Do we have a good one for you today – the iPhone 7 takes on its new rival from Google, the Google Pixel. The iPhone 7 did not physically change much since last year and still uses the all-metal look, although the antenna lines have been moved further to the top and bottom of the device to make them less noticeable. Apple also made changes to their Home button – it is no longer a physical button that clicks, but a touch-sensitive button – this could be Apple's way of phasing out the button altogether. The Google Pixel uses a polished glass and metal combo design, which seems to be growing on consumers, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Pricing is high, but so are the specs for the most part. Just how does this new entry from Google stand up to the Apple iPhone 7? Let's take a look at just what these two have in common before we take a closer look at each.
These two devices could not be further from each other specification-wise, but the way they perform is a whole other story. Physically, they are very close to the same size, although the larger Pixel device also has the larger display – 5.0-inches versus 4.7-inches – and weighs in at only 5 grams heavier. The displays use different technology and different resolutions. The iPhone 7 uses its own Apple A10 Fusion processor, and the Google Pixel uses the Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor. They both have non-expandable internal memory – the iPhone offers 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB while the Google Pixel offers 32GB or 128GB. The primary cameras are very close in size as are the front-facing cameras (FFC) and both take excellent photos. They both offer non-removable batteries, but the Pixel's is much larger and offers rapid charge. The have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, and NFC (the iPhone's is only good for Apple Pay), and they each have a connector for charging and data transfer but the Apple plug is proprietary, and the Google Pixel uses a standard Type-C reversible port.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
The new iPhone 7 is much like last year's model with enhancements here and there. The antenna positioning was changed, the Home button is different, they have improved the 3D Touch and Display Zoom, improved the processor, added IP67 dust and water resistance and made improvements to the camera area. Let's take a look and see just how that new iPhone 7 holds up to the new Google Pixel.
The Apple iPhone 7 sports a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1334 x 734 pixels and 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) It has a 3D Touch advantage to make multiple selections with one press of the finger. The processor is their new Apple A10 Fusion quad-core, coupled with 2GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of non-expandable storage.
Apple did make some considerable changes in its camera area – however, most of those improvements were on the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 retains a single 12MP lens with an aperture of f/1.8, 28mm angle, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) quad-LED dual-tone flash, and OIS. The iPhone 7 uses a 7MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting (AppleTalk) in their nomenclature. It uses a 1,960mAh non-removable battery to supply power.
The new Apple iPhone 7 comes with many refinements – improved lens camera, quad, LED flash, improved 3D Touch, improved stereo sound, improved Home button, IP67 dust and water resistant, and 2GB of RAM with 32GB of memory now being the smallest available – 16GB was ridiculous. The 3.5mm headphone jack was removed, but Apple supplied an adapter. So far, Apple and the Moto Z line have lost their earphone plug. It measures 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm and weighs in at 138 grams. Pricing starts out at $649 for the 32GB model. The NFC can only be used only for Apple Pay.
Google has made a huge change line by getting rid of the Nexus line. There are still shock waves of disbelief throughout the Google camp. Their new line of smartphones is called Google Pixel and with that comes two models – the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL. Google is trying to head in Apple's direction by forming their own ecosystem and that by building hardware and software together they can more quickly get their own ecosystem going. The new Pixel devices are made from polished glass and metal and feel great in hand. Let's see how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the new iPhone 7 design and specifications.
The Google Pixel sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 is supposed to give a 10-percent boost in performance of over the regular 820 model. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2,770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.
The last couple of Nexus cameras were great, but in the Pixel models, Google introduced an excellent camera even though the specifications do not seem that impressive. It has a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. Even with these specs, the Pixel camera was just tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p recording. This setup should offer excellent selfies and video chatting.
A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Pixel is IP53 rated splash and dust resistant. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition) and the 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
I have to pick the Google Pixel as the winner in this comparison – not because I really have to – but because it just seems to offer a little bit more for the same price tag.
The Google Pixel has a larger display, uses AMOLED technology and has more resolution than the iPhone 7. The Apple processor may work faster in test results, but it has less to do than in an Android environment where the Snapdragon 821 does just fine. The Pixel has double the RAM and a much larger battery. The camera scored three points above the iPhone 7, and there are no proprietary plugs or cords to worry about. You can use you fingerprint sensor and NFC to make mobile purchases practically anywhere – not just Apple Pay.
The iPhone 7 is a beautiful device, but it is clear that it needs a few adjustments before it can surpass the Google Phone. The OS is a personal decision – iOS has come a long way to allowing for a small amount of customization, but Android is the real king of freedom. This freedom came become a two-edged sword when it comes to fragmentation – something Apple does not have to worry about.