So, the time has come. The entire Pixel 7 range from Google is here, available, and utterly awesome.
It's always a patience game – with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro released back in October 2022, we knew the Pixel 7a would be on the horizon. We just had to wait. The question now is, which (if any) is the winner? Which is the best value for money? And most importantly, which is right for you?
As always, it comes down to your personal needs and preferences – and we've already done a deep dive hands-on review of the Pixel 7 Pro and an intense look at the Pixel 7a. But we also thought it would be nice to make it easier to compare the three devices, so you don't have to. We can't help it. We just love Pixels, okay?
Let's start with design…
It's fair to say the Pixel 7 range is a family of phones – by which we mean they all look alike. In fact, at first glance, the only major difference appears to be their size.
The Pixel 7 Pro, as you might expect, looks a little more premium when you get in close. It has a polished aluminium frame while the Pixel 7 has a matte frame and features a slight curvature to the display that just gives it an overall sleeker look. The Pixel 7 and 7a share the same flat display, but otherwise are hard to differentiate aside from the 0.2-inch size variation. All in all, these phones are all pretty darn gorgeous.
However, we're not so shallow as to assume Google is all about the looks here – there are some practical differences. Both Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 offer an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, which in real terms means if you drop your phone in the sink (or the toilet) it can survive for up to 30 minutes. But we wouldn't recommend trying it, since, well – gross.
The Pixel 7a is considered to be the budget device in the range and offers an IP67 rating. It can still survive being submerged for up to 30 minutes, but only in up to a metre of water (while IP68 covers up to 6 metres. We didn't say it was a normal toilet, okay?)
As for other forms of protection, the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 both feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus displays and edgeless Corning Gorilla Glass Victus rears. The Pixel 7a on the other hand uses a Gorilla Glass 3 display. However, this is unlikely to be a deciding factor for most of us, as we all tend to safeguard against scratches and scrapes with phone cases and screen covers anyway. Still, it's nice to know that your naked phone can take care of itself.
On to the thing you're likely to notice first about all of these devices – the colour. There's some variety in the brighter options, but all three devices are available in Snow (basically white), a version of black (Obsidian or Charcoal) and a snazzy colour. For Pixel 7 Pro, it's Hazel. For Pixel 7 it's Lemongrass. For Pixel 7a it's Sea. But no matter what, the basics are covered.
We should also mention that the Pixel 7a has levelled up from its predecessor and now includes Face Unlock like the rest of the 7 family.
So, design-wise, it's all about durability and size. Fans of big phones might prefer the Pixel 7 Pro, but it's about what's underneath, too, right?
It's all about display.
Now to some nitty gritty, eh? Let's break it down, one at a time.
The Pixel 7 Pro is the biggest device in the family, with a 6.7-inch LTPO OLED display, Quad HD+ resolution and an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. In short, this means that the 7 Pro is sharper and smoother than the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a, but it comes down to how much you'll notice. Most of us won't have all three handsets side by side at any point to compare, so unless you're a heavy gamer or streamer, you might not benefit from the extra tech on board here. Still, it's nice to have.
The Pixel 7 offers a smaller screen but is still a neatly sized 6.3 inches. It has the same OLED display and has a Full HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. With many other Android devices stepping up their refresh rates, it's a little surprising that Google hasn't followed suit, but again, it's adaptive anyway. In both devices, you're not going to be enjoying 120Hz all of the time because frankly, you don't need it and it'll drain your battery much faster.
The Pixel 7a downsizes again, though less drastically, and comes in at 6.1-inches. Another OLED display with Full HD+, there's not a huge amount of difference from the Pixel 7, here. They even share the same 90Hz refresh rate.
What you'll notice with any of these devices is the brightness, true-to-life colour range and sharpness of the display. Even switching between Natural and Adaptive colour modes, you'll find your display shows colours perfectly, without any cool tones or extra yellow messing it up. It's part of the reason it's easy to take a great picture with these phones – but more on that later.
How does the Pixel 7 family perform?
Really, really well.
All three devices use the latest generation of chipset from Google for processing: the Google Tensor G2. While some reviews of these phones push that Google could do more to make this processor speedier, it's important to remember that they're prioritising the things we actually use our phones for – and though some Android devices can run faster than the Pixel 7 range, most of us don't even notice when they do. And we rarely obsess about it.
Google Tensor G2 provides better power for AI, machine learning, photography and video processing software, speech recognition and (quite importantly, if you as us) security. All three phones also include the Titan M2 security chip, for a little bit of extra reassurance.
The result of Google's own chipset being packed into these devices? You'll have no trouble running processing-intensive games like Call of Duty or The Elder Scrolls – and something more basic like Candy Crush is a breeze, for the record.
As for battery power, the bigger phone wins here – Pixel 7 Pro packs a 5000mAh battery with fast charging that can happily last a couple of days with low-level use. More intensive use will take its toll faster, and you might find you need to recharge in just over 24 hours.
You might be surprised to hear that the Pixel 7a (which after all, is the newest of the bunch) comes with a 4385mAh battery, which is slightly bigger than the Pixel 7's 4355mAh one. And less surprisingly, it's pretty impressive at keeping its charge for well over a day with average usage. Both phones also include fast charging capabilities.
All three devices also offer wireless charging, which is new for the "a" range from Google and wasn't present on the Pixel 6a. Of course, you'll still have to fork out for the wireless charger, but it's good to know the possibility for wire-free freedom is there.
Last but not least, let's look at the cameras.
We'll start with this: Google called their phones "Pixel". So, cameras are kind of a big deal. And the biggest differences between these devices show up when you look at the camera specs, but they might not be as you'd expect.
Starting with the Pixel 7 Pro, we have what we'd probably class as the best camera setup across the range. Three lenses, starting with a 50MP main sensor and packing in a 48MP telephoto lens and a further 12MP ultra wide lens for a nice, gib 125.8-degree field of view.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a are both dual camera devices, and the Pixel 7 actually packs the same 50MP main lens and 12MP ultra wide lens as the 7 Pro – it just skips the telephoto sensor altogether.
However, the Pixel 7a is the unusual one here – it actually offers a bigger main lens than both other devices at 64MP, and a 13MP ultra wide lens (which in case you've forgotten, is bigger than the Pixel 7, a supposedly more expensive and premium phone.) It also includes a 13MP front-facing camera, which is bigger than both others in the range, which offer only a 10.8MP front lens.
You might be wondering how this affects the photography capabilities. Well, it's worth remembering that bigger isn't always better. The Pixel 7 Pro still consistently outperforms the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a even though the main sensor is a little smaller, so there's something in that. And of course, we've got the Google Tensor G2 on board all three devices doing some seriously heavy lifting in the software department.
All three devices include Real Tone, Photo Unblur, Magic Eraser, Motion Mode and Night Sight as standard AI-enhanced photography modes. But only the Pixel 7 Pro includes Macro Focus and a truly massive 30x high-resolution zoom. The other two don't have Macro Focus at all and top out at 8x zoom. So that telephoto lens on the Pixel 7 Pro is pulling its weight.
As for the video, every one of the devices in the Pixel 7 range can shoot 4K video at 60FPS with both the back and front cameras, aside from the Pixel 7a's front cam, which still shoots at 4K, but at 30FPS. That's unusual for a range with considerable variation in price and specs in other areas, and we're all for it, quite honestly.
But in conclusion, the camera specs on these devices are more than the number of megapixels on board. The software processing from Google goes above and beyond to make sure that even on the Pixel 7 where there are fewer sensors and MPs, you'll still get amazing shots really easily with just the touch of a button.
It has to be said, the whole Pixel 7 family is bloomin' awesome.
The design elements are similar and consistent, with only a few things such as size and colour options dividing the three devices (though when it comes to display tech, though all amazing, the Pixel 7 Pro is the clear winner.)
Each phone performs brilliantly with the same Google Tensor G2 chipset on board. The real deciding factor here is battery size, but there's not a whole lot to it in real terms for how often you'll need to charge.
For most, the major difference between the three is the camera specs, where the Pixel 7 Pro performs best. But the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7 are almost head-to-head, so it's all about that front-facing camera and the honestly brilliant software to balance everything out. You've got to decide how important those megapixels are to you before buying a thing.
Cost-wise, there are some differences that are likely to be a big decider. The Pixel 7 Pro offers undeniable little luxuries that push it into a higher price bracket – but could make for a better device if those luxuries are a priority for you.
There's a surprisingly small difference between the cost of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a, with maybe a £150 variation in the SIM free costs. However, we've got amazing offers on all three devices, with hot new deals popping up all the time – so keeping an eye on our site could make a massive difference to your wallet!
In fact, here are our favourite deals on each device (at the time of writing) cos we like to keep it simple, eh?