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Google has just unveiled the all-new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones. The new Pixel 7 series features Google’s Tensor G2 processor and new imaging technology.
Google isn’t like other companies that flood the market with new products every few months; the company has only announced three new phones for 2022, all of which are Pixel 7 variants (the other being the 6a).
The two new Pixel 7 models, are the standard-sized “vanilla” phone and the larger “Pro” serve the same purposes as last year’s versions. The standard model is smaller and less expensive ($600), while the Pro model’s display and camera (dedicated telephoto) are superior (but more expensive, at $900). It’s as if there ought to have been a Plus version in between the two, but there isn’t one this year. Okay, let’s take a closer look at the phones we did receive.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
The Pixel 7 Pro is the best phone Google has to offer for the next year or so, it has all the hallmarks of a true flagship: a sharp, high refresh rate display; a large camera sensor; a wide-angle lens plus a telephoto lens; a unique design; robust security features; and assurances of long-term software support.
However, there aren’t a tonne of changes from the Pixel 6 Pro of last year. The new Tensor G2 chipset and the improved telephoto camera are crucial to this. First, let’s take a peek at the chipset.
It is manufactured using Samsung’s 4nm process, which is not particularly well-liked but is an upgrade from the original chip’s 5nm node. Even though the clock speed has been slightly increased, the CPU remains the same (2x Cortex-X1 + 2x A76 and 4x A55). The Mali-G710 MC10 graphics processing unit is the more intriguing component, as it not only promises improved performance and efficiency over the G78 for graphics but also an increase of 35% for machine learning tasks (something that the Pixel Camera app leverages heavily). In addition, a brand-new Tensor core and modem have been implemented.
Machine learning tasks can be executed on the next-generation Tensor processing unit 60% faster and 20% more efficiently. It’s what makes things like the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro’s exclusive Photo Unblur possible; this feature employs Google’s sophisticated AI to restore clarity to photos taken on older devices. Naturally, it also helps the Pixel 7’s internal cameras, but we’ll get to that in a second.
The phone offers the same 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage as last year, and the same 12GB of RAM. Of course, you won’t find a microSD card slot here; instead, you’ll find a nano-SIM slot and an eSIM for a second line of service.
Okay, now let’s take a peek at the cameras. The primary module still makes use of a 50MP 1/1.31″ sensor (1.2m) with 4-in-1 binning support. The angle of view for this lens is 82 degrees at f/1.85. The 125.8° FoV 12MP ultra wide camera (1.25m) is an option for those who wish to record a broader range of the scene. This year’s upgrade is an ultra-wide lens with autofocus, which opens up the possibility of taking macro shots.
The primary camera supports recording 4K video at both 30 and 60 frames per second, and it features both optical and electronic image stabilisation. You can now use the “speech enhancement” option in 4K at 60 frames per second. The phone is capable of recording 10-bit HDR video, and Google has formed partnerships with the developers of apps like Snapchat and TikTok to make this feature available in those platforms as well. When using the camera app, the Tensor G2 chipset’s machine learning capabilities can be put to use to achieve cinematic blur or to further stabilise handheld footage.
This is where the telephoto lens comes in. The optical magnification has been increased from 4x to 5x thanks to the new, longer lens. A smaller sensor (0.7m instead of 0.8m) is sacrificed in exchange for the longer focal length, but the camera still manages to pack a punch with 48MP of resolution, allowing for impressive digital zoom thanks to Pixel-level magic. We’ll save discussion of the front-facing camera for the Pixel 7 review down below.
The Pixel 7 Pro stands out from its regular sibling, thanks to its 6.71″ AMOLED screen. Also, it’s a QHD+ LTPO panel with a 10-120Hz refresh rate, making it ideal for gaming. While the display is still protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, its edges are not as rounded as they were last year.
A quick and safe fingerprint reader is integrated into the display. On the other hand, you could use the more hassle-free Face unlock.
The 5,000 mAh battery is the same size as last year’s, and there are a few other things I haven’t yet mentioned. The device is compatible with fast charging (fast in Pixel terms), wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging.
The IP68 rating means the phone is protected against dust and water. Despite being a millimetre shorter than last year’s model, it’s nearly a millimetre wider, which we suppose is the price to pay for the flatter display. The phone’s aluminium chassis is constructed entirely from recycled materials.
See below for pricing and pre-order specials. The more compact Pixel 7 version will be discussed first.
Google Pixel 7
Compared to the Pixel 7 Pro, the price difference is substantial, and the Pixel 7 is also noticeably more compact. It’s not as compact as the 6a, but premium Pixels are already as small as they get. A lot depends on the Tensor G2 chipset, just like with the Pro (the 6a uses the original Tensor chip).
Google maintained 8GB of RAM and provided storage options of 128GB or 256GB. As with previous iterations, Google promises to support the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro with three major OS updates (bringing them to version 16) and five years’ worth of security patches.
The Pixel 7’s display size is 6.3 inches, making it slightly smaller than the Pixel 6’s 6.4 inch screen. The phone weighs 197g and measures 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm, while its predecessor weighed 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm and measured 207g. This is roughly the same size as the iPhone 14, but larger than the Galaxy S22.
The screen is still an AMOLED panel with Full HD+ resolution, but it is brighter by 25% compared to the Pixel 6’s display. Still, the new display has a refresh rate of only 90 Hz. Even without LTPO, we were hoping for 120Hz this year, and while this phone is cheaper than the Galaxy S22 and iPhone 14, we were hoping for 120Hz (which has a 60Hz display).
The Pixel 7’s slimmer profile necessitates a smaller battery capacity of 4,355mAh (down from 4,614mAh). Due to the improved hardware, however, the Extreme Battery Saver mode now has a 72-hour runtime (up from 48 hours). Regular use will last about 31 hours if you don’t have it.
The Pixel 7 also features a 50MP main camera (1/1.3″, 1.2m before binning), just like the Pixel 7 Pro. The only other addition is a 12MP ultra wide camera. The camera uses the main sensor’s high resolution and Google’s Super Res Zoom algorithm to magnify distant objects, which has been upgraded, thanks to the extra processing power available on the G2 chipset.
Here we go, discussing the front camera as promised. Its sensor is wider (92.8 degrees as opposed to the previous 84 degrees) and higher-resolution (10.8 megapixels) than its predecessor’s (8 megapixels). The lens’s focus is still unchangeable. The Pro shares the same camera module with the standard model.
Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro colours, pricing and availability
The Google Pixel 7 Pro comes in Hazel, Snow, Obsidian colours, whereas, the Pixel 7 is offered in Lemongrass, Snow, and Obsidian colour choices. The base model of the Google Pixel 7 costs $600 (or €650 or £600), while the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $900 (or €900 or £850). (again with 128GB storage). Open sales will begin on Oct 13th after a week of pre-orders begin today Oct 6th. The Pixel 7 Pro comes with a free Pixel Watch (the LTE version, no less), while a pre-order of the Pixel 7 will get you a free set of Pixel Buds Pro.
In the UK, shoppers can get the Pixel Buds Pro for free or £179 off Google Pixel Watch when they buy the Google Pixel 7 series. Plus, get £300 back with eligible trade-in. You can get the Pixel 7 series from Google, Argos, Very, Currys, Three and other UK retailers.