Although not as seriously as I'd like, the Pixel 7 Pro shows that Google has become very serious about its smartphones. This new flagship pulls out all the stops in its quest to be the best Android phone, boasting an exquisitely crafted appearance. And trust me when I say that the title fits it very nicely. The Pixel 7 Pro might become my new favorite Android gadget as a result of its outstanding cameras, new Tensor G2 CPU, brighter display, and great price.
The improved Tensor G2 hardware from Google is just another benefit of the Pixel 7 Pro. In our testing, the CPU in this year's phone was not just significantly faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 but also included a tonne of new AI and machine learning capabilities that were exclusive to the Pixel 7 Pro (and the Pixel 7) as well. Seriously, some of these new features—like Photo Unblur and the quicker Night Sight—are insane.
The Pixel 7 Pro wants to establish itself. Many of us were impressed by the Pixel 6's low price when Google unveiled its first-generation Tensor-powered devices last year. It's still uncommon for a flagship to cost $600, so the Google Pixel 7 will undoubtedly draw similar attention. Given the significant price difference between the two phones, it felt like the majority of customers should choose the less expensive device.
The second iteration of Google's phablet-sized flagship Pro model is here with prices set for another year. The Pixel 7 Pro has a lot going for it, including a more sophisticated design, an enhanced telephoto lens, and a superior ultra-wide sensor to that of its little brother. However, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to earn your extra $300, or if that money could be used to purchase a brand-new Pixel Watch, as 2023 progresses and the Pixel 8 gets closer to an inevitable launch.
Design of the Google Pixel 7 Pro
Nearly all of the major smartphone manufacturers chose not to make significant investments in a brand-new, innovative approach and instead shipped iterative successors to their previous flagship smartphones in 2022. The Galaxy S22, Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, OnePlus 10 Pro, and all of Apple's iPhone 14 models have all offered minor improvements over what was released the year before. The Pixel 7 Pro from Google seems almost identical to the Pixel 6 Pro at first glance, with all of its advancements being hidden in the smaller features of the device.
The camera bar is where the most noticeable alteration can be found. The black visor, which provided innumerable tech-related memes, is no longer present. Instead, Google decided to cover the camera bar with aluminium so that it would almost disappear into the background (a few antenna lines notwithstanding). It has a far nicer appearance than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which I always thought had an unfinished appearance. The three cutouts Google provides in its aluminum-clad camera bar for the lenses and flash are a practical addition that should eliminate the lens flare issues that plagued last year's models.
Although I believe the camera bar will remain divisive among Pixel supporters, I still adore the overall design after one year. Extending this area throughout the entire device makes sense if current flagships are practically needed to have a hump to suit different lenses and sensors. The Pixel 7 Pro does not sway back and forth when put on a desk, in contrast to the competition. Additionally, it makes the phone stand out in a sea of rivalry because you can always tell a Pixel in a crowded space.
After almost a year, I still enjoy the general design, even though I think the camera bar will continue to cause controversy among Pixel supporters. If existing flagships practically need to have a hump to accommodate multiple lenses and sensors, then extending this space throughout the entire device makes sense. In contrast to the competitors, the Pixel 7 Pro does not rock back and forth when placed on a desk. Additionally, you can always spot a Pixel in a crowded area, making the phone stand out in a sea of competition.
Display on the Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google has maintained the Pro model's rounded corners from last year, with the display swiveling to meet the metal frame along the left and right sides. The Pixel 7 Pro has lessened the extent to which the glass curves around the smartphone because many consumers found the curved display on the Pixel 6 Pro difficult to handle. The end effect is a phone that is marginally more comfortable to use in the hand than the previous model, but it makes me question why Google didn't go all the way.
When viewing the Pixel 7 Pro from the side, it is clear that only a small portion of the display wraps around the device, leaving some thin bezels. Despite the screen size decreasing by.01" (or.25mm), the 7 Pro is actually.7mm wider than its predecessor in terms of dimensions. Despite both using a 6.7" display, the Pixel 7 Pro is only a millimeter wider than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, one of the few modern "big" flagship phones with a flat screen.
Even with its reduced size, the phone's rounded corners make it challenging to hold, especially when you're laying in bed or relaxing on a couch. In addition to the "premium association," it is clear why Google wants to continue using curved glass on the Pro versions. These are large smartphones, so even a small reduction in width makes a great difference.
This year, Google added a feature that allows users to switch the resolution between 1080p and 1440p at will, following Samsung's lead. The Pixel 7 Pro operates at 1080p by default. When I first got my hands on the phone, I changed one of the first settings, only to change it back a few days later. Even I couldn't tell without holding the screen a few inches from my face that it was running at a low resolution, so I don't think the bulk of people will ever be aware of it. In FHD+ mode, text seems slightly blurrier, but videos and visuals are unaffected. You're going to need all the battery life you can get, thus I think the resolution reduction is worth it.
Battery life and performance of the Google Pixel 7 Pro
Tensor G2, Google's second-generation proprietary SoC that powers the Pixel 7 Pro, is responsible for all of those software improvements. It's no secret that the departure from Qualcomm contributed, at least in part, to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro's rough launch last year. I'm hoping that the Tensor series will continue to succeed now that it has a year of experience under its belt, but we'll have to wait and see how the upcoming few months go before reaching a final determination.
Even though Google switched to the same GPU as the Dimensity 9000, the ARM Mali-G710, I didn't detect any difference in gaming performance. I played League of Legends: Wild Rift, however other than the headset being warm while I was playing, there was no stuttering or slowing down during either battle.
The internals of the Pixel 7 Pro are comparable to those of the majority of other current flagship Android phones, save from the processor. It combines storage options of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB with 12GB of RAM. Because this phone lacks a microSD card slot, like the majority of flagship models, be sure to order in advance.
The Pixel 7 Pro also uses the primary sensor for 2x pictures, cropping the image instead of changing lenses. Although this mode saves you the trouble, you could theoretically crop images on your own. Shooting at 2x is really entertaining because it brings you closer to the action without significantly lowering the quality.
Everything up to this is using a combination of data from the primary and telephoto lens, which still manages to look fantastic in action. Once you zoom in at 5x, the phone switches to a 48MP f/3.5 telephoto lens. Since it is much less sensitive to light, some images may appear dark or noisy when compared to photographs taken during the day. In fact, even after you've zoomed past 5x, Google's algorithm can keep you on the primary lens without informing you, depending on how dark the room is. The only method to distinguish between the two is to look at the information collected in the final image, other from comparing image quality.
Super Res Zoom is the big news this year, and it is just as spectacular in practice as it is in theory, but with some very important limitations. It seems to function particularly effectively on buildings during the day, which would account for Google's initial demonstration of the capability highlighting this specific use case. I was shocked to see how much information was preserved when I zoomed in on Buffalo's city hall because the image would have been useless on any other device. While the image is undoubtedly soft, the Pixel 7 Pro was able to eliminate the majority of the noise while preserving the exterior of the building's colors and shapes. It works significantly better on an image that was taken between 10x and 30x, which is the range I used.
Speaking of nighttime photography, Night Sight is back and better than ever with enhanced functionality and a fresh approach to exposure time adjustment. Although almost always setting the exposure time to its maximum produced the best results, having the option to manually adjust it is still a welcome addition. Although Google claims that Night Sight is faster, I honestly didn't notice a significant speed difference even with the exposure set to the maximum.