IPhone XS vs. Google Pixel 3

In the smartphone universe, at the moment, there’s a war brewing. The question on the tip of everyone’s tongue: What’s better? The Apple IPhone XS or Google’s Pixel 3?

So, what else is there to do but go through and compare the two for the design, display, cameras, hardware and software. So, sit back and find out for yourself which new model you need in your life.

Design

Google

Featuring a glass and metal design complete with metal frame and glass rear, the Google Pixel 3 is made up of two textures to differentiate the top section that houses the single lens camera sensor and the lower section which holds the circular fingerprint sensor and, of course, the subtle ‘G’ branding.

An interesting development in the Google Pixel 3, is the fact that it lacks a notch. The Google Pixel 3XL however, does. This is no doubt to make room for the brand new built-in front-facing speakers. Other things to note is the inclusion of the coloured power button and squeezable sides.

 

IPhone

Also seeing a classic metal and glass combo design, the new IPhone also has a fully glass rear, however offers no change in texture. The new offering from Apple has a dual camera setup in the top left-hand corner, with the Apple logo in the middle of the rear as per normal.

The screen covers all of the front minus a notch at the top for the front facing camera and Face ID sensors. The stereo speakers are nicely positioned either side of the lightning port at the bottom of the device.

 

Both

Neither of these new models have a 3.5mm headphone jack, much to the dismay of users across the globe. However, they are all waterproof and compatible with wireless charging, so that’s not so bad.

 

Let’s take a look at the specs…
Pixel 3: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm, 148g
Pixel 3 XL: 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 184g
iPhone XS: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm, 177g
iPhone XS Max: 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm, 208g

 

Display

Google

Complete with a 5.5-inch OLED display with a 2160 x 1080p resolution, the Google Pixel 3 has a pixel density of 443ppi. It also comes along with an ‘Always On’ display allowing you to see all your notifications even when the main display is off!

 

IPhone

The XS has a 5.8-inch super retina HD OLED display, beating Google by 0.3 of an inch. The resolution comes in at 2436 x 1125 pixels once again beating Google. But, how important is size? The pixel density is slightly higher, coming in at 458ppi offering something softer than than the Pixel 3XL, but sharper than the Pixel 3.

Due to the lack of bezels on the front, the IPhone hosts a taller aspect ratio. The new IPhone does not offer the attractive ‘Always On’ display feature, but they do still have mobile HDR compatibility, something that the Pixel offers too.

The IPhone does offer 3D Touch, which is basically Apple’s version of a pressure sensitive display, complete with True Tone technology causing the display to adapt to its surroundings. Cool, right?

 

Let’s take a look at the specs…
Pixel 3: 5.5-inch, 2160 x 1080, 18:9, 443ppi
Pixel 3 XL: 6.3-inch, 2960 x 1440, 18.5:9, 523ppi
iPhone XS: 5.8-inch, 2436 x 1125, 19.5:9, 458ppi
iPhone XS Max: 6.5-inch, 2688 x 1242, 19.5:9, 458ppi

Cameras

Here’s the big one. It seems that the camera on these new phones seems to increasingly be the focus for improvements. So, let’s see what they have to offer.

Google

Hosting a single rear camera sensor at 12.2-megapixel resolution, this is actually the same sensor that was on the Pixel 2 and 2XL with 1.4µm, aperture of f/1.8, not to mention the duel pixel phase detection autofocus, laser detection autofocus and optical and electrical image stabilisation.

They’ve also brought AI into the game, using it to improve picture quality by increasing the camera’s focus during movements. The AI can also take bursts of HDR photos and then automatically pick which one they think is the best in their new ‘Top Shot’ feature.

The Google Pixel 3 and 3XL also offer software-induced portrait mode for bokeh images, adding a variety of features from depth control to Night Sight, which will allow better looking photos without using the flash.

They’ve also made that #Selfie life that much easier with the dual 8-megapixel camera on the front with a super wide-angle lens, perfect for those group selfies!

The Pixel 3 has subject tracking when filming video allowing you to lock on to anything that moves.

 

IPhone

The dual-rear camera is comprised of two 12-megapixel sensors, one telephoto with an f/2.4 aperture and one wide-angle with a f/1.8 aperture. Bringing dual optical stabilisation on board too, with hardware-induced Portrait Mode with depth control and a portrait lighting mode.

The front camera brings in a 7-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture, also with Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting Mode with a Retina Flash complete with body and face detection. This is what enables Face ID, which of course allows users to unlock their phone and use Apple Pay with their face. This is what has made the fingerprint sensor obsolete and why it is no longer included on the model.

 

Both

Both phones offer the ability to record video in 4K, however it’s only the IPhone XS that reaches 60fps at this resolution. Both also record in full stereo sound. Both phones also offer Slow Motion at 240fps, however the IPhone does this at 1080p whereas the Pixel is only 720p.

 

Let’s take a look at the specs…
Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL: 12.2MP rear, dual 8MP front
iPhone XS / XS Max: Dual 12MP rear, 7MP front

 

Hardware

Google

Running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, with a hefty 4GB of RAM, these models come in both 64GB and 124GB, however they do not offer microSD support for storage expansion.

Both phones can be charged via USB Type-C, complete with fast charging support, with up to 7 hours 15 minutes of battery life, plus they support wireless charging.

Google has even developed it’s own QI wireless charging stand for this purpose, turning the phone’s display into a smart display, allow the use of Google’s voice assistant.

 

IPhone

Running on the A12 Bionic chip, containing the 7nm processor which allows for advanced Face ID, faster gaming and a greater dynamic range in images. Apple doesn’t specify RAM, but it’s rumoured that they also have 4GB just like Google’s new models. Storage options come from 64GB, 256GB and 512GB, yet they also do not support microSD.

Apple are claiming that their battery life will last up to 21 hours for talk time. The model will be charged with the Lightning port or wirelessly, also with the ability to fast charge, coming in at 50% in 30 minutes.

Another interesting point is that these new IPhone’s will be the first to support two SIMs, which will reportedly make a massive impact in countries such as India and also to those who use two phones, one for business and one for personal. These can now be merged.

 

Let’s take a look at the specs
Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL: SD845, 4GB RAM, 84GB/128GB
iPhone XS / XS Max: A12 Bionic, 4GB RAM, 64GB/256GB/512GB

Software

 

Google

These will run on Android Pie with no bloatware. Pure Android models with all of Google’s latest features, the new Google Pixel will have Google Assistant, accessible by squeezing their frames.

They’ve still kept the good old fingerprint sensor, which is located on the rear of the device, too!

 

IPhone

Running on the latest IOS (12), with Siri coming in as the personal assistant for Apple. Whilst Siri is, of course, easily accessible. Google Assistant has blown Siri away in terms of it’s conversational abilities.

There are some rumours that apple are working on some under-screen fingerprint technology, but that’s not confirmed yet, so don’t get your hopes up too high. Face ID is necessary to unlock these new IPhones.

 

Let’s take a look at the specs…
Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL: Android Pie
iPhone XS / XS Max: iOS 12
Both have personal assistants

 

Conclusion

The XL version of the Pixel 3 has the sharpest display out of all the new models, it also has a higher resolution front camera and the software platform is a lot more open.

Apple’s IPhone however has pressure sensitive display, which Google does not, plus HDR, a dual rear camera and the option of more storage. Facial recognition also sets them aside, whilst design wise Apple have just surpassed Google, because of the whole notch and bevel issue.

It’s a tough competition and at the end of the day, it’s down to the users’ individual preferences, there’s no clear winner here. They may never be! You’ve just got to follow your heart (or your thumb/face) …