In the last few years, after the launch of the Pixel 3 in 2018, Google gave India a miss for its top Pixel phones. Suddenly and surprisingly, it changed this year. A few months ago, the company launched the Google Pixel 6A, a mainstream Pixel phone. Now, it has brought the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro to India, and has not just brought them here but has brought them at the same time as it is launching them in the US, and at prices that are consumer-friendly. At their respective price points, the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro are the best phones one can buy in India. Or in other words, for Android fans — and particularly fans who were yearning for top Pixels in India — Diwali has come a couple of weeks early.

The Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro are now on sale in India. The MRP of the two phones is: Pixel 7 at Rs 59,999 and Pixel 7 Pro at Rs 84,999. But there are bank offers available and they reduce the prices that most consumers will pay by some Rs 7000. And if you are exchanging an old phone, there is an additional discount.

Even at their MRPs, as this review of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro finds, these are the phones worth their asking prices. Although they do not outright beat the iPhone 14, in areas like camera performance they do. And of course, they cost less than what Apple charges for the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro.

One sad part of the Android world right now is that most of the phones in it look the same. There is some trend — square camera module, round, this flair or that — and everyone quickly ends up adopting the same design language. Google with its Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro is offering something different. The two Pixel phones in India — along with Pixel 6a, of course — are the most distinct looking phones due to the horizontal bar that runs across the rear cover. Unlike the similar raised strip in the previous Pixel phones, or in the Pixel 6a, the strip in Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro is made of metal and it is part of the phone’s frame. The whole metal part is one-piece unit. Also, the finishing of the metal is different from the rest of the phone. On the Pixel 7 Pro it is shiny, like that of steel, whereas the metal frame of the Pixel 7 uses brushed aluminium in matte finish. The overall design effect is rather bold. I like it, and I believe most users will.

In terms of usability, the aluminium frame on the Pixel 7 offers better grip. The shiny Pixel 7 Pro is, in contrast, extremely slippery. Although, both phones are likely to be used by consumers with a case, so I believe this is not an issue.

I find the metal and glass design of the Pixel 7 Pro and the Pixel 7 impeccable. It is built and finished so well that I find it to be the best built Android phone on the market right now. Although, overall, Apple’s extremely pricey iPhone 14 Pro is a notch above in the kind of build materials it uses and the way it feels in hand.

The Pixel 7 phones come with an IP68 rating, so they are good enough for use in occasional rain or near a pool. Snow (white), Obsidian (black) are the two common colours. In addition, the Pixel 7 comes in Lemongrass (pale green yellow), whereas the Pixel 7 Pro is offered in Hazel (sort of grey). This review features Pixel 7 Pro in Snow and Pixel 7 in Lemongrass.

There is a clear indication that Google has put in some effort in getting the design and finishing of the Pixel 7 phones right. It is also visible on the front. Both phones come with a punch-hole front camera, and thin bezels. Google has even tried to get rid of the chin on bottom bezel and while the company doesn’t achieve the same symmetry that the recent iPhones and the Nothing phone do, the difference between the top and bottom bezels is extremely small.

I find that the Pixel 7 is more “handy” with its smaller size due to its 6.3-inch screen. But even the Pixel 7 Pro is fine enough. Its weight and dimensions are relatively pleasant in the world of large and heavy phones. Compared to phones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max — it tips scales at a hefty 240 grams — the Pixel 7 Pro is regular, normal and doesn’t make a user’s thumbs and fingers go through a gym routine.


India today