Everyone’s a critic, but let’s start with the hardware is mostly great, but it’s undermined by what comes across as an unpolished user experience and notable bugs such as just not charging wirelessly in certain conditions.
My main takeaway with the Pro is I’m glad I have chargers that work in my car and my office because otherwise I’d have a lot of time I was not able to be reached on nights the software decided to not charge.
When I say the Pixel 7 Pro is not a pro product, I’m referring to that there are a lot of bugs, I mean a lot. Here’s the start of the bugs I’ll add more later. There are also very few options in the advertised features that can be configured by anyone wanting more than base user experience. Basically the software and hardware features of the pro are consumer facing and minimal configurations and options. There’s not a whole lot in the Pro that isn’t in the average.
The Pro has a little more RAM, slightly higher pixel density, and a slightly larger screen. Refresh rates the Pro has up to 30Hz higher, slightly larger battery, and a telephoto lens. The software and experience are pretty much the same. Games run slower generally than on a similar snapdragon due to being optimized for them, so not for pro gamers … at least not yet.
One of the things that’s driving me nuts about the Pro is the very-obvious transitions camera to camera. Due to the spacing and positions of the cameras when you enter macro or telephoto you jump to the left or right and it’s glaring. Try slowly zooming in… and we’re over here now. Yes, I tried inserting a RHPS Jump to the Left image here and it didn’t work.
Most of the hardware is not needed for any of the Pixel exclusive features they’re advertising. I’d be surprised if almost all of it isn’t just something they’re holding back to make it exclusive. One of their new ads even indicates that your old photos can be fixed by the Pixel 7, and I’m becoming more convinced by how long everything takes that we’re dealing with just Google Photos handling this in the background. I don’t think you need a Tensor chip to erase people from a photo or color correct.
The bugs I’m seeing on a daily basis are indicative of an early beta product. I know, I know, Pixel is bleeding edge but when you have stupid bugs such as it not bothering to charge on a Qi charger if the thing displayed a low battery message (reboot to fix,) and the tango one has to do with a credit card terminal if the Pixel saw your face while you were attempting to fingerprint unlock (cover FFC, unlock with other hand,) the random app crashes (mostly on products from a previous Android build,) updates that still don’t happen automatically in the Play Store, Maps issues with their new driving mode, nothing about the Pixel 7 Pro screams that it was tested as a suite of products for their flagship device.
Much of this is just Android 13… but much of the bugs are very well documented since the early testing releases. Everything’s fixable, don’t get me wrong, but this is not the experience one expects of a flagship phone fresh out of the gate.
I expect everything will be fixed… but there’s just so much broken, buggy, or not an improvement over my two and a half year old S21 Ultra 5G that I’m really sort of feeling like I overpaid for a screen replacement.
Don’t get me wrong, whatever Google did with the audio recognition on the Pixel 7 Pro is amazing… I don’t know how much is the Tensor 2 chip, and how much is just Google doing local voice recognition somewhat properly, but voice recognition is amazing (although it took a week or so,) and as far as I can tell no different on the Pro or regular Pixel 7 devices. I mean really, Dragon Dictate did better on an old PC than Google’s voice recognition has historically done for me on the S21, which has the same basic processing power the P7P does.
Am I telling you not to buy it? Nope. Just don’t expect it to be a Pro product or seamless yet… I think they’ll get there, but they’re not there yet.