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Google Pixel 7 in contrast to Which is better for you, the Pixel 7 Pro?


Is the Pixel 7 Pro worth $300 or should you stick with the cheaper option?

  • Render of the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel
    Google Pixel 7 Pro

    The Premium Pixel

    The Pixel 7 Pro refines all the great performance features offered on the Pixel 7, while adding in a telephoto lens that can help take your mobile photography to new levels. 30W fast charging and automatic call screening also help this device stand out among the rest.

    Pros

    • Amazing camera features and performance
    • Refined hardware that performs well
    • Crisp display with 120Hz refresh rate

    Cons

    • Curved display may feel unwieldy in some hands
    • Battery life is average
  • Google Pixel 7 on white background
    Google Pixel 7

    The Best Value Pixel

    The Pixel 7 offers improved camera performance, a refined design, and the next-generation Tensor G2 chipset, making it one of the fastest Android smartphones on the market in 2023.

    Pros

    • Fantastic camera hardware and performance
    • Device runs smoothly on latest Android updates
    • Sleeker and smaller design than the Pixel 6

    Cons

    • Battery life is average
    • Lacking a telescope lens

It’s hard not to look at the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro and see two of the best Android phones money can buy. Not only that, but the Pixel 7 Pro also earned our Phone of the Year and Reader’s Choice awards in 2022, some of the highest honors we can give a smartphone. These devices are expertly designed with refined setups, exclusive software tricks, and tons of great features for you to make the most of. With the massive price difference between the two, how do they stack up side by side? Is one Pixel 7 better than the other or should you go for the cheapest option and enjoy what it has to offer? Here's what you need to know.

Pricing, availability, and specs

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Like last year, there's a whopping $300 difference between these phones. You're definitely getting more "phone" with the Pixel 7 Pro, but that doesn't mean the Pixel 7's price tag isn't alluring. $600 for this level of performance is nearly unbeatable, especially once you consider we've seen it routinely marked as low as $500 on sale. That said, $900 isn't unfair for a phone like the Pixel 7 Pro — it's just not as shocking of a deal. That model has also seen its fair share of discounts, as low as $750. Expect to see some price drops when the Pixel 8 arrives in late 2023, too

Both phones are available to buy in 17 countries, which made this the biggest launch for a Pixel phone yet. Altogether, you can grab the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro in the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the UK. In the US, both phones are available from all three national carriers, select MVNOs, and as unlocked devices directly from Google, so you've got plenty of options to choose from.


  • Google Pixel 7 ProGoogle Pixel 7
    SoCGoogle Tensor G2Google Tensor G2
    RAM12GB
    Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB8GB
    Battery5,000mAh128GB, 256GB
    PortsUSB-C4,355mAh
    Operating SystemAndroid 14USB-C
    Front camera10.8MP, f/2.2Android 14
    ConnectivityNFC, UWB10.8MP, f/2.2, 92.8° FoV
    Dimensions76.6 x 162.9 x 8.9mmNFC
    Weight212g155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
    IP RatingIP68197g
    PriceFrom $899IP68

Design

pixel-7-pro-compare-white

Since the Pixel 6, Google has stuck to the same base design for all of its phones, regardless of price point. At first glance, you might mistake the Pixel 7 or 7 Pro for either of its predecessors, though with one crucial change to the camera bar. Google has ditched the uncovered glass for an aluminum shell that extends off the frame. The Pixel 7 also uses a matte finish, while the Pixel 7 Pro features polished aluminum.

Despite an attempt to make the Pro feel a little more premium over its sibling, the regular 7's matte metal is a much cleaner look, acting as an accent for the glossy glass back cover. We've also noticed some early scratches on the bottom of an uncovered Pixel 7 Pro's camera bar, suggesting the polished finish might not be as scratch-resistant as the matte finish on the regular Pixel 7.

A gray Google Pixel 7 Pro rests on a burlap mat.

Ultimately, the most significant design difference comes down to size. The Pixel 7 uses a 6.3-inch display, compared to the Pixel 7 Pro's 6.7-inch panel, and it feels much smaller in hand. Of course, we still wouldn't call it a "small" Android phone, though it is certainly bigger than, say, the Asus Zenfone 9. For its size, the regular Pixel 7 should make those with smaller hands pretty happy. The Pixel 7 Pro, on the other hand, fits in among devices like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so even those with big hands will struggle with one-handed use.

Oh, and of course, we can't forget about colors. While both phones come in black and white, Google gave the Pixel 7 a "lemongrass" exclusive, and the Pixel 7 Pro gets hazel. Both look pretty great, even if they're relatively subdued in person. Color opinions are a far cry from the wider selection offered by Samsung, but if you're slapping a case on the phone, a bright and bold tone likely doesn't matter.

Display

google-pixel-7-pro 19

The Pixel 7's 6.3-inch display is a 90Hz 1080p panel, and it looks pretty great. At this screen size, there's no reason to push the resolution any higher — even pixel peepers will find noticing individual pixels on the screen difficult. The Pixel 7 Pro uses a 6.7-inch 120Hz 1440p LTPO panel, which allows it to scale as low as 10Hz in certain situations. That said, Google ships the phone running at 1080p, not its full resolution, to help preserve battery life. Aside from text, the 1080p and 1440p modes on the Pixel 7 Pro look identical to my eyes.

Comparing the phones, I had difficulty noticing any difference between the two panels, despite the difference in resolution and refresh rate. Either way, you're getting an excellent display, equal parts bright and vivid. That said, it's worth noting that the Pixel 7 Pro panel ran into some early issues post-launch, including scrolling problems and high levels of battery drain in direct sunlight.

In comparing the displays, Google continues to use flat edges for the smaller, cheaper device, while the 7 Pro retains its curved glass. Although the rounded display is much less severe than its predecessor, it's still uncomfortable to hold when you're not sitting upright. Like the boring color choices, it's another solution solved by slapping a case on it, but if you prefer going caseless, the Pixel 7 is much easier to hold.

Camera

By far, the most significant difference between these two phones comes down to the camera array. Both phones have identical primary lenses, a 50MP f/1.85 shooter capable of taking fantastic shots with a 12.5MP output. It also supports 2x images by cropping, which looks equally stunning. You'll also get access to all the expected camera tools, like Night Sight — now better than ever — and Photo Unblur, which can bring your older memories back to life through some great digital trickery.

Unfortunately, that's where the similarities end. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have ultra-wide sensors, but they're not identical. While the Pixel 7 keeps the 114° FOV seen on its predecessor, the Pixel 7 Pro offers a much wider field of view, just shy of 126°. The results are evident as soon as you hold the two phones side by side. In fact, the Pixel 7 Pro's ultra-wide output makes its smaller sibling's photos look like they've come from the standard sensor.

p7-ultra-wide-comparison 1
pixel-7-ultra-wide-comparison 2

Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 7 ultra-wide.

That improved ultra-wide lens on the Pro also grants it a new Macro Mode, though honestly, early impressions are mixed at best. It's great for taking photos of flowers and other objects outdoors in bright light, but the output gets noisy and grainy once it's no longer in "ideal" conditions. Google's processing attempts to remove those artifacts, but it's not perfect. The ultra-wide camera is good overall, but you shouldn't upgrade to the Pro just because it has Macro Mode.

The Pixel 7 Pro's biggest advantage is, once again, the telephoto lens, something missing from the Pixel 7 altogether. This year, Google's using a 48MP 5x optical zoom lens, and it's mighty impressive. Between 2x and 5x, the Pixel 7 Pro will combine images from the primary and telephoto sensors, while the telephoto takes over from 5x and beyond. It's not as capable as the 50MP lens in low light — in fact, sometimes Google will prefer using it for its aperture, depending on lighting conditions — but the detail it's able to capture at 5x is excellent.

google-pixel-7-pro-camera-sample-5x 1
PXL_20221010_203339971 (1)

Pixel 7 Pro at 5x vs. Pixel 7 at 5x. The difference speaks for itself.

Super Res Zoom is available on both phones, using the physical hardware and some impressive processing to create remarkable images from far away. That said, the Pixel 7 Pro blows the smaller model out of the water. It can capture photos at 30x, compared to just 8x on the Pixel 7. And while those 30x images aren't always as impressive as we'd like, there is a sweet spot around 10x where images look excellent, despite using a 5x telephoto lens.

photo of wall corner with multicolored bricks
photo of grey statue in front of tree

A Super Res Mode 30x success vs. a 30x failure. The detail in the building is kept intact, while the statue ends up looking like an oil painting.

On the video front, both devices offer 4K60 from all available lenses, along with 10-bit HDR video and a Cinematic Blur mode for making your next vlog look a little more cinematic. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro also use identical 10.8MP front-facing cameras capable of recording at 4K60. These lenses also support face unlock, though only on the lock screen.

Performance and battery life

pixel-7-pixel-7-pro-back-to-back 1

Performance on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro shouldn't differ much in day-to-day use. Both phones run on Google's Tensor G2 chip, providing some modest improvements over their predecessors. While these devices can't quite measure up to, say, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in benchmarks alone, they're plenty fast for anything you could throw at them.

That said, both devices run hot, and not just when gaming. Browsing the web or scrolling through Twitter can also heat up the back of each phone. It's less noticeable if you're rocking a case, but nonetheless, it's something to be aware of before buying.

The Google Pixel 7 held in left hand with lock screen visible.

The only performance difference between the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro comes down to their RAM allotments. The Pixel 7 only has 8GB of RAM, while the more expensive 7 Pro has 12GB. Certainly, more memory is good, especially if you're planning to keep these devices for three, four, or even five years. That said, I don't think it's worth spending an extra $300 on the Pro just because it has more memory. For most buyers, it won't affect how you use either phone.

As for battery life, both devices are perfectly fine, though neither will get you past a day in regular use. The Pixel 7 has a 4,355mAh battery, while the Pixel 7 Pro sports a much larger 5,000mAh cell. Either way, we've only just made it to the end of the day without topping up on both phones. If you're planning on heading out for a late night, you'll need to make sure it's charged up before you go. Unfortunately, neither has particularly speedy charging, either. The Pixel 7 Pro can hit speeds as high as 23W, while the Pixel 7 will only hit 20W. It's a far cry from the likes of OnePlus.

Which is right for you?

At their core, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are similar in almost every way that matters to smartphone users. If you're trying to pick between the two, though, the first place to start is how much money you're planning to spend, and how large of a phone you want to carry around. Once you've decided on that, you can start worrying about other features -- like how strong of a camera you need to take the photos you want.

Yes, it is true that the Pixel 7 Pro is packed with a good few more features than the base Pixel 7. However, it's also larger, with a display that measures up to 6.7 inches compared to the smaller 6.3 inches of the Pixel 7. As such, those with smaller hands will probably find the Pixel 7 Pro harder to hold onto. If you have slightly larger hands, though, and want to take advantage of the better camera system and the larger display, then the Pixel 7 Pro is the best Pixel that money can buy right now.

Render of the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel
Google Pixel 7 Pro

One of the best Android phones

$649 $899 Save $250

The Pixel 7 Pro offers all of Google's special hardware and software tricks in a premium package that includes a beautiful telephoto lens and a higher resolution display. The crisp 120Hz display makes it a dream to use, and Android users who want to most premium Google phone available will find it hits all the right notes.

Of course, dropping an extra $300 isn't always needed, and those who don't care about the extra goodies the Pixel 7 Pro has to offer will find that the Pixel 7 is almost identical at its core. That's why it's such a difficult choice to make. If you just want the speed of the newest Google chip, but don't want to pay the extra cash for the bigger, more feature-packed phone, then the Pixel 7 is still one of the best options you'll find for a smooth and fantastic Android experience. No matter which phone you choose out of the two, you're going to find it has more than enough features to keep you running smoothly for years to come.

Google Pixel 7 on white background
Google Pixel 7

Google's best value

$449 $599 Save $150

The Pixel 7 is everything you need in an Android smartphone. It's fast, works well with 5G, and offers a ton of Google-exclusive features that will keep you surprised and ready to face the day. Its smaller size is perfect for smaller hands, making it the go-to for those who want the Pixel 7's features without the extra cost of the Pro.

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