When the (*7*) Pixel 7 series was teased in May 2022, we were told that it had the Tensor 2 chipset, the chipset made by (*7*) that follows the chip that debuted in the series (*7*) Pixel 6. We just heard our first leak about this upcoming component, and it's amazing.
Be patient here, because the source is complicated: someone managed to buy a locked prototype of the (*7*) Pixel 7 Pro and sent its boot logs (the only accessible information left) to the Telegram channel (*7*) News | FR (opens in a new tab) (presumably nothing to do with (*7*)'s own news tool of the same name).
This channel then shared the key tidbit: the upcoming phones will apparently have the same screens as their predecessors, and the Tensor 2 chipset will apparently be incredibly similar to the original. Take all this information with a grain of salt, due to the curious nature of the source, but it's worth digging into.
If there are limited changes to the chipset components, that means the Pixel 7 likely won't have as much processing power as its Pixel 6 predecessor; that doesn't mean it will be identical, as (*7*) could add more AI, but don't expect super powerful Android.
This fact may disappoint you, after all, newer phone models should be more powerful, but in reality, it is not a problem.
Analysis: the best is the worst
Each new iteration of the Android processor is supposed to be faster than the previous one. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is supposed to be faster than the 888, which is supposed to be faster than the 865, which is supposed to be faster than the 855 (for example).
However, in practice things are not so simple, and we can check this by looking at the references. At TechRadar, we use the Geekbench 5 test to see how fast phones are in a lab, although other sites use alternatives. And that has shown us something very interesting lately.
Phones using 888's high-end Snapdragon 2021 chip have generally achieved the same performance as those using its predecessor, the 865, with those from the new 8 Gen 1 often underperforming both.
In part, that's because these new chips have horrible overheating issues, which can lead to a rapid drop in performance when in use, and there's something to be said for the new chips standing out in a way that Comparative tests do not detect.
But the simple fact is that phones have gotten to the point where they are pretty fast. You don't need a mobile device to be faster if your fingers aren't fast enough to need it, or if the game's graphics have outpaced what small screens can do.
Instead, the new chips focus more on optimization and power efficiency, new camera capabilities, and improved AI. Being strong or fast is no longer as important as being smart.
So (*7*) is likely only dealing with audience usage and focusing less on power and more on everything else. And that would fit with its modus operandi: It has always relied heavily on AI for things like photography and smart assistants.
So if the Pixel 7 doesn't wow in benchmark tests, that's fine: the phone is likely to see improvements in many other areas, and will remain a contender for our best smartphones list.