since leaked out. We know for a fact that the phone is getting a new Tensor processor and a slightly tweaked look, but that's about all we can say with any certainty.
Here's what we know so far about the Google Pixel 7 Pro, along with what we're hoping to see from the top-of-the-line Google phone when it appears later this coming week.
Google Pixel 7 Pro news and rumors (Updated October 4)
- We take a look at the Google Pixel 7 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max match-up to see which phone could end up on top.
- One rumor suggests that a Pixel 7 Pro preorder may come with a Pixel Watch.
- Google may upgrade the Pixel 7 Pro's telephoto camera power, and give it some new camera modes.
- Leaks for the Pixel 7's pricing and for a face unlock feature have appeared.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Release date and price rumors
Google sent out invites for an October 6 event in Brooklyn where it's promising to "introduce the latest additions to our family of devices." As such we can expect the see the Pixel 7 Pro and other Pixel devices, like the already previewed Pixel Watch. Be sure to visit our guide on how to watch the Made by Google product launch if you want to follow the October 6 event when it gets underway at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT
As for the release date of the Pixel 7 phones, a tip has them slated for October 18, so 12 days after the reveal, which his a little later than the previously tipped October 13 release date.
According to Google, Pixel 7 preorders will begin on October 6, which is the same day as the launch event. A particularly intriguing rumor suggests that preordering the Pixel 7 Pro through Google will get you a Pixel watch. (Google also says the Pixel Watch is debuting at the October 6 event.)
The Pixel 7 Pro's potential price isn't as official as the launch date, but rumors are beginning to clear things up. Leaker Artem Russakovskii (opens in new tab) claims that the Pixel 7 Pro is going to cost $899, matching the starting price of the Pixel 6 Pro. (The Pixel 7 will cost $599, according to Russakovskii, which is also unchanged from last year.)
That would be very good news if it happens, especially now that Apple has confirmed it's sticking with a $999 starting price on its iPhone 14 Pro instead of hiking prices by $100 as had been rumored. Google can still beat the iPhone 14 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Plus on price if it offers the Pixel 7 Pro for $899, cost being one of several ways the Pixel 7 Pro could beat the iPhone 14 Pro.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Design and display
Google overhauled the look of its phones with last year's Pixel 6 release, and that distinctive appearance — a horizontal camera bar stretching across the back of the phone — will continue with this year's models, based on the Pixel 7 images Google has shared.
Still, you can expect a few tweaks. Specifically, the camera bar on the new Pixels will be aluminum and the lens are arranged in a slightly more prominent way, with what we presume is the telephoto lens on the Pixel 7 Pro set apart from the main and ultrawide cameras.
A Pixel 7 Pro unboxing video confirms this slightly altered new look, and an early hands-on with some Pixel 7 prototypes suggests the Pro is pretty much the same size and weight as its predecessor. The Pixel 7 Pro is a little bit wider — 76.68 mm vs. 75.89 mm — though that's not the sort of change you're likely to notice with the naked eye. The new phone also measures 0.2 mm thinner than before.
That said, you'd expect the screen size to remain unchanged at 6.7 inches. The OLED panel on the Pixel 6 Pro could adapt its refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz depending on what was happening on the display, and we'd also plan on that feature returning for the Pixel 7 Pro. Some new phones are able to scale down to 1Hz in a move to preserve battery life, and we wouldn't mind if Google adapted that capability for its upcoming phone.
Up until now the only official view of the Pixel 7 Pro has been of the phone's back, but Google may have given us an early view of the phone's front, thanks to a picture posted on the company's Pixel Superfans Community group on Facebook. The phone depicted in that photo seems like it's not as curved as the Pixel 6 Pro was.
For colors, the Pixel 7 Pro will be available in Snow, Obsidian black and Hazel. The first two are pretty straightforward to understand, while Hazel looks kind of brown to us, based on leaked renders from tipster Evan Blass that show the Pixel 7 Pro's colors. There's no certainly no bright option among this year's color choices.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Cameras
Cameras aren't expected to change that much on the Pixel 7 Pro, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Pixel 6 Pro is one of the best camera phones, so the same camera hardware on this year's model should produce some outstanding shots. Given the changes Apple's making to the iPhone 14 Pro cameras, though, we're especially interested in seeing how an iPhone 14 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro face-off will shake out.
Until that happens, we can only look at the expected specs — the same 50MP main camera as the Pixel 6 Pro augmented by 12MP ultrawide and 48MP telephoto lenses. What may change however is the zoom level, according to a new leak which says the Pixel 7 Pro will get a slightly more powerful 5x telephoto lens, instead of 4x like the Pixel 6 Pro.
That leak also mentions two new camera modes. One is Cinematic Blur, which sounds like a portrait mode-style effect but for video, and the other is Macro Focus, which is a Pixel 7 Pro-exclusive and most likely lets you take close-ups with the ultrawide camera.
These two features could be what gives the Pixel 67 Pro a killer edge. After all, camera hardware is only part of the story with Google's phones. The company also thrives at computational photography turning to software and machine learning to produce great-looking images.
Think of last year's Magic Eraser feature, in which you can eliminate unwanted people and objects with a tap. Google augmented that capability with the Pixel 6a, adding the ability to obscure distracting objects in photos by muting their color. Those are the kind of software-powered capabilities we're hoping to see with the Pixel 7 Pro, and the Cinematic Blue and Macro Focus modes could be just what we're after.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Specs
One of the latest claimed leaks comes from reliable tipster Yogesh Bar has pretty much revealed the Google Pixel 7 Pro specs in full. So check out the table below to see how they measure up against the Pixel 6 Pro.
|Rumored Pixel 7 Pro specs||Pixel 6 Pro specs|
|Display||6.7 inches OLED, 120Hz||6.71-inch OLED (3120 x 1440), 120Hz|
|Chip||Tensor G2||Tensor with Titan M2|
|Storage||128GB. 256GB||128GB. 256GB, 512GB|
|Battery size||5,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging||30W fast charging||23W wired|
|Rear cameras||50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto||50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto|
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Performance and battery life
The main change to the Pixel 7 Pro that we already know about is the Tensor G2 silicon that will power the new versions of Google's phone. Google introduced the Tensor chip last year as a way to bring more machine learning-powered experiences to its devices and based on features like on-device translation and phone tree navigation, you'd say that the move had paid off. We're eager to see what new capabilities an improved Tensor chip would bring.
While performance isn't the driving motivation behind Google's switch to Tensor, we are interested in seeing how the new Google chipset measures up to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that's powered phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, improving upon the performance of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-based Android devices.
Since the original Tensor didn't put up much of a fight against the A15 Bionic inside Apple's iPhone 13 devices, we don't the Tensor 2 giving the A16 Bionic inside the iPhone 14 Pro much too sweat about.
A bootloader screen on a Pixel 7 Pro prototype suggests Google could equip its phone with 12GB of faster LPDDR5 RAM while also featureing 256GB of storage. It's unclear if those would be the base model's specs, though, as opposed to one of several options.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: Software
Just as there's no secret as to what chipset will power the Pixel 7 Pro, we've got a very good idea as to what software will debut on the device. Android 13 is already available for existing Pixel phones, so we'd expect the Pixel 7 Pro to ship with the new operating system installed.
Android 13 isn't a big change from what's come before, but you can expect new customization options to Material You design, a Now Playing widget for the lock screen, editable copy/paste text and more granular permissions for apps.
The biggest question is whether Google will feel the pressure to expand support beyond three Android OS updates for its phones. Samsung now supports four such updates for key devices like the Galaxy S series, making it the better option for people who like to hold on to phones for as long as possible.
A last-minute leak has suggested we may see face unlock abilities on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. We've not seen this feature since the Pixel 4 series, so it would be exciting for Google to bring it back. We do question how secure it would be though, as there's no extra sensors to help add verify a user's face on the Pixel 7s from what we can see.
Google Pixel 7 Pro: What we hope to see
From our point of view, the Pixel 7 Pro can improve upon its predecessor in several key ways. The following improvements would also make for a more compelling Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max comparison.
Battery life: Google's phones have all been coming up short on our battery test lately, not just the Pixel 6 Pro. We hope that the new Tensor chip inside the Pixel 7 series breaks that cycle and helps the Pixel 7 Pro match some of its flagship rivals with a place on our best phone battery life list.
Fingerprint reader: The in-display fingerprint reader Google used in the Pixel 6 flagships turned out to be a pretty finicky sensor, sometimes requiring multiple tries to unlock the phone. Things seem to have improved with the Pixel 6a, and we hope the momentum continues once the Pixel 7 Pro debuts.
New camera features: Google's Pixel phones have been all about the cameras, as past Pixels have given the iPhone and its cameras all they could handle. With camera hardware not likely to change much on the Pixel 7 Pro, we do hope Google has a special feature or two up its sleeve that delivers a Magic Eraser amount of "wow."
Tensor experiences: As much as the camera, the Tensor chip inside recent Pixel phones is helping Google's handsets stand out from the crowd. We're excited to see what new capabilities a second-generation Tensor chipset can offer Pixel 7 Pro owners.