Google Pixel 7 review: hard to withstand, but a little bit of a risk

Google Pixel 7

MSRP $599.00

“The Google Pixel 7’s superb camera, long battery life, and great software experience are a winning combination — and the reasonable price makes it hard to withstand.”


  • Superb camera
  • Long battery life
  • Eye-catching design
  • Vibrant screen
  • Years of software updates
  • Incredible price


  • Slow charging
  • Software bugs
  • Poor gaming performance

That you must have faith in your smartphone. I’m confident in my Google Pixel 7, because it has done almost every part I asked of it and sometimes even exceeded my expectations. Nonetheless, there’s some evidence my confidence shouldn’t be taken as proof that you just’ll be equally as comfortable and assured within the Pixel 7 you purchase. There may be a cloud hanging over this otherwise excellent smartphone, but should it affect your decision to purchase it?

Google Pixel 7 design and security

The Pixel 7 isn’t a design revolution in comparison with the Pixel 6, and that’s the very best thing that might have happened. It gives Google a cohesive, recognizable, and attractive smartphone platform on which to construct. Quite than drastically rework the form, Google has refined it, making the visor-like camera module much more of a standout design element while changing the available colours so it doesn’t look the exact same as last 12 months’s phone.

The back of the Google Pixel 7, held in a man's hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I’ve been using the usual Obsidian black version, and although I often find black phones a bit of bland, the glossy finish on the glass back looks superb when paired with the matte gray camera module. More colourful Lemongrass and Snow versions are also available. The camera cutouts are larger than before, but aren’t an eyesore. I’m not so sure in regards to the Pixel 7 Pro’s more outrageous camera module, but definitely the Pixel 7 is a modern-looking, subtly stylish, and suitably different-looking smartphone I’ve been proud to hold around.

At 8.7mm thick and 197 grams, it’s no skinny supermodel, and it feels very substantial in your hand, just like the marginally shorter but similarly weighted iPhone 14 Pro. The graceful aluminum chassis and glossy Gorilla Glass Victus rear panel may look lovely, but together they make the Pixel 7 quite slippery. It does prefer to slide around on different surfaces, and it needs a firm grip if you desire to use it with one hand.

The side of the Google Pixel 7.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

There may be one construct quality thing that bothers me. At the underside of the phone, the glass rear panel meets the chassis easily, with no obvious change while you run your finger over the join. Do the identical on the highest and the perimeters, and there’s a small lip that also varies in severity on either side of the device. It’s not an enormous problem, but when you notice it, you mostly notice it.

There’s a fingerprint sensor under the display, and identical to with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it might probably’t resolve whether it desires to be fast and reliable or slow and worsening. It’s shockingly inconsistent, and no higher than the previous version. Google’s advice of pressing the sensor for a beat longer than it’s possible you’ll expect does help it unlock more commonly, however it not at all cures the issues. When it fails (which it can), it’s essential to use the PIN code, however the button layout could be very widely spaced and almost unimaginable to press accurately when holding the phone with one hand.

The Google logo on the back of the Google Pixel 7.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

A face unlock system has been introduced, and it really works more consistently than the fingerprint sensor. But remember to flick the switch to bypass the lock screen when it sees your face. For those who don’t, you’ve gotten to either swipe the screen (which doesn’t all the time work) or press the unlock button to enter the phone — adding more unnecessary steps to the usually lengthy means of actually beginning to use the Pixel 7.

Google will need to have heard the complaints in regards to the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6, and yet despite having a 12 months to enhance it without compromising on security, it’s still worse than almost every other phone available. It’s a shame because it’s the very first thing you encounter after picking up the Pixel 7 and delighting in its excellent overall shape and design.

Google Pixel 7 camera

There are two cameras on the back of the Pixel 7, a 50-megapixel f/1.9 aperture most important camera (the identical one found on the Pixel 6) with optical image stabilization (OIS) and laser autofocus, plus a 12MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera with a modest 114-degree field-of-view. Video reaches 4K resolution at as much as 60 frames per second (fps) and it supports 10-bit HDR. On the front is a ten.8MP f/2.2 aperture selfie camera.

The Google Pixel 7's camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Pixel 7’s most important camera is wonderful, producing sharp, vibrant, balanced, and visually punchy photos in almost every situation. Point it in any direction, in any lighting situation, and there’s a really high probability it can take a photograph you’ll love. I like that I don’t should think twice about taking an image, or worry that it’s going to be less impressive than what I’m seeing with my very own eyes. Within the Pixel 7’s case, the photo can look higher than real life, attributable to the way in which it often deals with light and shadow.

There’s excellent consistency between the most important and wide-angle cameras too, while Night Sight mode pictures bring out loads of detail without sacrificing atmosphere or introducing an excessive amount of smoothing. It will probably struggle while you attempt to get too near a subject though, often telling you to maneuver back so it might probably focus higher, but when it does find the correct distance, the outcomes look excellent. The optical 2x zoom photos look decent, but can lack the colour and great exposure seen with the most important camera.

The most important disappointment is the selfie camera, which I find doesn’t all the time get skin tone right (despite Google’s efforts on this area) and may lack detail too. It’s not terrible, just inconsistent in comparison with the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s superb selfie camera and the iPhone 14 Pro’s ever-reliable front camera. The Pixel 7 doesn’t have the Pixel 7 Pro’s Super Res Zoom and only digitally zooms into an 8x level, where digital enhancement is clear.

Dig into the editing suite, and there are many options to vary your images, with many features counting on Google’s A.I., resembling the power to vary the tone and look of the sky. The brand new Unblur tool sometimes works very well, but other times either unpleasantly smooths every part out, or seems to rearrange facial expression in a reasonably terrifying way. Each the Long Exposure and Motion Pan modes seen on the Pixel 6 series return too.

It’s one among the absolute best cameras on a smartphone in the mean time, at any price.

Cinematic mode is the brand new video feature that blurs out the background around a subject. It’s only available on the rear camera and although I’ve not had many opportunities to make use of it, the effect is kind of convincing. It’s not as truly “cinematic” because the iPhone’s similar Cinematic Mode because it doesn’t have the flamboyant refocus feature. It does feel quite gimmicky and I don’t know once I’d actually use it.

The Pixel 7 will not be quite so feature-packed because the Pixel 7 Pro, however it still takes improbable photos, and I’ve found it fun to experiment with different editing suite features. The most important camera is one among the absolute best cameras on a smartphone in the mean time, at any price, and in contrast to certain other points of the phone, I actually have true confidence in its ability.

Google Pixel 7 screen, connectivity, and audio

The 6.3-inch AMOLED screen has a 90Hz refresh rate and a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, and is HDR10+ certified. There are stereo speakers on the body, and it supports 5G, Wi-Fi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.2 with AptX audio. The screen looks great and while the 90Hz refresh rate isn’t noticeably smoother than 120Hz screens I’ve used, it’s much more preferable to a 60Hz panel. Audio is barely average, with the tinny speakers getting confused and muddled with complex music.

The Google Pixel 7's screen, held in a man's hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Bluetooth works with no problem, and music through my Audio Technica ATH-M50xBT sounds improbable. Nonetheless, the phone continually shows a “Problem connecting. Turn device off and back on” message under the Bluetooth settings, despite all Bluetooth headphones I’ve used functioning appropriately. In true IT Crowd fashion, I did turn all of them on and off again, however the message persists.

While calls and network connection have been faultless, the Pixel 7’s Wi-Fi range appears to be quite short, or at the very least shorter than the iPhone 14 Pro and Google Pixel 5 which have sat alongside it over the past week. It has commonly dropped the Wi-Fi connection when the opposite two phones still show several bars of reception. I’ve also noticed covering the top-left corner of the phone can affect Wi-Fi connectivity.

Google Pixel 7 battery and charging

Given the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s barely average battery life and the news the Pixel 7 only has a 4355mAh cell inside, many shall be expecting the brand new series to be equally as disappointing. Nonetheless, there’s some excellent news as my Pixel 7 has provided robust battery life even when using it for a very long time. On days once I used the phone for every part except gaming — that features GPS use — the Pixel 7 has managed six or seven hours of usage and lasted from around 7 a.m. to late at night.

The Google Pixel 7's charging port.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Seeing because it has also been connected to my Pixel Watch during this era, and infrequently alternated between Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Pixel 7’s longevity. Hard use isn’t going to see it last past a day, but with moderate use, I can see two working days being achievable. Considering past Pixel performance and the smallish battery capability, the Pixel 7’s battery life is much better than it has any right to be. It’s also massively more efficient than the Pixel 7 Pro, based on our experience with that phone.

That is surprising as there’s not a ton of hardware differences between the 2, and the Pixel 7 Pro has a substantially larger cell inside. By rights, the 7 Pro must be the phone with great battery life, and the Pixel 7 must be nothing greater than average. As an alternative, it’s the opposite way around. Is all of it good? No. The Pixel 7 isn’t comfortable when playing games, and so they negatively affect battery life more severely than some other task. Just quarter-hour of playing a game can rob between 5% and 10% of the battery, and my worst days of battery life were all the time ones with greater than half-hour of gaming. But even my worst days with gaming have been pretty good, with a completely charged battery surviving five-and-a-half hours from early within the morning until midnight.

What about charging? You don’t get a charger within the box, however the phone supports USB Power Delivery 3.0 and is claimed to charge as much as 50% in half-hour. A full charge takes rather a lot longer than this, and using a compatible USB Type-C charger takes nearly two hours in the event you go from zero percent. This isn’t good when many other firms are introducing fast charging, resembling the OnePlus 10 Pro and the OnePlus 10T.

Google Pixel 7 software and performance

The Pixel 7 uses Google’s latest Tensor G2 processor and comes with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of internal space for storing. The chip is built using a 5nm process, so it’s not as efficient or “modern” as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 or the MediaTek Dimensity 9000, each of which use a 4nm process. Installed is Android 13, making it one among the primary phones available with the most recent version of Google’s mobile operating system.

Apps screen on the Google Pixel 7.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Editing a photo on the Google Pixel 7.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Quick Settings on the Google Pixel 7.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Running a search on the Google Pixel 7.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Seeing as Google controls each the processing and the software, you’d expect the Pixel 7 to supply a fluid experience with each hardware and software working in harmony. For probably the most part, that is what you get with the Pixel 7, at the very least in my experience. Nonetheless, since using the Pixel 7, I’ve compared notes with Digital Trends’ Mobile Editor Joe Maring (who has been using the Pixel 7 Pro). His experience has been very different from mine, and that is where my insecurity in a uniform experience across Pixel 7 devices starts to creep in.

For me, the Pixel 7 has been reliable, fast, and nice to make use of. Android 13’s design isn’t that different from Android 12, and it really looks superb with big, friendly, well-designed icons and menus that make sense (plus loads of cleverly implemented customization options). Interacting with notifications within the pull-down shade is straightforward due to the big cards and clear buttons, although there’s not much you possibly can do with them from the lock screen. Search is quick, and all my nongaming apps have worked without issue.

The side of the Google Pixel 7.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

This is kind of different from how Android 13 performed on Joe’s Pixel 7 Pro, and this will mean your individual experience will differ as well — and this doesn’t encourage confidence. It hasn’t been perfect on my phone either, however the annoyances are minor. Scrolling through Google Discover and Twitter might be quite “muddy” and never as smooth as using powerful phones just like the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or the iPhone 14 Pro. And the YouTube app does have some occasional audio problems. Nonetheless, games appear to flummox the Pixel 7 excess of anything.

I’m not an enormous games player, but crashes are regular in Asphalt 9: Legends, and it has had issues connecting to the server and a few odd auto-pauses too, which I’ve never seen before. While the phone never gets hot for me, it’s quite warm to the touch across the camera sensor after playing games for half-hour. Judging by the heat and the quantity of battery power the phone pulls when playing games, it seems some optimization is required on the gaming front. I can cope with these problems because I don’t play games that always, but when gaming is a significant a part of your phone use, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will not be the very best selection.

Google Photos displayed on the Google Pixel 7.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Software support from Google is superb, and the Pixel 7 will receive the most recent version of Android for several years, and in addition get security updates for five years. Mix this with the sturdiness provided by an IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating, and the Pixel 7 should offer loads of longevity.

Google Pixel 7 price and availability

The Google Pixel 7 costs $599 for the 128GB model or $699 for the 256GB version. There isn’t a MicroSD card slot, so select the quantity of internal storage properly. Within the U.K. the Pixel 7 costs 599 British kilos and 699 kilos, respectively.

Around the identical price are the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone 14, and each are excellent decisions. Barely more left field is the Motorola Edge (2022), which galvanized us recently. What’s more interesting is you can too buy some excellent phones for lower than the Pixel 7. The Google Pixel 6a is a wonderful example of a phone that gives an incredible deal of what makes the Pixel 7 desirable, only for less money. Within the U.K., the Nothing Phone 1 can be worthy of consideration with its clean software and unique design.

Within the Google Pixel 7, confidence is every part

I’m very comfortable to recommend my Pixel 7 to anyone wanting a within your means smartphone with an incredible camera, excellent software, and for probably the most part, long battery life. Notice I said “my” Pixel 7? It’s because I’m not absolutely sure everyone could have the identical experience with the Pixel that arrives on their doorstep. Joe’s experience with the Pixel 7 Pro could be very different from mine with the Pixel 7, and other reviews online also highlight issues I actually have not faced in any respect.

I don’t lack confidence in MY Pixel 7, but I do lack confidence within the Pixel 7 as a complete — it’s rare to see and listen to differing opinions and experiences a couple of latest device, and that sounds alarm bells. The identical inconsistency happened with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, making it doubly frustrating. I need to let you know to purchase this phone with confidence, but I can only achieve this with that slight caveat for now.

The Pixel 7 has a number of problems, most notably the troubling gaming performance and slow charging, but neither of those blight the phone horribly. It’s an incredible smartphone, and although not an enormous upgrade over the Pixel 6, the value makes it highly desirable, considering the camera’s ability and the standard software installed. It’s just that I’m not absolutely convinced the Pixel 7 you’ll get shall be an identical to mine. Is it definitely worth the risk? Sure, just make a remark of Google’s 15-day return guidelines in case it’s a lemon.

(To search out our thoughts on the larger and costlier Pixel 7 model, see our Google Pixel 7 Pro review.)

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