Google Pixel is getting a cool free upgrade – but one feature remains Pixel 7 only

These Google Pixel 7 features will migrate to older devices

Best Google Pixel 6a deals
(Image credit: Google)

After all the mania surrounding the Google Pixel event last week, users of older Pixel handsets would be forgiven for feeling slightly left out. The event saw the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro launch, alongside the Google Pixel Watch and more teasing for the Google Pixel Tablet.

That might have left users of older Pixel devices reaching for the 'add to cart' button – particularly with the raft of fantastic Google Pixel 7 pre-order deals to be had!

Don't be too hasty, though. Users of the Google Pixel 6 generation – including the Google Pixel 6a – are about to get a handful of the key features from the Pixel 7 in a software update.

Google Pixel 7 features headed for Pixel 6

According to PhoneArena (opens in new tab), Google have confirmed five features that will be available on all Tensor-powered smartphones in a future feature drop. Users of the previous generation will get access to Clear Calling, Guided Frame, Improved Real Tone, Spatial Audio and Quick Phrases.

Clear Calling is Google's noise reduction software. It aims to reduce the background noise in your phone calls, by filtering out sounds that aren't your voice, such as typing or road noise.

Guided Frame is an AI-assistant for visually impaired users, which helps them to take a selfie at a good angle. Through spoken instructions, Guided Frame will direct the user, adjusting the camera height and angle for the perfect shot. It can even take the image automatically.

Real Tone is Google's initiative to improve images that contain darker skin tones. This software has been developed with the help of over 60 photographers, to train the image capture algorithm and produce better end results for a diverse array of skin tones.

Spatial Audio will be supported too. The technology aims to immerse you in your audio experience, by morphing as you move your head to make the sound come across 3D. Think of it like VR for your ears.

Quick Phrases are Google's way of taking the nuisance out of its smart assistant. Rather than prefacing every action with "Hey Google", Quick Phrases allows you to set certain phrases to trigger certain events. For example, saying "stop" or "snooze" when your alarm is going off will take the appropriate action.

But still no Face ID for Google Pixel 6

Older Pixel users were optimistic when the Google Pixel 7 released with Face Unlock. It's a feature not seen since the Pixel 4, and one that has left the Pixel behind rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the iPhone 14.

It doesn't look likely, though.

In the same PhoneArena article, a spokesperson for Google said there was "nothing to report" regarding Face Unlock making its way to older handsets. While that's not a resounding no, it's hardly a green light either. If it's a feature that's really important to you, you may be better off looking at one of the deals for the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro shown below.

Sam Cross
Trainee Online Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.