The Apple iPhone has always set a benchmark in smartphone design, one that influences and inspires most other handset designs. Google’s approach on design with the Nexus devices has never been the same, but with the launch of the latest Pixel phones, the company has given in, offering an iPhone-like design. Since we have the Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus with us, we are taking a closer look at both smartphones from a design perspective.
Before we begin, here is a quick comparison of the specifications and prices of the two devices.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Display: 5.5-inch, 1080p
SoC: Apple A10 Fusion
Camera: 12MP + 12MP (telephoto), 7MP
Price: Rs. 72,000 - 92,000
Google Pixel XL
Display: 5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440p
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Camera: 12MP, 8MP
Price: Rs. 67,000/76,000
Head on, the two devices look quite similar, right from the 2.5D curved glass display to the big 5.5-inch display up front. However, the Pixel XL sports more pixels (pun intended) as it has a resolution of 2560 x 1440p, instead of the iPhone 7 Plus’ 1920 x 1080p resolution. The other difference is the front mounted fingerprint scanner on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.
On the side, while the iPhone 7 Plus features rounded edges, the Pixel XL has a very prominent chamfered edge around it. Now, which is better is down to personal preference but we can tell you that the iPhone 7 Plus feels more premium in the hand.
Both Apple and Google have gone for a different approach for audio. The iPhone 7 Plus has a proper stereo audio with speakers placed on the either side of the display. On the other hand, the Google Pixel XL has only one speaker at the bottom, even though there are two speaker grills. As a result, the audio quality is better on the iPhone 7 Plus.
The main difference however is the camera on the two phones. Apple is using its new dual camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel XL has a single 12MP camera at the back. Google also cited DXOMark claiming that the Pixel XL and the Pixel are the best camera phones available to date.
The other subtle differences are the antenna lines. While Apple has redesigned the body of the iPhone to make the antenna lines less visible, the antenna lines are quite visible on the Google Pixel XL. That being said, the call reception on both the phones is great.
Another thing, which we haven't seen in the smartphone category is a dual finish back. The Google Pixel has a semi glass back, which looks good but at the same time is a fingerprint magnet. While we are using the matte black iPhone 7 Plus, Apple also makes a jet black version of the phone, which is an even fingerprint magnet than the simi-glass back of the Google Pixel.
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