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Hands-on with Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
Our first impressions of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are Google's latest take on a flagship phone, and the first to be powered by its second-generation Tensor G2 processor. Instead of focusing on performance, Google is more so touting improvements like faster low light photography, smarter transcription, and more efficient battery. Here are some initial thoughts based on some quick hands-on time.
- Price. With everything getting more expensive, it's nice to see Google hasn't increased Pixel 7 prices when compared to last year's models. With the Pixel 7 starting at $999 and the Pixel 7 Pro at $1,299, the handsets are very competitively priced in the increasingly expensive flagship space. The cheapest iPhone 14 you can buy costs $1,399, for example.
- Neat camera upgrades. Pixels are known for great photos, and it seems like Google has spent a lot of time refining the cameras in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Both phones should take night mode photos twice as fast, but the Pixel 7 Pro gets even bigger upgrades. It has a new ultra-wide lens that can do macro mode, and the telephoto lens now does 5x optical zoom and up to 30x digital.
- Refined design. I've been a big fan of the camera bar since it was introduced with the Pixel 6, so I love that Google has kept it and made it look that little more premium by extending the aluminium frame over it. The Pixel 7 Pro buttons also feel much better than the Pixel 6 Pro buttons, which were too soft. Similarly, the Pixel 7 Pro display is less curved, which is welcome.
- Interesting colours. Both phones are naturally available in black and white, but the lemongrass colourway available on the standard Pixel 7 is pretty cute, fusing gold frames with a light green back. The grey-green "hazel" the Pixel 7 Pro comes in looks rather nice too.
- Battery. Google says both have an "all day battery", which is unambitious. It made a similar claim around the Pixel 6 family, but I found the standard Pixel 6 battery to be mediocre, while the Pixel 6 Pro was just fine. I'll reserve judgement for when I've properly tested the phones - especially because Google says its Tensor G2 processor helps with battery efficiency - but I want to see Google dream bigger than just a day. Especially when phones like the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max just go and go.
- Questions about performance. Google hasn't said anything about year-on-year upgrades in terms of performance for its Tensor G2 processor. The original Tensor was a snappy enough chip, but not up there with the fastest Apple and Snapdragon chips. While Google says the new chip handles night mode faster and improves voice recognition, it's going to be interesting to see how the Pixel 7 family fares when playing more demanding mobile games, for example.
As has been the trend this year, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro seem like solid but iterative updates. Restrained pricing is a big win for those looking for a flagship-grade phone, especially if Google's camera promises translate to reality. At a minimum, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro definitely feel more refined than their predecessors from a design perspective, which his a promising start.
How much does the Pixel 7 cost in Australia?
The Pixel 7 family starts at $999, with pricing staying in line with last year's Pixel 6. Here's complete pricing for the Pixel 7 family:
- Pixel 7 (128GB): $999
- Pixel 7 (256GB): $1,129
- Pixel 7 Pro (128GB): $1,299
- Pixel 7 Pro (256GB): $1,449
- Pixel 7 Pro (512GB): $1,599