Pixel 7 Pro review: An upgrade to Google’s best flagship phone


The $899 Pixel 7 Pro feels like a 6 Pro, but it’s great.

The $899 (£849, AU$1,299) Pixel 7 Pro has few updates from last year’s Pixel 6 Pro, as it doesn’t need a major makeover. The Pixel 6 Pro received my 2021 CNET Editors’ Choice award for its stunning design, Tensor-powered performance, and amazing cameras.

Instead of completely redesigning the 6 Pro, Google made incremental improvements to the 7 Pro.

It has better cameras, extra tricks and a prettier design. Google’s Tensor G2 chip is included. The $599 Pixel 7 emphasizes evolution over revolution. It’s a minor step, so Pixel 6 Pro owners don’t have to upgrade.

If you have a Pixel phone from before 2020, you’ll love the Pixel 7 Pro. It’s powerful enough for intense gaming, and the Android 13 software is smooth and pleasant to use.

And it undercuts Apple and Samsung, especially the $999 iPhone 14 Pro and $1,199 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Pixel Pro isn’t cheap, but it’s a great alternative if you want cutting-edge mobile technology.

Fine adjustments create a beautiful design on the Pixel 7 Pro

The design of the 6 Pro has been refined. Google kept the phone’s signature camera band. It’s now a recycled aluminum band that blends in with the phone’s metal, giving it a more luxurious aesthetic.

The back is glass and the front is still curved. But if I nitpick, the curved display and metal frame don’t blend seamlessly. Noticeable on hold, but does that matter? No.

It’s water and dust resistant, so spilled drinks are fine. In the short time I’ve used it, there are a few small scratches on its surface that may get worse over time. is it a problem It can develop a patina, like old brass instruments, which improves its appearance.

The 6.7-inch display has the same resolution as the 6 Pro. It’s sharp, bright enough to see outside, and has bright, vibrant colors that work well for YouTube videos without being oversaturated or unnatural. You can use “Natural” to tone it down.

It’s a huge phone, perfect for big-screen gaming or watching movies on the go. People with smaller hands or those who prefer smaller phones may find it cumbersome, especially with one hand. The Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch display, but no telescoping camera. Also…

Pixel 7 Pro: Superb cameras with welcome upgrades

I’m glad to see that Google hasn’t lost touch with smartphone cameras with the Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 7 Pro’s 50-megapixel primary camera captures great photos with vivid colors. It is paired with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens.

It captured bright blue skies and plenty of detail during my test photo walks in October Leith, Scotland.

Optical telephoto zoom is now 5x. It might not seem like much, but the increased zoom helps you crop tighter and find more charming compositions than your iPhone 14 Pro-using colleagues.

The telephoto zoom lens has the same dynamic range and color shift as the prime lens. The 48 megapixel resolution produces clear photos and allows for digital zoom. I enjoy the telephoto zoom as it’s a good compromise between the iPhone’s 3x zoom and the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x zoom.

Moving to an ultrawide allows you to pack significantly more into your image, and I’m amazed that there’s almost no noticeable color shift between the lenses, with the deep blues of the sky and the warm tones of Leith looking almost comparable.

The telephoto zoom lens has the same dynamic range and color shift as the prime lens. The 48 megapixel resolution produces clear photos and allows for digital zoom. I enjoy the telephoto zoom as it’s a good compromise between the iPhone’s 3x zoom and the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x zoom.

Moving to an ultrawide allows you to pack significantly more into your image, and I’m amazed that there’s almost no noticeable color shift between the lenses, with the deep blues of the sky and the warm tones of Leith looking almost comparable.

A new autofocus on the ultra-wide lens enables macro photography. You can focus within a few inches, allowing you to get close to bugs or flowers. When it detects a close subject, it switches to macro mode and quickly focuses. It gives the same quality as a standard wide angle lens. This isn’t a must-have feature for most people, but it’s great when a cool bug passes by and you want a close-up image for Instagram.

The night vision setting can take 6 second exposures to capture a lot of light at night. Night shots are bright and sharp, but street lights can cause glare and spoil the look. The Pixel 7 Pro’s nighttime images are brighter and sharper than Samsung’s S22 Ultra, but the iPhone 14 Pro’s are brighter.

Google has also updated its Real Tone algorithm to better capture darker skin tones. My colleague Lisa Eadicicco tested this in CNET’s Pixel 7 review by taking images with the Pixel 7, iPhone 14, and Galaxy S22, then asking the people in the photos to pick their favorites. Audio cues allow blind and visually impaired people to take selfies with a directional frame. The Photo Unblur tool sharpens blurry or out-of-focus photos.

I tried it on a few older photos from my library and the change is obvious, with several photos having improved definition. However, this did not seem so important to others. No amount of software tweaking will save a blurry image.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s camera is great for serious and casual photographers alike. The 7 Pro’s zoom is one of the biggest improvements over the standard Pixel 7, along with the macro feature. To me, that’s reason enough to spend the extra, but you’ll have to figure out for yourself how much priority zoom is in your photography.

The Pixel 7 Pro has solid performance and sleek software

Google’s Tensor G2 processor powers the phone. Google’s decision to design its own processor from scratch was bold, but it doesn’t make much difference in everyday use. The Pixel 7 Pro is a powerful Android phone.

Fast UI navigation without lag. High-definition videos stream smoothly, switching between open apps is a snap, and demanding games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Genshin Impact play at high settings without any apparent issues. Google says the new processor boosts the phone’s behind-the-scenes performance.

Google says the processor is better at AI features, including speech recognition, face unlock, object recognition in images, and background noise reduction during calls.

It runs on Android 13, which I like for its clean interface. No bloatware or pre-installed apps make it feel streamlined. As with Android 12, you can change all system fonts to match your home screen image. Google’s You allows you to personalize your phone.

What is wrong with this phone? Poor battery life. The 7 Pro’s battery dropped from full to 95% after an hour of Wi-Fi YouTube streaming at maximum brightness. The Pixel 7 dropped to 97%, while the Pixel 6 Pro and 6A dropped to 98%. The 7 Pro dropped to 87% after an hour and 80% after 3 hours, below the Pixel 7’s 83%.

Bad battery? it’s not good It’s subpar. It can handle a mixed day. Like most phones, it needs a full charge before going to bed. If maximizing battery life is vital, consider phone battery life.

Pixel 7 Pro: Bottom row

The Pixel 7 Pro may not have the same glamor as last year’s Pixel 6 Pro, but it still delivers plenty of improvements to make a great phone. The $300 premium the Pro carries over the $599 Pixel 7 is reflected well by the phone’s 48-megapixel telephoto camera, along with the same, larger screen carried over from the 6 Pro.

There’s little else I don’t like about this phone, but it’s worth noting that a few Tensor-specific features are shared with the cheaper phone. The exclusive hardware features of the 7 Pro make it a worthy “flagship” alongside Apple and Samsung.

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