Google Pixel vs iPhone 7 Review: Battle of the Smartphone Giants

2 December 2016, 6:25 am EST By Gio C. Mobile & Apps
Members of the media examine Google's Pixel phone during an event to introduce Google hardware products on October 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Google unveils new products including the Google Pixel Phone making a jump into the mobile device market. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)  ( Ramin Talaie/Getty Images )

In October 2016, Google made a big change in launching the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones as its new flagship devices, bidding goodbye to their earlier Nexus brand. Similarly, Apple launched its latest flagship phone this year, the iPhone 7, which had significant changes from their 6th generation device.

Apple's iPhone doesn't have much of a redesign and still looks the same as its previous generation iPhone 6 and 6s. Meanwhile, the Google Pixel features a design pretty similar to the iPhone with its front bezels, curves, antenna lines and speaker placement - the only differences are a glass shade and the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone.

The iPhone is a few millimeters thinner than the Pixel with 0.29mm and 0.33mm, respectively. The Pixel has a bigger screen, however, with 5.0 inches versus iPhone's 4.7 inches.

Combined with its full HD resolution, the Pixel provides more pixels per inch (441 ppi) than the iPhone 7 with its 750x1334 resolution.

One of Pixel's best features is its 12.3-megapixel back camera with 4K video recording and 240fps slow-motion mode. A professional review stated that the Pixel has one of the best cameras currently in the market with its great photo detail.

However, its low-light performance is not the best compared to professional cameras, and the lens blur feature is inferior to the iPhone's camera. On the other hand, the iPhone's camera features great auto white-balancing, and ultra-fast startup times. The iPhone 7's front camera is also upgraded, compared to its predecessor.

Performance-wise, the iPhone 7's new A10 Fusion chip is a significant upgrade from the iPhone 6 and scored a higher BaseMark OS II 2.0 benchmark score (3416) than the Pixel, with its Snapdragon 821 processor (2461).

However, because both devices run on different platforms (iOS on the iPhone, Android 7.1 on the Pixel), it is a bit difficult to test each one's real day-by-day performance.

The Pixel's aforementioned thickness has a very decent exchange of having a very big 2770mAh battery, compared to the iPhone 7's inferior 1960mAh battery. Furthermore, the Pixel supports fast battery charging courtesy of the USB-C Power Delivery standard.

The Pixel has a USB Type-C connector and a headphone jack, something that Apple took away on the latest iPhone to make the thinner design possible. Listening to music on an iPhone 7 with standard 3.5mm-plugged headphones now requires an adapter, which may disappoint some users, especially audio enthusiasts.

Prices for both phones are competitively set to $649 for the base models, and can go up to $869 for Pixel's 128GB variant, and $849 for a 256GB iPhone 7.

In conclusion, both the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7 have decent tradeoffs.

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