Google pixel 7pro in-hand review

Introduction

After the Pixel’s comeback to the top market last year, Google’s phone range will see more of an evolutionary update in 2022. The Google Pixel 7 and Google pixel 7pro include a few software innovations in addition to the customary chipset upgrade, enhanced design, and occasional camera tweaks.

Introduction of the Google pixel 7 Pro
Introduction. Image credit: GSMArena.com

Naturally, the Pro has caught our attention more than the vanilla, so we’re starting our evaluation with it. Looking at the spec sheet, the new telephoto camera is one of the two major differences this year. It trades in a larger sensor size for a longer zoom reach, which doesn’t immediately strike us as a particularly positive development, though the 5x zoom is appreciated.

The chipset is the other new component. The specially designed Tensor G2 has a few more CPU cores, a new GPU, and who knows how many other internal upgrades, but it is still produced using a 5nm technology, while rivals are using a 4nm one.

The phone is physically identical to last year’s model but also different. The camera strip on the rear is still present and is still conspicuous, but unlike last year, it is now a part of the aluminium frame rather than a separate glass piece.

And for the 2022 Pixel Pro, that’s essentially what has changed. Before we begin, have a look at some of the crucial figures.

Unboxing of pixel 7Pro

The unboxing procedure has not changed from the previous year, when the charger was absent. You will find a USB-C cable and USB-A-to-C adaptor for transferring data from your earlier phone (perhaps an iPhone?) inside the white cardboard box.

Unboxing of Google pixel 7 Pro
Unboxing of Google pixel 7 Pro Image credit: GSMArena.com

Only now, though—more on that on the following page—was our Obsidian review unit truly free of smudges.

Design

After deviating from the flagship path with the Pixel 5 in 2020, Google found it again last year. There is no need for more disruption in 2022; progression will enough. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro restored the premium design and top-tier specifications (obviously, the Pro more so than the vanilla).

Design of Google pixel 7 and 7 Pro
Google pixel 7 and 7 Pro Image credit: GSMArena.com


In fact, the overall physical design of the Pixel 7 Pro is quite identical to that of the previous model. The large form factor phone with curved edges on the front and back is a tried-and-true design across many companies, but the Pixel-specific camera assembly on the back, or “visor” as some call it, distinguishes it as a Google phone.

Semiliraties of the previous Generation of Google pixel.
Semiliraties of the previous Generation of Google pixel. Image credit: GSMArena.com

One of the few novel design elements this time around is the visor. The camera protrusion, which is now a part of the aluminium midframe, should be more durable than it was when it was covered in glass the previous year. In other words, less likely to break, but not so much to scratch; the internet is rife with accounts of users who have already nicked the visor.

Image credit: GSMArena.com

On the Pixel 7 Pro, the exposed aluminium skeleton and the visor have been polished to a glossy finish in a colour that matches the rear panel’s colour. Even while you might be quick to categorise the colorway of our review unit as “Obsidian,” it’s actually more of a dark grey.

The two additional colour choices are Hazel and Snow.

Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Gorilla Glass Victus rear panel will unavoidably accumulate fingerprints, regardless of colour scheme. They are well-masked by our Snow Pixel 7, but are more clearly seen on the Obsidian 7 Pro. The Hazel need to be in the middle.


Image credit: GSMArena.com


You’re better off accepting that your Pixel will never truly be clean and moving on rather than trying to save the high-gloss finish on the frame and in particular the aluminium visor.

Owners of the Pixel 7 non-Pro model need not worry about the metal parts acquiring fingerprints, as the satin finish on the frame and visor of the vanilla edition is much less likely to do so.

Nevertheless, the pocket lint that tends to collect at the base of the camera bump can affect either model. A case will probably simply lessen how noticeable the grime is, but it will still be there.

camera bump of Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Image credit: GSMArena.com

Both the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones have an IP68 rating for submersion down to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, making them both dust- and water-resistant. However, Apple is putting the entire industry in a negative light by claiming that its iPhones can withstand submersion in water to a depth of 6 metres (m), while other devices, including Pixels, can only withstand submersion to the minimal depth required by the standard.

IP68 rating
IP68 rating. Image credit: GSMArena.com

On the display side, a thin black border encircles the 6.7-inch curved edge OLED panel. The top one may or may not be as thin as the side ones depending on how you look at it, while the chin is slightly thicker.

6.7inch OLED display. Image credit: GSMArena.com


Although it seems like overkill for an earpiece, even one that serves as a speaker, the tiny slit above the display is so little that you won’t see it very often.

Too speaker of the Google pixel 7 Prob. Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Pixel 7 Pro uses an under-display fingerprint reader of the optical type. It’s positioned high enough to not require grip adjustment of any sort or make us feel like it poses a risk for dropping the phone like some of the especially low-positioned FPRs.

It’s a complicated relationship we’ve had with this reader. Between this reviewer and the one handling the Pixel 7 non-Pro, our experiences have varied considerably. There were no missed attempts here, while there were occasions on the Pixel 7 where two consecutive missed attempts would lead to a PIN prompt, even though the allowed recognition attempts haven’t been maxed out.

Fingerprint sensor. Image credit: GSMArena.com

We can all agree that this reader isn’t the fastest out there, though. It almost feels slower than desirable. We are unsure if that has anything to do with the execution of the unlock animations.

And to end a way too drawn-out discussion of the fingerprint reader on a positive note, we’ll just say that it uses very little light, preventing blindness in low-light situations.

In-hand feel. Image credit: GSMArena.com

There are no less than 8 antenna bands around the Pixel 7 Pro’s perimeter, but the four that the visor naturally extends to the sides nearly appear to be intentional design elements.

The cutout on the top of the frame, which ordinarily conceals the mmWave antenna, is more difficult to swallow. The only problem is that this isn’t a mmWave-capable gadget, and Google managed to hide the cutout with a plastic cap that has a noticeably different colour. As you may or may not be able to tell from the pictures, it’s a complete ugly. The non-Pro manages without it in some way.

There is a mic here as well, but it is just a standard pinhole and is in no way annoying.

Top view of pixel 7 Pro. oppo find X5 pro flagship smartphone Price review image credit: GSMArena.com

One nano SIM card may fit in the SIM slot, which is located on the left side of the phone. The USB-C port, the “main” loudspeaker (left slit in the image below), and the main microphone are all located on the bottom (somewhere behind the other slit).

Eventually, we reach the right side of the phone, where the power button is still perplexingly located above the volume rocker rather than the other way around as it is on almost every other phone.

Power button and volume rockers. Image credit: GSMArena.com


The Pixel 7 Pro weighs 212g and has dimensions of 162.9×76.6×8.9mm. The Google phone feels by far the most compact of this three despite its dimensions not making it appear any more compact than either the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 14 Pro Max due to its rounded edges (as opposed to the blocky iPhone) (compared to the practically rectangular Galaxy). The Pixel 7 Pro does have a weight advantage over the 240g iPhone, in particular.

The vanilla 7 is the closest thing to a more portable high-end Pixel that is currently available. Even though it weighs 197g, it’s far from being truly lightweight or compact, but it does seem smaller than the Pro.

Google pixel 7 Pro and pixel 7 Image credit: GSMArena.com

Display

The 6.7-inch OLED display on the Pixel 7 Pro has all the features you would expect from a high-end phone. It has a 512ppi pixel density and a resolution of 1440×3120 pixels in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Depending on the use case, the LTPO panel should be able to ramp down to 10Hz from a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.

6.7inch OLED display Image credit: GSMArena.com

Google promises a full-screen brightness of 1000 nits and a peak brightness of 1500 nits for a 5% illuminated area. We measured 1090nits with the Adaptive brightness turned on during our regular testing (illuminating a 75% region of the screen), and 588nits while adjusting the brightness manually. When it comes to peak brightness, the Galaxy S22s and particularly the iPhone 14 Pros stand out as a bit of an oddity, but the Pixel 7 Pro’s stats are more than deserving of its position as a flagship device.

By the way, just for fun, we tested the display with a 10% white patch, and the result was 1462 nits, virtually correlating with Google’s 1500 nit claim.

Color accuracy

On the Pixel 7 Pro, colour reproduction is handled quite simply; there are only 2 modes and no more tweaking options. For our DCI-P3 colour swatches, the default Adaptive setting produces a more vibrant output and decent, though not class-leading, accuracy.

The Natural setting, on the other hand, is less pleasant in terms of pop but is properly ideally calibrated for sRGB content. There was no significant colour shift in any mode, thus the lack of temperature adjustment capabilities isn’t really a problem.

Streaming

HDR10 and HDR10+ are supported by the Pixel 7 Pro, although Dolby Vision is not. All of the well-known streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, provided HDR broadcasts to us; the latter two, of course, streamed at 1080p.

In the settings menu, under “Smooth Display,” there is only one toggle for refresh rate that enables the 120Hz mode. The problem is that, despite the display’s ability to adjust refresh rate in the 10-120Hz range being listed in the official spec sheet, Android only reports 120Hz and 60Hz modes, both in the Display.Mode class and while the phone is in use with the “Show refresh rate” utility enabled in Developer options. Other refresh rates don’t seem to be employed, even though it is fairly adaptable and will change from 120Hz to 60Hz for static material or when you aren’t touching the display (or supported). That makes a lot of sense.

Battery Life of Google pixel 7pro

If you’re really obsessive with details, you might consider the Pixel 7 Pro’s 5,000mAh battery to be a downgrade from the 5,003mAh capacity of the Pixel 6 Pro. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a battery capacity of 4,323 mAh, while other large, high-end Android devices like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the OnePlus 10 Pro use 5,000mAh batteries.

A full day of voice calls, 12:38 hours of Wi-Fi web surfing (at a configurable 120–60 Hz frame rate), or 17:14 hours of video playback were all possible on the Pixel 7 Pro during our tests (at a reported constant 60Hz refresh rate). The Pixel’s overall Endurance rating was 83h after we factored in standby data that came out to be average for the class.

While the Galaxy and OnePlus have only marginally longer battery lives than the iPhone, the iPhone performs noticeably better in screen-on testing.

You can go from the native 1440p resolution to 1080p on the Pixel 7 Pro. The results in the scoreboard above were obtained for the web browsing test while using the Smooth Display feature and the default 1440p setting.

We tried decreasing the resolution, and we obtained almost an hour more in the web surfing test (13:49h), but the video playing result was practically the same. In the online browsing test, which took 13:33 hours, keeping the resolution at 1440p while lowering the refresh rate to 60Hz also resulted in some time savings. The ideal battery-saving combination of 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate was worth trying once we discovered some idle time for our review unit, and we clocked that at 14:07h – it’s something, but not much.

Charging Speed

The Pixel 7 Pro does not come with a charger, so we put two USB PowerDelivery-compliant, 65W-capable third-party adapters to the test. According to Google’s specifications, the Pixel 7 Pro can use a maximum of 23W, which is roughly how much power each of our chargers delivered.

Image credit: GSMArena.com


Even though the results from our two chargers were near, they were different. Aren’t standards fascinating? The 1%–100% time we measured on the Pixel 7 Pro with one of them was the same as what we obtained on the iPhone 14 Pro Max with the Apple 20W converter (1:52h) and also matched the performance of last year’s model. The second adaptor took 1:49h.

Even notoriously slow-charging Sonys have gotten quicker with the Xperia 1 IV, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a real champ with its 1:04h time, even though industry leaders can do it in under 20 minutes. In any case, those are some of the slowest full charge test results we’ve gotten on a flagship phone.

Similar results were obtained at the halfway point, where we obtained 43% and 46% with the chargers we employed.

Of course, one could argue that in order to achieve the crazily fast charging rates we observe on devices like the Xiaomi 12 Pro or the OnePlus 10 Pro, specialised charging technologies are required. It’s important to note, though, that the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, whose 65W charger we used on the Pixel for one of our tests (the ever-so-slightly slower results), needs just 47 minutes from flat to 100% and is at 80% at the halfway point – with the same 5,000mAh capacity battery, mind you.

However, the ZTE isn’t totally honest in its reporting, and the Pixel is even less so. Normally, phones “lie” to you and show a 100% charge level while they are still charging to a “full” level. It’s a commonly known quirk that manufacturers implemented to safeguard battery health over time and to give you a more palatable time for what is supposedly a complete charge.

In order to set the record straight, the Pixel is among the worst offenders in this regard. It can take up to 25 minutes between the time the phone displays a 100% charge and the time it reaches a “full” condition (this is an Android flag that you can check for in software). For consistency’s sake, we always administer our tests to the 100% mark, and we don’t usually make a distinction between 100% and “full.” The 100-to-full time on the Pixel 7 Pro in particular was so long that it was worth bringing up.

The Pixel 7 Pro can accept up to the same 23W of wireless charging as it can via a cable. The maximum power for other Qi-compliant pads is 12W when using the Pixel stand. It is also possible to charge wirelessly in reverse.

Speaker’s test

The Pixel 7 Pro includes a hybrid stereo speaker arrangement, with the earpiece serving as the second channel and the “primary” unit coming out of the bottom of the phone. In portrait mode, the top speaker is given the left channel; in landscape mode, the channels are changed to correspond to the real orientation.

The opposite channel’s low-frequency range will also be added by the bottom speaker. When playing the identical video on both channels at once, you can easily discern which is louder, but with real-life content, this imbalance isn’t nearly as noticeable.

In our tests, the Pixel 7 Pro received a “Very Good” rating for loudness, placing it on par with the OnePlus 10 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max and slightly above the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We can clearly hear rich vocals and a good low-end presence thanks to the excellent sound quality.

Software of the pixel 7 Pro

The lack of cumbersome customizations and overlays and the clean, unburdensome Android experience are two of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s main selling features. exactly how Google had intended. However, this does not imply that the Pixel 7 Pro lacks any unique features. Actually, the reverse is true. In order to differentiate its products from the competition, Google has limited certain features to Pixel devices only.

latest version of Android OS. Image credit: GSMArena.com

Of course, the Pixel 7 Pro is powered by Android 13, which brings us to the second significant benefit: upgrades. The business guarantees at least three years of major Android upgrades and five years of security fixes for its Pixel phones, which deliver the fastest Android updates on the market.

You will quickly feel at home if you are familiar with the standard Android appearance. The notification shade’s quick toggles are now pill-shaped, however there is still no toggle for the automatic screen brightness.

Support for theming, including of the icons, is one of the largest new improvements to the standard Android. Now, the album image may also affect how music players seem. Finally, swiping up from the home screen opens the app drawer and keyboard for a quick search. However, if that’s not how you like to use your app drawer, you can turn off the auto keyboard functionality.

Speaking of music, if you have the right headphones, Android 13 offers native support for spatial audio. The same is true with Bluetooth LE Audio, which enhances quality, provides connections with shorter latency, and allows broadcasting to several devices.

However, those are characteristics of other Android 13-powered smartphones. Google made the choice to emphasise “smarts” in order to stand distinct. Some people even refer to the Pixel as “the smartest smartphone out there,” and they might have a point. The majority of the features make use of Tensor G2 SoC-based machine learning techniques. Although the SoC doesn’t appear particularly amazing on paper, it really boasts a quite potent NPU. Later, more on that.

Speech and calling are two of the most intriguing aspects. For instance, call screening enables Google’s voice assistant to answer the call and even inform you of its contents. The assistant will translate all alternatives that the robot offers on the screen and allow you chose when you call a service or company that asks you to make choices using the dialpad. There is no need to guess or memorise items from the voice menu. If you phone the company at a busy period, the dialer may even advise calling at a different time.

Another choice is call captions. During a class or meeting, you are not need to speak in order to answer a call. You can respond by typing as the AI transcribes what the person on the other end is saying. Naturally, the voice assistant will read aloud everything you type to the other party on the call. Unfortunately, many of these services, including Call screening, are only available in specific regions and languages. The best aspect is that none of these capabilities need an internet connection because the Tensor G2’s NPU handles all the computational work locally.

We must highlight the stated noise-suppression function during phone conversations while we are still talking about calls. When you’re in a busy area, the other person can hear you more clearly, and the Tensor G2 can reduce background noise on the other end of the call that enters your ear.

The ability to transcribe a whole real-world conversation with speaker identification even while the phone is in your pocket is one of the other AI-based features. It’s a feature that the audio recorder app already has. For English speakers, it works really well, and journalists or anyone who frequently record voice notes would find it useful. Additionally, the app has a search feature that may be used to locate particular conversational passages.

Of course, the long-standing “Now playing” function is one of the Pixel 7 Pro’s audio recognition features. Former Pixel users will be familiar, but newbies may be taken aback by the Shazam-like feature that is already built in. With the simple flick of a button in the Sound settings menu, the phone will now search for nearby music and display the track’s name on the lockscreen or Always-on display. If it is unable to identify the track, it will use Google’s audio search.

The AI can also instantly extract text and pictures. You will notice two buttons in the recent applications menu: a screenshot button and a “Select” button. Once you tap it, you may choose anything from the screen—even text that is contained in an image—and copy, share, or select it. Even photos may be extracted utilising this feature. It’s interesting to note that selecting also functions with a tap and hold on the built-in recent apps menu.

Machine learning algorithms make it simple to correct blurry photographs in the Google Photos app, which is still the default gallery app. Let’s simply say that the results may vary from person to person.

It is said that the NPU is utilised to enhance the built-in face unlock. The latter, which makes use of a normal selfie camera, is nevertheless unreliable in dimly lit areas or when one half of your face is hidden. However, under perfect circumstances, it continues to be incredibly quick.

face recognition. Image credit: GSMArena.com

Benchmarks and Performance

The second-generation in-house Tensor chip, which powers the Google Pixel 7 series, was developed by Google’s engineering team and specifically for the Pixel. It was created in collaboration with Samsung and is produced in Samsung’s facility that makes 5nm 5LPE chips.

Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Tensor G2’s CPU has the same basic setup as its predecessor (2+2+4 layout), which is still quite rare in the market. New mid-tier cores, Cortex A78 instead of A76, and cores clocked at 2.35GHz rather than 2.25GHz are among the modifications for this year. The speed of the high-performance X1 cores has been slightly increased from 2.80GHz to 2.85GHz. The 4xCortex-A55 at 1.8GHz quad-core efficiency-focused cluster is still in operation.

The Mali-G710 MP7 is the latest GPU, which promises improvements in the graphics field over the model from last year. However, the Mali-G710 MC10 designation in the Dimensity 9000 has three fewer MP7 designations, and in this case, fewer cannot be better (not to mention the P vs. C discrepancy).

Google promises a much better Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), which is capable of some serious number crunching when it comes to AI-related activities, even though the CPU enhancements appear to be incremental on paper. Here, compared to the Tensor G1 TPU from last year, the camera and machine learning algorithms operate around 60% quicker. The new TPU could be the only thing that makes some of the noteworthy features that we discussed in the software section viable.

Here is how the Pixel 7 Pro compares to competitors using the most recent chips from Samsung, Qualcomm, and MediaTek after we performed the customary suite of benchmarks on it.


The Tensor G2 is not a slouch, as you can see from the results, but it is also lagging behind the current competition. Sincere to say, Google Pixel phones have never consistently performed well in artificial benchmarks. Anecdotally, we can say that the Pixel 7 Pro is wonderfully smooth to operate, therefore benchmark results may not be completely accurate.

Here are the 7 Pro’s stability scores for the 3DMark Wild Life stress test and the CPU throttling test, for what they’re worth.

Camera

The Pixel 7 Pro builds on the significant camera improvements made by the Pixel 6 Pro. First off, the primary camera is the same as the one from the previous year. Although the ultrawide may or may not have a new sensor, it does this time around feature autofocus, which is a very welcome improvement over the non-Pro model. The telephoto now has a 5x optical zoom (up from 4x) at the other end of the zoom range, but only at the cost of a smaller sensor.

Back camera set-up Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Samsung GN1 sensor, which has a 1/1.31″ optical format and a 4-to-1 conversion ratio to reduce its nominal 50MP resolution to 12.5MP pictures, is most likely the sensor used in the main camera. The lens’s 82-degree field of vision, as specified by Google, roughly equates to a 25mm equivalent focal length, although the EXIF data indicates 24mm, and the crop factor of the sensor also indicates that. It has a stabilised lens.

Because numbers are no longer important, the ultrawide camera continues to generate 12.5MP photos with the same sensor specifications as its predecessor: 12MP, 1.25mm pixel pitch (thus 1/2.9″ optical format). Though you won’t see the whole field of vision after distortion correction takes effect, the lens has a larger field of view this time (125.8° vs 114° on the Pixel 6 Pro). The most significant change here is the addition of focusing, which not only makes it possible to use the new macro mode but also simply allows you to take a broader range of pictures.

The telephoto lens is brand-new. It replaces the 1/2″ imager from the previous year’s model with a 48MP 1/2.55″ sensor with 0.7m pixels, and this one is almost probably the Samsung GM5. Again, unlike what math would have you believe, the final images are 12.5MP. With this lens, you may zoom in five times for an EXIF-reported equivalent focal length of 117mm (Google says 20.6 degrees of field of view which should be 119mm). This lens has an f/3.5 aperture and is also stabilised.

camera app. Image credit: GSMArena.com

The selfie camera is now listed as having a 10.8MP sensor and a 92.8° field of view, which sounds quite similar to the former 11.1MP sensor and 94° field of view unit that has been slightly reduced. You would, however, receive 10MP selfies since, as we’ve already demonstrated, all of the numbers are fictitious. We would claim that the f/2.2 aperture lens’s absence of autofocus is no longer acceptable.

The camera app, which was completely redesigned for the previous generation, is now mostly unchanged from the prior year. The location option, which enables you choose whether to save photographs or videos to the Photo Gallery or the Locked Folder, has been assigned to a long press on the gallery shortcut adjacent to the shutter release. The location cog is located in the top left corner of the main viewfinder.

The “Camera” photo mode is the default setting for the camera app. Night Sight, Motion, Portrait, Camera, Video, and Modes, which gives you access to the Panorama, Photo Sphere, and Google Lens modes, are the shooting modes, from left to right. Translate, Text, Search, Homework, Shopping, Places, and Dining modes are available in Lens.

CAMERA App Image credit: GSMArena.com


A number of sliders for white balance, shadow, and light will appear when you tap someplace in the viewfinder. If you’d rather, you can turn them all off. The ability to take RAW photographs is available, but you must first expressly activate it in the settings. Like last year, the Pixel 7 Pro lacks an option or mode that would force it to photograph at the sensor’s native 50MP resolution.

The same shooting choices are available in the Motion camera mode, which was introduced with the previous generation but is currently in beta. A fast-moving subject may be captured with Action Pan by using the phone to track it while blurring the backdrop. The reverse is a long exposure: you squeeze the shutter to catch anything moving swiftly, like a train or automobile trail lights, while the background is kept clean.

Daylight photos quality

The primary camera of the Pixel 7 Pro takes excellent pictures in daylight. The “Pixel appearance,” which has drawn much attention, is also present on the 7 Pro. We’re talking about the greater clarity in textures, the gritty detail, and a tone curve that might make photos appear a little darker in the shadows than competing representations. It’s a “look,” and depending on your perspective, you could not like it, but overall, we enjoy it.

We get deep colours that aren’t oversaturated but appear more vibrant than even a Galaxy can produce because to the fall-like weather we’re experiencing. The Pixel also has outstanding dynamic range, with the previously noted caveat that it prefers its lower midtones to be darker and more intense.

The photographs aren’t all that different when compared to a Galaxy S22 Ultra, although the Galaxy does brighten its shadows more and can have its own take on sky and vegetation. In contrast to these other two, a Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra might almost appear washed out since it lacks some of its expressiveness.

In order to acquire more information and produce a picture that is superior to a basic crop and upscale, the Pixel 7 Pro’s primary camera uses the camera wobble you unavoidably add while hand-holding the phone or produces its own controlled shake if you’re on a tripod.

The results are good, and if you’re concerned that the distance between the field of vision of the primary camera and the 5x telephoto lens is too great, Super Res has you covered.

That is not to suggest that others don’t perform that task just as well. In reality, the iPhone 14 Pro (Max) is 2x crisper and more detailed than almost anything, including the Pixel, and even the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is superior to the Google phone. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also performs admirably, but it isn’t our top choice.

Due to its dedicated 3x camera, the Galaxy doesn’t rely on the 2x zoom level as much. Despite the fact that it lacks a shortcut for that magnification in the viewfinder, the Pixel can also magnify three times (it does have a 2x). By stitching together composites where the centre of the image is obtained from the telephoto and the perimeter from the main camera, the Pixel is able to produce intermediate zoom capabilities between 2x and 5.

It’s an old idea that may work well depending on the topic, but if you’re shooting anything with similar levels of detail throughout the frame, you’ll be able to see the difference between the sections from the various cameras.

You reach the native magnification of the Pixel’s telephoto lens at a 5x zoom. It lacks the roughness and grit of some 5x alternatives since it isn’t quite as crisp and it isn’t processed exactly the same way in pixels. It still has good detail, but lacks any distinctive bite. Additionally, it has a distinct colour rendering from the primary camera, with a strangely invisible green tinge in the composite images above.

The Mi 11 Ultra is essentially our gold standard for telephoto performance, and it outperforms the Pixel 7 Pro in terms of micro-contrast, sharpness, and fine detail. But it makes more noise.

The Mi 11 Ultra is just as capable at this level as the Pixel 7 Pro, which at 10x zoom replaces the Galaxy’s second telephoto lens. Although we’d be OK with the Pixel’s 10x photographs because Google’s efforts yield reasonable results, in the end, we’d argue that the other two offer an additional degree of sharpness.

At 30x, things get more intriguing. The Galaxy is in front in this case, while the Pixel is about on par with the Xiaomi, albeit somewhat behind the Samsung.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s new-ish module operates to a high quality for all focal lengths, from long tele to ultrawide. In contrast to the telephoto, it is a perfect match for the output of the primary camera in terms of colour and detail rendering.

Curiously, when viewing Pixel photos on a PC, the attached thumbnails provide you a broader field of vision with a lot of distortion, whilst the actual images have distortion correction done and deny you some coverage. Apparently, the embedded thumbnails are created before the final processing. Our thumbnails aren’t indicative of that ‘problem’ because they were created from the final image.

In any event, the Galaxy S22 Ultra should have a superior camera than the ultra-wide on the Pixel 7 Pro, which takes crisper shots and does so with essentially no noise or purple fringing, both of which are easily noticeable on the Samsung. Although the Xiaomi’s ultra-wide is a whole different creature with a considerably bigger sensor, it doesn’t actually benefit from this in strong sunshine (though it does have a more natural rendition of fine detail than the other two).

The enhanced auto-focusing feature of the ultra-wide camera on the Pixel 7 Pro allows for the capturing of close-up shots. It’s one of those implementations where, if you’re using the primary camera and approach a subject very closely, an automatic “macro” mode engages, at which time the phone switches from an ultra-wide to a zoomed-in view. You may “lock” yourself into macro mode by tapping the padlock symbol if you wish to stay in it; otherwise, the phone will go back to the main camera. If you don’t want the phone to switch cameras without your permission, you may also turn off the auto macro feature.

The main camera is required for the phone to activate the macro mode; you cannot access it from the ultrawide.

The close-up pictures are nice, though. The emblem of a certain Danish toy business is also clearly discernible, as is the pocket lint that has formed around the Pixel 7’s visor (it’s the same on the 7 Pro, but the 7 lacks the macro capabilities to capture it). The 12.5MP resolution is obviously not exactly matched in terms of per-pixel detail, but generally the performance is good.

Don’t worry if the image in the viewfinder or even in the gallery right after the photo seems a little soft; it will improve as the macro images on the Pixel take a few additional seconds to reach their ultimate form.

Night mode picture-Quality

We’re not entirely sure how to move forward with our low-light testing approach because of the development of the Night mode and the steadily rising popularity of its automatic use in the default photo mode. We found that the Auto Night Sight on the Pixel 7 Pro generated results that were virtually the same as those from the specialised Night Sight option. In all except the brightest circumstances when Auto Night Sight doesn’t engage, they are generally better results than what the Camera mode can provide (explicitly – we can never be too sure what’s going on). As a result, we will use Night Sight photographs as the “default,” however we will also present samples without it.

After clearing up the lengthy introduction, let’s just say that while the Pixel 7 Pro can’t quite hold the title of “best,” it does shoot some stunning low-light photos. It keeps the vibrant colours we observed in the daylight and doesn’t try to make the shadows darker, either during the day or at night. Although not the broadest, dynamic range is extremely strong; nevertheless, as you’ll see below, highlights can be restrained a little bit better. The level of detail is about comparable to rival 12-ish MP efforts, and noise is well eliminated.

In this haphazard comparison, you can see that the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Xiaomi 11 Ultra both take pictures that are typically brighter and lift the shadows more than the Pixel 7 Pro. Though it may be claimed that the Pixel method is more realistic, we often want our nighttime visuals to be brighter. In terms of highlight preservation, both the Galaxy and the Mi (particularly the Mi) are more aggressive.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s main camera performs admirably even when Auto Night Sight is disabled, with the exception of the darkest settings, which may seem substantially softer and underexposed (3rd row, second sample).

The Pixel retains a very decent level of performance at the 2x setting, comparable to but not quite matching the iPhone 14 Pro (Maxperformance )’s at the same magnification. In several scenarios on the Pixel, we also saw extremely loud results.

The images taken at 2x without Night Sight aren’t noticeably different, just as they weren’t at 1x.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s 5x telephoto performs excellently in low light. In reality, the Pixel takes better pictures than rivals at the same zoom level in dim conditions; yet, in brighter conditions, it can be a little bit softer than that Mi 11 Ultra (compare further down below). There are few things that might be criticised about the Pixel because of its excellent colour retention and high dynamic range.

We decided not to torment the Galaxy in the dark by magnifying it beyond its original 3x because it doesn’t look so fantastic at 5x during the day. We believe that is reasonable because, despite the fact that it creates an essentially different shot, it is the one you would be able to get with it in that circumstance.

As we’ve already observed, the Pixel has the potential to be sharper than the Xiaomi in darker environments, but more crucially, it renders colours more faithfully whereas the Mi has a tendency to bleach warmer lighting. More so than the other two, the Galaxy excels in colour and sharpness, albeit there is a small amount of the apples vs. oranges caveat (the 3x vs. 5x thing).

Dark situations on the Pixel’s tele may be challenging with Night Sight off; the second and fifth samples are noticeably underexposed and soft.

The Xiaomi lags behind the other two in terms of sharpness at a 10x zoom level, and the Galaxy and Pixel are largely tied.

The Ultra-wide on the Pixel 7 Pro is best characterised as “good enough.” It maintains colour integrity and a strong dynamic range while capturing passable detail in the dark.

The Galaxy does surpass the Pixel in terms of clarity, but its interpretation of warm floodlights—a yellowish hue—is not quite right. Unfortunately, the Mi 11 Ultra’s large-sensor UW doesn’t appear to be doing much better.

On the ultrawide of the Pixel 7 Pro, Night Sight is likely something you won’t want to disable. Darker situations may go almost completely black, but even those with better lighting may appear underexposed.

Potrait Mode

Two magnifications are used by the Pixel 7 Pro’s Portrait mode, and both images are taken with the primary camera. Although they are marked as 1x and 2x in the Portrait mode viewfinder, if you match their field of vision in Camera mode, they actually correlate to something like 1.6x and 3x. Additionally, if you hit the 2x zoom in Camera mode and then go to Portrait mode, the phone will only be zoomed in by 1.3x (which will match the FoV of the 2x in Camera mode).

This is all a part of the Pixel phone’s (and the only other one we can think of) other than most pleasantly surprising characteristic of not automatically switching to 1x everytime you transition between settings. It could make sense if seen from that angle and using the consistency argument. However, the fact that the fields of vision for the zoom levels in Portrait mode differ from those in Camera mode for the same ‘x’ designation still disturbs us.

Anyway, the images captured in 1x Portrait mode are superb. The subject matter is reasonably defined, if not quite pixel-perfect lovely, but quite decent, and the 38-ish mm equivalent focal length is just enough to put you at a comfortable distance from your topic. Google’s image processing blurs the boundary between digital zoom and magic. Additionally, subject identification is excellent, and the background blur seems as natural as possible.

At a 2x zoom level in Portrait mode, things do have a tendency to break down, and the information is very hazy. With a closer background, there might not be much blur either.

The identical scenes were also captured with the primary camera in its default field of view in standard Camera mode. These photographs do have more clarity per pixel, and some of the recognisable texture improvement in the Pixel style has been applied to the faces. Although you’ll still obtain good subject separation with far backgrounds, you’d be better off using Portrait mode when your subject is set up against a local backdrop.

Selfie camera

With the allegedly 10.8MP sensor capturing 10MP photographs at two zoom levels—the basic 0.7x and what must be a crop-and-upscale-and/or-super-res 1.0x zoom level—there is also some crazy zoom action on the selfie camera.

Selfie camera. Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Pixel 7 Pro’s selfie camera can take some excellent pictures when set to wide and in favourable lighting conditions. But defining what makes for effective lighting may be tricky. It dislikes situations with backlighting because the faces there tend to have soft ends. Even if the phone keeps its ISOs around 50, indoor lighting isn’t ideal either, and direct sunlight isn’t on the list of suggested settings either. With the exception of that first image, global characteristics like colour rendition and dynamic range are excellent, but detail is lacking, particularly in the backlit scenario.

We can’t dismiss the 1.0x mode as merely a crop from the primary photographs in the same way as Apple’s and Samsung’s selfie crops operate because of the ambiguous nature of the 1.0x mode. In spite of this, these typically appear softer than the 0.7x ones (anticipated), albeit only marginally (somewhat surprising). Lighting is essential once more, and anything even marginally taxing degrades the per-pixel quality.

In comparison to their respective standard images, portrait selfies can be a little softer yet, but they still appear great when seen at screen-fitting distances. Subject separation is not perfect, and there are times when portions of the backdrop around the boundary between the subject and background will stay unblurred. Overall, the performance isn’t terrible, but it also isn’t “wow.”

video recording

All four of the cameras of the Pixel 7 Pro have a 4K60 video recording capability. Because 4K is sufficient, there is no 8K capacity, which simply serves to highlight Google’s common sense. By default, the h.264 codec is utilised, but you may change that in the options. All cameras include stabilisation, which comes in a variety of flavours and is accessible in all modes. Some of these flavours are tailored for certain use cases.

Broad daylight main camera footage at 1x zoom is excellent. The visual quality of the 4K30 (47Mbps bit rate) and 4K60 (71Mbps) clips is practically the same, with plenty of fine detail (even if perhaps too processed) and virtually no noise.

Our Verdict

Since there is currently no really worldwide availability for pixels, this lack of broad appeal has traditionally been a major factor. The number of nations with an official Pixel presence has increased to 16 this year, which may increase sales even though a large portion of the world will still be left out.

And there is a great deal to miss out on. The Pixel 7 Pro’s main selling point is undoubtedly its camera system, which offers some welcome, though rather underwhelming, advancements. That naturally comes on top of the difficult to measure character that is indispensably impossible to obtain on anything other than a Pixel.

Image credit: GSMArena.com

The software experience is also hard to quantify; benchmarks are unjustifiably harsh on the 7 Pro. Android, as Google sees it, is a fairly special combination of simplicity and feature-richness, and in this instance, it’s delivered to your fingertips with a degree of smoothness that can only be achieved by Apple.

However, when it comes to the figures, the Pixel 7 Pro finds it difficult to match up to many of its more well-known competitors. The battery life is noticeably worse than it is on a modern iPhone, and you’ll probably get greater lifespan with a Galaxy. In terms of charging speed, neither Apple nor Samsung are market leaders, but Google has emerged as… trailer? We believe that two hours for a full charge might become a real problem in daily use. Additionally, despite all the praise for Pixel cameras, there is always room for development.

In the end, though, the Pixel 7 Pro is a tempting package that, given the chance, may easily win over other brand aficionados, and the alluring cost helps a lot. The people who have already joined #teampixel will need more persuasion, especially if they are currently rocking the older model Pixel. But isn’t that true for the majority of smartphone sequels these days?

Pros

  • More affordable and comparable in quality to the two main rivals; IP68 dust- and water-resistant.
  • This display is excellent—sharp, bright, color-accurate, and with a fast refresh rate.
  • On this side of the OS split, Android from the source has an unmatched impression of smoothness and an unparalleled feature set.
  • outstanding stereo speakers.
  • A unique figure with a devoted fanbase and great camera work overall.
  • cheaper than top rivals in price.

Cons

  • Low battery life may be caused in part by the display refresh rate not appearing to be as adaptable as promised.
  • By today’s standards, rather sluggish charging
  • The availability of the phone is apparently locally restricted, as is the use of several software and hardware features, including 5G, VolTE, and much of the on-board AI technology.
  • Low light underwhelms ultrawide cameras.
  • Selfies hardly turn out perfectly crisp.

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