The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro officially launched on October 13, so you might be wondering how to get the most out of your shiny new Google flagship. The truth is that there are a lot of new features to try out this year, but some need to be activated or found first.
We’ve rounded up all the best you need to know about. And if you’re using a Pixel 6, some of these features may be coming to your phone as well. Without further ado, here are 11 features you can enable and disable on the Pixel 7.
Features to enable
Direct my call
Direct My Call isn’t a new feature for the Pixel 7, but the improvement is. This feature will transcribe the options from an automated voice message menu so you don’t have to remember them. Now the new version will bring them up before the voice even speaks them – for some 1-800 numbers, with more being added.
But you have to turn it on first. To open Telephone app, then tap the overflow menu at the top right (the three dots), then tap Settings. Under Helping section, go to Direct my call. Turn both on Direct my call and Faster menu options.
The image is de-blurred
Photo Unblur is a new feature this year for the Pixel 7. It’s a self-explanatory addition that lets you clean up some less fortunate photos. It even works on older photos in your Google Photos library.
However, accessing it can be a little weird. First, open the blurred image. Select Edit button along the bottom line, then slide over to Tool option. You get three choices, one of which is Remove blur. Do that and the Pixel 7 will clean up the image to the best of its ability.
You might think the Pixel 7 is the first Pixel with a face unlock system, but you might have forgotten about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. No one would blame you. Those phones used a very Face ID-like system for biometric authentication, while the Pixel 7’s face unlock is only for the lock screen.
You’ll probably be prompted to enable it during initial setup, but if you skipped it, you can easily re-enable it. Set the course towards Settings > Safety > Unlock face and fingerprint. Enter your PIN, then tap Face lock.
Active Stabilization is Google’s answer to Apple’s Action mode. It’s effective video stabilization on steroids, so you can get much smoother videos while you or your subject is in motion. It’s quite interesting.
To use this feature, open Camera app, then swipe over to Video. Press the little one shaking hand icon to the right of the video mode selector. Select in the menu that appears Active.
Assistant continued conversation
Did you know that when you ask Google Assistant, you don’t have to keep saying “Hey Google” every time to continue your queries? This isn’t a Pixel 7 exclusive, but it’s a nice feature to enable. Note: you will still need the activation phrase if you start a new query after a break.
To do so, go to Settings > Apps > Assistantand then press the switch for Continued call.
Tired of your phone screen burning your eyes at night? Pixel 7 can be extra weak for you if you want. It’s a simple feature, but one perfect for people with eyes that are sensitive to light (including me).
To turn this on, go to Settings > availability. Under Show section, you can either press Extra cushioned toggle right here, or select the option to see more about it and customize it.
Detection of car accidents
Google was quick to point out in its presentation that Pixels have had car accident detection for a few years now, clearly a jab at Apple who just introduced the feature with the iPhone 14.
With this on, the Pixel 7 can detect if you’ve been in a car accident and call emergency services and your emergency contacts. It’s a cool feature we hope you never have to use.
To turn it on, go to Settings > Safety and emergency > Detection of car accidents. If you haven’t signed in to Personal Security yet, you will be prompted to do so.
Save images in locked folder
Android 13 introduced locked folders to Google Photos, so you can store sensitive photos safely away from prying eyes. And guess what? The Pixel 7 can save photos directly to it without you having to do it manually.
All you have to do is open Camera app and look for gray button next to release button. Hold it down to bring up a menu with where you want to save the image. Chosen Locked folder. Remember that you must set up a locked folder first.
If you have Top Shot enabled in the Camera app, you have the option to use Frequent Faces. This feature prioritizes the people you photograph the most. What is the point? Google says it helps prioritize skin tone and recommend the best photos that Top Shot takes more accurately. Frequent Faces data is stored locally.
To enable it, go to Camera > Settings > Frequent faces.
Features to disable
QHD+ on the Pixel 7 Pro
The Pixel 7 Pro has a QHD+ display, but you can set it to FHD+ if you want to save some battery. (Pixel 7 only as an FHD+ mode.) This may already be done for you when you set up your phone, but in case it hasn’t, here’s how to toggle between the two resolutions.
Open Settingsthen go to Show. Scroll down to Screen resolution and press it. Select High resolution.
Google has its own version of Live Photos called Top Shot. The Pixel will take a very short video that captures more of the moment around pressing the shutter button. Sometimes it’s neat, especially when the phone suggests the best frame to use as the final shot. But it can get annoying. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn off.
From the main applicant i Camera app, tap the drop-down menu in the top left corner. The other option is for Top shot: Off, Auto and On. Set it to your preference.
Pixel 7 outlook
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have some really neat tricks up their sleeves. Photo Unblur itself is pretty amazing, as is Active Stabilization, the new Direct My Call and the promise of the upcoming Clear Call. But there are other features that aren’t exclusive to the Pixel 7 that you should also look into.
Google got a lot right with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, although battery life remains disappointing. Still, these are great devices with spectacular cameras. We certainly think they are some of the best Android phones yet.
Be sure to check out our Pixel 7 review and Pixel 7 Pro review if you want to learn all about these phones.