Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Should you upgrade?

Google Pixel 7 vs.  Pixel 6: Should you upgrade?

The Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro were finally released in October 2022 and are now available for purchase. But if you just got a Google Pixel 6 last year, one of the best smartphones you can get, you might be wondering if it’s already worth the upgrade. After all, both phones look and feel pretty similar on the surface. To find out how they stack up against each other, read our deep dive into what the Pixel 7 actually brings to the table compared to its predecessor.


Telephone Google Pixel 7 Google Pixel 6
SoC Google Tensor G2 Google Tensor
Show 6.3-inch FHD+ OLED, 90Hz 6.4-inch FHD+ OLED, 90Hz
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 128 GB, 256 GB
Battery 4355 mAh 4614 mAh
Operating system Android 13 Android 13
Front camera 10.8MP, f/2.2, 92.8° FOV 8MP, f/2.0, 84° FOV
Rear cameras 50 MP wide (f/1.85), 12 MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 114° FoV) 50 MP wide (f/1.85), 12 MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 114° FoV)
Connection Wi-Fi 6e, 5G (sub6 / mmWave), NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6, 5G (sub6 / mmWave), NFC, Bluetooth 5.2
Dimensions 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight 197 g 207 g
Charger 20W wired, up to 20W wireless 20W wired, up to 21W wireless
IP rating IP68 IP68
Price From $600 From $600

Table of Contents

Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Design and hardware

Google stays true to its new visor design language with the Pixel 7. Like the Pixel 6 before it, the Pixel 7 still has the camera array set in a bar at the top of the back that stretches horizontally from one side to the other. This makes both phones easy to use when lying flat on a table, even without a case. That can’t be said about many other modern smartphones, with designs like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra simply aren’t able to provide this experience.

However, the Pixel 7 is more refined than the Pixel 6. The visor is now made of aluminum, the same material as the frame. It provides a smooth transition from the sides to the visor, which makes it feel much less attached. Looking at the front, you’ll also notice that the bezels around the screen have shrunk a bit, safe for the bottom bezel, which is still about the same size as on the Pixel 6. That’s the one part of the new phone that isn’t so pretty.

It might not be so obvious when you look at both phones side by side, but the Pixel 7 is a tad smaller in every dimension than its predecessor. This is most noticeable when handling both devices. The Pixel 7 fits your hands ever so slightly better, and it’s easier to maintain a grip when you need to use it with one hand. Make no mistake, though. The Pixel 6 and 7 are fingerprint magnets, and Google still chooses to have a glossy glass finish on the back.

When it comes to colors, you have new options to choose from. While the Pixel 6 came in Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral and Stormy Black, the Pixel 7 is available in Lemongrass, Snow and Obsidian. This means that you will no longer have the option of getting an all pink/red phone from Google; instead, you can now get a white version.

Besides the new design and size difference, Google hasn’t made many changes to the Pixel series. You’re looking at a new, slightly upgraded version of the Tensor chip in the form of the Google Tensor G2, but apart from the same 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The battery got a little smaller and now only offers 4355mAh instead of 4614mAh.

The new Tensor G2 chip also comes with a new modem, which promises better connectivity. The modem that the Pixel 6 shipped with had a lot of connectivity issues for some, and based on early reports, the issues appear to be far less severe with the Pixel 7 than with the 6. However, this is only based on early data, so you may want to wait a bit until more reports come in that talk about connectivity.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Software

There isn’t much to talk about in the software department. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 run Android 13, but naturally the Pixel 7 is guaranteed to get updates a year longer than the Pixel 6 at this point. That means you’re looking at three years of Android version upgrades and five years of security updates, while the Pixel 6 only has two years of Android upgrades left and four years of security updates. It makes sense, since the device is already a year old.

One of the standout additions is probably face unlock. Google says that while the company only relies on the camera to make it work, the Pixel 7 has measures to prevent someone from holding a picture of you in front of the screen to gain entry. However, the company doesn’t seem to trust the system enough for more than the lock screen. You can still only use your fingerprint to unlock apps such as password management or online banking.

As for the fingerprint scanner, Google has upgraded both the hardware and the software. While the fingerprint scanner was one of the Pixel 6’s weakest points, the Pixel 7’s scanner feels perfectly fine. It’s faster and more accurate, with fewer false negatives that force you to enter your PIN.

Android 13 behaves largely the same on both devices, but Google threw in some new software features for the Pixel 7. The new phone will automatically display a weather report on the lock screen and home screen in the morning; there’s a new “Silence” voice action you can use without saying OK Google, there are upgrades to the Recorder app, and Pixel Call Assist can now display menu structures for a selection of toll-free numbers without having to wait for the band to list everyone.

Later this year, the Pixel 7 will also get access to Google’s VPN service for free, and you’ll enjoy Clear Calling, a new feature that should make it easier for you to hear phone calls in loud environments.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Camera

Across the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6, the camera hardware is the same on the back. You’re looking at a 50MP wide standard camera accompanied by a 12MP ultrawide. This is a common practice for Google. The company prefers to stick with a hardware setup for several generations, instead of focusing on improving the surrounding software and algorithms to get even more out of it. This is exactly what Google is doing for the Pixel 7.

The Pixel 7 offers much faster night photography with the same quality. In our testing, the Pixel 6 almost always took at least twice as long to take the same photo at night. However, the Pixel 7 goes further than just faster capture times. It introduces a new max night mode that lets you capture even more light for an even better shot in the dark. And if you prefer, you can also easily turn off night mode entirely. It’s great when you’re shooting fast-moving subjects or objects, where timing is essential.

On the Pixel 7, Google has also improved its True Tone algorithms. These are meant to accurately represent every skin tone true to life, without any of the white skin bias that has plagued photography for centuries. Google pioneered this technology in previous versions, but the Pixel 7 steps up again.

1st and 2nd: Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 7 with 2x Zoom — 3rd and 4th: Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 7 with 2x zoom, cropped to show the difference in detail

Google has also improved Super Res Zoom, its computationally assisted digital zoom. When you zoom in 2x on the Pixel 7, the phone will now use all the pixels in the exact area of ​​the sensor to give you a more accurate and detailed image. The Pixel 6 simply came in with the usual pixel binning in place for the 50MP camera, meaning it doesn’t get as much detail. Despite both phones sharing the same hardware, the difference is striking, especially in portrait shots.

Pixel 7 takes first, Pixel 6 takes second

On the software side, you can also look forward to Photo Unblur. This feature allows Pixel 7 owners to enhance all the photos in their library using a new algorithm that removes motion blur and other blurry looks from photos. It works surprisingly well on photos in good lighting that don’t show extreme issues, but could look better if people were actually in focus. Although Google hasn’t confirmed it, we expect this feature to make it to older phones at some point as well.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Pricing and availability

When the Pixel 6 first launched, it started at $600. Despite inflation, Google stuck to this price tag for the Pixel 7, which it also offers starting at $600. Given the improvements Google has added to the new phone, the Pixel 7 offers an even better value than its predecessor.

Pixel 7 is also available in several countries internationally, and is being launched in a total of 17 markets. You’re looking at the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and select European countries, with Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands joining the party for the first time. Pixel 7 can also be bought in India; Google last sold a flagship phone there when it released the Pixel 4.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 6: Should you upgrade?

Let’s be real – as long as you’re not plagued by terrible connectivity issues, there’s probably no good reason to upgrade to the Pixel 7 when you just got a Pixel 6 last year. But if you have the chance to get a particularly good trade-in deal and you want a phone that’s a bit more pocket-friendly and fits better in your hand than the Pixel 6, then the Pixel 7 is worth serious consideration. The Pixel 7 could also be a good upgrade if you suffer from poor connectivity – but to be safe, you might want to switch to another manufacturer’s product. The question is whether you should buy a new budget phone or an old flagship phone. Maybe a new budget phone will already give you better reception than the Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 7
Google Pixel 7 in lemongrass

Source: Google

Google didn’t reinvent the wheel with the Pixel 7, but they didn’t need to. With improved cameras, the next-generation Tensor G2 chipset, and Google’s amazingly feature-packed software, the Pixel 7 earns its price tag again this year.

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