Google Pixel 7 Pro review: Unimpressive compared to the competition

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  • Google’s Pixel 7 Pro is a good premium Android option with a big screen if you find it with a deal.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro’s cameras take great photos overall, but they produce disappointing results more often than the latest phones from Samsung and Apple.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro falls short of its main competitor, the Galaxy S23 Plus, in terms of performance, longevity and battery life.

The Pixel 7 Pro is Google’s option for those who like big screens and the cutting-edge hardware and features available in a phone, but at its core it’s the same phone as the smaller Pixel 7.

As such, I’ll direct you to my Pixel 7 review to learn more about its performance, smart features, and cameras.

In a nutshell, the Pixel 7 Pro runs on Google’s Tensor G2 processor which is fast and powerful, but not in the super-powerful CPU league of Apple or Samsung devices. What it lacks in performance, the Pixel 7 Pro makes up for with smart features that actively enhance the camera’s quality and usefulness.

The cameras are excellent overall, but they also delivered sometimes disappointing photos. No phone camera is perfect, but the Pixel 7 series proved more disappointing than the latest high-end phones from Apple and Samsung.

Overall, the Pixel 7 Pro is a good phone that almost anyone would be happy with. However, Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus dominates the Pixel 7 Pro as the stronger contender for your hands and pockets.

Bigger screen and three cameras for $300 more than the Pixel 7

The Google Pixel 7 Pro screen on the home screen showing app icons on a marble background.

The Pixel 7 Pro has a large 6.7-inch 120Hz display and a triple camera system.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Initiate

For $300 more than the Pixel 7, the Pixel 7 Pro offers a larger 6.7-inch display with a slightly smoother 120Hz refresh rate than the Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch 90Hz display .

The camera system also has a third 48-megapixel 5x zoom lens which gives it much greater zoom versatility. The Pixel 7 Pro can take incredibly sharp and detailed photos, even at higher magnifications, like 10x. But like the Pixel 7, in some shots the Pro delivered more disappointing photos than the latest premium phones from Samsung and Apple.

Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 both run on Google’s Tensor G2 processor which is fast and powerful enough for anyone without trying to compete with the super powerful processors of Apple or Samsung devices. What it lacks in performance, the Pixel 7 Pro makes up for with smart features that enhance the user experience.

Whether these upgrades are worth $300 more than the Pixel 7 is up to you, but after testing both devices, that seems like a significant premium when the standard Pixel 7 offers so much for such a good price.

As for battery life, it’s technically not as good as the Pixel 7. The Pixel 7 Pro finished my battery test with 57% remaining, which can be considered within the margin of error compared to the Pixel 7’s 60% result. Still, I would expect better battery life from a larger phone compared to a smaller one.

Should you buy the Pixel 7 Pro?

Rear side of Google Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel color option on cement background

Google’s Pixel 7 Pro is fine, but it’s not as impressive overall as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Initiate

At first glance, the Pixel 7 Pro seems to have it all: a large 6.7-inch screen, a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, a triple-lens camera, and a powerful processor. But on closer inspection, it’s actually not an upgrade over the Pixel 7.

Besides not offering enough of a difference between the base model, I’m struggling to find reasons to recommend the Pixel 7 Pro over the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. While the smart features are impressive, the phone as a whole just isn’t, and I’d still recommend the Galaxy S23 Plus first – its cameras deliver more consistent results, it has better battery life and the S23 Plus has better longevity thanks to its more powerful processor and Samsung’s longer support for Android OS upgrades.

The Pixel 7 Pro may be a good option with Google’s $750 offer that will last until April 23, which is $150 off its full price of $900. However, if you have set your budget for a $1000 phone, I would still go for the Galaxy S23 Plus.


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