Reviewing the Pixel 7 - best bang for your buck

Okay, let's hear it.  I know what you're saying... "Oh, Ryan loves a Pixel phone... surprise surprise! <sarc>".  I review them a lot and I also review other phones too... but always in the end I look at the Pixels and say "it's the best bang for your buck".

Really, for the Pixel 7, it's only $800CDN.  

For that you're going to get:

  • 6.3" @ 2400x1080 [90Hz]
  • Google Tensor G2
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Rear Cameras
    • 50MP (f/1.85, 82°, 1.2µm)
    • 12MP (f/2.2, 114°, 1.25µm)
  • Selfie
    • 10.8MP (f/2.2, 92.8°, 1.22µm)
  • 4355mAh (Qi + reverse Qi)
  • IP68
  • Fingerprint under glass + Face Unlock

So, it's an iterative update from the 6.  Slightly smaller, but the newer chip and slightly better camera for the selfie.

The bigger update elements comes in what that chip can do. 

But, let's take a step back.

First up, for me the issue was that it's smaller.  Slightly smaller, but still noticeably smaller (enhanced by the fact I didn't have a case for it, still trying to find a good one.

The other bit is without a case it's REALLY slippery.  It looks sleek, and feels even sleeker.  It'll slide around on whatever you rest it upon, so stay sharp watching out for it.

On the back we have the camera 'cyclops strip'.  And it looks more like a racoon band with the dual tone colouring of the alumnium frame around the black lenses gives it a feel I'm not a fan of... but it's definitely recognizable as I've had a few people spot it and ask me about the phone.

To use the phone you have the fingerprint sensor under the glass like in the 6, which worked pretty good.  

And I had thought maybe this model somehow improved over the previous as it worked so fast this time around.  Turns out, it was beating the fingerprint sensor to the punch with the face unlock.  It'd recognize my face before my fingerprint and then just would unlock with a touch.

That's pretty cool.  I didn't realize how much I'd missed face unlock from the 4 until now.

Using the phone on the internals are near enough to the experience of the 6 that I'll leave you to read over that review to mill through, just know that this had no rocky start with late firmware updates or LTE issues.  This has been bug free and snappy.

Even better, that it had a smaller battery than the 6, yet still would last longer.  I would get to the end of the day and still have about 50% life left itn (not that I often let it go that low, I tend to get the anxiety and need to find a charger whenever I see it hit blow 75%).

In terms of the camera, Google still crushes it.  I did notice slightly better traction with it than with the 6 where I felt that at 1x there was some chromatic aberration (like it was trying to be wide).  Didn't notice much with this like before.

I did notice some issue with the 7 tho on taking photos with smaller objects.  Namely, we like taking photos of spiders in our office windows; and I don't remember there being quite the difficulty of focussing on them with other phones.  The 7 seemed to really struggle sometimes picking up the tiny spider against the busy background.

I'll see if the 7 Pro is any better at that with its dedicated macro mode.

Staying with the features of the camera, I will say I notice that it is faster in 'night mode than the 6; and the unblur feature is pretty awesome.  Going to have to do a full article on just that.  Stay tuned.

The big question on the 7 is whether the 7 Pro would be 'worth it' for the price jump.

$800 is an awesome price for what you're getting here.  To pay $400 more for the Pro and get the extra telephoto lens, the macro mode, the curved edge glass, and some more RAM on top of a bigger display (with more Hz mind you), is something of a personal matter.

I'll have a review up to compare the 2 and let you decide.

In the meantime for me, it's not too small for me to get annoyed over (pick up a case) and the price for features is just your best bang for your buck out there right now.