Google Pixel 7 Pro Review: The Surprisingly Affordable Flagship

Google’s latest Pixel smartphone provides a clean and smooth Android experience. It also delivers solid performance, a top-tier screen, and a distinct and refined design. If that is what you want in an Android smartphone, you should consider the Pixel 7 Pro.

Key Features

  • 6.7 inch LTPO OLED Display
  • Tensor G2 and Titan M2 Security Chip
  • Triple Camera System

  • Brand: Google
  • SoC: Google Tensor G2
  • Display: 6.7 inch LTPO Display
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 128GB-512GB
  • Battery: 5000 mAh
  • Ports: USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
  • Operating System: Android 13
  • Front camera: 10.8 Megapixel
  • Rear cameras: 50 Megapixel Wide Camera, 12 Megapixel Ultra Wide, 12 Megapixel Telephoto
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, NFC
  • Dimensions: 162.9 height x 76.6 width x 8.9 depth
  • Colors: Obsidian, Snow, Hazel
  • Display type: OLED
  • Weight: 212g (7.48oz)
  • IP Rating: IP68
  • Price: $899-$1,099
  • Micro SD card support: No

  • Great, 120Hz OLED Display
  • Latest Android Updates
  • Featured Packed Camera System
  • Exceptional Performance

  • Curved Display
  • Fingerprint Scanner can be Inconsistent

Buy This Product

The Pixel 6 line revamped Google’s flagship smartphones with a custom SoC designed by themselves, a new bold design, a capable camera system, and the choice between two display sizes. Now, the Pixel 7 Pro is Google’s flagship smartphone and offers a lot to users for an Android smartphone.

Pixel 7 Pro Design

Pixel 7 Pro Design

This year’s Pixel design is a refinement of the design introduced in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The Pixel 7 Pro features glass on the back and polished aluminum sides. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro also ditched the two-toned back of the phone and made the back glass a singular color. The camera visor has changed significantly by using aluminum for the housing.

This change also easily shows the camera cutouts, which helps make the camera visor stand out more. Even though the phone features a large display, the phone is relatively narrow, similar to phones such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This design decision can make it easier for some people to use the phone with one hand. However, some people will not be satisfied with one part of the design: the curved display. Samsung was arguably the company that made curved screens mainstream with devices such as the Galaxy Note 8, S7 Edge, and others.

Pixel 7 Pro Curved Screen

Consumers feel mixed about curved screens. Google knows this because it gave the flat screen to the regular Pixel 7 but not the Pro version, which is one of the many differences between the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Other Android smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung, do the same with its Galaxy S22 product line. The negatives about having a curved screen are that it is less comfortable to hold for some people if you don’t use a case and can cause accidental touches.

In addition, the curved screen doesn’t offer any functionality besides just … looking cool. It’s mainly aesthetic, then, but that trend has arguably died down and causes more annoyances than benefits to the user. Another nitpick about the design is the volume button placement. The buttons are on the right side of the device, right underneath the power button. You’ll find yourself accidentally pressing the power button when you meant to press the volume up button.

However, you can get used to it over time. Other than the curved display and volume button placement, the Pixel has come a long way when it comes to design. From being uninspired in the first generation, having a large display notch in the third generation, to now standing out from the crowded smartphone market with a more unique design that is more refined.

Solid Display All Around

Pixel 7 Pro in hand

The Pixel 7 Pro features a 6.7-inch OLED display. The display also offers a 120Hz refresh rate, now almost standard on high-end devices. Since it’s Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide (LTPO), the phone is able to ramp up or down the refresh rate dynamically depending on the current needs, effectively saving battery life.

In addition to 120Hz, the display features a peak brightness of 1500 nits, which is great for viewing the phone outdoors. In short, Google has given the Pixel 7 Pro an exceptional display. It offers everything you can expect from a top-tier smartphone with the latest specs for the price.

Google Tensor Gen 2

Google transitioned its smartphones to its own Tensor chips with the Pixel 6, and the Pixel 7 Pro features the second generation. The first Tensor chip focused on making advancements in AI, which later enabled features such as Live Translate and Real Tone. Google says that Tensor also prioritizes regular use cases for users.

While the Tensor line is fairly new, Tensor G2 can hold its own. The Pixel 7 Pro scored relatively close to the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor when performing benchmarking tests. The Pixel 7 Pro scored 1044 and 3148 on the single and multi-core scores, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra scored 1220 and 3348 respectively.

However, benchmark numbers are not everything. Even with this impressive performance, Tensor G2 has lower power consumption, saving battery life. On top of that, Tensor enables many improvements and additional features to phone calls, Google Assistant, and much more.

The combination of Android 13 and the Tensor chip achieves quick and snappy performance for the Pixel 7 Pro. Animations are smooth, applications open quickly, and they maintain where you left off after extended periods of time, thanks to the 12 GB of RAM. You can enjoy solid performance and unique software features with Tensor G2.

Security and Protection: Google Has Your Back

Security Settings Page on Pixel 7 Pro

Google has prioritized security with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. In fact, Google states that this year’s flagship Pixel phones are their most secure and private phones to date. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro feature a new Titan M2 security chip, which helps keep your information safe. Google states that the M2 chip achieves the same protection guidelines that are trusted by many institutions.

It also said during its Pixel event that Titan M2 “is derived from the same chip that we use to protect Google Cloud data centers, and it’s now Common Criteria certified to the highest security level possible.” In addition to the Titan M2 chip, Google is throwing in another feature for added security. Later down the road, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will offer a built-in VPN, allowing you to protect your online activity. The built-in VPN is an excellent add-on since users will not have to download a third-party app or pay for another service.

Not only does the Pixel 7 Pro offer protection online, it can also protect you in real-world situations. Installed on the Pixel 7 Pro out of the box, the Personal Safety app can help you in an emergency. One of those situations might be a car crash, and the Pixel 7 Pro can detect if you have been in one. This feature existed on Pixel phones before Apple introduced it on the iPhone 14 series.

Of course, installing the latest security patches is one of the most critical factors in keeping your smartphone protected and secure, which is why the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will get five years of security updates. Android updates are inconsistent across many manufacturers, so it’s great to see Google make a commitment to security updates. And with the threat of malware, this commitment for an Android smartphone is all that more important.

The Pixel 7 Pro offers promising security and safety features accompanied by years of security updates. Clearly, Google has put a lot of effort into security and protection for this year’s Pixel phones.

The Camera System

Pixel 7 Pro Camera System

In the past, Google’s Pixel phones have taken some of the best photos on any smartphone. The Pixel 2 and 3 were praised for the images they would produce, thanks to the combination of the camera hardware and the software behind it. Before the Pixel 6 Pro, Google didn’t offer the triple camera setup that many other smartphones offered. But that changed, and now the Pixel 7 Pro continues to offer three cameras; a wide camera, a telephoto, and an ultra-wide camera.

Pixel 7 Pro Night Photo Sample

When testing the camera system, the first thing that stood out was the quality of the low-light photos that the 7 Pro produced. The Pixel 7 Pro was able to accurately represent the color shift in the sky, while simultaneously showing the stars. Despite the low-light conditions, the Pixel 7 Pro was able to correctly capture a lot of detail, as well as the color of the apartments, and represent the red from the car’s tail light well. The photos it produces are clear, and not grainy, even in low light.

While taking photos in daylight, the Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t try to oversaturate or overcompensate colors in the photos. When comparing the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel tends to favor more realistic lighting, without blowing out the subject. Photos are sharp, and the camera system delivers proper exposure.

Pixel 7 Pro Macro Photo Sample

Google has also focused on macrophotography with its Pixel 7 lineup. Macro photos on the Pixel 7 Pro contain a lot of detail in even the smallest sections of the photo, such as the water drops on the flower in the sample photo. The Pixel 7 Pro was also able to keep the whole flower in focus and blur out most of the background.

Lastly, Google offers multiple software features that can benefit your photos. The first one is Photo Unblur, which attempts to remove blur in photos that can appear if you take the shot too quickly or if there is movement. Interestingly, Photo Unblur can even remove blur from photos that were not taken on the Pixel itself. While Photo Unblur can’t remove all the blur from a photo, it certainly can remove some of it and improve the photo’s sharpness.

Another feature that Pixel phones offer in the camera department is Magic Eraser. Magic Eraser allows you to remove unwanted background elements from your photos. For example, if you take a photo of your spouse or child and want to remove passers-by, Magic Eraser can do that. You can choose to either erase the background element or camouflage it into the background. This is best used if you want to remove an element from a solid background since it is easier to hide or remove the background element that way.

Battery Life

The battery life on the Pixel 7 Pro is surprisingly good. The phone features a big 5000 mAh battery, the same size as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. With a large battery and the efficiency of the Tensor G2 chip, the Pixel 7 Pro gets solid all-day battery life. With regular usage such as social media, watching YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, taking photos, and checking email, the Pixel 7 Pro would end the day with around 55% battery left.

This result is similar to the battery percentage at the end of the day on the iPhone 14 Pro Max with regular usage. The Pixel 7 Pro also has several battery features in the settings app. One is reverse wireless charging, allowing you to use the phone to charge devices such as other smartphones or wireless earbuds.

Google calls it Battery Share, so if you ever find yourself in a situation where, for instance, your headphones were out of battery, this feature would help. You can also take advantage of Extreme Battery Saver. According to Google, this feature can extend your battery life up to 72 hours. You would enable this in situations where you need to keep your smartphone charged for as long as possible.

The Pixel 7 Pro can get you through the day of normal usage, which is the bar that smartphones at this price point need to meet.

Android 13 and Feature Drops

Pixel 7 Pro Android 13 Settings Page

The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro come with Android 13 out of the box. Similar to Material You, Android 13 is about making your smartphone unique to you. You can customize the style of the OS by changing the color pallet in Google applications, as well as other areas of the OS, such as the Notification Center and Lock Screen. You’ll also find a new UI for media controls, which features full album art.

There’s a new playback bar in the media controls, which is consistent across multiple music applications. In addition to those changes, Android 13 also heavily focuses on privacy and security. You no longer have to share your entire media library with an app. Now you can select the specific photos or videos you want to share.

Another tweak to Android 13 that helps you stay protected is having the phone clear your clipboard if you have copied sensitive information. You will also get a notification if an app tries to access your clipboard, keeping you informed on what the app is doing.

Google also introduced Pixel Feature Drops, which will bring new features to your smartphone to increase its capability. One feature that will be coming to Pixel 7 and 7 Pro is called Clear Calling, which allows you to hear the other person on a phone call easier by using machine learning to block out certain background noises.

If you want your device to receive the most recent Android updates and features as soon as possible, you must go with a Pixel.

Should You Buy the Pixel 7 Pro?

Google arguably has been on a rocky road with its flagship Pixel line for the past few years. However, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were the start of the comeback. Now with the Pixel 7 Pro, Google is refining the Pixel and making it a true flagship competitor in the Android market. It’s certainly worth considering if you are shopping for a new smartphone.

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