Google’s flagship series has significantly worse image quality than competing phones
The Google Pixel 7 Pro and its smaller sibling are some of the best Android phones on the market right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. While most problems people run into aren’t widespread, the flagship duo has its fair share of issues, with the most egregious one being spontaneously shattered camera covers. The latest trouble to crop up is also related to the camera, but it’s likely that software is the culprit. Google Pixel 7 owners report that the image quality is comparatively bad during video calls across different apps, including Google Meet.
When you’re on a video call, you’re usually more concerned about looking at the person you’re talking to than your own image, but some Pixel 7 owners have still noticed that something is up with their phones’ video feeds. A Redditor compared the video output they got from their Pixel 3 XL and their iPad Pro with the one from their Pixel 7 using Google Meet. The videos received from the Pixel 7 are supposedly noticeable blurrier and have a smeared appearance.
Many other Redditors support these findings, making clear that the issues also affect other apps like Telegram, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The problem also supposedly applies to both the front and the rear cameras, making it likely that it’s a software problem rather than a hardware issue with the front facing camera in particular.
Even ahead of this recent report on Reddit, people have complained about video quality issues during calls. There are threads complaining about video calling quality reaching all the way back to October, shortly after the launch. Similar issues have already plagued the Google Pixel 6, and as far as we know, the problem has never been fixed on the older flagship series.
Two pairs of Pixel 7 Pro vs. iPhone 13, front and back cameras
We can corroborate these issues on some of our own units, on both the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. The image quality on the Pixel 7 series is undeniable worse than on comparable phones, be it the iPhone 13 or the Nothing Phone 1. The difference is particularly noticeable on Google Meet, where the iPhone 13 is able to retain an almost perfect image whereas the Pixel 7 Pro is plagued by a soft, out-of-focus looking image. The iPhone 13 and other devices also easily win when it comes to the rear camera, with an equally pixelated and undynamic image quality from the Pixel 7 Pro.
From left to right: Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 7, iPhone 13, Nothing Phone 1 on Telegram video calls
The issues are particularly odd when we consider the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s phenomenal camera performance. When you compare the results you get during video calls with images and videos straight from the camera, you would think that they’re from two different phones on the very opposite ends of the price spectrum.
At least it looks like the quality issues only affect video calls. When you use an app like WhatsApp or Telegram to take pictures or videos rather than the camera app, you will still get more passable images than what you get during calls. Due to the way most of these apps are set up on Android, the quality won’t match what you would get straight from the camera app, but it’s not as mushy and pixelated as video calls. This also means that it’s likely possible to fix whatever problems the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have with video calls, as they are very possibly caused by software and not hardware.
We’ve reached out to Google for comment.