Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro announced: Tensor G2 and software updates steal the show

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Google)

Google finally officially took the rest of the wraps off of the Pixel 7 Pro at the Made By Google October event today and while there were few surprises, the upgraded hardware may be enough to win over those that were unconvinced by the Pixel 6 Pro last year.

While the hardware looks great, the software was the star of the show, including numerous updates to the Assistant, cameras, calling, and assistive technology.

Here's a closer look at the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

How does the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro compare to the competition?

It's an interesting question, especially with Apple dropping its latest iPhone just before Google's launch. For more, check out our iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7 (opens in new tab) and iPhone 14 Pro vs Google Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) pieces!

Pixel 7, 7 Pro pricing and availability

The Pixel 7 once again starts at $599, which should allow it to retain its position as one of the best phone values on the market. The base model features 128GB of storage, but you can upgrade to 256GB for $699.

The Pixel 7 Pro also retains its slightly below-market pricing at $899 for the 128GB base model. Upgrading to 256GB takes you to $999 and it tops out at 512GB for $1,099.

Both are available in Obsidian or Snow, while the Pixel 7 Pro gets a darker green Hazel as its exclusive color option and the Pixel 7 has a lighter Lemongrass all to itself.

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are available now from the Google Store and will ship by October 13-14.

Pixel 7 Pro

(Image credit: Google)

Pixel 7, 7 Pro design

The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro feature some slight changes from last year's models, but at a glance, they are largely the same with the gently rounded edges and visor-like rear camera array.

The Pixel 7 Pro is slightly shorter and thinner than last year (6.4 x 3.0 inches), which is a welcome change for the somewhat gigantic phone. The triple cameras on the rear of the Pro get a slightly different look with the telephoto now split off from the wide and ultra-wide cameras. Color options are also slightly different with Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel as your options this time around. That roughly translates to black, white, and mossy green.

The Pixel 7 slims down as well (6.1 x 2.9 inches), but in its case, that is attributable to the display dropping from 6.4 to 6.3-inches, a change that most will likely be happy to see. It's still a size advantage on the iPhone 14 or Galaxy S22 but should improve pocketability.

Pixel 7

(Image credit: Google)

Pixel 7, 7 Pro displays

The Pixel 7 features a 6.3-inch FHD+ OLED display with up to a 90Hz refresh rate. Other than the drop from 6.4 to 6.3-inches those are identical to the specs for last year and considering the price it remains a competitive offering. One upgrade is a bump to Gorilla Glass Victus to protect the display, this was Gorilla Glass 6 last year.

The Pixel 7 Pro sticks to identical specs from last year with a 6.7-inch QHD+ LTPO panel with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. 

Both displays offer always-on support, over a 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, HDR support and 24-bit color depth.

Pixel 7

(Image credit: Google)

Pixel 7, 7 Pro cameras

Cameras on the Pixel 7 are almost identical to last year's with that 50MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera with an f/1.85 aperture, laser detect auto focus, optical and electronic image stabilization and large 1.2 μm pixels. The ultra wide is once again 12MP with an f/2.2 aperture, a 114-degree field of view and1.25 μm pixels. The one change for the Pixel 7 is a new 10.8MP front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture and an ultra-wide 92.8-degree field of view.

The Pixel 7 Pro mirrors both of those cameras and changes things up with a new 48MP Quad Bayer PD telephoto camera with an f/3.5 aperture and 5x optical zoom. If you are thinking that sounds a lot like last year's then you would be correct, but while the majority of the specs are the same this is now a Samsung sensor, matching the primary wide camera, rather than the Sony sensor from last year. 

We aren't expecting any major performance differences due to the change in telephoto, but I imagine that Google is able to improve the computational photography performance across the cameras by sticking to the same manufacturer for both.

Pixel 7 Pro

(Image credit: Google)

Pixel 7, 7 Pro outlook

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were among my favorite phones of 2022 and while there is likely to be some grumbling over the lack of major hardware changes this year, that's been a common theme across many of the releases this year. Google's software and its Tensor G2 chip are such a significant part of the story for these phones that they may still represent a significant leap over their predecessors, we'll have to see as we begin work on our reviews.

You can pre-order either phone starting today and while I wouldn't recommend that anyone with a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro run out to upgrade this moment, I feel confident that both will represent an excellent upgrade from the Pixel 5 or earlier Pixel phones. If you are trying to make up your mind on a Pixel 7 versus another popular phone on the market right now we've got you covered with a handful of face-offs to help guide you. Look out for our full reviews soon!

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.