Pixel 7 Pro updates that I hope Google announces tomorrow

When it launched last year, I called Google Pixel 6 Pro “the best android phone you can buy” in my review. I even gave it the coveted CNET Editors’ Choice award. Why? Because its combination of sleek interface, decent performance and great cameras – not to mention its more affordable price compared to other flagship Android phones – made it a superb all-rounder.

Very soon Google will launch its tracking. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro should appear at A Made by Google event scheduled for Thursday in New York.

But Google has a fight on its hands, with the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro delivering superb performance and excellent cameras. And of course, Samsung Galaxy S22 the range offers state-of-the-art technology at every level. And while I’m not expecting a total transformation of the Pixel line, there are some things I’m already excited to learn more about.

So let’s dive into it.

Second-generation Google Tensor chip

Google has equipped the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro with its own in-house processor, called Tensor. It was a big decision to create this kind of technology in-house, rather than just using a chip from a manufacturer like Qualcomm. Google wanted to create a chip that was particularly suited to AI and machine learning – software features it’s increasingly using in Android, like the Magic Eraser object removal tool in the camera.

That’s all well and good, but the actual performance on paper was only decent, with rivals like Samsung or Apple in benchmark tests. And sure, the benchmarks make next to no sense in the real world, but it made the Pixel 6 series feel like it wasn’t quite up to par with its rivals, and that’s a shame for a major flagship phone.

Google Pixel 6 Pro standing between paper cones

The Pixel 6 Pro was a great Android phone.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Google hasn’t said much about what we might expect from a second-generation Tensor chip, but a speed boost will likely be history. But it’s not just about raw performance. Google has had time to fine-tune its processors, and we can see additional benefits from machine learning, making existing tasks like real-time language translation even better or even enabling new applications we don’t yet have. views.

Improvements to an already excellent camera

I loved the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera. Its main lens could take vivid and beautifully exposed images, while its 4x optical zoom was ideal for getting up close to the action. It’s one of the best phone cameras out there, which means the Pixel 7 Pro should be off to a flying start already.

screenshot from Google I/O May 2022 presentation

Google’s first images of the Pixel 7 Pro show a similar triple-camera setup on the back.


The images we’ve seen of the phones show an almost identical rear camera setup, with two cameras on the base Pixel 7 and three on the 7 Pro. So, of course, I expect the usual range of ultra-wide and standard zooms and telephoto zoom on the phone. But hopefully there’s been some tinkering – or even new hardware – to make these cameras even better. I’d like to see a larger image sensor on the main camera, for example, for better dynamic range, and I’d even like to see a longer telephoto zoom range – maybe even one that rivals the Superb 10x optical zoom of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus.

Even though the hardware remains basically the same, I expect there will be continued discussion about how Google’s computational photography and AI in its cameras – aided by the new Tensor 2 chip – will enable more natural skin tones, better low-light performance, and possibly improved stabilization for video.

screenshot from Google I/O May 2022 presentation

The Pixel 7’s aluminum camera bar fits seamlessly into the phone’s frame.


A fresh and elegant design

I liked the look of the Pixel 6 series. The camera bar on the back gave the phones a unique look that sets them apart from the many plain-looking handsets we tend to see these days. I even enjoyed the subtle orange tones in the “sorta sunny” color scheme. So I was pleased when I saw the first images from Google that it hadn’t spoiled a good thing too much.

The camera bar is there, but it’s been transformed from a glassy black slab into a sleek-looking strip of recycled aluminum that blends seamlessly with the aluminum surround.

We’re also expecting similar sizes as before; 6.4 inches for the Pixel 7 and 6.7 inches for the 7 Pro. It’s not a huge design change, of course, but the Pixel 6 was already a huge departure from the Pixel 5 that came before it. And Google really doesn’t need to redesign it just yet. Based on the pictures, the subtle tweaks and use of aluminum resulted in a great piece of kit that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

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