Google Pixel 7 review: cracking camera at a great price

Google seems to have won again. The new Pixel 7 offers the same software, camera and smart AI systems that have made its phones winners, but at a knockdown price that significantly undercuts the competition.

At £599 ($899/A$1,299) it sits between the range-topping £849 Pixel 7 Pro and the budget £399 Pixel 6a, and competes very favorably on price and specs with rivals from Samsung, Apple and others typically in the £700-800 range scope.

The new phone looks like a smaller, simplified version of the Pixel 7 Pro. It has a flat 6.3-inch OLED screen that is bright and beautiful. The screen is quite good. It has a 90Hz refresh rate to keep things flowing smoothly. But it doesn’t hit the heady peak of 120Hz or dynamically adjust to save battery as is common on Android rivals.

Pixel 7 next to Pixel 7 Pro lying flat on a table.
The Pixel 7 (left) is smaller and easier to hold than the Pixel 7 Pro (right). Photo: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 is shorter, slimmer and lighter than its larger sibling and last year’s Pixel 6, which is a good thing. That makes the Pixel 7 a good balance between screen size and device size, similar to Apple’s iPhone 14.

The back of the phone features Google’s camera bar design, which blends into the brushed aluminum sides. It looks and feels more premium than last year’s model.

Inside, the Pixel 7 has the same Google Tensor G2 chip as its bigger sibling and performs similarly, with especially fast AI systems like text to speech.

Battery life is similar to Google’s other phones, lasting around 35 hours between charges with the screen actively used for five hours. That’s good enough for a day of heavy use but behind the competition, some of which last nearly two days.

The USB-C port on the bottom of the Pixel 7.
The Pixel 7 takes about 113 minutes to charge, reaching 50% in 35 minutes with a 30W USB-C power adapter (not included), which isn’t too fast compared to the competition. Photo: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


  • Screen: 6.3 inch 90Hz FHD+ OLED (416ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor G2

  • BAG: 8GB

  • Storage: 128 or 256 GB

  • Operating system: Android 13

  • Camera: 50 MP + 12 MP ultra-wide, 10.8 MP selfie

  • Connection: 5G, eSIM, wifi 6E, UWB, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5 mi 30 minutes)

  • Measure: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm

  • Weight: 197g


Google doesn’t provide a life expectancy for the battery, but it should last over 500 full charge cycles with at least 80% of its original capacity. The phone can be repaired by Google and third-party shops with genuine replacement parts available directly from iFixit. Google’s non-warranty screen repairs will cost around £140 and battery replacements around £100.

The Pixel 7 is made from 100% recycled aluminum, which accounts for around 19% of the phone’s weight. The company publishes environmental impact reports for some of its products. Google will recycle old devices for free.

Android 13

Pixel 7 flat on a table showing the camera and fingerprint reader are active.
New for this year are camera-based facial recognition and a faster in-screen fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone. Photo: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 runs the same version of Android 13 as the Pixel 7 Pro and Google’s other smartphones, with some exclusive features, including the ability to blur faces and objects using AI in the Google Photos app.

Google will provide at least five years of software and security updates including at least three major Android releases. Samsung supports many of its phones for five years, while Fairphone aims for six years and Apple supports its iPhone for up to seven years.


The view of a garden through the Google Camera app on a Pixel 7.
The Google Camera app has several useful tools for framing your photos, including an automatic level indicator and object-tracking autofocus. Photo: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 7 has two cameras on the back, including a 50-megapixel main camera and 12MP ultrawide, without the 5x telephoto of the Pixel 7 Pro.

The 12 MP ultra-wide camera produces good images with very little distortion, even around the edges. But its 0.7x magnification isn’t quite as wide as the 0.5x of the 7 Pro or its rivals, so you won’t be able to fit in as much. It also lacks the ability to act as a macro camera like on the 7 Pro, which isn’t a huge loss.

The 50MP main camera is the same as the 7 Pro and is simply brilliant, capturing a huge amount of detail across a wide range of lighting conditions and producing 12.5MP images. It can also “zoom” to 2x optical magnification, which works surprisingly well and matches what you typically get from a 2x optical zoom on competitors. Digital zoom takes over from there with reasonable results at 4x but soft on detail afterwards.

Google’s low-light night vision mode is faster and better than ever, creating nice and generally sharp images in near darkness. With the phone on a tripod or propped up, you can even take great pictures of the stars with a special extended shot.

The selfie camera takes excellent 10 MP photos in a variety of lighting conditions. Video recording has been improved all the time with up to 4K at 60 frames per second in HDR, catching up with rivals.

Overall, the Pixel 7 has a really good camera for the money, but just lacks an extended zoom.


The Google Pixel 7 starts at £599 ($599/A$999) with 128GB of storage.

In comparison, the Pixel 7 Pro costs £849, the Pixel 6a costs £399, the Samsung Galaxy S22 costs £769 and the iPhone 14 costs £849.


The Pixel 7 is a great Android phone at a great price.

It offers most of what makes the Pixel 7 Pro one of the best smartphones of the year, with a few corners cut at under £600 at a time when technology is getting more expensive, not less.

You get a good-looking, well-performing device with lots of smart features and good software with at least five years of support. You will struggle to find a camera as good for the price. The 6.3-inch screen is a good size, if not the most advanced, and the battery life is solid, if a little short of the best.

With rivals costing north of £750, the Pixel 7’s biggest problem is that Google’s other more affordable phone, the Pixel 6a, offers 70% of the new phone’s performance for around £400.

Advantages: good camera, good screen, good performance, solid battery, face and fingerprint unlock, Android 13 with five years of security updates, significantly undercuts the competition at the price.

Disadvantages: limited zoom, face unlock option not as secure as some competitors, battery life short of best in class, rather slow charging, no big leaps in performance.

The back of the Pixel 7 shows off its aluminum camera rod.
The camera bar on the Pixel 7 is brushed aluminum and stands out from the average smartphone. Photo: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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