We’re just days away from the big reveal of the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but the leaks are unlikely to dry up until the launch event is underway. The latest information to come out on flagship phones covers details of Face Unlock and eSIM features.
This comes from the Android expert Mishaal Rahman (opens in new tab) (through Android Police (opens in new tab)), which is looking up the code on the Google Play Console – this is the platform developers use to manage the availability of their apps on Android.
Google has been laying some groundwork for the arrival of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro — codenamed Panther and Cheetah, respectively — and that means some of the new phones’ features are now referenced in the Google Play Console database.
Oh, and also, both Pixel 7s declare support for ‘android.hardware.biometrics.face’, which means they support secure face unlock! pic.twitter.com/vjGdkWgvj9September 29, 2022
Based on the code now in place, full face unlock will come to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The feature was left out of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 phones having been one of the selling points of the Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL.
Google originally described the fall of Face Unlock as a “nice trade-off” in terms of the general set of features offered by the Pixels, but there has been consistent talk of the idea of going back to the Pixel 7 – and it even retroactively rolled out to Pixel phones as well. 6.
The other detail revealed here is that the phones appear to be configured to support dual eSIM configurations, rather than a physical SIM and an eSIM. Whether or not this means Pixel 7 handsets will come without SIM trays – at least in some regions – remains to be seen. The launch event is scheduled for Thursday, October 6th.
Analysis: Pixels can recover your Face ID
It’s not certain that the code detected on the Google Play Console is the same as the full and secure face unlock on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – but it certainly seems more likely. It looks like at least some form of facial recognition feature will be offered.
Of course, Apple has bet on Face ID on its recent iPhones, except for the budget iPhone SE. As a phone unlocking method, it’s fast, convenient, and secure, and Google should have actually added it to the Pixel lineup sooner.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL included special radar sensor technology that could map a face incredibly quickly from a wide variety of angles. Face unlock worked so well on these phones that it was almost as if the lock screen wasn’t there.
Having the same friction-free unlocking experience would be a definite plus for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – and considering that several of the specs must match the Pixel 6’s predecessors, it looks like the new phones could use some upgrades to show off.