There are no two bigger names in tech: Apple and Google. And it so happens that each has a brand new flagship out this season. For Apple, it’s the iPhone XS–the successor to last year’s iPhone X. But Google has also released an update to its Pixel line of phones. Here we’re talking about the Pixel 3. The Pixel 3 has a massive display and some other enticing features, not the least that, like the iPhone XS, the hardware and the operating system is both designed by one company. So, how do these two flagships compare? Let’s take a look.
iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3: Specs
Here are the specs for the iPhone XS:
- Display: 5.8in OLED display with a 2436×1125-pixel resolution at 458ppi
- Dimensions: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm
- Storage: 64, 256, or 512GB
- Memory: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM
- Processors: A12 Bionic
- Front camera: 7 MP photos and 1080p HD video.
- Rear camera: Dual lens 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, Dual optical image stabilisation, Optical zoom, 4K video
- Battery: 2658 mAh
- Other: Face ID, NFC, Wireless charging, 3D Touch, IP68 waterproof
- Color options: Silver, Space Gray, and Gold
And here are the specs for the Google Pixel 3:
- Display: 5.5in FHD+ flexible OLED display with a 2160×1080-pixel resolution at 443ppi
- Dimensions: 145.6mm x 68.2 mm x 7.9 mm
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB
- Memory: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM
- Processors: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Front camera: Dual lens 8 MP cameras, 1080p video
- Rear camera: 12.2 MP, Optical + electronic image stabilization, 4K video
- Battery: 2915 mAh
- Other: Fingerprint reader, NFC, Wireless charging, IP68 waterproof
- Colors: Just Black, Clearly White, Not Pink
Let’s start with storage. Each phone comes in a 64GB model. Where they differ is the iPhone XS comes in 256GB or a whopping 512GB storage option as well. The Pixel 3 only offers an optional 128GB of storage. Is double and quadruple the storage better? From a spec point of view, yes. But will most people need 256GB or 512GB? Probably not.
Both phones come with 4GB of RAM-making them even in that department. The usual caveat here applies, however: more RAM does not necessarily equal a faster phone. There are many things that determine the speed of a phone. Speaking of speeds, when we look at the CPU’s in each phone there is simply no comparison. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 found in the Pixel 3 is a great processor–for an Android device. However, the A12 Bionic chip found in the iPhone X absolutely SMOKES the Snapdragon 845. We’re talking speeds which are up to twice as fast.
iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3: Display & Design
Both phones feature edge-to-edge displays. The Pixel 3’s display is a little smaller at 5.5in and it also has a lower resolution at 2160×1080 at 443ppi. Compare that to the iPhone XS’s 5.8in display with a 2436×1125 resolution at 458ppi. The iPhone XS’s display features a true tone panel, which means it adjusts to match the warmth of the color temperature in the room, making it easier on the eyes. That’s something the Pixel 3’s display does not do. However, the iPhone XS does have that notch cutout at the top, while the Pixel 3 does not. If notches bother you, then you know who the winner is in the design department.
Speaking of that notch, it’s there to incorporate the Face ID components of the iPhone XS. Yes, that’s another huge difference between the two phones. The iPhone XS does away with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in favor of a facial recognition security system. The Pixel 3, on the other hand, still uses the trust fingerprint sensor (though it is placed awkwardly on the rear of the device).
iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3: Battery
The iPhone XS has a smaller battery (2658 mAh) than the Google Pixel 3 (2915 mAh). Will you see any difference because of it? Eh, probably not. Both phones should give you about 12-14 hours worth of life under mixed usage. Both phones also feature wireless charging–a nice touch.
iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3: Camera
Where cameras are concerned, the iPhone XS blows the Google Pixel 3 out of the water in the rear camera department. It should be said, of course, that the Pixel 3 does have the superior front sensor-a dual-lens 8MP camera. That’s one lens more and one MP larger than the 7MP single lens front sensor found in the iPhone XS. Both front cameras also record 1080p video. But when we flip the phones around to the rear cameras, the iPhone XS destroys the Pixel 3. Why? Because the iPhone XS has its dual lens camera setup with a 12MP wide-angle and a 12MP telephoto lens, dual optical image stabilisation, optical zoom, and 4K video recording.
Bafflingly, the Pixel 3 DOES NOT offer dual lens rear cameras when almost every other major Android flagship does (I mean, why do dual lens on the front selfie cam when people use the rear camera to take their best shots?)! This is very frustrating and could be a deal breaker for some. That’s not to say the Pixel 3’s single lens 12.2MP rear camera is bad. Matter of fact, it performs exceptionally well in most tests. Still, it makes us wonder just how good a dual lens system on this phone could have been.
iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3: Cost & Verdict
Unlocked the Google Pixel 3 will cost £739 (64GB) and £839 (128GB). The iPhone XS will cost £999 (64GB), £1149 (256GB), or £1349 (512GB). That £260 premium for the 64GB iPhone XS does get you more, including Face ID and that amazing dual lens rear camera. Of course, you’ll spend less for the Google Pixel 3, and with its beautiful display and tried but true fingerprint reader, the phone remains an attractive Android headset.