On Tuesday, Google announced to the world that it is ready to take on smartphone royalty with two new phones. The Pixel and Pixel XL bear all the hallmarks of high-quality flagship handsets. As both will be on sale starting October 20, have you decided which one to buy? If you haven’t, here’s how they compare.
Both handsets have AMOLED capacitive touchscreens and benefit from Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. Size-wise, the Pixel XL is the largest at 5.5 inches, with the smaller Pixel coming in at 5 inches. Regarding resolution, the XL is 1440 x 2560 pixels and 534ppi, and the other is 1080 x 1920 pixels with 441ppi.
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Other than size, these displays are identical, with the only way of discerning a winner being whether you prefer a big phone or not.
Sizes and weights compared
Again, due to its larger display, the Pixel XL is the bigger of the two handsets. It measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighs in at a respectable 168 grams. The smaller device measures 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm and weighs 143 grams.
So as you would expect, a larger screen leads to the Pixel XL being the larger and heavier handset. However, I fail to see how this is negative; again, it comes down to how big you like your phone.
Unfortunately, there is little difference between these two handsets, as even their cameras are identical. Both the Pixel and Pixel XL have 12.3-megapixel rear sensors with f/2.0 apertures. They both have the same 8-megapixel front-facing sensor with an f/2.4 aperture.
As for features, again there’s nothing to separate them. Both have Smartburst for capturing action shots, and they have a feature called HDR+, which will soon allow them to shoot with no shutter lag at all and deliver sharp, vivid images in any conditions.
Without sounding like a broken record, again the Pixel and Pixel XL share the same hardware. This time, it’s a processor, with both benefiting from the powerful and newest Snapdragon 821 chip. This chip is said to bring performance increases above and beyond the Snapdragon 820 in the Galaxy Note 7.
Both devices have 4GB of random access memory, or RAM, for short. When coupled with the Snapdragon chip, it makes for two very powerful smartphones. Moving on to storage, I’m sorry to say that Google has neglected to support microSD cards, so there’s no on-board expansion available. However, there are two internal storage options: 32GB and 128GB.
Why anyone would opt for the 32GB without card support is beyond me, and I’m not even a photographer, nor do I shoot videos daily or have an extensive music collection. I just feel better knowing that if I need the storage, it is there.
At last, we have a difference between Google’s two newest phones, and I am assuming this comes down to how much power the displays use. The Pixel XL has a larger battery; it’s 689mAh larger at 3,450 mAh, which is a big battery. The smaller Pixel’s battery comes in at 2,770mAh, which is probably just enough to run a phone with a 5-inch display.
However, that’s end of the battery differences, as both support Quick Charging, which is usually only seen on Samsung handsets. In fact, this Quick Charging feature can bump up the Pixel and Pixel XL’s batteries by 7 hours in just 15 minutes.
The Pixel and Pixel XL come in different storage sizes, so depending on the capacity, the prices will differ. If you want the smaller handset, the 32GB will cost you $649, and it’s $749 for the 128GB version. You’ll have to pay a whopping $769 for the 32GB Pixel XL and $869 for the 128GB model.
So the Google Pixel and Pixel XL both offer the same premium design with the same processor, RAM and storage options. However, the XL stands out for me due to its larger display size, resolution and battery capacity. The only downsides I can see are that it is 25 grams heavier and costs more.