Secret third Google Pixel 7 model could topple the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 6 Pro review
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When the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro were teased by the company at the keynote speech of its annual Google IO conference, we thought we'd seen the entirety of the line - after all, the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were the only members of its line (not including the spin-off Pixel 6a).

We might be wrong, though, as rumors are pointing to there being a third member of the line. 9to5Google has found bits of Google code that mention a model with the tag G10 - the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have already been linked to the tags C10 and P10, so it's not one of those, and the Pixel 7a and an extra unknown Pixel phone are known as Felix and Lynx.

So this G10 phone is something completely different - what's more, some specs were linked to it, which makes it sound rather premium. Apparently it'll have a Tensor chipset, 120Hz screen refresh rate and 1440 x 3200 resolution, and dimensions that make it clear it's a phone and not a tablet.

The code makes it sound like a Pixel 7 device, and the specs suggest it's more comparable to the Pro device than it is to the standard one. Our money, then, is on this being a top-end alternative to the Pro model - quite a few companies offer Pro Plus or Ultra versions of their flagships and this could be Google's take on that.

This is the first leak or rumor on there being a top-top-end Google smartphone, so we'll have to see what other leakers and analysts think, but if this phone is real it could spell bad news for Samsung.

Analysis: a real Galaxy S22 Ultra rival

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sits at the top of our ranking of the best smartphones, and for good reason - it has a premium design, lots of power and incredible cameras.

We often compare top-end smartphones to it when they're launch, calling them S22 Ultra rivals based on their design or price, but Google is one of the few companies which really has a chance to supplant Samsung for the top spot.

That's because Google has a legacy of making fantastic camera phones, as its AI processing is incredible for scene optimization. The key reason that the Google Pixel 6 Pro doesn't beat it is because the Galaxy S22 Ultra simply has more cameras and a few extra modes.

If a Google Pixel 7 Ultra came along with a greater camera array, it really could give the Galaxy S22 Ultra a run for its money in terms of photography power, which in turn would make it a contender for our top spot. Plus, Google could bring some features that even Samsung doesn't offer - we'd love to see a macro mode, and changeable AI settings.

Sure, the phone would need to be solid in other areas too, so the Pixel 6's software bugs would need to go, but the 6 series is fairly high in our 'best phone' ranking already.

So if there is a Google Pixel 7 Ultra, it really could do something the iPhone 13 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro have failed to do: knock the S22 Ultra off its throne.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.