We’re just hours away from the grand unveiling of the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but the leaks are likely not to dry until launch begins (follow our Pixel 7 launch live blog to find out all about how it happens) . The latest information coming to the flagship phones includes details on facial recognition and eSIM.
It comes from an Android expert Miszaal Rahman (opens in a new tab) (by Android Police (opens in a new tab)), which delved into the code in the Google Play Console – is a platform used by developers to manage the availability of their applications on Android.
Google did some preparatory work before the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – codenamed Panther and Cheetah respectively – which means some of the features of the new phones are now listed in the Google Play Console database.
Oh, and both Pixels 7 declare support for “android.hardware.biometrics.face” which means they support secure face unlocking! pic.twitter.com/vjGdkWgvj9September 29, 2022
Based on the code that’s already in place, Full Face Unlock will come to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The feature was omitted on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 phones, which were one of the selling points of the Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL.
Google originally described the waiver of face unlock as a “good compromise” on the overall feature set offered by Pixele, but around the idea of going back to the Pixel 7 it has been consistently and even retroactively rolled out to Pixel 6 phones as well.
Another curiosity revealed here is that the phones appear to support two eSIM configurations rather than one physical SIM and one eSIM. Does that mean the Pixel 7 phones will ship without SIM trays – in some regions at least – remains to be seen. The inaugural event is scheduled for Thursday, October 6.
Analysis: Pixels can recover their Face ID
It’s not certain if the code spotted on the Google Play Console will be equivalent to full, secure face unlock on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – but it certainly looks more likely. It looks like there will be at least some form of facial recognition being offered.
Apple obviously went all out with Face ID on its last iPhones, with the exception of the budget iPhone SE. As a method of unlocking the phone, it’s fast, convenient, and secure, and Google should have added it back to the Pixel line beforehand.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL featured a special radar sensor technology that could map a face from different angles extremely quickly. Face unlocking worked so well on these phones, it almost looked like there was no lock screen there.
Having the same hassle-free unlocking feature would be a definite plus for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – and considering several specs are expected to match their Pixel 6 predecessors, it seems the new phones can benefit from a few enhancements to show off.