The Pixel 7 It may be the first sequel to Google’s flagship smartphones.
It might sound strange to say about the “Version 7” of the smartphone, but before now, every Pixel company switched manufacturers or used a new design from year to year. This strategy is the opposite of that employed by larger, more serious hardware companies like Apple or Samsung, from which you can expect consistent, frequent smartphone designs, with major redesigns coming every few years. When you strive to build a smartphone from scratch every year, it’s hard to do much in the way of debugging, improvements, or adapting to customer feedback.
Pixel 6 Pro It was already the best Android phone you could buy, so Google didn’t have to do much to deliver a good smartphone this year. All the important parts of Pixel 6 Here, like the class-leading price tag, great camera, and fast and clean software. But even with such a solid base, Google has done a good job fixing some of our minor complaints about the Pixel 6. There’s no reason to upgrade if you have a Pixel 6, but the actual “version 2” of Google’s flagship smartphone might tempt more people to try the brand.
Really cool design improvement
|Specifications at a glance|
|Pixel 7||Pixel 7 Pro|
|Monitor||6.3 inches, 90Hz, 2400 x 1080 OLED||6.7 inches 120 Hz3120 x 1440 LTPO OLED|
|The operating system||Android 13|
|CPU||Google Tensor G2
Two Cortex-X1 cores clocked at 2.85 GHz
|GPU||ARM Mali G710 MC10|
|RAM||8 GB||12 GB|
|storage||128 GB / 256 GB UFS 3.1.2||128 GB / 256 GB /512 GB
|the battery||4355 mAh||5000 mAh|
|Networks||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, 5G mmWave (my choice) and Sub-6 GHz||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, 5G mmWave & Sub-6 GHz, UWB|
|ports||USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 with 30W USB-PD 3.0 charging|
|back camera||50 mega pixel primary
12 MP wide angle
|50 mega pixel primary
12 MP wide angle
48 MP 4x Telephoto
|front camera||10.8 Megapixel||10.8 Megapixel|
|size||155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm||162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm|
|Weight||197 g||212 grams|
|Other privileges||IP68 dust and water resistance, eSIM, wireless charging, in-display fingerprint reader|
The best part of the Pixel 6’s design, the camera bar, returns in the Pixel 7. Google’s camera bar remains the best rear camera design in the industry because it achieves the goal of freeing up camera lens space while also being practical. The bar is a raised horizontal bar across the back of the phone, allowing the device to sit on a table without swinging back and forth (an unfortunate side effect of the corner-mounted camera bumps). It’s a huge improvement over the usual wobbly smartphone. The camera strap also helps to hold your index finger under the bezel that it makes across the back of the phone. It’s hard to prop the device up with the angled camera bump, but the large, tactile bezel gives you another focal point.
The Pixel 6’s camera bar was a mess in some parts. The top and bottom edges were aluminum, and a single glass strip covered each lens. Google couldn’t bend the glass around the right and left sides, so the glass suddenly stopped and awkwardly turned black plastic. The large panes of glass were also a magnet for glare in some lighting conditions. Light can enter the glass strip from many angles and be reflected to wash away your photos.
The Pixel 7 camera strip simplifies things. A single piece of aluminum now makes up the phone’s frame, sides, and the outside of the camera strap, with only one or two glass openings for the camera lenses. Glare problems are reduced. The camera hasn’t changed much, but a 5x telephoto lens (and 30x software zoom) has been added.
Google made all the wrong choices when it came to differentiating the design of the Pixel 7 Pro from its little brother, the Pixel 7, which resulted in the cheaper phone having a better design overall. The Pixel 7 Pro uses a mirror finish on the aluminum sides and the camera bar. The finish picks up fingerprints and highlights scratches, and the camera strip of our week-old review unit is barely dented already. The base model Pixel 7 features a matte brushed aluminum finish, which better hides scratches. Brushed aluminum looks better, isn’t covered in fingerprints, and feels better, with the matte aluminum sides providing a bit more grip than the Pro’s fine finish.
The base model Pixel 7 also has a completely flat screen, while the Pixel 7 Pro has a curved screen. Curved screen distorts content at the edges of the screen, catches glare, and makes accidental touches easier. It’s a marketing-driven counter-feature that manufacturers have to get rid of. The Pixel 7 Pro’s display is noticeably less curved than the Pixel 6 Pro, but why not completely burden the user with such an unpleasant design?
With a better aluminum finish and flat screen, the $600 Pixel 7 feels like a major upgrade over the $900 Pixel 7 Pro, and that’s what I’d pick if I could get the base model with a high-end 120Hz display. Google should drop the 7 Pro design and release two versions of the Pixel 7 because none of the “premium” design changes it made were worthwhile. Every day I pick up a Pixel 7 and tend to switch from the Pro because the exterior is so much nicer.
Speaking of bad trends, let’s talk about mmWave. The worst part about the Pixel 6 Pro’s design was the giant plastic mmWave window on the top edge of the phone. On my white version, there’s a huge white band on the top of the phone, and it doesn’t match the cream-colored back or the silver-tone aluminum strap. The Pixel 7 Pro looks much better, reducing the dropout to a color-matched round window that only takes up about 40 percent of the length of the top. It’s a big improvement.
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