The Google Pixel 7 Pro is the Android Police smartphone of the year 2022


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 at a carrier store and you’ll probably sigh. Same old, same old, you mutter to yourself. And while Google’s latest flagship phone certainly holds few surprises, you’re frankly missing the bigger picture. Yes, the Pixel 7 Pro is a simple evolution over its predecessor, but by picking up where the Pixel 6 Pro left off, Google was able to develop a smartphone that’s better in almost every way.

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The refinements that are 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 merging 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 only a modest improvement in pure performance, tools like Photo Unblur and Recorder are really changing the way we use smartphones. Capturing a lecture or interview has never been easier, even when multiple speakers could interfere with automatic transcriptions. And seriously, Photo Unblur preserved images from ten years ago that I thought would forever be a blurry mess. It’s one of the most impressive tools I’ve ever used, and it’s exclusive to Google’s latest smartphones.

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And that’s not to say anything 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 it remains that way to this day. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra beats Google in sheer flexibility, nothing beats the Pixel 7 Pro when it comes to capturing incredible photos in an instant. Whether you’re shooting with the primary lens, the enhanced ultra-wide angle lens or the flexible 5x telephoto sensor, the images this thing produces are second to none.

Google has finally discovered the reliability issues as well. Unlike the Pixel 6 Pro, we’ve seen very few bugs crop up this year. Security patches and feature drops arrived on time and as expected, and Google took quick action on the odd issue. It’s a good sign after the company dropped the ball in 2021.

Simply put, the Pixel 7 Pro offered the most refined experience of any smartphone in 2022. In a year full of devices with minor changes to existing hardware, it was Google’s efforts that impressed us the most, which is why it’s our Phone of the Year award. Whether the company can do it again next year with the Pixel 8 – or possibly the Pixel Fold – remains to be seen. But if you want the best Android phone right now, it’s hard to beat Google’s offering.