The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will get a release later on this year, and after using both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, here are three things I’d like to see improved…
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are both decent phones that are well worth a look in 2022 if you’re looking to run a solid, reliable Android phone. But they weren’t without their problems. After using both, I was impressed by what Google had done, but there were areas where things could definitely be improved.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will get a launch and release date later this year – usually towards the back-end of fall. But don’t go expecting any massive design changes. The Pixel 6 series changed pretty much everything, so I’d expect Google to follow a similar design language with its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, perhaps with a few slight refinements here and there.
Physically, the design of the Pixel 6 series is very solid. The phones are the best-looking Google has ever produced. It just took SIX generations to finally get there. But now that Google has realized its design potential, it is high time the company improved its quality control in other areas. Here are three simple ways Google can make the Pixel 7 series infinitely better than its Pixel 6 series.
Google Pixel 7 Improvements & Tweaks: How To Make It Better Than The Pixel 6
1. Better Battery Life
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro shipped with massive batteries. Prior to testing, I assumed I wouldn’t have any issues whatsoever with battery life. But this assumption proved incorrect – both phones were only just average with battery life performance over 5G. My iPhone 13 is a lot better, for example, and it runs a smaller battery.
This battery discrepancy on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is likely down to Google’s Tensor CPU. The Pixel 6 series were the first products ever to run Google’s custom silicon, so issues were inevitable. This is why Google fitted massive batteries to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But even this move, welcome as it was, could not save the phones from their decidedly average battery performance.
The upshot of this, however, is that Google will now have over 12 months’ worth of performance data on its Tensor CPU which will allow it to make and implement a raft of performance and efficiency improvements. And these improvements, combined with the same size or slightly larger battery cells, should make the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s battery performance significantly better.
2. A Brighter Display
There is nothing wrong, per se, with the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro’s displays. Both look and perform very well in most settings. They both use OLED panels, though the Pixel 6 Pro has a higher resolution overall (1080 x 2340 vs 1440 x 3120) and it benefits from a 120Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 6 runs at 90Hz.
On paper and in person, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s displays tick a lot of boxes but in my experience, both screens are a little dull – they both lack brightness. After a week or so of using the phones, I found myself wishing that both had a couple of hundred more nits of brightness. Fingers crossed Google takes heed of this easy fix and adds brighter displays on its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
3. An Improved Fingerprint Scanner
The Pixel 6’s under-display fingerprint scanner, like a lot of the stuff I’ve discussed above, was decent enough but it lacked the finesse you’d expect from a phone designed and built by a company as big and influential as Google. I noticed this almost right away too; the Pixel 6’s fingerprint scanner, all too often, just didn’t recognize my finger.
This meant, after several attempts, I just used my pin. Over the course of a few weeks, the problem became more apparent. I was using my PIN far too often to unlock the phone which is NOT something you expect on a phone of this price. It just smacks of bad quality control. Surely Google knew about this before releasing the phone? Surely it knew that the fingerprint scanner didn’t work as it should? And if it didn’t know this, its testing process clearly needs more thought.
Again, this is a pretty easy fix. Alternatively, I would have NO problem with Google bringing back the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. I mean, why not? If it ain’t broke – which it clearly wasn’t on previous models – don’t fix (or, in the context of the Pixel 6) change it. Or, I don’t know, Google, maybe bring face unlocking back to your Pixel phones? It is criminal that this feature isn’t available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Hey, Google! Improve Support For Pixel Phones
While we’re on the subject of how Google can improve its Pixel phones, let’s talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room – Android updates. Or, more specifically, why the biggest tech company in the world cannot be bothered to provide long-term support to its expensive phones.
Google is one of the richest, biggest, and most innovative companies on the planet. But for some reason, a reason no one either knows or understands, Google cannot do more than three years’ worth of Android updates for its phones. This is pathetic. Google has billions in cash in the bank, so the idea that this cannot be done is laughable.
Samsung now matches this with its new Galaxy phones, and given the choice nine-out-of-ten people would go with a Samsung phone over a Pixel phone any day of the week. If Google wants its Pixel phones to become the “iPhone of the Android space” it NEEDS to do the one thing that Apple is exceptional at – support its phones, both old ones and new ones. Google even makes its own chip now, so it really doesn’t have any excuses.
There is no good reason why a Pixel phone, like the Pixel 6, shouldn’t be getting anywhere from five to eight years’ worth of Android updates. My OG iPhone SE, a phone that first launched in 2015 and is now massively underpowered, is STILL getting iOS updates. Google needs to follow Apple’s lead in this respect, it would earn it far more fans than its current focus on arbitrary spec and hardware updates.
Imagine if Google released a Pixel 6a with killer specs at a low-end price tag and then confirmed it would get updates for the next six years? It’d sell by the oil tanker load. People would love it. People would move from brands like Samsung over to Google, and they’d do it for the pure Android experience you get on Pixel phones and, most significantly, because of the support they got from Google.
I am convinced this is one of the main reasons why Apple’s iPhone is so popular. You buy one and run it until it stops working – usually six to eight years – but during this time you know you will get consistent support from Apple. And every iPhone user knows this which is why they stick with iPhone.
Google needs to figure out a way to do this with its Pixel phones, starting with the Pixel 7.
And be sure to check out Pixel 6a Camera Specs: What You Get…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.