Google Pixel 7 overview: cracking digital camera at a great value | Google

Google seems to have triumphed once more. The brand new Pixel 7 gives the identical the top-flight software program, digital camera and sensible AI techniques which have made its telephones winners, however at a knockdown value that considerably undercuts rivals.

Costing £599 ($599/A$999) it sits in between the highest £849 Pixel 7 Professional and the finances £399 Pixel 6a, competing very favourably on value and specs with rivals from Samsung, Apple and others which are sometimes within the £700-800 vary.

The brand new cellphone appears to be like like a smaller, simplified model of the Pixel 7 Professional. It has a flat, 6.3in OLED display screen that’s vibrant and good trying. The display screen is fairly good. It has a 90Hz refresh price to maintain issues flowing easily. However it doesn’t attain the heady peak of 120Hz or dynamically regulate to save lots of battery as is frequent on Android rivals.

The Pixel 7 next to the Pixel 7 Pro lying flat on a table.
The Pixel 7 (left) is smaller and simpler to carry than the Pixel 7 Professional (proper). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 is shorter, narrower and lighter than its bigger sibling and final yr’s Pixel 6, which is an efficient factor. It makes the Pixel 7 a great stability between display screen dimension and system dimension, just like Apple’s iPhone 14.

The again of the cellphone has Google’s digital camera bar design, which blends into the brushed aluminium sides. It appears to be like and feels extra premium than final yr’s mannequin.

Inside, the Pixel 7 has the identical Google Tensor G2 chip as its bigger sibling and performs equally, with notably speedy AI techniques comparable to textual content to speech.

Battery life is just like Google’s different telephones lasting about 35 hours between expenses with the display screen actively used for 5 hours. That’s ok for a day of heavy use however behind the competitors, a few of which final nearly two days.

The USB-C port in the bottom of the Pixel 7.
The Pixel 7 takes about 113 minutes to completely cost, hitting 50% in 35 minutes utilizing a 30W USB-C energy adaptor (not included), which isn’t overly fast in contrast with rivals. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Specs

  • Display screen: 6.3in 90Hz FHD+ OLED (416ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor G2

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Working system: Android 13

  • Digicam: 50MP + 12MP ultrawide, 10.8MP selfie

  • Connectivity: 5G, eSIM, wifi 6E, UWB, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for half-hour)

  • Dimensions: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm

  • Weight: 197g

Sustainability

Google doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery but it surely ought to final in extra of 500 full cost cycles with at the very least 80% of its authentic capability. The cellphone is repairable by Google and third-party retailers with real alternative components out there direct from iFixit. Out-of-warranty display screen repairs by Google will value just like its predecessor at about £140 and battery replacements about £100.

The Pixel 7 is made with 100% recycled aluminium, accounting for about 19% of the cellphone by weight. The corporate publishes environmental influence experiences for a few of its merchandise. Google will recycle outdated gadgets freed from cost.

Android 13

The Pixel 7 flat on a table showing the camera and fingerprint scanner are active.
New for this yr is camera-based face recognition and a sooner in-screen fingerprint sensor for unlocking the cellphone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 runs the identical model of Android 13 because the Pixel 7 Professional and Google’s different smartphones, with a couple of unique options together with the flexibility to unblur faces and objects utilizing AI within the Google Images app.

Google will present at the very least 5 years of software program and safety updates together with at the very least three main Android variations. Samsung helps a lot of its telephones for 5 years, whereas Fairphone is aiming for six years and Apple helps its iPhone for as much as seven years.

Digicam

The view of a garden through the Google Camera app on a Pixel 7.
The Google Digicam app has a number of helpful instruments for framing your images, together with an computerized stage indicator and object-tracking auto-focus. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 has two cameras on the again, together with a 50-megapixel most important and 12MP ultrawide, missing the 5x telephoto of the Pixel 7 Professional.

The 12MP ultrawide digital camera produces good photographs with little or no distortion, even across the edges. However its 0.7x magnification isn’t fairly as vast because the 0.5x of the 7 Professional or rivals, so that you received’t have the ability to match fairly as a lot in. It additionally lacks the flexibility to work as a macro digital camera as on the 7 Professional, which is not any huge loss.

The primary 50MP digital camera is identical because the 7 Professional and is just good, capturing an incredible quantity of element throughout a broad vary of lighting situations, producing photographs at 12.5MP. It will possibly additionally “zoom” to 2x optical magnification, which works surprisingly properly matching what you’d sometimes get from a 2x optical zoom on rivals. Digital zoom takes over from there with affordable outcomes at 4x however gentle on element afterwards.

Google’s low-light night time sight mode is quicker and higher than ever, creating great-looking and customarily crisp photographs in close to darkness. With the cellphone on a tripod or propped up you may even take gorgeous images of the celebrities with a particular prolonged shot.

The selfie digital camera shoots glorious 10MP photographs in a wide range of lighting situations.Video seize has been improved all spherical at as much as 4K at 60 frames a second in HDR, catching as much as rivals.

Total the Pixel 7 has a very glorious digital camera for the cash, solely actually lacking an prolonged zoom.

Value

The Google Pixel 7 prices from £599 ($599/A$999) with 128GB of storage.

For comparability, the Pixel 7 Professional prices £849, the Pixel 6a prices £399, the Samsung Galaxy S22 prices £769 and the iPhone 14 prices £849.

Verdict

The Pixel 7 is a cracking top-end Android cellphone at an awesome value.

It gives most of what makes the Pixel 7 Professional the most effective smartphones of the yr, with a couple of corners reduce to be below £600 at a time when expertise is getting dearer, not much less.

You get a handsome, well-performing system with loads of sensible options and good software program with at the very least 5 years of help. You’ll wrestle to seek out nearly as good a digital camera for the worth. The 6.3in display screen is an efficient dimension, if not essentially the most superior, and the battery life is strong if a bit in need of the perfect.

With rivals costing north of £750, the Pixel 7’s greatest drawback is that Google’s different extra inexpensive cellphone, the Pixel 6a, gives 70% of the efficiency of the brand new cellphone for about £400.

Professionals: nice digital camera, good display screen, good efficiency, strong battery, face and fingerprint unlock, Android 13 with 5 years of safety updates, totally undercuts competitors on value.

Cons: restricted zoom, face unlock possibility not as safe as some rivals, battery life in need of best-in-class, pretty gradual charging, no huge leap in efficiency.

The back of the Pixel 7 showing its aluminium camera bar.
The digital camera bar on the Pixel 7 is brushed aluminium and stands out from a mean smartphone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

This text was amended on 1 November 2022. As was made clear elsewhere within the article, the Pixel 7 retails at $599/A$999, not at $899/A$1,299 as one reference mentioned in an earlier model.