Google has officially unveiled two new "Pixel" smartphones that, along with the new Pixel smartwatch, will stand side by side with the most powerful devices on the market. These are two flagship devices with a refreshed design, minor changes in specifications, and the same prices as last year.
And although there haven't been many hardware upgrades, at least in comparison to the Pixel 6 series, the machine learning potential (or AI intelligence as some call it) has undoubtedly almost doubled this year. This has brought many software upgrades, including image processing. So how good are Pixel 7 cameras? Let's find out.
The interesting thing, without a doubt, is what the new Tensor G2 SoC is capable of doing in the photographic section. A section that, by the way, is identical in terms of configuration compared to the Pixel 6. We find, therefore, a primary sensor of 50 megapixels of resolution, as well as a second 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. We still do not have a telephoto sensor that allows us to take pictures with an optical zoom, which the Google Pixel 7 Pro does include.
Google, however, has sought a curious alternative: a two-fold digital zoom whose results, according to the company itself, mimic those of a telephoto lens. To do this, Google makes use of wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras simultaneously, and the Tensor G2 processor is responsible for combining the image without losing the quality. It is similar, therefore, to what we would obtain with a mobile phone with a telephoto sensor. But does Google really deliver what it promises?
The truth is that the results with the 2x mode are very similar to those we obtain with the main sensor. It maintains excellent Google processing, natural colors, and correct exposure, which are combined with a quality that, although not as good as the one we can get with the 50-megapixel lens, will not leave anyone indifferent.
On the other hand, the primary sensor as well as the ultra-wide-angle camera, continue to offer jaw-dropping results. The photographs captured with both sensors have incredible detail and manage to interpret colors very similarly to reality. In low light conditions, it is common to lose some detail, although the night mode manages to solve the low lighting very well.
Beyond the results, and the possibility of capturing with a 2x zoom similar to what we can obtain with a telephoto sensor, the Pixel 7 camera includes some very interesting additional functions.
It retains the possibility of erasing unwanted objects from the image very precisely, something that we already had in the Pixel 6. It also adds an option called 'Sharpen Photo', which allows you to recover the quality of those images that have been blurred or moved and that have not necessarily been captured with the Google Pixel camera. In fact, the feature is not available in the camera app, but in the Photo app, and it works really well. You just have to locate a blurred image, click on the edit button and click on the 'Sharpen' button that appears on the screen.
Another interesting mode, which is activated automatically, is Real Tone. This function, which makes use of the Tensor G2 chip, is capable of recognizing the real tone of people so that they are correctly interpreted when processing the photograph.
As for the video, and as a novelty, the Google Pixel 7 allows you to record in a cinematographic mode, which allows you to blur the background and keep the main subject in focus to achieve much more visually attractive shots.
The Pixel 7 Pro is the model that will be the best phone that Google has to offer in the next year. This device is in many ways similar to last year's Pixel 6 Pro model with a refreshed body design and a new chip. As said, Google phones have been known for some time now for their phenomenal camera performance.
The Pixel 7 Pro has a 50MP main camera with f/1.85 aperture, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 48MP telephoto sensor with 5x optical zoom. The front camera is 10.8MP with a 93-degree field of view. The camera can record 10-bit HDR 4K video at up to 60 fps.
While Google doesn't tend to upgrade camera sensors often, which they didn't this time around either, the software improvements have clearly been significant, as the Pixel 7 Pro just topped DxOMark's list of best camera phones. Although many doubt the DxOMark test because the laboratory cooperates with phone manufacturers, there is no doubt that the test is objective, and the fact that companies adjust their cameras to achieve the best result can only benefit end users.
Be that as it may, the laboratory also put the latest phone from Google through its fingers and came to the conclusion that its camera, with 147 points, surpasses even the iPhone 14 Pro. Unfortunately, the new Pixel is not alone in the first position, because it did not manage to overtake the score achieved by the Honor Magic4 Ultimate.
According to DxOMark, the camera of the Pixel 7 Pro device represents a significant improvement compared to last year, which is best reflected when taking zoomed photos and in video quality. Autofocus is fast and accurate, and in combination with face tracking, the camera proved to be excellent when photographing groups of people and "targets" that are not standing still.
The selfie camera also received praise, which faithfully shows the colors of faces and offers a satisfactory level of detail, but the selfies were quite capable of being out of focus.
Although, as mentioned at the beginning, there haven’t been many hardware changes compared to the Pixel 6 series, Google did manage to improve their phones. Photo and video quality profited the most this year, and both Pixel 7 smartphones are among the best phones on the market, with Pixel 7 Pro offering the best image quality, at least according to some tests.