Like clockwork, we’re entering one of the busiest parts of the year with an avalanche of cool new devices. The Google Pixel series is a landmark now, and we’re excited about today’s launch of the new Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

Last year’s Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro represented a turn for the better with many improvements over the Pixel 5, with notably a significant escalation of the camera hardware in the Pixel 6 Pro as spotted by our CAMERA HW score. Google came back into the race, competing at the highest levels.

The new Google Pixel 7 series is an upgrade, refinement, and optimization of the Pixel 6 series as Google capitalizes on last year’s herculean effort.

The industrial design is seeing changes but sticks to the overall design language that was well received last year. The changes make the new phones look more modern, and the manufacturing quality has increased.

The new polished aluminum camera bar of the Pixel 7 Pro gives it an extra “premium” look, while the Pixel 7 (non-pro) gets a matte version. It’s excellent positioning using design as an instrument.

Google is known for its “pure Android” experience and long commitment to software updates, and nothing has changed on that front. Design aside, there are aspects of these new Pixel 7 phones we want to attract your attention to, namely the Camera and Computing.

The camera is the most exciting aspect for the majority, so let’s get to it. The Pixel 7 Pro’s camera is configured as follows:

  • 50 MP primary (OIS, 1.2μm pixels, ƒ/1.85, 1/1.31” sensor)
  • 12 MP ultra-wide (1.25μm pixels, ƒ/2.2)
  • 48 MP telephoto (OIS, 0.7μm pixels, ƒ/3.5, 5X optical)
  • 8MP selfie (1.22μm pixels, ƒ/2.2, fixed-focus)

This configuration is well-balanced (for the price) and should cover all everyday use cases very well. We’ll compute the CAMERA HW score in our full review, but this looks quite good.

Google is using its telephoto in two ways. It shoots natively at 5X optical zoom in 48MP. Alternatively, it can zoom even further using a sensor-cropping technique, like what Samsung has in some of its Galaxy phones.

Sensor-cropping uses only a fraction of the sensing surface without merging pixels to preserve details. That is like having a smaller sensor with a lens that zooms further. Sensor cropping is typically not as good as having an optical equivalent, but it is much better than software upscaling.

The Pixel 7’s camera is very similar but forgoes the telephoto – a choice is often found between different tiers of phones. It makes a lot of sense because ultrawide is objectively a more common use case than zoom – that’s why OEMs make this tradeoff for more affordable phones.

  • 50 MP primary (OIS, 1.2μm pixels, ƒ/1.85, 1/1.31” sensor)
  • 12 MP ultra-wide (1.25μm pixels, ƒ/2.2 – different lens)
  • 8MP selfie (1.22μm pixels, ƒ/2.2, fixed-focus)

You get almost all of the photographic benefits of the Pixel 7 Pro, except when the subject is far away. In the $599 range, this is very exciting.

Regarding computing, Google uses its Tensor G2 processor to provide excellent support for all imagery activities that rely heavily on stream computing and AI.

Google has demonstrated some long-exposure shots, which were nearly 4X faster, going from 5.25s down to 1.25s. That should also affect near-instant photographs or video recording, which we’re much more interested in.

That said, the competition (Qualcomm, MediaTek) is also capable of doing such things, and there’s no cross-platform benchmark to compare them apples-to-apples.

The Pixel 7 Pro has 12GB of RAM, so that’s the one heavy app users should consider, as the 8GB of RAM in the Pixel 7 should suffice for everyone with more basic needs.

Storage options are 128/256GB for both, but only the Pixel 7 Pro gets a 512GB version if you need that much.

Both phones are available for pre-order today for $599 and $899 on the official Google store, but also from carriers such as AT&T (pre-order here), which also says that in-store units will arrive on Oct 13. As usual, if you sign-up on a new AT&T plan, you could get the Pixel 7 for free, and the carrier says it offers “up to” $800-off on the Pixel 7 Pro

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about , and .

Discover more from Ubergizmo

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading