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The Google Pixel 7 Arrives to Dominate Smartphone Cameras

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro on a big slate rock.
Google

To our delight, Google is sticking with its formula for the Pixel 7. This new smartphone looks nearly identical to its predecessor, but its cameras are more powerful, accessible, and usable than ever before. Plus, the Pixel 7 Pro finally embraces Face Unlock!

Pre-orders for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro open today. Both devices ship on October 13th, and they retain the great prices of the Pixel 6 lineup.

Note: The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones debuted at the Made By Google 2022 event. They were accompanied by the Pixel Watch and Pixel Tablet.

A Shinier, Glossier Set of Pixel Phones

An official render of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 XL.
Google

The new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro build on the success of Google’s previous smartphone, the Pixel 6. They arrive without a price hike, offering the same competitive value with impressive new improvements, especially in terms of camera quality, battery life, and AI-enabled features.

Here’s the Pixel 7 pricing:

  • Pixel 7 (6.3-inch): $600
  • Pixel 7 Pro (6.7-inch): $900

Design-wise, the Pixel 7 lineup reuses the “Robocop” camera visor that we got last year. On the standard Pixel 7, this visor has a satin finish, while it’s a lot shiner and glossier on the Pixel 7 Pro.

The Pixel 7 now uses a 6.3-inch display—it’s slightly smaller than the Pixel 6’s screen, but only because the bezels are tighter. Unfortunately, the Pixel 7 still uses a 90Hz display. You need to upgrade to the Pixel 7 Pro if you want a 6.7-inch 120Hz screen.

Of course, cameras get the biggest upgrade here. Low-light selfies look better on the Pixel 7, zoom settings are more effective and sharp, and Pixel 7 introduces a new feature to fix blurry photos. Plus, the Pixel 7 Pro finally gains Face Unlock.

Battery life is also a notable improvement. Google says that both devices will last over 24 hours on a charge (or up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver). And interestingly, both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro support speedy 30-watt wired charging. (At least, that’s what Google says. Remember that Google lied about the Pixel 6 charging speed.)

Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro get five years of security updates and three years of major OS updates.

The Mighty Second-Generation Tensor

An official render of the Tensor 2 chipset.
Google

With the new Pixel 7 lineup comes an upgraded chipset, the Tensor G2. According to Google, machine learning algorithms run 60% faster and with 20% more efficiency on this new chipset. That means faster image and video rendering, a quicker Live Translate tool, and improved battery life.

For the most part, the Pixel 7 offers the same AI and machine learning features as its predecessor. But there are a few new additions, including transcriptions for audio messages. If someone sends you an audio message while you’re out in public, you don’t need to play it out loud. Just transcribe it!

And for journalists, the Pixel 7’s Recorder app adds new speaker labels to transcripts. If you interview someone on your Pixel 7 and access the automatic transcript, different speakers will be identified with labels (such as “Speaker 1”).

The Tensor G2 will also enable a “Clear Calling” feature later this year. Pixel phones already clean up your phone calls, but Clear Calling specifically targets the person who you’re calling. It improves the quality of their voice and removes background noise picked up by their phone.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have detailed specs for this chipset. We assume that it’s comparable to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, but Google’s presentation focused more on AI performance than raw power.

More Inclusive, More Powerful Cameras … and Face Unlock

A close-up of the Pixel 7 Pro rear camera array.
Google

As always, camera quality is the focus of Google’s Pixel lineup. And the Pixel 7 series takes camera quality to a new level, adding a long list of improvements and new features.

Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro use an upgraded 10.8 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide front-facing camera, which improves low-light performance when taking selfies or making video calls. Plus, both phones gain 2X Pro Res Zoom on their main camera, and each of the Pixel 7 camera offer improved sharpness and stabilization, especially when zooming in on faraway subjects.

Video quality gets a huge boost on both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. New 10-bit HDR gives you improved color and contrast, while a Cinematic mode lets you take high-res video with a shallow depth of field—in other words, you can enable a Portrait-styled background blur for videos.

The Pixel 7 Pro gets an exclusive camera upgrade—a macro shooting mode. By leveraging the ultra-wide camera, Google can ensure highly detailed shots of subjects up to 3cm away. You can take close-up photos of raindrops, hair follicles on skin, or other subjects that are usually outside a smartphone camera’s wheelhouse.

Google also added Face Unlock to the Pixel 7 Pro. We haven’t seen a Pixel phone with Face Unlock in years, so this is a very notable upgrade. Let’s hope the feature actually works.

And, of course, the Tensor G2 boosts all of Google’s AI-enabled camera features. It doubles the speed of Night Sight, reducing motion blur in night photography. And the Real Tone feature that Google introduced last year now works better in low-light environments, ensuring that subjects with darker skin tones are accurately represented in all photos.

Google also introduced a new feature called Guided Frame, which helps users with impaired vision or blindness take selfies. Essentially, a voice tells you which direction to move the camera and tells you when you’re framed properly.

But what about your old photos? Well, Google is introducing a Pixel 7-exclusive feature called Photo Unblur. It removes motion blur and smudges from any photo, even pictures you took on other phones. Combined with Magic Eraser and other editing tools, Pixel 7 lets you enhance all of your favorite memories. It’s a serious selling point, if you ask me.

Pre-Orders Open Today

The Pixel 7's display.
Google

You can pre-order the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro for $600 and $900, respectively. Both phones start with 128GB of storage, though you can upgrade to 256GB. If you want even more storage, you’re forced to buy the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a 512GB capacity in its most costly configuration.

Orders for the Pixel 7 ship on October 13th. The phone will also hit store shelves that day. If you’re on the fence, I suggest waiting for reviews to arrive—we’ll have a review published in a few weeks.

Note that carriers will offer major discounts for this phone. Google claims that you can get a Pixel 7 Pro for free with an eligible trade-in.

Google Pixel 7-5G Android Phone - Unlocked Smartphone with Telephoto Lens, Wide Angle Lens

Read How-To Geek's Full Review

The Pixel 7 offers a big boost in photo quality, plus improved battery life and AI-enabled features. It's the latest in Google excellence, and it starts at just $600.

Google Pixel 7 Pro - 5G Android Phone - Unlocked Smartphone with Telephoto Lens, Wide Angle Lens

Read How-To Geek's Full Review

The Google Pixel 7 Pro offers the best photo quality of any Pixel phone to date, with improved wide-angle, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. It also adds Face Unlock, giving you an easier way to unlock your phone.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »