Google Pixel 7 Professional review: wonderful camera, unreliable telephone

Google Pixel 7 Professional

MSRP $899.00

“The Pixel 7 Professional would not totally tackle the shortcomings of its predecessor, however it’s one other Google flagship with a daring design and wonderful cameras.”

Execs

  • Daring, placing design
  • Attractive 120Hz display screen
  • Face unlock works nicely
  • Quick and highly effective efficiency
  • Prime-tier camera system
  • Pixel options are unmatched

Cons

  • Poor fingerprint sensor
  • Tensor G2 runs sizzling
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Limitless software program bugs

Like a brand new launch from Samsung or Apple, Google’s Pixel household has change into an anticipated amount in the course of the second half of the 12 months. As soon as the leaves begin turning and the climate begins cooling, it’s a certain signal a brand new Pixel is on the best way. This 12 months, Google’s newest releases take the form of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional.

The Pixel 7 Professional, particularly, is the place Google will get to essentially shine within the highlight and present the world its imaginative and prescient for a flagship smartphone. In a number of methods, the Pixel 7 Professional feels virtually an identical to its predecessor. It touts a daring design, unimaginable cameras, and software program options that no different producer can match. However the Pixel 7 Professional additionally retains lots of the Pixel 6 Professional‘s shortcomings — from lackluster battery life to rampant bugs. The Pixel 7 Professional proves that the Pixel 6 Professional’s basis continues to be actually sturdy a 12 months later. However with lots of the similar points creeping up but once more, it additionally has me apprehensive that Google doesn’t know what else to construct on high of that basis.

For a take a look at the Pixel 7 Professional’s cheaper sibling, see our Google Pixel 7 review.

Google Pixel 7 Professional design

Someone holding the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Google launched a daring new design language final 12 months with the Pixel 6 household, ushering in two-tone colours and the now-iconic camera bar. It took the Pixel from mediocre to thrilling, and it’s a bet that paid off in spades. Fortunately, the Pixel 7 Professional retains the identical wonderful footprint left by the Pixel 6 Professional — plus a number of tweaks to make it higher than ever.

The camera bar continues to be there on the again of the telephone, although it’s now housed in a stainless-steel casing as a substitute of glass. I personally fairly like the brand new look. The camera bar stays distinct and recognizable, and the pronounced cutouts for the person sensors add extra visible aptitude.

Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

I additionally actually adore the Hazel shade my Pixel 7 Professional review unit got here in. The darkish inexperienced glass again mixed with the gold chrome steel body creates one of many extra unique-looking handsets I’ve seen all 12 months. I do miss the delicate two-tone design supplied on the Pixel 6 Professional — and I want Google had extra colours to select from (your solely different choices are Obsidian and Snow, aka black and white) — however that is indisputably a really good-looking gadget.

Top frame of the Pixel 7 Pro.The mmWave window is far smaller this 12 months Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Moreover, I respect the stronger consideration to element on the Pixel 7 Professional. The Pixel 6 Professional shipped with a gaudy plastic strip on its high body to assist mmWave 5G. The Pixel 7 Professional nonetheless has a plastic mmWave cutout, however it’s a lot smaller and painted to mix in with the remainder of the body. Google additionally scaled again the depth of the curved display screen (extra on that under), it doesn’t really feel practically as top-heavy, and the entire bundle is lighter/thinner — permitting for a significantly better in-hand really feel.

The Pixel 7 Professional is one of many extra unique-looking handsets I’ve seen all 12 months.

However not each design choice is a good one. Google determined to decrease the location of the facility button and quantity rocker additional down the aspect body. It’s not a drastic change, however it does imply that Pixel 6 instances received’t work with the Pixel 7. Extra annoyingly, it means the volume-down button is simply low sufficient that it usually feels awkward to press with out performing some slight hand gymnastics.

Pixel 7 Professional display screen

The Pixel 7 Pro with its display turned on, showing the home screen.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Taking over the entrance of the Pixel 7 Professional is a 6.7-inch OLED show. It brings a 3120 x 1440 decision, a 120Hz refresh fee, and peak brightness as much as 1,500 nits (simply shy of the two,000 nits supplied on the iPhone 14 Professional). It’s additionally lined in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, guaranteeing it’s well-protected in opposition to cracks and scratches.

The show was one in every of my favourite qualities of the Pixel 6 Professional, and the Pixel 7 Professional isn’t any totally different. With vivid colours, sharp textual content, and nice viewing angles, it is a display screen I’m completely happy to have a look at for taking part in video games, watching motion pictures, and so forth. The 120Hz refresh fee has additionally felt wonderful throughout my use, making all the things on the Pixel 7 Professional really feel as clean as could be.

All of that is made even higher with the brand new form of the Pixel 7 Professional’s display screen. The Pixel 6 Professional’s show had very drastically curved edges, usually leading to unintended touches and making it nigh unattainable to use a display screen protector. The Pixel 7 Professional does nonetheless have curved edges round its display screen, however they’re a lot much less noticeable than earlier than. I’d personally choose Google to make use of an all-flat design because it does on the common Pixel 7, however it is a good step ahead.

Pixel 7 Professional face unlock and fingerprint sensor

Front-facing camera on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Face unlock was lengthy rumored to be accessible on the Pixel 6 Professional, however that was a dream which by no means got here to fruition. The Pixel 7 Professional lastly brings face unlock again to Pixel telephones, and whereas it’s good, it’s not the way you keep in mind it from the Pixel 4.

Face unlock on the Pixel 7 Professional works identical to face unlock on a OnePlus or Samsung telephone. It means that you can simply bypass the lock display screen… however that’s it. If you wish to entry a locked app, approve a Google Pay buy, or anything, you’ll want to make use of the Pixel 7 Professional’s in-screen fingerprint sensor.

In-screen fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The excellent news? Face unlock has labored rather well for me. I press the facility button to wake the display screen, swipe up, and face unlock permits me to go proper to my house display screen. It’s quick and will get the job finished.

The unhealthy information? The fingerprint sensor doesn’t seem to have improved a lot in any respect. Typically, it registers my fingerprint simply wonderful and works on the primary attempt. But when it does work, it usually takes a beat longer than I’d prefer it to. And when it doesn’t work, I usually need to attempt a second or a 3rd time earlier than it correctly scans my finger. It’s not a deal-breaker, however it’s additionally not significantly nice.

Pixel 7 Professional cameras

The camera bar on the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

It wouldn’t be a Google Pixel review with out a dialogue concerning the cameras, so let’s get proper to it.

The Google Pixel 7 Professional is provided with a 50MP principal camera with an f/1.85 aperture and laser detect autofocus. The principle camera is joined by a 12MP ultrawide camera with practically a 126-degree field-of-view, plus a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and as much as 30x with Google’s Tremendous Res Zoom. You additionally get a ten.8 MP selfie camera on the entrance.

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    Google Pixel 7 Professional
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    Google Pixel 7 Professional
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    Google Pixel 7 Professional
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    Google Pixel 7 Professional

Pictures from the Pixel 7 Professional look unimaginable — identical to they did on the Pixel 6 Professional. The Pixel 7 Professional produces lovely colours in all types of lighting circumstances, captures unimaginable element, and makes getting beautiful photos so extremely easy. Simply open the camera app, faucet the shutter button, and Google’s top-tier picture processing offers you a stunning picture.

Pictures from the Pixel 7 Professional look unimaginable.

If I needed to discover a bone to choose with the Pixel 7 Professional’s camera, it’s that photographs can typically look a little too saturated and Google’s HDR tends to be heavy-handed at occasions — preferring to take out shadows and actually brighten a scene as a lot as attainable. However these aren’t outright unhealthy qualities in any respect. If you would like a telephone camera that may effortlessly produce incredible, eye-catching photos with ease, the Pixel 7 Professional does so with out breaking a sweat.

However it’s not simply the principle camera that makes the Pixel 7 Professional such a robust images beast. Google upped its telephoto sport in an enormous approach this 12 months, and it reveals. The Pixel 7 Professional’s camera app now has two shortcuts for rapidly leaping to 2x and 5x zoom — the previous cropping in on the principle sensor, with the latter shifting to the devoted telephoto camera. You too can maintain zooming as much as 30x if you need — getting you very, very near your topic.

How do these zoomed pictures look? Surprisingly, very nice! I’ve been significantly impressed with the 5x zoom. It’s a a lot tighter shot than a non-zoomed picture, and also you get that a lot nearer to your topic whereas retaining a superb quantity of element. Even pictures at 15x look nice, providing you with a clear and crisp picture that’s greater than worthy of sharing on social media. Issues begin to appear to be a watercolor portray at 30x, however regardless, it’s good having the sheer flexibility to take action — one thing the iPhone 14 Professional simply doesn’t supply.

Photo of a bridge in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Pixel 7 Professional principal camera Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Photo of a bridge in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Google Pixel 7 Professional Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Photo of a skyscraper in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Pixel 7 Professional principal camera Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Photo of a skyscraper in Brooklyn, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Google Pixel 7 Professional Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The ultrawide camera can also be superb! It captures very related colours to the principle camera, and the additional field-of-view provides a number of additional context to your pictures. No complaints right here in any respect.

Macro photo of sand, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Pixel 7 Professional macro mode Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Macro photo of a flower, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Macro photo of a concrete wall, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Pixel 7 Professional Macro Focus picture Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Macro photo of a plant, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Pixel 7 Professional macro mode Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

However the ultrawide camera is actually spectacular with its new Macro Focus capturing mode. Much like the iPhone 14 Professional, getting shut sufficient to a topic robotically switches to the ultrawide camera for a macro picture — and the outcomes are nice. From taking a look at particular person grains of sand to getting up shut with a flower, the Pixel 7 Professional does an unimaginable job right here. As long as you possibly can look previous the distortion across the edges of those pictures, they’re a ton of enjoyable to seize.

Selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Google Pixel 7 Professional Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The selfie camera is the one space the place the Pixel 7 Professional has upset me. It appears to be like wonderful, however nothing about it’s significantly noteworthy. The mounted focus means you usually find yourself with comfortable particulars in spots, and there’s no alternative for any pure bokeh. Coming from the iPhone 14 and its wonderful selfie camera, the Pixel 7 Professional might have finished much more right here.

Pixel 7 Professional software program and options

App drawer on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Android 13 is obtainable on the Pixel 7 Professional out of the field and is backed by three years of main OS updates (plus 5 years of safety updates). Given how related Android 13 is to Android 12, the Android expertise on the Pixel 7 Professional is nearly an identical to what the Pixel 6 Professional regarded like at launch.

Google’s Materials You theme engine permits for wonderful customization, Fast Settings buttons are daring and colourful, and the built-in Privateness Dashboard makes it straightforward to rapidly see how totally different apps are utilizing your telephone’s numerous sensors. There are delicate tweaks to the issues just like the now enjoying widget and Google Search interface, however should you’ve used a Pixel within the final 12 months or so, you’ll be proper at house with the Pixel 7 Professional.

Whereas Pixels are nice for his or her “inventory” Android interface, the actual magic of a Pixel lies within the numerous AI options enabled by Google’s Tensor chip. All of those options that had been current on the Pixel 6 Professional return to the Pixel 7 Professional. Need to take away undesirable individuals or objects out of your images? Magic Eraser enables you to achieve this with simply a few faucets. Ready on a telephone name for a customer support agent to speak to you? Have the Google Assistant maintain your spot in line for you. It’s these little, quality-of-life options that make the Google Pixel expertise so magical — and arguably the perfect factor the Pixel sequence has going for it in 2022.

Photo Unblur feature on the Google Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Along with all of final 12 months’s Pixel goodies, the Pixel 7 Professional introduces a number of new tips too. One of many hallmark additions is Picture Unblur. If you happen to open Google Pictures, discover any image, and start enhancing it, you’ll see a brand new “Unblur” button that retroactively removes blur and noise out of your images. Google’s examples of the characteristic make it look fairly spectacular, however in follow, it’s been pretty disappointing.

For all the photos I’ve tried enhancing with Picture Unblur (older household images, like how Google marketed the characteristic), the outcomes are both barely noticeable or horribly artificial-looking — including an disagreeable quantity of sharpening, and even distorting faces in some photographs. That’s to not say Picture Unblur can’t be useful for images, however a minimum of in my expertise, it’s left quite a bit to be desired. Google has additionally teased Clear Calling as a approach to enhance hard-to-hear telephone calls, plus the Recorder app will be capable to document a dialog with a number of individuals and separate every speaker. Nevertheless, these options aren’t coming till later this 12 months.

Pixel 7 Professional bugs

A Quick Settings bug on the Pixel 7 Pro.I can’t let you know what number of occasions I’ve seen this … Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Sure — a devoted part simply to speak bout bugs. I didn’t anticipate doing this once I began testing the Pixel 7 Professional, however after utilizing the telephone, it actually left me no selection.

Merely put, the Google Pixel 7 Professional is among the buggiest and glitchiest smartphones I’ve used shortly. Bugs always repeat themselves, new ones often pop up, they usually’ve legitimately impacted how I can use the 7 Professional as my each day smartphone. Right here’s a fast rundown of what I’ve needed to cope with:

  • Whereas enjoying a sport, swiping as much as go house zooms in on the sport and requires a number of swipes to truly go house.
  • Opening a sport typically reveals nothing however a black display screen.
  • Going again to the house display screen from a full-screen app or sport often messes up the formatting for the Fast Settings panel (this has occurred 10+ occasions and requires restarting the 7 Professional to repair).
  • YouTube movies sometimes play the video with no audio, or audio with a black display screen.
  • A weird shadow appeared over my house display screen and app drawer after leaving Twitter, and wouldn’t go away till I restarted the telephone.

My each day routine with the Pixel 7 Professional has seen me restarting it a minimum of two to a few occasions per day simply to filter these bugs. I’ve spoken with colleagues who haven’t skilled these issues on their review items, however buggy software program isn’t something new for Google. The Pixel 6 and 6 Professional ran completely wonderful for some individuals, whereas others noticed their telephones plagued with relentless software program points.

The Google Pixel 7 Professional is among the buggiest and glitchiest smartphones I’ve used shortly.

May these issues be mounted sooner or later with software program updates? Most likely! However final 12 months proved that Google has an issue with buggy software program, and a 12 months later, it looks like that hasn’t modified with the Pixel 7 Professional.

Pixel 7 Professional efficiency

Render of Google's Tensor G2 chip.Google

Beneath the hood of the Pixel 7 Professional is Tensor G2 — the second era of Google’s in-house chipset. Google claims that Tensor G2 is 60% quicker than the primary Tensor chip contained in the Pixel 6 Professional, along with being 20% extra energy environment friendly.

In day-to-day use, I’m unsure I actually discover any vital pace distinction with the Pixel 7 Professional in comparison with the Pixel 6 Professional. However that’s not a nasty factor. The Pixel 6 Professional at all times felt quick and conscious of me, and the Pixel 7 Professional isn’t any totally different in that regard. Faucet on an app, and it opens immediately so that you can use. Scroll by way of a web site or Instagram, and it motion pictures with near-perfect fluidity. Even video games like Name of Responsibility: Cellular — with graphics set to very excessive and body fee set to max — run fantastically.

However whether or not you’re juggling a number of totally different apps or enjoying your favourite cellular sport, it doesn’t take lengthy for all of that energy inside Tensor G2 to warmth up. Like different Tensor-powered telephones earlier than it, the Pixel 7 Professional runs sizzling. Play a sport like CoD: Cellular for simply 20 minutes, and the Pixel 7 Professional turns into noticeably heat to the contact. Play for half-hour, and it’s virtually alarmingly heat. The Pixel 7 Professional is cool as a cucumber when it’s sitting idle or working a single app. Ask extra of the telephone, although, and don’t be shocked when it turns right into a hand hotter.

Pixel 7 Professional battery life

Battery settings page on the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Battery life was one of many greater ache factors on the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional. The telephones simply didn’t final very lengthy, creating battery nervousness even with average use. Does the Pixel 7 Professional make issues higher?

Primarily based on my time with the telephone thus far, not precisely. My first full day with the Pixel 7 Professional started at 9:00 am and ended at 11:11 pm. Following simply 3 hours and 38 minutes of display screen time — together with 45 minutes of Name of Responsibility: Cellular, half-hour of streaming YouTube, and common use of Twitter, Duolingo, Telegram, and so forth. — I used to be right down to 11%.

A few days later, I had an analogous day starting at 9:00 am and ending at 11:00 pm. After streaming Twitch for over an hour, watching YouTube for 50 minutes, and about 20 minutes of gaming, I clocked in 3 hours and 33 minutes of display screen time with 37% battery nonetheless left. It must be famous that at the present time was spent virtually completely on Wi-Fi, whereas the day prior to this noticed the Pixel 7 Professional on a 5G connection for a big portion of the day.

I’ve seen that the Pixel 7 Professional’s battery drain on standby is definitely fairly good. However the minute you begin utilizing a number of apps, enjoying video games, or anything that calls upon Tensor G2 to truly work, endurance rapidly dwindles.

Is that this horrible battery life? No. However it’s not significantly good, both. The Pixel 7 Professional may be very a lot proving to be a one-day smartphone at finest, and for a tool with a 6.7-inch display screen and 5000 mAh battery, that’s actually disappointing.

Google Pixel 7 Professional worth and availability

The Google Pixel 7 Professional is that can be purchased proper now. It begins at $899 for the bottom mannequin with 128GB of storage. Moreover, you may get the 256GB or 512GB mannequin for $999 or $1,099, respectively.

Within the U.S., the Pixel 7 Professional is obtainable from the Google Retailer, Amazon, Greatest Purchase, AT&T, T-Cellular, and Verizon.

The Pixel 7 Professional retains what works, and what didn’t

Holding the Pixel 7 Pro.Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The Pixel 7 Professional has confirmed to be a really irritating smartphone. There’s a lot I actually love about it. The design is healthier than ever, the show appears to be like incredible, the cameras are excellent, and Google’s good software program options make the Pixel really stand out from all the things else in the marketplace.

However to get these issues, it’s essential be OK with mediocre battery life, a telephone that warms up very simply, a nasty fingerprint sensor, and probably an onslaught of bugs. It turns into a troublesome advice for a telephone that begins at $899. And that’s much more true when you think about the Pixel 7 Professional’s opponents. If you would like the most recent and biggest Pixel expertise, the $599 Pixel 7 is arguably a significantly better buy — as long as you possibly can dwell with out the telephoto camera and 120Hz display screen. It can save you much more money and get a equally nice handset with the Pixel 6a. And if it’s an enormous smartphone with a strong camera system you’re after, I’m inclined to first suggest the Galaxy S22 Extremely or iPhone 14 Professional Max.

I don’t suppose the Pixel 7 Professional is a failure or an outright horrible smartphone. It retains all the issues that made the Pixel 6 Professional so wonderful, they usually shine simply as shiny right here. However Google had clear issues that wanted to be addressed — from poor thermals, disappointing battery life, and unreliable software program. So far as I can inform, none of these issues had been addressed the best way they wanted to be. There’s a basis for a fantastic smartphone with the Pixel 7 Professional, however till Google can get all the rubble off of it, it’s not one I’m going to hurry out and suggest.

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