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Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Which camera flagship is better?

One has an overkill spec sheet, the other focuses strongly on experience. Which is the better approach?
By

Published onMay 21, 2023

Google Pixel 7 Pro snow white and hazel colors

Sony’s latest flagship, the Xperia 1 V, has a unique camera setup among the current crop of Android flagships. Even with its overkill specs, it trusts the user completely to do the right thing. This approach is in stark contrast to Google’s on its Pixel 7 Pro. The Pixel 7 Pro is widely regarded as one of the best camera smartphones around, but it doesn’t even have a manual mode. How strongly do these smartphones from opposing philosophies stand against each other? Let’s find out in this Xperia 1 V vs Pixel 7 Pro comparison!

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: At a glance

Here's a quick look at the main differences between the two phones:

  • The Xperia 1 V is significantly lighter than the Pixel 7 Pro.
  • The Xperia 1 V has a higher resolution display than the Pixel 7 Pro.
  • The Xperia 1 V has expandable storage, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a dedicated two-step shutter button, which the Pixel 7 Pro does not have.
  • The Xperia 1 V has faster wired charging but slower wireless charging than the Pixel 7 Pro.
  • The Pixel 7 Pro has better software support than the Xperia 1 V.

Keep reading to know in-depth how the phones differ from each other.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Specs

Sony Xperia 1 VGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
Display
Sony Xperia 1 V
6.5-inch OLED
Flat display
4K resolution
21:9 aspect ratio
120Hz refresh rate
Not LTPO, lowers to 60Hz only
Google Pixel 7 Pro
6.7-inch AMOLED
Curved display
QHD+ resolution (3,120 x 1,440)
19.5:9 aspect ratio
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
LTPO
Processor
Sony Xperia 1 V
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Tensor G2
RAM
Sony Xperia 1 V
12GB
Google Pixel 7 Pro
12GB
Storage
Sony Xperia 1 V
256GB
MicroSD card support up to 1TB
Google Pixel 7 Pro
128GB, 256GB, or 512GB
No microSD card support
Power
Sony Xperia 1 V
5,000mAh battery
30W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger or cable in box
Google Pixel 7 Pro
5,000mAh battery
23W wired charging
23W wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Sony Xperia 1 V
Rear:
- 52MP primary, but effectively 48MP
1/1.35-inch sensor
OIS

- 12MP ultrawide
1/2.5-inch sensor

- 12MP 3.5x-5.2x telephoto
1/3.5-inch sensor

- Dedicated two-step shutter button

Front:
- 12MP wide
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Rear:
- 50MP primary
1/1.3-inch sensor
OIS

- 12MP ultrawide
1/2.9-inch sensor

- 48MP 4.8x telephoto
1/2.55-inch sensor

Front:
- 10.8MP wide
Software
Sony Xperia 1 V
Android 13
2 Android updates
3 years of security updates
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Pixel UI based on Android 13
3 Android updates
5 years of security updates
Audio
Sony Xperia 1 V
3.5mm headphone jack
Front-facing stereo speakers
Google Pixel 7 Pro
No headphone jack
Stereo speakers
IP rating
Sony Xperia 1 V
IP65/68 certified
Google Pixel 7 Pro
IP68 certified
Dimensions
Sony Xperia 1 V
165 x 71 x 8.3mm
Google Pixel 7 Pro
162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm
Weight
Sony Xperia 1 V
187g
Google Pixel 7 Pro
212g
Materials
Sony Xperia 1 V
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 front and back
Aluminum frame
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Gorilla Glass Victus front and back
Aluminum frame

Both the Sony Xperia 1 V and the Google Pixel 7 Pro are top-tier camera flagships. But these phones are more than just their cameras. They have great specifications that round up the whole package for people who can afford the price tag. While the Xperia 1 V packs in a lot of overkill specifications, the Pixel 7 Pro offers a competitive and practical package without venturing too far into the overkill territory.

Sony Xperia 1 V front black magenta background plain

Starting from the front, the Xperia 1 V retains the signature Xperia look with a flat display that has decent bezels on the top and bottom. It looks fairly outdated, but it is highly functional. The Pixel 7 Pro has a display that curves slightly on the edges and has thin bezels for that uber-premium look.

Google Pixel 7 Pro showing a bright homescreen wallpaper on an orange background

Even though the Xperia 1 V looks dated from the front, it sports the highest resolution 4K smartphone display. Sadly, it’s not an LTPO display, so the refresh rate can be switched only between 60Hz and 120Hz.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s display, on the other hand, has a lower QHD+ resolution, but it is LTPO and so has a better refresh rate range of 10Hz – 120Hz.

google pixel 7 pro app drawer 1

The Sony Xperia 1 V is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is the best SoC you can get right now for an Android flagship. It offers excellent performance and incredible efficiency, much better than its predecessors.

The Xperia 1 V has the better chipset.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is powered by the Google Tensor G2. This is a powerful flagship SoC, but its advantages are in AI processing. It doesn’t do too well for gaming or sustained performance loads.

Sony Xperia 1 V SIM SD card tray

Both phones come with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, though the Pixel 7 Pro also comes in 128GB and 512GB variants. If you want more storage, you will need to side with Sony, as the Xperia 1 V offers microSD card expandability of up to 1TB, which is rare these days.

Enthusiasts will also appreciate the front-facing stereo speakers and amplifier setup on the Xperia 1 V. The Pixel 7 Pro also has stereo speakers, but one is on the bottom edge of the midframe, and the other is in the earpiece.

Sony Xperia 1 V headphones plugged in

The software experience on both phones is fairly similar but with some subtle differences. The Xperia 1 V comes with Android 13 out of the box with Xperia UI on top. Sony’s UX skin maintains the look and features of stock Android but adds a couple of apps and features on top.

The Pixel 7 Pro also comes with Android 13 out of the box but with Pixel UI on top. There are more Pixel-specific features here, and a lot of them are tuned to provide a smarter and more delightful experience to the end user.

The Pixel 7 Pro will get quicker updates for longer than the Xperia 1 V.

The Pixel also gets Android updates on the first day of its release, and Google is also promising more updates and a longer security update window for the Pixel 7 Pro than what Sony is promising for the Xperia 1 V.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Size comparison

Sony Xperia 1 V in hand brick background

The size difference between the two phones is very noticeable. The Xperia 1 V measures 165 x 71 x 8.3mm, while the Pixel 7 Pro measures 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm. The Xperia 1 V is a tall phone with a 21:9 display aspect ratio, while the Pixel 7 Pro is wider and feels chunkier in comparison. Both phones are big phones, though, and neither can be classified as a one-handed phone.

Google Pixel 7 Pro in hand showing a bright homescreen with green bushes in the background

The Xperia 1 V weighs a surprising 187g, which is fairly low for its footprint. The Pixel 7 Pro weighs 212g, which isn’t too bad and gives it a solid feel in the hand.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Design and build

Sony Xperia 1 V in hand outside metal background
Xperia 1 V

The Sony Xperia 1 V is unmistakably an Xperia phone, carrying forward the same design language as several of its predecessors. The phone has a lot of flat edges and no sharp corners.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is also unmistakably a Pixel phone, with a unique camera visor that has become a part of the Pixel identity. The phone is also curvier from the front and back with a relatively thinner mid-frame, which gives it a svelte appearance.

Google Pixel 7 Pro snow white and hazel colors

Both Sony and Google have adopted the glass sandwich design, but Sony uses Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back, while Google sticks with the previous generation Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back. The midframe is aluminum on both phones. The Pixel 7 Pro also has a metallic camera visor that stretches all the way across the back, while the Xperia 1 V’s camera island stays long on the side.

In terms of hand feel, the Xperia 1 V is a grippy smartphone. The flat midframe has ridges, and the flat back has a bumpy texture on the glass. In contrast, the Pixel 7 Pro is smooth and slipper, and we recommend you pick up a good Pixel 7 Pro case to protect your phone in case you accidentally drop it.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Camera

Google Pixel 7 Pro hazel focus on the camera bump

The biggest difference between the Xperia 1 V and the Pixel 7 Pro comes in the way they approach cameras. Both phones pack in incredible hardware but differ in their philosophy. Sony trusts its enthusiast users with a lot of manual control, while Google wants its users to leave all the worrying to the phone and just point-and-shoot every photo.

The primary camera on the Sony Xperia 1 V is a 52MP CMOS sensor that crops into a usable 48MP, further binning down to 12MP. The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a 50MP sensor that bins down to 12.5MP.

Both cameras produce excellent photos, but Google’s algorithmic shooting is preferred by the average user over Sony’s manual control. Enthusiasts do prefer the flexibility on Sony, as Google doesn’t even provide a manual mode on its camera, nor is there any option to shoot in full resolution on the phone!

Google Pixel 7 Pro primary camera samples

The ultrawide camera performs similarly on both phones, with just a bit of difference in sensor size.

Google Pixel 7 Pro ultrawide camera samples

The telephoto is where things get a little interesting. Sony adopts two zoom levels on the telephoto, 3.5x and 5.2x, whereas Google uses a single 48MP camera for a 4.8x telephoto, relying on software magic for other zoom levels under and beyond.

Google Pixel 7 Pro zoom camera samples

The front camera on the Xperia 1 V is a 12MP shooter, while that on the Pixel 7 Pro is a 10.8MP shooter. Both rely on software magic for portrait-mode photos.

Google Pixel 7 Pro front camera samples

Sony’s trick with the Xperia 1 V is offering three Pro camera apps (one for photo, two for video) with a whole bunch of parameters that you can play around with. Samsung also offers manual photography and videography modes that are fairly hands-on but do not match the level of control that Sony offers. Sony goes one step further with a dedicated two-stage shutter button that photography enthusiasts will appreciate.

Sony Xperia 1 V cineamtograph pro app

On the flip side, Google keeps it extremely simple to the point that the user cannot mess it up. There is no manual photography to do here, and the Pixel’s trump card is the sheer software magic it provides. Point your camera and click a button, and let the Pixel 7 Pro do the rest.

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera app viewfinder edited

Overall, the Pixel 7 Pro should be the choice for average users who want a burdenless camera experience, while the Xperia 1 V should be preferred by enthusiasts who have the skills to appreciate fine manual control.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Battery and charging

Google Pixel 7 Pro lockscreen charging rapidly and fingerprint sensor

Both devices are fairly similar in their battery and charging situation. Both come with a 5,000mAh battery that should last through the day without issues. We’ve got about one to one and half days of overall battery life on the Pixel 7 Pro, and we expect the Xperia 1 V to come close to this figure as well. We’ll update this comparison once we have the final figures from the Sony phone.

When it comes to wired charging, the Xperia 1 V has a small lead. It offers 30W of wired charging, compared to the 23W of wired charging on the Pixel 7 Pro. The latter takes about 90-100 minutes to completely charge its battery, but the Xperia 1 V will definitely be quicker than this.

The Xperia 1 V has 15W wireless charging, which is slower than Pixel 7 Pro’s 23W wireless charging. But the fine print for the Pixel is that the max speed is reserved for the Pixel Stand only. You drop down to 12W when used with regular Qi wireless chargers.

While neither phone comes with a charger in the box, Sony does not even include a cable in the box. So you’ll need to pick up a recommended fast charger for either phone.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Price

  • Sony Xperia 1 V (12GB/256GB): $1,399
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/128GB): $899
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/256GB): $999
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro (12GB/512GB): $1,099

The Sony Xperia 1 V is available for pre-order in the US for $1,399 for the singular 12GB/256GB version. The phone will go on sale in July 2023. If you pre-order the phone, you get a $50 gift card and free LinkBuds.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a significantly lower starting price of $899 for the 12GB/128GB version, while the comparable 12GB/256GB version is a good $400 cheaper than the Sony. Google also regularly discounts the phone by $100, and if you’re lucky, you can spot even better deals from time to time. That significantly increases the price difference between the two phones.

Xperia 1 V's pricing makes the Pixel 7 Pro look cheap in comparison!
See price at Amazon
Google Pixel 7 Pro
49%off
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Google camera
High-quality display
Big battery
See price at Amazon
Sony Xperia 1 V
1%off
Sony Xperia 1 V
Excellent battery life
Great build
Improved cameras

The Xperia 1 V is an expensive flagship, and the Pixel 8 Pro’s significantly lower price almost makes it look cheap in comparison, even though it is still firmly in flagship territory.

Sony Xperia 1 V vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Which camera flagship should you buy?

The Sony Xperia 1 V and the Google Pixel 7 Pro are flagships from their respective companies, but they are worlds apart from each other in their philosophy, approach, and even value. As a result, both phones have their distinct audiences with very little overlap.

Sony Xperia 1 V rear cameras closeup rgb lighting background

The Sony Xperia 1 V makes the most sense for photography enthusiasts and creators, as the company offers unparalleled control over all the hardware that is in your hand. The phone also makes a lot of sense for media enthusiasts, as that 4K display offers the highest pixel density on a current-gen smartphone. The presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, front-facing stereo speakers, and expandable storage are also appreciated by both of these segments. If you are a gamer, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is also a gem of a chip, and you’ll enjoy gaming on the Xperia 1 V as it also includes features like bypass charging.

Google Pixel 7 Pro in white and Pixel Buds Pro and white sunglasses on an orange background, with Android stickers next to them
Pixel 7 Pro

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is a phone for the masses, for it’s a phone that “just works.” The camera experience is burdenless, and the software experience is also one of the smartest around. The phone also gets updates on day one from Google, and the software update promise is also one of the highest among Android phones. The lower price tag also makes the Pixel 7 Pro much more palatable to value-chasers as it is a great phone for its price.

Would you buy the Sony Xperia 1 V or the Google Pixel 7 Pro?

553 votes

You should buy the Sony Xperia 1 V if:

  • You want a phone with manual camera controls coupled with excellent camera hardware and a physical camera shutter button.
  • You want a flagship that is still lightweight without compromising on any features.
  • You want a current generation flagship with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.
  • You want a phone for gaming and want features like bypass charging to aid with it.

You should buy the Google Pixel 7 Pro if:

  • You want the best-in-class point-and-shoot camera experience.
  • You want a phone with smart software that gets better over time and receives day-one updates.
  • You want a relatively cheaper phone with a stronger value proposition and don’t want to spend on overkill features.