… I mean, iPhone. I mean, Google Pixel,…
So, yesterday Google held a special event to announce a new flagship device, the Pixel phone, among other things. Let’s just say they used every trick in their book to make a phone worthy of comparison to the likes of the iPhone. Apple held their event just under a month before Google on September 7, where they released the brand new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, alongside the new Series 2 Apple Watch, Wireless AirPods and more.
Here, I’ll share a brief overview of what you can expect from this new phone and how it compares to the iPhone.
Display Size: Pixel/XL is almost identical to the iPhone 6, 6s and 7/Plus. Google has it’s smaller version measuring at 5″, compared to 4.7″ on the iPhone 6-7. The larger version, called Google Pixel XL is identical in size to the 6/s/7 Plus at 5.5″. To give you a better idea, see the image below from Apple comparing the screen size of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
From here, I want to keep my comparison up to date with the latest iPhone release, the 7/Plus. No matter what device you’re using currently, if you’re looking to upgrade, you can weigh your options with iPhone 7/Plus v. Pixel/XL here. Next week, I’ll do a very quick fly-by of the other top phones on the market for you to consider as well!
Battery: Standby (meaning you may have WiFi/Cellular, Bluetooth and other services running, but not actively using the device) time on the new Google phones are as follows: Pixel: 19 days v. iPhone 7 at 10 days; Pixel XL: 23 days v. iPhone 7 Plus at 16 days. Talk time (wireless) for Pixel: up to 26 hours on 3G v. 14 hours on iPhone 7; Pixel XL: 32 hours on 3G v. 21 hours on iPhone 7 Plus.
Internet use is as follows:
On WiFi: Pixel/XL – up to 13 hours/14 hours; iPhone 7/Plus – up to 14 hours/15 hours.
On LTE: Pixel/XL – up to 13 hours/14 hours; iPhone 7/Plus – up to 12 hours/13 hours.
Audio/Video playback is as follows:
Pixel/XL: Audio – up to 110 hours/up to 130 hours; Video – up to 13 hours/up to 14 hours.
iPhone 7/Plus: Audio – up to 40 hours/up to 60 hours; Video – up to 13 hours/up to 14 hours
Camera: Pixel/XL packs a 12.3MP camera v. iPhone 7/Plus at 12MP. In my opinion, unless you’re a professional photographer and are using your smartphone camera A LOT, I would let this one go. It’s not a deal breaker.
Media Features: I’m going to say that Pixel/XL went a little bit nuts with audio features, such as THREE microphones, but only ONE “bottom-firing” speaker, where as iPhone 7/Plus upgraded to Stereo speakers at the top and bottom. (One secret regarding the new iPhone 7/Plus: They got rid of the headphone jack and replaced it with a “non-functioning” speaker grill to match the other bottom side. I say “non-functioning” because it’s not a second speaker, but instead a barometric vent. Because Apple had to use much more adhesives, etc, to increase the waterproof-edness of its’ new iPhones, the phone became more sealed. To combat this and to allow the barometer to work properly, they had to place a vent in that space.)
Pixel/XL also outnumbers iPhone 7/Plus in number of ports 4:2. Pixel/XL utilizes the new USB-C port (which we’ll be seeing more of over the next year or so), as well as a single USB 3.0 port and single SIM port. Alas, where iPhone 7/Plus took away the 3.5mm headphone jack, Pixel/XL decided to resist change and keep decades-old technology within reach.
In the box, Pixel/XL loads you down with accessories, including a USB-C adapter with USB-PD (Power Delivery), an A-C and C-C cable, SIM removal tool, quick switch adapter (from transferring data quickly from one phone to another), as well as the usual promos and documentation. iPhone 7/Plus, as always, comes with your A/C wall charger and USB-to-Lightning cable, Apple documentation and stickers. However, because the headphone jack is no more, you now have redesigned Apple EarPods with a Lightning connector, but also a small Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter that allows you to use your old 3.5mm EarPods.
Now for Pricing. It was Google’s intent to make a product for its customers who complained that the iPhone is too expensive. Others share my opinion that they didn’t really hit their mark on price. Pixel/XL comes in two storage capacities (with no expandable storage): 32GB and 128GB v. iPhone 7/Plus, which offers 32GB, 128GB and a whopping 256GB! Pricing for Pixel/XL is as follows:
Pixel: $649 (32GB); $749 (128GB)
Pixel XL: $769 (32GB); $869 (128GB)
iPhone 7: $649 (32GB); $749 (128GB); $849 (256GB)
iPhone 7 Plus: $769 (32GB); $869 (128GB); $969 (256GB)
Being 99% exclusive to Apple products and services, as you know, I will summarize Google Pixel and Pixel XL by saying this: Google ripped off some key design aspects, such as antenna lines (iPhone 6/s/Plus), rear fingerprint sensor (Nexus 6P), and comparable matte black finish (iPhone 7/Plus). They found ways to take those designs and differentiate themselves enough from the competition to stand out. Operating on Nougat software, you get the typical Android OS experience which has always been hit or miss for me.
A feature of Google Pixel/XL that is getting positive attention is the integration of Google Assistant. If you’re at all familiar with Cortana (Windows 10), Amazon Echo or iPhone/iPad (and now macOS) Virtual Assistant, Siri, you get the idea. Basically, ask Google Assistant whatever you want, or tell it to do something for you (like set a reminder/alarm, look up sports scores, and so on) and for the most part, it will do what you tell it to. Siri, from my experience, doesn’t always catch exactly what I’m trying to say, but I get things done with “her” regardless. Without testing Pixel/XL myself, I can’t say for sure how effective Google Assistant is compared to its counterparts, but will keep you updated as I have more information.
Google also took a somewhat subtle jab at Apple, as the top tech titans are known to do from time to time, by ensuring Pixel/XL users will never have to worry about that annoying “Storage Is Full” popup, which is very well known to most iPhone/iPad users. To achieve such a lofty promise, Google is offering UNLIMITED storage for all of your photos and videos. Impressive, right? Looking forward to seeing how they fulfill that promise and also how competitors react in future smartphone releases.
It comes down to preference for you. If you grasp the reality that, when used as designed (beyond basic email, phone, text and web browsing/games), the iPhone is the top pick in my book on software, hardware and design, then stay with Apple. If you are a Google or Android fan and could live without Apple, then it’s a really tight race between the likes of Pixel/XL, the Nexus line, and Galaxy (assuming it doesn’t explode). 😛
With all that said, what do you think? Would you buy one? If so, which model (Pixel or Pixel XL) and color (Quite Black, Very Silver or Really Blue)?
Featured Image by: Google Store