Google announced the highly anticipated new Pixel phones at an event in San Francisco, California, earlier this month. The company has announced two Pixel models in its new line – Pixel and Pixel XL. Both new Pixel phones carry the words such as “Made by Google” and “Phone by Google” branding to show Google’s deeper involvement. Before we address the Google Pixel vs. Apple iPhone 7 comparison, let’s take a quick look at the new Pixel phones.
With the Pixel phones, Google moves to the premium price tag and Google-optimized experience packed Android phones. The long-running Google Nexus line of products will now be replaced and rebranded under the Pixel banner. Google partnered with phone makers to deliver the best Android experience in the Nexus line. Now the company is stepping up to make the phones by itself. To transform the designs and concepts into a real phone, Google chose to partner with HTC, the first Nexus phone hardware maker.
“We’ve now decided to take the next step and provide our take on the best Google experience, by bringing hardware and software design together under one roof.”
Let’s take a look at the specs sheet of the Pixel and the iPhone 7.
Though Google may beat its chest about designing the Pixel to be different, its similarity with the iPhone’s design language is quite evident. The Pixel phones are not waterproof or dustproof, and it has a glass window at the back to give a break from the anodized aluminum.
On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone 7 bears a close resemblance to the iPhone 6s. Apple has added the IP67 rating to make it waterproof to a certain extent. Also, the oleophobic coating on the Retina display prevents it from becoming a fingerprint magnet. On the other hand, Google doesn’t offer either of these in the Pixel phones.
Every year, Apple uses a stronger aluminum alloy to construct the iPhones, and we can only hope that the latest model follows the same. On the other hand, the Nexus 6P did suffer a bendgate last year, and Google is yet to share details on the aluminum alloy that makes the Pixel’s chassis.
Google adopts a USB Type-C port at the bottom in the Pixel and continues to offer the standard audio port. Meanwhile, Apple has yanked out the audio port and pushing the Lightning port for connecting headphones and other accessories.
Apple added the matte black and Jet Black in the color options. While Google offers Pixel in Quite Silver, Very Black, and Really Blue color options.
Apple uses a 4.7-inch LED-backlit display with IPS panel technology and a new Taptic engine. Apple calls it a Retina HD display because of the 1334 x 750-pixel resolution which translates to 329PPI pixel density. The screen offers a DCI-P3 Wide Color standard which covers the most natural range of colors often used in digital movie projections in the U.S. This year, Apple has gotten brighter with up to 600 nits of brightness. The display also has a layer of oleophobic coating to ward of fingerprint and smudges as much as possible. In a nutshell, the iPhone 7 has the best iPhone screen ever.
The Pixel by Google offers a 5-inch AMOLED display with 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 4 layer. Sporting a 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution, the Pixel provides a crisp 441PPI pixel density. The AMOLED displays are known to produce greater color gamuts and high refresh rates. However, the demerit of these display panels is that the colors can fade a bit over a period or even burn (not literally) if used at high brightness for a long time. Then again, the AMOLED displays consume less power.
While Apple trumpets about the 3D Touch and improved Siri with services integration, there’s hardly anything novel. The iOS 10 version continues to bother the current iPhone users with a few nagging bugs. That said, the iOS provides a smoother experience on iPhone, most of the time.
Google has added the Artificial Intelligence powered Google Assistant in the phone along with the Allo app for messaging and Duo for video calling. Google has integrated the Now on Tap feature that takes a snapshot of the information on the screen and offers the best relevant search solutions. This feature can not only converse with you, but can also make bookings such as movie tickets or restaurant reservations on your behalf.
Google’s Artificial Intelligence-packed Android 7.0 Nougat experience is indeed tempting.
According to Recode, Google has not only worked on the software side of things, but also selected the image sensor and worked on the lens part for Pixel phones. DxOMark rates the Google Pixel highly for having one of the best cameras in mobile available today. The Pixel’s camera is capable of capturing high-quality details and keep the noise minimal in the images.
On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone is one of the most popular mobile phone cameras around. The 12-megapixel iSight camera with f/1.8 aperture can shoot 4K videos, provide better quality zoom, and fares well even in low-light environments. DPreview states that Optical Image Stabilization will give it an edge over the other smartphone cameras for low-light photography. Regarding camera app simplicity and capturing speed, the iPhone 7’s camera can clearly outweigh other smartphones.
Apple iPhone 7 has a 1,960mAh battery inside and theoretically promises more run time than the iPhone 6. However, the early reviews of the iPhone 7 have a different story to tell. Apple promises 14 hours of talk time over 3G network, standby for ten days, 13 hours of wireless video playback and 40 hours of audio playback. The Inquisitr reported that the initial impressions of the iPhone 7 indicate sub-par battery life.
Meanwhile, Google Pixel houses a 2,770mAh battery, which in comparison looks more than the one in iPhone 7, regarding capacity. The Pixel promises up to 26 hours of talk time over 3G network, up to 19 days standby time, 13 hours of video playback, and 110 hours of wired audio playback.
The Google Pixel offers a better battery life than the iPhone 7, at least on paper for now.
Apple sells the iPhone 7 starting at $649 for a 32GB model, and Google Pixel’s 32GB model sells for the same $649 price. Even the 128GB models of the iPhone 7 and Pixel cost the same at $749. Both phones compete head-to-head and offer no discounts if you buy it directly from the respective companies.
However, Verizon is offering up to $300 off on exchange of a working old phone under the trade-in program. Then again, Verizon’s Google Pixel will have a locked bootloader. So if you plan to tinker around with the Pixel, buy it directly from Google.
Google Pixel phones set a new path for the company entering into the phone making business. Apple, on the other hand, has high hopes with its new iPhone 7 models. Especially, since the iPhone sales slumped in the last quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal.
At the end of the day, it comes down to choosing between two different ecosystems. You can buy the iPhone 7 for some waterproof protection, great camera, 3D Touch, and a battery that barely lasts a day. Or you can choose Pixel for the Google-optimized Android experience, competitive camera performance, twice the RAM than the iPhone 7, and a battery that can last more than a day. One of the key differences is that the iPhone 7 is water-resistant but the Pixel isn’t.
Both companies certainly need their phones to win the battle. Since you have read enough arguments about both devices here, which phone would you buy?
[Feature Image by Stephen Lam/Getty Images]