All that and a bag of (Tensor) chips

google pixel 7 pro standing

The Pixel 7 Pro is the best that Google has to offer. It vies for the smartphone photography crown thanks to a few new Tensor G2 tricks and delivers a design that’s uniquely Google. At just $899, it’s tough to find a better value in a flagship device — unless you buy the Pixel 7.

The Pixel 6 Pro redefined what it meant to be a Google flagship. It threw everything at the wall, adopting a fresh design, a third rear camera, and Google’s in-house Tensor chip to stand apart from the crowd. Most of the changes stuck, but others, like weak charging, a wonky fingerprint scanner, and poor thermal management showed that the creator of Android still had some polishing to do. Now we have a new set of Pixels to play with, headlined by the top-of-the-line Pixel 7 Pro. It’s time to find out if Google is another year wiser or just another year older. This is Srdtf News’s Google Pixel 7 Pro review.

About this Google Pixel 7 Pro review: I tested the Pixel 7 Pro (128GB) over a period of seven days. It was running Android 13 on the October 2, 2022 security update and the July 1, 2022 Google Play system update. Google provided the unit for this review.

What you need to know about the Google Pixel 7 Pro

google pixel 7 pro home screen in hand

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/128GB): $899 / £849 / €899
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/256GB): $999 / £949 / €999
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/512GB): $1,099

Google announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at its Made by Google event in October 2022, along with the long-awaited Pixel Watch. Both phones follow the same story as the Pixel 6 series, sharing processors, design languages, software, and enough leaks in the lead-up to sink the Titanic. The Pixel 7 Pro, however, takes everything just a step further. It’s still a fraction cheaper than its flagship peers from Samsung and Apple, but it is the most expensive Pixel device on the market, and it has a well-rounded spec sheet to justify the asking price.

Like its predecessor, the Pixel 7 Pro packs a 6.7-inch OLED display with slight waterfall edges. It’s still the largest screen you’ll find on a Pixel device and expansive enough to rival flagships from any other manufacturer. Google’s new flagship tops out at 1,500 nits, almost double the peak of the previous model. The vibrant display is made of Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus (not Plus — that’s Samsung-exclusive) and should withstand plenty of wear and tear.

Behind the stunning display lies a solid supporting cast. All versions of the Pixel 7 Pro pack 12GB of RAM, which you can pair with 128, 256, or 512GB (in selected regions only) of fixed storage. The battery gets a very slight trim, dipping from 5,003mAh to an even 5,000, and the 23W peak charging setup is unchanged from generation to generation. You can get the fastest wireless recharge times from Google’s second-gen Pixel Stand at 23W.

The Tensor G2 is perhaps the most important change to a Pixel 7 Pro that doesn’t fall far from the design tree that took root with the Pixel 6 series.

Perhaps the most crucial change inside the Pixel 7 Pro is the second-generation Tensor G2 chipset. It takes the place of Google’s first in-house silicon, bringing a trio of key updates. The Tensor G2 relies on the same 5nm architecture, but incorporates a new GPU and modem, and adds further improvements to the TPU (Tensor Processing Unit). We’ll dip back into how each change impacts performance in a little bit, but Google says that all three are designed to be faster and more efficient.

Although the camera bar might look slightly shinier this year, most of its changes are superficial. The 50MP primary sensor is identical to the previous version, while the ultrawide and telephoto lenses pick up minor adjustments. Google stretched its ultrawide field of view to let a little more into your shots while the 5x optical zoom telephoto punches in just a little further. Around the front, the punch-hole selfie shooter offers a 10.8MP resolution and is easy enough to ignore unless it’s lit up to indicate Face Unlock — a returning feature for the first time since the Pixel 4.

We’re probably not too far from manufacturers delivering phones with nothing else in the box as the Pixel 7 Pro continues its slimming trend. Bundled headphones and chargers are firmly in the rearview mirror, with only a Quick Switch Adapter, SIM ejector, USB-C cable, and basic paperwork to keep the device company.

google pixel 7 pro quick settings 1

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

The well-priced Pixel 7 Pro once again squares off against the best that Android and iOS have to offer. It’s more affordable than Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra, though it makes a few sacrifices up and down the spec sheet. Samsung’s flagships also have an edge in software updates, though the Pixel 7 Pro starts on an Android version ahead of its rivals. If you’re not locked into Android, Apple is Google’s other marquee rival, and the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are as good as Pro-tier phones from Cupertino have ever been.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro were announced for pre-order on October 6, 2022, before opening to wider availability on October 13 at the Google Store and many major third-party retailers. Google’s latest Pixels are the easiest to obtain in quite some time, becoming available in 17 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and North America — a nice bump after the Pixel 6 series only launched in nine regions. The Pixel 7 Pro comes in Snow, Obsidian, and Hazel.

Has the design changed at all?

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro face down back view in black

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

Stop us if you’ve heard this before for a new flagship phone, but Google didn’t reinvent the design wheel in 2022. The Pixel 7 Pro takes clear cues from its direct predecessor, choosing to polish a unique design rather than reinvent itself. It’s a familiar approach, one we’ve seen from both Samsung and Apple, and it works out well for fans of Google’s camera bar and boxy shape.

The minute you open the box, you’re greeted by a glossy slab of Gorilla Glass Victus, interrupted only by a new aluminum camera bar and a contrasting G logo. Aesthetically, the choice is stunning, but you’ll need a cleaning cloth — or a case — the second you pick up your phone. If there was a metric to describe how quickly fingerprints appear — let’s call it TTS (Time-To-Smudge) — the Pixel 7 Pro would score a zero, meaning it takes no time to mar the shiny glass finish. On the bright side, all three color options — Hazel, Snow, and Obsidian (pictured throughout this review) — look great. Hazel is as close as we’ll get to a fun color option due to the bronze rails and camera bar, but even then, it’s a business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back type of look.

Pixel 7 Pro hazel showing rear panel and cameraHazelGoogle Pixel 7 Pro Snow backSnow

Google’s glossy finish is about as slick as a baby seal trying to wrestle a greased pig. It begins to slide the moment I set it down, and I’ve almost put the limits of Gorilla Glass Victus to the test more than once. The glistening gloss extends to the aluminum frame, which is essentially a mirror, especially on the flat parts of the camera bar. It’s a nice aesthetic change from the black glass bar of the Pixel 6 Pro, and the cutouts around the lenses help to draw your eye to the trio rather than hide it. Unfortunately, the repeated design still means the camera bar sticks out pretty far and has no trouble collecting dust bunnies in the corners above and below. The polished frame houses a USB-C port along the bottom edge, flanked by a microphone and a speaker, as well as a nano-SIM tray on the left side.

The Pixel 7 Pro is a stunning device, but you’ll be just as stunned by the number of fingerprints the glossy finish picks up.

Despite Google keeping the broad strokes of its design in place, the Pixel 7 Pro’s few changes offer immediate quality-of-life improvements. The power button and volume rocker have shifted slightly down the right side, making them easier to reach when wrangling the phone one-handed. Google’s waterfall edges are also slightly softer, which gives the Pixel 7 Pro a little more presence in hand instead of feeling like you’re holding the edge of a knife.

google pixel 7 pro selfie cameragoogle pixel 7 pro ports 1

The sharp Quad HD+ (3,120 x 1,440) resolution panel carries over from the Pixel 6 Pro and is as bright and sharp as ever — brighter, in fact. The Pixel 7 Pro’s display now reaches a peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits, almost double the 800 nits of the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s not quite the 2,000 nits afforded by Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro, but the difference is night and day when sat next to the previous model.

Color recreation is also excellent, with deep blacks and punchy colors that bring animated wallpapers to life. It’s only interrupted by a punch-hole selfie camera, which is easy to ignore.

Google’s adaptive refresh rate dips as low as 10Hz thanks to LTPO technology, though it spends most of its time at 60Hz or 120Hz for smooth transitions and animations. I haven’t noticed any stuttering over the course of my testing. I have, however, noticed a better balance with the phone, which fixes most of the top-heaviness we felt with the previous Pixel 6 Pro. The 6.7-inch boxy design is still a beast in the hand, but the slightly flatter edges are more comfortable to hold securely.

There’s also an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance should the slippery devil fall out of your hands and into anything more harmful than carpet.

Is the Google Pixel 7 Pro the best Android camera phone?

google pixel 7 pro cameras 2

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

Google introduced massive camera changes with the Pixel 6 series, and the Pixel 7 Pro gets to reap the benefits. It sticks to primarily the same hardware, but the Pixel team has had another year to fine-tune its processing power. The Pixel 7 Pro’s primary sensor is the 50MP Samsung GN1, measuring 1/1.31-inches with a wide f/1.9 max aperture that lends smooth, natural bokeh. As with most high-megapixel sensors, the main shooter pixel bins to smaller, more manageable images by default — in this case, 12.5MP.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s ultrawide camera picks up minor changes, shifting from a 114-degree to a wider 126-degree field of view but keeping its 12MP resolution. It fits slightly more into the frame and picks up autofocus support, the latter of which enables an automatic macro mode that lets you get up close and personal with flowers and mushrooms. Google’s most notable change, though, comes from the telephoto lens, which swapped its 4x optical zoom for 5x. That’s longer than most smartphone cameras and offers a noticeable boost to zoom images. Google’s AI-assisted Super Res Zoom tech also now tops out at 30x, with the Tensor G2 lending a hand to the telephoto shooter.

We put the Pixel 7 Pro through the photography wringer and it delivered in almost all conditions.

Regardless of what Google did with its camera hardware, the updated Tensor G2 chipset is the muscle behind the lenses. Its updated TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) is the source of the Pixel’s machine learning might, and is integral to unique features like the returning favorite Magic Eraser, the aforementioned Super Res Zoom, and the all-new Photo Unblur. It’s also a key player in speeding up the Night Sight mode for low-light photography, bringing brighter images to your camera roll twice as fast as before, furthering Google’s Real Tone technology for capturing accurate skin tones, and Guided Frame — a new accessibility feature that has a voice guide to help visually impaired users take selfies.

Of course, Google’s reliance on the Tensor G2 to help you get the perfect shot means that there are no manual controls on the Pixel 7 Pro. You can choose your shooting mode and your zoom, but that’s about it. This might not matter to a lot of users who just want the quick snap, but diehard camera geeks might find that they miss toying with the white balance, aperture, ISO, and more.

google pixel 7 pro camera app in hand taking a shot of the exterior of a house

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

My colleagues and I have put the Pixel 7 Pro through the photography wringer to see how it stacks up against the very best camera phones. We’ve tested all three lenses and Google’s countless shooting modes across several countries in varied locations and scenarios. Our features editor Rita El Khoury uploaded 200+ images just by herself.

That’s a lot of testing, but no matter the number of shots, the Pixel 7 Pro delivered in almost all conditions, day or night. It captured details well, and Google’s natural color profile is pleasing to the eye. You can pick out any number of shades of green in the arbor below, and the tiniest leaves stay distinct rather than bleeding together. The image looking up at a spiral staircase shows detail on the dark and light planks, and there’s no loss of texture in the wall.

The impact of Google’s Tensor G2 is especially impressive when it comes to non-human portraits. We regularly see smartphone cameras struggle with edge detection, but the Pixel 7 Pro followed the horse’s outline closely, only missing a few wisps of the mane. Other shots, like the blue sign, show similar edge detection and accurate exposure since the sign was in the shade while the background was in the sun. Its bokeh is slightly less noticeable, but it still separates from the subject. The red light on the green truck to the left isn’t an example of portrait mode, but it does give a taste of the Pixel 7 Pro’s natural bokeh.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s ultrawide lens has quickly become a favorite of mine on the Pixel 7 Pro. It captures a tremendous amount of detail, with colors that match the primary camera and little to no distortion. The 0.5x perspective is on the wide side, but there’s no bending or stretching in the trees to the left or the “Smile” mural. You will see some blurring and distortion at the very edges of some snaps, but that’s inevitable with a relatively wide field of view.

The ultrawide camera’s macro mode adds a bit of fun and is a much better implementation than your average, low-res dedicated macro lens. Our results have been hit or miss, given the need for steady hands and a lot of light, but when the macro hits, it really hits. We managed a success rate of around 50%, which is good for a macro lens but lags behind Google’s usual standout performance. The image of a red leaf is a great example of the macro lens performing at its best, showing bright colors and sharp lines throughout the divisions and edges of the leaf (don’t look at us for plant terms, we’re phone people). The Turkey Tail mushroom is another good example, with fine lines recreated even in the folds and smaller background leaves.

As for zoom, the Pixel 7 Pro transitions smoothly through its entire zoom range, especially at its preset lengths. The idiot-proof camera interface offers quick taps for 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x, examples of which you can see in the gallery directly below. I found the colors consistent across the first three snaps, though the 5x zoom image picks up a slight yellow tint. It’s unclear whether that’s a change in the color profile or just my eyes playing tricks since the shadows and green hues are out of the picture. Color change or not, the details are sharp, and Google’s stabilization is a lifesaver for shaky hands. Check out our deep dive into the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera zoom for even more shots and analysis.

Google Pixel 7 Pro truck bed ultrawideUltrawideGoogle Pixel 7 Pro truck bed standardStandardGoogle Pixel 7 Pro truck bed 2x2x zoomGoogle Pixel 7 Pro truck bed 5x5x zoom

Once you eclipse the 5x zoom button, you’ll have to manually pinch for 10x and 30x Super Res Zoom with only a small dot to guide your focus. Honestly, the hardest part is landing exactly on 10x or 30x — Google’s image stabilization and the Tensor G2 do the rest. The 10x zoom image below is sharp with good details and colors, even in the trees to the bottom left. 30x zoom is certainly usable, though the white ball does start to soften noticeably around the edges. You can’t make out quite as many details in the shadows, but the bright side of the building still shows rivets and creases. Super Res Zoom still leans heavily on the Tensor G2 to clean up your shots, and the drop-off beyond the 10x mark means it’s a fantastic long-distance shooter, but not quite up to par with the industry-leading Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Google Pixel 7 Pro mill 2x2x ZoomGoogle Pixel 7 Pro mill 5x5x ZoomGoogle Pixel 7 Pro mill 10x10x ZoomGoogle Pixel 7 Pro mill 30xPixel 7 Pro – 30x

Now, a Pixel wouldn’t be a Pixel if its camera chops stopped at zooming in and out, would it? Of course not. Google’s camera app is packed with more shooting modes like Motion Mode, Night Sight, and several video settings. You can see the effects of Motion Mode’s long exposure below, which blurs the stream without forcing you to sit still for a true long exposure. Motion Mode also offers Action Pan, which lends a blur effect around cars and other moving objects when you feel the need for speed.

Other features, like Magic Eraser, come into play after you get the shot. Introduced with the Pixel 6 series, Magic Eraser lets you remove items from your photos a la Thanos, or camouflage them to avoid strange artifacts and glitches. Google isn’t the only smartphone maker with an object removal feature, but it’s proven itself to be the most successful at kicking out pesky intruders from your best shots.

Magic Eraser works better on some backgrounds than others, especially when you get a consistent texture like the grass below. The Pixel 7 Pro easily removed the two people, seeding grass that perfectly followed the shadow of the tent. It’s also worth pointing out that the primary camera captured a remarkable amount of detail inside the tent itself rather than crushing the shadows.

Google Pixel 7 Pro tent 1xBefore Magic EraserGoogle Pixel 7 Pro tent magic eraserAfter Magic Eraser

In the same editing vein, Google is doing its best to breathe life into old photos. We all have stacks (or maybe just digital stacks) of old shots that came out blurry or grainy, but we kept them for sentimental purposes. Now, the Pixel 7 Pro offers Photo Unblur through Google Photos, which can sharpen that collection even if they weren’t taken on a Pixel device. It’s not just older snaps either, as Photo Unblur builds on what was previously Face Unblur to clean up brand-new photos, too. For examples of both in action, be sure to check out our Photo Unblur samples. Right now, Photo Unblur is exclusive to the Pixel 7 series, though it’s unclear if it will stay that way since it runs through Google Photos.

Night Sight is one of the Pixel’s longest-standing camera features, and it’s getting better with age. It kicks in as an automatic alternative (or it can be manually selected) to using the flash, preserving the details of lower-light scenes without blowing out the colors. More importantly, the old dog seems to be picking up speed thanks to the Tensor G2. I’ve achieved good results in true evening scenarios, like the bar to the left and the bell to the right, and Night Sight is no slouch during the day, either. It kicked in while in the cave below, bringing more detail to the foreground without washing out the background where the cave ends.

There’s one more camera to touch on for the Pixel 7 Pro — the selfie shooter. Google’s 10.8MP punch hole lens is the only interruption to its sweeping OLED display, and it drops a few fractions of a megapixel compared to the Pixel 6 Pro to match the smaller Pixel 7. Despite the tiny drop, there’s no noticeable change in quality. I’m pleased with the color and details of my face, hair, sweatshirt, and background stream. A few of the trees and leaves bleed together further back, but not to the point of a watercolor effect. Google’s portrait mode is suitable for the most part, though it gives a bit of a halo around my hair. I’m no stranger to the odd portrait effect, but I’ve seen several other smartphones cut closer to the edges of my head. On the bright side, the edge detection around my shoulders is spot on, and the Pixel 7 Pro blurred each beam in the bridge evenly.

Google Pixel 7 Pro selfie standardPixel 7 Pro standard selfieGoogle Pixel 7 Pro selfie portraitPixel 7 Pro Portrait selfie

The Pixel 7 Pro’s video features get a nice Tensor G2 punch as well. One of the major updates is the addition of Cinematic Blur, which is basically portrait mode for video. It adds a shallow depth of field to your footage at a fixed 24fps for the aspiring filmmaker in all of us. Like Google’s still photography portrait mode, it works pretty well, though it can have some trouble getting the perfect edge on unnatural shapes. Tracking objects in Cinematic Blur mode also seems to be a work in progress, as the bokeh effect sometimes takes a second or two to catch up to your subject.

Outside of Cinematic Blur, the Pixel 7 Pro can record in 4K at 60fps from all of its cameras, including the selfie shooter. The video stabilization is excellent, making clips taken at 5x zoom far more usable than in years past. 10-bit HDR support is another nice addition for brighter, more color-rich footage, though it tops out at 30fps. The updated Speech Enhancement feature is impressive, too, picking out the audio from whoever is speaking in your clip and enhancing it. Apple might still be the king of handheld video, but Google is catching up in a big way with its Tensor G2.

These are only a few of the photo samples we collected as a team, but you’re free to dig through every last shot if you want. We’ve stashed them all in a Google Drive folder, which you can access here.

How good is the battery life? And the charging?

Pixel 7 Pro battery graph 2Pixel 7 Pro battery graph 1

Google has had its fair share of battery hits and misses. Like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you would get. It wasn’t all that great (read: terrible) on the Pixel 4 series before shining bright on the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 series brought some more improvements, but the Tensor’s thermal issues meant that when the battery started to drain, it went quick. For the Pixel 7 Pro, the high-capacity cell is back, and Google hopes a new supporting cast can bring better results.

The Pixel 7 Pro packs a 5,000mAh cell, which is a trim of just 3mAh off the capacity of the Pixel 6 Pro — next to nothing when you factor in typical battery size. It delivers similar, or slightly better, battery results, too. I’ve had no problems pushing the Pixel 7 Pro to a day and a half of mixed usage, and that’s while it’s still learning my usage habits. There’s every chance that I’ll manage to stretch the cell even further as Android’s battery optimization tech settles into a routine. Unfortunately, Google’s breakdown of screen-on time and usage is one of the worst. It offers little more than a vague chart that looks something like a rudimentary drawing of a mountain slope.

Right now, my mixed usage consists primarily of scrolling through social media, streaming Spotify via Bluetooth while I run, and answering emails on the go — you know, the usual. I also ran the Pixel 7 Pro through two hours of uninterrupted Instagram Reels without any indication of overheating or rapid battery drain. However, the Pixel 7 Pro also had the dubious honor of being my companion at a family wedding. That meant an earlier-than-usual start to my day and a ton of camera usage. The early start didn’t matter, but the Pixel’s camera proved a bit of a battery hog. It warms up the phone almost immediately as the Tensor G2 tries to process images just as quickly as you can snap them.

There are also some initial concerns about the Pixel 7 Pro’s power draw, particularly when used outside. This is reportedly a result of the phone ramping brightness excessively. We’ll be testing this further in the coming weeks and months.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s battery shines in mixed-usage scenarios, but its underpowered charging makes daytime charging a headache.

Of course, even the largest of 5,000mAh cells run out, and you won’t always have a chance to charge overnight. I tried to use Google’s Adaptive Charging when given the opportunity, which trickles juice while you sleep to provide you with a full battery at your morning alarm. It turned out to be the best bet, as charging during the day — wired or wireless — left something to be desired. Google claims that you can get the best results with its first-party 30W charger, but it stops short of that hinted-at 30W peak. It’s the same vaguely misleading boast we debunked for the Pixel 6 series, and the results are the same for the Pixel 7 duo.

The Pixel 7 Pro will actually spend most of its recharge time at somewhere between the 17-21W mark via wired charging, though it averages at around 15W across a full charge based on our testing. It delivers a quick start, filling 40-50% of the hefty battery in the first half hour before slowing significantly. It took around 90 to 100 minutes to get a full charge with a compatible USB Power Delivery PPS charger — something that’s not included in the box and that not everyone will have. While it’s commendable to favor long-term battery health over ludicrously fast charging solutions, Google’s charging power continues to lag well behind even the most modest competition in the charging stakes.

If you prefer wireless charging, the Pixel 7 Pro supports up to 23W wireless charging exclusively via the second-generation Pixel Stand. If the increased power and additional smart home features of Google’s $79 stand still aren’t selling it to you, the Pixel 7 Pro also supports 12W Qi wireless charging for regular wireless pads. There’s also reverse wireless charging should you need to give any accessories — say, a pair of Pixel Buds Pro — a quick boost on the go.

How powerful is the Google Pixel 7 Pro?

Google Pixel 7 Pro Geekbench 5 scoreGeekbench 5 scoreGoogle Pixel 7 Pro 3DMark Wildlife score3DMark Wildlife score

He didn’t know it then, but Nelly was singing about the original Tensor chip when he wrote the painfully titled Hot in Herre back in 2002. The soulful lyrics, “warm, sweatin’, it’s hot up in this joint,” feel like a prediction so accurate that Nostradamus himself could have written them. Yes, Google’s attempt at an in-house chipset brought impressive machine-learning chops to the table, but it tried to burn the table down in the process. It got pretty warm, basically, especially when put under GPU stress. Mix in some below-average (for 2021) benchmarking numbers, and the Tensor had more than a bit of catching up to do.

The Tensor G2 steps in as the Pixel 7 Pro’s brain, bringing a few critical updates along with it. It maintains the 5nm process from its predecessor, but Google claims that the TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) is now 60% faster at voice and imaging tasks, as well as 20% more efficient in general. The new Mali-G710 GPU and Samsung-made modem are supposed to be faster and more efficient too. Credit where it’s due; the upgraded modem is a noticeable improvement, at least for my testing here in rural Pennsylvania. I spent months with the Pixel 6 Pro and regularly struggled to switch between Wi-Fi and my cellular network, but the Pixel 7 Pro switches quickly and seamlessly. Reception gripes were shared by plenty of Pixel 6 users, so it’s good to see that Google appears to have healed this particular pain point.

Google’s Tensor G2 doesn’t burn up the benchmarks, but its updated modem fixes one of the Pixel 6’s biggest flaws.

The Pixel 7 Pro offers the same configurations as its predecessor — 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage (or a maximum of 256GB in some markets) — making tracking year-over-year improvements a little easier. I didn’t notice any stuttering or slowing from the Pixel 7 Pro in my usage, and it seemed to run slightly cooler than the Pixel 6 Pro. It does still quickly heat up, though, especially when you run the camera for a long time or push the GPU with games or benchmarks. If you’re a shutterbug or an avid gamer, you might have to take breaks here and there to let the phone cool again. Most of my general usage during testing consisted of video streaming, social media scrolling, and pumping Spotify through Bluetooth headphones, none of which put the Tensor G2 through too much stress.

As mentioned, the original Tensor chip didn’t set any blazing lap times in our gauntlet of benchmarks. The Tensor G2 improves slightly, though it still lags behind flagship processors from Qualcomm and Apple. Its single-core Geekbench score improved by no more than a percentage point, though the multi-core score jumped by around 12%. It indicates at least some improvement to the Tensor G2 setup, despite sticking with the same 5nm process from the previous generation.

As for Google’s updated GPU, the 3DMark Wild Life test came in slightly below the Pixel 6 Pro’s score. It’s also behind several other 2022 flagships, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro. However, the Pixel 7 Pro does hold up better than its predecessor in the Wild Life stress test. It takes one severe drop after about five loops before slowly tailing off over the remaining 15 repetitions. At its lowest point, the Tensor G2 still delivered scores far above the original Tensor chip and close to the long-term performance of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and some other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices. The sustained stress warms the Tensor G2 more than anything else I could put it through, but it’s encouraging to see an improvement in sustained graphics performance and stability. You can read even more about this in our Tensor G2 benchmark deep dive.

Google’s second in-house processor falls into many of the same traps as its predecessor, running warm under pressure and scoring low. However, it also illustrates that sometimes a phone is more than the sum of its parts. The Pixel 7 Pro relies on excellent machine learning chops and a deeply integrated Google Assistant to guide you through everyday tasks rather than brute-forcing its way to the top. Would we like it to run cooler? Yes, but while it’s clear that Google is still learning the ropes with its in-house processors, it at least has taken to heart that raw peak power isn’t the be-all and end-all of smartphone silicon.

Anything else?

Google Pixel 7 Pro in hand showing unlock

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

  • Biometrics: Almost anything could be considered an improvement over the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6 series, but we’re not looking at this with rose-colored glasses. The Pixel 7 Pro’s in-display fingerprint reader is much improved, offering better speed and accuracy than its predecessor. It’s also joined by a new (or at least back from the Pixel 4 series) Face Unlock feature, which allows you to open your phone at a glance. It’s responsive enough, however the Pixel 7 series’ Face Unlock isn’t using the same necessary hardware sensors to make it secure enough for purchases or banking transactions, so you’ll want to set up a fingerprint or another lock regardless.
  • Software: The Pixel 7 Pro arrived with Android 13 right out of the box, complete with Google’s Pixel UI visual design. It remains smooth, light, and loaded with customization options. You won’t find better implementations of Material You theming on any other device, with color-matched app icons and more widgets than you can count. Offline Google Assistant voice typing is back but with a supposed 2.5x speed increase thanks to the Tensor G2, and the chip’s machine learning smarts are also the catalyst for new features such as automatically labeling speakers via the ever-useful Recorder app, voicemail message transcriptions, and the previously mentioned camera perks like Photo Unblur and Cinematic Blur. This is all without even mentioning Clear Calling set to arrive later, the smorgasbord of existing Pixel-exclusive software perks, and further additions and tweaks promised through Pixel feature drops. Default bloatware is almost nonexistent, too. There are a few extra Google apps beyond the usual suspects that the phone desperately wants you to use (see: Google Meet), but you can always choose not to download them during the setup process.
  • Haptics: Google retains its haptics crown, with buzzes and vibrations that feel just right. The quick responses are accurate and clicky whether you’re tapping or typing.
  • Audio: The Pixel 7 Pro is one of the loudest phones I’ve used in a while, achieving impressive volume from its stereo setup. It pairs the earpiece with a single down-firing unit, and there’s little to no distortion, even at the highest volume. Higher pitches like human voices and stringed instruments still outperform bass notes, but that’s not unexpected for a smartphone. You won’t find a headphone jack, nor will you find the latest Bluetooth 5.3 standard — Google is sticking with 5.2 for another year. It does offer a decent number of Bluetooth codecs, though, with support for LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, AAC, and SBC. There’s also an LE Audio toggle in the Pixel 7 Pro’s developer settings, but we were unable to confirm if this is actually functional due to a lack of supported hardware.
  • Connectivity: While Bluetooth 5.2 is a little behind the cutting edge, the Pixel 7 Pro makes up for it with speedy Wi-Fi 6E, NFC for wireless payments, and an ultra-wideband (UWB) chip that will be particularly useful if Google ever decides to make its own Bluetooth trackers to rival Apple’s AirTags or Samsung’s SmartTags.
  • 5G: All Pixel 7 Pro models support 5G networking, but not all Pixel 7 Pros are created equal. US models will run on both mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, while other regions such as the UK and the rest of Europe have variants that are limited to sub-6GHz bands only. This isn’t a big deal unless you’re looking to travel to the States, and even then mmWave coverage is fairly sparse and restricted to select networks.
  • Updates: Five years of “Pixel Updates” might sound like a vague claim, but it’s one of the best promises around — just not the best. What you get is five years of security patches with three years of full Android version updates (Pixel feature drops included). Google might not have the advantage over Samsung with its four years of version updates, but the Pixel 7 Pro does ship with Android 13, while most Galaxy devices are arriving with Android 12 out of the box. Even so, it continues to be a baffling situation that the company behind Android itself doesn’t have the very best Android update policy.
  • VPN by Google One: Google’s cloud storage feature, called Google One, should be familiar to all Pixel users. You get a 15GB of free cloud storage out of the gate, but now Google One has a new wrinkle for Pixel 7 users with the addition of a free VPN for a little more peace of mind while browsing online. It’s currently listed as a coming soon feature, though we don’t have an exact timeline for its launch.

Google Pixel 7 Pro specs

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Display

6.7-inch LTPO pOLED
3,120 x 1,440 pixels
1,500 nits
Up to 120Hz refresh rate

Processor

Google Tensor G2
Titan M2 security

RAM

12GB LPDDR5

Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB
UFS 3.1

Power

5,000mAh (typical)
23W wired charging
USB-PD 3.0 (PPS)
23W wireless charging (w/ Pixel Stand)
Battery share

No charger in box

Cameras

Rear:
– 50MP main sensor (f/1.85, 1/1.3″, OIS, 82 FoV)
– 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 1/2.9″, auto-focus, 125 FoV)
– 48MP telephoto lens (f/3.5, 1/2.55″, 4.8x optical zoom)

Front:
– 10.8MP wide (f/2.2, 93°, 1/3.1″)

Video

Rear:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Front:
4K at 30/60FPS
1080p at 30/60FPS

Audio

Stereo speakers
Triple mics
No 3.5mm port

Connectivity

5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support

Security

In-display fingerprint
Titan M2 chip
5 years security updates

Software

Android 13
Pixel UI

S Pen support

No

Materials

Gorilla Glass Victus front
Gorilla Glass Victus back
Aluminum frame

Durability

IP68 certified

Dimensions and weight

162.9 x 76.55 x 8.9mm
212g

Colors

Snow, Obsidian, Hazel

Value and competition

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best Google camera • High-quality display • Big battery

The Pixel 7 Pro is the top-of-the-line phone on Google’s roster.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro takes the best features from the Pixel 6 Pro, and makes them even better. Enjoy numerous camera upgrades and some fun new software tricks, all for the same cost as the last-gen Pixel phone.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro doubles down on yet another one of its predecessor’s greatest strengths — its price. It still starts at just $899, at least $100 below its primary flagship competitors. When you consider that Google has an extra year of practice and refinement under its belt, not to mention the current state of global economics, the pricing stability is only that much more impressive. However, it faces a crowded flagship scene full of heavy hitters who have picked up new tricks of their own.

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus ($920 at Amazon) and Galaxy S22 Ultra ($1129 at Amazon) are perhaps the closest and most obvious rivals if you want an Android flagship. It’s tough to choose one over another, as the Pixel 7 Pro picks and chooses specs to compare to each one. The Galaxy S22 Plus offers a flat display, a trio of decent cameras, and improved performance, but it’s a smaller device with a reduced battery at its disposal. Samsung’s ultra-premium Galaxy S22 Ultra is large and boxy, like the Pixel 7 Pro, but it has the added benefit of a built-in S Pen for productivity. There’s also the more powerful camera suite to consider — Samsung’s 108MP primary shooter is incredibly sharp and backed by a well-rounded trio, offering great zoom options and flexible shooting modes. We’ll be pitting the Pixel 7 Pro up against the Galaxy S22 Ultra in a shootout very soon to see which comes out on top, so stay tuned.

google pixel 7 pro vs samsung galaxy s22 plus cameras

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

Samsung’s unique Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($999.99 at Samsung) is another option at around the same price. What it lacks in camera and battery might, it makes up for with its pocket-friendly folding form factor and clever external display. It’s one of the most comfortable phones to hold in your hand and one that’s sure to turn heads any time you pull it from your pocket.

Regardless of which Samsung alternative you might decide to pick, the South Korean giant has the best update commitment of any Android OEM, with four years of Android versions and five years of security coverage all around.

The OnePlus 10 Pro ($779 at Amazon) is another decent, if flawed, alternative to the Pixel 7 Pro, especially following its $100 price drop from its initial $899 MSRP. It offers the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor you’ll find in most other 2022 Android flagships, and its massive camera bump offers a unique flare to the usual corner-mounted fare. One of the biggest reasons to reach for the OnePlus device is its charging: 65W wired power leaves all other US devices in the dust, save for OnePlus’ own 10T. It falls off a bit in future software updates, and you might have to come to grips with the slow but steady, and occasionally uncomfortable unification of Oxygen OS with its parent company Oppo’s Color OS skin.

Against tough competition, the Pixel 7 Pro’s sub-$900 price tag is a huge win.

If you’re an avid smartphone photographer looking to go against the grain, you might also want to look at Sony’s Xperia 1 IV ($1,599). Yes, it’s almost double the price of the Pixel 7 Pro, but it’s another photography powerhouse that makes its own road. Where the Pixel wants you to press a button and let its Tensor G2 wow you, the Xperia wants you to dig into every corner of its settings. It feels like a high-end mirrorless camera, which makes sense given Sony’s acclaimed Alpha line. There’s no shortage of power under the hood, with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage backing Snapdragon’s 8 Gen 1 platform. If the steep asking price is a bit much for you, the more compact and affordable Xperia 5 IV ($998 at Amazon) delivers much of the same pro-focused multimedia suite and Alpha-grade camera features, albeit without the Xperia 1 IV’s nifty variable focal length zoom camera.

One of the most important questions about a new smartphone is how it compares to the previous year’s model. Should you buy a Pixel 7 Pro, or is the Pixel 6 Pro ($649 at Amazon) a better value buy? The Pixel 6 Pro has come down in price following the Pixel 7 Pro’s debut, which could be enough to tempt you. It has a similar, though not as bright, display, the same RAM and storage options, and an equally impressive camera setup. However, you’ll have to weigh the potential Tensor issues with cell signal and thermal management, the slightly rejigged button placement, and the much-improved fingerprint sensor.

Google Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 camera housingsgoogle pixel 7 pro vs apple iphone 14 pro cameras

Of course, there’s also the Google Pixel 7 ($599.99 at Best Buy). Like the identically priced Pixel 6 before it, the vanilla Pixel 7 is arguably the best value smartphone money can buy, and it shares a lot of DNA with the Pixel 7 Pro. You’ll get the same Tensor G2 chipset under the hood with identical primary, ultrawide, and selfie cameras, though you still miss out on a telephoto lens. The Google Pixel 7 is also slightly more manageable in hand than the Pixel 7 Pro with its 6.3-inch display. As the smaller counterpart, the Pixel 7 drops to 8GB of RAM and a smaller battery, but its charging setup remains almost on par with the premium Pixel 7 Pro.

Our last pick for a suitable alternative requires you to look outside the comforts of Android. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro ($999 at Best Buy) and Pro Max ($1099 at Best Buy) improve on the iPhone 13 series to deliver the best Pro iPhones to date. The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max rely on the A16 Bionic chipset with 6GB of RAM and two of the smallest batteries on the market, yet they push them to impressive lengths. The Dynamic Island that replaced the long-standing notch is one of the more interesting approaches to notification management. It’s also tough to overlook Apple’s update commitment, which reaches six or seven years for most models.

Google Pixel 7 Pro review: The verdict

Google Pixel 7 Pro lock screen in hand showing the time

Ryan Haines / Srdtf News

The Pixel 7 Pro epitomizes what it means to be “Made by Google.” It leans heavily into long-held strengths, offering enough punch in some areas to compete with the best phones on the market while undercutting the vast majority on price. The hyper-flexible and generally idiot-proof camera setup combines seamlessly with the machine learning might of the Tensor G2 processor, which helps to put the smart in smartphone. Google Assistant is a constant presence in the light, smooth, feature-rich Pixel UI, and the Material You-flavored customization options make your phone feel a little more personal.

In a world where so many smartphones look and feel the same, Google’s Pixel 7 Pro cuts its own path with a boxy design and a bold — if a bit too thick — camera bar. It feels like it’s cut from the same cloth as its predecessor, which gives way to a few familiar flaws. The Pixel 7 Pro’s charging capabilities continue to leave something to be desired, and the Tensor G2 chip can still run warm enough to keep you cozy through a long winter if you push it too hard.

The Pixel 7 Pro is the most powerful, most refined experience that Google has to offer. There’s still work to be done, but the progress is clear to see.

No matter the hardware booms and busts, Google’s software is key to everything the Pixel 7 Pro does. With a solid commitment to future updates and the promise of semi-regular feature drops, this is a phone that should continue to feel new every few months for a long time. Google is gearing up for a run at Apple’s united ecosystem with the launch of its Pixel Watch, the Pixel Buds Pro, and the upcoming Pixel Tablet, and the Pixel 7 Pro is poised to lead the charge with an air of class, sophistication, and polish that isn’t always guaranteed for products adorned with the Big G’s iconic logo.

Top Google Pixel 7 Pro questions and answers

Is the Google Pixel 7 Pro waterproof?

The Google Pixel 7 Pro carries an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. This means it can be submerged in a meter and a half of water for up to 30 minutes, though it is not truly waterproof.

Does the Pixel 7 Pro support dual-SIM?

Yes, the Pixel 7 Pro has one nano-SIM tray and eSIM support.

Does the Pixel 7 Pro support Face Unlock?

Yes, the Pixel 7 Pro supports Google’s Face Unlock feature. However, it is not secure enough for banking or purchasing transactions, only for unlocking your device.

Is there a charger included with the Pixel 7 Pro?

No, Google’s Pixel 7 Pro does not include a charger.

What 5G networks does the Pixel 7 Pro support?

In the US, the Pixel 7 Pro supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz networks. European models only support sub-6GHz speeds.

Is there an SD card slot on the Pixel 7 Pro?

No, the Pixel 7 Pro does not have an SD card or microSD slot. If you need more than the onboard storage, you’ll have to rely on cloud storage.

What colors does the Pixel 7 Pro come in?

The Pixel 7 Pro is available in Hazel, Obsidian, and Snow colorways.

Does the Pixel 7 Pro support wireless charging?

Yes, the Pixel 7 Pro can charge wirelessly at up to 23W with a Pixel Stand or 12W with other chargers.

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