Google Pixel 7 review: the Pixel to go for

Our take on Google's latest Pixel - the Pixel 7.

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • Gorgeous display
  • Great cameras
  • Refined, bloat-free UI

Cons

  • Slow wired and wireless charging speeds
  • Not the fastest phone in its segment
  • Display refresh rate capped at 90Hz

I recently reviewed the Pixel 7 Pro and concluded that while the phone checks most of the right boxes, the device is not an outright winner. In fact, you could make an argument for any number of premium devices over the Pixel 7 Pro too. Making matters worse, the smartphone’s pricey MRP doesn’t do it any favours either. Thankfully, all hope is not lost as buyers vying for a Pixel can pick up the Pixel 7 too, which doesn’t just retail for less, but comes across as a more VFM proposition. I have been using the phone for the better part of a week and here’s everything you should know about Google’s affordable flagship. 

The lowdown 

Right off the bat, you should know that the Google Pixel 7 draws a lot of parallels to the Pixel 7 Pro. In fact, much like most other watered-down flagships, the Pixel 7 conforms to the stylistic choices of its pricier sibling too. So, if the Pixel 7 Pro’s design caught your eye, you’d be just as smitten by the Pixel 7 as well. A fringe benefit of the smartphone’s miniaturised chassis is that the device feels more ergonomic too. In fact, the unit’s rounded-off frame will surely appease buyers who rely on one-handed operations. Adding to the list of pros, the handset supports wireless charging and even comes with an IP68 rating. Furthermore, the device comes layered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the back and the front too. Pool everything together and the Pixel 7 should stand the test of time. 

Display-wise, the handset features a 6.3-inch, FHD+, OLED panel with a peak refresh rate of 90Hz. Now, much like the Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel 7 also smartly variates its refresh rate to accommodate the content being displayed on the screen. Correspondingly, you will notice that the display refresh rate automatically dips to 60Hz when you’re viewing dynamic media on apps like YouTube or Instagram. What’s more, the panel can get extremely bright – up to 1,000 nits outdoors, and up to 1,400 nits for HDR media, and correspondingly, the display should appear plenty legible even under the sun. 

What’s more, the screen boasts terrific viewing angles and I didn’t notice any major off-axis discolouration when glancing at the panel at an angle either. The icing on the cake is that the display can relay HDR media from OTT services like Netflix too, so you will be able to enjoy your favourite TV shows at the best possible picture quality on the set. As for audio, the Pixel 7 ships with a dual-speaker setup that gets plenty loud for watching movies on the fly. That said, I much preferred the output from the iPhone 14 Plus, which offers a more meaty and impactful low-end. 

Under the hood, the Pixel 7 employs the company’s latest Tensor G2 SoC. Now, I’ve already highlighted the SoC’s tech specs in my Pixel 7 Pro review, so do give it a read if you’d like to know more about the processor. But, to cut a long story short, the Tensor G2 SoC ships with the same cluster configuration as seen on its predecessor. To wit, the chipset features two high-performance X1 cores that have been mated to two performance cores and four efficiency cores. Now, Google did amp up the clock speeds on the newer SoC and has even employed faster A78 performance cores as opposed to the A76 cluster seen on the Tensor SoC powering the likes of the Pixel 6a (review). 

Be that as it may, the Tensor G2’s performance is eerily similar to that of its predecessor. In fact, it’s safe to say that the chipset isn’t the fastest in its segment either. To wit, the market is flush with quicker phones that retail for much less than Google’s latest. 

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Having said that, the Pixel 7 is not a bad performer – on the contrary, the device is reasonably snappy and buyers eyeing the set will even be able to run demanding games at competent graphics and FPS settings. CoD Mobile, for instance, runs at Very High graphics and Max FPS presets on the phone. What’s more, the device doesn’t heat up all that much either and the handset overturned respectable numbers in various benchmarking apps too. The icing on the cake is that the Tensor G2 SoC doesn’t throttle when subjected to sustained workloads either. In fact, the handset throttled to just 69 percent of its peak performance in the CPU throttle test, which is great. All said and done, the Pixel 7 – while not the quickest – is still a fairly competent performer.

Software-wise, the Pixel 7 boots a stock version of Android 13. I’ve spoken about the utility in length in my Pixel 7 Pro review, so do check it out if you’d like to know more about the unique features that come bundled with Google’s newest flagships. Moving on though, the Pixel 7 ships with a 4,355mAh cell which should see you through the end of a workday with moderate usage. During my stint with the phone, I was routinely averaging around five hours of SoT, although the battery percentage would dip sooner if I played games on the set for extended periods. Disappointingly enough, the Pixel 7 charges quite slowly. In fact, the handset’s charging speed tops out at 20W (for wired as well as wireless charging) and as a result, you’ll have to stay tethered to a wall charger for around one hour and forty minutes to refuel the phone completely. 

Coming to the meat of the matter, the Pixel 7 is backed by a dual camera setup comprising a 50MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with a 114-degree FoV. For selfies, the device gets a 10.8MP snapper up front. Unsurprisingly, the Pixel 7 can click gorgeous images during the day that are replete with a ton of detail. The smartphone’s 50MP main sensor doesn’t muck up the scene with overtly dramatic colours and instead, overturns a photo with reasonably authentic hues. That’s not all, as the smartphone’s main sensor creates a stunning bokeh effect too, which is evident if you look at the shots of the red flower in the slider attached below. 

What’s more, the smartphone does a good job bringing out the details from the shadows in a scene without clipping the highlights either. On the flip side, I noticed that the phone would introduce noise in the frame in a bid to expose the shadows better but you’ll have to pixel-peep to spot the same. All said and done, the Pixel 7’s primary camera is quite possibly the best in its segment. 

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Unfortunately, the Pixel 7 doesn’t ship with a telephoto lens. However, much like its pricier sibling, the Pixel 7 can also take a 2x crop of its main sensor, thereby outputting zoomed photos that are on par with what you’d get if you had say, a dedicated telephoto sensor for optical zoom snaps. The scenery remains unchanged for ultrawide photos too, which offer excellent corner sharpness as well as good detail retention around the centre of the frame. At night, the Pixel 7’s nightscape mode does well to spruce up the details in a dimly-lit scene. Do note that the photos aren’t void of noise and upon zooming in, you will be able to pinpoint areas that appear a smidge grainy.

That said, the images don’t exhibit any lens flaring issues and the colours in the frame appear quite realistic too, which is great. The same goes for the selfie camera as well and the smartphone’s 10.8MP snapper clicks stunning selfies with accurate skin tones and ample facial details. The portrait selfie feature works well too and the device creates a stunning bokeh effect which makes the subject pop that much more, so no complaints here either.

Verdict

The Pixel 7 retails for Rs 59,999 in India and for the price, will undoubtedly be construed as expensive, by many. Having said that, while there is an argument to be made against the smartphone’s performance chops, there is no denying that the handset is still plenty and can run most apps and games at competent settings. Furthermore, the smartphone offers what is quite possibly, the best camera array in its segment too. Add to that the unit’s robust build quality and other quality-of-life features including but not limited to a refined software experience and support for wireless charging and the Pixel 7 is a winner in my books. 

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5 

Pros: 

  • Sturdy design
  • Gorgeous display 
  • Great cameras
  • Refined, bloat-free UI 
  • Supports wireless charging

Cons: 

  • Slow wired and wireless charging speeds
  • Not the fastest phone in its segment
  • Display refresh rate capped at 90Hz

Key Specs

Google Mobile Pixel 7 5G
RAM8 GB
ProcessorGoogle Tensor G2
Rear Camera50 MP + 12 MP
Front Camera10.8 MP
Battery4355 mAh
Display6.3 inches (16 cm)
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Google Mobile Pixel 7 5G Price
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Rs. 57,200.00
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