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Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 7: What's the difference and should you upgrade?

Here's how Google's latest Pixel phone compares to its predecessor.
By
October 6, 2022

The Pixel 6 was one of the best phones of 2021. It offered tremendous value, sporting a great camera system, long battery life, a clean software experience, and a unique design for a starting price of just $599.

However, the Pixel 7 has been announced and it brings a few new things to the table. Are the upgrades big enough to justify ditching the Pixel 6 for the latest model? Let’s find out.


Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 7


Design and display

The Pixel 7 has a smaller display than its predecessor, although the difference is minimal. It sports a 6.3-inch OLED panel compared to the 6.4-inch panel of the Pixel 6. The resolution is the same at Full HD+, and so is the refresh rate — 90Hz. Both are also protected against scratches by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus and sport a punch-hole for the front-facing camera.

However, the display of the Pixel 7 has received an upgrade, as it’s now 25% brighter. More brightness means better visibility, especially when viewing it under direct sunlight.

Moving on to design, the two phones look more or less identical from the front. The back is a different story, though. Both featured a protruded camera bar, but the one on the Pixel 7 is more toned-down. It looks more professional and is made of aluminum instead of glass you get with the Pixel 6. That’s not to say that the back of the Pixel 6 is ugly — far from it. I quite like it due to its uniqueness, but it’s just one of those things you either love or hate in my opinion.

The build quality is great on both devices. They sport a glass back and a metal frame, which makes them look and feel premium.

When it comes to colors, the Pixel 7 Pro comes in Obsidian (black), Snow (white), and Lemongrass (yellow). Each of these has a different camera bar color, which adds a bit of contrast to the device.

The Pixel 6 also comes in three colors — Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black. The first two stand out due to their dual-tone finish, which can either be a good or a bad thing depending on your preference. All three come with a black camera bar.

Design is a subjective topic, meaning there’s no winner in this category. While I personally like both of these phones, I prefer the more professional look of the newer Pixel 7.

google pixel 7 camera bar
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Hardware and cameras

The Pixel 7 brings a few new things to the table, although it’s not a substantial upgrade over the Pixel 6. It sports Google’s latest and greatest chipset, the Tensor G2. Google claims it’s 60% faster in AI workloads than the original Tensor that powers the Pixel 6. It’s also said to be more power-efficient.

The memory configurations are the same between both devices. You get 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Neither of the phones support expandable storage.

Related: How much RAM do you really need in 2022?

Surprisingly, Google decides to equip the Pixel 7 with a battery that’s smaller than the one powering the Pixel 6 (4,355mAh vs 4,614mAh). We hope the battery life will remain roughly the same since the latest Pixel has a slightly smaller screen and a more power-efficient SoC. We’ll have to wait until we review the phone to find out, though.

google pixel 7 display and buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

When it comes to charging, there are no significant differences between the two. Like its predecessor, the Pixel 7 supports fast charging that gets the battery from zero to 50% in 30 minutes. It also supports wireless charging and reverse wireless charging — called Battery Share by Google.

Like the Pixel 6, the Pixel 7 also sports just two rear cameras. The resolution stays the same as well. You get a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide lens. But the camera system isn’t identical overall, since there are few new features under the hood. The main sensor can now deliver 2x optical zoom, Night Sight works twice as fast, and the Real Tone feature has been improved. There are a few other features available, which we’ll discuss in more detail once we review the phone.

The Google Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam color in hand
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Moving on to selfies, the Pixel 7 comes with a 10.8MP lens up front. Google bumped up the resolution a bit compared to the Pixel 6, which sports an 8MP selfie snapper. But it’s not just about the resolution — the Pixel 7 also comes with a new feature for visually impaired people, which uses audio and haptic signals to help them stay in the frame and capture a better selfie.

The Pixel 7 lets you unblur old photos to bring them back to life.

Additionally, it has a wider field of view, can shoot 4K video, and sports a larger sensor for improved night-time selfies. The camera can be used to unlock the device via facial recognition, which is said to be safer than the standard 2D facial recognition you get with most Android phones.

Another interesting new feature is called Photo Unblur. It’s part of the Google Photos app and works on the device thanks to the power of the new Tensor G2 chipset. You can use it to unblur old photos you may have from decades ago and bring them back to life. We haven’t tested out the feature yet, but it sounds promising on paper.

Most of the other specs and features of the two phones are similar. They both have an IP68 rating, stereo speakers, and an in-display fingerprint scanner. They’ll both get three years of OS and five years of security updates. The Pixel 7 has an advantage here since it runs Android 13 and will get updated all the way up to Android 16. The Pixel 6’s OS support will end after Android 15 since the handset launched with Android 12.

The Google Pixel 6 resting against a bridge showing the home screen and display up close
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
Google Pixel 6

Price and availability

  • Pixel 7 launch price: From $599 /£599 / €649
  • Pixel 6 launch price: From $599 /£599 / €649

The affordable price tag was one of the main selling points of the Pixel 6. Google is following the same recipe this year, as the Pixel 7 is also available with a starting price of $599. The price of the 256GB model is the same as last year as well, coming in at $699.

You can get the phone from Google as well as a few other retailers and carriers. It’s available in 17 countries in total, including the US, Canada, the UK, and several other European markets. It will also be available in India, making it the first flagship Pixel phone to be sold in the country after the Pixel 3.

The Pixel 7 is up for pre-order starting today, with sales kicking off on October 13.

Google Pixel 6
11%off
Google Pixel 6
Premium, unique design
Upgraded cameras
Competitive price
Google Pixel 7
20%off
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2 processor
Upgraded camera
Low price
$474.00 at Amazon
Save $125.99

Keep in mind that the Pixel 6’s price has dropped now that its successor has been launched. However, the current deals available aren’t all that great. For example, you can get a $65 discount when buying the device on Amazon, bringing the price down to $535.

Specs

Google Pixel 7Google Pixel 6
Display
Google Pixel 7
6.3-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
2,400 x 1,800
416ppi
90Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth

Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Google Pixel 6
6.4-inch OLED
20:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution
2,400 x 1,080
411ppi
90Hz refresh rate
HDR support
24-bit depth

Gorilla Glass Victus front
Gorilla Glass 6 back
Processor
Google Pixel 7
Google Tensor G2
Titan M2 security
Google Pixel 6
Google Tensor
Titan M2 security
RAM
Google Pixel 7
8GB LPDDR5
Google Pixel 6
8GB LPDDR5
Internal storage
Google Pixel 7
128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Google Pixel 6
128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Battery and power
Google Pixel 7
4,355mAh (typical)
21W wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
21W wireless charging
12W Qi wireless charging
Battery share

No charger in box
Google Pixel 6
4,614mAh (typical)
21W wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
21W wireless charging
12W Qi wireless charging
Battery share

No charger in box
Cameras
Google Pixel 7
Rear:
- 50MP main
f/1.85, 1.2-micron pixels, 1/1.31-inch, OIS
- 12MP ultrawide
f/2.2, 1.25-micron pixels, 114-degree FoV, fixed-focus

Front:
- 10.8MP
f/2.2, 1.22-micron pixels,
Google Pixel 6
Rear:
- 50MP main
f/1.85, 1.2-micron pixels, 1/1.31-inch, OIS
- 12MP ultrawide
f/2.2, 1.25-micron pixels, 114-degree FoV, laser AF

Front:
- 8MP
f/2.0, 1.12-micron pixels
Water resistance
Google Pixel 7
IP68
Google Pixel 6
IP68
Software
Google Pixel 7
Android 13
Pixel UI
Google Pixel 6
Android 12
Pixel UI
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel 7
155.64 x 73.16 x 8.7mm
197g
Google Pixel 6
158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm
207g
Colors
Google Pixel 7
Obsidian, Snow, Lemongrass
Google Pixel 6
Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 7: Should you upgrade?

The Pixel 7 offer more than the Pixel 6 overall. However, Google’s latest phone isn’t a massive upgrade over its predecessor. Sure, you get a faster chipset, improved cameras, and a brighter screen, but you’re also getting a smaller battery. The display is slightly smaller as well, although that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

With that in mind, we don’t think it’s worth upgrading from the Pixel 6 to the Pixel 7 for most people. The Pixel 6 is still a great phone overall, with plenty of power and a camera system that most people will enjoy.

If you have an older phone, upgrading to the Pixel 7 is a safe bet.

If you have an older phone, whether it’s made by Google or any other manufacturer, the choice is different. The Pixel 7 looks like a great handset on paper and has a relatively affordable price tag, so if you’re in the market for a high-end device that won’t break the bank, the Pixel 7 seems like a safe bet.

You could save a bit of money and go with the Pixel 6 instead. However, since the price difference between the two isn’t massive at the moment, we suggest you opt for the Pixel 7 if your budget allows it.