Today is the day I have to take the SIM card out of my current phone and put it in a different device. This happens regularly, and for the most part, I’m pretty indifferent to it. But sometimes I enjoy using the phone so much I don’t want to change my SIM card. Today is one of those days.
The phone I’m leaving behind is the Google Pixel 7 Pro, and it’s been great for the past 21 days. But others were not so lucky, which made the phone somewhat risky. This is why I find it so hard to let go.
I reviewed the Google Pixel 7 a few weeks before I tried the Pixel 7 Pro, and while we didn’t have major issues with the latter phone, it wasn’t perfect. However, my problems weren’t anywhere close to the ones Digital Trends’ mobile editor Joe Maring had with his Pixel 7 Pro — and he wasn’t the only one judging by online comments and other reviews. I was quietly smug about the Pixel 7, but more concerned about the Pixel 7 Pro. Will it be a disaster?
There were three main areas of concern for me. The first was the battery life, the second was the bugs in Android 13, and finally there was the effect of both of them on the overall performance. I’ll tackle each one in turn, but first, you should know a little bit about using my phone. I don’t really play games, and my phone is mostly on Wi-Fi during the work week. I use several apps, including messaging and social networking apps, browsing with Chrome, making calls, connecting to Bluetooth, taking pictures with my camera, using Google Maps to navigate, and answering emails.
On average, screen time (according to Digital Wellbeing) is between three and five hours each day. There have also been various days during my time with the Pixel 7 Pro where it was connected to either the Galaxy Watch 5 or Google Pixel Watch, or even both at the same time. I think it’s fair to say that while I haven’t pushed the phone when it comes to gaming, it works really hard on a daily basis. However, despite this, the battery lasted two full days.
I can’t remember a single time where the battery gave me anxiety or where I had to give it a quick boost to make sure it lasted through the second day. There have been several days where the battery still has 60% left when I go to bed (so I used 40% from about 8am until midnight). And even on days when he spent more than five hours in front of a screen, he was never less than 20% at the end of my day. The Pixel 7 Pro’s battery life wasn’t just acceptable — it was exceptional, and right from the start, too.
I had some concerns about system stability on the Pixel 7 Pro and wondered if Android 13 or any apps would be buggy enough that I couldn’t get things done. As it turns out, Android was very reliable, and I didn’t notice any serious problems with the apps either. The phone didn’t crash, I didn’t have to restart it over and over to remedy issues, and I didn’t uninstall and reinstall any apps due to frustrating errors. It’s a very different experience from Joe with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Does this mean the Pixel 7 Pro was flawless? No, unfortunately not, but the problems I encountered were different from those of others. The main problem I encountered is connectivity and call performance. The Pixel 7 Pro has poor Wi-Fi range compared to other phones I use and regularly drops signal while other phones (like the iPhone 14 Pro) on the desk next to it happily connect. The Bluetooth connection is also unstable, with frequent drops and an annoying failure to connect at all in some situations.
Calls also seem to be affected by all of this, as the Bluetooth connection is often interrupted during a voice call. There have been some mysterious dropped calls as well, possibly due to switching from voice over Wi-Fi to network when the Wi-Fi signal fails. I also have situations where the phone tries but fails to connect a call, something that only a reboot resolved.
These connectivity issues are some of the most serious I’ve encountered with the Pixel 7 Pro, and while they’re unacceptable, they don’t happen all the time, so it’s easier to forgive them when they do.
All that makes it special
Connectivity-related bugs are pretty annoying, but they haven’t stopped me from loving the Pixel 7 Pro. This won’t come off as inspiration, but the camera is really great, and it hasn’t let me down in any situation so far. A big part of this is the easy-to-use, yet incredibly versatile editing suite inside Google Photos, where I can tweak photos so they look exactly the way I want them to. The downside of the Pixel 7 Pro is its primary selfie camera and lack of selfie-related editing features — it’s missing options even in the old Snapseed app.
But it’s not just the camera that made me fall in love with the Pixel 7 Pro. I think the design is great, and the material selection is spot on. It’s instantly recognizable as a Google Pixel phone, with just the right shape and just the right weight. I never feel uncomfortable or awkward, and I prefer the curved sides of the screen on the Pro over the Pixel 7. Outside of the special photo-editing features, I love the auto-translation features that work on YouTube and even in messaging apps like WhatsApp — plus Android 13’s cleanly designed, customizable software .
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