Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Which flagship is right for you?

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Google took two of the best phones from last year and made them even better with the Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro. Some of the best Android phones you can buy right now have better designs, better cameras, and new software tricks that make them even better. With such a big price difference between these two models, it’s hard to say which one you should buy: Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro.

Starting at $600 and $900, it’s hard for anyone to choose between the two. We’ve put together a list of all the ways these phones are different. This year, there isn’t a single solution that works for everyone, so here’s everything you need to know before you buy either of these devices.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Design

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Which flagship is right for you?

Google has used the same basic design for all of its phones, no matter how much they cost, for the past year. At first glance, you might mistake the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro for either side of the Pixel 6. However, the camera bar on the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro is different in a very important way. Google has replaced the open glass with a shell made of aluminum that goes past the frame. The Pixel 7 has a matte finish, but the Pixel 7 Pro has aluminum that has been polished.

Even though they tried to make the Pro feel a little more high-end than its sibling, the matte metal on the regular 7 looks much better and sets off the glossy glass back cover. We’ve also seen early scratches on the bottom of the camera bar of an unprotected Pixel 7 Pro, which suggests that the polished finish might not be scratch-resistant.

Other than that, the main difference in design comes down to size. The Pixel 7 has a much smaller 6.3-inch screen than the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a 6.7-inch screen. Even though it’s hard to call the regular Pixel 7 a “small” Android phone because it’s bigger than, say, the Asus Zenfone 9, people with smaller hands should be pretty happy with it. The Pixel 7 Pro, on the other hand, is similar to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Even those of us with big hands will find it hard to use something with only one hand.

Oh, and we can’t forget colors, either. Both phones come in black and white, but the Pixel 7 is the only one that comes in “lemongrass.” The Pixel 7 Pro is the only one that comes in “hazel.” Even though they’re both pretty quiet in person, they both look great.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Display

The Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch, 1080p display moves at 90 Hz and looks great. At this screen size, there’s no reason to make the resolution any higher—even pixel peepers will have a hard time seeing individual pixels. The Pixel 7 Pro has a 6.7-inch 120Hz 1440p LTPO panel, which lets it scale down to 10Hz in some situations. Google ships the phone with a resolution of 1080p instead of its full resolution of 1920×1080. This is to save battery life. Aside from text, the Pixel 7 Pro’s 1080p and 1440p modes look the same to me.

Even though the screens on the two phones had different resolutions and refresh rates, I had a hard time telling them apart. In either case, you get a great screen that is both bright and colorful. Still, it’s important to note that the Pixel 7 Pro’s screen seems to have some early problems, such as problems scrolling and high battery drain in direct sunlight. We’ll keep an eye on these issues as Google releases updates.

When you compare the screens, you’ll also see the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro’s other big design differences. Google keeps the flat edges on the smaller, cheaper device, but keeps the curved glass on the 7 Pro. Even though the rounded screen isn’t as bad as the one it replaced, it’s still hard to hold when you’re not sitting up straight. If you put a case on either phone, you probably won’t notice a big difference, but if you don’t want a case, the Pixel 7 is much easier to hold.

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Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Camera

The camera array is by far the most important difference between these two phones. Both phones have the same main lens, which is a 50MP f/1.85 camera that can take great photos with a 12.5MP output. It also lets you crop 2x images, which look just as beautiful. You’ll also have access to all the usual camera tools, such as Night Sight, which is now better than ever, and Photo Unblur, which uses some amazing digital tricks to bring back old memories.

But that’s the only thing they have in common. Both the Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro have ultra-wide sensors, but they aren’t the same. The Pixel 7 has the same 114° FOV as its predecessor, but the Pixel 7 Pro has a field of view that is almost 126° wider. As soon as you put the two phones next to each other, you can see the difference. In fact, the ultra-wide output of the Pixel 7 Pro makes the photos taken by its smaller sibling look like they were taken with a standard sensor.

The Pro’s new, better ultra-wide lens also gives it a new Macro Mode, but first impressions are at best mixed. It’s great for taking pictures of flowers and other things outside in bright light, but once the conditions aren’t “ideal,” the pictures become noisy and grainy. Google tries to get rid of these “artefacts” with its processing, but it’s not perfect. Overall, the ultra-wide camera is good, but you shouldn’t upgrade to the Pro just because it has Macro Mode.

Really, the Pixel 7 Pro’s best feature is the telephoto lens, which is something the Pixel 7 doesn’t have at all. This year, Google is using a very impressive 48MP 5x optical zoom lens. Between 2x and 5x, the Pixel 7 Pro combines images from the main sensor and the telephoto sensor. After 5x, the telephoto sensor takes over. It’s not as good as the 50MP lens in low light, and sometimes Google will use it instead of the 50MP lens because of its aperture, but it’s amazing how much detail it can capture at 5x.

Both phones have Super Res Zoom, which uses the phone’s hardware and some impressive processing to make images from far away that looks great. Still, the Pixel 7 Pro is much better than the smaller model. It can take photos at 30x, while the Pixel 7 can only do 8x. Even though the 30x images don’t always look as good as we’d like, there is a sweet spot around 10x where images look great, even though they were taken with a 5x telephoto lens.

A Super Res Mode 30x success vs. a 30x failure. The building’s details are still there, but the statue looks like an oil painting.

On the video side, both devices offer 4K60 video from all lenses, 10-bit HDR video, and a Cinematic Blur mode to make your next vlog look more like a movie. Both the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have front-facing cameras that are 10.8MP and can record at 4K60. Face unlock works with these lenses as well, but only on the lock screen.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Performance and battery life

In everyday use, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro should feel almost the same in terms of how they work. Both phones use Google’s Tensor G2 chip, which is a small step up from what came before. Even though these devices aren’t quite as fast as, say, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, based on benchmarks alone, they’re still fast enough for anything.

The only real difference in how well the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro work is how much RAM they have. The more expensive Pixel 7 Pro has 12GB of RAM, while the Pixel 7 only has 8GB. More memory is definitely a good thing, especially if you plan to keep these devices for three, four, or even five years. So, even though the Pro has more memory, I don’t think it’s worth an extra $300 to buy it. Most people won’t notice a difference in how they use either phone.

As for battery life, both devices are fine, but neither will last more than a day if you use them every day. The Pixel 7 has a battery of 4,355mAh, while the Pixel 7 Pro has a battery of 5,000mAh. No matter what, we just barely made it to the end of the day without topping up the batteries on either phone. If you’re going out late at night, make sure it’s charged up first. Neither of these phones charges very quickly, which is also a bummer. The Pixel 7 Pro can go as fast as 23W, but the Pixel 7 can only go as fast as 20W.

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Which flagship is right for you?

Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Which should you buy?

In almost every important way, these two devices are very similar. If you want to choose one over the other, it will come down to three things: size, how well the camera works, and price.

Even though it’s clear that the Pixel 7 Pro has more features, it’s also clear that the Pixel 7 is better for people with smaller hands. It’s hard to call it a “small” phone, but with a matte aluminum finish around the frame and a flat screen, it might be a better design than the Pro. Still, power users will find it hard to pass up the Pixel 7 Pro’s bigger, sharper screen and bigger battery.

No matter which one you choose, make sure to get at least one or two cases to protect your investment. They will keep the glass back from breaking into a million pieces and also fix some of the Pixel 7 Pro’s design flaws.

FAQs

What’s the difference between the Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro?

The size of the screen is the most obvious difference between the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The 7 has a 6.3-inch OLED screen, while the 7 Pro has a 6.7-inch screen like the iPhone Pro Max (again, with OLED technology). The 7 Pro also has a refresh rate that can go up to 120Hz and can be changed.

Is it worth it to buy Google Pixel 7 Pro?

The Pixel 7 Pro is worth the extra money if you want a camera that can compete with the iPhone 14 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra for a lower price. For a limited time, if you are pre-order from Amazon or Best Buy, you’ll get a $200 credit for free.

How good is the camera on the best Google Pixel phone?

The Pixel 7 Pro has a 5X optical camera, so you’ll be able to take pictures of things far away that are clear as glass. Better still, Google has made changes to its Super Res Zoom algorithm that make photos taken at 2X all the way up to 30X look pretty good.