The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were officially revealed last week and, obviously, comparisons to Apple’s newest devices began right away. It makes sense to compare the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus. These are two top dogs (currently) in the respective smartphone lineups of each tech giant. Pure Android as it was meant to be experienced going head to head with iOS. I’m not sure there’s a more relevant comparison for either device, to be honest.
We’re more than a week past the reveal of the Pixel 2 XL and the comparisons to the iPhone 8 Plus have been done over and over again on every tech website around the web. One point that seems to come up is the difference in price. Apple has always been known as the premium smartphone manufacturer. iPhones have typically cost more than devices from other manufacturers. However, this year, the iPhone 8 Plus is no longer the most expensive flagship device. That crown will go to the iPhone X when it is released for sale. Until then, devices like the Galaxy Note 8 and the Pixel 2 XL sport much higher price tags than the iPhone 8 Plus. There are some major differences in features and performance that make us wonder if Google has priced the Pixel 2 XL too high in relation to the iPhone 8 Plus. The price difference isn’t huge, granted. The Pixel 2 XL costs $849 for 64GB of storage and the iPhone 8 Plus is listed at $799. We’re talking about $50 here. Still, there’s a difference and you have to wonder if the extra $50 is worth it. Let’s dive in a little deeper to compare the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus…
A lot of people immediately point to the chipsets used in each device. The Google Pixel 2 XL has a Snapdragon 835, much like other Android flagship devices like the Galaxy Note 8. The iPhone 8 Plus uses the same A11 Bionic chip found in the iPhone X. In benchmarking tests, the A11 chip outperforms the Snapdragon 835 by a lot. Sure, benchmarks don’t mean everything. A phone can benchmark really well but have a horrible design and buggy software. Still, for an extra $50 Google has included a chipset that is outperformed by the A11 chip found in the less expensive iPhone 8 Plus.
There is also a question of camera capability. Google, once again, opted to go with a single camera sensor while the iPhone 8 Plus offers a dual camera sensor. More sensors doesn’t necessarily mean better but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have the extra sensor available. Google has packed in some nice software features to help bridge the gap but I think a lot of people would have liked to see a dual sensor camera in an $849 flagship device. One big advantage that Google does have, however, is the photo storage. People who purchase a Pixel 2 XL get unlimited, full resolution photo storage using Google Photos. That’s a big bonus if you’re the type of person who takes a lot of snapshots using your smartphone. If you aren’t the photo taking type then that won’t matter much. Definitely a feature highly dependent on specific usage cases.
Last year’s Pixel XL had a 3.5mm headphone port. This year, Google dropped the feature. For some, that was a huge draw that gave the Pixel an advantage over the newest iPhone. With the confirmation that the Pixel 2 XL would not have a headphone port, people wondered why they would pay $50 than the iPhone 8 Plus to get the same (lack of) features. Feature-wise, the loss of the headphone port was a step backward but the price of the device seemed to take a leap forward.
In fact, you could make the argument that the iPhone 8 Plus actually has more features than the Google Pixel 2 XL. That’s because Apple added wireless charging to all iPhone models for this year. Wireless charging is a luxury feature that some people may use and some may ignore. However, I’m always of the belief that it’s better to include more features rather than less. The Google Pixel 2 XL does not have wireless charging but, of course, costs more money. If you really like the idea of wireless charging then it wouldn’t make sense to pay more money for fewer features.
With all of the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus comparisons done; it’s clear that these are both great devices. For most people, spending an extra $50 once you hit around the $800 mark is not a huge consideration. If you love Android then you will spend the extra money for the newest pure Android experience. You may miss out on features like wireless charging but the argument could be made that the Pixel 2 XL makes up for it in other ways like the modern design, unlimited photo storage, and better display. There is also the matter of discounts. We rarely see Apple devices get discounted until they are well into their life cycle. The Pixel 2 XL will likely see discounts as time wears on and, before you know it, the device may cost less brand new than an iPhone 8 Plus. If you’re willing to wait to score a deal on a discounted Pixel 2 XL then, obviously, the price difference at launch won’t mean much to you.
What do you think about the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus price difference? Is the $50 worth it? Does $50 even matter at this price point? Or, did Google really mess up by offering a more expensive device with fewer features? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!