The forthcoming Google Pixel XL 2 is the latest attempt of Google to establish itself in the smartphone marketplace. But this new device follows on the back of the previous Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL releases; so how do these devices compare with the undoubted market leader, the iPhone 7?
Firstly, the iPhone 7 is the most compact of the four devices at 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in). This compares favorably with the Google Pixel, with its size being 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5 mm (5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 in).
However, the Google Pixel XL – 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm (6.09 x 2.98 x 0.33 in) – is the smaller of the two phablets, with the iPhone 7 Plus measuring 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in).
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The iPhone 7 is also marginally lighter than the Google Pixel, but the iPhone 7 Plus is significantly heavier than the Google Pixel XL. It is certainly surprising that the iPhone 7 Plus is a full 50 grammes heavier than its smaller cousin.
Both of the Google Pixel devices have superior screen resolution to their Apple counterparts. The iPhone 7 can display only 750 x 1,334 Pixels, compared to the full HD resolution of the Google Pixel. While the iPhone 7 Plus resolution is beefed up to full HD, the Google Pixel XL is a quad HD smartphone.
Apple has certainly fallen behind the pack slightly in this department, and there will be pressure on the Californian corporation to deliver an increased screen resolution when the iPhone 8 is released.
The Google Pixel has a somewhat larger screen than the iPhone 7, with the Google smartphone featuring a five-inch display compared to the 4.7-inch screen of the Apple contender. Both of the phablets are fitted with 5.5-inch displays. The extra size of the Google Pixel of course helps to explain why the weight of the device is higher.
Exactly the same quad-core 2.34 GHz processor (2 x Hurricane + 2 x Zephyr) is fitted in both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. This gives the Apple device the edge of the Google Pixel range, with both handsets being armed with quad-core processors (2 x 2.15 GHz Kryo & 2 x1.6 GHz Kryo). When coupled with the proprietary software of the Apple corporation, it must be said that this translates into a pretty significant performance advantage.
The various storage quantities offered by the devices are listed below:
iPhone 7 – 32 / 128 / 256GB
iPhone 7 Plus – 32 / 128 / 256GB
Google Pixel – 32 / 128GB
Google Pixel XL – 32 / 128GB
Apple smartphones must be given the edge in this department, purely due to the 256GB option offered in both iPhone 7 models. It is interesting that Apple has particularly emphasized this aspect of smartphone performance, with the corporation obviously envisaging that consumers will wish to store significant amounts of media within their iPhone devices. This probably feeds into the Apple App Store; such a massively important source of revenue for the market-leading consumer electronics company.
Both of the Google Pixel handsets are armed with 4GB of RAM, meaning that they have a significant advantage over both of their Apple rivals. Indeed, the smartphone version of the Pixel has double the RAM of the 2GB smartphone iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 Plus does feature 3GB of RAM, but Google has clearly won out in this area. Nonetheless, Apple’s combination of proprietary hardware and software is known to deliver outstanding results regardless of raw specs.
All four of the cameras included in these devices deliver 12-megapixels, suggesting that the photographic capabilities of this quartet of handsets is rather similar. This is a reasonable conclusion, but it is worth noting that Apple includes quad-LED in both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, while the Google Pixel devices have only dual-LED.
It will be interesting to see what Apple can do to develop the camera in the iPhone 8 generation, and the device has already been linked with some outstanding and revolutionary technology.
The batteries included in both of the Google Pixel offerings are significantly larger than either of the iPhone 7 releases. The smartphone-sized iPhone 7 is fitted with a non-removable Li-Ion 1960 mAh battery. This compares with the non-removable Li-Ion 2770 mAh unit included in the Google Pixel. The larger iPhone 7 Plus has a non-removable Li-Ion 2900 mAh battery, but the Pixel XL features a non-removable Li-Ion 3450 mAh cell. This perhaps helps to explain why Apple has struggled with battery lifecycle in recent iPhone generations.
Both of the Google Pixel devices marginally outperform their Apple counterparts in this critical aspect of smartphone performance. The iPhone 7 delivers an endurance rating of 61 hours; slightly less than the 64 hours offered by the Google Pixel. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 Plus offers an endurance rating of 75 hours, still three hours less than the 78 hours delivered by the Pixel XL.
The specs of the Google Pixels certainly compare favorably to the iPhone 7, as perhaps could have been anticipated. Unlike Samsung, Apple has never concentrated on cramming excessive specs into devices, and has instead focused its attention on ensuring that the iPhone is as slick a package as possible.
Nonetheless, the performance and advantages that the iPhone achieves via its combination of superior processing speed and proprietary hardware and software are far from insignificant, and help to continue to propel the iPhone to the very top of the consumer electronics industry.