The Pixel 6 is only a few months old, but the first leaks of the Pixel 7 designs are out. Google appears to have recently sent the CAD files to the box-making industry, as both Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka OnLeaks) and David Kowalskic (aka xleaks7) posted Pixel 7 renders today.
These unofficial renders are mostly based on measurements that Google must send to third parties to have accessories (like cases) ready before their release date. That means the shape of everything has to be accurate to the millimeter, but finer details (such as materials, colors, or the placement of camera lenses in a camera block) can still be up in the air.
Even with those caveats, there’s no getting around the big picture of both renders: the Pixel 7 looks similar to the Pixel 6. We loved the Pixel 6 design, so bringing that forward to the Pixel 7 is the best result we’ve seen. could have hoped for. The upcoming mid-range Pixel 6a is also expected to follow the same design motif. We ended the Pixel 6 review with the words, “Hopefully this is a new beginning for Google Hardware: the beginning of a stable, cohesive product roadmap, consistent hardware design, and an important year-over-year process.” So far it looks like we’re getting all that stability and consistency we were hoping for.
Having comparable designs from year to year for hardware is standard for most professional hardware manufacturers. But this is google we’re talking about, so this level of stability and coherence is actually an important milestone. Previously, Google’s hardware efforts were so turbulent from year to year that this level of consistency was impossible.
The Pixel 1 XL was built by HTC and the Pixel 2 XL was built by LG, so the phones had almost nothing in common. With the Pixel 3, production moved to Foxconn, just like an iPhone, and also in 2018, Google struck a $1.1 billion deal to buy much of HTC’s smartphone engineering team. The following year, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL phones were the first releases since the Pixel 1 to look like a pair of devices. Then Google chose to skip the flagship smartphone market for the Pixel 5. The move from the Pixel 6 to the Pixel 7 seems like Google’s first flagship phone cycle, where not everything was rebooted and started from scratch. That’s progress! It may be slower progress than anyone expected from a nearly $2 trillion company, but it’s is progress.
Speaking of continuity, the Pixel 6 introduced the Google Tensor SoC, which is made in collaboration with Samsung’s Exynos division. For the Pixel 7, we know a Tensor 2 is already in the works. 9to5Google has been able to find a number of code names and model numbers associated with the chip, which is believed to ship with an unannounced “Exynos Modem 5300”.
The details of the camera block on these early renders are always the most shaky parts, but both renders show really large lens holes that could indicate improved camera hardware. Again, upgrading camera hardware annually is normal for most manufacturers, but that would be a big maturation point for Google Hardware, which previously recycled the Sony IMX362/3 sensor in the Pixel 2, 3, 4 and 5. have moved the mmWave window to the top edge of the phone on both models. Currently, the window is a large plastic cutout in the middle of the phone, and in these renderings the window has been moved to the side.