Almost all the major new smartphones due this year have been released and are available to buyers. This means users who love pitting one smartphone against another can now do so. One user performed a speed test which pitted two of the most-anticipated smartphones against each other: the Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max. The results were quite surprising.
Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max in a speed test
YouTube channel EverythingApplePro conducted this latest speed test which pitted the Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max. The tests included some real-life scenarios as well. Each phone was tasked with opening the same series of apps in the same sequence in two rounds. In the first round, the device’s speed was measured, while in the second, the handset’s memory management capability was evaluated.
Even though the Pixel 3 XL booted up faster and opened a few apps faster than the iPhone XS Max, overall, the speed test results were not in favor of Google’s latest flagship. The hardware in the smartphone can partly be blamed for this. Even though Google launched the phones in mid-October, they are powered by a relatively old series of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.
The Google Pixel 3 handsets feature 10-nanometer Snapdragon 845 chips, compared to the 7-nanometer chips which are powering Apple’s latest iPhones and the four new Huawei Mate 20 versions. Qualcomm’s own 7-nanometer chip — the Snapdragon 855 — will be out soon.
The hardware is not the only problem with the Pixel 3 handsets. One of the speed tests found that the phone is slow in reloading apps again, suggesting it isn’t doing a good job of keeping apps in the memory. Even though the Pixel 3 handsets run the purest form of Android, they are not faster, so it may be that the software is not optimized. Apple’s iPhones faced a similar problem with RAM management in iOS 11.
Snapdragon 845 vs. Apple’s A12
Qualcomm’s aging Snapdragon 845 chipset also powers Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, the Galaxy S9/S9+ and many other high-end Android flagships released this year. The Snapdragon 845 is an octa-core chip which features four cores clocked at 2.5 GHz and four clocked at 1.6 GHz, coupled with 4 GB of RAM.
In comparison, Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, which powers the iPhone XS Max, is custom designed. It is based on the more efficient 7-nanometer FiNFET fabrication process. Further, it features a hexa-core CPU cluster, and each of the six cores are clocked at 2.35 GHz.
The Google Pixel 3 XL even lagged other 2018 flagships, including the Galaxy S9 and the OnePlus 6, which emerged as the fastest Android handset.
Another speed test with similar results
In another speed test which putted the Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max, YouTuber PhoneBuff got similar results. The YouTuber found that the Pixel 3 XL was more than a minute slower than Apple’s flagship smartphone. Both phones feature 4 GB of RAM.
In this test, both handsets were put through a list of tasks, including social media, gaming, productivity, photo editing and more. Google’s handset took 3 minutes and 35 seconds. PhoneBuff also noticed that the Pixel 3 XL wasn’t keeping the apps in its memory, leading to higher reload times.
PhoneBuff ran the same tests several times, but the results were the same. For the Pixel 3, memory management is a known issue. The handset may perform better once the issue is resolved. Many believe the XS Max will still beat the Pixel 3, but it should be a much closer fight then.
PhoneBuff recently carried out the same tests between Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and the XS Max. Even though the Note 9 features 8 GB of RAM, compared to 4 GB for the XS Max, Apple’s handset performed the same tasks 14 seconds faster than Samsung’s flagship.
Pixel 3 has a better camera
Though the Pixel 3 XL lacks speed, it does sport a pretty impressive camera which may be better than the cameras in Apple’s latest iPhones. Google added several new AI features to allow the camera to take better photos and choose the best of them. The Pixel 3 camera also has a Night Sight mode for taking better images in low light.
Further, the Pixel 3 features a Group Selfie function that can capture 184% more of the scene than the selfie cam in the iPhone X. There is also a Photobooth mode, which will automatically take your photo if you are making a funny face. Google also added a “Super Res Zoom,” which give better close-up photos without blurring the details.