REVIEW: I spent the last week reviewing the Pixel 7 Pro, a phone I had high hopes for, but didn’t think it would upset some of the best phones Trusted Reviews tested this year.
After watching the Made by Google event before the review units arrived, I was struggling to really understand what was new and what would make this phone different from the Pixel 6 Pro. Google reps were lyrical about improving the phone, but my excitement level was low.
Everything changed when I started using the phone.
The Pixel 7 Pro isn’t a huge jump over the 6 Pro, and if you upgraded to Google’s latest version last year, you can probably skip this generation. But the 7 Pro brings a number of changes, both software and hardware, that make it a generally much better device and my favorite Android phone of the year so far.
For those in Europe, the price of the phone is the immediate tempting factor. With Apple seriously raising its prices in this region with the iPhone 14 series, the fact that the Pixel 7 Pro remains at the same £849 / €899 price point as before is very welcome.
Compared to the similarly sized (and similarly spec) iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Pixel 7 Pro is £250 more affordable in the UK and €580 cheaper in countries like France. That’s a huge difference that could very well sway those looking to upgrade.
It’s also lower than the RRP of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (£1149/€1249) and more in line with the price of the OnePlus 10 Pro (€899/£799). If I had to choose between spending my money on a Pixel 7 Pro or either of these two Android phones, I’d choose the Google option – it’s just much better value for money.
On the phone itself, the Pixel 7 Pro looks like Google’s most well-rounded flagship. My time with the 6 Pro was marred by numerous bugs and issues, poor Tensor chipset performance, and general quirks that I wasn’t used to on a phone at this price point. The story was completely the opposite this time around, with the Pixel 7 Pro performing brilliantly.
Google took a smart approach with the Pixel 7 Pro, offering an alternative for those who are fed up with phones being all huge (and largely unnecessary) speed boosts. With its Tensor G2 chipset, Google maintained the same general performance in games and everyday tasks, but it beefed up the AI processes.
Features like Magic Eraser, Unblur, Voice Recorder, etc. are much faster and more accurate. In fact, using CPU performance for tasks that make a difference every day rather than boosting it just to look good on benchmarking apps is a direction I hope we’ll see more of.
The extra intelligence of the Tensor G2 also helps the camera. I love the photos taken with the 7 Pro: they are full of contrast, cheerful colors and detail. Whether it’s bright, cloudy or dark, the camera produces a great shot. And then there are the camera modes which, instead of being fancy like the modes you’ll find elsewhere, actually make sense.
Unblur can take a photo you’d probably delete and bring it back to life, while Magic Eraser will easily remove unwanted guests. Guided Frame helps people who need it take selfies with vibration and sound, while Real Tone captures the most accurate skin tones anywhere.
Don’t forget the ecosystem
The final piece of the puzzle that Google managed to solve this year is the ecosystem that surrounds the phone. The Pixel Watch is a great smartwatch for those who don’t want a bulky fitness watch and it matches the style of the phone. The Pixel Buds Pro are by far Google’s best headphones yet and the first to offer premium features like ANC.
The Pixel 7 Pro is packed with features you’ll want to use – and for the first time in a Pixel phone, everything works as it should (at least it did in my time with the device). The phone’s core specs may not have changed much, but as a product as a whole and as part of a larger ecosystem, Google may well have struck gold this year.