Google partially showed the Pixel 7 series in the summer. The models have been official for a short time. The Pixel 7 Pro has arrived at the editorial office. We tested the flagship. Pixel 7 Pro: THE new flagship from Google. From a model like this at prices starting at 899 euros, we expect top class – right after unpacking.
We can confirm that immediately: The Pixel 7 Pro looks chic, has a high-quality finish, and the sides of the display are slightly rounded, “curved,” as they say. A little ugly: The fingerprints quickly spread on the smooth back of the “Obsidian” color variant we used for the test.
Unboxing: Pixel 7 Pro
First, see what’s in the box. It’s not much, but the smartphone is the most important. Alongside the Pixel 7 Pro is the usual paperwork, a SIM eject tool, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-A to USB-C connector. There is no power adapter to charge the battery of the Pixel 7 Pro. The 5000 mAh battery of the Pixel 7 Pro can be recharged with a 30W cable. For example, a suitable power supply costs 29 euros directly in the Google online shop (without additional cable).
Well, as high-quality and chic as the Pixel 7 Pro looks, the design isn’t anything special, at least from the front. Because most smartphones all look the same anyway with the small selfie camera hole in the middle, the (slightly) rounded display sides are still a feature of more expensive models like the Pixel 7 Pro. But that was it. The camera design is a popular optical gimmick used by manufacturers to attract attention to new models and set them apart from the optics of other models.
Once pulled completely across the back, the long, wide lens strip was introduced by Google with the Pixel 6 series and added to the Pixel 7 Pro. That looks striking. Designs are always a matter of taste. The advantage of the Pixel 7 Pro compared to side-mounted, protruding camera setups on other phones is that the Pixel does not wobble when placed on a table. However, the smartphone positions itself slightly higher since it flies up on the camera strap. But that is not particularly noticeable.
The OLED display is large with a 6.7-inch format (dimensions: 162.9 mm by 76.6 mm by 8.9 mm) – as large as you would normally expect from a current phablet. The Pixel 7 Pro weighs 212 grams. You notice that in your hand because a large smartphone is heavier than a smaller one. For comparison: The competition, such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (229 grams) and iPhone 14 Pro Max (240 grams), sometimes weigh significantly more than the Pixel 7 Pro.
Interestingly, the thick camera does not cause a significantly noticeable top-heaviness – depending on how it is held in hand, for example, in our case, in the right hand, and with the index finger just below the camera as a support. That means: The Pixel 7 Pro feels good in our hands, and the function keys (volume and power button) on the right side of the case are easy to reach with the thumb. However, we would have found it better if Google had placed the volume and power buttons differently.
Weight and size are quite well balanced. Still, you must know that the Pixel 7 Pro is phablet-typically big and wide. If you can hold the Pixel 7 Pro before you buy it, we can only recommend it. In any case, the large display of the Pixel 7 Pro is ideal for displaying content that is usually viewed on larger screens, such as video streaming, mobile gaming, multitasking, the interaction of different apps, opening and closing, switching back and forth between applications or research for a trip.
This is fun on the large display of the Pixel 7 Pro. The impression we could get from the display’s brightness is also good. The brighter, the easier it should be to read the display content in direct sunlight. The test in direct sunlight showed that a website’s content can still be read comparatively well with the maximum brightness level set.
Google is proud of the second generation of the smartphone chip developed in-house. On par with the competition – of course, the Pixel 7 Pro makes a high-performance impression. In practice, it is a good smartphone: apps open quickly, websites are displayed quickly, swiping through the interface menus, everything works well. But it should. Anything else would have been embarrassing for a smartphone in this price range.
On paper, however, the Google Pixel 7 Pro can only sometimes keep up with high-end devices, such as the iPhone 14 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Specifically, we refer to the AnTuTu benchmark tests we carried out and the total value of each. Depending on the application, the 120 Hz display gives the impression of a fast user experience. We found the colors of the Pixel 7 Pro display to be natural, and the panel generally presented itself as sharp with good contrast.
Not only the hardware contributes to the performance, but also the software. The Pixel 7 Pro will be delivered with Android 13 right away and should also be released early for beta tests of future versions and provided with updates for a comparatively long time. Android on a smartphone from Google is often called “pure Android” because the user interface does not appear overloaded, and there is no bloatware to be found. Google relies on clarity and understandable menu navigation.
Telephony, 5G, And Speakers
In a test call, we tried telephony with the Pixel 7 Pro using both the internal shell and the speaker. In both cases, the voice of our interlocutor was transmitted clearly and distinctly. We could not determine any unpleasant highs or noise in this setting. VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling are supported.
It is not uncommon for us to have 5G reception in the o2 network at our location in the southwest of Berlin. This was impossible on the test day – neither with an iPhone 13 mini with an eSIM profile set up nor with the Pixel 7 Pro, in which we had inserted a nano-SIM from the same contract. So that will have to wait. The Pixel 7 Pro slot has space for a nano SIM card.
If you want to use dual SIM, you must install an electronic SIM card. However, dual eSIM support for the Pixel 7 (Pro) should be activated in March 2023. Large smartphones often have the advantage that they have better speakers due to the larger volume. The two speakers of the Pixel 7 Pro sound loud and full. We did not notice any annoying highs in the test. We also didn’t find the individual instruments of a rock song to be a mishmash – guitar, vocals, and drums were well differentiated.
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