The Pixel 7 Pro proves that Google has taken its smartphones seriously. With a wonderfully refined design, this new flagship goes to great lengths to become the best Android phone. And believe me when we say it’s damn close to that title. Thanks to its stunning cameras, new Tensor G2 chip, brighter display, and excellent value for money, the Pixel 7 Pro could be my new favorite Android device.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is better watched because the Pixel 7 Pro, starting at $ 899 / £ 849 / AU $ 1,299, is one heck of a competitor that is also $ 300 cheaper than the best Samsung phone. Google’s latest device solves many of the problems we had with the Pixel 6 Pro last year, including a faster fingerprint sensor and anecdotal better battery life. Google’s updated Tensor G2 silicon is another point in favor of the Pixel 7 Pro.
Not only is this year’s phone chipset much faster than the first generation, but it provides a ton of new AI tricks and we machine learning that are unique to the Pixel 7 Pro (and Pixel 7). Seriously, some of these new features are wild, like Photo Unblur and the faster Night Sight.
The design is similar to last year’s 6 Pro but refined. Google has kept the characteristic stripe along the back of the phone which houses the multiple cameras. But now it’s a strip of recycled aluminum that blends seamlessly with the metal frame of the phone, which in our opinion gives it an even more luxurious feel.
The back is still glass and the front is still nicely curved at the edges. But if we’re picky, which we are, there’s a bit of a lip between the curved display and the metal rim, so the two don’t blend perfectly together. It’s definitely noticeable when you hold it, but is it really important in everyday use? Obviously not. It is IP68 rated for water and dust resistance, so spilled drinks are no problem.
However, that the shiny aluminum strip may be susceptible to damage: in the short time we use it, several small fine scratches are visible on its surface and over time they may become more pronounced. Whether this is a problem remains to be seen. It might also develop a nice patina, like aged brass instruments, which actually improves the look.
Like last year, Google has kept the rounded edges on the Pro model, with the display rotating to meet the metal frame along the left and right sides. Many users have found the curved display of the Pixel 6 Pro difficult to grasp, so the Pixel 7 Pro has reduced the degree of bending of the glass around the device. The result is a phone that’s a little easier to hold than the previous generation, but we wonder why Google didn’t go all the way here.
Looking at the Pixel 7 Pro in profile, it’s obvious that very little panel wraps around the phone, resulting in some thin bezels. Comparing the size, the 7 Pro is actually 0.7mm wider than its predecessor, although the screen size is reduced by 0.01 “(or 0.25mm). Compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, one of the Few current “big” flagship phones with a flat screen, the Pixel 7 Pro is only a millimeter wider, despite both using a 6.7 “display.
The Pixel 7 Pro comes preloaded with Android 13 out of the box. It’s not as exciting an update as Android 12 was, just as the Pixel 7 Pro may not be as exciting as its predecessor, but it’s chock-full of a few small improvements that help make it a better experience. we are still a huge fan of the redesigned music player on the lock screen; its groovy play bar looks like one of those classic “fun” features that only Google can create.
Material You is better than ever, although as long as most large third-party apps don’t support dynamic-themed icons, it still feels like a half-way. Google’s unified search bars between the home screen and app drawer are also a big step forward, as they deliver web and on-device results next to each other. At this point, Android 13 has been out for two months, with the beta program dating back to last spring.
Gaming and Performance
Pixel 7 Pro is equipped with Google’s second generation Tensor G2 processor. It certainly provides an extra boost to the phone’s performance, but it’s not as noticeable with day-to-day operation. The Tensor G2 flexes its muscles more by halving the time it takes to take a night photo, which means you don’t have to wait that long for image processing. The same goes for pretty much any photo you take – the final HDR render appears right as you preview it instead of having to wait a moment or two for processing.
The Tensor G2 also powers some even more impressive speech recognition features. That is to say, you can have the Google Assistant call and speak to customer service at places like Costco, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Home Depot while selecting from the on-screen options what you want it to say for you. Google plans to add support for even more service numbers, so hopefully being on hold with customer service will be a thing of the past.
The Pixel 7 Pro has three cameras on the back, which it combines in almost a continuous zoom range from 0.5x to 30x. The 12MP ultrawide camera produces good images at 0.5x magnification, with only a little distortion around the edges. The 1x 50MP main camera is simply excellent. It captures an enormous amount of detail in a wide range of lighting conditions, producing 12.5MP images.
But new this year is the ability to “zoom” to 2x optical magnification using only the sensor’s center pixels, which works surprisingly well, rivaling what you’d typically get from a 2x optical zoom on rivals. Apple used a similar technique for the iPhone 14 Pro. Shots taken between 2.5 and 4.9x fuse data from multiple cameras to produce better images than the simpler digital zooms typically applied at these in-between distances.
Zooming further, the 48MP telephoto lens takes over with its 5x optical magnification, producing excellent images with good detail and 12MP sharpness. Google also repeats the sensor center trick for a 10x optical zoom. From there, Google’s Super Res Zoom technology digitally magnifies up to 30x zoom. 15x zoom images are still very good but start to look overly processed closer to maximum.
Google Pixel 7 Pro offers incredible battery life largely thanks to its 5000mAh battery. Most days I find myself with 30% or more of battery life remaining, and that’s with heavy use. Google also upped the wired and wireless fast charging speeds to 30W. Physically connecting the phone for 15 minutes gave me back 24% battery power, and after 30 minutes we were almost half tank with 48%. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, we didn’t have a sufficiently powerful wireless charger to test the Google Pixel 7 Pro’s 23W maximum wireless charging speeds.
Price and Availability
Pixel 7 Pro pricing starts at $ 899 / £ 849 / AU $ 1,299, which gives you 128GB of storage. The price goes up to $ 999 / £ 949 / AU $ 1,449 for 256GB of storage and $ 1,099 / AU $ 1,599 for 512GB – that model isn’t available in the UK. Each Pixel 7 Pro model comes with 12GB of RAM, regardless of the amount of storage you choose.
Google likes to give its phones a slightly lower price than the competition, and the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 continue this trend. The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $ 999 / £ 1,099 / AU $ 1,749, which means the Pixel 7 Pro is not only cheaper, but buyers from the UK and Australia won’t see the same price increase as fans. of iPhones have seen since last year. The Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G is even more expensive, at $ 1,200 / £ 1,149 / AU $ 1,849, and that phone is overloaded with hardware.
The Pixel 7 Pro has no stylus support, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a built-in pen. The Samsung phone also has five cameras, including a 10x superzoom. It really is a great phone, but you pay for it. Samsung generally launches new Galaxy S phones earlier this year, so this phone is expected to be replaced soon.
The Pixel 7 Pro builds on the success of last year’s model, with significant upgrades to its camera that put it on par with Samsung’s more powerful and expensive models. It’s a well-made phone with a great screen, good performance, and reasonable battery life. Faster fingerprint scanner is welcome, as is fast but less secure facial recognition for unlocking your phone.