This update on the Pixel 7 design has us kind of bummed

Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro renders
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • While introducing the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, Google shared that the phone would feature a soft-touch matte finish. 
  • Now, Google is reversing course, stating that the Pixel 7 will instead feature a glossy finish. 
  • This finish first appeared on the Pixel 3 and was available on the Pixel 4 before Google switched things up.

With yesterday’s introduction of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, Google has started to build the hype train leading up to the company’s next series of flagship devices. We learned that Google’s next-generation Tensor chip will be at the helm, along with seeing a few slight changes to the overall design. 

As it turns out, it seems as though Google didn’t actually have a firm grip on what’s to come later this year. As originally noted by YouTuber Marques Brownlee, (as well as our own coverage), he was informed that the Pixel 7 would make use of a “soft-touch glass” material on the back. For reference, it’s the same material that was found on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 but was nowhere to be found on the Pixel 6

Instead, Google opted to go for a more-traditional glossy finish on the back. While there’s no difference in terms of how well your phone is protected, the soft-touch finish is nicer to hold, without needing to feel like you need to slap a skin or case on your phone. Unfortunately, Google is already reversing course, as Brownlee stated: “that the Pixel 7 will in fact NOT be soft touch glass.”

MKBHD Pixel 7 back glass

(Image credit: @MKBHD)

While glossy phones look great in their own right, it’s obvious that the best Android phones of today are dominated by those with matte finishes. Everything from the Galaxy S22 Ultra to the iPhone 13 Pro sports this type of finish. There are some phones outside of the Pixel line that still opts for glossy back glass, however, the trend seemed to be going in a different direction. 

Pixel 4 matte finish in-hand

(Image credit: Android Central)

Google has yet to provide any comment or insight as to the reasoning behind the mixup. Maybe there is a prototype version using the matte glass, and the decision to go with glossy came at the last minute. Or perhaps, Google just made an “oopsie” and shared the wrong information to begin with. 

No matter the case, it’s also not outside the realm of possibility that something could change between now and launch. But the reality is that this was just a simple mistake that Google might have hoped would have been overlooked.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.