Price: 84,999 rupees
Specs: 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD+ OLED (512ppi), Google Tensor G2 processor, 12GB RAM, 128GB ROM, Android 13, Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP ultrawide + 48MP 5-10x telephoto; Front Camera: 10.8 MP Selfie, 5G, Dual SIM (Nano + eSIM), WiFi 6, IP68 (1.5m for 30 min), 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm, 212g
color: snow (white), hazel (gray), obsidian (black)
in the box: Pixel 7 Pro, USB-C to USB-C Cable, Quick Switch Adapter
Google is back in force. After a long break of about three years, Google has once again launched its flagship smartphones in India, and that too at very competitive prices. But does the Google 7 Pro have enough power to stand in the league of competitors Apple and Samsung? The answer is yes.
In a sea of smartphones where all Android phones look the same, the refreshing design of the Pixel 7 Pro stands out. Front and back are all glass with a metal frame in between. But the raised camera bar at the back (in previous models, it was a windshield) adds to the uniqueness of the design. For this purpose Google used 100% recycled aluminum and the glossy glossy finish looks amazing. But at the same time it is prone to scratches.
This high bar also contributes to ergonomics, as holding the phone is more comfortable. Instead of resting the phone on the pinky (little finger), the index finger is placed on the band that supports the weight of the Pixel 7 Pro. This makes even the top of the 6.7-inch screen and controls (power button and volume control on the right panel) accessible with one hand.
Although there is a dual SIM phone, there is only one physical SIM (nano SIM) slot and the secondary SIM can be installed as an eSIM. And like every other flagship in the league, even the Pixel 7 Pro is IP68 certified – it can withstand water up to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.
Complementing the design is a vibrant 6.7-inch OLED display, slightly curved towards the sides. Colors came out beautifully, and text appeared sharp on the bright screen, enhancing the content consumption experience. With an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz, scrolling through long web pages, the Play Store, or even thousands of photos in the Google Photos cloud app was incredibly smooth. However, at full brightness, the screen started to strain my eyes. Hence, I preferred to use it over adaptive brightness. It also has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which unlocks the phone quickly. Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection is also added to prevent the screen from scratches and accidental drops.
Pixel phones have always been all about photography, and the Pixel 7 Pro lives up to its legacy. The combination of software and hardware in this flagship product results in stunning shots, giving tough competition to the latest iPhone and Galaxy flagships.
The basic setup includes a 50MP wide angle with f/1.9 aperture, a 48MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. The camera user interface is intuitive as it seamlessly switches between the lens as you zoom in and out.
But it all boils down to the output, which is simply amazing. Be it the morning and evening skyline, flowers and trees or even the well-lit streets and shops of Diwali; The sensors on the panel do an excellent job of capturing fine details and accurately rendering colors. The wide-angle lens also doubles as a macro portrait – allowing you to get really close to small subjects like flowers, insects, and more.
Google has outdone low-light photography, too. Night Sight mode starts when the camera detects insufficient light and takes excellent shots without making photos look artificial. The exposure is about 6 seconds max, during which one has to remain still or rest against the wall. There were lights burning in some of the shots, but it wasn’t a problem. Pictures taken with the selfie camera are also impressive, and the front camera performs biometric unlocking.
It’s not just the magic of the camera as Google has put all its software expertise to this extraordinary photography experience. A range of editing features can be accessed in real time. For example, shots taken of flower arrangements at the Taj Mansingh Hotel had people in the background. While checking photos in the Photos app, the 7 Pro suggested erasing people in the background and even did an amazing job. But that doesn’t always work with people on the sides and unwanted faces in the foreground. For this, the solution is to use the magic eraser, circle the unwanted element and remove it.
Likewise, unblur tries to fix the blurred image and does a reasonably decent job. These two features can be accessed in shots taken with the Pixel 7 Pro and even older photos backed on Google Photos. The editing option is full of features that one can explore to get the desired result on the device itself.
Even videos captured from the Pixel 7 Pro at 10-bit 4K and 30fps looked professional-quality. Taking videography to the next level was cinematic video that kept the subject in focus while blurring the background and even the foreground. The mode is quick to shift focus between subjects.
Most of the Android smartphones have a custom user interface but it is crowded. This is not the case with Pixel smartphones. Stock Android means that almost all apps are placed in the apps tray, and you can add shortcuts to the home page. Plus, it only comes pre-installed with Google apps and services, and there’s no bloatware on board.
The Pixel 7 Pro, running Android 13, gets access to some additional software features from Google. For example, it transcribes audio recordings in selected languages, including English, in real time. It’s not 100 percent accurate, but it’s 60 percent correct. Another exciting feature is reading the texts of the voice messages within the Google Messages app.
All of that heavy lifting is done by Google’s in-house Tensor G2 chip built with AI and ML. As for benchmarks, it’s not as powerful as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, yet it’s powerful enough to handle all tasks smoothly.
Pixel 7 Pro took a little longer to set up compared to other Android smartphones. However, the daily user experience was lag free. Streaming HD videos and graphic heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legends is attractive and hassle free. I have used the phone extensively for photography, web browsing, audio recording (along with the transcription feature), navigation, and more. There hasn’t been a single incident where the Pixel 7 Pro showed any signs of struggle. Google also promises three years of major OS updates and at least five years of security updates.
The battery backup on the Pixel 7 Pro also doesn’t disappoint. With heavy use, the 5,000mAh battery lasted me a day with about 25 percent juice remaining. With the adaptive battery setting, battery life can be extended based on usage, but it reduces performance and background activity.
Just because Google also got rid of the adapter, leaving you to invest in a new adapter or use your existing one.
While everything is great about the Pixel 7 Pro, the only pain point, for some uses, might be the 128GB storage with no expandable memory. Same issue as the base model of Apple iPhones, but you have a higher capacity option to choose from. But that shouldn’t be an issue as the world moves toward cloud storage. Your photos can be backed up to Google Photos, and most of the data is on Google Drive. Although you get a limited 15GB of cloud storage with a Google account, the company offers three free months of Google One cloud storage. Once completed, the 100GB storage plan costs Rs 1,300 per year, which you can share with your family members. This way, all your data is backed up anyway on the cloud.
The Pixel 7 Pro, with its refreshing design, excellent camera, and great performance, is one of the best Android smartphones on the market. Google sealed the deal with aggressive pricing of Rs 84,999, giving the competition a run for their money.
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