The Google phones launched on October 6 in India – the Pixel 7 starts at Rs 59,999 and the Pixel 7 Pro at Rs 84,999 – and is very similar to its predecessors. After using smartphones for just under two weeks, here’s a comprehensive look at them. Which one would I recommend? Read on.
The phones were launched on October 6 in India – the Pixel 7 starts at Rs 59,999 and the Pixel 7 Pro starts at Rs 84,999.
Google Pixel 7
Google Pixel 7 Pro
I’ve had both smartphones for less than two weeks, and I have ideas.
It’s pretty clear right from the start how similar the 7 and 7 Pro are to their predecessors – except for some physical changes, such as the camera housing made of metal this time instead of glass. The Pixel 7 is slightly smaller than the 6, and has a 6.3-inch screen, while the Pixel 7 Pro has similar dimensions to the Pixel 6 Pro, but instead of the sharply curved screen of last year’s flagship, the curve is less noticeable. time.
I can’t help but feel that’s what Google intended the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to be — the new smartphones are more of an improvement to last year’s lineup than a drastic new upgrade. However, oddly enough, Google offers both phones in just one storage variant – 128GB – leaving potential buyers who need more storage with no choice but to look at other brands.
I received the Obsidian version of the 7, which is basically black, and the Hazel variant of the 7 Pro, which is olive green with gold accents. Despite being a fingerprint magnet, I absolutely loved the subtle black color of the 7, which features matte black aluminum sides, a camera cover, and a glass back.
But even more beautiful is the Hazel 7 Pro – the olive green color of the back is subtly complemented by a gold brushed aluminum frame and every inch looks avant-garde.
Now that looks are out of the way, how do phones work?
As with every smartphone, I tested five aspects – screen, camera, battery life, user experience, software, and the last of them greatly overlapped.
The Pixel 7 has a flat, 6.3-inch Full HD display, which is pretty impressive to look at, although one could argue that the sharper resolution couldn’t hurt. Colors are accurately reproduced on the screen, videos are rendered well, and I was able to view the contents of the screen in bright daylight without much hassle.
The Pixel 7 Pro is expected to make things better. The 6.7-inch screen is stunning and, at peak brightness, perfectly navigates in any lighting condition. Overall, it’s a screen that’s superior to its smaller sibling.
This was the most impressive part of both phones. Both phones easily lasted a day of moderate to heavy use, with the 7 Pro crossing the 40-hour mark before dying on me. The Pixel 7 arrived 27 hours before it needed a charge – a color I like.
Obviously your mileage will vary but not much. Google has taken it out of the park with battery life on its phones this year — the Pixel 6a held up well during testing.
Both phones support wireless charging and reverse charging, so imagine the step you took of wirelessly charging the Pixel 7 using the 7 Pro’s battery sharing feature, which effectively turned the Rs 85,000 flagship phone into a wireless charger.
Now we come to the meat of this review. Cameras have always been the standout feature of Pixel devices, and the 7 and 7 Pro don’t disappoint. Although I spent most of my time testing the better camera setup on the 7 Pro, I can attest that the 7 doesn’t slack. In fact, for reasons I’ll include later in the review, 7 is a better package overall.
So how did the 7 Pro perform? The phone comes with a set of triple cameras. Of course I played with the setting a bit. More than physical specs, it’s always Google’s computational ingenuity that really stands out. And even on a cloudy morning, the camera took some great pictures. Colors are saturated just right, with all three lenses – prime, ultra-wide and telephoto – maintaining color consistency while shooting the same subject.
The camera has other fun features, such as 360-degree photographs (which would be impossible to reproduce here), fish-eye mode, wide-angle, and vertical and horizontal “Photo Sphere” modes.
It also debuted this year’s Cinematic Video mode, but the 7 Pro is very aggressive in terms of the blur effect, which makes the final video look a bit artificial. Apple didn’t hit the mark on its first attempt at cinematic video capture in Series 13 last year, but it refined it in Series 14. Don’t expect Google to do anything different in its 2023 lineup.
Overall, using the camera app is a lot of fun with all the different modes, and the results are reliable, making your photography experience seamless.
User experience and software
This is where Google absolutely crushes. Google is the most natural bet on Apple as it makes the operating system (Android) and hardware (Pixel phones). However, the company’s strategy has faltered in previous years with some really baffling decisions, such as not bringing any flagship phones to India for a few years.
But with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the company is slowly starting to catch up with the iPhone maker. For the first time in many years, hardware and software designs are completely in sync, making for an enjoyable experience.
This does not mean that everything is smooth – there are some jagged edges. The weird bug pops up to spoil the experience slightly, but overall, it’s refined, well packaged and most importantly smooth as butter.
Android 13 works like a charm on these devices, and Google’s own touches, like Live Commentary and Live Transcription, have made my life as a journalist much easier. I’ll admit it – the Pixel experience is, for my money, a very practical and very useful one.
The Pixel 7, with its compact size, matte aluminum side rails and lower asking price, is the best value of these two devices, but the 7 Pro is definitely more attractive. If you can save an extra 25,000 rupees and absolutely need that bigger screen size and that extra camera, go with the Pixel 7 Pro.
But if you want the perfect Pixel experience in a delightfully small package, buy the Pixel 7. Either way, at least in my experience, you can’t go wrong.
(Edited by: Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First posted: IST
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