The last few Pixel phones were a big step up from almost everything we’ve seen from Google in the past. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in particular are pretty darn good inside and out. Not only do they pack powerful internals that rival the best phones on the market, but they also deliver a solid Android experience.
It’s also hard to ignore the heap of Pixel-exclusive features that add to the overall experience. I’m talking about the Pixel gems that I didn’t know I’d miss until I dropped the Pixel 7 for the OnePlus 11 and more recently the Galaxy S23. I’m not expecting to return to the Pixel 7 any time soon, but I do miss the little things – the features that either go unnoticed or we instantly forget about until they’re gone. Of all the subtle features the Pixel has, this is the one I miss the most.
Quick Tap: A handy shortcut
Knock Knock. Who’s there? It’s quick tap! This particular feature has been a part of Pixel phones for quite some time and it’s easily one of the coolest and one of my most used.
Quick Tap is a shortcut that lets you choose one of the many possible actions that can be performed when you double-tap the back of your Pixel phone. I set it to take a screenshot on my Pixel 7, but you can use it to launch Google Assistant, play/pause media, open a specific application on your phone, and more. You can also adjust the strength of your taps if you’re worried about accidentally triggering the action.
I’ve been using this particular feature for a long time and in my experience it works as advertised every time. I find it much easier to take screenshots like this instead of pressing the volume up and power button together which are on the same side.
Smart Select: Select text and images from the recent apps screen
I didn’t know I needed this feature until I used it for the first time. Smart Selection automatically highlights text and images on the recent apps screen and lets me interact with them, allowing me to get links, text and even images from another application right from the app switcher screen. So if I’m making a note in Google Keep and want to add a link to a website I’ve previously visited in Chrome, I can just select the recent apps summary screen and tap the “Copy Link” button or long press on an image or text to capture it without switching apps.
This particular feature has been around for a while and I miss it on my Galaxy S23. It should also work on non-Pixel phones, but I don’t think I’ve seen it on any other device.
Recorder app: live transcription whenever you need it
Google’s magical voice recorder application has received a lot of praise and remains one of my favorite apps on the Pixel 7. The transcription function in particular always surprises me. The app can not only transcribe a pre-recorded voice memo, but also a live transcription while you record a voice.
The transcription function in particular works very well in all apps that i can use. I use it all the time to dictate emails and replies to text messages, and I miss being able to rely on the Pixel 7’s excellent voice dictation to do some of those tasks. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 doesn’t even come with a pre-installed voice recorder application, let alone the transcription feature.
Photo Unblur: One of the Best Pixel Features Ever?
In my opinion, Google’s Photo Unblur is one of the best features to ever grace a Pixel device. It’s performed amazingly well on the Pixel 7, and I use it more often than I’d like to admit to fix blurry pictures I take on my phone.
Unlike the Face Unblur feature introduced with the Pixel 6 series, Photo Unblur can enhance the entire image, not just faces. I tend to fill up my gallery with blurry pictures of my dog on a daily basis and this feature helps me fix a lot of those shots. You can also import photos taken on other phones to your Pixel 7 to edit the images, but I’d rather use the same phone to avoid the import process.
You won’t know what you have until it’s gone
I can think of many other Pixel-exclusive features that I miss on other Android phones. I’m sure I’m missing more from this list right now, but it shows how many hidden gems the Pixel phones have that come together to improve your overall user experience.
You might not appreciate many of these features on a day-to-day basis, but there are times when you wish you had a Pixel phone to take care of something the world’s iPhones and Galaxies can’t help you with .
Does that sound appealing to you? If you’re looking to buy a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro for yourself, be sure to check out our collection of the best Pixel 7 deals or click on the links below to find the best prices online.