The Pixel series of Android smartphones have been regarded as the king of mobile photography and Google intends to keep this reputation with the introduction of its flagship Google Pixel 7 Pro on October 2022 alongside the vanilla Google Pixel 7. However, considering the diversity of Android devices, it is important to note that there are other photography-centric and flagship Android smartphones in the market. This article provides a concise and quick review of the pros and cons of the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Pros of the Google Pixel 7 Pro
Cameras have been one of the strengths of Pixel phones. The Google Pixel 7 Pro was introduced late in 2022 with an arsenal of camera features and capabilities. The rear camera system includes three sensors. These include a 50-megapixel main cam with multidirectional PDAF, laser autofocus, and optical image stabilization; a 48-megapixel telephoto cam with multidirectional PDAF, optical image stabilization, and 5x optical zoom; and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with autofocus. The front-facing camera is a 10.8-megapixel sensor.
This device features the standard specifications of current smartphones. These include an aluminum frame with glass on the front and back, 12GB of RAM with128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage configurations using UFS 3.1, Nano-SIM and e-SIM support, Sub-6 GHz 5G and mmWave 5G support for the GE2AE model, an under-the-display optical fingerprint scanner, tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and wired and wireless charging.
Of course, aside from the aforesaid specifications, this device also comes equipped with the newer Google Tensor G2 chipset. This is a flagship system-on-a-chip with an 8-core central processor and an ARM Mali-G710 MP7 graphics processor. The main selling point of this device is its dedicated architecture for handling artificial intelligence applications including native machine learning and deep learning processing, improving computational photography functionalities, and powering features such as the Android System Intelligence.
Below are the specific selling points of this smartphone:
• Relatively Affordable Price Point: The biggest selling point and advantage of the Google Pixel 7 Pro is its price tag. The base model of this device was introduced with a price of USD 899.00 but there are better deals in other stores with prices ranging between USD 700.00 to USD 850.00. Take note that most latest flagship Samsung and iPhone devices retail for at least USD 1000.00.
• Flagship-Level Camera Performance: Furthermore, considering its price point, this device is a proper flagship smartphone with impressive camera capabilities. The rear shooters rival the image and video outputs of Samsung and iPhone flagships. Images look clear and vibrant while recorded videos have a certain level of quality that is ideal for content creators and digital influencers.
• Computational Photography Features: Another notable strength of the Google Pixel 7 Pro is its computational photography capabilities. These include Photo Unblur which rescues blurred images, Cinematic Blur feature for recording videos with a depth-of-field effect, Super Res Zoom for better 8x digital zoom, and Real Tone which is a tuning feature that improves the skin tones of photo and video subjects.
• Large and Immersive OLED Display: The 6.7-inch OLED display produces an around 88.7 percent screen-to-body ratio. It has an always-on feature and supports HDR10+ while featuring a brightness that peaks at 1500 nits. It also has an adaptive refresh rate that maximizes at 120Hz and is based on LTPO for a more power-efficient operation. The display has a resolution of 1440×3120 pixels at around 512 ppi.
• Solid Design and Durable Built Quality: The front glass and the back glass are made of Gorilla Glass Victus. This provides better resistance to scratch and durability from drops and traumas or impacts. It is 4x stronger than basic aluminosilicate glass products. The entire device also has an IP68 rating that gives it resistance from dust and water resistance within 1.5 meters and for 30 minutes.
• Clean Software with After-Sales Support: Part of the entire Pixel phone experience is its straightforward Android operating system that is devoid of needless features and gimmicks. The entire user experience is clean and simple. This device will also last until 2026 because Google has committed to provide three years of major operating system updates and five years of security updates.
Cons of the Google Pixel 7 Pro
Remember that camera performance is one of the main advantages of the Google Pixel 7 Pro. However, it is also important to note that there are other photography-centric devices in the market. The Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro have impressive camera systems that oftentimes perform better in certain situations. The Vivo X90 Pro is also another remarkable device with over-the-top camera specifications and functionalities that are incomparable to even the most expensive flagship smartphones.
The Pixel 7 Pro also has notable shortcomings when it comes to its processing capabilities. These come from the issues with the Google Tensor G2 chip. This system-on-a-chip has somewhat older and probably cheaper off-the-rack components that are not as capable and advanced as the components used in the most latest chipsets such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Gen 2, MediaTek Dimensity 8100, and the Apple A15 and A16 Bionic chips. The raw power of this device falls short when compared to top-tier flagship smartphones.
Below are the issues and limitations of this smartphone:
• Limitations of Google Tensor G2 Chip: The Google Tensor G2 chip is still a flagship chip but synthetic benchmark tests would reveal that its processing capabilities are comparable to older generations of flagship chips such as the Snapdragon 888 and mid-range chips such as the Dimensity 8100. It is still a capable chip but it would struggle to run graphics-demanding games for an extended period.
• Camera Performance Inconsistencies: All flagship smartphones still struggle to maintain a consistent and fool-proof camera performance. The Pixel 7 Pro is not an exemption. Foreground-background separation is not as polished as the iPhone 14 Pro and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Images can also appear darker. The telephoto camera tends to produce images with dull colors and lackluster contrast.
• Underwhelming Battery and Charging: The 5000 mAh lithium-ion battery might seem enough to last this device more than a day but tests revealed that it only lasted less than 7 hours of screen time under moderate settings and average usage. Fast charging is possible via 30 watts. This is better than the iPhone 14 but it still falls short compared to other mid-range and flagship Android devices.
• Head Phone Jack and Card Slot: Another disadvantage of the Google Pixel 7 Pro is the absence of a headphone jack and expandable storage via a memory card slot. This trend has become a standard in flagship devices and even some mid-range smartphones. It would still be better if there is expandable storage for those who do not have enough budget to opt for a higher storage configuration.
Google Pixel 7 Pro Review Verdict
The Google Pixel 7 Pro is a flagship-level Android smartphone that competes with other Android flagships such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra from Samsung, the Vivo X80 and X90 series of devices, and even flagship iPhone devices such as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro. It pales in comparison with these devices in terms of raw processing powers but it has remarkable camera capabilities to make it one of the best smartphones for its generation. It still runs smoothly despite the underwhelming benchmark scores of Google Tensor G2. The relatively more affordable price point provides a strong reason for buying the Google Pixel 7 Pro.