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Should I buy the Google Pixel 6 or wait for the Pixel 7?
We’re getting closer to a year since Google launched the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and the phones have been very successful for Google (at least compared to previous Pixels). The Pixel 6 even walked away with our award for the best Android phone of 2021. However, it’s well into 2022 now, which means we’re fast approaching the inevitable Google Pixel 7.
This begets the question: Would it be better to grab a Pixel 6 now or wait another six months and pick up a Pixel 7 series device? The answer will depend on your individual situation, but we can at least arm you with the information you need to make a good decision.
Google confirmed during Google I/O 2022 that it would call its upcoming phone Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. This means we know for sure that these are coming, and the naming will stay as predicted.
Check out the need-to-know info below!
Why you should buy the Google Pixel 6 now
As mentioned, we rated the Pixel 6 as 2021’s best overall buy for most smartphone shoppers. The phone has a great display, solid performance, an excellent camera, and a long-term update commitment. Yes, there’s slightly better hardware on offer from Google’s Pixel 6 Pro. However, the Pixel 6’s starting price of just $599 makes it a no-brainer compared to those other $899.
With the Pixel 6 series turning six months old, you can often find these phones even cheaper than their launch prices. Whether it’s carrier deals, used models, or the occasional discount day at certain retailers. There has never been a better time to buy a Pixel 6.
If you’re looking for premium hardware, the Pixel 6 Pro still stands up well against the best 2022 phones we’ve seen so far. The camera, display, and internal hardware of the Galaxy S22 Ultra aren’t all that much better than what the Pixel 6 Pro offers. Sure, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is more powerful than Google Tensor on paper, but Tensor hasn’t faced the throttling and overheating problems plaguing the Snapdragon model. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has more camera sensors on the back, but the Pixel 6 Pro has Google’s superior software to close the gap. The Pixel has a competitive IP rating and wireless charging too. Really, the two phones are quite evenly matched in many respects.
The Pixel 6 series is nearly a year old, but they are still some of the best devices you can buy.
All Google has officially said is that the Pixel 7 series would come in the fall. Google has launched every flagship Pixel phone in or very close to October. As such, that would be a good time to expect the Pixel 7.
Finally — and this may be the most important thing to keep in mind — we don’t expect too many substantial upgrades for the Google Pixel 7 series compared to the Pixel 6 series. The phones will almost certainly look very much the same, boast similar camera systems, and feature many of the same internal specs.
However, all this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother waiting for the Pixel 7.
Why you should wait for the Google Pixel 7
Before we get into this, we can’t confirm much about the Google Pixel 7 for certain yet. We have plenty of leaks and can make a few assumptions based on what Google has done in the past. But nothing is set in stone until the phone launches. With that disclaimer out of the way, here’s what we expect from the Pixel 7 series.
Notably, the phones won’t look very different from the Pixel 6 series. Google appears to be sticking with the same design elements as its 2021 phones, as you can see above. The image above shows that the Pixel 7 design is a dead ringer for the Pixel 6. There are slight differences in color and accents, but nothing huge. In other words, if you like the look of the Pixel 6, you’ll like the look of the Pixel 7.
All the leaks: Everything we know about the Pixel 7 series so far
Internally, we expect the Pixel 7 to support a second-generation version of Google Tensor. This chip should be faster and more efficient than the original Tensor, complete with new CPU cores and faster graphics. Tensor was Google’s first-ever attempt at creating a mobile processor, so Tensor 2 could be a huge leap forward, making the Google Pixel 7 series worth the wait.
There could be some internal hardware upgrades that would make the Pixel 7 worth waiting for.
Although we don’t expect camera layouts to change, Google could update the hardware of those cameras. Recent findings from developer Kuba Wojciechowski seemingly uncovered the hardware Google intends to use. Apparently the Pixel 7 series will use a 50MP Isocell GN1 main camera and a 12MP Sony IMX381 ultrawide shooter. Those are similar to the Pixel 6 ones, but the Pixel 7 Pro might switch out the 48MP Sony IMX586 in its telephoto slot for a 48MP Samsung GM1 sensor.
Finally, we would be incredibly surprised if Google substantially increased the prices of the Google Pixel 7 phones. The $599/$899 entry prices of the Pixel 6 series are one of the big reasons for the success of those phones. Google would be stupid, frankly, to toy with that. If you can wait for the Pixel 7 series, you might be able to grab the new model for the same price as the old one, which could be very worthwhile.
We don’t know for certain, but we guess the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro would have similar pricing to the Pixel 6 series. If anything, the phones might be more expensive, so don’t plan on them getting any cheaper.
Verdict: Buy now or wait?
Every buyer is different, so there’s no way to give a surefire answer to whether you should buy a Pixel 6 in 2022 or wait for the Google Pixel 7. However, we still have some solid advice for certain buyers.
First, if you have a broken/lost phone or otherwise desperately need something today, the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro would absolutely be a solid investment. Both phones will see updates for five years, with three Android upgrades in there, so they will be good for the long haul. The cameras are some of the best of 2021 and there hasn’t been much in 2022 to compete with them yet. The prices are also great, even without any discounts, so your wallet will be happy. The phones are 5G-capable too, so you’re semi-future-proof (the unlocked vanilla Pixel 6 does not support mmWave 5G, though).
Would you buy a Pixel 6 today or wait for a Pixel 7?
If you aren’t itching for a new phone right now — and don’t care about active discounts — waiting for the Pixel 7 series might be worth it. The second-generation Tensor chip could be a big step forward in speed and efficiency, and there’s the possibility of improved camera hardware too. When you factor in that we don’t expect a price increase and that the phones will look very similar to the Pixel 6 series, there’s no harm in waiting another six months.
Six months later review: Google Pixel 6 Pro revisited
What do you think? Answer our poll above to let us know where you fall in this debate!