If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Google’s Pixel line has made many advancements over the years, the most notable being last year’s Pixel 6 Pro which boasted a sleek design, advanced camera capabilities, and Google’s flagship Tensor chip.
This year, the tech giant released the newest in the line, the Pixel 7 Pro, and refined every feature on the Pixel 6 Pro to make this smartphone even better.
I spent one week with the Pixel 7 Pro, testing out the latest camera features (including the 30x zoom), performance on the latest Tensor G2 chip as well as upgrades to the phone’s ‘Direct my Call’ feature.
Pixel 7 Pro: Price and Availability
Google’s Pixel 7 Pro line is now available for purchase on both Google.com and Best Buy. There are three design finishes available, including a beautiful hazel tone or the more muted black (Obsidian) or white (Snow) tones. Storage runs up to 512 GB and you can even trade in an older Pixel device to snag a discount.
Pixel 7 Pro: Design
Google didn’t reinvent the wheel for the 7 Pro’s design, but I’m happy about that considering how much I loved the design on the 6 Pro.
Upon unboxing, expect a glossy, 6.7-inch screen to greet you, with curved edges and a clear 3,120 x 1,440-pixel resolution display. The screen is bright, and balanced and looks just as clear outside as it would indoors — I had no problems accessing my texts or watching videos even under bright sunlight.
The backside of the phone features a polished metal slab (made out of recycled aluminum) over the camera array, which makes this device stand out — even more so when you place it front side down.
The phone itself features an IP68 water resistance rating, meaning accidental spills won’t be a concern — even if you accidentally get it a little wet when you’re out jogging in the rain. I did bump my phone a few times and didn’t notice any noticeable scratches on the phone.
I also spent the entire week using this smartphone without a screen protector and apart from the fingerprint smudges which immediately tainted the screen, the Victus Gorilla Glass screen stood up nicely.
Pixel 7 Pro: Face Unlock
Speaking of the screen, Google has now introduced a new way of unlocking your phone — the Face Unlock. This means you can now either use your fingerprint, your face or a pin to unlock your phone.
While setting up face unlock was pretty easy, I did notice that it didn’t always recognize my face — especially in bright or low light settings. I also had to place my face right in front of the screen most times for the 7 Pro to recognize it. This didn’t bother me so much because there was a second fingerprint unlock option, but if you’re an iPhone user and are used to the quality of Apple’s face unlock, you might be a tad disappointed.
That said, it really isn’t a deal breaker and it was cool to see the Face Unlock feature finally introduced on a Pixel phone.
Pixel 7 Pro: The Best Camera I’ve Ever Used
If I could sing praises about any smartphone camera, Goole’s Pixel 7 Pro camera would be it. There is nothing that compares to it — nothing. And, I was skeptical going in.
The Pixel Pro boasts a triple rear camera system, including a 12 MP ultrawide lens, 50 MP wide lens, and a 48 MP telephoto lens. If you’re not a camera aficionado and have no idea what these words mean, let me break it down for you.
With this camera’s features, you can take clear, vivid, and saturated pictures with ease — great if you’re shooting a portrait or trying to grab a scenic nature or skyline shot (see below).
The real winner of the 7 Pro’s camera system is the telephoto lens, offering 5x optical zoom and 30x super-res zoom. 30x zoom is nearly unheard of on a phone, considering when you zoom that far in, you’ll be left with a pixelated, kinda blurry shot. Not on the 7 Pro though: I could zoom all the way in to read text that my naked eye couldn’t even see. I even zoomed all the way in from across the river to see just how many little turrets existed on the top of the freedom tower. Safe to say, I was truly amazed.
There are a bunch of other cool features too, including macro zoom that automatically focuses and enhances a close-up image, giving your shots an almost professional-looking feel. The detail is extraordinary and lets you focus on the little things like the lines below your subject’s eyes or that tiny ladybug moving around on a flower.
The ultrawide lens also lets you get a larger chunk of your surroundings in during scenery shots, without ever losing exposure or detail on the edges of your photos.
Night Mode produces surprisingly clear, well-lit shots too — although you’ll want to take your pictures away from any bright lights as that sometimes distorts the photo in night mode.
The Pixel 7 Pro also introduces an array of other camera features, including face unblur which automatically smooths out your in-motion shots. We tested it out and found it to be extremely useful — especially if your camera roll has a bunch old blurry photos.
There’s also Real Tone, which allows for a more natural real-looking picture no matter your skin tone — a feature I personally love.
Finally, Guided Frame makes the 7 Pro’s camera system more accessible by using both audio and haptic feedback to let you know when the picture is in the frame.
All in all, if I could award a smartphone the ‘best camera of the year award’ the Pixel 7 Pro would take the top spot.
Pixel 7 Pro: Performance and Battery Life
This Google Pixel phone features the brand’s latest Tensor G2 chip — meaning it’s faster and more powerful than ever before. I can game, watch high res videos or have multiple apps open at once, without my phone lagging. If I’m being super nitpicky about it, The only time I ever faced any ‘lag’ was when I was trying to switch between different modes on the camera app.
The interface itself is beautiful and the 7 Pro is a highly intuitive smartphone. The Play Store offers thousands of apps for your everyday use and downloads are quick and easy and only a swipe away. You can even pin your favorite apps to your home page for easy access. There’s also Google Titan M2 chip to keep your personal data safe and secure, giving you added peace of mind.
The only bone I had to pick with this Google gadget is the battery life. A fully charged phone will drain within eight hours even with minimal use. Using apps, and watching videos will drain battery life significantly faster, and you may be down to 10% in just a few hours. There is a battery-saver mode to extend battery life, but all in all, if you plan to use your phone for more than just texting, make sure to keep your charger in hand.
Pixel 7 Pro: Google Assistant Makes Everything Easier
Subpar battery life may be the only con of this device. Everything else works exceedingly well, including Google Assistant, which can be quickly accessed any any time. Google Assistant can do more than operate your Google home or check and reply to your text messages, the AI shines the most on the Pixel 7 Pro’s call features.
Google’s Direct My call feature now comes with a nifty text list, meaning every time your phone detects an automated message, it will neatly lay out every option announced so you can pick it from your phone screen itself, instead of wasting time listening to every option presented. This works well for me because I can call the bank or my insurance without having to consciously listen to the automated responses on the other end — my phone does it for me.
Of course, there’s also the Hold my Call feature where Assistant holds your call for you till it detects a human voice. This works surprisingly well, especially if you are stuck waiting for customer service for upwards of 30 minutes.
Pixel 7 Pro: Our Verdict — a Next-Gen Smartphone That Blows its Competition Out of the Water
Google’s Pixel 7 Pro packs a powerful rear camera system, a streamlined design and blazing-fast performance that easily makes this smartphone worth your buck.
The only con I could find is its battery life, and that’s only if I’m being real nitpicky about this. If you are not constantly using your phone for gaming or streaming, the battery should work just fine for you.
Overall, if you want a smartphone with a professional-grade camera and a futuristic design capable of withstanding the occasional bump or bruise, choose the Pixel 7 Pro as your new smartphone – you won’t be disappointed.
Note: If you’re willing to sacrifice a slightly larger screen and a few camera features, choose the more budget-friendly Pixel 7 — which also features Face Unlock and Google’s newest G2 chip.