These superb devices include updated designs, enhanced software, and competitive pricing.
Google is continuing its effort to leverage machine learning to unlock improved apps and features on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro after the significant switch to its proprietary Tensor chip last year. Two of the greatest flagship phones for the money are produced by the addition of smarter software, improved cameras for the Pixel 7 Pro, and aggressive pricing, despite the fact that the specs and design aren’t significantly different from those of their predecessors.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have undergone a slight exterior update, adding new color options and a more streamlined chassis. The smartphone’s trademark camera bar, which covers the width of the device, is still present in the rear. The primary modification is that it now seamlessly encircles the phone’s sides, which should increase durability.
Google Pixel 7
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro both have more polished sides, while the Pixel 7 retains its matte, brushed aluminum finish from last year. I kind of wish Google had utilized the matte texture on both, though, if you ask me. Additionally to making the Pixel 7 a little less slippery, it also conceals fingerprints better. And that’s after Google rounded the corners of the Pixel 7 Pro such that they were roughly 20% flatter than before.
Notably, the Pixel 7’s basic screen is somewhat smaller than the Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch display, but the Pro’s display size has remained constant at 6.7 inches. It’s not a significant difference, but it’s just enough to make things a little bit simpler to do with one hand. Particularly if you don’t possess enormous meat claws like I do.
The Pixel 7 has a 2400 x 1080 90Hz OLED display, exactly like last year (are you detecting a pattern here? ), while the Pixel 7 Pro has a higher-resolution 3120 x 1440 panel with a marginally quicker 120Hz refresh rate. Having said that, both displays produce fantastic brightness, rich blacks, and vibrant colors. Additionally, despite Google bringing face unlock back to the Pixel line, a fingerprint reader is still included under the display. For more delicate operations, like online payments, you’ll need it. Additionally, the Pixel range has maintained its IP68 designation for dust and water resistance, which is excellent for submersion for up to 30 minutes in water up to five and a half feet deep.
The new Tensor G2 processor might have unlocked some improved machine learning capabilities, but general performance is mostly unchanged. The primary Cortex X1 cores are actually only 50 MHz quicker than the silicon from last year. However, if you’re the type of person who gets overly excited about transistor counts or teraflops, you’re better off choosing a phone with one of Apple’s A-series chips or even a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.]
The backs of both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro warmed up more than most phones during the initial setup and some more taxing tasks, I also noticed. Do not misunderstand; it is not hot enough to generate anything more than a little perspiration on the hands. While overall performance was faultless and stutter-free, I feel as though Google’s Tensor chips don’t have nearly the same level of performance overhead as you may get from silicon in other high-end phones.
New software and features
Google makes up for the Pixel 7 line’s lack of sheer power with a long list of smart software, though. Expanded capabilities for the Direct My Call tool, which is intended to assist you better navigate those dreadful automated voice menus you encounter when phoning major corporations, is one of the greatest additions. But now, instead of having to wait to hear all the options, you’ll be greeted with a text-based menu as soon as you connect thanks to Duplex’s ability to pre-cache selections.
Granted, the new caching features of Direct My Call are ineffective for mom-and-pop stores. But features like this, along with others like Hold For Me, the incredibly good Pixel Recorder app, and the new Audio Message Transcription function, come together to offer a genuinely smart software experience that frequently can save you some time and a few headaches.
Of course, Google’s cameras are the other area where it truly exercises its ML-based capabilities. The Pixel 7 still has a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera in terms of hardware, while the Pixel 7 Pro adds a slightly longer telephoto camera with a 5x optical zoom (up from 4x on the Pixel 6 Pro). The 10.8MP front camera on both phones is the identical, and even without a real focusing system like you get on the iPhone 14 range, it is more than sufficient for taking selfies.
The Tensor G2 has made low-light photo processing with Night Sight up to two times faster, and you can definitely tell the difference. When it’s really dark, I’ve had to wait at least six seconds with earlier Pixels before I could take a picture. However, it becomes much simpler to hold the phone stable while the Pixel 7 works if you can cut that time in half. The impact of the improvements to Face Unblur are subtle.
The most fascinating new camera function is Photo Unblur, which can sharpen old photographs regardless of when they were taken or what camera captured the snap, albeit it can be a little hit-or-miss. All you need to do is locate the setting within the Google Photographs app in order to save old photos that could otherwise be deemed unsalvageable. Take a picture of my wife and I from a wedding in 2018. Everything in the original photograph is blurry. However, after utilizing the Photo Unblur tool, my face has definition once more. However, things aren’t ideal, as you can tell from the slight blur on my wife’s face. Another, much more striking illustration can be found in Photo You can clearly tell how angry I was over blowing up a massive pool floaty without the use of a pump because Unblur virtually entirely eliminated the softness in my face.
The main new feature for video is Cinematic Blur mode, which aims to give the background of your recordings a soft bokeh to give them a more film-like appearance. Though it’s not entirely perfect, the outcomes are generally quite decent. It can be a little disconcerting to see some areas where the bokeh is applied unevenly or where it abruptly bursts in and out when objects move.
The Pixel 7 Pro boasts a larger 5x telephoto lens as well as better zoom processing, in addition to the ability to take macro photos with the phone’s ultra-wide camera. Moving the phone up close to your subject and the P7 Pro will instantly enter macro mode, making it simple to take close-up pictures. The results aren’t horrible and there aren’t any buttons or settings to activate either.
Pixel 7 Pro camera
In contrast, when taking zoom pictures, the Pixel 7 Pro generated a sharper image than the S22 Ultra at 5x and kept it close at 10x, despite the fact that the Samsung device cost $300 more and had a longer 10x lens. Although Google has improved Super Res Zoom, there is only so much that algorithms can accomplish because at 30x, it is fairly obvious that the S22 Ultra has an optical edge.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are still in a class of their own for general photography, though. The dynamic range of the photos taken by the Pixel 7 series was consistently better than that of the S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14. Photos as a result have clearer details overall, more brilliant colors, and fewer blown-out highlights. The same is true for low light, when Google’s Night Sight regularly took more photos that were properly exposed and had better textures and richer hues.
Both phones have strong battery life and are durable. The Pixel 7 offers a welcome surprise, though, as it outlasted the Pro in both benchmark tests and everyday use due to its smaller, lower-res screen. The Pixel 7 lasted 17 hours and 54 minutes on our normal video rundown test, which is still respectable but not quite as good as the 21:17 we obtained from the iPhone 14 Plus. The Pixel 7 Pro performed slightly worse, finishing in 16:42. But whichever phone I was using, even with moderate to heavy usage, the Pixel 7 Pro consistently had at least 25% of the battery left at the end of the day, while the regular The Pixel 7 frequently had more than 30% of its battery left over.
Both phones have 30-watt wired charging, wireless charging, and support for reverse power sharing, in case you need to transfer extra power to another device that requires it. Charging is also virtually unchanged from last year. The only restriction is that using the Pixel Stand 2 is required for wireless charging to reach its maximum capacity of 20 watts for the Pixel 7 or 23 watts for the Pro. The maximum speed while using a regular Qi wireless charger is a less spectacular 12 watts.
It’s best to compare each phone independently when comparing Google’s newest smartphones versus the opposition. Even without much new hardware, the Pixel 7 offers one of the greatest software packages available, a brilliant screen, even greater battery life, and new features like an improved Direct My Call and improved photo processing. But more crucially, it offers much greater value than the entry-level flagship models from Apple and Samsung, with a starting price of just $599. The only issue is that you must choose one of the somewhat more costly $699 carrier models offered by Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers if you require mauve 5G.
The Pixel 7 Pro, which costs $899, is comparable to an even more feature-rich S22+ for the same price. You get a large 6.7-inch OLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz, a longer 5x zoom, and better camera performance. The Pixel 7 Pro, in my opinion, simply looks better. The only remaining items are wonderful extras like an ultra-wide camera that can also take macro photos. Additionally, I’d argue that the Pixel 7 Pro makes a lot more sense than the incredibly costly S22 Ultra if you don’t care about stylus compatibility. I haven’t even mentioned Google’s updated Real Tone processing because, despite being multiracial, both sides of my family are deficient in this area I simply haven’t had the time to fully put it through its paces in the melanin department. However, Google is demonstrating with the Pixel 7 series and Tensor G2 how a software-first approach to phone design can really shine, regardless of which one you prefer.