Camera upgrades for the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro could be more substantial than we thought, going by the latest leaks. And at least one of the features beats what the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have to offer.
Even if the hardware sounds familiar at first, there are improvements to be found on both the regular and Pro models, based on a translated specs sheet published by the Google News Telegram channel (seen by 9to5Google) and leaked adverts for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, from SnoopyTech on Twitter.
Pixel 7 Pro: That's it pic.twitter.com/lYfBM4A1xQOctober 2, 2022
The specs themselves are as previously rumored and expected, consisting of 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 10.8MP selfie cameras on both phones, with the Pixel 7 Pro also getting a 48MP telephoto camera. What's improved though is the zoom levels these cameras can achieve.
Google Pixel 7 Pro zoom beats iPhone 14 Pro
According to the specs sheet, you can now get up to 8x Super Res Zoom (using the main camera) on the Pixel 7, up from 7x on the Google Pixel 6. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7 Pro improves on the Pixel 6 Pro's 4x optical zoom by moving to 5x zoom, with a maximum of 30x magnification when accounting for both optical and digital zoom.
While more zoom is always good (assuming the image is still clear and detailed), we're particularly excited for the 5x telephoto camera on the Pixel 7 Pro. Its main rivals, the iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22, only manage 3x telephoto zoom, and that's not expected to change for the Galaxy S23, slated to arrive early next year.
The iPhone 14 Pro series maxes out at 15x digital zoom. This could give the Pixel 7 Pro a considerable advantage for photography, and help it become one of the best camera phones when it launches.
However, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will likely continue to offer a 10x dual optical zoom and up to 100x Space Zoom.
New Google Pixel 7 camera features
There's more to look at beyond the cameras' hardware. The specs sheet also mentions a new Movie Motion Blur feature (or Cinematic Blur in the leaked advert), although it doesn't explain what it is. It sounds like a portrait mode equivalent for video, with the most obvious comparison being the iPhone 13's Cinematic Mode.
The Pixel 7 Pro also gets a new mode, Macro Focus, to itself. This again resembles the macro mode available through the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14's ultrawide camera, making it easier to take extreme close-ups.
Also, the specs sheet mention Face Unlock, rumored just last week, for both Pixel 7 models. While we're not sure if this will be a secure unlocking mode (since there don't appear to be any extra sensors to verify a user's face, like the iPhone's Face ID), it's a much-demanded feature that will likely make Pixel buyers happy.
We can back up other previously leaked details for both of the Pixel 7 models thanks to this specs sheet too. That includes the RAM/storage capacities, display refresh rates, IP68 dust/water resistance, and the new 6.3-inch screen size for the standard Pixel 7 (down from the Pixel 6's 6.4 inches).
We'll see the Pixel 7 alongside the Google Pixel Watch at this Thursday's Google October event, after months of official and unofficial teasers for the new phones and smartwatch. But we're crossing our fingers that Google has more to show off, perhaps relating to the Pixel Tablet it first teased at Google I/O. Or maybe even a confirmation of the Google Pixel Fold that the company's been rumored to be working on for some time.
Read next: Oh dear! A Google Pixel Watch last-minute leak reveals comically large bezels.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.