We’re only 3-4 months away from the official unveiling and launch of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Google made that much clear at Google I/O 2022 when they went and showed everyone the general design of their new phones. While they didn’t really tell us too much about the specifics of the new Pixels – like what display, processor, and RAM options there will be – the early look at the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro did exactly what Google was likely trying to accomplish: they stopped leak culture from owning the narrative.
A new leak surfaced a few days ago that shows the Pixel 7 Pro in the dark gray colorway from a few different angles. We see the same curved screen, same metallic camera cover, and the same metallic side rails that rise up to meld seamlessly into the camera bump that we saw at Google I/O. When I saw the post, I took a look; but I quickly dismissed the leak because, frankly, I’d already seen all of that.
Taking control of the narrative
Much like they did last year, Google chose to simply announce the new Pixels in an official capacity way before they intend to actually launch them. Just like the iPhone or Galaxy line of phones at this point, there’s no one under the impression that Google isn’t reloading for a phone update this year. Just like Apple and Samsung, Google is now in the practice of putting out a new phone each year – likely in October – and instead of being coy about it, they chose to take control of their own narrative.
Don’t get me wrong: I like leaks. I like the intrigue and the suspense, but I also like companies just being clear about the stuff they are making and selectively sharing updates as we go. Now, instead of looking for some random hands-on, I’m waiting for Google’s next decision to further the Pixel 7 narrative. Perhaps it will be more info on the power of Tensor 2 or something hinting at the upgrades to the now-legendary Pixel cameras. Either way, I’m excited to see what Google officially shares in the coming weeks: not so much what a random leaker puts on the internet.
Leaks could still happen
But we have to remember that Google’s shared story on the Pixel 7 is quite short for now. The most-leaked part of any phone is always the aesthetic and hardware, so Google wisely let that cat out of the bag back in May. There have been other leaks telling us what Tensor 2 could be like and what the display might be for the Pixel 7 Pro, but the way Google has shared things up to this point, I’m less enticed by those things than I was before.
For me (and for many, I think), just knowing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are coming and that they’ll have next-gen Google silicon inside is enough. The outer hardware is really nice on a lot of phones out there. Pick up a OnePlus, Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Google, or Motorola device and you’ll find little to complain about. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will be well-made phones on the outside, so fine details about those things are mildly interesting, but not earth shattering.
What will really matter with Pixel 7 is the camera, the performance, the battery life, and the general lack of bugs with Android 13. No leaks can cover those things because any early look at any of those items will always fall under the pre-production label, rendering them a bit less than reliable.
And so, by sharing the most-leaked portions of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at Google I/O, Google basically undid the power of leaker culture with their new phones. It is a known fact that everything leaks these days, no matter how hard companies try to contain it. Perhaps the way forward is exactly what Google is doing with their new phones. Bits of info announced along the way lets them determine when and what is shared about their new devices, and it keeps people like you and me a bit less ready to jump on every little leak that pops up between now and launch time.