What you need to know
- A vendor has ostensibly shipped a Google Pixel 7 Pro prototype by mistake.
- The leaked images appear to be legitimate, but the story of how an unreleased unit ended up in someone's hands is quite doubtful.
- Google has since rendered the unit useless, leaving it in a state of boot loading.
During its I/O 2022 event, Google unveiled some promo images of its next flagship phone series, but real-life images of the device have been scarce until recently. Thanks to one purportedly careless vendor, we now have our best look yet at the Google Pixel 7 Pro's real-world images.
Here's the story: two months ago, a Facebook user placed an order for a Google Pixel 6 Pro via Facebook Marketplace. Instead, the vendor allegedly shipped a prototype of what appears to be the Pixel 7 Pro by mistake. Does that sound plausible? Believe it at your peril.
The images have been shared by a Twitter user from Ghana. However, the story of how the prototype ended up in the hands of the user in question is quite questionable. Earlier last month, the same set of images appeared on SlashLeaks. That said, the images provide our best look yet at Google's next contender for the best Android phones in real life.
Regardless of how the user got a hold of the prototype, it appears to be legitimate. As you can see in the photos below, there's the typical Google prototype logo on the back. You can also see the rear panel in full, consistent with what Google teased last May.
The prototype's software also gives away a few details, confirming that we're indeed looking at a Pixel 7 Pro unit. It has the codename "Cubot Cheetah 2" and runs Android 13.
However, Google most likely wiped the prototype clean via remote command shortly after it was shipped. According to the leaker, the unit is now stuck in an endless boot loading loop.
This isn't the first time that live images of the upcoming phone surfaced online. A month ago, a prototype Pixel 7 appeared on eBay as well.
The prototype surfaced a few days after a bricked Pixel 7 Pro unit emerged online, spilling the beans on the upcoming handset's display and chipset. More leaks like this are likely to emerge in the run-up to the phone's official launch.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.