For a change, reviewers are finally happy with a Pixel device on launch. The recently released Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro seem to be very well-rounded phones, with the excellent cameras being the cherry on top. Although not everyone will be happy with the new Pixel phones, and that segment would mainly consist of performance enthusiasts and committed gamers.
And why is that? Well, for the most part, the Tensor G2 SoC isn’t that big of an upgrade over the preceding Tensor G1. The new chip has the same Arm Cortex X1 performance cores and four smaller Arm A55 cores, also seen in the G1 chip. The only upgrade seems to be the two new A78 cores, being slightly better than the older A76 cores. All in all, you can except performance to be in the ballpark of a Snapdragon 870 SoC, which is still a far cry from the current bleeding edge.
For the GPU front, the Tenson G2 does bring in an upgrade, featuring the new Arm Mali G710. On the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip, the Mali G710 really shines, competing head-on with the Adreno 730 seen on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. But as real-world gaming benchmarks show, the new Pixel 7 series really falls behind. For some context, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip is as much as 59% faster than the Tensor G2 in 3DMark Wild Life.
Numbers don't lie and the Tensor G2 is just not powerful or efficient at all. Google should feel ashamed for releasing an Exynos2100 remake in late 2022!
Pixel 7 Pro Genshin Impact Gaming FPS Test https://t.co/dRZwIhBB1C via @YouTube #Pixel7Pro #GenshinImpact pic.twitter.com/jNuedSf0Yb
— Golden Reviewer (@Golden_Reviewer) October 14, 2022
It’s also interesting to see the Dimensity 9000 Plus produce GPU scores that are ~36% higher than the Pixel 7’s chipset. We don’t know the clock speeds, but with 10 shader cores to the Tensor G2’s seven, Mali-G710 performance doesn’t seem to quite scale linearly with core count.
– Android Authority, Tensor G2 Benchmark
As YouTuber, Golden Reviewer’s Genshin Impact benchmarks highlight, the Pixel 7 Pro even falls behind phones with the older Snapdragon 888 SoC. The Pixel 7 Pro is only able to deliver an average of 37.2 fps in the highest graphics settings. As for the efficiency figures, they also don’t seem very impressive, especially with the context of overall performance.
But again, gaming is only one aspect, and as initial reviews show, the phone performs admirably in day-to-day tasks. Even the cameras are great, going head-to-head against flagships like the S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro, and even beating them in some scenarios. For most people, the Pixel 7 series is going to be an easy choice, but hardcore gamers clearly need to look somewhere else.