Pixel 7: 5 features we're most excited about

Pixel 7
Pixel 7 (Image credit: Future)

The Pixel 7 is officially here! Google made an unexpected, surprise announcement of the Pixel 7 at the I/O conference earlier this year, and at the Oct. 6 Made by Google event, the search engine giant re-introduced the Pixel 7, delving deeper into its cornucopia of cool features.

The Made by Google event was over an hour. Who has time to sit through the entire livestream? Not you! That's why we've compiled a list of the Pixel 7's five best features so you can get a sweet overview of the phone's most attractive highlights.

1. Pixel Feature Drops

The Pixel 7 is the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Google rolled out a new Pixel Feature Drop program, which means that every three months or so, the phone will get new capabilities and features. As such, as time progresses, your Pixel phone will accumulate a series of new enhancement that improve your Google experience.

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 (Image credit: Google)

Google also announced that the Pixel 7 will get five years of security updates.

2. Free VPN via Google One

While using your phone to browse the web, websites can often determine where you currently are by spying on your IP address and other location-revealing data. However, virtual private networks (VPNs) can hide this info, allowing you to browse the web without leaving tell-tale tracks behind.

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at Google I/O 2022

Google Pixel 7 Pro (Image credit: Google)

The thing is, securing a good VPN often requires paid subscriptions — that's where Google swoops in to save the day. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones will feature a VPN by Google One at no extra cost to users. These are the first phones to come with a free VPN.

"Unlike traditional VPN services, Google's verifiably private VPN can't associate app and browsing traffic with your Google account or identity," said Jen Fitzpatrick, SVP of Google Core Systems & Experiences.

3. Digital Wellbeing

Digital Wellbeing is a new health feature that records you while you sleep and monitors whether you cough and/or snore during the night. If you're concerned about whether this data crosses a privacy line, Fitzpatrick said that the feature can only be turned on with the user's permission.

Digital Wellbeing

Digital Wellbeing (Image credit: Google)

"That audio data is never stored by or sent to Google. The processing happens right on your Pixel 7," Fitzpatrick added.

According to a screenshot shown of the Digital Wellbeing feature, the app keeps tabs on how many times you coughed and how long you snored. It even tells you at what points during your sleep cycle that you did these things. Pretty cool, eh?

4. Clear Calling

Taking a page from the Pixel Buds Pro's playbook, Google is bringing its background noise-suppression feature to the Pixel 7. Clear Calling uses machine-learning processes to recognize, isolate and silence distracting audio, including wind and traffic noise.

Clear Calling

Clear Calling (Image credit: Google)

Whether you're taking a call with a friend or speaking to an interviewer, the person on the other end should sound crisp and clear, regardless of what's going on in the background. The new Clear Calling feature is set to launch later this year.

5. Eye-catching picture and video upgrades

The Pixel 7 comes with upgraded ultra-wide camera and a front-facing camera with a larger sensor for better nighttime selfies and stunning 4K video. The Pixel 7 Pro features enhanced telephoto and ultra-wide lenses. But what really caught our eye are the new picture and video features boosted by Google's custom chip.

Pixel 7

(Image credit: Google)

Thanks to the upgraded Tensor G2 chip inside the Pixel 7 line, blurry photos will reportedly be a thing of the past due to the new machine-learning de-noiser feature. Crisper, shaper images will be the new normal with the Pixel 7, even if you're snapping an action-packed scene or taking a group photo in a low-light setting. 

With Google Photos, you can take it a step further and use the Photo Unblur feature on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. "You can relive the moment as clearly as you remember it," said Shenaz Zack, director of Product Management at Google.

Google is also making strides in the accessibility arena by rolling out a new feature called Guided Frame, which lets Google Assistant give users direction on how to position their phone to take selfies. This can benefit users who are visually impaired.

Following in Apple's footsteps, Google is also introducing Cinematic Blur to videos, which is reminiscent of Cinematic Mode. It lets you shoot cinema-like videos with a cool rack-focus effect. Videos also benefit from the new 10-bit HDR perk, which delivers brighter videos with higher contrast.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!