Google Pixel 7 Pro review: does it have good cameras, special functions and apps?
If you’re tentative about making the jump to a Google smartphone, having previously enjoyed an Apple or Samsung model, here’s what the Pixel 7 Pro has in store for you
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The Pixel 7 Pro, Google’s current flagship smartphone, is quite the fun little number - boasting a swish design, fabulous cameras, and impressive software features that only a monolithic company like Google can provide. If you’re tentative about making the jump to a Google smartphone, having previously enjoyed an Apple or Samsung model, here’s what the Pixel 7 Pro has in store for you.
The look and layout of the Pixel 7 Pro
The Pixel 7 Pro has a similar design to 2021’s Pixel 6 family, which marked a style revamp for the Google phones, including a frankly gorgeous camera bar. The camera bar is housed in stainless steel on the back of the phone, which is both chic and practical - and distinctive.
You can purchase the Pixel 7 Pro in either Obsidian, Snow, or Hazel, which are posh by-words for Black, White, or Dark Green. The dark green, we have to say, is especially elegant, if distinct aesthetics are your watch-word. But if you (as we do) love to drop your phone multiple times a day, you’ll likely cloak the Pixel Pro 7 in a phone case and the colour is barely noticeable. All in all, though, it’s a sexy gadget.
What we did find irritating was the placement of the volume-down button, which landed flush where our thumb would usually rest, an inconvenience. If that sounds persnickety, it is, but it proved awkward, quieting our tunes when using the phone on the move, particularly at the gym. That said, we liked the stereo speakers - loud, clear, bassy and effective for listening to tunes while cooking dinner.
Pixel 7 Pro screen
This model comes with a 6.7-inch OLED display, a 3120 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and peak brightness up to 1,500 nits (this is just shy of the 2,000 nits offered on the iiPhone 14 Pro).
What does that mean practically? It looks great. The colours are sharp and vivid, it’s ‘easy on the eyes’ and you can view streaming services easily and at multiple angles. It’s great for playing games - that refresh rate makes things seem very smooth.
Remember we mentioned we have butterfingers? The corning gorilla glass covering offered reliable protection against scratches and cracks. And we did - inadvertently - test that.
Pixel 7 Pro face unlock and fingerprint sensor
Love the face unlock on your Apple? The Pixel 7 Pro works handily for unlocking your smartphone. Unfortunately, anything else you want to access relies upon the in-screen fingerprint sensor, which we didn’t get on with as well - it sometimes works like a charm, but sometimes it’s a touch laggy. It was a mild irritation listed here more for thoroughness than as a deterrent to buy.
Pixel 7 Pro cameras
There’s a great deal of hype around the Pixel 7 Pro cameras - it can be a prime consideration for people when making a phone purchase. Indeed, people are becoming increasingly persnickety in their photography habits - according to a study by Currys, 57% of the total 2,000 respondents claim on average it takes them two to five attempts at capturing the right image.
So the camera is a big reason why people switch to the Google stable, and we can see why.
In tech terms, there’s a 50MP main camera with an f/1.85 aperture and laser detect autofocus. There is an additional 12MP ultrawide camera with a 126-degree field-of-view, and a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and up to 30x with Google’s Super Res Zoom. There’s also a selfie camera on the front, if that’s your jam.
If your eyes go a little cross-eyed at tech talk, the practical upshot of the above is that the Pixel 7 Pro produces simply beautiful photos. The colours are bright, vivid, and you can take sharp, great pictures in myriad lighting conditions. They capture detail very well, and the image processing tech makes even a lacklustre snap look effortlessly impressive. We noticed the photos from our Pixel 7 Pro were considerably more eye-catching, sharp and professional than those we snapped with our iPhone 12. We admit, freely, that photography is not a natural specialism, so if you’re looking for a phone to help you fudge your way to stunning snaps, this is it.
The zoom function is worth taking heed of, too. It’s powerful - you can zoom up to 30x, so it’s great for capturing passable pictures of wildlife frolicking, for example.
As you’d expect, at 30x zoom, the photos aren’t pin-sharp (a little more Monet), but using the 5x zoom you can score clean, crisp, lovely images.
When it comes to selfie camera - look, no judgement. We take too many selfies, too. But we noticed nothing amazing about the selfie function. We’re not concerned though. Usually when you’re snapping a self pic it’s less about sharp focus and more about trying to look good.
Apps and features, including Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Where the Pixel Pro 7 is worth its weight in gold, we’ll say, are the AI features it boasts. The Google Assistant, for example, will hold your place on a phone call if you’ve been placed on hold - a frankly invaluable tool, we found, given that trying to nab an NHS appointment can take a couple of hours on call waiting at the minute. There are myriad functions that will actively improve your life,
The Magic Eraser will remove unwanted details from your photographs, too, ideal if you’ve a photo featuring an errant bystander you’d like to erase, or perhaps an ex you’d like to, at the very least, digitally excise.
Assistant Voice typing is also fabulous - the best instance of a phone dictation we’ve encountered, working with personalised voice recognition to get to grips with your voice (and accent) to ensure it grows ever more accurate over time. It’s impressive.
Is it buggy?
There are plenty of reviews on the internet of the Pixel 7 Pro being buggy and glitchy - however, we didn’t encounter many of the reported problems, particularly with battery life, which we found handled hard use and could last for up to a couple of days. However we’ll note we don’t tend to game on our phone, which has been said to drain the battery and overheat the unit, so perhaps that was why we had such a trouble-free experience. If you live to game, this may not be the phone for you.
Where to buy
If you don’t require the bang-for-your-buck camera, then the Google Pixel 7 has much the same functionality but a less impressive camera. It is now available for £599 or in-store at Currys with 100GB for £26 a month for 24 months with £59 upfront with Vodafone (Save £72 – was £29 a month) – plus get £100 Currys gift card.