So I’m just now getting to the review for the Pixel 7 Series, and it isn’t because it sucks or anything. Honestly, the Pixel series has progressively gotten better over the years, sure with some bumps along the way, but with each iteration, getting better and better. I should know. I’ve used every Pixel phone exclusively as my daily driver each year since the Pixel 1. And as each very version has come out, it just keeps getting more refined each time around and this time isn’t any different. As we hit the 7th in the line, Google’s Pixel phone has fewer wow moments, but definitely is an amazing phone with software the star. Let’s talk about it
Look & Feel
You know I’m still a little jaded about it. On the look and feel side, I still feel the best in my opinion was the Google Pixel 4 Series, and was probably the only time in my life where I was happy with the white color option. Something about that Panda look and feel I just loved. With the Pixel 7 series (all references at this point will be primarily about the Pixel 7 Pro), they aren’t ugly phones, but actually quite the opposite. They are refined, subtle in design, and look quite elegant. What I mainly miss from the Pixel 4 series is more of that fun spirit with its design. What we have now is a Pixel phone that has matured, got a good-paying job, and has a healthy amount of disposable income now. It can afford the finer things in life, and theirs nothing wrong with that! It looks and feels better now in its 7th generation. I’m here for it, but do miss some of that fun playful spirit.
This is no more present than if you were to compare the Pixel 4 XL,’s Oh So Orange color to the Pixel 7 Pro’s Hazel color. The Pixel 7 is elegant, sophisticated, and almost jewel-like. This is further cemented if you paired it with this year’s newest device to line up the Google Pixel Watch and picked it up with the watch’s Champagne Gold case / Hazel Active band combo. The Google Pixel 7 series is more fashion statement than it’s ever been in the past. This translates not only to the hardware but to the software chops as well. Material You design elements are front and center. Customization has always been the Android phone’s bright point, and Material You allows you to customize your text and app icons with your current wallpaper, providing a nice opportunity to make the phone yours from the color of the phone you selected to the wallpaper and design on the screen up front.
Tech & Features
Much is similar to the Pixel 6 series, which is more incremental bump up, than a full-on new design. This can be good and back. If you were expecting a completely new device, sadly this isn’t going to be it. Much like every other brand year after year has a similar look, the Pixel 7 series is the same with a familiar design, with slight modifications. But this isn’t a bad thing, it does look better in my opinion, it looks like it wants to be taken seriously this time around, as the phones are part of a larger design ecosystem. Does it work? I think so but what new software features does Google bring this time around?
Google is all about the software and this time around, the Pixel 7 series introduces some new features or expands on some existing ones. One of those is Direct My Call. The Pixel was already able to wait on hold for you so you didn’t have to when making a call to a system that may have a hold. With Direct My Call, when you call a line with an automated menu system, the phone can visually show you pressable menu options before they’re spoken saving you some time navigating those systems. Or how about Audio Message Transcription which transcripts audio messages you receive in the Messages app so you can read them instead. Wrapping up some expands, there were updates to the Recorder app letting transcript languages, Quick Phrases letting you interact without saying “Hey Google”, and more coming to At Glance like the ability to see daily weather forecast, packages left if you have the Nest doorbell and more.
The big show is normally about the Google Pixel’s camera. Here Google has done a lot with software, and they didn’t let up this time around. On the Pixel 7, Google introduces Macro Focus, Super Res Zoom, growth of Real Tone, Cinematic Blur, Photo Unblur, and Guided Frame. With Super Res Zoom, using software Google is able to allow you to zoom up to 8x with the Pixel 7 and 30x with the 7 Pro. All while getting a pretty good picture most of the time. When you go that far in, other factors come into play so your mileage may vary, but still an impressive feat. Photo Unblur probably the most popular feature from the announcement, takes not only phones you took with the Pixel 7s, but any photo you have on the phone and allows you to try and correct some blurriness. Again your mileage may vary, but when I threw some old photos I’ve taken on other older phones or cameras and tested it, it did surprisingly well. Depending on of course the severity of the blurred image.
I’ve used every Pixel phone since the very first Pixel 1. I’ve seen the growth, going through design changes (Pixel 4 XL will always be my favorite), software enhancements, questions hardware choices, and them all. One thing that has remained consistent is my love of using these phones. One of the main reasons I love the Pixel line is it allows getting the latest and greatest first. No waiting for another manufacturer to get around to updating their system or OU for the latest Android version. No, with the Pixel when Google drops a new OS with new features, I’m right there to get it. This has remained consistent so far with the line. And with each new Pixel 7, new exclusive features first. This has continued to be my experience.
Reasoning aside on why I choose Pixel, the day-to-day has always been good. I’ve been fortunate so far. In previous generations the bugs many experiences I’ve never had with my units, so maybe it has left me less scarred than most. The Pixel 7 Pro, which is the one I’ve used as my daily and will continue to long after this review, hasn’t let me down. Taking pictures on it, look amazing, and battery life gets me through the day, and then some. More if I ever turn on Extreme Battery Saver mode, which in my normal routine I don’t really need to. I’ve even left the signal on 5G this time around. With the Pixel 6 Pro, keeping 5G connectivity was a little problematic, and I found this would drain my battery far more than I would like. This led me to switch the phone to always just stay on LTE. However, with the Pixel 7 Pro, I haven’t found this to be an issue and I have felt the need to change the default setting and connectivity has been better as well as battery life.
And before I forget, let’s not forget to talk about the fact that the Pixel 7 brings back Face Unlock. I’ve missed having this since the Pixel 4 XL, and so glad it is back. This time around, it isn’t used for security unlocks, but just to quickly unlock your phone. This is fine as really the main reason I wanted this was to unlock my phone. The inclusion of the fingerprint sensor as well, first just as needed for any security prompts. Face unlock has also worked very well, sometimes too well. Just merely picking up my phone (in this case trying to take a screenshot of my lock screen) proved challenging to keep it locked as it quickly spotted my face and unlocked itself when that isn’t what I wanted to do at that moment. I can’t complain, it works great and allows me to jump right into the action without any additional button press. Overall, the phone has been rock solid and I haven’t experienced any reason I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for a new Android phone. Except to make the suggestion to pick up the Pixel 7 instead of the Pro. While I use the Pro as my daily. The Pixel 7 has all the goodness of the Pro, with the missing items barely noticeable and a much greater price point of $599 to start, compared to the $899 of the Pro. Both are great phones, but I would save your money and get the Pixel 7.
I love using the Pixel 7 Pro as my daily driver. The Pixel 7 is the better recommendation, yes, but love using the Pro as well. Both phones are great and you won’t go wrong choosing either. Starting at $599 for the Pixel 7 and $899 for the Pixel 7 Pro, they are small bump-ups from the Pixel 6 series. However, the improvements made take the 6 and make it an amazing phone to own in the 7. Subtle changes that make great improvements this time around. You had this with the true ecosystem Google is making with their Pixel portfolio, and you have a nice collection of devices when paired with the Google Pixel Buds Pro or A Series, the first of its name Google Pixel Watch (check out our full review here or our video on it here), and soon to come to the Google Pixel Tablet in 2023. I’m looking forward to the complete lineup and as someone who has again used the Pixel phones since the first, I’m happy to still continue using it as my primary device!