Google – now a major player in the world of smartphones. Sure, Apple and Samsung are the big dogs but if you’re shopping for a new phone and don’t consider a Google Pixel, you’re making a mistake. I took the newest Google Pixel phones, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, for a test.

Pixel 7

I’ll start with the more budget-friendly model, the Pixel 7. Plastic on the back, glass on the front and metal around the edges it looks like what we’ve come to expect from a smartphone in 2022. It has a 6.7″ OLED screen that looks great although some have complained that the 90hz refresh rate isn’t fast enough. Personally, I think it’s more than enough for most users.

On the back there is a pretty sizeable camera hump which packs in a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a laser auto-focus sensor. On the front you’ll find a 10.8MP selfie camera with a VERY impressive 92.8 degree wide angle view. So wide that you won’t have a problem getting that selfie of your entire group. The cameras on the back along with Google’s software tweaks take awesome photos. It easily competes with comparable phone cameras from Samsung and Apple. This combined with Google’s fun photo features including “Photo Unblur” and “Magic Eraser” make for a great photo experience.

The hardware you can’t see is the new Google Tensor G2 processor. Google says it’s customer built to make the phone faster, more efficient and more secure. While all of this is something that time will judge, there’s no question that the Pixel 7 is a zippy phone. It’s the latest and greatest from Google and it felt like that when I was using it. Animations are smooth, apps load fast and camera features worked as promised without hesitation.

What makes the Pixel 7 Pro different?

In many ways the “Pro” model is basically the big brother to the Pixel 7. It’s physically larger, which means you get a bigger screen (6.7″ instead of 6.3″) and a larger battery. The Pro’s screen also has a 120hz refresh rate which will make spec geeks happy and create a slightly more silky smooth experience. You also get 12GB of memory instead of 8GB which should also improve performance slightly.

Most importantly, the Pro ups the ante on the cameras. It adds an additional 42MP telephoto camera on the back and adds a super cool macro focus feature that lets you take SUPER DUPER close-up shots.

So – should I upgrade?

The problem with smartphones these days is that they’re all pretty darn good! The Pixel 6 was a good phone and yes, the Pixel 7 is better but that doesn’t mean you MUST RUN OUT and upgrade. It’s a worthy upgrade that feels updated in almost every way and I think both the 7 and 7 Pro are great phones. With that said, there aren’t any groundbreaking new hardware features here that are a must-have for normal users.

Nonetheless, If you’re ready for a new phone, you’d be remiss if you didn’t consider the new Pixel phones from Google. They easily fall among the best smartphones on the market and are a worth competitor to Samsung and Apple phones.

The Google Pixel 7 is available right now starting at $600 – the Pixel 7 Pro starts at $900.