We recently got a chance to play around with Google’s new Pixel 7 smartphone and now its larger Pixel 7 Pro as well. How does the Pixel 7 Pro compare to the latest iPhone 14 Pro Max?
Here’s a quick and incredibly basic rundown of using the Pixel 7 Pro and also the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Not an exhaustive review by any means (there’s a ton on the web already), but some quick thoughts on these devices.
The Pixel 7 Pro is the premium version of Google’s latest line of smartphones, offering a larger 6.7-inch QHD+ LTPO OLED display with 512 ppi and a 120Hz refresh rate. The glossy screen is beautiful with vibrant colors and sharp text. Compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, I actually like the Pixel 7 Pro’s display better, but there’s no True Tone support. Both screens are very bright, but the iPhone is brighter in sunlight on paper.
When it comes to holding each phone in your hand, the Pixel 7 Pro, like the smaller Pixel 7, is pretty slippery. The curved edges make it more slippery than the iPhone 14 Pro Max and its tried-and-true (dare I say: boring?) design for the past three years. But when it comes to colors, Deep Purple on the iPhone 14 Pro Max looks gorgeous compared to the ‘Snow’ color on the Pixel 7 Pro.
Design-wise, the Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t look offensive in any way, but the steel bar on the back that houses three cameras blends in seamlessly like a wide protrusion. This means that putting the phone on the table doesn’t make it crooked like the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s now-larger camera bump.
Chrome on the Pixel 7 Pro shows Apple.com, while Safari on the iPhone 14 Pro Max does the same (photo taken by the Pixel 7):
The Pixel 7 Pro and its Tensor G2 chip results in a quick-to-use phone that’s fast and smooth. The iPhone 14 Pro Max with its A16 Bionic also feels very fast (but not noticeable compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max).
The Pixel 7 Pro has in-display fingerprint unlock to unlock your phone, while it features Face Unlock which is similar to Face ID. Apple urgently needs a fingerprint unlock method for iPhone, because it is not always convenient to point your face at the phone.
This year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max saw one of its biggest updates via software, with Dynamic Island. It’s pretty cool to see that Dynamic Island shows various notifications and with Live activities debuting with iOS 16.1, it’s awesome for live sports scores.
Both the Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have always-on displays. For iPhone users, this is new and makes it very easy to find your iPhone in the dark.
Here’s the Pixel 7 Pro alongside its little brother, the Pixel 7. Both have the camera bar, but the Pixel 7 Pro has polished stainless steel and an extra camera:
You also get a larger 6.7-inch screen on the Pixel 7 Pro compared to a 6.3-inch screen on the Pixel 7:
The Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max each include three cameras on the back, while software helps improve photos. It’s hard to really tell if one camera is better than the other when asking non-pixel watchers which photos they like best.
Pixel 7 Pro at sunset in low light:
iPhone 14 Pro Max at sunset in low light:
There’s one area where the Pixel 7 Pro outperforms the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and that’s Google Assistant integration, which blows Siri out of the water. “Hey Google, read me the news” and you will start listening to audio news clips. Ask Siri the same phrase and it will only show some news headlines. “Read me Canadian news” works with Google Assistant, but Siri again only shows headlines.
Ask another variation like “tell me the latest news” doesn’t work. It only worked “I want to hear the latest news”. That’s Siri for you 11 years later, folks.
Google Assistant on Pixel 7 Pro with Tensor G2 can understand everything you say. Siri can’t and will sometimes play a random song from Apple Music because it’s still not cool. It’s incredibly infuriating and Apple needs to make major improvements. Siri’s weird decisions make me swear under my breath, it’s that frustrating.
Siri aside, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is still our phone of choice, because we’re so tied into the Apple ecosystem. But Google also offers many apps for heavy users of its apps on iPhone. The build of the iPhone 14 Pro Max still feels more like a premium device (it comes with a premium price tag and rights to your soul).
That said, the Pixel 7 Pro still looks good, has good cameras, plus a great display, and will be the first to get Android updates. Android 13 is pretty simple to navigate compared to iOS 16. We recommend this phone to someone looking for their first Android experience.
Pixel 7 Pro pricing starts at $1,179 for 128GB storagewhile a iPhone 14 Pro Max with 128GB costs $1,549, which is 31% more. Unfortunately, there are no 512GB or 1TB storage options in Canada for the Pixel 7 Pro (the US has 512GB options).