All new Google Pixel 7: Review

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Erin Lawrence

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newGoogle’s newest flagship smartphone is here: meet Google Pixel 7. I was able to get hands-on with one of the first units available in North America, and in this review I’ll tell you what’s new with the Pixel 7, what it can do, what it’s like to use, and if I think it’s a good Android smart phone for you.

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review
4.5

Summary

This phone is by no means an overhauled device and none of the new features or spec improvements are dealbreakers. Overall there’s a fresh new look and some minor feature improvements.

Pros

  • Beautiful new design
  • Better camera
  • Speed improvements
  • Brightness improvements
  • Solid battery life
  • Same price as 2021
  • Overall: Solid phone performance

Cons

  • May not be enough upgrades for some users
  • Protruding camera band
  • Very slightly boxier design

Google Pixel 7: What’s new?

The most noticeable change to Google’s flagship phones is the external redesign. Now with the prominent camera array wrapped in a matte aluminum band, the phones look sleeker and more modern, if still bulky near the top. But that chubbier camera band does also allow for the inclusion of upgraded cameras in the Pixel 7; the 7 now has the same camera array as the Pixel 7 Pro.

It’s also 25% brighter than Pixel 6 for better visibility outdoors.

The other surprise is that with these modest upgrades, Google is holding the price at $799CAD.

What you get

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newPowered by Google’s newest Google Tensor G2 processor and shipping with Android 13, these phones are at the center of Google’s ever-expanding universe that also includes Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds Pro earbuds.

With a 6.3-inch display and smaller bezels, “Pixel 7 is purposefully more compact than Pixel 6,” says Google, and it weighs just 197 grams. It comes in Snow (white), Obsidian (black) and brand new Lemongrass (pastel green). The Pixel 7 has 8 GB RAM (Pixel 7 Pro has 12) with 128 GB / 256 GB storage.

Design & feel

The new Google Pixel 7 feels sleek and slippery and it will probably need a case to keep it safe. The edges are a bit on the squared side, and they’re ever so slightly sharper than those on the Pixel 7 Pro which has more of a sloping design.

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newDespite the protrusion of the camera band, the phone sits nice and flat and the aluminum camera band actually gives you something to hold onto, given the glossiness of the phone’s glass back.

Display

The screen has almost no bezel or edge, and is bright, sharp and detailed, making it easy to read or watch. If you want details, it’s got a 20:9 aspect ratio, Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2400) OLED at 416 PPI. With an up to 90 Hz refresh rate it promises to be good for gaming and watching action-oriented videos.

You can turn on the Always-on display as well as enabling Now Playing which will identify music heard around you.

Battery Life & Charging

In my opinion, Google phones’ battery life has always outshone Apple’s. The “beyond 24-hour battery life” is back again, which should give you more than enough juice for a day or two, depending on your use, and if not, Extreme Battery Saver can extend that up to 72-hours. When it comes to the actual battery spec, the Pixel 7 has a 4355 mAh battery.

Charging can take many forms; you can use the USB-C plug, or Qi wireless pads, plus it’s got fast charging with up to 50% charge in about 30 minutes (when using Google’s 30W USB-C Charger with USB-PD 3.0 (PPS), sold separately). There’s also Battery Share which lets you recharge your Pixel Buds Pro or another device off the back of the phone.

Camera

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newGoogle’s phone cameras have been superior for many years and really forced Apple to up its game recently. Google has again improved the camera in the Pixel 7 so it’s now equal to the one in the Pixel 7 Pro. That will mean better low-light photography, improved 4K video and a wide field of view for group shots.

Rear Camera:

  • 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera
  • 1.2 μm pixel width
  • ƒ/1.85 aperture
  • 82° field of view
  • 1/1.31″ image sensor size
  • Super Res Zoom up to 8X
  • 12 MP ultrawide camera
  • 1.25 μm pixel width
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • 114° field of view

Front Camera:

  • 10.8 MP
  • 1.22 μm pixel width
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • Fixed focus
  • 92.8° ultrawide field of view

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newI’ve always found the photos to be sharp, clear, colourful and even in low light and awkward situations, they take beautiful shots. I did notice that some of the photos can be almost hyper-colourful, adding (a bit too much?) intensity in some shots. This was most notable in some close-up photos I took of a bouquet of flowers were the colours looked far more intense and showed a wider gammut of colours than I could see with the naked eye (but maybe my eyesight is to blame?). Similarly to taking some photos of my dog, there was also some odd colouring that I could attribute to light overspill from a nearby coloured smart light. My Apple phone would never in a million years pick up that level of detail. But the Pixel 7 did.

Even so, I can’t make any complaints about the camera whatsoever.

Popular camera features are making a return here too including Cinematic Blur, which “makes Hollywood-like videos,” Real Tone, which better and more accurately replicates all skin tones, plus Night Sight, Portrait mode, Photo Unblur (to improve your blurry pictures; new or old) as well as Magic Eraser for Photoshop-type editing right on your phone.

Overall review: Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 smartphone review whats newThis phone is by no means an overhauled device and none of the new features or spec improvements are dealbreakers, but even so it is a great, reliable, beautiful standout phone. Overall there’s a fresh new look and some minor feature improvements.

Should I upgrade to Google Pixel 7?

None of these upgrades will probably entice you to switch particularly if you already own a Pixel 6. But if you have an older phone or you really count on using your smart phone for photography, the Pixel 7 would be a worthy upgrade, particularly taking into account the price is the same as it was last year.

I’ll be spending some more time with the Pixel 7 over the coming days and weeks and will update with any new info, so if you have questions about this phone, please post them in comments below.

Pixel 7 is available today starting at $799 CAD (and Pixel 7 Pro from $1,179 CAD).

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