Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel 2 goes up against the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro. The Pixel 2 and the ZenFone 4 Pro both have same look from the front – somewhat dated – with their larger bezels and 16:9 display ratio. Although both devices came out in October – the Pixel 2 is running the newest Android 8.0, while the latter is running Android 7.1.1 and waiting for its eventual Oreo upgrade. The Pixel 2 looks similar to the original Pixel from the front, while Google adjusted the back slightly in the glass-to-metal ratio. The ZenFone 4 Pro is an all-glass device and is certainly the best smartphone ASUS has ever produced, although the back design is a little too slippery. Which one of these phones has what it takes to win this comparison? These questions and more are what we hope to answer here. Before we look at each individual device, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
The Google Pixel 2 and the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro do have quite a bit in common – not only in frontal looks but also the inside specifications. Starting with the display, we can see that both are similar in size (5.0 inches vs 5.5 inches), both use an AMOLED display, both use the Full HD resolution and a 16:9 ratio, both have an Always-On screen, and both are protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 5. Inside, both use the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and Adreno 540 GPU. The two come with a base of 64GB of internal memory and both have a 128GB option – only the ZenFone 4 Pro includes expandable memory via a microSD card. Both devices have Bluetooth v5.0, WiFi, USB Type-C port for charging and data transfers, NFC, and a fingerprint sensor.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specs comparison chart below to see just how these two great Android devices stack up against one another. After that, we will look at each phone individually 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 its specs and execution of design and functions.
Google Pixel 2
The Google Pixel 2 is the second generation of the Pixel line and really deserves your consideration when shopping for a new smartphone, although some think the pricing is a bit high. The Pixel 2 in our comparison today is still just a little dated-looking with its larger bezels and 16:9 display ratio – but then, so is the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro. The Pixel 2 models may outwardly look a little dated but inside they use the best processor-GPU combo out there and AMOLED display technology. Google gave the Pixel 2 an Active Edge that lets the user ‘squeeze’ the sides of the phone to launch Google Assistant without a voice command and Google Lens is another feature that can identify details from photos – both of these features need some more work to give them more functionality. Pricing is also a consideration – the standard 64GB model will cost you $650. You can buy them unlocked to work on any major U.S. carrier, but Verizon is once again the exclusive dealer of the Pixel 2 phones and will allow you to purchase a Pixel 2 device on a payment plan.
The Google Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1,960 by 1,080 pixels with a density of 441 pixels per inch (PPI). Google chose to keep the 16:9 aspect ratio on the smaller Pixel 2. The Always-On display feature keeps the user informed of their notifications and ultimately helps save battery life despite its name implying otherwise. The Pixel 2 models use the best Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.35GHz and an Adreno 540 GPU for graphics – the same combo used on the ZenFone 4 Pro. The Pixel 2 has 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM but no expandable memory. It comes with 64GB of storage, although you can also order a 128GB model.
Google has made its Pixel cameras a top priority – the original Pixel had the highest-rated camera in 2016 and has somehow managed to upgrade the camera to the best in the Android industry in 2017 – all with a single lens. Both Pixel 2’s use a single camera with a 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, and contain EIS and OIS for added stability, laser autofocus and PDAF, and a dual-tone flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) is an 8-megapixel unit with a fixed focus and a smaller f/2.4 aperture that is used for selfies and video chatting. A small, non-removable, 2,700mAh battery will make it through an entire day with no issues. When you do need to charge the device, fast charging support will make that process relatively swift.
As we said before, the Pixel 2's looks are a little dated, but it when it comes to specs, it competes nicely with other flagships. The Pixel 2 XL can hold its own with any flagship, but there are drawbacks to owning the Pixel 2 – a smaller display, only an FHD display resolution, lack of expandable memory, no 3.5mm headphone jack, and the large bezels that could accommodate more display space. On the high side, it has the highest-rated camera on the Android market and its Camera Lens and Active Edge are attractive, if not too useful at this point in time. It has no Hi-Res Audio but it does feature stereo speakers on the front. Google finally added IP67 water resistance this year. The Pixel 2 is running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and will receive the fastest Android updates out of all handsets on the market. The Pixel 2 measures 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It is available in three colors – Just Black, Clearly White, and Kinda Blue. The Pixel 2 will cost about $650 with 64GB of storage and is available for purchase from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a wireless carrier exclusive through Verizon. If you buy it from Verizon, the company will allow you to finance it over 24 months.
ASUS Zenfone 4 Pro
ASUS's name is not too known in the US when it comes to smartphones – computers are a different story – but for the most part, ASUS phones are sold in Asia and European markets. This may soon change with their fourth generation of its smartphone, the ZenFone 4 Pro, which is its flagship model. For the US market, its biggest drawback is that it is only a GSM/LTE device and will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks. It is priced at $599 and falls in line with the OnePlus 5T and even the Pixel 2. It uses an AMOLED display and the Snapdragon 835 processor and packs in 6GB of RAM with expandable memory. Let’s see just how this ASUS device stands up to the Google Pixel 2.
The ZenFone 4 Pro comes to us with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1,960 by 1,080 pixels with a density of 401 PPI. ASUS also kept the 16:9 aspect ratio on its new device. The Always-On display feature is a great way to let the user see a summary of their notifications, as well as help them save battery life in the long run. ASUS did use the best processor on the market – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.45GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU for graphics. The ZenFone comes with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a basic 64GB of expandable internal memory. There is also a 128GB model with expandable memory.
ASUS has always believed its cameras were an important part of a smartphone, but none has been very spectacular. This is their second year with a dual camera arrangement – the primary lens uses a 12-megapixel sensor and the secondary module is of the 16-megapixel variety. Both enjoy an aperture of f/1.7 and have OIS for stability, laser autofocus and PDAF, an LED flash and 2X Optical Zoom. The FFC used for selfies and video chatting is an 8-megapixel unit with PDAF, HDR, and a smaller f/1.9 aperture. A large, non-removable, 3,600mAh battery will make it through an entire day and then some and offers fast charging support.
The ZenFone 4 Pro does look a little dated with its large bezels, but inside, it competes nicely when it comes to specs. The ZenFone 4 Pro has a nice 5.5-inch display but only supports an FHD resolution. It has a great dual camera which is not as good as the Pixel 2 but still good enough for most users. It has Hi-Res Audio and is still sporting a 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, there is no water resistance, but ASUS gives you an IR Blaster and an FM radio. The ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro is running Android 7.1.1 out of the box with ASUS’s promise of an Oreo update coming soon. The ZenFone 4 Pro measures 156.9 x 75.6 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 175 grams. It is available in just two colors – Moonlight White and Pure Black – although the ‘pure black’ looks more like a dark gray. The ZenFone 4 Pro will cost about $599 with 64GB of expandable storage.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
Even though the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro only works on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, I am crowning it the winner in this comparison. It has a larger display, more RAM, expandable memory, dual cameras, a better front-facing camera, a much larger battery, High-Res sound, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an IR Blaster, and an FM Radio – all of this for $50 less than the Pixel 2.
The Pixel 2 is a great device that comes with Android 8.0 Oreo and will receive the fastest updates and is available to on all US carriers. If those two items top your priority list, then you should go for the Pixel 2, but if you want the most for your money, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro is a better choice between the two.