REVIEW:Google Pixel 7 Pro A Serious Competitor
As consumers move away from owning Chinese smartphones such as Oppo TCL and Vivo, a battle is on as to which model smartphone to buy, other than those on offer from Samsung and Apple and the brands that keep coming to the top of the list include, Motorola, Google and Nokia.
One of the new models on offer includes the all new $1,299 Google Pixel 7 Pro which is a serious competitor in the ‘affordable’ premium market where Samsung with their S22+ is doing battle with Motorola with their Edge 30 Ultra and Apple’s overpriced iPhone Plus, but there is something very different about the new Google device that makes it a standout product this year.
Google has got smart instead of a device that has bells and whistle technology for gamers which always cost more, Google designers have delivered a device that uses AI and very smart software to deliver superior functionality for consumers who want an all-round performer without it costing an arm and a leg.
Yes, the new Google smartphone has a good processor but it’s not a processor that is going to cost you more, similar to what other brands are doing just to earn a top end pedigree ranking.
When it comes to affordable premium products such as the Google Pixel 7 Pro competing brands are jacking up the price because they believe that they have to deliver a great gaming or top end gaming experience to get a sale.
I liken it to a BMW X3 which is an affordable premium motor vehicle that is still going to get you to your destination as would a double the price BMW X6 and both are luxury cars.
The only thing missing with the X3 is a bigger engine, and interior but you do have the added advantage that the journey will cost you less.
The new Google Pixel 7 Pro has superior software and better functionality than most of their competitors in the affordable premium market today and their camera is up there with some of the most expensive cameras in market today especially when you want to zoom in on an image.
The top end premium market is where Apple and Samsung are butting heads Samsung with their Flip and Foldable smartphone offerings along with their Galaxy S22 Ultra and Apple with their premium iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Where Google is pitching their latest Pixel Pro 7 Pro is the sweet spot in the smartphone market next year, with analysts tipping that this category is set to attract consumers who traditionally have purchased a premium smartphone but due to rising prices are looking for a feature rich device at an affordable price.
One thing that’s clear with the Pixel 7 Pro, is that Google have learned from their past mistakes and through smart simple refinements delivered a device that is up there with the best we have seen this year.
The Android 13 software is crisp and functional, and their AI coupled with the functionality of their new in house-built processor is delivering everything you need in a device today.
The new Android 13 software is a big improvement and when you initially boot this device and get into the Android OS software you can instantly see the refinements that Google have delivered.
Even before the first flick of the on button, you get the feel that this device is different from the past, the silver coloured signature Google metal band, housing the Camera rig looks smart across the back of the Pixel 7 Pro and up against the shiny artic white back it leaves one with the impress that this device is premium with the weight of the device adding to the impression that this device is more premium than the past.
Several things about this device are better than the past, for example the camera rig is every bit as good as the Apple 14 Plus.
While it has the same 50MP Samsung GN1 main sensor, the ultra-wide has been swapped over to a Samsung GM1 and because of an improvement in the processing capability of the Pixel 7 Pro which has the new Google developed Tensor G2 processor which when coupled with the Image Signalling Processor (ISP) has allowed Google to deliver Super Res Zoom that has increased from 20x zoom to 30x zoom, telephoto goes from 4x to 5X.
These two images show the wide shot and the zoom shot which is devoid of pixelation.
For the sake of wanting to know I shot the same picture with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera and then the Pixel 7 Pro. Surprisingly when it came to zoom close ups the Google smartphone was sharper as the picture below shows.
When it came to using the 21% wider lens for close ups the Google Pixel 7 Pro was not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
One feature I did like was that users have the ability to hold down the camera take button to instantly shoot a video.
Google is a very good software Company, and it shows with the camera functionality easy to access, a simple tap on the settings icon on the left-hand side opens up an easy-to-use menu.
Working on the notion that taking a picture needs to be a seamless experience Google has basically delivered a range of simple to use capabilities from zoom to wide or being able to go from .5 to 5 in seconds.
Another big improvement is video shooting the colours are sharp and accurate, I say this because with some devices we have tested lately the software has kicked in to try and emulate what the colour should be in both still and video mode and often they have got it wrong.
Recording at 4K 60 FPS is a breeze with the stabilization software really kicking in when you need it. This eliminates motion caused by wind or an aching arm when you are holding the camera out to shoot.
The weakness with this camera is low light with images becoming a tad grey and almost blurry especially when shooting closeup, at one stage I had to make sure that both the Samsung S22 Ultra and the Pixel 7 Pro display was set to the same level of brightness.
But don’t fret because most people don’t shoot macro or extreme close up with their smartphones that often.
It’s more video, location and situation shots that count and the new Google offering is well and truly in the running.
The combination of a second-gen Tensor SoC, a 120Hz LTPO display, an additional telephoto sensor, coupled with a bigger battery makes this an ideal smartphone for a power user who doesn’t want to pay a premium price.
With this device there a lot to like, it is premium but not top end premium which is going to cost you more than the $1,299 sticker price that JB Hi Fi has on this device.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro is $1,899 and to justify this over the Google Pixel 7 Pro you have to be in love with the concept of having an Apple branded product.
The software on 7 Pro is excellent whether your managing contacts, messaging or creating folders for apps. As for the need to buy storage my advice is to invest in Google Drive as opposed to storing on the device itself, it’s cheaper and if you lose your device, you can quickly recover content.
This is not a “Super Powerful” device, but it is a “super Smart” device that ticks the boxes when it comes to functionality, AI, the camera and above all the software that delivers a bucketload of functionality.
Grouping apps is a pain as it creates a round folder on the screen even when you have multiple apps in one folder. The zoom lens is limited Vs the Samsung S22 Ultra.