A Google Pixel 7 Pro prototype has already been sold over Facebook

Several Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro models lying face down
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro models (Image credit: Google)

Google gave us all quite a surprise when it decided to announce the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro ahead of time last month, and it seems that at least one prototype version of the Pro model is already out in the wild.

A user posting on Reddit (via 9to5Google) claims to have bought a prototype version of the Pixel 7 Pro over Facebook Marketplace three weeks ago. The handset was advertised as a Pixel 6 Pro and it seems the new owner thought that's what the smartphone was.

There's been a recent flurry of activity when it comes to Pixel 7 handsets popping up for sale on sites such as eBay and Facebook, and it looks as though Google has taken note – the Redditor's phone has now been disabled and is stuck on the boot screen.

No more details

Unfortunately the person who has unwittingly been using Google's unreleased smartphone for the past three weeks hasn't provided too much in the way of extra detail, so it doesn't give us the opportunity to learn any more about the handset.

We do know what the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro are going to look like, courtesy of Google, and we do know that the phones will feature an updated second-gen Tensor processor. Apart from that, there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

One of those questions is around the release date for these smartphones. All we know for sure is that they're coming out later this year – if Google follows its previous scheduling, expect to see the next-gen Pixels go on sale around October time.

Analysis: the perils of an early reveal

Google wasn't expected to reveal the Pixel 7 at the Google IO 2022 event in May, but it did it anyway. We didn't get a specs list or pricing or anything like that, but at least we know what the phones look like and that they're definitely on the way.

The early announcement is a useful way of building hype around the devices and encouraging Pixel fans to start saving to afford the next version of the phone. It also emphasizes Google's ongoing commitment to the Pixel series, on the back of the news that the Pixel 6 has been one of the most popular phones in the range so far.

On the other hand, we do still have a long time to wait before these devices actually go on sale. There are bound to be more rumors and leaks like the one we're reporting on today, which Google doesn't necessarily have control over – and it also has us wondering whether Pixel 6 sales might be affected too.

We're all for giving consumers certainty about what's coming down the line, but it's going to be interesting to see whether Google continues with this strategy in the future. We might also be in for a surprise or two when the Pixel 7 finally does get its full launch.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.