The new Google Pixel 7 series comes with all the interesting quirks and features you’d expect from a new smartphone in 2022 but the Pixel 7 Pro took it a step further allowing it to sit in the same position as other top-tier smartphones in 2022 among which is the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and the Xiaomi 12s Ultra.
Being a new device, it came with new spec upgrades over the previous model in every area of the device.
The camera is better now and offers performance improvements over the previous thanks to the second generation of the Tensor G2 chipset.
Although some users think the design of the device is sleeker than the previous one, I think the Pixel 7 Pro’s design aesthetics are quite basic but Google is known for its minimalistic design aesthetics.
Still priced in the same range as the previous model, the Pixel 7 Pro takes AI processing to the next level and its photo processing capacity is also well-improved over the previous model.
But if you’re wondering what sets the device apart from the rest on the market or why you should get one, below are some important things you should take into consideration.
So without any further ado, behold the Google Pixel 7 Pro in all its glory.
The hardware of the Pixel 7 Pro
- Measures about 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm
- Made with glass (front and back) and aluminum frame
- IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Since the previous model, one can say Google has finally nailed the design of the Pixel smartphone series considering the fact that the device has gone through a number of design errors in the past – especially, the Pixel 3XL. It was ugly.
Google made some subtle tweaks to the device’s hardware which made it appear quite similar to the previous model.
However, the triple color back of the previous Pixel 6 Pro is no longer available on this one as it’s being substituted for just two. The whole body has one color while the camera rim has a different one.
Speaking of colors, the Pixel 7 Pro comes in three color options, namely: Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel.
The display of the device is about 6.7-inch – if measured diagonally and it sports the hole-punch camera cut-out which is prevalent on all Android smartphones in 2022.
The display is also slightly curved around the sides to give it the Galaxy S22 Ultra-ish look and feel.
The device is also quite boxy rather than rounded like others.
On the right side of the device are the volume keys and the power buttons all of which are positioned to a lower part of the side.
I find this a bit obstructive because of accidental touches especially when the device is held in one hand. I think it’s a matter of time before you get used to the position of the buttons.
Away from the side and to the top and the bottom of the smartphone, you’ll find the USB-C port, SIM card tray, and speaker grilles of the device.
Apart from all these, there isn’t so much to look around for. And if you’re like me, you’ll wrap the device up in a bumper case anyway so none of the body will really matter except for the display.
Display of Pixel 7 Pro
- 6.7-inch AMOLED LTPO display (Always-on display)
- 1500 nits of peak brightness
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~512 PPI density)
Being a premium smartphone means that the device sports great display hardware which can also be further enhanced using software to change the temperature or the color’s vibrance.
Just as highlighted above, the Pixel 7 Pro sports a big 6.7-inch AMOLED panel that is based on the LTPO technology.
With this, you can expect the always-on display functionality on the device even though Apple seems to have beaten Android in the Always-on display game but that’s a story for another time.
The display also has a 120Hz refresh rate that can scale down to about 10Hz depending on what is being displayed in order to conserve the device’s battery life to the maximum.
The peak brightness of the Pixel 7 Pro is 1500 nits and it’s quite impressive. Not to compare it outright with the iPhone 14 Pro’s 2000 nits. But there’s also HDR 10+ which isn’t a surprising feature at this moment.
The display resolution of the Pixel 7 Pro is 1440 x 3120 pixels with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a PPI density of about 512.
Protecting the screen is the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus which is also being used on other premium smartphones on the market right now.
Personally, I think the display is very great and there has been no issue looking up stuff under direct sunlight because of the brightness of the display. I also like the automatic brightness switch will lower the brightness to the lowest in a darkened environment so you don’t strain your eyes.
Face Unlock on the Pixel 7 Pro
The feature is a third way to unlock your device apart from fingerprint or PIN. This isn’t a new thing on an Android-based smartphone but there is a little twist to it as far as the Pixel 7 Pro is concerned.
One of the things to note is the fact that the new Face Unlock feature sometimes finds it hard to easily recognize my face while I stare at it – this issue can be prevalent in low-light situations.
Personally, I often prefer to use face unlock instead of PIN as that is safer in public spaces when you just don’t want to type in your PIN in front of strangers. However, the fingerprint is fast and it’s much better than the Face Unlock itself.
I wouldn’t personally compare the flaws of the Face Unlock on the Pixel 7 Pro with the FaceID system on the iPhone 14 Pro because the latter has a dedicated sensor that takes care of this.
Another non-iPhone device that has a dedicated FaceID sensor is the newly announced Huawei Mate 50 Pro and this is possible because the Chinese smartphone maker had to stick with the old and boring wide notch at the top of the device’s screen while Apple incorporate a pill-shaped cut-out on its iPhone 14 Pro series.
Most Android smartphones are using a single hole-punch cut-out which they often try to minimize as much as possible. This tiny space can’t contain a face ID sensor and a camera sensor at the same time hence the sacrifice for a software-based Face Unlock feature.
Even though this is a pretty new feature on the Pixel smartphone lineup, it isn’t a strange thing for many Android users.
The camera of the Pixel 7 Pro
- 3-camera system
- 50MP primary sensor
- Can record 4K@30/60 fps
- 10.8 MP front-facing camera
Some of the upgrades made on the Pixel 7 Pro this year include the camera hardware and software both of which allows the device to produce one of the best photos you can find on a smartphone – literally.
Speaking of hardware specs, you get a triple rear setup which includes a wide-angle 50MP primary sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, optic image stabilization (OIS), and Laser auto-focus.
Then a second telephoto 48MP sensor with an f/3.5 aperture, and a 5x optical zoom capacity, OIS, and multidirectional PDAF.
The last camera sensor is an ultrawide 12MP camera with an f/2.2 aperture and autofocus capacity.
With all of this camera hardware combined with the capacity of the Tensor G2 chipset, you get awesome camera results with very little effort from your own end.
Other cool features of the camera hardware include the presence of a Dual-LED flash, pixel shift, Auto-HDR, and panorama.
The Pixel 7 Pro is also able to record 4k videos at 30/60 frames per second but you can also record 1080p@30/60/120/240fps. There is also gyro-EIS and 10-bit HDR.
The front-facing camera is quite basic at 10.8MP with some cool specifications but nothing super-amazing about it.
But what is the use of the entire hardware if the result of the device isn’t good enough? One reputation the Pixel smartphone lineup always had is its great photos and that extends to the Pixel 7 Pro as well.
With the triple camera system, you can take some professional-looking pictures that are vivid, clear, and well-saturated with minimal effort.
Whether you want to take a skyline or just a scene, the AI processing prowess of the camera helps you get the best out of the camera.
Then there is the 48MP telephoto sensor that is capable of 5x optical zoom and a 30x super-res zoom.
30x is quite a big deal for a smartphone considering the fact that zooming in too much often distorts the quality of the subject being taken, the Pixel 7 Pro is able to work its magic despite zooming in that much.
I would say the telephoto lens of this device stands very close to that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra – if not better but a proper “versus-test” will help me decide the winner.
Another thing I find interesting about the camera of the Pixel 7 Pro is its macro-zoom feature which auto-focuses and enhances a close-up image. That way, you can expect a professional-looking output.
There are a bunch of other cool features too, including macro zoom that automatically focuses and enhances a close-up image, giving your shots an almost professional-looking feel. So even if you want to further photoshop your output, the majority of the job is already done by the device’s software and hardware.
I’d still argue that Huawei is still the king of Night Mode photography even though that opinion is very biased, the Pixel 7 pro did a great job when used to take pictures at night even though you’d at least need some lights to help the camera out.
However, Google introduced a number of cool camera features including Face Ublur which auto-smoothen out an in-motion capture.
Trust me, this a very useful feature if you’re in the business of taking pictures of moving objects such as cars, and animals that won’t stand still, or even in situations when you have a shaky hand.
Another cool feature is Real Tone – which basically gives you a natural-looking output no matter the skin tone of the subject.
Then there is Guided Frame which allows the device’s camera to be accessible by using both audio or haptic feedback to know when a picture is in the frame.
The Pixel 7 Pro is certainly one of the best camera smartphones in 2022 if not the best. But a close comparison with other contenders in the category will give us the result we want.
Performance and Battery Life of the Pixel 7 Pro
- Powered by Tensor G2 (5NM)
- 8/12GB of RAM
- Offer 128GB to 512GB of internal storage
- 5,000mAh Li-Ion battery (30W fast charging)
What makes the Pixel 7 Pro far more interesting and outstanding among the rest of the pack is the Tensor G2 chipset which is based on the 5nm process.
Its CPU is an Octa-core (2×2.85 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2×2.35 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55) and its GPU is a Mali-G710 MC10.
Combine all that with its 8/12GB of RAM, you’ll get a fast-paced smartphone that can handle whatever functionality that’s thrown at it with ease.
The storage capacity ranges from 128GB all the way to 512GB but there is no support for external microSD – which may be dying at this moment.
However, the Tensor G2 gets the majority of the job done helping me multitask with ease, play graphic-heavy games, edit high-res videos, take pictures, and so forth without any lag whatsoever.c
I wouldn’t say trying to switch between cameras is a lag but that often takes some milliseconds before things kick in. That might annoy some users but I think the device is already doing so much.
The Pixel 7 Pro also has powerful battery life. The fact that a premium smartphone has such a huge 5,000mAh Li-Ion battery won me over.
It also charges faster thanks to its 30W wired fast-charging support or 23W wireless charging. The device also supports reverse wireless charging which is another important thing that makes the device cool (although this isn’t a new or unique feature on the Pixel 7 Pro).
Google said the Pixel 7 Pro can charge up to 50% from 0% in under 30 minutes when you use the right cable and power brick – because the search giant refused to include one in the box for you.
There are typical battery-conserving features on the smartphone to help you save battery life even though some activities will surely eat up your battery life such as gaming or watching high-res videos.
AI features of the Pixel 7 Pro
This is a Google smartphone and so it integrates well with their virtual assistant. The device comes with some new features one of which is the ability to transcribe your audio recordings in real time.
I plan to use this feature to transcribe my future podcast. While it’s not 100% perfect, it worked decently.
Another AI-based feature of the device is the Direct My call which comes with a text list that helps you out whenever you are on an automated call.
With that, you can easily pick your option rather than wasting your time listening to every option being presented by the automated machine answering the call.
So when next you’re calling your bank’s customer service, you wouldn’t have to listen through those annoying automated messages to know what key to press next in order to proceed to the next action.
There’s also the Hold my Call feature where the virtual Assistant holds your call until it detects a human voice.
This works surprisingly well, especially if you are stuck waiting for customer service for upwards of 30 minutes.
Our Verdict of the Pixel 7 Pro
Is the Pixel 7 Pro the overall best smartphone in the world? NO! Is it the best smartphone in its category? YES!
While I’m not entirely feeling the design of the device, its simplistic approach and great performance coupled with its amazing camera prowess are one of the reasons why the Pixel 7 Pro is worth your consideration in 2022.
I do believe Google still has some upgrading to make in the camera department but the overall performance of the device is amazing.
Its AI features are also great and well-integrated into the core components of the device.
With a US$899 price tag, one can say the Pixel 7 Pro is in the great midst as other high-end premium smartphones fall within that same price range.
Pixel 7 Pro versus…
While this isn’t yet a good comparison, it’s worth noting that there are some smartphones that can compete well against the Pixel 7 Pro such as the OG Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra, the iPhone 14 Pro, and even the base Pixel 7.