I believe I have been a Pixel 7 Pro user now for nine days. It’s taken about this time to get everything sorted out, but this isn’t particularly rare for the amount of apps and connected accounts I have. It’s actually one of the reasons I stopped writing root articles – the insane amount of time it takes to recover my accounts.
During this last nine days I did an upgrade/sidegrade depending on how you want to consider it from my Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G to the Pixel 7 Pro. The S21 I was relatively happy with other than a crack in the screen and feeling like the unit was choking on some basic functions such as messaging notification delays, which I learned the Pixel 7 Pro also did on day one. Really, screen and text messages were the entire reasons I … nevermind.
I’m not entirely sure how much of the speed increase I feel on the Pixel 7 Pro is due to software differences, or Google’s hardware, but the Pixel 7 Pro is smoooooth. Note the extra Os there.
Voice to text is very usable now, although I will stress this – it really really sucked at understanding me for about two days. As I read it the voice to text uses local learning as well as some server side… it’s mostly learned me and I can now speak at a normal clip to it. I think I’m going to try filming a video of me reading something out to it and the S21 to highlight the differences in how each one understands or doesn’t understand me. I mean, could be microphone, could be something else, but I can speak at a normal rate and the Pixel 7 Pro picks it up mostly correctly. Enough correct that editing doesn’t take longer than swiping it out.
Apps launch faster than on the S21, but they’re slower and appear buggier. I’m not sure how much of this is processor, Android 13 vs Android 12, or what. I’ve noticeably had app crashes on the Pixel 7 Pro that I have not seen on the S21 since the early days of the last OS update. Bleeding edge, I guess you get burned sometimes.
I had some interesting fingerprint issues – I’m still on the fence on this but highly suspect that my issues were the following – screen protector. Said screen protector worked perfectly fine for two days with fingerprint unlock. There was a slight adhesive film at the fingerprint unlock that modified itself in use with heat applied from the screen side and turned into an obstruction. Will stress this – it worked perfectly for two days after screen protector was applied. I’ve never had a screen protector go bad before. I believe this was the case. It’s been off for a day and so far seems to be functioning normally.
The useless data transfer
Setup and data transfer, as usual was sub par and a pretty bad experience. Data transfer cable applied, APKs from old phone were copied over and a few of the apps actually made it with the accounts intact. Most did not. Once 100+ apps were transferred, the 54 or so that I had not used in a month or two all had to be updated from Google Play. 20+ of them that I did use ended up with updates as well that were not showing on the S21.
I had to sign back in to five banks (work, man) three games, 9 home control / smart device managers, multiple email accounts, I somehow wiped out and lost all my progress on Text Express but that may have been my fault (their support managed to fix it because I screenshotted a whole bunch of things including my ID when I was doing the review,) Paypal, Venmo, Cash app, etc.
I mean, I want the bank stuff secure… I do, but the whole “transfer” could have been done by the S21 sending a list of apps to the Pixel Pro 7 and just having it install them because that’s essentially what happened. Everything had an update even though my S21 was showing that nothing had an update.
Dat camera tho
This one’s interesting and I’m going to show my biases here – for what I do in the wild, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is probably a significantly better camera for almost everything except photos of my kids and people. I can take pictures of the moon, I can boca the hell out of the kids in portrait mode, etc.
For standard photos of people, the Pixel 7 Pro feels like it’s kicking the S21’s but. This is a “feels” thing. I don’t have a side by side, but probably will sometime this week – we’ve had gloomy overcast days, not really interested in comparing gloomy grays.
The only issue I’m really having is the Pixel 7 Pro seems to be saving these images in a relatively shitty level of compression.
The above pigture is from a HDR 24 bit photo that the Pixel 7 Pro made. Squished down, looks fine-ish. Very small photos (under 2 meg,) that lack detail. Seems the options are RAW format or this with no quality sliders.
Honestly though, for normal use I think the feel and responsiveness and what is produced are generally great. Yeah, I know my stance with the MyFirst cameras, but the images here are great and small, and the images there were bad and huge.
Pixel 7 Pro: Not great in default settings for detail.
The S21 wins on total zoom’n, but the 30x digital zoom does pretty well on the Pixel 7 Pro. Below are the shots on yet another overcast and gloomy day from .5 to 5 camera, then the 30x digital zoom.
The Pixel 7 Pro cannot, however, take a photo of the moon in any way that I’ve found other than in the daytime.
It’s significantly lighter than the S21. Part of this is due to a slightly smaller screen size, but the S21 came in at 227 grams (8oz), the Pixel 7 Pro at 212 (7.48oz).7% lighter might not seem like a lot, but my pinky’s happy. 1.5% smaller.
I got interested in how the Tensor G2 chip stacked up as the chipset on the S21 had a higher gHz numbers on the Snapdragon 888… and that’s a whole article or two on why gHz doesn’t matter and what areas a chip excels in. I’ll do my much-hated “feels like” review here and say it feels like it’s about on par with what I’m using it for with the S21 Ultra, although based on this it’s about 2% slower. Antutu says it’s 1% slower.
Remember kids, what you use a device for matters. If you’re recording 4K 120FPS video, the Pixel 7 Pro is not your camera. 4K 60FPS sure.
Overall – currently content
I’m annoying there are no quality settings. I consider the launcher a step down from Samsung for what I used it for and how I used to use it, however I am significantly faster with the Google launcher. Significantly. That search bar really rules.
Would I buy it?
I mean, I *did* buy it, but at the current price for the 256 gig version I purchased I am going to say no. For $200 off which is what I got it for, also no. I really like the phone, but it’s not a significant upgrade from the S21. I think I’d probably have spent a couple hundred repairing my S21 and waited to see how Android 13 works, and what the S23 brings.
But, that’s just me talking upgrading from one mostly working phone to another. This phone, the 256 gig version (I really do record a shocking amount of video for how little actually makes it to Pocketables,) feels like it needs to be about $200 cheaper as its base price, not as a promotion price. Keep in mind you’re getting the hell datamined out of you by Google for using their products, and that’s a running income stream.
Meh, I’m cheap. I did love my Samsung and felt no compelling reason to switch other than that my screen was broken, I highly suspected it would be like every other replacement screen issue where my phone ends up dead, and I needed something there at all times due to work.
Get the 128 gig down into the low-$700 range and we’re talking. At $899 you’re too dang high.