Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Pixel 7 Pro: Finally! Google fixed my biggest issue with the Pixel 6 Pro
Over the past year, I bought and returned the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro because a core phone capability was flawed. It looks like Google's Tensor G2 and its accompanying modem now lets me consider the Pixel 7 Pro.
For the past year, I've read many articles online lauding the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. As much as I wanted to join that discussion by purchasing and testing both phones, I eventually returned the two within a couple of weeks because a basic, core function did not perform at an acceptable level.
The phones could not connect or keep a reliable cellular signal in the areas where I live, work, and play.
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro arguably captured the best still photos, had extremely useful and unique Pixel-exclusive functions (call screening, direct my call, and more), and were quick to get the latest updates from Google.
Despite these benefits, if a phone cannot function as a phone and secure a solid cellular connection at nearly all times, then it's a failure. I was constantly losing, or not even obtaining, a cell connection with T-Mobile on these phones.
There were widespread reports of cellular and some Wi-Fi connection issues with the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro phones. If a company cannot show proven reliability in core areas, then I cannot use that smartphone for my daily needs.
Google used the Tensor G1 last year, a chip created by Google and based upon the Samsung Exynos 2100 with the Samsung modem. The Exynos Modem 5123 powered the 4G and 5G connection, but it seems there were modem issues that showed it couldn't compete with the Qualcomm X65 5G modem.
The Tensor G2 in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro is reportedly using a Samsung Exynos 5300 5G modem, and it looks like that is a good thing.
Part of my commute consists of a train route on the outskirts of several towns where the cellular reception can be fairly weak. This route has been a part of my cellular test for Android phones for years with Samsung and OnePlus phones always setting the bar.
It's disappointing that Google went a full year with substandard cellular service and that people tolerated such performance. However, it is fantastic that cellular reception no longer seems to be an issue to discuss, and we can get on to debating the other pros and cons between various devices.