Google Pixel 7 review: A minor upgrade from last year’s flagship 6/6 Pro

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Every year, major smartphone OEMs update their lineups. The same is true with Google and its flagship Pixel series of smartphones. While we missed out on the Pixel 6/6 Pro, the company’s first flagship devices with a newer design and proprietary chipset, we did get to check out the Pixel 6a and now we’ll be looking at the recently launched Pixel 7.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Our Google Pixel 7 review looks at the smaller of the company’s latest flagship Android smartphones with a newer chipset, Face Unlock, and updated build materials. Read on for our full review!


The Google Pixel 7 we reviewed has the following features and specifications (configurable when ordering):

Processors• Google Tensor G2
• Titan M2 security coprocessor
Memory• 8 GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage• 128 GB/256 GB UFS 3.1 storage
Display• Full-screen 6.3-inch (160.5 mm) display
• 20:9 aspect ratio
• FHD+ (1080 x 2400) OLED at 416 PPI
• Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz) 
• Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ cover glass
• Always-on display with At a Glance and Now Playing 
• Up to 1000 nits (HDR) and up to 1400 nits (Peak brightness)
• >1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
• HDR support 
• Full 24-bit depth for 16 million colors
Rear Camera• 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera
• 1.2 μm pixel width
• ƒ/1.85 aperture
• 82° field of view
• 1/1.31″ image sensor size
• Super Res Zoom up to 8x
• 12 MP ultrawide camera
• 1.25 μm pixel width
• ƒ/2.2 aperture
• 114° field of view
• Lens correction
• LDAF (laser detect auto focus) sensor
• Spectral and flicker sensor
• Optical + electronic image stabilization
• Fast camera launcher
Front Camera• 10.8 MP
• 1.22 μm pixel width
• ƒ/2.2 aperture
• Fixed focus
• 92.8° ultrawide field of view
Camera Features• Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, Photo Unblur, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Panorama, Manual white balancing, Locked Folder, Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Portrait Light, Super Res Zoom (up to 8x on rear camera), Motion autofocus, Frequent Faces, Dual exposure controls, Live HDR+
Video (Rear Camera)• 4K video recording at 30 FPS, 60 FPS
• 1080p video recording at 30 FPS, 60 FPS
Video (Front Camera)• 4K video recording at 30 FPS, 60 FPS
Video Features• 10-bit HDR video
• Cinematic Blur
• Cinematic Pan
• Slo-mo video support up to 240 FPS
• 4K timelapse with stabilization
• Astrophotography timelapse
• Optical image stabilization
• Fused video stabilization
• 4K Cinematic Pan video stabilization 
• 4K locked video stabilization
• 1080p active video stabilization
• Digital zoom up to 7x
• Video formats: HEVC (H.265) and AVC (H.264)
Sensors• Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Barometer
Buttons & Ports• USB Type-C® 3.2 Gen 2
• Power button
• Volume controls
Media & Audio• Stereo speakers
• 3 microphones
• Noise suppression
• Stereo recording
• Speech enhancement
• Wind noise reduction
• Audio zoom
Connectivity & Location• WiFi 6e / Dual Chain BT 5.2 
• Google Cast
• Dual Band GNSS
Network• 5G/mmWave supported on select models 
SIMs• Dual SIM (Single Nano SIM and eSIM)
Authentication• Fingerprint Unlock with under-display fingerprint sensor 
• Face Unlock
• Pattern, PIN, password
Battery and Charging• Beyond 24-hour battery life
• Up to 72-hour battery life with Extreme Battery Saver
• Minimum 4270 mAh
• Typical 4355 mAh6
• Fast charging – up to 50% charge in about 30 minutes (with Google 30W USB-C® Charger with USB-PD 3.0 (PPS) sold separately)
• Qi-certified
• Fast wireless charging
• Battery Share
Hearing Aid Compatibility• M3/T4 HAC Rating
Security & Updates• Built-in VPN powered by Google One
• End-to-end security designed by Google
• Multi-layer hardware security: Tensor security core, Titan M2 security chip, and Trusty (Trusted Execution Environment)
• Minimum 5 years of security updates
• Anti-phishing and anti-malware protection 
• Automatic security checks and privacy controls with Security Hub
• Camera and mic toggles 
• Private Compute Core 
• Android System Intelligence  
• Android Messages end-to-end encryption and Android backup encryption
Materials• Scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ cover glass
• Edgeless Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ back with matte aluminum frame
• IP68 dust and water resistance
• Fingerprint-resistant coating
Operating System• Android 13
Colours• Obsidian, Snow, Lemongrass
Dimensions• 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm (6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches)
Weight • 197 g (6.9 oz)

What’s in the box

  • Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone
  • 1 m USB-C® to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Quick Switch Adapter
  • SIM tool
What's included with the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone
What’s included with the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone.


While we didn’t review last year’s Pixel 6/6 Pro flagship, we did get to review the Pixel 6a which had a similar design. The Pixel 7 looks pretty much identical with a few minor updates to the design.

The Pixel 7 we reviewed is manufactured with an edgeless Corning Gorilla Glass Victus back with matte aluminum frame. While the glass back is nice, it does make the phone quite slippery to hold. Located near the top is the camera bump. It’s not a huge lip, but it’s enough of one that you’ll definitely want to pick up a case with this phone if only to protect the edges of the camera bump. On the left side are the two back-facing cameras (50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera and the 12 MP ultrawide camera) while the LED flash sits towards the right. The Google G is printed in grey on the middle of the phone.

In typical fashion, on the right edge of the phone, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker. On the left side is where you’ll find the SIM card slot (the device also supports eSIM technology), and the bottom edge is where the USB-C charging/data port and two speaker cutouts (one’s a dummy cutout as the other speaker is located near the top of the phone).

Flipping the phone over to its front, you’ll notice a pinhole camera cutout, centered near the top of the screen. We’ll talk more about that in a moment. The edges of the display are a bit rounded, and curve into the curved edges of the phone, giving the device a flowing feeling.


The display on the Google Pixel 7 is a 6.3-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover glass with a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. With HDR support, 24-bit depth, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and high brightness mode, the display colours were pretty nice and vibrant on the OLED screen. In addition, I had no issues with the responsiveness of the screen or viewing content even in the brightest of conditions.

Like the last few iterations of the Pixel phone, the Pixel 7 also features the front pinhole camera style. While it still bothers some people, I never really noticed it as it sits nicely in the top notification icon bar.

The display on the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone
The display on the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone.

While technically not a display consideration, the fact that the fingerprint scanner is under the screen can be cause for concern. In the case of the Pixel 7, I had no issues with using the fingerprint scanner. However, when I placed a glass screen protector on it, it was a bit hit-and-miss and triggered about 80% of the time. This isn’t just a Pixel issue, however, as a lot of phones do encounter some issues with under-screen fingerprint scanners and screen projectors. Fortunately, there is a setting that can enhance sensitivity with a screen protector and once enabled, I only encountered a few fingerprint misfires.


The Pixel 7 ships with Android 13, Google’s latest version of their mobile operating system. As with each iteration of Google’s smartphone operating system, there are both subtle and major enhancements. If you’re curious about all of them, you can hit the Android website, but in the meantime, here are a few of the key updates:

  • More personalization features include an evolved look and style that builds on Material You.
  • Updated media player that tailors its look and feel based on the music or podcast you’re listening to.
  • In Android 13, you can select only the specific photos and videos apps need to access.
  • Android will automatically clear your clipboard history after a period of time to prevent unwanted clipboard access.
  • The apps you download will now need your explicit permission to send notifications, rather than being allowed to send notifications by default.
  • On supported headphones that enable head tracking, Spatial Audio shifts the source of the sound to adapt to how you turn your head.
  • Android 13 adopts Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, a new Bluetooth audio standard that results in lower latency than classic audio.
  • Smart Home Controls on the lockscreen.
  • Ability to set different languages for apps.

As you can see, while some of these are under-the-hood updates, there are plenty of visible ones as well. Overall, the updates to Android 13 over Android 12 offer more of a refinement than an overhaul. Even better, Google has now committed to five years of security updates so this phone should last you a few years at least.


The Pixel 7 features the new Google Tensor G2 processor. It is faster than the debut Google Tensor found in the 6-series devices, but as is usually the case, you don’t really notice that much of a speed difference going from something like a Pixel 6 to a Pixel 7, but you would if you had an older device like a Pixel 4 or 5.

For day-to-day use and even some mobile gaming like Call of Duty: Mobile or Xbox Cloud Gaming, the Pixel 7 was very responsive with its processor and 8GB of RAM. I never ran into issues with apps hanging or being slow to launch. I’m bad for closing recent apps and at times had more than 10 open but didn’t notice any loss in performance. Apps loaded quickly as one would hope for, and everything I use on a daily basis ran just fine.

Sound Quality

Like other Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 7 has stereo speakers. While the earpiece doubles as one, the second is on the bottom edge of the phone. Unfortunately, this means one speaker is potentially covered when in landscape mode by your hand. This causes the sound to be muffled a bit. Aside from that, the sound does get quite loud and has a nice soundstage when listening to music or watching videos. That being said, it’s still lacking bass so sounds a bit unbalanced but it’s definitely fine in a pinch for a quick song or YouTube video watching.


The Google Pixel 7 has two main rear-facing cameras, a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera and a 12 MP ultrawide camera. The larger 50MP camera did an outstanding job both outdoors and indoors when set to the default zoom. It does feature Super Res Zoom up to 8x but I found once you started getting too zoomed in (past 2x) the image seemed to have a painted effect when looked at closely on a computer. While looking at it on a smaller screen, which most people tend to do, the zoomed-in images looked fine. That being said, the 7 Pro has an optical zoom which does a much better job so if you’re going to be doing a lot of zoom photography, you’ll probably want to consider the upgraded model instead. The 12 MP ultrawide camera has a larger 114° field of view and was great for capturing landscapes or even group photos of larger groups.

The camera bump on the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone
The camera bump on the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone.

On the front side, Google has placed a 10.8 MP shooter which works well enough for selfies. The slightly wider field of view was perfect for selfies with multiple people, and I found that four or five was a comfortable number given my arm length.

Because of the new Google Tensor chip, the Pixel 7 series phones have improved upon features like Face Unblur, Magic Eraser, and Real Tone. The first does what it says and detects blurred faces in an image and can unblur them. It does a pretty good job of it as well. Magic Eraser lets you edit out unwanted features (including people) in the background. Finally, Real Tone uses new camera tuning models and algorithms to more accurately highlight diverse skin tones.

Of course, there are plenty of other modes and features of the Pixel 7 camera including Live HDR+, Portrait mode, Super Res Zoom, Portrait Light, Top Shot, Night Sight, and more. For the most part, the camera’s live view actually portrays what your picture will look like. Whatever brightness or colour you see on your phone will be exactly how the photo will turn out. In addition, the brightness slider and a contrast slider right on the main screen allow for quick and easy adjustments.

As for photo quality, while there are a few phones out there with better image quality, the Pixel 7 still produces some great photos, indoors or out. Night Sight remains one of my favourite features of the Pixel phones for taking photos in dimly lit areas.

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Reception wasn’t an issue at all with the Google Pixel 7, as is the case with most smartphones these days. Of course, that may depend on where you live/frequent but in major centers on LTE, the device worked just fine. In addition, the Pixel 7 supports 5G, however, that was more hit and miss due to the slow rollout in some areas. In fact, most of the time I got better speeds on LTE than I did when 5G was available to no fault of the phone.

Call Quality

As with reception, there was no issue with call quality on the Pixel 7. I could hear the other party just fine, as they could me.

Battery Life

The Google Pixel 6a sports a 4355mAh battery, one of the larger capacity ones in Google’s smaller form factor phone lineup. It easily lasts through the day, and I frequently plugged it in with no less than 20% left at the end of the day. Typical usage included emails, texting, some web browsing, watching the odd video, and using the camera for between 3-4 hours of screen time.

The device features 30W fast charging and wireless charging. With the fast charging, you do have to get an additional USB-C charger (not included). However, it’s well worth the investment if you’re on the go a lot as you can get up to 50% charge in about 30 minutes. During my testing with a third-party 65W charger, I did get just under 50% charge in half an hour.


Priced at just USD$599/CAD$799, the Google Pixel 7 Android smartphone is more affordable than most other top OEM flagship devices.


Google has come a long way from its first phone, and not without a few stumbles here and there. However, the Pixel 7 with its Google Tensor 2 chip, great cameras, all-day battery life, and sleek design make for a solid phone if you’re in the market.

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