Google Pixel 7 Pro Review
Despite not many changes since the last time I used this phone, and in some cases, like battery life, things even seeming worse, I must admit that the circumstances in which I've used this phone have truly made me appreciate how great it is and how well it aligns with my preferences.
Late last year, I reviewed the Pixel 7 Pro. Since then, I have used and reviewed the regular Pixel 7 as well. I also did a couple of six-month later reviews with the iPhone 14 Pro and the Nothing Phone One. Additionally, I spent close to two months using the Galaxy S23 Ultra for the in-depth review I released a couple of weeks ago. However, what you might not know is that in between using each of those devices, the phone I switched back to at the end of using each one of them was, in fact, the Pixel 7 Pro. Not only that, but it actually won the Best Phone of the Year in my Best Smartphones of 2022 video. Needless to say, this is a phone I really like. So, six months after its release, I thought it would be worth putting together a final updated review to let you know why I’ve continued using it for so long and to assess whether it’s still worth purchasing here in 2023. So, let’s dive in, easy.
Pixel 7 Pro Fixes and Changes
Google Pixel 7 Pro – 5G Android Phone
Now, to start things off, as always with these long-term reviews, I usually like to address any issues I mentioned in my initial review to see whether they’ve been addressed or not. However, thanks to the fact that the 7 Pro shipped with Android 13, which has provided a much more stable software experience compared to the previous year’s Android 12, there weren’t many significant issues with the Pixel 7 Pro at all. That being said, there were some areas with this phone that I thought could be improved. So, let’s briefly discuss each of them.
Pixel 7 Pro Battery
The first area I want to address is the battery life. When I initially reviewed Pixel 7 Pro phone, I mentioned that the battery life was good but not amazing. However, something a little bit confusing has happened. The battery life has actually been much worse the second time around. You see, when I first reviewed this phone, I would end each day with around 30 to 40 percent of battery life still remaining. But this time, I have really struggled to make it to the end of the day with any battery left. Most days, it manages to reach the end, but just barely. I’m talking about having around five percent of battery life left as I’m going to bed. There have been a surprisingly high number of days where the phone died well before bedtime. This situation is particularly disappointing considering that I was previously using the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which would reach the end of most days with around 50 percent of battery life remaining. Needless to say, I have been very underwhelmed with the battery performance of the Pixel 7 Pro. I’m not sure if a software update has caused some issues or if there’s a rogue app that is draining the battery in the background. But regardless of the cause, if your main priority is battery life, then this phone is not the one for you.
Pixel 7 Pro Cameras
Now let’s talk about the cameras, specifically the camera shooting experience. While it’s not bad at all, I did make some comments about how the shooting experience could be made more seamless. I mentioned issues with autofocus, the speed of switching between lenses, and the overall capture speed when taking multiple photos in quick succession. Unfortunately, none of those aspects have been improved significantly.
However, I must say that coming from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which arguably has the most versatile camera configuration on the market, I have been really happy using the cameras on the Pixel 7 Pro once again. Despite its versatility, I felt that the Galaxy S23 Ultra had room for improvement in terms of image processing, and I was slightly disappointed with many of the images and videos I captured with it. On the other hand, returning to the Pixel 7 Pro, I have been much more confident in the results, especially when capturing photos. Additionally, I haven’t felt like I’ve been missing out on lens versatility at all.
I genuinely believe that Google has nailed the camera configuration with the 0.5x ultra-wide, the 1x main, and the 5x telephoto lenses, along with the sensor cropping trickery they’ve implemented. It feels like I have two additional lenses—a 2x lens and a 10x lens—thanks to their clever implementation. I’m aware that Samsung, Apple, and other manufacturers have also incorporated a similar 2x cropped mode on their phones, but there’s something different about Google’s implementation. When I tap the 2x and 10x buttons on the Pixel 7 Pro, it visually appears as if I’m switching to a different lens in the camera app, whereas on other phones, it simply looks like a digital zoom.
Do I hope that Google improves the issues I mentioned earlier to make the shooting experience more seamless? Absolutely! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see some of those improvements in the next lineup of Pixel devices. However, apart from those issues, there’s still no phone I enjoy taking pictures with more than the Pixel 7 Pro.
Pixel 7 Pro Design
The first feature that stands out is the design. It’s not like the design of this phone is groundbreaking or particularly beautiful to look at. However, for me, it’s the feel in the hand that has impressed me every time I’ve come back to using this phone. Just to provide some context, the phone I was using before this one was the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Full disclosure, I really liked the big boxy design of that phone. But as soon as I switched back to the Pixel 7 Pro, I was genuinely shocked at how nice it felt to hold. While a matte coated finish on the back and a fully flat display would make this phone’s design even better in my opinion, I cannot deny that compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, this phone feels much more comfortable to hold onto.
I should mention that leaked renders of the upcoming Pixel 8 Pro indicate that we may see a fully flat display when it’s released, which I am super excited about. Unfortunately, the bezels still don’t appear to be uniform, and the rear panel still looks glossy, both of which are aspects that disappoint me. However, one thing I’m not disappointed about is that Google is keeping the camera bar on the back, which I absolutely adore. It greatly improves usability when the phone is lying flat on a table, which is a common position for me as someone who films phones for a living. So, thank goodness Google is keeping this as part of their design language, and I hope it never changes.
Pixel 7 Pro Display
Technically speaking, it may not be the best display on the market, at least on paper. However, for me, pixel 7 Pro is an excellent display that I absolutely love using. In other words, I don’t feel like the display on this phone is lacking in any area compared to the competition, which is great. It’s super bright, vivid, and sharp. It has a lot of punch to it, and most importantly, it’s incredibly fluid. Of course, part of this fluidity is thanks to the software, which we’ll discuss a bit more later on.
Pixel 7 Pro Haptics
I have enjoyed using pixel 7 pro so much, which is why I have continued to gravitate back to it over the past six months, despite trying out various other options, including some that are considered more premium. Firstly, let’s talk about the haptics. I already knew that the haptics in this phone were good, but after using both the iPhone 14 Pro and the Galaxy S23 Ultra in the past few months, I can confidently say that the haptics in this phone are the best on the market, at least in my opinion. They are of super high quality and beautifully implemented throughout the user experience. It truly gives this phone an incredibly premium feel every time I use it. I seriously love them.
Face Unlock + Fingerprint Sensor
Now, let’s discuss something that might shock some of you: the face unlock and fingerprint sensor implementation. In my opinion, it is by far the best implementation across any phone available right now, except for the phones that use capacitive fingerprint sensors. I covered this implementation in-depth in my first review, so I won’t go into as much detail right now. However, I must say that Google has hit the jackpot when it comes to figuring out how to implement this effectively. I’m genuinely baffled that other manufacturers haven’t managed to get it right yet. There are a few factors at play, but the main reason it works so well is simple: the fingerprint sensor icon doesn’t disappear when your face is successfully registered. So, Samsung, OnePlus, and any other manufacturers out there, if you’re watching, I urge you to study Google’s face unlock implementation and replicate it for your own phones. It’s truly that good.
Pixel 7 Pro Specifications
|Display||6.7″ QHD+ LTPO Smooth Display – up 120Hz|
|Camera||48 MP telephoto – 50 MP wide – 12 MP ultrawide – 10.8 MP front camera|
|Camera Features||Macro Focus – Super Res Zoom up to 30x – Real Tone|
|Storage and Ram||12 GB RAM – 512 / 256 / 128 GB storage|
|Battery||Over 24-hour battery – Wired and wireless charging[21, 23]|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC|
|Processor||Chipset: Google Tensor G2 (5 nm)|
CPU: Octa-core (2×2.85 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2×2.35 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU: Mali-G710 MP7
|Price||$798.99 Get AT Amazon|
Software + Performance
As I mentioned earlier in this article, the software on this phone has been much more reliable and bug-free compared to what shipped with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro devices. Moreover, in the Android world, the software on this phone provides the most fluid experience you can get. It even competes with iOS in terms of fluidity. Many people, including myself, have praised the smoothness of the latest version of One UI on the newest Galaxy devices. However, as soon as I switched back to the Pixel 7 Pro, I was amazed at just how much smoother the software experience was in comparison. And mind you, I was using a third-party home screen launcher as well.
Speaking of the home screen launcher, I really wish Google would give us more flexibility with the default Pixel launcher. I’ve been complaining about this launcher for about five years now. While it is incredibly smooth and has gorgeous animations, I simply refuse to use it because of how limited it is in terms of customization. I’m not even asking for much. I just wish they would allow us to hide the search bar and add glance widgets. The fact that we can’t hide either of them is the main reason why users like myself can’t create sleek, minimal home screen setups using the Pixel launcher.
Now, I do appreciate that I can use a third-party launcher like Nova Launcher version 8 as my default launcher without sacrificing much in terms of fluidity. However, when you experience the absolute buttery smoothness of the stock Pixel launcher, it certainly makes me want to be able to use it instead. Recently, I came across an exciting tweet suggesting that Google is experimenting with allowing users to hide the At A Glance widget in the upcoming Android 14 release. If that turns out to be true, it would be amazing. But firstly, we don’t know if this feature will actually be implemented, and secondly, if we still can’t hide the search bar, I won’t be using the Pixel launcher regardless. So, fingers crossed that Google listens to customization enthusiasts like myself and allows us to hide both widgets. And while you’re at it, Google, why not add support for third-party icon theming and the ability to hide apps from the app drawer as well.
Final Thoughts On Pixel 7 Pro
And there you have it. Despite not many changes since the last time I used this phone, and in some cases, like battery life, things even seeming worse, I must admit that the circumstances in which I’ve used this phone have truly made me appreciate how great it is and how well it aligns with my preferences. If you’ve been considering getting one and you’re unsure if it’s still worth it at this stage, my recommendation would be to wait if you can, for the release of the Pixel 8 lineup.