Within the last hour, Google announced its move away from the Nexus line of handsets to the Google Pixel line with two handsets which many may come to see as an Android purist’s perfect smartphone partner. Because we live in a dog-eat-dog world, I thought I’d take the plunge and compare Pixel and Pixel XL. So to start the ball rolling, let’s see how they compare to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Sizes and weights compared
Just like their iPhone competitors, the Pixel and Pixel XL come in two flavors/sizes. The smaller handset measures 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm and weighs 143 grams. The larger Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighs 168 grams.
Apple’s iPhone 7 measures 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm and weighs a respectable 138 grams, while the iPhone 7 Plus measures 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm with a weight of 188 grams.
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So what can we take from these figures? The smaller Pixel is 5 grams heavier and 1.5mm thicker than the iPhone 7, while the iPhone 7 Plus is a larger phone overall than the Pixel XL. The Google phone is thicker but weighs 20 grams less.
Where looks are concerned, even though the iPhones have relatively the same design as their predecessors, they’re still good-looking.
The Pixel and Pixel XL feature a metal body with an upper rear section made of glass. Both handsets feature the same design, but with different sizes, just like the iPhones. I think it would be tough for anything to top the beauty of the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, but I would have to wait until I got one of the Pixel handsets in my hand before deciding for sure whether I prefer Google’s or Apple’s latest offering.
Moving on to fingerprint sensors, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have theirs firmly entrenched in the Home button, while the Pixel and Pixel XL have theirs on the rear of their bodies within the glass panel.
The Pixel’s and Pixel XL’s available colors are, in my opinion, quite limited. They are: Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue. Compared to the options available for the iPhones, there are two missing. The full list of iPhone colors for this year’s models is: Jet Black, Matte Black, Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold.
What can we take from the design differences?
- Concerning which is the better looking, this is down to the eye of the beholder. What do you think?
- As for the available color variations, I like to have lots of choices, and Apple wins this five to three.
Many smartphone manufacturers seem to be going with 12-megapixel camera sensors at the moment because not only do the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have 12-megapixel rear cameras, but so do the Pixel and Pixel XL. However, while there are very certain differences between the rear cameras on this year’s iPhone (the 7 Plus has dual-rear-lenses), those found on the two new Google phones are identical.
In fact, Google has already highlighted a comparison of the iPhone 7 camera and that of the Pixel. Done by DxOMark’s camera benchmarking program, it shows the Pixel XL camera scoring an 89, which, according to Google and the benchmark site, is the highest score ever achieved by a smartphone camera.
What I take from the above image leaves me wondering. Why is there no mention of the iPhone 7 Plus? Has the Pixel XL only been compared to the iPhone 7 camera? If so, has Google’s high-scoring camera not been pitted against the dual-lens tech of the iPhone 7 Plus? I don’t know the answer to that question; however, there does seem to be a gap between the iPhone 7 and Pixel on that benchmark chart. Maybe the 7 Plus scored an 88. What do you think?
What can we take from the camera specs?
- Google’s word on the Pixel’s camera performance cannot be taken at face value. As such, I hope more benchmarking/testing will be completed soon.
- The iPhone 7’s and Pixel’s cameras are very similar in what they offer initially. However, the Pixel may just come out on top thanks to its zero shutter lag and HDR Plus feature.
Starting with the Pixel and Pixel XL, as with their identical camera specs, they also have the same chipset and amount of RAM. Both have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, which is supported by a huge 4GB of RAM. There’s also 32GB and 128GB of storage. However, there is no room for a microSD card slot, meaning that the 32GB option may not sell very well. There is a slight difference with the batteries, which can be tied to the display size difference. The smaller Pixel has a 2,770mAh battery that supports Quick Charging, and the Pixel XL has a 3,450mAh which also supports Quick Charging.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both sport the super fast A10 Fusion chipset. Apple has previously boasted that it is the fastest CPU ever seen in a smartphone. And while it is the fastest ever seen in an iPhone, right now the race for the fastest chip is wide open again.
The iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM, and the 7 Plus has 3GB, which of course is less than what is in the Pixels. However, it’s thought that the closed nature of Apple’s iOS firmware enables it to create a more stable environment which requires less RAM to obtain the same performance results.
The iPhone 7 has a 1,960mAh battery, and the Plus has a 2,900mAh battery. In previous years, many iPhone owners have complained about their batteries draining quickly. However, Apple has been working on this, and both handsets offer about one to two hours’ more battery life than previous models.
Right now the iPhone 7 is available from $649 for a 32GB model all the way up to $849 for a 256GB model. The 7 Plus can be purchased for $769 at 32GB and $969 at 256GB. These prices are without a contract, and prices can fluctuate depending on whether you buy from Apple or not.
Like the iPhones, the Pixel and Pixel XL come in different storage sizes, and which one you go for will affect the price. If you don’t want a contract, you can get a 32GB model for $769 unlocked. However, if 128GB is your preferred size, it’s going to set you back $869, which is roughly in line with the price of the iPhone 7 Plus, as is the price of the 32GB model.
Pixel XL and Pixel Specs compared
If you want an assessment of which handset is the better one, that’s going to be difficult. Almost no one has gotten their hands on the Pixel or Pixel XL to do real-world testing yet, but here goes.
Price-wise, all four handsets are similar to their counterparts. However, I think the A10 Fusion is going to be a hard chipset to beat. While I’m not saying the Snapdragon 821 is a slouch, it’s going to take a lot of grunt to knock the A10 Fusion chip off the top spot.
Other than that, I’m not able to say. We’ll have to get our hands on the Pixel and do some testing and then post again. What are your gut feelings on this? Has Google created an iPhone 7 killer with the Pixel and Pixel XL?