Google Pixel 7 Pro


The front of the Pixel 7 ProThe front of the Pixel 7 Pro

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is a strong value proposition compared to other big smartphone releases in 2022. It has a great camera, a smooth screen and a suite of software features that’ll make switching hard.

Pros

  • Excellent camera and loads of clever camera tricks
  • The best version of Android on the market
  • Priced well for the European market
Cons

  • Charging could, and should, be faster
  • Very glossy finish and some odd design elements
  • Not a huge upgrade on the Pixel 6 Pro
Availability

  • UKRRP: £849
  • USARRP: $899
  • EuropeRRP: €899
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$1298.99
Key Features
  • Three great rear camerasStrong sensors and Google’s excellent processing make this a great camera phone
  • Smart chipsetThe Tensor G2 chip powers a lot of the clever AI elements

Introduction

They might not sell as many units as the competition from Apple and Samsung, but Google’s line of Pixel phones has always been an excellent choice for those who value camera prowess and software skills over pure performance. The Pixel 7 Pro continues that theme.

2022 hasn’t been a vintage year for revolutionary phone updates, with the iPhone 14 series and the Samsung Galaxy S22 line only receiving minor updates from their previous versions.

It’s a similar story with the Pixel 7 Pro and its cheaper, smaller Pixel 7 sibling. You have to really go searching for the new features here.

Thankfully, with the Pixel 6 Pro already being a great device, the Pixel 7 Pro remains one of the best Android phones on the market – here’s why.

Screen and Design

  • Three colour options
  • Bright, crisp 6.7-inch slightly curved display
  • Ergonomic build, even at this size

Google made a bold change with its Pixel 6 series, ditching the fairly non-descript designs of the series past and replacing them with something a whole lot more fun and interesting. The switch melded well with the Material You changes within Android 12, as the hardware now matched the fluid feel of the software.

After such a big change last year, the Pixel 7 Pro is more of a revision of that formula rather than a drastic step forward. It’s a very curvy phone, and one that feels very nice and comfortable to hold even though it’s taller than an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The back of the Pixel 7 ProImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The standout design trait is the camera visor, or Camera Bar as Google calls it, which runs side-to-side and covers the three camera sensors on the back. This now contrasts with the colour of the phone’s very glossy back, with my Obsidian review unit having an overall black colour scheme and a shiny silver visor. It looks nice, and this darker black colour is far nicer than the option offered with the Pixel 6 series, which felt more grey.

As my colleague Peter Phelps noted in his Pixel 7 review, the Camera Bar is a shelf for dust and debris. Stuff just gets caught in there throughout the day and it can be a pain to consistently wipe it clean. I think most people will just slip on a case and forget about it, though.

Alongside Obsidian there’s a silver option and another called Hazel, this is the standout of the bunch for me with gold accents and a grey-tinged back. Google also said the 7 Pro is made from around 19% recycled materials.

The Pixel 7 Pro has an IP68 rating for protection from water and dust, a USB-C port on the bottom for charging and an in-display fingerprint sensor that, unlike the version used on the Pixel 6 Pro, actually works well. Google has also added face unlock – this remains software-based, without any of the skills of the iPhone’s Face ID – which is a welcome addition for even quicker unlocks.

The big upgrade for the display is the higher peak brightness. The 6.7-inch panel is brighter both for playing back HDR footage and when you’re in direct sunlight. I played back some HDR footage through Netflix and the picture is good, though not on par, at least to my eyes, with the iPhone 14 Pro. Apple’s flagship phone still manages to get that little bit extra brightness in certain scenes and depicts a more immersive image. Of course, no one buys a phone purely for its HDR reproduction and the Pixel 7 Pro still does an admirable job.

The front of the Pixel 7 ProImage Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The rest of the screen remains very much the same as the Pixel 6 Pro – which is no bad thing. Google’s Smooth Display is similar to Apple’s ProMotion, allowing the screen to adaptively alter its refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. 

For intensive gaming or smooth scrolling, it can ramp up to 120Hz, dropping to 10Hz for simpler tasks. It can’t drop all the way to 1Hz for its always-on display, a feature you’ll find on the iPhone.

The 1440p 6.7-inch OLED panel is very slightly curved on the edges, though not to an annoying amount. Actually, the slight curves make the phone easier to hold than the sharp iPhone 14, especially in these bigger sizes. For the smaller Pixel 7, I am glad Google went with the flatter panel.

Camera

  • Three rear cameras, all capable of great shots
  • Excellent low-light performance
  • Lots of clever AI modes and settings

The Pixel line has produced some of my favourite smartphone cameras since its inception. It has not always been the best overall, but there’s something about the processing of images and Google’s focus on punchy, contrast-heavy shots with wonderful colour reproduction that I enjoy a lot.

It’s hard to choose between the Pixel 7 Pro, the iPhone 14 and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra when it comes to determining the best camera phones as they all take an exceptional picture.

The Pixel 7 Pro retains a similar setup to the Pixel 6 Pro, with only a smattering of hardware changes. There are three cameras on the back: a 50-megapixel wide with an f/1.9 lens, 48-megapixel 120mm telephoto (up from 104mm) and a slightly wider 120-degree 12MP ultrawide. There’s also a 10-megapixel front camera that captures good selfies.

I’ve been shooting with the Pixel 7 Pro for a week, taking hundreds of photos and my love for the style of Pixel images remains. Shots are full of detail, dynamic range and rich, contrast-heavy colour. Reds and greens in daylight photos pop both on the phone’s display and an LCD laptop screen, while the exposure levels are always good.

Pixel 7 Pro sample image daylightThe camera pulls out serious amounts of detail

If you want to tweak your photos in Lightroom or VSCO endlessly, you’ll get better results with the iPhone 14 Pro. Whereas I often felt the shots from the Pixel 7 Pro were good enough just with Google’s clever processing.

A real strength of the Pixel 6 Pro was the reproduction of skin tones, and again the Pixel 7 Pro is the best phone on the market for this. Google’s Real Tone feature helps this no doubt, better representing a diverse range of skin tones and colours.

Google kicked off the recent trend of night photography with its Night Sight mode and while the Pixel 7 Pro isn’t out in front in all instances of low-light performance, it’s still very good. It’s a lot quicker at shooting good photos at night, and while I often preferred the iPhone 14 Pro’s results, the Pixel is a little more reliable if you don’t have time to set up your shots.

Pixel 7 Pro sample image nightNight Sight brings a lot of brightness into the shot. This was taken in a far darker room than it might seem. And detail is retained.Go to Source