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Google Play Store evolved from Android market in 2012 and is now home to over two million apps, movies and books. Today, you can purchase apps and other digital content from the Google Play using a wide variety of methods. Google keeps adding a new payment method every once a while to make sure that apps and other content are made accessible to everyone. However, it can be little confusing to figure out what payment methods are available in your country. So, I decided to scoop through the Google help pages and list all the accepted payment methods on the Play Store:

Check If Paid Apps Are Available in Your Country

First, the rudimentary step is to make sure that the ability to buy apps is available in your country. I have put together a list of countries where you can officially buy apps from the Play Store. The current list includes more than 134 countries, so it’s highly possible that paid apps are available in your country.

Note: Google keeps adding support for new countries. In the rare case, your country is not listed, you may want to check back again later. I’ll try my best to keep this list updated.

Countries Where Paid Apps are Available

Albania

Algeria

Angola

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Armenia

Aruba

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bahamas

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Botswana

Brazil

Bulgaria

Burkina

Cambodia

Cameroon

Canada

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cote d’ Ivore

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Estonia

Fiji

Finland

France

Gabon

Germany

Ghana

Greece

Guatemala

Guinea-Bissau

Haiti

Honduras

Hong Kong

Hungary

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Malaysia

Mali

Malta

Mauritius

Mexico

Moldova

Morocco

Mozambique

Namibia

Nepal

Netherlands

Netherlands Antilles

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Qatar

Romania

Russia

Rwanda

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Uganda

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

Venezuela

Vietnam

Yemen

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Now that you’ve verified that your country is supported, we shall proceed to learn all the accepted payment methods on the Play Store in your country. But before that, an important question must be answered.

How to Add a Payment Method?

 Open the Play Store on your Android device. In the app, tap on the hamburger menu.

In the drawer that opens up, tap on “Account“.

Here, you can see all the payment methods you can add.

Google Play Payment Methods:

Now that we’ve learnt the basics of adding a payment method, let’s see what are the accepted payment methods on the Play Store:

1. Credit and Debit Cards

The Play Store supports the following types of credit/debit cards:

American Express

MasterCard

Visa

Discover (US only)

JCB (Japan and US only)

Visa Electron (Outside the US only)

Note:

Brazil: Play Store doesn’t support any type of debit card, Elo credit cards are supported, though.

India: Most of the Indian debit cards rely on 3D secure/verified by Visa which is unsupported on international merchants, including Play Store. Only a few Indian debit cards from banks like Axis bank, ICICI bank etc. work on the Play Store.

2. Direct Carrier Billing

CountryCarriers

AustraliaOptus, Telstra

AustriaDrei, A1, T-Mobile

BelgiumProximus, BASE Company, Mobistar

BulgariaTelenor

CanadaRogers/Fido, Bell Canada, Telus

Czech RepublicO2, T-Mobile

Denmark3, H3G

EstoniaTele2

GermanyE-Plus, Deutsche Telekom, o2, Vodafone

FinlandDNA

FranceBouygues, Free, Orange, SFR

Hong Kong3, Smartone

HungaryTelenor, Magyar Telecom

IndiaIdea, Airtel and Vodafone rolling out as of 1st Jan 2023.

IndonesiaIndosat, Telkomsel, XL/AXIS

IrelandThree, Vodafone

ItalyTIM, Wind Italy, H3G, Vodafone

JapanDocomo, KDDI, Softbank

KoreaKT, SKT, LGU+

KuwaitOoredoo, Viva, Zain

LithuaniaBite, Tele2

MalaysiaCelcom, Digi, Maxis

MexicoNextel, lusacell

NetherlandsKPN, T-Mobile

New Zealand2degrees

NorwayTelenor

PhilippinesGlobe Telecom, Smart Communications, Sun

PolandOrange, Play, Polkomtel / Plus, TMI

RomaniaOrange Romania

RussiaBeeline, Megafon, MTS, Tele2

QatarOoredoo

Saudi ArabiaMobily, STC, Zain

SingaporeM1, SingTel, StarHub

SlovakiaPPF, Slovak Telekom

SpainMovistar, Orange

South AfricaTelkom

Sweden3, Tele2, Telenor SE

SwitzerlandSunrise, Swisscom

Taiwan遠傳電信 Far EasTone Telecom

台灣大哥大 Taiwan Mobile Telecom

亞太電信 Asia Pacific Telecom

台灣之星 T Star

中華電信_Chunghwa Telecom

ThailandAIS, DTAC

TurkeyTurk Telekom, Turkcell

United Arab Emiratesdu, Etisalat

United KingdomThree, EE, O2, Vodafone

United StatesAT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon

VietnamViettel

3. Gift Cards

Play Store gift cards date way back to late 2012, but the country support was very limited back then. Gift cards are available in about 30 countries as of now. Type in your country name to see if gift cards are available in your country.

CountryDenominations

Australia$20, $30, $50

Austria15 €, 25 €, 50 €, 15 € to 500 €

Belgium15 €, 25 €, 50 €, 15 € to 500 €

BrazilR$15, R$30, R$50, R$100

Canada$15, $25, $50, $15 to $500

Denmark150 kr, 250 kr, 500 kr

Finland15 €, 25 €, 50 €

France15 €, 25 €, 50 €, 15 € to 250 €

Germany15 €, 25 €, 50 €, 15 € to 500 €

Greece15 €, 25 €, 50 €

Hong KongHK$200, HK$500, HK$1000

India500 INR, 750 INR, 1000 INR, 1500 INR

Indonesia50,000 IDR, 100,000 IDR, 150,000 IDR, 300,000 IDR, 500,000 IDR 

Ireland15 €, 25 €, 50 €

Italy15 €, 25 €, 50 €

Japan

¥1500, ¥3000, ¥5000, ¥10000, ¥15000, ¥20000, ¥1500 to ¥50000

Mexico$200, $300, $600

Netherlands15 €, 25 €, 50 €

New Zealand$20, $30, $50

Norway150 kr, 250 kr, 500 kr

Poland50 zł, 75 zł, 150 zł

Portugal15 €, 25 €, 50 €

SingaporeS$ 30, S$ 50, S$ 100, S$ 150, S$ 200

South AfricaR 150, R 250, R 450, R 150 to R5000

South Korea₩5,000, ₩10,000, ₩15,000, ₩30,000, ₩50,000, ₩100,000, ₩150,000, ₩15,000 to ₩500,000, ₩15,000 to ₩500,000 

Spain15 €, 25 €, 50 €

Sweden150 kr, 250 kr, 500 kr

Switzerland30 CHF, 50 CHF, 100 CHF, 30 CHF to 1000 CHF

TurkeyTRY 25, TRY 50, TRY 100

United Kingdom£10, £25, £50, £10 to £500

United States*$10, $15, $25, $50, $10 to $500

These gift cards are available in various denominations and you can buy them directly from various retail partners. See the supported retail partners in your country here.

To redeem a gift card, open Play Store on your device. Next, tap on hamburger menu icon.

Enter the code from your gift card here.

You can also redeem your gift card from the web interface. To redeem using the web interface:

You should enter the code from your gift card in this pop-up window.

4. Google Wallet Balance

Google Wallet is Google’s mobile payment system which allows you to store the digital version of your credit or debit cards securely on your phone. Wallet eliminates the need to store plastic version of your debit or credit cards. Since the Google Wallet service is available only in the US and the UK, buying apps from the Play Store is also limited to these countries. Eventually, as Wallet launches in more countries, we may be able to buy from the Play Store using it.

5. PayPal

Paypal Support

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Canda

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Ireland

Italy

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Portugal

Russia

Singapore

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United States

United Kingdowm

Unsupported Payment Methods

Google Play doesn’t support payment through the old school wire transfer/bank transfer or the Western Union. Also, using Virtual Credit Card (VCC) is not officially supported, although it may or may not work. I used to purchase content on the Play Store using Entropay, but users have reported that using VCC may result in the transaction method being declined. Using VCC a couple of years ago made sense, but Google offers a lot of alternate payment methods now.

SEE ALSO: 15 Google Play Tips and Tricks To Make The Most Out Of It

Which Google Play Store Payment Method do You Prefer?

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Fix: Google Play Store Keeps Crashing On Android

On Android devices, Google Play Store is one system app that often malfunctions. This guide will walk you through 10 possible solutions that’ll prevent Google Play Store from crashing whenever you open the app.

Note that the steps for these troubleshooting solutions may vary based on the Android version installed on your device.

Table of Contents

1. Close Used Apps

The more applications you open on your smartphone, the less Random Access Memory (RAM) is available for other applications to run effectively without issues. If Google Play Store keeps crashing on your Android device, close apps you aren’t using to free up memory for Google Play Store to run smoothly.

2. Free Up Storage Space

Play Store may fail to install applications or download app updates if your device is low on storage space. Even worse, Play Store and other applications may crash occasionally during usage. Check the Files app (or any file management app) and ensure you have sufficient storage space–at least 1GB.

If your device runs the stock Android OS, there’s a storage management tool in the Settings app that helps to free up space by removing junk files, blurry photos, unused apps, duplicates, and large files.

Alternatively, open the Google Files app, head to the “Clean” tab, and follow the recommendations on the page.

If your device doesn’t have the Files app or a storage management option in the Settings menu, install a storage cleaning app from third-party APK download websites to free up space.

3. Force Quit Play Store

The Force Stop tool terminates an application and other related processes running in the background. It’s one of the easiest ways to correct a malfunctioning app on Android devices.

Long-press the Play Store icon on the Home screen or app launcher and tap the info icon.

Select Force Stop and tap OK on the confirmation prompt.

Tap Open to relaunch Play Store.

If Play Store keeps crashing after force quitting the app, clearing its cache should stabilize its performance.

4. Clear Google Play Store Cache

Google Play Store creates cache files (otherwise known as Temporary files) when you install applications or app updates and perform other actions on the app. 

Overacummulation of these temporary files can sometimes disrupt the app’s performance. Besides eating up your device’s storage space, these temporary files can cause the Play Store to crash and exhibit other performance-related issues. 

Relaunch the Play Store and check if it no longer crashes. If the problem persists, delete Google Play Store’s data (see the next section) and try again.

5. Clear Google Play Store Data

Deleting Google Play Store’s data will reset the app’s preferences (auto-download configurations, security & authentication settings, etc.) to default. On the bright side, the operation can eliminate data corruption and other Google Play Store issues.

6. Clear Google Play Services Cache

Google Play Services is a background application that keeps other Google apps updated and running on your device. If Play Store keeps crashing despite clearing its cache and app data, deleting Google Play Services’ cache could fix the problem.

Select Google Play services.

Select Storage & cache.

Tap Clear Cache.

7. Grant Play Store Background Data Access

Google Play Store will sometimes malfunction if it doesn’t have background access to your device’s internet. Check the app’s settings and make sure background data is enabled.

As usual, long-press the Google Play Store icon and tap the info icon to launch the app’s settings menu.

Select Mobile data & Wi-Fi.

Toggle on Background data.

8. Clear Google Services Framework Data

The Google Framework Services is another important system app that maintains the Play Store and other Google apps on Android devices. If there’s a problem with this system process, you might encounter difficulty using some Google apps. Clearing the Google Services Framework’s cache and app data will restore it to default and resolve any hidden glitch.

Select Show system.

Locate and select Google Services Framework on the list of apps.

Select Storage & cache.

Tap Clear Cache to delete the app’s temporary files from your devices.

Launch Play Store and check if that fixes the problem. If the Play Store keeps crashing, delete Google Services Framework data and try again.

Tap Clear Storage and select OK on the prompt.

9. Uninstall and Reinstall Google Play Store Updates

Updating the Play Store enhances the performance of Google apps and services on your device. Conversely, buggy updates can result in performance issues. If your device’s Play Store version is outdated, revert it to the system default and check if the app works without crashing.

Open the Google Play Store and check if you’re able to install apps from the store without issues. Otherwise, update Play Store to the latest version and try again.

Launch Google Play Store, tap the hamburger menu icon, and select Settings. Scroll to the About section and tap Play Store version.

You should get a notification that “A new version of Google Play Store will be downloaded and installed.” Tap OK and wait for your device to install the new update.

The Google Play Store update will continue in the background, and the operation might take a couple of seconds or minutes—depending on your connection speed. You should get a prompt to “Complete setup by installing apps” in the notification center when the Play Store update is complete.

Tap the notification or open Play Store from the app launcher and check if you’re able to install apps without issues.

9. Restart Your Phone

A system restart is another easy fix for performance issues and app malfunctions. If the solutions above don’t work, reboot your device and see if that restores Google Play Store to normalcy.

Press and hold your device’s power button and select Restart on the power menu. . When your device comes back on, connect it to the internet and launch Google Play Store.

10. Update Your Device’s Operating System

Software bugs in your device’s operating system could be the root cause of this issue. If the Play Store keeps crashing right after installing an OS update, check if there’s a new version that fixes the problem.

If your device is up-to-date, or the newly installed update doesn’t fix the problem, consider downgrading your Android OS version to an unproblematic version.

Contact Google Play Help Center

Complete Guide To Payment Methods At Crypto Casinos

Online Bitcoin casinos are very different from your standard online casino, as they give you the chance to play casino games without using credit and debit cards or any bank transfer for your transactions. You don’t need a bank account to register on a Bitcoin casino.

Bitcoin Casinos Compared to Online Casinos

In standard online casinos, all of the transactions you make while you play online casino games are processed by some strict bank regulations, so there is a lengthy procedure that many online casinos have in place to register a casino account.

Understandably, players would like to avoid such processes at their favorite online gambling sites. Ideally, they would like to choose their preferred payment method and then get on with playing on the site.

Bitcoin casinos eliminate this process, and while creating your casino account, you will not be required to enter information regarding your credit or debit card or leave any sensitive information on the site.

Sometimes, the site will ask for an ID card or some address details just for added security. However, overall, no Bitcoin casino will ask you to complete any long registration forms. When it comes to payment methods, the difference between them and the online

casino payment options

is that there is no need for a third party or any authorization for the whole process.

How Does the Registration Process Work at Bitcoin Casinos?

When the player arrives on the crypto casino site, an immediate registration will occur, and an automatic username will be created for them. Most of the crypto casinos will only need a username and nothing else.

You will need to create a unique password for security purposes, and you can also leave your email address, but this is up to you. That is the big difference between crypto and online casinos; you must leave your email address and debit card details upon registration.

Additionally, when it comes to online payments, all bitcoin deposits and bitcoin transactions, in general, are stored on the

Blockchain

publicly, adding to the security of those transactions.

Cryptocurrencies Accepted at Crypto Casinos

The world of cryptocurrencies changes all the time, so you need to be on pace with what is happening at the moment, especially if you gamble using those and on crypto casinos. Let’s have a look at what are the best cryptocurrencies accepted at any crypto casino.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin

is the leading digital currency globally, and it is accepted and known by most of the world’s population. Bitcoin was created back in 2008, and it is the first digital currency to be introduced in the world.

Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator, and he described it as the first peer-to-peer payment system. The online casino industry has already accepted it as one of the best payment methods, and players can play their favorite casino games. Fast transactions and low transaction fees make Bitcoin arguably the best payment method that can be used.

The bottom line is that every crypto casino will offer Bitcoin as a payment method, and it comes as no surprise, given its popularity and acceptance. Bitcoin gambling is prevalent nowadays, so almost every casino will accept bitcoin payments.

Ether

Ether is described as the native token to Ethereum, and it is the second-largest cryptocurrency, just behind Bitcoin. The main difference with Bitcoin is that it was not created as a crypto platform but as a blockchain-based computing platform with the characteristics of a computing platform.

Ether has gained massive popularity, and it is used in most online casinos for making gambling transactions. Of course, it offers instant deposits while playing the most popular games so that the overall gambling experience will be top-class.

Tether

Tether is a stable coin, and its value can be tied to fiat currencies. If you are new in the crypto world, stable coins will remain stable even if there are massive changes and swings in the crypto market. That stability is ensured as the value of stable coins is attached to any other fiat currency.

So, the stability of Tether makes it a very popular payment method that online casinos offer. The most popular casino games and online slots can be played with Tether. You are sure to get instant deposits and withdrawals, so make no mistake – this is one of the best and most stable available payment methods at cryptocurrency casinos.

Litecoin

Litecoin is among the top digital currencies globally, and it is seen as an excellent competitor to Bitcoin. Charlie Lee created Litecoin, and it is very similar to Bitcoin, but there are some important differences.

Litecoin has much faster online transactions than Bitcoin, and these transactions can be processed in under 3 minutes, while with Bitcoin, it can take up to 10 minutes. So, it is no surprise that cryptocurrency casinos insist on having Litecoin among the payment options.

Bitcoin Cash Monero

This is a relatively new cryptocurrency, as it was released in 2014. It represents an open-source crypto platform that guarantees privacy and security among the players using it as their preferred virtual currency for making cryptocurrency payments when they play slots at crypto casinos. Anonymous transactions are the highlight of Monero.

Pros and Cons of Using Cryptocurrencies as Payment Methods

Pros

Bigger security – We hear stories every day of big companies being hacked and important data being stolen, so the online gaming industry is not immune to that. Players and casinos can be the subject of such attacks, and it is not a pleasant experience for anyone. However, this will not be an issue when you use a cryptocurrency casino, as there is no need to leave sensitive personal information or card details. You will use a crypto wallet so that the security will be much higher.

Faster withdrawal times – Every player wants to have instant access to their winnings, and that is one aspect that will make a seamless online gambling experience. You will have instant access to all your winnings when using cryptocurrencies, so it is a big plus to have them as one of your withdrawal methods.

Unique games – certain games can be played with cryptocurrencies only, which are new and attractive. You can make some handsome winnings while playing these games.

Cons

How To Get Google Play Movies, Music And Photos On Roku

When you purchase or rent movies and TV shows on a streaming service, you essentially have access everywhere, provided there is an app available for the device you want to watch on. Google Play Movies and TV, for example, is available across several platforms, not just mobile.

Sometimes, however, accessing one or two of the services is not as straightforward as you might think. The Google Play Movies and TV apps don’t always come pre-installed on all streaming devices and systems, like the Roku. If you own Roku streaming sticks and media players, you might need to do some finagling to gain access.

Installing Channels on Roku

Before we proceed, you’ll need to know how to install channels to your Roku device. The good news is that the process is the same no matter what model of Roku you own, whether it’s a standalone device or built into your TV. Also, if you’re signed in to the same account across all your Roku devices, then installing a channel on one will install it for everything.

It’s easier to add channels from your Roku directly. However, you may also add channels using the website – just make sure you’re logged in to the same account that you use on your Roku devices.

On the Roku

Here’s how to add channels using your Roku device:

1. Make sure your Roku is signed in to a valid account and powered on.

2. Press the left button on your remote to bring up the side menu.

3. Navigate to “Streaming Channels” if you want to browse what’s available. You can also “Search” for a channel you want if you know the name. Alternatively, you can use the “Featured Free” section to see some of the most popular channels.

4. Press the right or OK button on your remote to open the chosen menu.

5. Highlight the channel you wish to install and press OK. You will see details about the channel in question and several options.

6. Choose “Add Channel” to install it to your Roku.

7. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internet, the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.

From the Website

Here’s how to add channels using the Roku website:

2. Either choose a featured channel or conduct a search using the search bar at the top. If you want to install the HBO Go app, for example, you would search for “HBO” or “HBO Go.”

4. That’s it! As long as your Roku device is powered on and connected to the Internetm the channel will be installed. If it’s powered off, then it will install the next time you turn it on and connect. You will find any new channels you add at the bottom of the home menu, listed at the end of all channels you currently have installed.

How to Get Google Play Store on Roku

Unfortunately, there is no way to download or access the Google Play store using a Roku system. It’s difficult to say if there ever will be an opportunity, most likely not.

Roku doesn’t officially support Internet browsing, but, for a time, there were third-party channels that enabled it like Web Browser X and Poprism. They are currently unavailable, but it is possible that other similar channels may appear. While active, these two channels would allow you to access the Internet from a Roku device and use Google Search.

For Android TV users, the opposite is always a concern. What apps and services can you use instead of Google Play? There are a few app stores available aside from the Play store. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting predicament considering Roku users cannot even access the Play store.

How to Get Google Play Movies and TV on Roku

Luckily, Google Play Movies and TV has an official Roku channel that you can download. Channels, if you didn’t already know, are what Roku calls its apps. You download channels onto your streaming stick or player, which then provides access to the related service.

If the Google Play channel isn’t already installed on your Roku, you’ll need to search for it in the marketplace. You can also access the Roku channel store in a browser.

Just download the channel, start it up and log in to access your Google Play movies and TV content. Keep in mind that Google says the app is only available in select countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and a few others. Some users have reported that they can access the app and service in regions where they shouldn’t be able to, but your mileage may vary.

How to Get Google Play Music on Roku

No official Google Play Music app or channel exists for Roku. In the past, you could download a few third-party apps like Nowhere Music, but they’re no longer being supported and are no longer available on the Roku marketplace.

The best and only way to enjoy Google Music is to cast it from your phone or computer to the Roku device. Roku supports Miracast technology, though, which means iPhones are not compatible.

With Android devices, start the music or playlist, swipe down on the notification tray and select the cast option. When presented with a list of compatible devices, select your Roku. Both your phone and Roku must be connected to the same WiFi network to see each other.

On Windows, you can either use the Chrome web browser to cast content or the native Windows display sharing option.

How to Get Google Photos on Roku

Like Google Play Music, there is no official Google Photos app available for Roku. That said, you do have the option to download and use third-party channels.

PhotoView for Google Photos is your best bet. Just download the channel, boot it up and log in, and you should be good to go. The app allows you to share photos on your TV through Roku, activate screensaver and slideshow modes and much more. Bear in mind that you will be giving the application access to your Google account – it needs to access your photo library.

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Google Pixel 7 Pro Review: It’s All About The Software

The Google Pixel 7 Pro shows how good Android software can be, and does so at a lower price than its competitors.

Standing out amongst today’s army of Android smartphones is hard. But in a world of high-powered devices focusing on long lists of impressive hardware stats and figures, Google is going a slightly different direction.

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More like the mammoth Apple, Google’s new Pixel 7 Pro leans into the world of software, implementing clever new tricks to improve your photos, call experiences, battery life and a number of other phone-related tasks you didn’t know could be better.

But does this bet pay off? We spent a week with the new Google Pixel 7 Pro to find out.

Stylish design at a surprising price

Costing £849, the Google Pixel 7 Pro is more affordable than its flagship competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, it is also a big jump up in cost compared to the cheaper £599 Google Pixel 7.

The phone is made using 100 per cent recycled aluminium, so it feels great in your hand, but does have some serious weight to it. Not only that, but the camera bump pulls the weight abnormally to the top of the device.

But while the design is a minimalist aesthetic that we can get onboard with, a case is a good idea; luckily Google includes one in the box. The same can be said for most modern smartphones, but that massive camera bump makes the phone feel precarious and exposed when placed on a surface.

This combined with the fact that the smartphone is wider than your average device and the Google Pixel 7 Pro does feel somewhat unwieldy in your hand. In other words, this is not going to be a device for those with small hands, with the smaller Google Pixel 7 being a better fit.

This is very much design over usability. Yes, it looks and feels great, but I was living in constant fear of dropping the phone, smashing that beautiful design.

Camera excellence

Google is known for its camera abilities, in fact, it has been the company’s big selling point since the very first Pixel smartphone. Luckily, the camera is once again the device’s leading feature.

This is another area where Google’s focus on software over hardware pays off. The phone features a 50MP main camera, 48MP 5x zoom and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. These are similar features to most flagship smartphones.

The best compliment I can give the Google camera is that it is a Jack of all trades. Samsung can zoom for miles, Apple can take stunning up close photos and draw in colour accuracy, Google can do it all, offering a camera for all situations.

Where Google really thrives is with its added features. The brand has made a big deal of its ‘real tone’ feature where the device can analyse skin tones to achieve more accuracy. There is even a feature that will keep track of faces that appear a lot in your photos, making sure those people are more in focus in groups.

The Pixel’s photo-editing software is also interesting. There is an ability to remove blur from photos, whether it’s a new photo or one you took years ago on another device that was never worth using.

However, the feature I got the most use out of is the magic eraser. This allows you to cut things out of an image. You can completely cut out your friend trying to photobomb you, strangers ruining your perfect shot or a random item that doesn’t fit the photo. In most cases this works great, with the occasional moment of making a complete mess.

The spec sheet

For the Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google implanted a new chipset, the Tensor G2. While this means a more powerful smartphone, capable of dealing with more intensive tasks, it also means better machine learning capabilities.

It improves the phone’s ability to take photos, how it can handle speech recognition, its understanding of you as a user and generally makes the phone more capable of doing what the Google Pixel does best – impressive software.

The other factor the new chip informs is battery life. Google has struggled with battery life in the past, but with the 5000mAh battery, it is rivalling Apple and Samsung’s largest devices. I frequently got through a full day of medium to heavy usage with some charge left.

The display is also a nice experience on this device. It features a 6.7-inch OLED display which is consistently bright and colourful. The screen can refresh at up to 120Hz which simply means your scrolls, jumps and swipes around the phone will stay looking smooth without any jittery lag.

Verdict

Google has been struggling to find its feet with smartphones for a while, never quite managing to get it all right. The Google Pixel 7 Pro feels like the first time the brand has nailed the whole package, producing a well-rounded flagship phone.

Of course, it is not perfect. The charging is slow, and it lacks some of the high-end specs Samsung, Apple and OnePlus have achieved, but these factors really don’t matter.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is snappy and responsive, has a capable battery, the camera is one of the best you’ll get in a smartphone, and it is full to the brim with clever software. It feels like the best of both Apple and Samsung… albeit, with a few small sacrifices.

Alternatives iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro is going to be the closest competitor Apple has to Google’s Pixel 7 Pro. It is immensely powerful, has a great battery life and display and most importantly, is the perfect rival for the Google Pixel 7 Pro in terms of camera ability.

The noticeable downside is the higher price, taking you over the £1,000 mark.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the definition of over-powered. Samsung has crammed everything into this design, including a stylus pen fitted inside the phone, a 100x zoom camera and a burly battery and processor to power it through the day.

All of this does come at a cost similar to that of the iPhone above, but you won’t get much more power in a phone than this.

Google Pixel 7

Like everything about the Google Pixel 7 Pro, except for the price? The smaller Pixel 7 will be the obvious choice. It brings the price shooting down to just £599 but keeps all of the most important specs.

The phone does get smaller, as does the battery. Plus, you do lose out on a camera lens and a few key functions, but for the huge drop in price that is a worthy sacrifice.

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The Best Vr Apps And Games Available On The App Store Right Now

To help you get on top the bulk of apps available and break the tedious ‘download, try and delete’ chain, we have been weeding through the vast app-scape and given VR-ready apps a hard look. If you want to put your new toys to good use, here is a list of some of the best VR games and apps we believe you will want to embark on first.

The best VR games

Commencing with the arguably tougher rubric, VR compatible games are by no means in short supply on the App Store, however you would still be hard pressed to name genuinely good ones on mobile. In spite of the slew of racing and maze games, none of them I would recommend with any degree of confidence.

To date, the downfall of most of these apps are limited playability due to erratic controls or in-app purchases that restrict your experience so much so that you might as well not bother. Having said that, after callously ridding my iPhone of all the letdowns, four apps I would broadly categorize as games are still standing. Here are the ones that made the cut:

VR Sniper

VR SNIPER is available for free on the App Store.

VR Noir Like the name suggests, you’re thrown into an artfully presented crime story set in today’s Sydney, Australia. The player gets involved snooping around multiple rooms and deciding where to take conversations whenever presented with two options to respond. It’s a blend compelling enough to keep your attention for the 10-15 minutes it will take you to complete.

Like the name suggests, you’re thrown into an artfully presented crime story set in today’s Sydney, Australia. The player gets involved snooping around multiple rooms and deciding where to take conversations whenever presented with two options to respond. It’s a blend compelling enough to keep your attention for the 10-15 minutes it will take you to complete.

The narrative is fairly short and over before you really care about any of the characters. Also, ‘to be continued’ endings never really fly with me.

VR Noir is available for free on the App Store.

Haunted Rooms: Escape VR Game As far as free VR games go, this one offers quite a bit of quality content and game time before completion. Walking and picking up objects (to escape rooms) is smooth and some of the in-game riddles require you to put your thinking cap on. 
And, before I forget, there is the occasional scare.

As far as free VR games go, this one offers quite a bit of quality content and game time before completion. Walking and picking up objects (to escape rooms) is smooth and some of the in-game riddles require you to put your thinking cap on. And, before I forget, there is the occasional scare.

Ad pop-ups can be disturbing, but then again the app is free and level progression does not need to be paid for, so perhaps I don’t have a leg to stand on criticising that. The app could also do with a manual – right now you’re thrown in the deep end and need to deduce controls.

Haunted Rooms: Escape VR is available for free on the App Store.

Insidious VR

Insidious VR is available for free on the App Store.

The best 360 experiences

VR footage that puts you into somebody else’s shoes (or parachute, or flippers) was among the first to crop up in the VR realm, and it is easy to see why. Unlike games, which often times grapple with the implementation of comprehensible controls, 360 degree movies allow you to kick back, look around and immerse yourself without having to worry about a thing. Consequently, there are some pretty strong titles on the App Store that promise immersion for hours.

Within

Easily my favorite app to introduce anyone to the world of VR. Within consists of approximately 25 standalone videos which all beautifully parade virtual reality’s allure. Some of these videos are picks from upscale magazines, some are music videos and others again winning entries of film festivals or TV shows. The hands-down best feature of Within is the option to download the videos to your device first, so you don’t have to stream and can be assured your video will look sharp and play uninterruptedly.

Within is available for free on the App Store.

Discovery VR

Discovery VR is available for free on the App Store.

GoPro VR

GoPro’s mission statement is spectacle and extreme sports, and that is exactly what you get in abundance with this one. All videos are naturally captured and uploaded by the GoPro community, which produces some pretty stomach-turning videos. I personally recommend the aviation material, which works best for me.

Again, internet connection is required (a common theme unfortunately among most apps). What’s more is that due to its nature, some of these videos can be hand-held, shaky or just not up to par in the quality department.

GoPro VR is available for free on the App Store.

VR Thrills

VR Thrills is available for free on the App Store.

Youtube

YouTube is available for free on the App Store.

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