Pixel 7 and 7 Pro hands-on: Slicker design, same great pricing

Final yr Google made a giant change to its cellphone line with the introduction of its custom-designed . By specializing in elevated AI and machine studying efficiency, the corporate was in a position to create extra superior apps and options for its handsets without having assist from the cloud. And now with the launch of the Pixel 7 and seven Professional alongside the Tensor G2, it seems like Google is deepening the wedding between its {hardware} and software program.

On the surface, Google is utilizing the same template to what we bought with the with a few notable tweaks. On the Pixel 7, you get a display screen comprised of Gorilla Glass Victus, whereas in again, there’s an much more pronounced digicam bar that now extends seamlessly from the cellphone’s body throughout the width of the system. This could present some added sturdiness whereas nonetheless permitting the system to lie flat (properly, largely) on a desk.

Much like final yr, the finishes of the 2 telephones range barely between fashions, with the Pixel 7 getting a brushed aluminum look whereas Pixel 7 Professional will get a shiny, polished chassis. That mentioned, whereas the Pixel 7 Professional’s design is meant to really feel a bit extra premium than its cheaper sibling, I really type of desire the matte look on the usual Pixel 7. And for what it’s value, I feel the Pixel 7 has barely extra enjoyable colours as properly, with choices together with snow, obsidian and lemongrass, in comparison with the marginally extra sedate snow, obsidian and hazel paint jobs on the 7 Professional. And whereas I’m positive I’m not the primary individual to note this, I nonetheless can’t shake the sensation that the again of the Pixel 7 seems to be like a personality from Amongst Us. So relying in your tastes, the Pixel 7’s design could possibly be very hit and miss, however I’m having fun with it thus far.

One notable change for the Pixel 7 particularly is that with a 6.3-inch 90Hz OLED display screen, it’s really a tiny bit smaller than the outgoing Pixel 6, which seems like a small win for compact cellphone followers. It’s not a lot that it seems like an enormous distinction in comparison with the earlier mannequin, however it is perhaps simply sufficient to make the system really feel a bit nimbler, particularly when you don’t have large palms.

As for the Pixel 7 Professional, Google opted for a 6.7-inch 120Hz show. Nonetheless, I need to say it’s type of laborious to inform the distinction in refresh charges even once you’re holding them side-by-side. And whereas it doesn’t present up on a spec sheet, the Pixel 7 Professional’s glass is 20 p.c flatter, so there’s a bit much less distortion across the edges of the display screen. Each telephones get the identical 10.8MP front-facing digicam, although it nonetheless has a hard and fast focusing system, which is a comparatively minor inconvenience in comparison with the true autofocus system on the iPhone 14’s selfie shooter.

Round again, Google is utilizing a well-recognized 50MP predominant cam alongside a 12MP ultra-wide shooter. However on the subject of pictures, maybe the most important digicam improve is the brand new 48MP 5x telephoto zoom on the Pixel 7 Professional. Not solely is it longer than the Pixel 6 Professional’s 4x lens, Google additionally redesigned the best way the digicam pushes in to seize extra detailed photos all through the cellphone’s whole vary.

Much like earlier than, from 1x to 2x, the 7 Professional makes use of the 50-MP predominant sensor to take short-distance pictures, after which crops as wanted. However from 2x to 5x, the cellphone fuses photos from each the principle and telephoto lenses to create a extra detailed composite. Then between 5x and 10x switches fully over to the zoom cam, with Google utilizing pixel binning to cut back whole decision down from 12MP. After which above 10x, the cellphone makes use of full-res crops from the telephoto cam earlier than the cellphone hits its full 30x magnification. I do know that is all extraordinarily techy, however the finish result’s a a lot smoother zoom expertise throughout and extra detailed pictures that look higher than something I’ve seen from virtually some other cellphone. That mentioned, I’m going to wish to do some extra testing earlier than I make any ultimate judgments.

A number of the new digicam software program additionally seems to be spectacular. There’s a Cinematic Blur characteristic for video that provides a mushy bokeh to the background of your clips whereas nonetheless supporting full 10-bit shade with HDR. And from what I’ve seen thus far, it seems to be nice, as when you’ve been utilizing a way more costly digicam. And for extra common use, Google says it has upgraded the Pixel 7’s picture stabilization and noise correction as properly.

In the meantime for images, Google says the Tensor G2 helps enhance the Pixel’s Face Unblur instrument and speeds Evening Sight processing by as much as 2x. There’s additionally a brand new Photograph Unblur characteristic that may sharpen pics no matter when it was taken or what digicam they got here from. Google says all of the processing for Photograph Unblur is finished regionally on the cellphone and, in a quick demo, a number of the outcomes had been so good they had been type of laborious to imagine.

However that’s the perfect and worst factor about Pixels, as a result of now that their {hardware} and software program are so intertwined, it’s tough to essentially get a way of how they carry out after solely a quick hands-on. And that’s earlier than we speak about different extra area of interest options like quicker menus for and the power to transcribe audio messages into textual content, which I hear is in style in Europe, however much less so within the US. Each the Pixel 7 and seven Professional felt snappy and the telephones’ excessive refresh fee shows made switching between apps really feel tremendous easy. That mentioned, it’s nonetheless as much as Google to keep away from any bugs or points with future software program updates like we .

So for now, what I’ll say is that I’m positively digging the Pixel 7’s tweaked design. Cinematic Blur makes movies look nice and, as somebody who loves telephoto lenses, I can’t wait to see what I can do with the 7 Professional’s new 5x zoom. And maybe better of all, with the usual Pixel 7 retaining the $599 beginning value (or $699 on Verizon for one with mmWave 5G), upgrading to Google’s newest flagship prices lower than its opponents.

Comply with the entire information from Google’s Pixel 7 occasion proper right here!

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