Pixel 7 Pro leak suggests Tensor 2 might lag behind once again

Google IO 2022 pixel 7 pro 2

TL;DR

  • Boot logs for a Pixel 7 Pro prototype have apparently revealed more details.
  • The phone may be getting a minor screen upgrade.
  • The logs also suggest that Google is sticking with older CPU cores.

We already know a lot about the Pixel 7 Pro thanks to Google’s own reveals and prototypes for sale online. Now it looks like we’ve gathered some more information thanks to one of these prototype devices.

The Google News Telegram group (h/t: android police) was contacted by the owner of a bricked-up Pixel 7 Pro prototype. You’d think a bricked device wouldn’t be able to tell us much, but the group claims it was able to glean a few details from the boot logs.

First, the logs suggest the Pixel 7 Pro is powered by a Samsung S6E3HC4 display panel rather than the S6E3HC3 panel seen in the Pixel 6 Pro. 9to5Google saw references to the former panel earlier this year as Google worked to support it in Android. However, the outlet noted at the time that this appeared to be just a “minor hardware improvement.” Anyway, it looks like you can expect a newer panel on the Pro phone.

Tensor 2 a step behind?

Google Tensor Pixel 6

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Telegram group was also able to find out more details about the Tensor 2 processor. First, it claims that the chipset has a 2+2+4 CPU layout consisting of two powerful cores, two medium cores and four lightweight cores.

Speaking of the lightweight cores, the logs reportedly suggest that Google is sticking to the Cortex-A55 core as a lightweight core. Chipmakers cannot mix and match Armv8 CPU cores (such as the Cortex-A55) with the latest Armv9 cores (e.g. Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, Cortex-A510). So this means Google is probably sticking with older CPU cores like the Cortex-A78 and Cortex-X1 if it does indeed use the Cortex-A55.

Related: Arm Cortex-X2, A710 and A510 deep dive – Armv9 CPU designs explained

Sticking to older CPU cores also means the new Tensor chipset will lag behind current flagship SoCs on paper, lagging even further when rival chipmakers launch 2023 silicon. In theory, though, we’d still expect a capable chipset, especially since the benchmarks of the original Tensor processor showed performance levels between the Snapdragon 865 series and the Snapdragon 888 line.

Otherwise, the Telegram group says it found several codenames in the logs, including Panther (Pixel 7), Cheetah (Pixel 7 Pro), and Felix (possibly the Pixel 7a). However, it confirmed that the previously leaked Lynx codename, believed to be another upcoming Pixel device, was not here.

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