We’ve been pretty pleased with Google’s new Pixel 7 Pro as we outlined in our initial review yesterday, but as the phone goes on sale, a new report claims that the display on Google’s new flagship is a bit power hungry.

The display on your smartphone is generally going to be one of, if not the single-most power-hungry component. But manufacturers have worked hard over the years to optimize panels to be as efficient as possible.

With the Pixel 7 Pro, it seems the display is eating up a disproportionate amount of power. The folks over at XDA first uncovered the issue, which sees the display eating up very high amounts of power when it is used at higher brightness settings.

A deep dive into the display’s power consumption found that the Pixel 7 Pro eats up around 3.5-4W at 600 nits, just under half of maximum brightness. When triggering high-brightness mode, around 1,000 nits, power consumption jumps to 6W. These results were then confirmed with a few other Pixel 7 Pro units from other reviewers within the Valnet network, which owns both XDA and Android Police.

By comparison, this shows an increase from the Pixel 6 Pro, which ran at around 2.9W at 600 nits, and 4W at 800 nits. The results are also quite a bit higher compared to Samsung’s latest devices. The Galaxy S22 Plus came in at just 2W at 600 nits, and 4W at 1,000 nits.

It’s not clear if the regular Pixel 7 has the same power-hungry display.

Related: Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro display refresh rate: How they differ, and what that means for you

XDA points out that the Pixel 7 Pro’s Tensor G2 chip has a TDP (thermal design power, the maximum power consumption) of around 10-12W, meaning you could be looking, in theory, at up to 18W from just the chip and display alone when putting your phone through its maximum load.

pixel 7 pro display

9to5Google’s Take

Whether or not this has as major of an impact on battery life as it sounds remains to be seen.

This report brings out an experience of seeing as much as 10% battery drain from just 15 minutes in a high-brightness situation. In our limited time with the Pixel 7 Pro so far, we’ve not seen quite as drastic results when outdoors, but in my personal experience, endurance certainly does seem to be impacted by outdoor usage in a bigger way compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 I was previously using.

On one afternoon where I used the Pixel 7 Pro outdoors for a few hours, I did notice considerably faster battery drain compared to a day at home. It led to the phone being around 20% by 8pm.

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Ben Schoon

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