If you're in the market for a smartphone, you can't go wrong with an Apple handset. On the other hand, Google has recently stepped into the ring to bring its full development might to make a competing device. Dubbed the 'Google Pixel' this nifty cell phone does pretty much everything we've come to expect from a modern phone these days. Sporting similar specs, designs, and price tags to the iPhone, it's easy to compare both devices.
If you're stuck between the iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel, read on for an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of both handsets. Be sure to check out the full review of each cell phone for more information.
Apple's stuck with a fairly familiar overall aesthetic with the metal surround and back panel but has neatened things up by moving the antenna bands to a more discrete location along the upper and lower edges. On top of that, the adoption of a capacitive touch Home key also contributes to the newly smoothed exterior aesthetic.
Google's look is a little less glamorous, shunning the brushed metallic premium vibe in favor a more industrial appearance; it's still metal but incorporates a two-tone partial glass back panel design on the rear. Additionally, while Apple still incorporates its Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the front-mounted Home key, Google's fingerprint scanner is on the back of the device.
So who stands the victor? The iPhone 7. Although in desperate need of a makeover, the classic design of the iPhone is synonymous with smartphones today. It's easily identifiable, looks stylish, and is easy to hold. The Pixel is strikingly similar--likely intentionally so. The uninitiated might believe the Pixel to be a knockoff iPhone. Regardless, it certainly doesn't turn any heads when a Pixel shows up.
The iPhone 7 has a rich, vivid display that boasts stunning pictures. Photos, news, apps, and web pages come in bright and vibrant, making for an enjoyable reading experience outdoors or inside. The 4.7" LED display is brighter and runs a wider color gamut, allowing web pages, pictures, and videos to render brighter and in greater detail than before. Even in direct sunlight, you can still read articles without complication.
The Google Pixel comes with a Full HD display with a stunning 1080x1920 resolution. Both handsets have fantastic displays--you won't really be disappointed with either. However, the Google Pixel comes out on top. The enhanced resolution attributes to better rendered images, color accuracy, and vibrancy. However, it may be difficult to notice the difference while in the field. Additionally, the Pixel and Pixel XL are bigger than the 7 and 7 Plus.
The Google Pixel is the only device that comes with an entirely stock version of the Android OS and the promise of consistent updates and bug fixes. It arrives with no bloatware, unnecessary apps, and useless software that cannot be uninstalled. The absence of bloatware frees up your phone's storage for more photos, apps, and games, and speeds up your device so you can do what you want without slowing down. This way, the door is open for further customization and faster processing.
Google leverages all the data it knows about you and funnels that into building a smarter, more personal Assistant. It can play games, tell jokes, and read poems, and has a whole host of other useful features to explore. It's nothing new, especially when compared to Apple and Samsung's variants, but where the Google Assistant succeeds is its improvements and refining to the experience of interacting with an AI.
Apple's iOS software has always been extremely well-optimized and free of bloatware, so it makes for a fierce competition between the two handsets. Similar to the Pixel, because the iPhone has first party support from Apple, you can expect regular and consistent software and security updates. Features like 3D Touch and Control Center are also unique to iPhone and offer a greater degree of multitasking and navigation.
It is important to consider, however, that Apple is a closed ecosystem. You're not offered the same level of customization, usability, and performance than an Android device can offer. The Android OS web code is often more suited for apps like Kodi, game emulation, and reading uncommon files. On the other hand, the Google Play Store doesn't have nearly as many apps as Apple's App Store does, and will often get updates for them later than an iPhone. Android devices on average are more susceptible to hacking and viruses from web-based threats and increased security.
There's a lot to love inside the iPhone 7. The quad-core A10 Fusion chip under the hood is a powerhouse. Apple's new A10 processor is the fastest processor available on a mobile phone in the US today. The all-new chipset architecture enables faster processing and load management thanks to additional cores. The handset easily handles graphics intensive games and loading multiple web pages.
The camera app, which is often a source of sluggishness for other phones, opens up in a snap. Scrolling is super smooth and simply navigating the device is responsive and quick. The iOS software is also extremely well optimized, and Apple regular pumps out security updates and fixes.
The Google Pixel comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip which is said to offer a 10% boost to processor performance. They also have 4GB RAM, which is better than both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This processor undoubtedly plays a role in making the Pixels the first Daydream-ready handsets. Daydream is Google's new VR platform and comes as part of Android Nougat. Unfortunately, the iPhone 7 comes with no support for VR.
As far as internal storage is concerned, the Pixel and iPhone offer similar options in 32/128/256GB, however, the Pixel doesn't come in a 256GB variant.
The battery Apple put into their iPhone 7 is arguably the worst feature about it. At a paltry 1960mAh, the non-removable battery won't have a charge that can last all day. The Pixel is better, clocking in with a non-removable 2770mAh battery.
The iPhone 7 camera has seen a major overhaul from last year's design. The 12 MP rear camera and 7 MP selfie camera take stunning photos and render colors more naturally compared to other devices. Snapping in low-light and darker conditions have also improved. You can also record video in 4k at 30fps.
The iPhone 7 Plus comes with two cameras on the back, but acting as one. We've seen this before, but Apple has vastly improved upon the dual camera formula. The twin 12 MP shooters work in concert to provide extremely detailed photos in any lighting conditions. The secondary rear camera provides optical zoom without sacrificing image quality. However, the iPhone 7 Plus still struggles to snap photos in darkness.
You'll absolutely love taking photos with the Google Pixel. From a hardware standpoint, the 12-megapixel camera might be the best found in any smartphone to date. It holds the title as the highest-rated camera ever by DXO, a trusted industry standard for camera and lens quality. This translates to snapping great photos fast in good lighting, and Slow Motion capture, Panorama, and other interesting features provide versatility. Overall, images look brighter and well-detailed. However, the Google Pixel's camera isn't stellar at night time and for some fast-moving objects, with noticeable blurring in shots.
So, Which One is Better?
Choosing a winner can be a struggle. In short, both the Google Pixel and the iPhone 7 are great smartphones. The Pixel offers a top-notch camera, powerful specs, a beautiful screen, and the promise of regularly updated software. On the other hand, the iPhone 7 also has a great camera, runs like a beast, and has a beautiful display. Apple's iOS is extremely well optimized and has seamless integration with all devices in the Apple ecosystem. However, the battery is mediocre and there's a distinct lack of a headphone jack--two things the Pixel has in spades.
Perhaps, it might be better to make a decision determined by your previous cell phone usage. If you're already an Apple fanatic, the Pixel won't convince you to switch. If you're a veteran to Android handsets, then the Google Pixel is the best of the bunch--next to the Samsung Galaxy.
If you've been living under a rock and have never used a cell phone before, I recommend the iPhone 7. It works. Really well. It's ready to roll from the moment you boot it up, and it works reliably in any situation. The lack of a headphone jack might be a nuisance, but ultimately it is something we have to get accustomed to, seeing as every other smartphone manufacturer is following the trend. Ironically, the Pixel 2 will likely have a missing headphone jack as well.