According to newly revealed Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro specs, the upcoming flagship phones are poised to adopt the same displays as the Pixel 6 series but with a few tweaks.
With the Pixel 6 generation, Google’s phones took a big step forward, taking their top-of-the-line option from 90Hz to 120Hz. This generation also marked the first use of a curved display for the Pixel series. Both the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro used relatively new Samsung displays, although in our review we found that both devices were outperformed by Samsung’s own Galaxy S21 series and even further by this year’s Galaxy S22.
As of Google I/O 2022, where the company unveiled its full lineup of Android devices through 2023 (or at least most of it – more on that in a moment), we know quite a bit about the upcoming Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. We’ve seen how the two phones refine the iconic design of the Pixel 6 series and how the internal hardware will improve things over the first Google Tensor chip.
That said, there’s quite a bit about the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that Google hasn’t shared, including internal specs or even what the fronts of the phones look like. For the latter, we discovered code in the Android Open Source Project that reveals the displays used in the Pixel 7 series.
Pixel 7 and 7 Pro display specs
More specifically, we noticed that Google created two new display drivers, one labeled “C10” and the other “P10,” which we know to be shortened versions of the Pixel 7’s “Cheetah” and “Panther” codenames 7 pers. Thanks to these files, we now have fairly accurate display specs for the next-gen Pixel phones.
The smaller Pixel 7 has a 1080 x 2400 display that can run at up to 90Hz, while the Pixel 7 Pro has a 1440 x 3120 display that can handle a 120Hz refresh rate. If these specs look familiar to you, that’s because they’re the same as last year’s Pixel 6 series.
And that’s no coincidence, as recent clues in the code indicate that the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro use the exact same Samsung panels – S6E3FC3 and S6E3HC3, respectively – as their predecessors.
On the one hand, this is a bit disappointing as we can’t expect a huge improvement in the display compared to last year’s phones. However, some changes are still pending.
The most obvious of these is that the Pixel 7 is slightly smaller than the Pixel 6, and the display will reflect that as it’s 1mm narrower and 2mm shorter. The Pixel 7 Pro’s display is unchanged in size compared to the Pixel 6 Pro.
Instead, the Pixel 7 Pro appears to be getting a native 1080p mode for its display. We think this could be used to save Android power by rendering everything at 1080p and letting the panel’s “DDIC scaling” convert it to 1440p. While this certainly wouldn’t be as pretty to look at, it’s probably intended as an optional way to reduce battery drain, perhaps as part of the power saving mode. Samsung and other Android OEMs have introduced similar battery-saving scaling options.
In particular, it’s possible that the Pixel 7 Pro could Get a slight hardware upgrade for the display, as Google has been working to support a near-identical display alongside the one specifically labeled “C10”. This display has the model number “S6E3HC4‘ and may be a generation newer. There’s currently no indication if this will actually appear on the Pixel 7 Pro, but the near-identical feature set leaves the possibility open.
Overall, these newly revealed display specs seem to encourage the idea that the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will be more iterative entries, at least in the hardware department. Our leading theory is that Google is embarking on a “tick tock” release cycle for the Pixel series, but only time will tell.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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