If Google Pixel 7 leaks were pop songs, I think they'd be "Are you ready to be heartbroken?" by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, because lately I can feel the excitement about Google's next best phone contender deflating like a left-behind balloon after a birthday party.
First we discovered that the camera assembly was likely to be the same as in the Google Pixel 6. Now we're hearing that the display isn't going to get an upgrade either. That's according to 9to5google.com, which has discovered code in the Android Open Source project that details some specs of the upcoming phones – both the C10 "Cheetah" model, which is thought to be the Pixel 7; and the P10 "Panther", which is thought to be the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Google Pixel 7 displays: what's different and what isn't
The code is for display drivers, so it's likely to be accurate. For the Cheetah model there's a 1,080 x 2,400 display that can run at up to 90Hz, while the Panther will get 1,440 x 3,120 and refresh rate of up to 120Hz. As the site says: "If these specs seem familiar, that’s because they are identical to what’s offered on last year’s Pixel 6 series." They're the same Samsung panels as used in the current models.
It's not all bad news, though. The Pixel 7 Pro appears to be getting a native 1080p mode that would upscale to 1440p, enabling longer battery life (most likely in low power mode), and there is another display panel reference with a different number that may indicate a slightly newer display for the Pro model. And we're expecting to see improved camera sensors too. But it does seem that the 2022 Google Pixel phones are going to be slightly refined rather than massively upgraded or radically rethought.
I think Google's doing the same thing as Apple here: when I buy the iPhone 14 later this year I'm expecting it to be 99 percent the same as my current iPhone 13: I'm only on a yearly upgrade cycle because of my job, as I'm well aware that Apple's tick/tock release schedule means the big leaps are every two years with minor improvements in-between. The new iPhone 14 always-on display feature sounds cool though. So while upgrading from the Pixel 6 to the Pixel 7 won't be a big deal, it should be a decent upgrade for anyone who's currently rocking the Pixel 5 or older.