If you want the best smartphone on the market right now, this is the one to beat
It’s easy to take the Pixel 7 Pro for granted. Pick one up in a carrier store and you’re likely to sigh. Same old, same old, you’ll mumble to yourself. And while Google’s latest flagship phone certainly packs few surprises, truthfully, you’re missing the bigger picture. Yes, the Pixel 7 Pro is a simple evolution on its predecessor, but by picking up where the Pixel 6 Pro left off, Google was able to develop a smartphone that is better in nearly every single way.
The refinements in play this year can be seen from all angles. The hardware is closer than ever to Samsung’s level, with the camera bar elegantly blending into the frame and wrapping around the entire device. While we’d love to see Google drop some of its bad habits — the glossy glass back is so 2018 — the overall design is better than anything the company has ever offered.
Meanwhile, the Tensor G2 chip powering this phone allows for even more AI tricks than ever before. While it’s only a modest boost in sheer performance, tools like Photo Unblur and Recorder genuinely change the way we use smartphones. Capturing a lecture or an interview has never been easier, even when multiple speakers could potentially trip up the automatic transcriptions. And seriously, Photo Unblur saved images from a decade ago that I thought would remain blurry messes forever. It’s one of the most impressive tools I’ve ever used, and it’s exclusive to Google’s latest smartphones.
And that’s to say nothing about the cameras on these particular devices. Since its inception, the Pixel series has been the best way to capture the world around you, and that remains true to this day. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra bests Google in terms of sheer flexibility, nothing tops the Pixel 7 Pro when it comes to getting incredible shots on a moment’s notice. Whether you’re shooting with the primary lens, the improved ultra-wide, or the flexible 5x telephoto sensor, the images this thing outputs are second to none.
Google also finally figured out its reliability issues. Unlike with the Pixel 6 Pro, we’ve seen very few bugs rear their ugly heads this year. Security patches and Feature Drops have arrived on time and as expected, and the odd issue has seen quick action taken by Google. It’s a good sign after the company dropped the ball in 2021.
Put simply, the Pixel 7 Pro offered the most refined experience of any smartphone in 2022. In a year packed with devices offering small changes to existing hardware, it was Google’s efforts that impressed us the most, and that’s why it’s earned our Phone of the Year award. Whether the company can do it again next year with the Pixel 8 — or, potentially, the Pixel Fold — remains to be seen. But right now, if you want the best Android phone, it’s hard to beat Google’s offering.