Google has finally launched its brand new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, and it isn’t surprising if many are right away wondering if the Pixel can or cannot hold a candle to Apple’s iPhone 7. Launched on Sept. 7, the nearly month-old iOS-running flagship is still doing well on the market. The Cupertino giant did pride itself on producing the best smartphone in the industry. However, Google is now claiming that its Pixel handsets are the best smartphones to launch this year. Google is even taking credit for designing and building the Pixel handsets, though HTC is reportedly the manufacturing genius behind the devices. So now the big question is: How does Google’s Pixel really fare when pitted against Apple’s iPhone 7? Here’s a comprehensive review of the handsets’ specs, features and what have you.
The Cupertino giant ensured that its iPhone 7 is equipped with the latest and most powerful chip from TSMC, the A10 Fusion. Since the device’s debut, Apple has been claiming that the A10 Fusion is fastest chip in a smartphone because of its 64-bit, quad-core processor technology that is composed of two high-performance and two high-efficiency cores. During the company’s launch event, Phil Schiller, Apple’s Marketing department senior vice-president, even proudly shared that the iPhone 7 is 40 percent faster than the iPhone 6s A9 chip. Furthermore, the iPhone 7 comes with a six-core GPU that makes the device a competent handset for heavy-duty use and gaming. Schiller even vouched that the new iPhone GPU is around 50 percent faster than the one found in last year’s flagship model.
On the other hand, Google and HTC also did good in equipping the Pixel with a cutting-edge mobile processor. The Android smartphone houses Qualcomm’s latest chip, the Snapdragon 821, which also comes with four cores — two Kryo cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and another two Kryo cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. Qualcomm says on its website that the Snapdragon 821 processor provides 10 percent better performance than the Snapdragon 820 chip, like the one found in the Galaxy S7 and the controversial Galaxy Note 7. Qualcomm also states the 821 chip has support for X12 LTE, which is thrice as fast as the X10 LTE found in Snapdragon 810-powered smartphones out there. Google’s Pixel also houses an Adreno 530 GPU that provides 40 percent better graphics performance and compute capabilities than the Adreno 430 GPU. Since Google Pixel will not arrive on the market until Oct. 20, however, there is still no way to verify if its Snapdragon 821 chip is just as fast or even faster than Apple’s A10 Fusion chip when the two smartphones are running side by side.
When it comes to display, the iPhone 7 gave way for its bigger brother, the iPhone 7 Plus, to sport the more advanced display technology. While the 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, the standard iPhone 7 packs in a 4.7-inch display with 750x1334 screen resolution. Its screen is also designed to accommodate 326 ppi pixel density. Taking into consideration its smaller display size the resolution and pixel density seems to be just right. What it lacks in display quality, however, it makes up with the 3D Touch feature that enhances the the overall user experience.
On the contrary, the Pixel’s display is a 5-inch AMOLED capacitive screen with 1080p resolution and 441 ppi pixel density, according to GSM Arena. The all-new Google flagship phone also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. It is important to note that the Galaxy Note 7, as a modern offering from Samsung, comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 is protected by Ion-strengthened glass and oleophobic coating. Hopefully, we’ll get to see drop tests of the Pixel when it hits the market soon, since the iPhone 7’s display has already proven its durability on more than one occasion, such as the time when TabTimes repeatedly dropped the device, but it still managed to come out alive.
Apple’s iPhones are known for their high quality smartphone cameras and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not disappoint in this department. The 7 Plus debuted with an innovative dual-lens camera system — one that is being touted as the best smartphone camera at present because of its ability to produce images that are up to par with DSLR-taken photos. Despite not sporting what the 7 Plus has, the iPhone 7 also delivers impressive photography through its 12-megapixel sensor, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, phase detection autofocus and quad-LED (dual tone) flash. As the more affordable alternative to the iPhone 7 Plus, it’s safe to say that the iPhone 7 still comes with an outstanding camera, since it is capable of taking high quality photos and save them in RAW format. Thus, it is not an overstatement to say that it can compete with DSLR cameras, like what Gizmodo says. And let’s not forget that the iPhone 7 does come with a 7-megapixel front-facing camera that’s also very capable of taking good quality snaps.
As for Google’s Pixel smartphone, the handset is also equipped with a 12-megapixel single-lens camera with phase detection autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash. Unlike the iPhone 7’s camera, however, Pixel’s primary snapper has an f/2.0 aperture and does not come with optical image stabilization. The Verge reports the rear camera of the two Pixel phones scored an 89 in DxOMark, which is the highest rating ever in the said benchmark. Moreover, while Apple has claimed that its new iPhone cameras process and capture images in just 25 milliseconds, Google boldly says the primary camera of its Pixel devices has “the shortest capture time on any mobile camera ever.” Still, we cannot jump the gun and redirect the praises for Apple’s iPhone 7 to Google’s all-new Pixel until we see the Pixel camera in action later this month
As Apple’s latest flagship device, the iPhone 7 comes with the most advanced features in an iPhone. It has NFC for Apple Pay, 3D Touch Home button with fingerprint sensor, HTML5 Safari Browser and IP67 rating for dust-proofing and water-proofing. It comes in five colors: Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Black and Jet Black. It doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it comes bundled with Lightning EarPods, a Lighting-to-headphone jack dongle and a v2.0 Lighting reversible connector. The iOS 10-running device has 2GB of RAM and has three internal memory options: 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. Finally, powering the device is a non-removable Li-ion 1960 mAh battery that is said to last for up to 14 hours with average use.
Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel smartphone has a fingerprint scanner, an HTML5 browser, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Type-C 1.0 reversible connector and a non-removable Li-ion 2770 mAh battery. It comes in three color options: Blue, Silver and Black. The Android Nougat v7.1-running device has 4GB of RAM and onboard storage options of 32GB and 128GB. Sadly, it does not come with microSD support for expandable storage, as per Pocket-lint. Nevertheless, it is designed to be compatible with the Daydream View headset for VR viewing and Google is offering free unlimited cloud storage to Pixel buyers. Last but certainly not the least, the Pixel has built-in Google Assistant, Google’s AI assistant that’s obviously a direct contender to Apple’s Siri. Pricing for both the iPhone 7 and the Pixel starts at $649.
Which do you think is the better flagship device between Apple’s iPhone 7 and Google’s Pixel? Sound off in the comments below.