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Does Google’s new phone hold up against the latest iPhone?
Google will debut the Pixel and the Pixel XL on Oct. 20. Even if you’re adverse to Android, there are still plenty of reasons iPhone users may want to take a second look at the Pixel. In fact, Google is betting on it. The Pixel appears almost tailor-made to corner the iPhone market. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5 inch Pixel XL are roughly the same sizes as their iPhone 7 counterparts.The Pixel even includes an adapter and software that will move your iMessages over to your new phone.
Google Pixel’s biggest draw for the iPhone set may be its voice-activated assistant, Google Assistant. If Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Maps are more vital to your world than the apps in Apple’s ecosystem, you might find the switch from Siri to Google Assistant to be to your benefit.
Virtual reality offers another compelling reason to make the leap. Google will release the Pixel along with the new Daydream View, a VR headset made especially for mobile devices. According to CNN Tech, Google is launching Daydream with 50 partners (many of which are games) and will work with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.
There are many other ways the iPhone 7 differs from the Pixel. Here’s how the specs stack up.
iPhone 7: 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, wide color gamut, Retina HD, 4.7 inches
iPhone 7 Plus: 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi, wide color gamut, Retina HD, 5.5 inches
Google Pixel: 1920 X 1080-pixel resolution at 441 ppi, Full-HD AMOLED, 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, 5.0 inches
Google Pixel XL: 1,440 x 2,560 pixels at 534 ppi, Quad-HD AMOLED, 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, 5.5 inches
Verdict: The Google Pixel has a crisper and clearer display due to its superior screen resolution.
iPhone 7: 14 hours of talk time on 3G
iPhone 7 Plus: 21 hours of talk time on 3G
Google Pixel: 26 hours on 3G/WCDMA
Google Pixel XL: 32 hours on 3G/WCDMA
iPhone 7: 12 hours of browsing on 3G and LTE, 14 hours on Wi-Fi
iPhone 7 Plus: 13 hours of browsing on 3G and LTE, 15 hours on Wi-Fi
Google Pixel: 13 hours on Wi-Fi, 13 hours on LTE
Google Pixel XL: 14 hours on Wi-Fi, 14 hours on LTE
Google Pixel: 19 days
Google Pixel XL: 21.8 days
iPhone 7: 10 days
iPhone 7 Plus: 16 days
Verdict: The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models last roughly the same amount of time as their Pixel counterparts on Wi-Fi or LTE browsing. Pixel is the clear winner when it comes to standby time. A super-nice perk of the Pixel and Pixel XL is its fast-charge feature: a 15-minute charge can give you seven hours of battery life.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both contain a new A10 battery, which pushes them to the front of the class in the iPhone world as far as battery life, speed, and power. Google Pixel’s new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 performance is expected to perform 10 percent faster than the Snapdragon 820 model we see in Samsung Galaxy S7s. Since the Pixel isn’t due to be released until Oct. 20, the jury is still out on whether the Snapdragon 821 can outperform the iPhone 7.
Pixel XL: 12. 3 megapixels and f/2.0 aperture size for rear-facing camera; 8 megapixels front-facing camera; Dual LED
Pixel: 12. 3 megapixels and f/2.0 aperture size for rear-facing camera; 8 megapixels front-facing camera; Dual LED
iPhone 7: 12-megapixel camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture; 7-megapixel “selfie camera”
iPhone 7 Plus: Dual-lens with wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture and telephoto: ƒ/2.8 aperture; 7-megapixel “selfie camera”
Verdict: The iPhone 7 Plus may boast the best camera ever available in an iPhone, but it’s no match for Google’s phone. The Pixel and Pixel XL’s 12-megapixel rear camera scores an 89 in DxOMark, the highest rating for a smartphone camera ever.
The iPhone 7 Plus includes the first dual-lens camera in an Apple product; the camera features both a wide-angle with ƒ/1.8 aperture and a telephoto lens with ƒ/2.8 aperture. The iPhone 7 features an all new 12-megapixel camera with a ƒ/1.8 aperture. The iPhone 7’s aperture (which is a description of a camera’s shutter speed) is much faster than the ƒ/2.2 aperture we’ve been seeing in our iPhone cameras since the iPhone 5 was released.
iPhone 7: 32, 128, or 256 GB, additional storage available on iCloud for a monthly charge
iPhone 7 Plus: 32, 128, or 256 GB, additional storage available on iCloud for a monthly charge
Google Pixel: 32 GB or 128 GB, free unlimited cloud storage
Google Pixel XL: 32 GB or 128 GB, free unlimited cloud storage
Verdict: The iPhone 7 and 7 plus offers up to 256 GB of built-in storage, while the Pixel is limited to only 128 GB. But of course, Google offers free unlimited cloud storage for all your photos and videos, so expect the 128 GB already on your Pixel to go a very long way.
iPhone 7: $649 at 32 GB, $749 at 128 GB, $849 at 256 GB
iPhone 7 Plus: $769 at 32 GB, $869 at 128 GB, $968 at 256 GB
Google Pixel: $649 at 32 GB, $749 at 128 GB
Google Pixel XL: $769 at 32 GB, $869 at 128 GB
Verdict: They’re roughly the same, so that shouldn’t be what makes your decision
Amrita Khalid is a technology and politics reporter who specializes in breaking down complex issues into practical, useful terms. A former contributor to CQ, a Congressional news and analysis site, she's currently a master's candidate in international relations at the University of Leeds.