Some say that the Pixel 7 series is designed to run Android 13. Others argue that it’s even better thanks to the Pixel’s unique features and new promises of future Pixel feature drops. Still others point to the headaches that previous Pixel generations caused their users.
Where do you stand on this topic – will you choose one of the Pixel 7 models or will you be looking elsewhere for your next phone?
Google Pixel 7 • Pixel 7 Pro
First of all, the phones are priced the same as last year at $600/€650/£600 for the smaller and $900/€900/£850 for the larger and more capable model. That always felt like a phone size gap and still is, especially since Google still denied upgrades like a 120Hz display to the smaller phone.
Yes, the Pixel 7 still comes with a 90Hz FHD+ panel, this time slightly smaller – 6.3 inches (down from 6.4). It’s rare for phones to get smaller these days, but the Pixel 7 is certainly a little shorter, narrower and thinner than before, and a little lighter. It’s far from “small”, but it’s definitely “small”.
Google Pixel 7
It also comes with a smaller battery (4,355mAh vs. 4,614mAh), but efficiency improvements have extended battery life. The rest is mostly the same, save for the new selfie camera (now 10.8MP, wide lens but still fixed focus). This means no dedicated telephoto lens, just a Super Res zoom using the 50MP main sensor (1/1.31”, 1.2µm pixels, f/1.85 lens with 82° FoV).
The Pixel 7 Pro now has an upgraded telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom (up from 4x), although the new 48MP sensor has slightly fewer pixels than the old one (0.7µm vs. 0.8µm).
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Other than that, this year’s Pro features have been carried over from last year’s model. That means a sharper 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 12GB of RAM (instead of 8GB), a larger 5,000mAh battery, and the aforementioned telephoto lens.
Both 7-series models bring Google’s second smartphone chipset, the Tensor G2. Google isn’t a gaming company (sorry, Stadia fans), so raw performance isn’t important – machine learning, image processing and security are the G2’s main selling points (so is the Titan M2 security chip). And of course, these are the main selling points of the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro themselves.
At $600/€650 the Pixel 7 runs pure Android – the Zenfone 9 (€800) is a bargain compared to the Xperia 5 IV (€1,050). For a bit more ($650/€730) you can get the OnePlus 10T, although it’s bigger and less camera-focused. Available in the US and Canada, options are more limited than in Europe and Asia.
If software longevity is a major concern, Samsung even surpasses Google in terms of support. Something like the Galaxy S21 FE (€630) gets 4 OS updates and 5 years of maintenance (but it starts with Android 12). And you even get a 3x telephoto lens and a 120Hz display.
OnePlus 10T • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G • Motorola Edge 30 Fusion • Xiaomi 12T
The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion (€600) features a 144Hz P-OLED display (6.55 inches, FHD+) and is powered by the Snapdragon 888+. Unfortunately, Motorola doesn’t offer the same 3 OS updates commitment as the Edge 30 Ultra, so you’ll only get 2 (starting with Android 12, which isn’t compatible). You get a 50MP (1/1.55”) main camera with OIS, 13MP ultra wide (no tele) and 32MP selfie cameras, plus a mostly stock interface.
A Xiaomi 12T (€600) comes with a 108MP main camera and a 1220p-class display, compared to 1080p for the 10T. Although both are 120Hz panels. Also, both offer fast charging (120W for Xiaomi, 150W for OnePlus). However, the 12T runs MIUI, take it or leave it.
It’s time to vote – who will buy the Pixel 7? You can cast your vote below or (if that doesn’t work) try on this page.
Now let’s have some competition for the Pixel 7 Pro. Starting at 900 euros, it makes it easy, so even if it is more capable than its little brother or sister, the Pro will not be easy.
A Samsung Galaxy S22+ is slightly more expensive and doesn’t match the Pixel in terms of camera. The 50MP main sensor is smaller (1/1.56″ vs. 1/1.31″) and the 3x telephoto camera offers less zoom and lower resolution (10MP). The S22 Ultra has better specs but is more expensive, with a 108MP main camera, two 10MP telephoto lenses (one 3x and one 10x), not to mention the S Pen stylus.
Speaking of cameras, 200MP is the new hotness with the likes of the €900 Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. This one pushes the P-OLD display to 144Hz and has the powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 to back it up (the S22 phones have the original 8 Gen 1 if you’re lucky). Also, there’s a 200MP main camera (1/1.22-inch sensor with up to 16-in-1 binning), an OK 2x portrait camera, and a 50MP main camera. The 4,610mAh battery is charged at 125W (or 50W wirelessly). Also, Motorola has committed to 3 OS updates for the Pixel.
Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G • Motorola Edge 30 Ultra • Xiaomi 12T Pro • Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Another 200MP option is the Xiaomi 12T Pro. It also runs on an 8+ Gen 1 chipset and has a high-resolution 12-bit AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. And it’s a 1220p-class display, not the Motorola 1080p. However, apart from the impressive 200MP sensor, the other cameras on the 12T Pro are nothing to write home about. At least this phone matches the Pixel with a 5,000mAh battery capacity and beats charging speed (120W, 0-100% in 19 minutes). But you better be fine with MIUI.
At $1,100, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is more expensive than the Pixel 7 Pro, but we felt we should mention it as an alternative. It is the flagship smartphone in the United States, after all, it has better software support than the Pixel and may be the best chipset on the market overall. For the first time, it has a taste of a high-quality camera – 48 MP, but this is still a big change after several years of 12 MP sensors.
Hands-on show – Who will buy the Pixel 7 Pro? Tell us in the poll below or cast your vote here.