Trending December 2023 # Google Pixel Series Camera Shootout (Update: Pixel 5 Vs Pixel 1 Video!) # Suggested January 2024 # Top 18 Popular

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We’ll start our investigation with the three basics. Color, exposure, and white balance.

Google has a reputation for accuracy in this category, and we observe that all three phones are indeed similarly exceptional. All three balance exposure very well, with no obvious clipping or blocky shadows. As expected, the results here are very good across all three phones.

Very close inspection reveals slightly more saturation in the Pixel 5 in the first shot, while the Pixel 4 is a little more yellow and less orange. Meanwhile, the Pixel 3 pumps up the colors a fraction more in the second example. Comparatively, the Pixel 5 is much more reserved. In this second shot, the Pixel 4 is virtually indistinguishable from the 5, bar the slightly warmer grass tone. There are small, subtle changes on a shot-by-shot basis, but nothing major.

Our second batch shows similar results. However, the tricky HDR nature of the first image produces some more noticeable differences to the white balance and exposure. This is a slightly zoomed-in shot, and it appears that the telephoto camera on the Pixel 4 ends up with the best exposure and colors although the white balance is greener than the other two.

Colors and white balance change subtly from scene to scene, but they’re all very similar. At least outdoors.

Colors and exposure are a carbon copy between all three in the second image. The only subtle differences can be found in the white balance. The Pixel 4 is warmer this time around, and there’s a slight highlight clip on the distant wall. Meanwhile, the Pixel 5 is slightly cooler in the greens, but the brown/grey stone has a red tint. This warmer tint is noticeable in many of the Pixel 5’s shots later on too.

This last set of examples looks at white balance with indoor lighting. There are far more obvious discrepancies here. Especially as the lighting in all three shows is supposed to be identical. The Pixel 3 is clearly too yellow in the first sample, but virtually a match for the Pixel 5 in the second. The Pixel 4 is cooler in the first but warmer in the second, while the Pixel 5 overcorrects the warm lighting just a tad. The level of variety here is rather odd, but it’s the Pixel 5 that produces the most consistent and best-looking results.

High dynamic range (HDR) processing is the linchpin of Google’s photography smarts. It is therefore worth taking a closer look to see how things have changed over the years. The Pixel 3 is the only one of these three to offer configurable HDR, with its HDR+ and HDR+ Enhanced toggles. I left it set to the latter. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 are locked to auto-HDR, although the Pixel 5 has a new HDR Bracketing technique as of its October update and 8.0.018 camera app, which we have installed.

The first batch highlights the key difference very well. Note how the Pixel 3 actually extracts more color from the sky than the other two. The phone takes a little longer to process, but seem to work harder to avoid highlight clipping. As a result, the older Pixel 3 ends up with a higher dynamic range in both of these shots. The Pixel 5’s HDR Bracketing technique clips less than the 4 in these two shots, but it’s a more subtle difference. The color processing is otherwise virtually identical between the three. Talk about a surprise result.

With color and exposure very similar across the three phones, perhaps there are bigger differences and improvements made in the detail department. To find out, we’re going to look at some 100% crops, rather than full-frame images.

Again, the differences, if any, are very small. The Pixel 3’s HDR+ feature produces more vivid colors and a brighter exposure in the first shot. However, all three phones have very similar levels of noise, which is particularly noticeable on the shadowed flower stems. The second shot is again very similar between all three phones, with the same level of detail observable on the brickwork. However, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 appear slightly clearer when looking at the concrete road and hedge. That’s a slight win for the two newer models.

Taking the lights down very low doesn’t yield a huge difference either. Again, white balance is the most noticeable discrepancy, but they’re very close. The Pixel 4 is a tad too warm here, but all three shots are very similar in their overall presentation. Cropping in reveals more noise on the older Pixel 3, but the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 are harder to separate.

I really thought we’d see a bigger difference between the three phones in low light.

Another of Google’s software tricks is bokeh blur for portrait shots. The key things to look at here are differences in the quality of the blur and edge detection of complex edges.

Moving onto portraits, there are much more noticeable differences. Especially in terms of skin tone and textures. Details are pretty much the same across all three, although the Pixel 5’s skin texture is blockier and rougher than the others. The Pixel 3 provides a more conservative natural skin tone. The Pixel 4 is the most saturated, while the newer Pixel 5 opts for a warmer, red-ish skin tone.

When it comes to bokeh, all three have some problems with edge detection around loose hairs. Although the Pixel 3 struggles the most, with notable issues blurring the foreground and pushing hairs into the background. That said, the results aren’t too bad and you have to crop in to really notice the artifacts. The Pixel 4 and 5 are a little better, but neither captures the rough edges of the hairline accurately. Changes that Google has made to its portrait mode over the years affect face textures and colors more than the quality or accuracy of the bokeh blur.

Zoom vs wide-angles

There aren’t any major differences between three generations of Google’s main sensor, but there are bigger implications for scenarios where you’d want to use the Pixel 4’s telephoto or the Pixel 5’s ultra-wide cameras. Let’s start with image quality when zooming in.

Read more: Google Pixel 5 zoom test: Is Super Res Zoom enough?

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Galaxy S7 Vs Google Pixel Camera Review : Test The Best

Galaxy S7 vs Google Pixel Camera Review : Test the Best

Google Pixel XL’s camera battles Samsung’s Galaxy S7 in our first of several tests of the best. When the Galaxy S7 (and S7 Edge) first came out, they topped the quality charts for mobile cameras. Now several months old, the S7 family may need to make way for a new emperor of mobile photography in the Pixel.

Google Pixel XL features a Sony Exmor IMX378 image sensor. This means it’s picking up 1.55µm-sized pixels in 12.3-megapixel photos. This camera’s lens has a focal length of 4.67 mm and works with an f/2.0 aperture. Of note is the fact that the Google Pixel XL has the exact same camera setup as the non-XL Pixel. Both models should end up performing exactly the same.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 uses a Sony Exmor IMX260 image sensor. That is to say that our version of the Galaxy S7 has this image sensor – there are also Galaxy S7 units using ISOCELL. Today’s test is on the IMX-toting version of the Galaxy S7, most common in the USA.

First we’ve got a set of photos captured indoors at close range with only yellow light to assist. Here both cameras seem to perform rather similar. You might notice cooler colors in the Pixel XL photo which, in this case, is less accurate than the Galaxy S7.

A photo of grass taken in the afternoon on a clear day shows distinct differences between cameras. Galaxy S7 tends to run warm while the Pixel XL goes a bit cooler. The Galaxy S7 view seems to be sharper than the Pixel XL, too.

Once we get close, we see that the Galaxy S7’s view of the world is sharp. Maybe even too sharp. Compared to the Pixel’s processing, the Galaxy S7’s photo looks over-sharp and unnatural.

In this set of photos taken at dusk, we see that the Galaxy S7 wants to latch on to warmer tones while Pixel XL wants to go cool. This test isn’t super scientific because of the differences in angles and tones vehicles. It does show, though, how well both cameras handle semi-dark scenes with moving objects.

While the Galaxy S7’s photo might end up being more pleasing, the Pixel XL seems to stick more to color accuracy. On the other hand, the Galaxy S7’s result is sharper than the Pixel XL.

Next is a bunch of rocks photographed by the Galaxy S7 (on the left) and the Pixel XL (on the right). While the Pixel XL seems to get color accuracy points in most areas over the S7, the S7 gets sharper in others. Again – pretty much a toss-up here until we get up close and personal.

Once we’re in close, we see that the devil is in the details. The Galaxy S7 seems to get over-sharp in some places, while the Pixel XL stays truer to human sight.

Below is a battle of total darkness and flash LEDs in a closet. The images show how the Galaxy S7 found focus closer than the Pixel XL, while both did find a spot to settle on. While light could be more even, both cameras avoid the total wash-out.

We live in an age where smartphone cameras give even the worst photographer potential. Each successive release of Sony’s image sensors make for better photos. That’s true even here, with two cameras in the same year.

SEE ALSO: Our Pixel XL full review

I wouldn’t recommend one of these devices or the other based on the differences in their cameras. They’re far too similar. Instead, it’ll be up to the user to decide if the rest of the phone’s features provide difference enough.

If pressed to pick one camera over the other, I’d go for the Pixel XL. That ever-so-slight bump in specs makes the end product just a tiny bit better. Even a little bit of a bump is a success when we get this close.

Above you’ll find a gallery of original versions of the photos discussed in this article. The above gallery shows photos captured by the Pixel XL, while below are photos from the Galaxy S7.

Google Pixel 6 Pro Vs Pixel 7 Pro: What’S New And Should You Upgrade?

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The brand-new Google Pixel 7 Pro has a lot going for it. It’s powered by the latest Tensor G2 chipset, sports an improved camera system, and features a more modern design.

However, how much better is it than its predecessor, and should you buy it if you already own the Pixel 6 Pro? These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer in this Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro comparison, as we look closer at the design, specs, features, and pricing of both handsets.

The Pixel 7 Pro and the Pixel 6 Pro have very similar displays. They both sport a 6.7-inch OLED panel with QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. They are also both protected from scratches by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus and come with a punch hole that houses the selfie camera. However, Google claims that the Pixel 7 Pro’s display is 25% brighter than the one of its predecessor. A brighter display is always better, especially when viewing it under direct sunlight.

When it comes to design, the differences are more noticeable. Both feature a protruding camera bar on the back that stands out from the crowd, sporting a different accent color than the rest of the phone — depending on the model. However, the camera bar on the new Pixel 7 Pro is toned-down compared to the one on the Pixel 6 Pro and is made of aluminum instead of glass. It looks more modern while still providing the phone with a unique look.

In terms of materials, both phones sport a glass back and an aluminum frame that gives them a premium look and feel. There are slight differences between the two when it comes to colors, though. The Pixel 7 Pro comes in Obsidian (black), Snow (white), and Hazel (greenish-grey). The first two colors sport a silver camera bar, while the Hazel colorway comes with a gold camera bar.

On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro comes in Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Sunny, with all three color options sporting a black camera bar.

Design is subjective, so there’s no winner in this category. However, I prefer the look of the new Pixel 7 Pro since it’s a bit toned down compared to its predecessor and gives off a more professional vibe.

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro: Price and availability

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Pixel 7 Pro: From $899 / £849 / €899

Pixel 6 Pro: From $899 / £849 / €899

The Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899. It costs the same as the Pixel 6 Pro did at launch. But since the Pixel 6 Pro has been on the market since late 2023, you can get it for far less on sale. That said, we’ve also started to see good deals on the Pixel 7 Pro already.

The pricing of the 256GB and 512GB variants also stays the same. The former comes in at $999, while the latter will set you back $1,099.

The Pixel 7 Pro is available from Google, Amazon, Best Buy, and all the major carriers. The story is similar with the Pixel 6 Pro, although it will slowly become harder and harder to get once retailers and carriers start running out of stock.


Google Pixel And Pixel Xl Launched – Good Enough For The Price?

Google Pixel and Pixel XL Specs

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The Google Pixel and the Pixel XL are extremely similar phones. They share almost everything in terms of the hardware, except for the display and battery size. Google has emulated the iPhone strategy to a great extent here, from the design, specs to the pricing too. We’ll come back to the pricing later, but here’s a quick glance at the specs.

The Google Pixel comes with a 5 inch AMOLED display with a full HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of ~441 PPI. The Pixel XL comes with a 5.5 inch Quad HD AMOLED display with a pixel density of ~534 PPI.

Google has talked a lot about the cameras in the new Pixels. Both the phones come with the same 12 MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Autofocus. The phones come with dual LED flash for assistance in low light. Video recording up to 2160p at 30 FPS is supported. On the front, you get an 8 MP snapper.

The more interesting bits about the cameras are in the software department. Google has been working over the last few months to optimize the new Pixels. To demonstrate this, the company showed off a side-by-side video recording with two Pixels – one with stabilisation enabled and the other with stabilisation disabled. The difference, in the keynote video, was staggering. How it performs in real life remains to be seen.

Coming to other specs, the new Pixel and Pixel XL come with 4 GB RAM, 32 GB or 128 GB UFS 2.0 internal storage. There is no option to expand the internal storage with a microSD card.

Google Pixel And Pixel XL FAQ, User Queries And Answers

Question: Do the Google Pixel and Pixel XL have dual SIM Slots?

Answer: No, the Pixel phones do not come with dual SIM slots. You get a single SIM slot with support for a nano SIM card.

Answer: No, the devices do not support microSD expansion.

Question: What are the color options?

Answer: The devices will be available in Blue, Silver and Black color options.

Answer: Yes, the devices come with a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Question: What all sensor do the Pixel and Pixel XL have?

Answer: The new Pixel phones come with fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyro, proxity sensor, compass and a barometer.

Google Pixel XL – 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm

Question: What is the SoC used in the Pixel and Pixel XL?

Answer: Both the Pixel and Pixel XL come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821.

Answer: The Google Pixel comes with a 5 inch full HD AMOLED display. It has a pixel density of ~441 ppi.

The Pixel XL comes with a 5.5 inch Quad HD AMOLED display. It has a pixel density of ~534 PPI.

Question: Do the Google Pixel and Pixel XL support Adaptive Brightness?

Question: Which OS version, OS type runs on the phone?

Answer: Both the devices run on Android 7.1 Nougat.

Question: Do the new Pixel phones come with capacitive buttons or on-screen navigation buttons?

Answer: Both the devices come with on-screen navigation buttons.

Answer: Yes, both the phones come with a fingerprint sensor.

Question: Can we Play 4K Videos on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL?

Answer: The Google Pixel can only play videos up to full HD resolution whereas the Google Pixel XL can play videos up to 2K resolution.

Question: Is Fast Charging supported on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL?

Question: Do they support USB OTG?

Answer: Yes, they both support USB OTG.

Question: Do they come with a Gyroscope sensor?

Answer: Yes, they come with a gyroscope sensor.

Answer: No, the devices are not waterproof.

Question: Do they have NFC?

Answer: Yes, the devices come with NFC.

Question: How good is the camera quality of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL?

We haven’t tested the new Pixel phones yet. Once we have done our testing, we will post more details in the review.

Question: Do they have Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)?

Answer: No, the devices do not come with OIS.

Question: Is there any dedicated camera shutter button on the new Pixel phones?

Question: What is the weight of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL?

Google Pixel XL – 168 gms

Question: Do the Pixel phones come with stereo loudspeaker?

Answer: The Pixel phones come with a single loudspeaker, downward firing. They do not come with stereo loudspeakers.

Question: Is Mobile Hotspot Internet Sharing supported?

Answer: Yes, you can create hotspot to share internet from the Pixel phones to other devices.


The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL demonstrate that Google is stepping up its game, at least on paper. Both the phones come with the latest specs, stock Android software with a brand new Google Assistant. However, they don’t offer anything drastically different from any other phone out there. Perhaps companies like Samsung and others have innovated a lot more in both the design of the hardware as well as new software features than Google has in the new Pixel phones.

Google Pixel 7 Pro Review: Viva La (Hardware) Evolution

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Google’s new Pixel 7 Pro is part of a new crop of gadgets that benefit from their boringness. The Nintendo Switch OLED is boring; Microsoft’s latest Surface Go is boring; even the iPhone 14 is boring. That may come off as harsh, but all it means is that Google, like those other tech giants, eschewed fancy-but-unnecessary changes to its hardware and software and focused on incremental improvements that prospective Pixel owners would appreciate.

This is Google’s flagship smartphone and it’s one of the few you should seriously consider upgrading to if you like the purest Android operating system experience. While other Android phones beat the Pixel 7 Pro in specific areas—the Asus ROG Phone 6 is better for gaming, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a better camera system—Google’s smartphone offers one of the best all-around experiences. Even iPhone owners (myself included) would come away a little envious, even if it doesn’t push us to migrate.

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science


Unlocking the Google Pixel Pro 7’s features

The toughest part about reviewing the Pixel 7 Pro was the lack of a single marquee feature. There’s no “Dynamic Island” like on the iPhone 14 Pro models, no totally new form factor like the upcoming Pixel tablet. Instead, at a first glance, the smartphone looks nearly identical to the one it’s replacing. The differences between them are subtle even when you take a long look under the surface. 

The Pixel 7 Pro offers the same 120Hz, 6.4-inch, 1440p screen as the Pixel 6 Pro and immediately feels good in the hand. It’s a little taller than the iPhone 14 Pro Max but 40 grams lighter, which made a bigger difference than I expected. When you’re reading a long article or holding your phone while watching a video, every gram counts. On the backside of the Pixel 7 Pro, you’ll find the raised camera “bar,” which extends from the left side of the device all the way across to the right. 

Google fully embraced the camera “bump” with last year’s Pixel 6 Pro, turning it into a distinctive feature of the smartphone’s design. I still pine for the days of smartphones with cameras that are flush to their case but, while I personally hope that they return in the far-off future, I know it’s not going to happen. So, it’s nice that Google turned its smartphone’s camera system into a signature part of its look. The Pixel 7 Pro has an edge-to-edge screen, with a hole punch-shaped cutout for the front-facing camera. The camera has a slightly lower megapixel count compared to last year’s model (10.8MP down from 11.1MP), but it can be used for more than just taking selfies. 

The Pixel 7 Pro supports facial recognition, which allows you to unlock the smartphone by looking at it and swiping up on its screen. This worked very quickly in my testing, even when trying it in areas with low light. Some earlier Pixel generations had this feature but it’s been absent for the past couple of years. If the idea of facial recognition makes you uneasy, the Pixel 7 Pro has an under-the-display fingerprint reader and the option to use a password. All three methods of unlocking the phone worked well, so feel free to mix and match.

Reading long-form stories on the go is easier because of the Pixel 7 Pro’s large, high-resolution display. Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

An arms race with Apple

Last year, Google introduced the Tensor chip, a custom-designed processor developed specifically for use in Pixel phones. The Pixel 7 Pro features the Tensor G2, which is slightly faster on paper but powerful and energy efficient in practice. The move from an off-the-shelf part to a bespoke one paid off as the Pixel 7 Pro runs Android 13 flawlessly. Tapping, scrolling, pinching, zooming, switching between apps all felt remarkably smooth, with not a dropped frame or second-long stutter to be found. The phone didn’t even run hot during a stress test that involved running video at maximum brightness for multiple hours. 

Google may have been playing catch up with Apple, a company that began designing the iPhone’s custom silicon over a decade ago, but the effort has paid off handsomely. Pixel 6 Pro owners may not notice a big year-over-year improvement if they decide to upgrade. Anyone coming from a smartphone that’s two or three years old, however, will pick up on the difference immediately when opening apps, taking pictures, or even adjusting system settings like the phone’s screen resolution or wallpaper. While I’ve only had the opportunity to check out a few Android devices in my career, this is certainly the cleanest (and, yes, most iPhone-like) experience yet.

The Tensor G2’s biggest on-paper improvement compared to Google’s last-generation chip is a 60% increase in its machine-learning capabilities. This enables some of the phone’s most helpful features, like parsing speech to show you a tappable menu while going through a phone tree and helping you find exactly which emoji to pick while dictating messages. These are tangible benefits—who remembers the last time a smartphone’s phone experience improved?

With all of this power under the hood, it’s disappointing that Google has promised that the Pixel 7 line of phones will get only three years of software updates and five years of security updates. That’s good for an Android phone but Apple’s newly released iOS 16 operating system runs on phones going back to 2023. As Google unifies its hardware and software ecosystems, it’s important that they prioritize longevity.

Mighty morphin’ mega pixels

One of the biggest reasons to get a new smartphone is camera improvements and the Pixel 7 Pro is no slouch. Its three-lens rear-facing camera system features a 12MP ultra-wide camera, 48MP telephoto camera, and a 50MP wide camera, which can all record 4K HDR (high dynamic range) video at up to 60 frames per second. The megapixel count on the cameras hasn’t changed in the past year, but the ultrawide camera has a wider field of view and the telephoto lens has a slightly narrower field of view. In the Pixel’s camera app, you can select between four predetermined focal lengths: .5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x, and frame your shot accordingly.

My tests—conducted indoors and outdoors in various lighting conditions—show that Google’s relentless investment in computational photography continues to pay off, especially in an era when it makes its own chips. There’s a lot of fancy processing work happening behind the scenes, so all I needed to do to get a great photo was framing my shot and hitting the shutter button. A visual guide showing whether I was shooting my photo off-angle helped a bit but I mostly let the smartphone do all the work. I would consider the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera to be restrained. It brightened up low-light photos without blowing them out or muddying details and did a good job at color-balancing shots with a lot of dynamic range. 

More often than not the Pixel 7 Pro’s photos didn’t need editing, especially if you’re primarily interested in posting quick snapshots to Instagram. I compared the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera directly to an iPhone 14 Pro Max under a challenging circumstance: a lit fire pit in a dark backyard from a distance of about two feet. Both phones were set to their 1X camera settings, and the results (below) speak for themselves.

iPhone 14 Pro Max (left) vs. Pixel 7 Pro (right) Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

Smartphone photography has gotten a lot better over the past few years. Google is further leveraging the Tensor G2 to help you transform shots that almost turned out correctly into usable pictures through a feature called “UnBlur.” Tapping this button uses machine learning to digitally fix blurry photos, whether they were taken on the Pixel 7 Pro or not. This feature was hit-and-miss in my testing but, when it works, the before-and-after difference can be pretty significant. There are plenty of reasons for a blurry photo, from a shaky hand to an overactive subject, so it’s good to know your smartphone camera has your back in challenging situations outside of your control.

You can see the work of the Google Pixel 7’s UnBlur feature below; it’s not perfect, but the difference in usability is undeniable. Google has historically improved the quality of its machine-learning photography technology through software updates, so I expect UnBlur to get a lot better. This feature’s most impressive quality so far is the ability to apply it to any picture in your Google Photos library. UnBlur will be most effective when it’s applied to newer photos (specifically those taken on a Pixel 7 series device), but it can save older ones, too.

Original photo (left) vs. UnBlurred photo (right) Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

It just keeps going (and going and going) …

If you’re considering upgrading your smartphone because of its declining battery life, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Pixel 7 Pro. A full charge had no problems surviving a day of messaging, video watching, and social media browsing. I thought I’d put the battery through a stress test leaving a YouTube video playing continuously with the screen brightness at 100%—three hours later the phone said it still had over one day’s worth of juice left in the tank. 

Everybody’s workload is different and your mileage may vary if you’re recording hours of 4K video, editing it, and posting it on social media from your device. In those cases, it’s helpful to know that the Pixel 7 Pro supports 23W fast charging with a cable or on a wireless charger. The smartphone also supports reverse wireless charging, which means you can use it to top up other devices in a pinch.

Believe your eyes and ears

The Pixel 7 Pro’s power efficiency allows you to watch long videos without experiencing battery anxiety. Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

So, who should buy the Pixel 7 Pro?

If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, the Pixel 7 Pro should be on the shortlist for consideration. The overall quality of its hardware—especially the Tensor G2 processor, which you won’t find anywhere else—cannot be overstated. And it’s paired with Android 13, an operating system designed to run perfectly on Google’s hardware. It may not have the whiz-bang cool factor of Samsung’s foldables, or the familiarity (to many) of the iPhone, but Google has continued to prove itself as a top-tier smartphone maker. The company’s dedication is especially impressive given how little its hardware has sold relative to its main competition, though some new reports suggest that trend could be changing. 

The conventional wisdom when an iPhone owner wants to upgrade their device is “get the newest iPhone.” The Pixel 7 Pro makes a compelling case to become a similar recommendation to anyone on the Android side of the aisle, even if it’s a little boring. The Google Pixel 7 Pro comes in Hazel (olive green), Snow (white), and Obsidian (black), starting at $899 for a model equipped with 128GB of storage and going up to $1,099 for the maxed-out version with 512GB of storage. The smartphone is available now in all storage sizes and colors.

How To Delay Facebook Pixel With Google Tag Manager

In this guide, we’ll show you how to build higher-quality audiences in your Facebook Ads by delaying your Facebook Pixel and eliminating bounced users from your audience.

This tutorial will explain:

Sign up to the FREE GTM for Beginners Course…

Why Should You Delay Facebook Pixel?

Delaying the Facebook Pixel from firing immediately when a user enters your website will filter out any user who isn’t really interested in what you have to offer.

This is totally fine—not everyone on the whole internet is part of your intended audience. However, it could be a problem if these users become part of your targeted audience for marketing campaigns.

If you want to optimize your audience for retargeting purposes, you might want to focus on users who have been on your website for more than a few seconds.

We can implement such a delay with the help of Google Tag Manager and create a Facebook audience of people who have stayed at least five seconds on your webpage.

🚨 Note: If you use The Facebook Pixel and haven’t integrated Google Tag Manager yet, be sure to check out our Facebook Pixel Tracking with GTM guide.

Creating Your Base Facebook Tag

Let’s begin by creating our base Facebook Tag. This Tag will load the Facebook Pixel library so your pixel can record other Facebook events.

For this, let’s create a new custom HTML tag in Google Tag Manager. 

Make sure to give your Tag an informative name. I like to use CHTML for “custom HTML” to describe the Tag type, then the tool and the scope or function of the Tag. In this case, I’ve named this Tag CHTML – Facebook – Base Pixel.

Since there isn’t an official integration for Facebook Pixel Tags, we’ll be making a custom one using the Custom HTML tag type.

Then, paste this pixel code into the HTML field of your new Tag. 

Since we’ll need this base Tag to fire first to track any other Facebook events, we’ll want it to fire on all pages across our website.

Testing Your Base Pixel Tag

While in preview mode, navigate around your website. If everything is implemented correctly so far, your CHTML – Facebook – Base Pixel Tag should fire on each webpage. 

I also like to use a browser extension called the Facebook Pixel Helper, which shows here that a PageView event has fired. This is the Tag that we just installed, so we know that the Tag is firing properly and will be sent to our Facebook Ads account.

Creating Facebook Event that Fires 5 Seconds After Page Load

Now that we have a base Tag that will load our Facebook Pixel library, we can create more customized event Tags to collect better data.

Next, let’s create a custom event for this Facebook Pixel that fires five seconds after the page load. This accomplishes our goal of tracking only users who are interested in our website and excluding users who bounce.

There are two main steps to this process.

First, we’ll need to create a timer trigger that will wait for five seconds before firing our Tag. 

Create GTM Timer Trigger

There is a built-in trigger inside Google Tag Manager that can help use accomplished this called the Timer trigger. 

The field Interval determines how long the timer will wait after trigger to fire a Tag. To achieve a five-second delay on our Facebook Pixel Tag, enter 5000 milliseconds in the Interval field.

If no Limit is placed on this trigger, then it will fire a Tag every consecutive interval. In this case, the Tag would fire again every five seconds.

We only want to fire our Tag once per page, so set the Limit to 1.

Finally, we need to set the conditions for this trigger. This will tell the trigger when it should start its timer.

We want this trigger to fire on all pages, so we’ll set the conditions to Page Path / matches RegEx /  .*. The dot-star ( .* ) in regular expression notation means that any value will be considered, so the timer will begin on any page on this website.

Finally, don’t forget to give your trigger an informative name—Timer – 5 Seconds is pretty self-explanatory—and Save it.

So with these settings,  we have a timer trigger that fires just once after five seconds on all pages. This is perfect for tracking pageviews from users who don’t bounce.

Build Custom HTML Facebook Tags

Now, let’s create a Tag that uses our new trigger and fires a custom Facebook event. 

Let’s give this Tag a name to distinguish it from our base Tag. I’ll call mine CHTML – Facebook – 5 Seconds. 

And here we need to type exactly like this: 

fbq(‘trackCustom’,’5 Seconds’);

This snippet is a piece of JavaScript. The trackCustom element allows us to create our own Facebook event that we can name whatever we want. I will use the name 5 Seconds so we can identify it in the Facebook Ads interface.

Next, we’re going to attach our five-second timer trigger to this Tag that we’ve just built. 

So this piece of code fires five seconds after each page load. 

Testing Your Delayed Pixel Tag

We’re almost done with this Tag. Our last step is to test it in the Google Tag Manager preview and debug mode.

If you check the Facebook Pixel Helper, you can also see that the PageView has fired and also our 5 Seconds event.

Finally, we should also make sure that our Facebook Ads account is receiving the correct data from these Tags.

In your Facebook Events Manager, go to Test events. Under the Receiving activity list, you should see events for both your base Tag (Page view) and for your timer Tag (5 Seconds) on each page you opened while in GTM preview mode.

Setting Tag Firing Priority

There’s one more step that we should take to ensure that our implementation is airtight.

We want to make sure that our base Tag always fires before the timer Tag, no matter what else happens on the page load. This is because without Facebook library initiating from the base Tag, the timer Tag will not successfully send information to our Facebook Ads account.

Under Advanced Settings, find the field labeled Tag firing priority. The higher a Tag’s firing priority compared to other Tags, the earlier it will fire (the default is zero). Any value greater than zero will ensure that this Tag fires before our other Tags.

Creating Facebook Audience in Facebook Pixel Interface

Choose the Facebook Ads account where you’d like to create an audience.

Choose the correct pixel that is tracking your new events. 

Then, we can create an audience of people who have stayed for at least five seconds by selecting for users tracked by our 5 Seconds event.

We also need to determine how long users stay in this audience after being tracked by this event. Remarketing works well within a short timeframe, so I’ll set this to one week.

With this custom audience, you can target users who were interested in your website with your remarketing campaigns.

🚨 Note: If you’re getting errors in your Meta Pixel, make sure to check out our handy guide on how to fix Meta Pixel errors.

FAQ How do I set a Tag’s firing priority?

To set a Tag’s firing priority in Google Tag Manager, follow these steps:

How do I create a Facebook audience?

To create a Facebook audience using your delayed Facebook Pixel events, you can follow these steps:

What are the benefits of delaying Facebook Pixel? Summary

So there you have it. This is how you can delay your Facebook pixel to build a higher quality audience.

Check out our guide on Facebook Pixel Purchase & Conversion Tracking with GTM which also improves your ability to track more qualitative data.

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