I recently reviewed The Pixel 7 Pro And while the phone checks most of the right boxes, the device is decidedly not an outright winner. Of course, you could make an argument for any number of premium devices on the Pixel 7 Pro. Making matters worse, the smartphone’s priced MRP also doesn’t do it any favours. Fortunately, all hope is not lost as buyers vying for the Pixel can opt for the Pixel Pixel 7 Also, it doesn’t just retail at a lower price, but comes as a more VFM proposition. I’ve been using the phone for a week and here’s everything you need to know about Google’s affordable flagship.
Right off the bat, you should know that the Google Pixel 7 shows a lot of parallels to the Pixel 7 Pro. Of course, like most other watered-down flagships, the Pixel 7 lives up to the stylistic choices of its pricier sibling. So, if the design of the Pixel 7 Pro caught your eye, you’ll be just as impressed with the Pixel 7. An edge benefit of the smartphone’s miniaturized chassis is that the device also feels more ergonomic. Of course, the unit’s round-off frame will certainly satisfy buyers who rely on one-handed operations. Adding to the list of pros, the handset supports wireless charging and also comes with an IP68 rating. Furthermore, the device comes layered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the back and front. Pool it all together and the Pixel 7 should stand the test of time.
Display-wise, the handset sports a 6.3-inch, FHD+, OLED panel with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz. Now, just like the Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel 7 also intelligently changes its refresh rate to match the content displayed on the screen. Accordingly, you’ll notice that the display refresh rate automatically drops to 60Hz when you’re viewing dynamic media in apps like YouTube or Instagram. What’s more, the panel is very bright – up to 1,000 nits outdoors and 1,400 nits for HDR media – and accordingly, the display is very clear even under the sun.
What’s more, the screen has excellent viewing angles, and I didn’t notice any major off-axis discoloration even when viewing the panel at an angle. The icing on the cake is that the display can also stream HDR media from OTT services like Netflix, so you can enjoy your favorite TV shows with the best possible picture quality on set. As for audio, the Pixel 7 has a dual-speaker setup that’s plenty loud for watching movies on the fly. I much prefer the output from it iPhone 14 PlusIt provides a more meaty and effective low-end.
Under the hood, the Pixel 7 uses the company’s latest Tensor G2 SoC. Now, I’ve already highlighted the tech specs of the SoC in my Pixel 7 Pro review, so read on if you want to know more about the processor. But, to cut a long story short, the Tensor G2 SoC ships with the same cluster configuration found in its predecessor. To wit, the chipset has two high-performance X1 cores paired with two performance cores and four efficiency cores. Now, Google has increased the clock speed in the new SoC and also used faster A78 performance cores as opposed to the A76 cluster found in the Tensor SoC. Pixel 6a (Review)
However, the performance of Tensor G2 is similar to its predecessor. Of course, it’s safe to say that the chipset isn’t the fastest in its segment. To wit, the market is flush with faster phones that retail for much less than Google’s latest.
The Pixel 7 isn’t a bad performer – on the contrary, the device is reasonably active, and buyers looking for a set can even run demanding games at competent graphics and FPS settings. For example, CoD runs on a mobile phone at very high graphics and max FPS presets. What’s more, the device doesn’t heat up that much and the handset has churned out respectable numbers in various benchmarking apps as well. The icing on the cake is that the Tensor G2 SoC doesn’t throttle when subjected to continuous workloads. In fact, the handset reached just 69 percent of its peak performance on the CPU Throttle test, which is pretty good. All said and done, the Pixel 7 – while not the fastest – is still a very capable performer.
Software-wise, the Pixel 7 boots the stock version of Android 13. I talked about utility in my Pixel 7 Pro review, so check it out if you want to know more about the upcoming special features bundled with Google’s newest flagships. However, the Pixel 7 ships with a 4,355mAh cell, which should see you through the end of a workday with moderate usage. While I’m working with the phone, I typically average about five hours of SoT, though the battery percentage drains quickly if I play games for long periods of time on the set. Disappointingly, the Pixel 7 charges very slowly. In fact, the handset’s charging speed tops out at 20W (for both wired and wireless charging) and as a result, you’ll need to plug it into a wall charger for around an hour and forty minutes to fully fuel the phone.
On the flip side, the Pixel 7 is backed by a dual camera setup with a 50MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with 114-degree FoV. For selfies, the device gets a 10.8MP snapper on the front. Surprisingly, the Pixel 7 can click amazing pictures during the day, which are packed with tons of details. The smartphone’s 50MP main sensor doesn’t muck up the scene with overtly dramatic colors and instead, manipulates the photo with reasonably authentic colors. Not only that, the smartphone’s main sensor also creates a stunning bokeh effect, which is evident from the shots of the red flower in the attached slider below.
What’s more, the smartphone does a good job of bringing out details from the shadows in a scene without clipping the highlights. On the flip side, I noticed that the phone introduces noise into the frame to better expose shadows, but you have to pixel-peep to detect it. All said and done, the Pixel 7’s primary camera is probably the best in its segment.
Unfortunately, the Pixel 7 doesn’t ship with a telephoto lens. However, like its pricier sibling, the Pixel 7 can also take a 2x crop of its main sensor, thus outputting zoomed photos similar to what you’d get if you had, say, a dedicated telephoto sensor for optical zoom snaps. The scene remains unchanged even for ultrawide photos, which retain good detail in the center of the frame along with excellent corner sharpness. At night, the Pixel 7’s Nightscape mode enhances details in dim scenes. Note that the photos aren’t blank, and after zooming in, you’ll be able to spot areas that look a smidge grainy.
The images don’t exhibit any lens flaring issues and the colors in the frame look very realistic, which is great. The same goes for the selfie camera and the smartphone’s 10.8MP snapper clicks stunning selfies with accurate skin tones and ample facial details. The portrait selfie feature also works well and the device creates a stunning bokeh effect that makes the subject pop even more, so no complaints here either.
Pixel 7 in India at Rs. 59,999 and for its price, many would undoubtedly consider it expensive. While there are arguments to be made against the smartphone’s performance chops, there’s no denying that the handset is still plenty capable and can run most apps and games at efficient settings. Furthermore, the smartphone also offers the best camera array in its segment. Add the unit’s strong build quality and other quality-of-life features, including but not limited to a refined software experience and support for wireless charging, and the Pixel 7 is a winner in my books.
Editor’s Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Solid design
- Awesome show
- Great cameras
- A refined, uncluttered UI
- Supports wireless charging
- Slow wired and wireless charging speeds
- Not the fastest phone in its segment
- The display refresh rate is limited to 90Hz