Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: What’s the difference?

Everything you need to know about Google's latest flagship smartphone

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6
(Image credit: Future)

Once a year, something very exciting happens for Google fans - the unveiling of the Google Pixel flagship smartphones, a range with competitive pricing, the latest camera tech and a set of bang-up-to-date features. 

At an event that took place on the 6th of October in New York, Google launched its Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro as well as the highly anticipated Google Pixel Watch. Last year’s Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro were two of the best Android phones at the time so we expect big things from the latest iterations. 

The Pixel 7 is the standard model which we predict will be the most popular largely because of its price, the Pro handset is much more premium and not everyone is willing to spend so much. 

Naturally, with the release of the new devices, some great deals will start popping up on the older models which might make you wonder whether you really want or need the most up-to-date option. Here you’ll be able to find out all the differences between the older Google Pixel 6 and the shiny new Google Pixel 7, which should help you make a decision on which one will be right for you. 

If you’re looking to find out what’s different in the premium end of the series, take a look at what’s new between the Google Pixel 7 Pro vs Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: price

At launch, the Google Pixel 6 cost £599 / $599 / AU$999 for the model with 128GB of storage and the Google Pixel 7 will cost the same. If you’re looking to buy a new phone as soon as possible, be sure to check out the best Google Pixel deals beforehand.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: design and screen

First things first, the Pixel 7 has had a huge design shakeup. Last year, the Pixel 6 felt playful with its two-tone colourful look that came in Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral and Stormy Black. The shape of the handset itself was angular with sharp corners and a long black strip to house the camera system.

In contrast, the Pixel 7 is curvier, gentler and looks a lot more grown up with colourways to match, named more softly as Obsidian, Snow and Lemongrass. You no longer get the two different shades across the back of the phone, there are rounded corners and the old camera module has been replaced with an aluminium strip with its lenses placed inside an oval cutout. 

Whether you’re a fan of the new design will very much depend on you and your tastes but you can't deny that a largely metal build is sure to be more durable.

One thing I think most people will appreciate about the Pixel 7 is that it has shrunk - the Pixel 6 measures 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm and weighs 202g, whereas the 7th generation is 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm and only weighs 197g - it may not seem like a lot but it will likely make for a much more comfortable in-hand experience, and it’s more likely to fit in tighter pockets too. 

Let’s talk screen. There are actually very few differences between the two handsets when it comes to the screen tech although the new Pixel 7’s is slightly smaller at 6.3-inches in comparison to the 6’s 6.4-inch display and the new phone has 25% higher peak brightness. Other than that both are OLED screens with a 20:9 aspect ratio and both have a Full HD resolution of 1080 x 2400p. Other similarities are the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover glass as well as the 90Hz refresh rate.

To unlock the screen, you'll now get the choice between using a fingerprint or facial recognition which wasn't featured here before.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: cameras

This one is easy because the rear camera systems on the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 6 are exactly the same with the same set of features. Set up with two lenses, you get a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera with an 82° field of view as well as a 12 MP ultrawide camera with a 114° field of view. 

Flip the phones over and there has been one upgrade worth mentioning - to the selfie snapper. What was an 8MP lens on the Pixel 6 has been updated to a 10.8MP lens so if you use the front camera a lot you might be better off with the newer device.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: performance

The Google Pixel 6 debuted the tech giant’s own processor, the Google Tensor, which was designed for machine learning-based tasks. Now the Pixel 7 takes things a step further with the second generation which Google claims is ‘faster, more efficient, more secure and even more helpful’ with ‘the best photo and video quality ever’. 

To go alongside it, you get the same Titan M2 security coprocessor and 8GB of RAM, although there are more storage options for the Pixel 7 with either 128GB or 256GB. 

Something else to consider is that the Google Pixel 7 actually has eSIM support as well as a physical slot which means you can load up your SIM directly onto the device instead of fiddling with one IRL.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6: battery life and charging

The battery capabilities are largely the same on both the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 7 although the size of the cell has shrunk this time around from 4614 mAh to 4355 mAh. But despite that Google claims both will last 24 hours and beyond, and both can be charged – up to 50% in about 30 minutes with capabilities for wireless charging built-in too. Neither phones come with the charger included in the box, though. 

The only difference is that the Pixel 7 can last up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver whereas the 6 would only get to about 48 hours.

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.