Dec 02, 2023

Google Pixel 7 Pro review: Google finally delivers a true Android flagship that just works

The Pixel 7 Pro arrives with a new custom processor, improved cameras, and more to lead Google's smartphone efforts.

If you remember the mayhem caused by the Google Pixel 6 Pro from last year, then you'll also recall how simply divisive it was. Many Pixel fans will attempt to rewrite history and state that it was the best thing since sliced bread, but it was anything but. It was a good smartphone with a lot of problems, and in the case of the Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google has attempted to right a lot of those wrongs by approaching the same recipe with alternative ingredients.

For the most part, the company has managed exactly that. This is the best Google Pixel smartphone to have ever been released -- no contest. It has the best display of any Pixel (sans some issues that we'll get into), the best camera, and, controversially, the best SoC of any Pixel, too. Google Tensor G2 does a lot to right the wrongs of its predecessor thanks to improvements in the modem, GPU, and cores.

Does the Google Pixel 7 Pro score the highest in arbitrary benchmarks? Absolutely not. Is it a good phone that most people can (and will) like? Absolutely yes. It has a lot of charm, great software, and a fantastic camera that makes this device an excellent all-rounder. It's going to be my daily driver for the foreseeable future, and it's been a while since I've been able to say that about a Google Pixel smartphone.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is the latest and greatest Pixel smartphone, and it rights a lot of the wrongs that its predecessor faced. I can wholeheartedly recommend one of these for pretty much anyone.


Google Pixel 7 Pro


Dimensions & Weight



RAM & Storage

Battery & Charging


Rear Camera(s)

Front Camera(s)


USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2


Stereo speakers



Other Features

About this review: Google Ireland gave me the Google Pixel 7 Pro on the 10th of October, 2022, for IrishTech. While the company gave us a review unit, it did not have any input into the contents of this review.

You can buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro starting with 128GB of storage and 12GB of RAM for a starting price of $899. It's available throughout the U.S., Europe, and some countries in Asia. You can buy it today from Google's own store, Best Buy, and other retailers.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro doubles down on the design language started by the Google Pixel 6 series. It has the same iconic camera visor on the back, an all-glass design, and rounded sides on the display. It does away with the two-tone design language, the curved sides are more subtle, and the camera visor has circles around the camera lenses to make them stand out more.

The metallic bar has a glossy finish on the Pixel 7 Pro, and it seems to dent and scratch fairly easily. I'd potentially look at picking up one of the recommended cases for the Google Pixel 7 Pro to try and prevent that problem. The camera visor also blends slightly more into the side rails of the phone. The Pixel 6 series last year was quite polarizing in its design, and I imagine that if you hated that design, you’re not going to be a fan of this one either, despite those refinements.

The power button and the volume button have also been moved down slightly, meaning that you can't reuse your cases from last year's Pixel 6 Pro if you're planning to upgrade. I still find the actual placement of the buttons strange, because it's a lot harder to take a screenshot than it probably should be. I'd prefer if the power button and the volume button positions were swapped. Finally, there's a mmWave window at the top.

As for the display, it gets pretty bright and looks excellent. It's a big 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED panel, though it's set to full HD by default in the device settings when you first boot it up. We'll be working on a dedicated display review in the future so keep an eye out for that, but for the layperson like me who doesn't really care about color accuracy and all that, I find that the display is great.

The Pixel 7 Pro display gets pretty bright and looks excellent

The phone is basically the same weight as the Google Pixel 6 Pro, and the weight feels evenly distributed throughout the phone. The same "hollow" feeling is present as was the case with the Google Pixel 6 Pro, but I really can't bring myself to care. It's not noticeable in normal usage, and it's partially a byproduct of how easy it is to swap out the display on this device. In other words, you get added repairability, but you also get a hollow feeling. I know which I'm choosing.

There are dual speakers that actually sound more or less even, though it may sound as if the top-firing speaker is slightly quieter at first. That's because of its location, as it's placed inside the earpiece grille. These speakers don't sound as good as the Google Pixel 6 Pro's -- they're fine, but they have a much louder high-end. They don't hold a candle to the likes of the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Google's Pixel 7 Pro doubles down on the already-great design that the Pixel 6 Pro had. While I miss the dual-tone design and I'm not a big fan of how easy it seems the aluminum visor scratches, the rest is an improvement. This is an iconic, unique design that I absolutely love, and I'm really, really glad that Google is keeping it around for yet another generation. I would have loved compatibility with previous year's cases, but it's not a deal breaker in any way.

Google Tensor G2 is the successor to last year's Tensor chipset, a mobile chipset made specifically for Google's own Pixel smartphones. Google likes to work on custom silicon for more specialized projects, such as its AV1 encoding VCUs for YouTube.

"Open up your camera and you have a live view and a lot of really interesting things are happening all at once. You’ve got imaging calculations. You’ve got rendering calculations. You’ve got ML [machine learning] calculations, because maybe Lens is on detecting images or whatever. During situations like that, you have a lot of computation, but it's heterogeneous," Phil Carmack, Vice President and General Manager of Google Silicon said in an interview with Ars Technica last year.

Heterogeneous means that all of it runs on different parts of the chipset at the same time. The difference between Tensor (and, thus, Tensor G2) and any other Qualcomm, MediaTek, or Exynos chipset is that Tensor is made for the software, and the software is made for Tensor. This chipset isn't being used anywhere else, and it's specifically created for use on Google's own smartphones. It gives it an inherent advantage in optimizing its own smartphones.

Last year, Google talked a lot about how optimizing individual parts may grant better peak CPU and GPU speeds which will look great in benchmarks, but they "don't always reflect real-world speed". As a fair warning, it is very true that Google's Tensor G2 does not compete all too highly in benchmarks. That's not to say that it's bad, but we're well past the stage where we can say that a phone will undoubtedly perform worse simply because it scores worse in an arbitrary benchmark. Besides, if it's just as good an experience in real-world use as competitors that may score higher on CPU-bound tests, then who cares?

Google Tensor G2 has the following components:

The TPU is Google's integrated machine-learning engine and is custom-made by Google for running the company's own machine-learning algorithms. It's tailored specifically towards the company's vision for a smartphone. In the case of the ISP, key algorithms are now part of the chip itself, rather than part of the software to be translated and executed on the chip. One of the most interesting parts of the chip is the Context Hub, which enables low-power ambient AI features like always-on display and Now Playing to run all the time without noticeable battery drain.

Google Tensor G2 still retains ties to Samsung's Exynos chipsets, with drivers making direct reference to "Exynos" by name. This chipset also has a brand-new Samsung modem, the Exynos 5300. It's never been used in any previous Samsung device before, and from what we can see so far, it performs a whole lot better than last year's Exynos 5123 modem, meaning you get better network reception on the Pixel 7 Pro than last year's model.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro still heats up a fair bit in some situations, but nowhere near the extremes of the Google Pixel 6 Pro. It's a lot more usable, no longer as hand-singingly hot, and it seems to dissipate the heat better across the body of the phone rather than centering all of it on the left-hand side. I have had a number of friends who bought the Google Pixel 6 series complain about the heat of their smartphones, and safe to say, the Google Pixel 7 Pro really improves things in that department.

As for sustained performance, the same applies, too. Last year, I identified a rather major performance drop-off when the phone hit a certain temperature. That doesn't seem to be the case here, as it manages to maintain performance even under load and in intense heat. Running the phone at full throttle for half an hour in our sustained performance tests shows an improvement over last year's Pixel 6 Pro, too.

Google has made some pretty big improvements in performance

One particularly interesting aspect of the above results is that it's throttling to a minimum value in and around the maximum of what the original Tensor could achieve. It throttles to roughly the same percentage, but even that throttle is already as good or better than what last year's Pixel 6 series could achieve.

What this points to is that Google has made some pretty big improvements, and it also means that it's unlikely Tensor requires as much energy to function at the same level as last year. This would explain why users are reporting generally better battery life.

Burnout Benchmark allows us to easily measure the power consumed by a chipset in a smartphone. When we tested the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 initially, we spoke with the developer, Andrey Ignatov, to get a sense of how the app works. He told us to run the app with a fully charged device on the lowest brightness and with airplane mode enabled, and so, all of the data collected here is under those conditions. Ignatov told us the following tests are run on different components of the SoC as part of the Burnout Benchmark:

Google Tensor G2 uses about the same energy as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 at first, with both chipsets peaking in energy usage just below 14W. While that's a lot of power, that kind of drainage would only ever happen temporarily. As you can see from the above graph, Tensor G2 does not maintain that for longer than a minute. It sits at just above 10W for a while and then drops down to as low as 5W (though temporarily).

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 does a significantly better job in CPU performance over time, achieving significantly better than Google's Tensor G2 -- all while requiring only a couple more watts of power. In GPU, things are a little bit closer, but the Adreno GPU of Qualcomm's latest chipset still outdoes Tensor G2's Mali offering fairly handily.

The higher wattage required to get a higher amount of CPU performance is largely why the Google Tensor G2 still produces quite a bit of heat. Wattage gets converted to heat, which is why the power is drawn at once, the warmer your phone will be.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro comes with the ability to decrease your display resolution to 1080p -- something that, for some reason, is actually set right out of the box. You can increase your display resolution to 1440p from your display settings, but if you're a gamer, maybe pause for a moment.

With a lower screen resolution, you'll have a much better time when playing games, and that's thanks to the fact that there are fewer pixels that your phone needs to render. This in turn reduces stress on the GPU and ensures a better, more fluid gaming experience. If you're playing titles like Genshin Impact or anything else graphically intensive, it might be worth switching to 1080p when playing just for that extra frame rate boost.

These scores are good enough for gaming, and are significantly better than what Google Tensor was capable of last time around. It's still not quite on par in graphical performance when compared to other flagship devices, but it's high enough up there that most people won't care. As is always the case, don't buy a Google Pixel phone for gaming, but if you like to partake in a bit of light gaming, then there's nothing wrong with picking one up.

As already mentioned, arbitrary benchmarks don't really mean anything these days. If you're going to judge a phone based solely on a benchmark, then you'll end up with phones that prioritize performance over all else. Smartphones like the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro would likely come out on top (a great device, mind you), but others, like the Black Shark 5 Pro with all of its excessive thermal output would as well.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro was a mess when it came to battery life. For some, it was manageable, but for others (like myself) it wasn't great at all. While I noted in my review at the times it was below average for me, it only got worse over time. The phone would heat up, it would thermally throttle, and the battery life was terrible.

With the Google Pixel 7 Pro, it's certainly more of a mixed bag, but I can handle it a lot more than I could last year's model. While I'm still working out quirks in relation to battery life (for example, the display is a disproportionate energy drainer at higher brightness), it's been a whole lot better than last year's model.

There are a couple of reasons for this -- the first is that Google switched the A76 medium cores to A78 cores. It's a small improvement, but there are efficiency and performance improvements to be had from that switch. While those improvements documented by Arm also account for a downgrade in node size (the A76 was originally designed for 7nm), the 50% efficiency improvement isn't all explained by a decrease in size.

This is essentially the second generation of nearly the same product, and the engineers will have worked out more techniques for improving efficiency and power consumption

On top of that, there's also the element of experience. This is essentially the second generation of nearly the same product, and the engineers will have worked out more techniques for improving efficiency and power consumption. For example, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, I asked Qualcomm at the time if they attributed the efficiency improvements to the switch to TSMC. While they admitted that it was a big factor, they said their engineers, the second time around, had spotted things they would have done differently on the design and the driver level and reimplemented them in better ways. As a developer myself, I can definitely attest to finding improvements when trying to reimplement things the second time around.

Case in point, from my own usage, the Google Pixel 7 Pro heats up less, seems to drain less energy randomly, and overall, is a major, major improvement for Tensor G2. Is it perfect? No. Is it computationally a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 competitor? No. However, it's much improved, and given that the software experience and performance does make this a high-end flagship chip competitor (outside of gaming), I can look past inefficiencies when analyzing a chipset in smartphones that are considerably cheaper than the competition with a lot of great features. I have still run into the occasional random battery drainer, but aside from that, it's been good.

I still detest that Android 13's battery reports require me to use a third-party app to measure the screen on time (I use GSAM), but we make do with what we have. As you can see from the above, my screen on time varies wildly. I'll get five hours of screen on time in an otherwise intensive day (which is good), and then other times, I'll get as little as three hours. The screen on time is inherently personal to a user (and as such, should not be the only metric of comparison), but it's a decent way to compare battery lives when it's unlikely my phone usage will wildly differ from one phone to the next.

I haven't really been able to figure out the cause of why I have some days with a whole lot less battery, though, aside from noticing that my battery drains way quicker with the brightness up. Another thing I've started to do is reboot my phone daily, and for whatever reason, that seems to improve the battery life situation too. I'm not particularly sure why... but it does. We'll be following up with more detailed findings.

The other major issue that I do have with the Google Pixel 7 Pro is its charging speed. The company says that 23W charging with a USB-PD-compliant charger will get you 50% in half an hour, which is true, but to fully charge the phone takes in and around an hour and a half. A little tip though: while Google only sells a 30W charger, the Google Pixel 7 Pro does not charge at 30W, nor does it even come with a charger. You'll need to buy a separate charger.

For anyone who has used any kind of fast charging technology, this is pretty slow. While I respect the dedication to a single standard in the support of USB Power Delivery, it is a bit of a hard pill to swallow. You can't expect to toss the phone on to charge for ten or fifteen minutes and get a day's power or anything like that. OnePlus famously once said you could get "a day's power in half an hour" with the OnePlus 3, and it would charge from 0% to 60% in that time. We haven't even reached that in the Google Pixel series six years later.

The phone does get a little bit warm when it's charging, but it's not uncomfortably hot. I can use it regularly when it's plugged in charging, especially with adaptive charging enabled when I'm charging it at night. Adaptive charging slows down the charging speed to ensure your phone will be at 100% by the time your alarm is set, meaning if you're going to sleep for six hours, what would normally be an hour and a half to charge will take roughly six hours. That means you get a much slower charge, but in exchange, much less heat.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, just like its flagship predecessors, supports wireless charging. The charging coil is right in the center on the back and will work on pretty much any Qi wireless charger that you have lying around. It supports up to 23W charging on a Pixel Stand 2. The charging coil is in the center on the back of the phone, and that's where you can also reverse wireless charge at 5W speed. Reverse wireless charging (dubbed "Battery Share") will charge any Qi-enabled device and can be useful in a pinch.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a few camera hardware changes in comparison to the Google Pixel 6 Pro. It retains the same 50MP Samsung GN1 main sensor, but from there, it's basically all different. The ultra-wide has been swapped over to a Samsung GM1 (instead of an IMX586), and it's also 21% wider and can be used for macro photography. As for the telephoto, it's increased from 4x to 5x, and Super Res Zoom has increased from 20x zoom to 30x zoom.

The Samsung GN1 primary sensor measures 1/1.31 inches, it has a 1.2μm pixel size, an f/1.85 aperture, and an 82-degree field of view. Google also employs Quad-Bayer pixel-binning on this camera, giving a real resolution of 12.5MP. There is no option to take a high-resolution 50MP photo in the camera app either.

There are other improvements too, mostly in the Image Signalling Processor (ISP) and in Tensor G2's AI models for photography processing. Most of these changes are behind closed doors though and the company wasn't too verbose in explaining what has actually been improved or changed.

My overall impressions are, coming from the Google Pixel 6, that there isn't much change. In fact, while I've found that Night Sight performs better (both in quality and in speed), I feel that autofocus can actually be worse than the Pixel 6 Pro. I suspect this is just a software oversight that can be ironed out, but for now, it's been pretty frustrating taking photos and having them come out blurry. I've noticed this to be the case nearly only at night, so I really hope that there's a software fix for this. It makes it quite difficult to just take my phone out and take a photo.

Sometimes, it just seems to struggle with autofocus in the dark.

As for the other cameras, these are overall pretty good changes. It's nice to have an actual macro mode that isn't terrible, and the increase in telephoto from 4x to 5x is a welcome change. There are improvements (again thanks to AI) in zoom levels between 1x and 5x that make use of that telephoto too, so overall, it's a pretty clever camera system.

There are some Night Sight changes too. Most notably, you can choose between it being off, a three-second Night Sight shot, or a six-second Night Sight shot.

The one thing that bothers me about the camera experience is the same problem that has bothered me on every Pixel smartphone. It's the fact that there isn't a dedicated gallery app—instead, you need to use Google Photos. Google Photos feels quite bloated for just quickly looking at pictures I just took, so I felt the need to install a third-party gallery app. I realize I might be in the minority when it comes to this, though, so if you’re used to the Google Photos app, then you won't have any issues with it on the Pixel 6.

The Google Pixel series has always been known for one standout feature -- Google Camera. It's where a lot of the magic happens on Google smartphones, and it's got a few cool features that put it above the rest. It's pretty simple and easy to use, and there's not a whole lot that it can't do. Just keep in mind that there is no Manual or Pro mode on Google Camera -- Google's entire software philosophy is on making photography a seamless experience that you as an average consumer don't have to worry about. So if you are someone who likes to take complete control over how you shoot a photo, a Google Pixel isn't the best choice. You do get RAW support, so it's not completely hopeless on this end either.

The main camera is generally the bread and butter of every smartphone, and that's the case here, too. It's unchanged hardware-wise -- it's the same Samsung 50MP GN1 sensor as was on the Google Pixel 6 Pro, though a lot of what Google has always done in cameras is more software-based. As an example, it's the same hardware, but the company has managed to increase the speed of Night Sight shots.

If you want to take a look at the uncompressed photos from the main sensor, they're in the below Flickr album.

Please note that any photos shown here are compressed, and so, for any pixel-peeping, you'll want to look at the Flickr album above for the best-quality shots. Overall detail and lighting can still be examined even in compressed conditions, which is what we're going to be looking at here.

I took the Google Pixel 7 Pro out around Dublin and took a number of shots around the city, both during the day and at night time. As expected from a Pixel, I was greatly impressed by the photos that I took. The photo on the left was taken in a relatively quiet part of the city, though with a nice sky view in the evening time. On the right is a busier part taken just minutes later, and the sunlight casts over the glass building ahead. It doesn't overexpose anywhere in the sky and is pretty true to life, which is an important aspect to get right.

Of close-up subjects and of city skylines, it's able to pull off a great shot pretty much every single time

Overall, the Google Pixel 7 Pro does a great job in daylight, though that's the case with most smartphones. Of close-up subjects and of city skylines, it's able to pull off a great shot pretty much every single time. Thanks to the sensor, there's also a small amount of natural bokeh when taking shots of close-up objects -- see the photo of the Google Pixel Watch up above for an example of that.

As for nighttime shots, the Google Pixel 7 Pro yet again does a stellar job at balancing light with darkness. There are no over-exposed areas, and nor is there too much noise in the shot. Obviously, things like moving people and cars are blurred, but by all accounts, the photos that it gets out are really, really good. I don't have a lot of complaints here -- it's just excellent.

On top of being an all-around better performer, the stabilization is superb

As for video, again, the main camera of the Google Pixel 7 Pro does wonders. This is much, much better than the Google Pixel 6 Pro. On top of being an all-around better performer, the stabilization is superb as well. Recording at 4K 60 FPS is no problem for this camera's stabilization, and I've dealt with plenty of flagship smartphones that have struggled in those conditions.

The 5x telephoto on the Google Pixel 7 Pro is pretty interesting and does a good job for a zoom lens. It definitely suffers a little bit quality-wise when taking photos at 5x zoom, but it looks good enough for most scenarios that you'd be using such a zoom in. For anything in between, you'll probably just zoom normally anyway.

In normal daylight, it works fine, even if it looks somewhat smoothened out. It struggles to capture detail on things that are far away, such as the above. While it's good for seeing further, I wouldn't rely on it getting you a good photo every time. I cropped the photo from the main sensor to further compare, and while it's not as detailed, it captures color better.

It's a decent telephoto camera in daylight, but I feel like users will more likely gravitate towards a 2x or maybe even 3x zoom. The 4x telephoto on the Google Pixel 6 Pro was zoomed in enough to have utility over the other sensors, while not too zoomed in that it totally lost quality. With a 5x telephoto, it's a lot more situational, and the quality drop-off is quite extreme in some photos.

From what I observed, in low light, the telephoto camera entirely falls apart. Photos are often grainy or even blurry at times, and I've noticed that the camera can suffer quite a lot from light diffraction too, hence why the lights above look like stars. It's not as a result of a dirty lens either -- it was cleaned before taking any of these photos. It just does that, which is unfortunate. I don't really care, but I'm sure some people will. I'm just disappointed that the photo quality is this poor in low light.

As for Super Res Zoom, the results at 30x are surprisingly decent in normal lighting. It's easy to use and I got some pretty good results out of it, considering how far it was.

The ultra-wide sensor on the Google Pixel 7 Pro is decent in normal lighting, as one would expect. However, again, it really struggles at night. I also noticed that it doesn't really trigger Night Sight at all.

The above images are fine, but it really does suffer from a lot of noise in dark environments. In contrast, the main sensor handles similar situations perfectly. The Samsung GM1 camera sensor is definitely worse than the GN1 main sensor, though it might also be in use for color consistency across both sensors. Either way, I'm not quite sure I'd call it a downgrade, but it is disappointing.

While this isn't a full-on camera comparison, I took some shots to compare to the Google Pixel 6 Pro. While it seems that they are more or less indistinguishable in normal lighting, the Google Pixel 7 Pro does do a better job in darker lighting.

In the above photo, there is a pretty big difference in the consistency of the shot. The Google Pixel 7 Pro does a better job, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro even has a ghosting issue just below the tree, where someone is half-shown over the photo.

In contrast, in daylight, the Google Pixel 6 Pro more or less produces the same image. I find that the dynamic range of the Google Pixel 7 Pro is slightly better in the above photo (particularly in the clouds above the buildings on the right), but aside from that, they're indistinguishable. These differences are so minute that they can also be simply down to processing, and in actuality, may not even be related to any improvements at all.

For example, in the above set, I'd have trouble crowning a winner. In fact, in some aspects of the photo (for example, the lamp on the left), the Google Pixel 6 Pro doesn't overexpose it as much. However, these differences are so small that they could also be the product of the same photo taken twice on the same phone. In other words, it's really not a big deal.

Android 13 comes preloaded on the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but its nowhere near the same level of an overhaul as Android 12 was. Material You is still here in all its glory, though there have been some changes that are more about quality of life than anything else. There's a better media player, there are improvements to privacy and security (such as a new notification permission), and it's just all-around better -- even stability-wise.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, at launch, feels a lot better than the Google Pixel 6 Pro did. I haven't really run into any issues that weren't solved quickly, and for the most part, it's been a smooth sailing experience that's been easy to use without a hitch. The biggest problem that I've honestly run into was that I wasn't able to change my home screen size, and that was because, for some reason, the Pixel Launcher wasn't the default home app. My phone doesn't get in the way of my day, and the things that it can pull off are pretty impressive. Not only does my phone work for me (rather than wrangling against bad battery life and poor performance), but it comes with a ton of AI-powered tools that make my day easier.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro has new wallpapers in the form of the "Feathers" wallpaper pack. There are wallpapers that correspond with the three colorways available for the Google Pixel 7 Pro, and each device gets three pairs of light-mode and dark-mode wallpapers. The Pixel 7 Pro packs three additional wallpapers featuring a slightly different background color.

Voice dictation genuinely changes how I use my phone. Have you ever wanted the convenience of sending a voice message, while also recognizing that you sending a voice message may be inconvenient for the receiver? Voice dictation aims to allow you to speak as you would normally, and the Google Pixel's voice-to-text algorithms will manage to dictate what you say with 95% accuracy. It's a game-changer when I'm out and about and need to send a long message to somebody. I simply tap the microphone icon, speak, and it works spectacularly well.

Photo Unblur is a new Pixel 7 series feature, and it does exactly what it sounds like. It's an expansion of the company's Face Unblur which launched last year. The photos above are from my colleague Ben Sin from his Pixel 7 review, and Photo Unblur resurrected a couple of older photos taken on older devices. I haven't been able to find any photos personally that I can successfully unblur, but the photos above show its capabilities and what it can do.

The Google Pixel series has some great features built-in for multitasking. Not only can you share information from apps in the multitasking menu to some of your most frequent contacts, the app that you’re switching from actually continues running in the background too. If you open up the camera app and then enter the multitasking menu, the viewfinder continues while scrolling through applications on your phone. Apps can also share information specifically through the multitasking menu — for example, you can copy the URL of the page you last visited in Chrome through a button surfaced over the app itself. You can copy text shown on-screen from the multitasking menu, too.

The biggest criticism I have of multitasking is not being able to open a floating window easily. You can open apps in split-screen easily enough, but opening a floating window is a lot harder. I'm not sure if there's an easy way to do it or not, but it's a mild inconvenience at best.

Now Playing is one of my favorite Google-only features, and that's partially because I'm a massive music nerd. How it works is simple -- it's basically an always-listening Shazam. Now Playing uses the microphone to listen for music around you in an attempt to identify everything that it picks up. It works entirely on-device, so nothing is ever sent to Google's servers. This is also why it may not identify every song—it works by downloading a regional database of songs that are then compared on-device to whatever is playing around you. When it finds a match, it displays it on the lockscreen, always-on display, and saves it in a Now Playing section in your sound settings.

You can verify it's not sending anything to Google servers by testing it entirely offline. I turned off both mobile data and Wi-Fi to test whether or not it would identify a wide range of music that I put in a Spotify playlist and played in order. It recognized a large number of the songs that I played. I was surprised by some that it missed, but others I kind of expected it to miss. For all of the songs that were recognized, they were recognized within 20 seconds, a massive improvement over any previous Google Pixel. I was quite surprised the Pixel 7 Pro recognized some of the Irish bands, but that goes to show that it works regionally. Bell-X1 is an Irish band, and Kojaque and KNEECAP are Irish rappers. I noticed that it didn't identify Kojaque's Politicksis when it did last year, showing the changing nature of Google's databases.

Now Playing adds a button to your lockscreen so that when you tap it, it can identify what's playing. It does send some audio to Google's servers to identify what's playing. This is really only for use when your phone doesn't seem to have whatever song is playing in its offline database. I also noticed that once you used this button, songs were then recognized offline too, as the song was presumably added to the offline database stored on the phone. Any song that wasn't identified correctly was identified when tapping the now-playing button, except for Marshmello & Juice WRLD's Bye Bye, assumedly as it has just been released.


Identified correctly

Interpol - No I In Threesome

Mineral - Parking Lot

The Menzingers - Sun Hotel

Now, Now - Wolf

DON BROCO - T-Shirt Song

Alle Farben - Let It Rain Down (Ft. PollyAnna)

Neck Deep - December

Sprints - Literary Mind

Bell X1 - The Great Defector

Marshmello & Juice WRLD - Bye Bye

⨉ (Identified the wrong song)

EDEN - Modern Warfare

Green Day - 21 Guns

Nouns - dogs

Juju - Vermissen (Ft. Henning May)

mxmtoon - fever dream

McCafferty - Fentanyl

The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues (2006 Remaster)

Gorillaz - New Gold (Ft. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown)

Ashnikko - Slumber Party (Ft. Princess Nokia)

Kojaque & Kean Kavanagh - Eviction Notice


Mia Rodriguez - Psycho

Kojaque & Luka Palm - Politicksis

Rise Against - Paper Wings

Modest Mouse - Float On

Public Service Broadcasting - Go!

If you're looking to pick up a Google Pixel smartphone and aren't sure which to go for, I am more than happy to recommend the Google Pixel 7 Pro. It's an excellent smartphone that gets a lot right, and while I normally would never advocate for it, I can even see a world where this is a considerable upgrade over the Google Pixel 6 Pro if you're eyeing up an upgrade, especially if you can get a good deal on one.

The worst part of this entire package that will be constant across all devices is the lack of fast charging, and if you're coming from a device that doesn't have it, then you'll have no problem adjusting. Even if you're coming from faster-charging devices, you can certainly learn to live with it. The rest (the disproportionate display power problem, for example) may be fixed in the future, and even if not, it's not as if you use your phone at full brightness all of the time anyway. If you do, then yeah, this isn't the phone for you. I'd wager that's not most people, though.

Anecdotally, a good friend of mine was on the fence with regard to the Google Pixel 6 Pro last year. He was worried about battery life and performance and decided to wait for a successor. He purchased it, and recently messaged me recently simply saying "this has been a great purchase". He proceeded to talk about how great the phone was (and most notably its battery life) -- he's simply a normal consumer.

If you're an enthusiast, maybe you'll care that it doesn't have the highest GIPS in CPU Throttling Test, or that it doesn't score in the highest percentiles of any arbitrary benchmark out there. However, I guarantee you that 90% of Google's target market simply does not care, nor could they care any less for that matter. If it looks good, feels smooth, and takes great photos, you've already got a captive audience.

Google has pulled off an incredible experience that is undoubtedly the quintessential Android experience right now

Google has, under no uncertain terms, pulled off an incredible experience that is undoubtedly the quintessential Android experience right now. Google doesn't just sell top-tier hardware, it sells experiences, and that's exactly what the Google Pixel 7 Pro is -- an experience.

You should buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if:

You should not buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if:

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is the latest and greatest Pixel smartphone, and it rights a lot of the wrongs that its predecessor faced. I can wholeheartedly recommend one of these for pretty much anyone.

I’m Adam Conway, an Irish technology fanatic with a BSc in Computer Science and I'm XDA's Lead Technical Editor. My Bachelor's thesis was conducted on the viability of benchmarking the non-functional elements of Android apps and smartphones such as performance, and I’ve been working in the tech industry in some way or another since 2017.In my spare time, you’ll probably find me playing Counter-Strike or VALORANT, and you can reach out to me at [email protected], on Twitter as @AdamConwayIE, on Instagram as adamc.99, or u/AdamConwayIE on Reddit.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT Build Dimensions & Weight Display SoC RAM & Storage Battery & Charging Security Rear Camera(s) Primary: Ultra-wide: Telephoto: Video: Front Camera(s) Port(s) Audio Connectivity Software Other Features About this review You should buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if: You should not buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if: