Google Pixel 7 Pro review: amazing camera, unreliable smartphone

Google Pixel 7 Pro

MSRP $899.00

“The Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t fully address the shortcomings of its predecessor, however it is one other Google flagship with a daring design and excellent cameras.”


  • Daring, striking design
  • Gorgeous 120Hz screen
  • Face unlock works well
  • Fast and powerful performance
  • Top-tier camera system
  • Pixel features are unmatched


  • Poor fingerprint sensor
  • Tensor G2 runs hot
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Countless software bugs

Like a latest release from Samsung or Apple, Google’s Pixel family has change into an expected quantity through the second half of the yr. Once the leaves start turning and the weather begins cooling, it’s a sure sign a latest Pixel is on the way in which. This yr, Google’s latest releases take the form of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

The Pixel 7 Pro, particularly, is where Google gets to essentially shine within the highlight and show the world its vision for a flagship smartphone. In quite a lot of ways, the Pixel 7 Pro feels almost an identical to its predecessor. It touts a daring design, incredible cameras, and software features that no other manufacturer can match. However the Pixel 7 Pro also retains lots of the Pixel 6 Pro‘s shortcomings — from lackluster battery life to rampant bugs. The Pixel 7 Pro proves that the Pixel 6 Pro’s foundation remains to be really strong a yr later. But with lots of the same issues creeping up yet again, it also has me frightened that Google doesn’t know what else to construct on top of that foundation.

Google Pixel 7 Pro design

Someone holding the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Google introduced a daring latest design language last yr with the Pixel 6 family, ushering in two-tone colours and the now-iconic camera bar. It took the Pixel from mediocre to exciting, and it’s a big gamble that paid off in spades. Thankfully, the Pixel 7 Pro keeps the identical excellent footprint left by the Pixel 6 Pro — plus a couple of tweaks to make it higher than ever.

The camera bar remains to be there on the back of the phone, though it’s now housed in a chrome steel casing as an alternative of glass. I personally quite just like the latest look. The camera bar stays distinct and recognizable, and the pronounced cutouts for the person sensors add more visual flair.

Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

I also really adore the Hazel color my Pixel 7 Pro review unit got here in. The dark green glass back combined with the gold chrome steel frame creates one among the more unique-looking handsets I’ve seen all yr. I do miss the subtle two-tone design offered on the Pixel 6 Pro — and I wish Google had more colours to pick from (your only other options are Obsidian and Snow, aka black and white) — but that is certainly a really handsome gadget.

Top frame of the Pixel 7 Pro.The mmWave window is way smaller this yr Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Moreover, I appreciate the stronger attention to detail on the Pixel 7 Pro. The Pixel 6 Pro shipped with a gaudy plastic strip on its top frame to support mmWave 5G. The Pixel 7 Pro still has a plastic mmWave cutout, however it’s much smaller and painted to mix in with the remaining of the frame. Google also scaled back the intensity of the curved screen (more on that below), it doesn’t feel nearly as top-heavy, and the entire package is lighter/thinner — allowing for a significantly better in-hand feel.

The Pixel 7 Pro is one among the more unique-looking handsets I’ve seen all yr.

But not every design decision is an important one. Google decided to lower the location of the facility button and volume rocker further down the side frame. It’s not a drastic change, however it does mean that Pixel 6 cases won’t work with the Pixel 7. More annoyingly, it means the volume-down button is just low enough that it often feels awkward to press without performing some slight hand gymnastics.

Pixel 7 Pro screen

The Pixel 7 Pro with its display turned on, showing the home screen.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Taking over the front of the Pixel 7 Pro is a 6.7-inch OLED display. It brings a 3120 x 1440 resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and peak brightness as much as 1,500 nits (just shy of the two,000 nits offered on the iPhone 14 Pro). It’s also covered in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, ensuring it’s well-protected against cracks and scratches.

The display was one among my favorite qualities of the Pixel 6 Pro, and the Pixel 7 Pro isn’t any different. With vivid colours, sharp text, and great viewing angles, this can be a screen I’m pleased to take a look at for enjoying games, watching movies, etc. The 120Hz refresh rate has also felt excellent during my use, making the whole lot on the Pixel 7 Pro feel as smooth as may be.

All of that is made even higher with the brand new shape of the Pixel 7 Pro’s screen. The Pixel 6 Pro’s display had very drastically curved edges, often leading to accidental touches and making it nigh not possible to use a screen protector. The Pixel 7 Pro does still have curved edges around its screen, but they’re much less noticeable than before. I’d personally prefer Google to make use of an all-flat design because it does on the regular Pixel 7, but that is step forward.

Pixel 7 Pro face unlock and fingerprint sensor

Front-facing camera on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Face unlock was long rumored to be available on the Pixel 6 Pro, but that was a dream which never got here to fruition. The Pixel 7 Pro finally brings face unlock back to Pixel phones, and while it’s good, it’s not the way you remember it from the Pixel 4.

Face unlock on the Pixel 7 Pro works similar to face unlock on a OnePlus or Samsung phone. It means that you can easily bypass the lock screen… but that’s it. If you would like to access a locked app, approve a Google Pay purchase, or the rest, you’ll need to make use of the Pixel 7 Pro’s in-screen fingerprint sensor.

In-screen fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The excellent news? Face unlock has worked rather well for me. I press the facility button to wake the screen, swipe up, and face unlock allows me to go right to my home screen. It’s fast and gets the job done.

The bad news? The fingerprint sensor doesn’t appear to have improved much in any respect. Sometimes, it registers my fingerprint just effective and works on the primary try. But when it does work, it often takes a beat longer than I’d prefer it to. And when it doesn’t work, I often need to try a second or a 3rd time before it properly scans my finger. It’s not a deal-breaker, however it’s also not particularly great.

Pixel 7 Pro cameras

The camera bar on the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

It wouldn’t be a Google Pixel review with out a discussion in regards to the cameras, so let’s get right to it.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is provided with a 50MP primary camera with an f/1.85 aperture and laser detect autofocus. The primary camera is joined by a 12MP ultrawide camera with nearly a 126-degree field-of-view, plus a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and as much as 30x with Google’s Super Res Zoom. You furthermore mght get a ten.8 MP selfie camera on the front.

Photos from the Pixel 7 Pro look incredible — similar to they did on the Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 7 Pro produces beautiful colours in all types of lighting conditions, captures incredible detail, and makes getting stunning pictures so incredibly effortless. Just open the camera app, tap the shutter button, and Google’s top-tier image processing gives you a beautiful image.

Photos from the Pixel 7 Pro look incredible.

If I had to search out a bone to choose with the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera, it’s that images can sometimes look a little too saturated and Google’s HDR tends to be heavy-handed at times — preferring to take out shadows and really brighten a scene as much as possible. But these aren’t outright bad qualities in any respect. If you happen to desire a phone camera that may effortlessly produce unbelievable, eye-catching pictures with ease, the Pixel 7 Pro does so without breaking a sweat.

However it’s not only the primary camera that makes the Pixel 7 Pro such a robust photography beast. Google upped its telephoto game in an enormous way this yr, and it shows. The Pixel 7 Pro’s camera app now has two shortcuts for quickly jumping to 2x and 5x zoom — the previous cropping in on the primary sensor, with the latter shifting to the dedicated telephoto camera. You can too keep zooming as much as 30x if you happen to want — getting you very, very near your subject.

How do those zoomed shots look? Surprisingly, very nice! I’ve been particularly impressed with the 5x zoom. It’s a much tighter shot than a non-zoomed photo, and also you get that much closer to your subject while retaining a wonderful amount of detail. Even shots at 15x look great, supplying you with a clean and crisp image that’s greater than worthy of sharing on social media. Things begin to appear like a watercolor painting at 30x, but regardless, it’s nice having the sheer flexibility to achieve this — something the iPhone 14 Pro just doesn’t offer.

Photo of a bridge in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro primary camera Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Photo of a bridge in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro ultrawide camera Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Photo of a skyscraper in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro primary camera Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Photo of a skyscraper in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro ultrawide camera Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The ultrawide camera can be excellent! It captures very similar colours to the primary camera, and the additional field-of-view adds quite a lot of extra context to your shots. No complaints here in any respect.

Macro photo of sand, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus photo Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Macro photo of a flower, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Macro photo of a concrete wall, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus photo Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Macro photo of a plant, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro Macro Focus photo Joe Maring/Digital Trends

However the ultrawide camera is really impressive with its latest Macro Focus shooting mode. Just like the iPhone 14 Pro, getting close enough to a subject routinely switches to the ultrawide camera for a macro image — and the outcomes are great. From individual grains of sand to getting up close with a flower, the Pixel 7 Pro does an incredible job here. As long as you possibly can look past the distortion around the sides of those shots, they’re a ton of fun to capture.

Selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The selfie camera is the one area where the Pixel 7 Pro has upset me. It looks effective, but nothing about it is especially noteworthy. The fixed focus means you frequently find yourself with soft details in spots, and there’s no opportunity for any natural bokeh. Coming from the iPhone 14 and its excellent selfie camera, the Pixel 7 Pro could have done quite a bit more here.

Pixel 7 Pro software and features

App drawer on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Android 13 is obtainable on the Pixel 7 Pro out of the box and is backed by three years of major OS updates (plus five years of security updates). Given how similar Android 13 is to Android 12, the Android experience on the Pixel 7 Pro is virtually an identical to what the Pixel 6 Pro looked like at launch.

Google’s Material You theme engine allows for excellent customization, Quick Settings buttons are daring and colourful, and the built-in Privacy Dashboard makes it easy to quickly see how different apps are using your phone’s various sensors. There are subtle tweaks to the things just like the now playing widget and Google Search interface, but if you happen to’ve used a Pixel within the last yr or so, you’ll be right at home with the Pixel 7 Pro.

While Pixels are great for his or her “stock” Android interface, the actual magic of a Pixel lies in the assorted AI features enabled by Google’s Tensor chip. All of those features that were present on the Pixel 6 Pro return to the Pixel 7 Pro. Wish to remove unwanted people or objects out of your photos? Magic Eraser enables you to achieve this with just a few taps. Waiting on a phone call for a customer support agent to confer with you? Have the Google Assistant hold your spot in line for you. It’s these little, quality-of-life features that make the Google Pixel experience so magical — and arguably one of the best thing the Pixel series has going for it in 2022.

Photo Unblur feature on the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Along with all of last yr’s Pixel goodies, the Pixel 7 Pro introduces a couple of latest tricks too. One in all the hallmark additions is Photo Unblur. If you happen to open Google Photos, find any picture, and start editing it, you’ll see a latest “Unblur” button that retroactively removes blur and noise out of your photos. Google’s examples of the feature make it look quite impressive, but in practice, it’s been fairly disappointing.

For all of the images I’ve tried editing with Photo Unblur (older family photos, like how Google marketed the feature), the outcomes are either barely noticeable or horribly artificial-looking — adding an unpleasant amount of sharpening, and even distorting faces in some images. That’s to not say Photo Unblur can’t be helpful for photos, but a minimum of in my experience, it’s left quite a bit to be desired. Google has also teased Clear Calling as a strategy to improve hard-to-hear phone calls, plus the Recorder app will have the ability to record a conversation with multiple people and separate each speaker. Nonetheless, these features aren’t coming until later this yr.

Pixel 7 Pro bugs

A Quick Settings bug on the Pixel 7 Pro.I can’t let you know how persistently I’ve seen this … Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Yes — a dedicated section simply to talk bout bugs. I didn’t anticipate doing this once I began testing the Pixel 7 Pro, but after using the phone, it really left me no alternative.

Simply put, the Google Pixel 7 Pro is one among the buggiest and glitchiest smartphones I’ve utilized in some time. Bugs continuously repeat themselves, latest ones usually pop up, they usually’ve legitimately impacted how I can use the 7 Pro as my each day smartphone. Here’s a fast rundown of what I’ve needed to cope with:

  • While playing a game, swiping as much as go home zooms in on the sport and requires multiple swipes to truly go home.
  • Opening a game sometimes shows nothing but a black screen.
  • Going back to the house screen from a full-screen app or game usually messes up the formatting for the Quick Settings panel (this has happened 10+ times and requires restarting the 7 Pro to repair).
  • YouTube videos occasionally play the video with no audio, or audio with a black screen.
  • A bizarre shadow appeared over my home screen and app drawer after leaving Twitter, and wouldn’t go away until I restarted the phone.

My each day routine with the Pixel 7 Pro has seen me restarting it a minimum of two to 3 times per day simply to filter these bugs. I’ve spoken with colleagues who haven’t experienced these problems on their review units, but buggy software isn’t anything latest for Google. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro ran perfectly effective for some people, while others saw their phones plagued with relentless software issues.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is one among the buggiest and glitchiest smartphones I’ve utilized in some time.

Could these problems be fixed in the long run with software updates? Probably! But last yr proved that Google has an issue with buggy software, and a yr later, it looks as if that hasn’t modified with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 Pro performance

Render of Google's Tensor G2 chip.Google

Under the hood of the Pixel 7 Pro is Tensor G2 — the second generation of Google’s in-house chipset. Google claims that Tensor G2 is 60% faster than the primary Tensor chip contained in the Pixel 6 Pro, along with being 20% more power efficient.

In day-to-day use, I’m undecided I actually notice any significant speed difference with the Pixel 7 Pro in comparison with the Pixel 6 Pro. But that’s not a nasty thing. The Pixel 6 Pro at all times felt fast and conscious of me, and the Pixel 7 Pro isn’t any different in that regard. Tap on an app, and it opens immediately so that you can use. Scroll through an internet site or Instagram, and it movies with near-perfect fluidity. Even games like Call of Duty: Mobile — with graphics set to very high and frame rate set to max — run beautifully.

But whether you’re juggling a couple of different apps or playing your favorite mobile game, it doesn’t take long for all of that power inside Tensor G2 to heat up. Like other Tensor-powered phones before it, the Pixel 7 Pro runs hot. Play a game like CoD: Mobile for just 20 minutes, and the Pixel 7 Pro becomes noticeably warm to the touch. Play for half-hour, and it’s almost alarmingly warm. The Pixel 7 Pro is cool as a cucumber when it’s sitting idle or running a single app. Ask more of the phone, though, and don’t be surprised when it turns right into a hand warmer.

Pixel 7 Pro battery life

Battery settings page on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Battery life was one among the larger pain points on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The phones just didn’t last very long, creating battery anxiety even with moderate use. Does the Pixel 7 Pro make things higher?

Based on my time with the phone up to now, not exactly. My first full day with the Pixel 7 Pro began at 9:00 am and ended at 11:11 pm. Following just 3 hours and 38 minutes of screen time — including 45 minutes of Call of Duty: Mobile, half-hour of streaming YouTube, and regular use of Twitter, Duolingo, Telegram, etc. — I used to be all the way down to 11%.

A few days later, I had an identical day starting at 9:00 am and ending at 11:00 pm. After streaming Twitch for over an hour, watching YouTube for 50 minutes, and about 20 minutes of gaming, I clocked in 3 hours and 33 minutes of screen time with 37% battery still left. It must be noted that today was spent almost entirely on Wi-Fi, while the day past saw the Pixel 7 Pro on a 5G connection for a big portion of the day.

I’ve noticed that the Pixel 7 Pro’s battery drain on standby is definitely quite good. However the minute you begin using multiple apps, playing games, or the rest that calls upon Tensor G2 to truly work, endurance quickly dwindles.

Is that this horrible battery life? No. However it’s not particularly good, either. The Pixel 7 Pro may be very much proving to be a one-day smartphone at best, and for a tool with a 6.7-inch screen and 5000 mAh battery, that’s really disappointing.

Google Pixel 7 Pro price and availability

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is obtainable to purchase immediately. It starts at $899 for the bottom model with 128GB of storage. Moreover, you possibly can get the 256GB or 512GB model for $999 or $1,099, respectively.

Within the U.S., the Pixel 7 Pro is obtainable from the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

The Pixel 7 Pro keeps what works, and what didn’t

Holding the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Pixel 7 Pro has proven to be a really frustrating smartphone. There’s a lot I actually love about it. The design is best than ever, the display looks unbelievable, the cameras are outstanding, and Google’s smart software features make the Pixel truly stand out from the whole lot else available on the market.

But to get those things, you must be OK with mediocre battery life, a phone that warms up very easily, a nasty fingerprint sensor, and potentially an onslaught of bugs. It becomes a difficult advice for a phone that starts at $899. And that’s much more true when you think about the Pixel 7 Pro’s competitors. If you happen to want the newest and best Pixel experience, the $599 Pixel 7 is arguably a significantly better purchase — as long as you possibly can live without the telephoto camera and 120Hz screen. You possibly can save even extra cash and get a similarly great handset with the Pixel 6a. And if it’s an enormous smartphone with a sturdy camera system you’re after, I’m inclined to first recommend the Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 14 Pro Max.

I don’t think the Pixel 7 Pro is a failure or an outright terrible smartphone. It keeps the entire things that made the Pixel 6 Pro so excellent, they usually shine just as vivid here. But Google had clear problems that needed to be addressed — from poor thermals, disappointing battery life, and unreliable software. So far as I can tell, none of those things were addressed the way in which they needed to be. There’s a foundation for an important smartphone with the Pixel 7 Pro, but until Google can get the entire rubble off of it, it’s not one I’m going to rush out and recommend.

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