Up to this point we haven't heard a whole lot about the Google Pixel 7 supposedly launching later this year, but the early version of Android 13 that's been pushed out to developers may have revealed some details about the 2022 flagship phone.
Some diligent digging by 9to5Google has identified a Samsung modem number called G5300B, which is linked to a chip with the denomination GS201 – in plain terms, that hints at a new Tensor processor from Google with a new modem on board.
What's more, this new GS201 chipset – probably the Google Tensor 2, as per previous leaks – is associated with three devices in the software code, including ones codenamed Cheetah and Panther. Those could well be the codenames for the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.
It's all in the names
Some history of Pixel codenames is useful here: the Pixel 6 had the internal moniker Oriole and the Pixel 6 Pro used Raven. Add in the rumored codenames for the Pixel 6a and the Pixel Fold, Bluejay and Pitpit respectively, and you can see the avian theme.
That Google now seems to have moved on to big cats rather than birds is another sign that these mysterious devices are in fact the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. If they're launched a year after their predecessors, that's going to be October 2022.
The final phone linked to GS201 is codenamed Ravenclaw. Rather than being a Harry Potter reference, this possibly suggests a link between birds and cats – more specifically, Google might be using the Pixel 6 Pro to test the performance of the Tensor 2 CPU.
Analysis: Google will want to keep up the Pixel momentum
After a rather disappointing Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a cycle – the latter phone only launched in the US and Japan – Google has come roaring back with the Pixel 6 devices. They've sold in record numbers for Pixels, Google has said, though the exact numbers haven't been revealed (they're probably still not very high).
With that in mind, Google will want to carry on the momentum with its Pixel 7 line. That should mean a faster CPU (as rumored above), even better performance from the cameras, and as many software improvements as they're able to pack into Android 13.
Let's not forget the Pixel Fold and the Pixel Watch, which we're also expecting to see unveiled at some point during 2022. As the Pixel ecosystem grows and matures, it makes the idea of picking up a Pixel phone more appealing to prospective buyers.
It's still early days for Google Pixel 7 rumors, with another eight months or so to go before the phone is revealed. Before that the Pixel 6a should be making an appearance, which gives Google another opportunity to grow the Pixel userbase – this time with a phone that prioritizes value for money.
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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.