The Pixel 7 Pro chip may be “much slower” than the competition – but that’s not a concern

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Google has announced that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro handsets are on the way and has set an October 6 date for the big reveal – but there’s still a lot we don’t know about these phones. A new benchmark that leaked on the web may have provided some details for us.

According to the Android developer Kuba Wojciechowski (opens in a new tab) (Going through 9to5Google (opens in a new tab)), which spotted a Geekbench listing for the Pixel 7 Pro: the upcoming phone’s chipset should offer an overall performance boost of around 10% over the Pixel 6-series Tensor processors. Graphics tasks, meanwhile, could see improvements of up to 20%.

This graphics upgrade should make the Pixel 7 phones noticeably better for gaming and computational photography, although day-to-day phone tasks won’t feel so fast. Don’t take this as official and confirmed just yet, especially since Geekbench scores are pretty easy to fake.

Slower than the competition

While on paper the chipset upgrade in the Tensor 2 might not be so impressive – something that has been rumored before – Wojciechowski says the manufacturing improvements will mean the Pixel 7 Pro (and the Pixel 7) will be more power efficient. That means longer battery life and higher performance speeds more often.

While admitting that the second-generation Tensor chip is “significantly slower than the competition” in these benchmark scores, Wojciechowski also points out that “thermal solutions, software optimization, and miscellaneous components also play an important role in delivering good UX and good performance”.

Another tidbit from this benchmark leak is that the Pixel 7 Pro is likely to have 12GB of RAM, like the Google Pixel 6 Pro before it. Once we have these phones in our hands ready to test, we can let you know exactly how the performance levels compare to the 2021 generation of Pixels.


Analysis: life in the real world

While benchmarks can certainly be useful for measuring a phone’s raw performance, they don’t necessarily simulate how consumers actually use their phones day-to-day. In other words, we’re not too worried about the Tensor 2 chipset looking like a relatively minor upgrade.

The processor is expected to be based on a 4nm (nanometer) architecture, which essentially means more computing power in a smaller space. It should be able to perform better without drawing as much heat compared to the 5nm chipset inside the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6a.

It also looks like Google is upgrading the TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) on this new chip. This means that AI-related tasks, including voice recognition and the Magic Eraser tool, will be handled better and executed faster. This is going to potentially have more of an impact on the feel of using the phone.

It can be argued that modern flagship phones have processors with performance levels that most consumers don’t need either. Apple just launched the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus with nearly identical chipsets to those used in the 2021 iPhones, for example – and they’re still plenty fast.

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