After being teased back at I/O 2022, today Google announced the new Pixel 7 starting at just $599 featuring a refreshed design, a Tensor G2 chip and a bunch of new photo and video enhancements.
Available in three colors (snow, obsidian and lemongrass), the new Pixel 7 sports a familiar design including a big camera bar in back, a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus in front and the same IP 68 water resistance we got on last year's devices. That said, for 2022, Google has made a few tweaks including merging the camera bar with the frame of the phone for increased durability. On top of that, while the Pixel 7 Pro will get slightly more premium-feeling polished metal sides, the Pixel 7 gets a less shiny matte aluminum finish.
Interestingly, another notable design change is that, with a 6.3-inch 2400 x 1080 OLED display, the standard Pixel 7 is actually a tiny bit smaller than the outgoing 6.4-inch Pixel 6. This is a small victory for fans of compact phones, especially when you factor in a slight decrease in weight as well, down to 6.9 ounces (from 7.3 ounces on the Pixel 6).
On the inside, the Pixel 7 will be powered by the new Tensor G2 chip, which helps support a number of new machine learning and software features, along with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. By leveraging the Tensor G2's next-gen TPU, Google says low-light image processing using Night Sight is two times faster compared to the previous generation. The Tensor G2 chip also supports an improved Face Unblur function in the Pixel 7's camera, while also unlocking a new Photo Unblur feature that allows the phone to sharpen photos (including previously taken pics or images captured by other devices) — all using local processing only.
Other specs include a 4,355 mAh battery, 30-watt wired charging and support for both wireless and reverse wireless power transfer. Unfortunately, while the phone does have 5G connectivity, Google says mmWave support will vary depending on the retailer or the specific model. So if you want to make sure you get full 5G compatibility for your network, you're probably better off buying the phone directly from your carrier.
As for its cameras, the Pixel 7 gets two shooters in back: a 50MP main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide with a 114-degree field of view. But perhaps more important than the size of its sensors are some of the new photos and video tweaks Google has packed in. When shooting stills, Google says it has tweaked Night Sight color processing to improve clarity while still making images look like they were actually shot at night. Meanwhile for video, you can now record in 10-bit color with HDR, while the new Cinematic Mode adds a soft bokeh to the background of your clips. And to make all your footage look just a bit better, Google also upgraded the Pixel 7's video stabilization and noise reduction capabilities. And for selfie fans, this year, both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are getting the same front-facing 10.8MP camera with a 92.8-degree field of view.
Elsewhere, one interesting new feature is the expansion of the Pixel's Direct my Call Feature, which provides a handy touch menu for navigating those annoying automated voice messages you often run into when calling a big business. Previously, the issue with Direct my Call was that the phone needed to hear all the different options before being able to create a text-based menu on your screen. But now, by caching responses from the top 1,000 businesses (US only for now), the Pixel 7 can provide a menu right away, saving you time and frustration.
Finally, in a somewhat unusual move, alongside its new flagship phones, Google previewed some of the new software arriving in the next Pixel feature drop, which is slated for release sometime in December. In a big upgrade for anyone who uses the Pixel Recorder app, Google is adding automatic speaker labels to audio transcripts.
Additionally, similar to what you get on the new Pixel Buds Pro, the company is also planning to provide a Clear Calling feature designed to help reduce potentially distracting background sounds. Lastly, in a big upgrade to privacy and security, Google will also give all Pixel 7 owners access to a free VPN via Google One that's good for the life of the device.
Pre-orders for the Pixel 7 go live today with official sales beginning on October 13th.
Follow all of the news from Google's Pixel 7 event right here!