This weekend I read every review I could find on Google’s new Pixel, yet another iPhone killer with Android inside. Basically, I wanted to compare details with my brand new iPhone 7 Plus. If you want to spare yourself a little reading, my conclusion is this. Pixel is somewhere between iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7s; better in a few ways, worse in a longer number of items.
There is little chance that Pixel will be an iPhone killer or even dissuade many iPhone users from upgrading to an iPhone 7, but for the sake of comparison let’s say you’re a feature hound and need to compare and contrast before making a decision to purchase.
Price – iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL are the same price.
Storage – iPhone 7 Plus has a 256GB option, Pixel does not.
Case Design – There is not much difference between the two in aesthetics, size, weight, but iPhone 7 has more colors than Pixel.
Camera – Benchmarks show both cameras to be excellent; Pixel seems better in low light, iPhone 7 Plus has dual lenses and optical image stabilization. Pixel does not.
Battery – Pixel’s battery is larger, but battery life is a different issue and depends upon usage.
Screen – Pixel Xl and iPhone 7 Plus have the same screen size at 5.5-inches, but PPI (pixels per inch is slightly higher on Pixel; both are so high you won’t see a difference). Pixel’s screen is AMOLED which often makes colors brighter than reality, while iPhone 7’s LCD screen is considered indistinguishable from perfect.
Cloud – It’s arguable that Google’s cloud offerings are better than Apple, but buy a Pixel and you get unlimited online storage for photos and videos at original quality vs. iPhone’s iCloud which is free only to 5GB of storage (for everything, not just photos).
Sound – Pixels do not have stereo sound, but iPhone 7’s do. iPhone uses Bluetooth and Lightning connectors for headphones, while Pixel uses the old fashioned headphone jack for sound out.
Charging – Pixel uses fast charging and claims to get up to 7 hours after a 15-minute charge. iPhone’s are notoriously slow charging devices (which may have something to do with why iPhones don’t explode and catch on fire as often as Android smartphones) but the XL and 7 Plus models have more than enough battery for a day of use.
Water Resistance – iPhone has water resistance at IP67 vs. Pixel’s at IP53. Higher is better.
Touch Screen – iPhone uses 3D Touch which makes navigating easier once you figure out how to use it.
Fingerprint Sensor – both iPhone 7 and Pixel have a fast, accurate fingerprint sensor.
Speed – Pixel’s camera opens faster than iPhone but that’s about it; most benchmarks show both iPhone 7 models crush all Android smartphones.
My conclusion hasn’t changed.
Pixel XL ranks somewhere between iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7 Plus but does not represent a dramatic improvement in smartphones. I find it interesting that Apple was criticized that the iPhone 7’s case was too much like the iPhone 6 and 6s, but nobody criticized Google for a Pixel design that seems a clone of an iPhone model introduced years ago.