In the last couple of years, Google seemed to have ghosted India a bit with no smartphone launches till the Pixel 6a this July. Consumers who’d excitedly bought the phone at its original price of Rs 43,999 were a bit disgruntled to see the price being slashed a fair bit, just two months down the road. On the back of all this, Google has now introduced the brand new Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. This time around, the company has made sure to launch the devices globally, simultaneously. And, pre-orders have been open to Indian consumers since day one. I’ve got my hands on both devices - Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro - and despite some software snags along the way, here are my first impressions.
The Pixel 7 is the more compact cousin at 6.3 inches, with a matte aluminum finish camera bar. As with most Pro models across brands, the Pixel 7 Pro too sports the biggest screen in the lineup - 6.7-inches across with delicately curved sides. The glass back design stays and the aluminum wraparound has a glossy finish.
While both devices look elegant, it’s still a bit slippery to touch, so butterfingers beware. Of course, both come with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which I’m hoping will fare better than the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the Pixel 6a.
The Pixel 7 comes with a Full HD+ (1080P) display whereas the 7 Pro is a notch above with a QHD resolution display (1440P). To the naked eye, both OLED displays look bright and vivid.
Unlike the Pixel 7, the 7 Pro has a triple rear camera system - including a 5x telephoto lens. One of the most touted features - Cinematic Blur - is missing on the review units and awaits an update.
I tried out the ‘Unblur’ feature with hazy pictures and it does a fairly decent job of sharpening blurry silhouettes. This is compatible only with Google Photos, so you can even scan and save childhood photos and sharpen them up with ‘Unblur’. At the demo during the launch event, I tried out Night Sight which performed really well in low light.
There’s a new Guided Frame for people who have low vision. It helps them capture selfies with audio guidance and haptic feedback. However, accessing this needed me to have talk-back mode on throughout, for all functions.
Both phones feature the upgraded Google Tensor 2 chip, and I’m reserving comments on the overall performance till a long-term detailed review. While I had both devices on hand, the Pixel 7 crashed a fair bit, and the company informed me that it is most likely an issue with my specific unit, and not the model overall. The Pixel 7 devices I tried during the launch event worked perfectly well, without crashing.
Google says that the Pixel’s Adaptive Battery can last over 24 hours, by learning what your favourite apps are, so it doesn’t waste power on ones that you rarely use. And this is on, by default. I have been primarily using the Pixel 7 Pro and the phone has stayed on for a full 24 hours without dying on me, with moderate usage. So far, I’m impressed!
Right now, both smartphones come with three months of YouTube Premium and Google One (100 GB cloud storage) for free, post which you need to pay.
Although both phones, and specifically the Pixel 7 Pro is priced really well for a top-brand flagship, check out next week’s edition to see whether they justify the price tag with a detailed hands-on experience.
Pixel 7 - ₹59,999
Pixel 7 Pro - ₹84,999