Pixel 7 Pro Hands-on: Flagship worthy

Look at that sick visor

Google revealed the Pixel 7 Pro back in May, but I’ve finally gotten my hands on the company’s premium smartphone offering.

I’ve been waiting to hold this phone for months, and at least at the outset, it delivers. While I only spent a few moments with the device, I’m excited to work on the full review and really put it through its paces.

The Pixel 7 Pro feels premium and well-built. In comparison to the Pixel 6 Pro, the handset feels more solid, heavier and worthy of the flagship term. However, the change in design was barely noticeable, and I could only really identify what was different when I also held my Pixel 6 Pro.

Design-wise I absolutely love the striking visor on the rear, as it makes the smartphone stand out. The polished aluminum on the Pixel 7 Pro, unfortunately, didn’t feel as nice as the matte aluminum on the Pixel 7. Of course, it looked more premium and matches an elegant stainless steel watch finish, but I preferred the Pixel 7.  Flagships like the iPhone 14 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra have more of what I’d call a standard camera setup, but the Pixel 7 Pro stands out from the bunch. And despite my preference for the matte visor, the polished aluminum finish takes it one step further, compared to its predecessor.

The handset comes in ‘Obsidian’ and ‘Snow,’ but ‘Hazel’ stole the show for me because of its stunning bronze accents.

The Pixel Pro’s 6.7-inch display with 1440 x 3120-pixel resolution and 120Hz refresh rate looks great at first glance, but I’ll definitely need to take a closer inspection when I get my hands on a review device. The refresh rate makes scrolling smooth, which was evident in my time with the device.

The Pixel 7 Pro features a 50-megapixel primary shooter, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide shooter. Google has claimed a lot about its Super Res feature, saying that the Pixel 7 Pro can take quality shots at 2x -4x zoom with cropping, as well as at 10x zoom and 30x zoom. I snapped a couple of shots on during the hands-on period, and they looked good, but I’ll definitely need more time with the device before making any definite statements. For instance, I got a somewhat okay 5x zoom shot, but 30x zoom was impossible to gauge in that venue. In my full review, I’ll definitely try out the 30x, 10x and 5x zoom and figure out whether the quality matches Google’s claims.

The Pixel 7 Pro also features a macro shot feature that I tried out, and they were pleasant. When you’re taking a picture and holding your phone right up to something like flowers, the autofocus snaps into macro mode. I can’t wait to compare this to phones like the Galaxy A53 that have a dedicated macro shooter.

Google has also claimed that the Pixel 7 Pro can unblur photos, take quicker night shots and have offers improved Night Sight. When I write my full review of the Pixel 7 Pro, I’ll offer detailed opinions on each of these features, so stay tuned. I did take a couple of wide-angle selfies, and I thought this was a useful feature and can have me soon getting rid of my selfie stick.

Oddly, selfies with ‘Real Tone’ didn’t look all that impressive, and my selfies on my Pixel 6 Pro, in comparison, are more pleasing. I’m hoping this has something to do with the less-than-perfect lighting situation in the venue because Real Tone is one of the reasons I’m such a huge Pixel fan.

Alongside new camera tech, the Pixel 7 Pro features 12GB of RAM, the Tensor G2 and a 5,000mAh battery. Google says the Pixel 7 Pro can last between 24 to 72 hours depending on the usage of Extreme Battery Saver. I doubt I’ll use Extreme Battery Saver for all 72 hours, but definitely plan on stretching out battery life as long as possible, while taking photos, watching YouTube videos, video calling and playing games.

At this time, I’d be hard-pressed to say that anyone using a Pixel 6 Pro should update, but maybe I’ll be surprised during my review period. The Pixel 7 Pro costs $1,179 and is now available to pre-order. If you want to learn more about the Pixel 7, check out my hands-on here.

The device releases on October 13th. For more on the Pixel 7, check out my hands-on with the smartphone. For everything from Google’s Pixel event, follow this link.

For all of MobileSyrup’s content from Google’s fall hardware event, follow this link.

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