The Google Pixel 7 faces a difficult task. Can this new Google smartphone fight against the semi-monopoly of Apple and Samsung? Probably not, but the Pixel fights harder than ever and shows consumers that there are still good alternatives for a high-end smartphone other than Samsung or Apple.
Despite all the strong hardware and new features, the Pixel is unlikely to turn the Samsung-Apple market upside down. But this new Pixel 7 is drawing attention and bringing Google a little closer to the top of the smartphone market.
Where the Google Pixel takes advantage of is in price. The Pixel 7 is very competitively priced, especially considering the high quality and strong hardware of the smartphone. If you're looking for a flagship smartphone, you'll spend much less with Google than with Samsung or Apple. You will easily save more than 200 dollars.
• Google Pixel 7 price: from $599.00.
• Samsung S22 price: from $799.00.
• iPhone 14 price: from $999.00.
The Google Pixel 7 will hit stores at the same time as the Google Pixel 7 Pro. The Pro model is a larger version and is available from $799 and has, among other things, a telephoto lens. At the same time, Google has also finally entered the smartwatch market with the long-awaited Google Pixel Watch.
The design of the Google Pixel 7 is quite similar to that of its predecessor, the Google Pixel 6. It is a unique and modern design, which differentiates it from Samsung or Apple. The first thing that catches your eye is the wide and elevated strip that houses the cameras. While some don’t like it, at least it stands out in a market where every phone has a couple of cameras glued to the top left.
This fairly present camera strip is different from an island as you often see on a smartphone, including the S22 and iPhone 14. It's a well-finished, modern look, but not everyone will appreciate this design choice. The Pixel 7 has a matte camera strip, while the Pixel 7 Pro has a glossy strip. Unfortunately, the shiny band is quite cheap looking.
Overall, the Google Pixel 7 looks somewhat cheap. The new colors have a glossy finish and quickly pick up fingerprints and dust. However, the phone feels very solid and of quality. The two-tone look of the Google Pixel 6 has given way to a single color along with the silver camera bar.
Both the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro receive Google's very own chipset: the Tensor G2. This fast chip is well regarded and is more powerful and energy efficient than the one in the Pixel 6. Also, this Tensor chip enables some nice features thanks to machine learning and AI.
For example, you can use Photo Unblur, not just for the photos you take with the Pixel 7, but for any photo you find. The result isn't perfect, but it can turn a useless blurry photo into something you can share with your friends or on Instagram. And while the Google Pixel 7 doesn't come with a telephoto lens (the 7 Pro does), you can use the Super Res Zoom feature to digitally enlarge your photos and bring them into focus. Here you get similar results to phones that do have telephoto lenses.
So far the performance of the Tensor G2 is very respectable, approaching the power that the Snapdragon 8 puts out. But the Tensor G2 will soon be outclassed again by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which will likely be in the latest Samsung Galaxy S23 this spring.
One hardware ailment that held the Google Pixel 6 back was a malfunctioning fingerprint sensor. That's no longer an issue with the Pixel 7, as a new facial recognition feature has now been added with which you can wake up the screen. Fortunately, if you still want to use the fingerprint sensor, it has been upgraded as well. It works faster and better than its predecessor, but it's still not perfect.
You've heard before about the new features you can use after taking the photo, but now we come to reality. The Google Pixel 7 comes with a 50-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens. A telephoto lens is only available on the Pixel 7 Pro and it features 48 megapixels.
Photos are sharp, crisp, and comparable to competitors like the S22 and iPhone 14. In most cases, the Pixel 7 photos can be better than with S22 and iPhone 14, especially for all the smart gadgets that the Google Pixel 7 has. The selfie camera has also received an update on both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Among the gadgets, we haven't talked about before is the "magic eraser". With this tool, you can easily edit photos when there are people in your beautiful shot, for example. This feature works very well and can turn a damaged photo into a great photo. It also takes photos faster in night mode thanks to improved software - about 3 seconds faster than on the Pixel 6.
The battery is adequate, but nothing special to write about. The 4350 mAh battery is enough for a full day of use, but for a really heavy user, it's handy to have the charger with you at all times. By the way, you have to buy this yourself, since you will not find it in the box.
What slows down the battery the most is the charging speed. The Pixel 6 could fast charge at 30W, but this year that has sadly dropped. The Pixel 7 charges at 21W, which is extremely slow for a 2022 flagship smartphone. You can charge wirelessly with the Pixel 7, but that just slows it down. It needs almost 2 hours to fully charge the phone. Be that as it may, it can save the longevity of the battery for a little longer.
The Google Pixel 7's display hasn't changed, but that's not a bad thing. The screen is sharp and has a respectable resolution of 2400x1080 pixels. Scrolling and swiping are nice and smooth, thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate. The maximum screen brightness has also increased a bit compared to the Google Pixel 6.
For those users who are not necessarily attached to a Samsung or Apple brand, a great option has been added when it comes to high-end smartphones. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are two respectable phones, especially considering the low price they're available for.
Some minor points hold back the Google Pixel 7, such as slow charging and the somewhat unusual design that you have to love. Still, technical gadgets like camera software, as well as 5-year promised updates, make it a very suitable option.