Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 7: Pro or no?

The Google Pixel range is now seven years old, and while it may not steal the limelight quite as much as the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, it has more than earned its place among the best smartphones around. This is especially the case with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, both of which take everything that was great about previous Pixel generations and then add the new Google-made Tensor Generation 2, as well as a revamped design and a new (or rather, reintroduced) Face Unlock feature. Other changes include a resizing of the Pixel 7’s display (compared to the Pixel 6), making it more portable, while it also benefits from the same 11-megapixel front-facing selfie camera found on the more premium Pixel 7 Pro.

With both models looking similar from a distance, questions will inevitably arise as to which is the more desirable phone overall, particularly when the Pixel 7 Pro costs more. Well, that’s where this versus article comes in, with each of its sections looking at specific areas of smartphone performance and evaluating how each phone stacks up against the other.

Specs

Google Pixel 7 Google Pixel 7 Pro
Size 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm (6.13 x 2.88 x 0.34 inches) 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm (6.41 x 3.02 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 197 grams (6.9 ounces) 212 grams (7.5 ounces)
Screen size 6.3-inch OLED with 10-90Hz 6.7-inch OLED with 10-120Hz
Screen resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels (416 pixels per inch) 3120 x 1440 pixels (512 ppi)
Operating system Android 13 Android 13
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Google Tensor Generation 2 Google Tensor Generation 2
RAM 8GB 12GB
Camera Dual lens 50-megapixel wide, 12MP ultrawide rear, 10.8MP front Triple lens 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, and 48MP telephoto rear, 10.8MP front
Video 4K at up to 60 frames per second, 1080p at 60 fps 4K at up to 60 fps, 1080p at 60 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.2 Bluetooth 5.2
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,355mAh

30W wired charging

21W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

5,000mAh

30W wired charging

23W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support Most major carriers Most major carriers
Colors Obsidian, Snow, Lemongrass Obsidian, Snow, Hazel
Price Starting at $599 Starting at $899
Buy from Google Google
Review score News News

Design, display, and durability

someone holding a white google pixel 7 pro.
Google

The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro more or less stick with the major design revamp introduced in the Pixel 6 series, save for a couple of nice tweaks. For one, the horizontal rear camera bar is now made from aluminum, giving it a more striking appearance than the Pixel 6’s dark plastic visor. With this choice, the rear camera lenses pop out a little more, making the camera look more like a premium device than its predecessor.

Another design change for both models is that they each ditch the two-tone design on the glass rear. This is arguably a loss since the difference in shade offered by the Pixel 6 came off as stylish. Then again, one of the main functions of design changes isn’t necessarily to make a phone look objectively better but simply to signal that it belongs to the latest generation. Both the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro do this equally well, so they both receive equal points in this respect.

On the other hand, there’s no question that the Pixel 7 Pro sports a more impressive display. Yes, the Pixel 7 has slimmed itself down in comparison to its direct predecessor, seeing as how it’s gone from having a 6.4-inch to a 6.3-inch OLED panel. However, while the standard model is a little more portable and comfortable, the screen on the Pixel 7 Pro is more vivid and sharp. Not only is it bigger at 6.7 inches, but it also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, in comparison to the Pixel 7’s 90Hz maximum. This provides more seamless and fluid scrolling and animation, confirming you’re holding a top-of-the-range smartphone. On top of this, it also supports QHD+, with a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels, in contrast to 2400 x 1080 for the smaller phone.

As for durability, both devices come with official IP68 ratings, and both have fronts and backs made with the very tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. However, because the Pixel 7 Pro has a more inviting display, it scores a narrow win.

Winner: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Performance, battery life, and charging

man playing a game on the google pixel 6 pro.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro run on Google’s own Tensor Generation 2 processor, the direct successor to last year’s first Tensor chip. Built using a 4nm manufacturing process (allowing for more transistors), it’s complemented by 8GB of RAM with the Pixel 7 and 12GB with the 7 Pro. This should give the Pro just a bit of an edge in the performance department, making it more capable of running the latest apps and multitasking. However, the Pixel 7 certainly won’t be a slouch, and while it seems that neither phone has an updated CPU over the Pixel 6 series, they both see the same GPU upgrade.

The Pixel 7 Pro also has an advantage in terms of internal memory. While both devices come with 128GB of storage as standard, there’s the option with the 7 Pro to spend some more in order to have it with 512GB. By contrast, the Pixel 7 can only go as high as 256GB, which may be significant for people who tend to take lots of photos and download plenty of apps.

It’s a similar story with the battery of each device. The Pixel 7 Pro has a large 5,000mAh battery on board, while the standard Pixel 7 has a 4,355mAh counterpart. Much of the extra capacity users get with the Pixel 7 Pro could potentially be expended by copious use of its 120Hz refresh rate, but if you ease off the latter, it will likely last slightly longer than the Pixel 7. However, we’ll have to wait for our review to confirm that.

Combined with the minor (yet noticeable) performance and memory differences, this means the Pixel 7 Pro wins this round too.

Winner: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Cameras

man holding a google pixel 7 pro feat image.
Google

Previous generations may have brought significant updates to the camera hardware of Pixel phones, but both the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro come with the same 50-megapixel wide-angle main lens — and the same 12MP ultrawide lens — as their immediate predecessors. That said, the Pixel 7 Pro adds a 48MP telephoto camera, and while this is the same telephoto lens as that found on the 6 Pro, it at least gives it greater versatility than the 7.

As always, the basic camera performance on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro is outstanding, with both devices letting you simply point and photograph great shots. All of the features from the sixth generation return to both phones, including the Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, Photo and Face Unblur, Night Sight, Top Shot, and Portrait Mode. Of course, with the Pixel 7 Pro also boasting a highly capable telephoto lens, it also offers the useful Macro Focus mode, enabling you to take some nice closeups.

Video capabilities haven’t really changed from last year’s models, with both models topping out at 4K video at 60 frames per second. One change for the Pixel 7, however, is that it receives the higher spec 10.8MP ultrawide selfie lens you find on the 7 Pro (the Pixel 6 missed out on this last year). This improves the selfies you can take with the Pixel 7, but because the 7 Pro also has the valuable telephoto lens, this is another win for the latter.

Winner: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Software and updates

someone using nfc to pay with the google pixel watch.
Google

Both of these phones run Android 13 out of the box. This latest version of the Android OS features a few welcome changes, such as an expanded and more customizable Material You feature, enhanced privacy options, and more control over notification permissions. It’s not a major update over previous generations, but it does refine what is already a smooth and powerful user experience.

Given their simultaneous release, these two devices will receive core updates at about the same time for the same length of time. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Special features

google pixel 7, pixel 7 pro, pixel watch, and pixel buds.
Google

While there aren’t any really major special features introduced for the first time with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, it’s likely that both phones will prove compatible with Google’s freshly announced Pixel Watch. This will mean that users will be able to track their fitness and overall health (e.g. the Pixel Watch has a heart monitor), while there are likely to be a number of other synergies you can’t quite find with any other phone-watch pairing.

As with the previous generation of Pixels, both phones benefit from the Titan M2 security coprocessor. Google claims this makes Pixels the most secure smartphones in the world, resistant to attacks and breaches of sensitive user info. At the same time, the phones will also include their own built-in VPNs powered by Google One.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are currently available to preorder from Google. The Pixel 7 starts at $599, while the 7 Pro begins at $899. They will be supported by all major carriers and will be sold widely by third-party retailers.

Overall winner: Google Pixel 7 Pro

man holding a google pixel 7 pro feat image.
Google

It may not be much of a surprise, but the Google Pixel 7 Pro is undoubtedly a better smartphone than the Pixel 7. It may come with the same processor, software, and special features, but its inclusion of more RAM, its extra telephoto lens, its sharper display, and its bigger battery all carry it over the line. It’s Google’s best phone to date, and while the Pixel 7 is also a great Android device, it covers more ground — and more satisfyingly — than its stablemate.

However, if you don’t need a telephoto lens or an absolutely state-of-the-art screen, the Pixel 7 remains highly attractive, especially when it’s $300 cheaper.

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