It’s Android vs Apple today as Google has come out with its Pixel phones, the first phones to be designed and developed completely in-house by Google, well at least that’s what they claim considering the flurry of reports suggesting that HTC was actually behind the hardware. Like Apple, Google targets two types of consumers – The Pixel phone for those who prefer a smaller, more compact screen and the Pixel XL for those who wants the larger screen real estate.
Based on the screen size and the target audience, it is safe to assume that the Pixel takes on the iPhone 7, so let’s see how the two most important flagships of 2016 fare against each other.
The iPhone 7 simply perfects the design stability Apple achieved with the iPhone 6S which was a continuation of what it was doing with the iPhone 6. The antenna lines are now more subtle and Apple has introduced two new colors – both in the shade of black. The home button is now a touch-sensitive capacitive button instead of the physical button found in the previous versions. But apart from this, not much has changed in terms of the design in the iPhone 7.
The Pixel features a half-cut glass rear where the fingerprint scanner and the camera is placed, while the rest of the body is in black, shiny metal. The Google logo also appears at the back. On the front, the navigation buttons are part of the screen real-estate, taking up quite a bit of screen space. The volume and power button are on the right and all of this is housed in an aerospace grade aluminum casing.
Under the hood:
The iPhone 7 is powered by the new Apple A10 Fusion chip and based on tests performed by various publications, it is the fastest processor ever seen in an Apple device, beating even the iPad Pro which has the Apple A9X chip. The A10 fusion is a quad-core processor clocked at 2.23GHz and Apple claims it is 60 per cent faster than the chip seen on the iPhone 6S. Along with the A10 fusion chip, the iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM and six-core GPU.
The new Snapdragon 821 processor would be powering Google’s devices. The Snapdragon 821 is also a quad-core CPU that can go up to a speed of 2.24GHz. The Pixel phone has 4GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 821 processor is also VR ready and has an image processor that can take photographs of 24-megapixel with zero shutter lag.
The iPhone 7 comes with the best looking screens Apple has ever put on an iPhone. The 4.7-inch screen retains the Retina Display that was introduced in the iPhone 4, but offers a 25 per cent increase in peak brightness. The display also supports a wider color gamut meaning better color reproduction. Along with this, the screen supports 3D Touch, Apple’s pressure sensitive technology that allows additional options to pop up based on how hard you are pressing the screen.
The Pixel sports a 5-inch full HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The AMOLED display provides support for Google’s Daydream VR platform, where the headset uses the phone’s display to project VR imagery. The AMOLED display also helps consume minimal battery when displaying lock-screen notifications by lighting up only a portion of the screen.
Apple has perfected a single-lens smartphone camera so much that it had to migrate to a dual-lens setup to innovate further. Basically, the iPhone 7s camera is the best among all smartphones, according to tests performed by multiple publications. The iPhone 7s rear camera comes with a 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, a flicker detector, quad-LED flash along with 4K video recording capabilities. On the front, there is a 7-megapixel camera with a f/2.2 aperture.
The Pixel has a 12-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, LED flash and. Based on the hardware alone, it is evident that the iPhone 7ss camera is far superior than the Pixel’s, especially under low light. But Google claims the camera received a DxOMark Mobile score of 89, where the iPhone 7’s score an 86.
This is where the battle really intensifies. The iPhone 7 runs on the newly introduced iOS 10. In iOS 10, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri has been opened up for developers to develop apps that can communicate with Siri. Apart from this, Apple’s iMessage has become smarter and comes with its own app store. You can also uninstall stock apps on iOS 10 and raise the phone to wake it up. The control center has received the 3D Touch treatment while the Apple Music App can now automatically display the lyrics of a song.
On the other hand, the Pixel phones are the first phone to support Google Assistant, which is Google Now on steroids. As seen in the live demo during the launch event, you can have a breezy conversation with the phone. The Pixel phone has the Pixel UI, where the app drawer is just a swipe away and Google Assistant, a tap on the home button away. Finally, the Pixel phones are the first smartphones to have Daydream support, making it the first phone to harness Google’s VR ecosystem featuring VR Netflix, VR games and more.
Based on the head-to-head, it is evident that Google’s foray into manufacturing its own hardware will make Apple quite uncomfortable, but there is so much separating the two phones, it is difficult to say which one is greater than the other.