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Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7 Pro: How to buy the right one for you

Between the value-driven Google Pixel 7 and the premiere flagship Pixel 7 Pro, which phone should you buy? We've got the answers.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro

The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, while no longer the latest smartphones on the market, are still the best representation of Google's Android vision. The two come with all the latest Android fix-ins, like built-in VPN service and effortless cross-platform Spotify and YouTube playing, and are primed with some of the best camera systems that we've tested at ZDNET. Most importantly, they've proven to be really great smartphones.

Also: How to transfer photos from your Android to your Windows PC

So, if you're not sold on Apple or Samsung's latest $1,200 smartphones, I don't blame you, and you've also come to the right place. While I'm not here to convince you to buy one phone over the other, I've listed below the key buying reasons for both models so you can make the ideal purchase decision. Are you ready? Let's go.


Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 Pro


6.3-inch, 1,080 x 2,400 AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate   

6.7-inch, 1,440 x 3,120 LTPO AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate 


197 g  

212 g


Google Tensor G2

Google Tensor G2

RAM/Storage8GB RAM with 128GB/256GB storage12GB RAM with 128GB/256GB/512GB storage
Battery4,355 mAh with 30W charging 5,000 mAh with 30W charging
Camera50MP f/1.85 wide, 12MP f/1.25 ultrawide, 10.8MP f/2.2 front
50MP f/1.85 wide, 12MP f/1.25 ultrawide, 48MP f/3.5 telephoto, 10.8MP f/2.2 front  
Connectivity5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave)5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave)
DurabilityIP68 water and dust resistance
IP68 water and dust resistance


Obsidian, Snow, Lemongrass   

Obsidian, Snow, Hazel

PriceStarting at $599
Starting at $899

You should buy the Google Pixel 7 if...

Holding the Google Pixel 7 in Snow.
June Wan/ZDNET

1. Price comes before anything else

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is great; it has the best camera system of any Pixel and is treated with a blend of premium-grade materials. It's also $899, which makes the similar-looking, similar-functioning Pixel 7 seem too good to be true at $599. There's nothing wrong with paying less for a smartphone, but you'll certainly feel guilty knowing that the Pixel 7 comes with all the Android benefits of the Pro model -- while costing $300 less.

2. You want a midsize phone with big ambitions

The Pixel 7 is not a small phone by any means. But when stacked against the larger 6.5- to 6.8-inch handsets on the market, including the Pixel 7 Pro, it's considerably more compact. Even then, Google isn't settling with midtier specs on this midsize phone. The Pixel 7 is just as capable as the Pro sibling with an IP68 rating, the same main and ultrawide cameras, and also being powered by the latest Tensor G2 chipset for high performance and efficiency. Google is also promising at least five years of software updates on the less-expensive Pixel. 

Also: How to set your Pixel's lock screen to identify music

3. You're #TeamLemongrass

No, I'm not talking about the aromatic that's used for cooking. Like last year's Pixel 6 series, the latest batch of Pixels comes in exclusive colors. If you're a fan of bright and lively yellow hues, then Lemongrass -- limited to the standard Pixel 7 -- has your name on it.

You should buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if...

Person holding the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel.
June Wan/ZDNET

1. You want the best Pixel that money can buy

To be fair, $899 (or $799 if you look hard enough) is not the most expensive asking price for a flagship smartphone. Google is still undercutting the likes of Samsung and Apple here while offering what is arguably the best Pixel handset to date. For the money, you're getting the complete Pixel camera experience (5x telephoto lens included,) the new Macro Focus feature for detailed close-up shots, polished aluminum beaming down the corners of the phone, and so much more. Oh, and the Pixel 7 series supports Face Unlock again. 

More: How to use Google Pixel's whimsical Magic Eraser tool

2. You'd like a larger display with a larger battery

The Pro model has a larger 6.7-inch LTPO display than the Pixel 7 that can refresh between 1Hz and 120Hz and a 5,000-mAh battery (compared with 4,355-mAh). Both aspects should yield significantly better endurance on the Pixel 7 Pro, making it ideal for power users and those who are always on the go.

Also: Google Pixel 7 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: Which flagship should you buy?

3. A telephoto camera is a must-have feature

While the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro share the same main and ultrawide lenses, the latter carries a third 48MP telephoto shooter for those dreamy portrait shots of people, pets, and even food. A physical telephoto lens allows the photographer to get a natural depth of field in photos, adding a layer of blur that's ever so superior to the digital processing that non-telephoto cameras try to achieve. If this sounds like a practical tool for you, then the Pixel 7 Pro is the better of the two Pixels. 

Also: I went to the zoo with a $2,500 camera and a Pixel 7 Pro. The results surprised me

Alternatives to consider

Open to other smartphone prospects? Consider these ZDNET-recommended devices:

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