1. Jtshurtleff's Avatar
    Hey guys I just thought I would post this here in case anyone wants a semi unbiased opinion on the iPhone vs. Pixel battle. I am a huge Android fan, love it to death, but continue to use iOS because of the ease of use and the ecosystem. I have two kids, I take a TON of photos and videos of them and also like to video chat with them when I am away from them. I am not an Apple household, have a Windows PC, and iPad, Google Home Mini, Echo Dot, basically everything under the sun as far as manufacturers go. I also have an addiction to tech, specifically smartphone. Hi my name is James and I have a problem. Hopefully this mini comparison can help someone decide on the Pixel or iPhone if they were on the fence. I'll break it down to 5 categories: Design, screen, camera, UI, and intangibles.

    Design: How the phone looks and feels and its ease of use one handed. Both phones have their strengths and weaknesses here, most notable the notch and the Pixel 2 XL size and Pixel 2's bezels. The iPhone design is amazing though, the stainless steel is heavy and has a great weight to it that I love plus the glass looks amazing. The notch isn't...awful? Don't like it much but I got used to it sort of. The Pixel 2 XL has a bit more of a top and bottom bezel than the iPhone, but has dual speakers which is awesome and they sound good and don't distort much at high volume. The squeeze feature does tend to activate too often but maybe I had it set too sensitive. The soft touch back is a nice touch too and it still has a fingerprint sensor on the back. The Pixel 2 you can say all of the same things except those bezels are awfully big. This goes to the iPhone because of the quality of materials and the feeling of holding a screen in your hand.

    Screen: Speaking of screen this one is pretty easy. The Pixel 2 has a 1080p screen while the XL is a 2K screen (or close), both being OLED. The XL has a blueish hue to it but it never bothered me and now it has the new screen modes but they seemed a bit too warm. The Pixel 2 has the better of the 2 screens in terms of color reproduction and lack or burn in but the XL has less bezels and so melts into the phone a bit more. There is also a slight curve to the XL, making adding a screen protector a challenge, especially tempered glass. The iPhone has a slightly higher than 1080p OLED display that looks great. Colors are sharp but not too sharp and everything just looks fantastic. Watching videos is amazing and the fact the screen at 5.8" fits into almost an iPhone 8 sized device makes this the winner in this category.

    Camera: This was a hard one. The Pixel 2 and XL have the same camera so I'll lump them together here. I loved the OG Pixel camera, it worked all the time and the Pixel 2 is still great. I found it weird taking pictures at first because so much post processing is done on the Pixel 2, you can actually watch it happen real time if you are quick enough and view the photo immediately, making it weird to see the image you think you're taking and the final result. This makes the camera a bit of a struggle at first but once you trust it, it's wonderful. The video camera is also good, borderline great but it caps at 30fps in 4K. The portrait mode gets better with time, it starts off good and then gets to amazing within a few days. The UI could use some tweaking, swiping right to get to Portrait mode then clicking the button for it is one more step than the iPhone, and when you have kids it's usually that step that makes you miss the shot. The iPhone X has 2 cameras, making zoom shots a bit better and I tend to like the portrait mode on the back camera more on the iPhone. The front camera portrait mode looks bad most of the time though and so the front camera goes to the Pixel. 4K at 60fps and 240 fps 1080p slo mo on the iPhone make it the ideal video shooter but overall I think the Pixel 2 is better, slightly. Can't go wrong with either, unless you're taking a front selfie...then go Pixel.

    UI: I used to hate Android UI, it used to be slow, laggy, hard to navigate, but Google has done a wonderful job with Oreo. Notification specifically are awesome on Oreo and the UI on the Pixel is snappy as hell. Google Assistant is much better, to me, than Siri and the squeeze feature is a cool touch. The settings menu is much more minimized than iOS's mess and widgets are still cool to me. iOS 11 is still iOS, but it works. Nothing too new to add other than it's snappy and that it works. I'd like a night or dark mode, I'd like to be able to move my icons wherever I want them but alas. Winner is the Pixel.

    Intangibles: This is where it gets hairy. Both phones feature a few intangibles that the other phone doesn't and both have things that other phones have that they do not. The iPhone and Pixel are both water resistant, IP67, both have stereo speakers, both have glass on the back and both have fast charging, that's where it mostly ends. The Pixel has FRONT FACING stereo speakers while the iPhone has a bottom facing speaker. The Pixel also has that squeeze feature which I have mentioned before that launches the assistant and it's awesome and horrible at the same time. Every time I picked it up off my desk it would activate, but again that might have been my fault. Finally the Pixel has AR stickers, which are exclusive for now, and are very cool. My daughter loved "Pwayin that game on my phone" and it works very well but obliterates battery and causes the phone to basically light on fire. The iPhone includes wireless charging, FaceID, the W2 chip (more on that in a second) and Animoji. Wireless charging is a cool thing but far from necessary. FaceID is hit or miss at first but after maybe a week it's very reliable. It unlocks my phone almost before I look at it. It also allows for all of your passwords to be saved to your face (similar to TouchID) but the Pixel also has this tied to it's FP sensor. The W2 chip to me is amazing. Have another Apple accessory or device with a W1 or W2 chip in it? Bring it close the your iPhone automatically tries to pair with it. It makes setting up a new iPhone incredibly easy, pairing Apple branded BlueTooth headphones a breeze and also expedites the Apple Watch setup process. It's also more efficient than normal BlueTooth so that's cool. Finally the TrueDepth camera allows for Animoji which are fun for a minute but, like AR stickers, kind of lose their luster to anyone but kids within a week. Apple also has FaceTime and iMessage which is mostly unchecked on Google's side. I'd also like to add in Smart watches as an intangible because, for me, the Apple Watch trumps everything Google or Samsung has to offer. The functionality is unrivaled and the hardware is impossible for Google to emulate. Samsung does an okay job but I'd rather the Apple Watch 10 times out of 10. This goes to Apple.

    So who wins? It's based on preference but I think the iPhone wins out. The camera experience is better for me on iOS, even though the Pixel's final results are mostly better. The intangibles are close but to me Apple wins with the few extras they offer. Hopefully this helps someone decide, they are both great phones but to me the iPhone takes the cake.
    12-20-2017 09:32 AM
  2. Almeuit's Avatar
    Nice write-up. I am on the opposite side (I prefer the Pixel 2) but I am all in on the Google ecosystem / prefer Android things (mainly notifications).

    At the end of the day no one would be getting the wrong or "bad" phone if they go with either IMO. .
    Last edited by Almeuit; 12-20-2017 at 02:38 PM. Reason: typo
    12-20-2017 09:50 AM
  3. TripleOne's Avatar
    My vote goes to the X.
    It’s the best iPhone and I’m an Apple fan boy.. so yeah
    Snoweagle, Tartarus and iwoodland like this.
    12-20-2017 09:54 AM
  4. krazyatom's Avatar
    I had both and pixel 2 camera is much more superior.
    12-20-2017 12:18 PM
  5. msm0511's Avatar
    I'd also like to add in Smart watches as an intangible because, for me, the Apple Watch trumps everything Google or Samsung has to offer. The functionality is unrivaled and the hardware is impossible for Google to emulate. .
    I really wish there was a way for Android diehards to experience watchOS without iOS. It is so darn good I can't put it into words compared to anything on the Android/Tizen side.
    Jtshurtleff and kcox52692 like this.
    12-20-2017 01:26 PM
  6. Jtshurtleff's Avatar
    I had both and pixel 2 camera is much more superior.
    I think this is arguable. I think the Pixel camera is better in some areas, low light, front facing portrait, but lags behind in video completely.
    12-20-2017 01:33 PM
  7. krishnansasikumar's Avatar
    I really wish there was a way for Android diehards to experience watchOS without iOS. It is so darn good I can't put it into words compared to anything on the Android/Tizen side.
    How? I have a Note 8-Gear S2 combo and the Watch Nike Edition-8 plus combo. I don't find the former lacking in anything important.

    In fact the S2 is a lot faster than the apple watch and I've never inadvertently changed watch faces like what happens on Apple watch.

    The only big plus I see on Apple watch is the ease of changing bands. I have lot of bands and its a PITA to do it on the Gear S2
    DEman19901 likes this.
    12-20-2017 01:33 PM
  8. msm0511's Avatar
    How? I have a Note 8-Gear S2 combo and the Watch Nike Edition-8 plus combo. I don't find the former lacking in anything important.

    In fact the S2 is a lot faster than the apple watch and I've never inadvertently changed watch faces like what happens on Apple watch.

    The only big plus I see on Apple watch is the ease of changing bands. I have lot of bands and its a PITA to do it on the Gear S2
    This is subjective, but Samsung can't design a decent watch to save their lives. The UI is weird and the actual watch is just ugly. Plus the apps aren't nearly as good. If you're all in on Samsung I guess they're ok, but otherwise Apple Watch is just better.
    Not Quite Right likes this.
    12-20-2017 01:41 PM
  9. krazyatom's Avatar
    I think this is arguable. I think the Pixel camera is better in some areas, low light, front facing portrait, but lags behind in video completely.
    I thought pixel 2 video was excellent. Stabilization was more stable compared to iPhone X. iPhone X does support 4k 60fps but pixel only supports 4k 30fps.
    DMP89145 likes this.
    12-20-2017 01:58 PM
  10. krishnansasikumar's Avatar
    Yes, Watch design is subjective. I love both watches that I have. For me Gear S3 is the best designed watch going around, didn't buy it because I already have a S2.

    Samsung watch UI is simple, notifications to the left, apps and widgets on the right. All accessible through the rotary dial or touch.

    Since I use both, I have a fair understanding of each watch and phone combo.

    Your statement didn't highlight any actual drawbacks which the Apple watch can negate.
    Smply_Rckless likes this.
    12-20-2017 01:59 PM
  11. DEman19901's Avatar
    Yes, Watch design is subjective. I love both watches that I have. For me Gear S3 is the best designed watch going around, didn't buy it because I already have a S2.

    Samsung watch UI is simple, notifications to the left, apps and widgets on the right. All accessible through the rotary dial or touch.

    Since I use both, I have a fair understanding of each watch and phone combo.

    Your statement didn't highlight any actual drawbacks which the Apple watch can negate.
    Plus nothing comes close to the rotating bezel on the S2 or S3.
    Smply_Rckless likes this.
    12-20-2017 02:08 PM
  12. msm0511's Avatar
    Yes, Watch design is subjective. I love both watches that I have. For me Gear S3 is the best designed watch going around, didn't buy it because I already have a S2.

    Samsung watch UI is simple, notifications to the left, apps and widgets on the right. All accessible through the rotary dial or touch.

    Since I use both, I have a fair understanding of each watch and phone combo.

    Your statement didn't highlight any actual drawbacks which the Apple watch can negate.
    One word. Apps.

    Very few companies are spending time developing decent apps for Tizen. There are tons of apps available for watchOS.

    The simplicity of the UI doesn't make it attractive. A round watch doesn't make a ton of sense for notifications, maps navigating, messaging, etc. The turnable bezel was a smart touch, but doesn't really add anything. And again subjectively, the Gear S3 is not attractive.

    Samsung makes beautiful phones, but it's watches just aren't great.
    12-20-2017 02:17 PM
  13. krishnansasikumar's Avatar
    Apps.. i tried using it on the Apple watch..like News, Instagram and some other. They were so slow that I was better off taking the phone up. None of the smartwatches are good at that as of now.

    IMO they are good for checking notifications, quick glance at news headlines, quick reply to messages, taking calls when its hard to take phone out, fitness tracking and accessing Samsung Pay , Android Pay or Apple Pay.

    So, for me, the main watch platforms are at par at this point of time.
    Smply_Rckless and cwbcpa like this.
    12-20-2017 02:21 PM
  14. Snoweagle's Avatar
    My vote goes to the X.
    It’s the best iPhone and I’m an Apple fan boy.. so yeah
    I'm also a big Apple fan so yeah....Apple takes the podium!
    iwoodland likes this.
    12-20-2017 08:05 PM
  15. digitalbreak's Avatar
    Thanks for your review.

    Like you said, I love my Apple Watch and that's what is keeping me with the X, else I love my Note 8.

    I had the Huawei Watch (now sold) and didn't like the Android Wear 2.0 update. Watch OS is way better than Android Wear. I am eyeing on Samsung Gear S4 which could change this but not going to Android Wear unless Google released their own Pixel smartwatch.

    So in my case, it has come down to smartwatch and of course the W2 chip as I use Beats Studio Wireless as well and it's just breeze to connect between Apple devices (iPhone, MBP etc.,)

    I don't use iMessage or FaceTime, instead have been using WhatsApp as that is what my friends and family use.
    12-20-2017 08:55 PM
  16. worldspy99's Avatar
    I have the X, Pixel 2, V30 and Essential.

    I like the design and screen on the X. I'm digging the gestures as well. I can't stand notifications on iOS. I like to setup the phone main screen a certain way and lot more compromise is required on iOS. Camera is great on the X, specifically the video options. However pictures are more saturated and soft compared to the Pixel 2.
    My gripes with iOS are less with an iPad and I have a few of those around the house.

    My daily driver is the Pixel 2. Hands down the best camera without a dual camera setup. Front camera is actually awesome as well. And a very Applesque experience in terms of software. No slow downs or restarts or any such hiccups. Video stabilization is excellent, just wish there were more options like the X. And it would be nice if the camera app had some manual settings.

    The V30 and Essential have some strong design points of their own. I like the Essential notch implementation. V30 is a fairly similar design to the glass sandwich that X has but is very light for a large screen device.

    I think we are at a stage where great smartphone choices abound for everyone at all budget tiers. And for consumers that is a great thing.
    Just_Me_D and DMP89145 like this.
    12-20-2017 11:10 PM
  17. Retinella's Avatar
    I'm the opposite. I had an iPhone X and got a Google Pixel 2 XL instead. Overall, it's a better phone and fits in with my ecosystem. I use Google for everything--Google Home, Google Drive, Google Play Music--and it just makes sense to use a Google-branded phone. Plus, the unlimited photo and video storage on Google Drive sealed the deal for me. And the amazing cameras.

    The iPhone X is great for those invested in the Apple ecosystem, but I wasn't, so I sold it. But I hope everyone who has one enjoys the hell out of it.
    12-20-2017 11:35 PM
  18. Not Quite Right's Avatar
    12-21-2017 10:02 AM
  19. VivaTerlingua's Avatar
    I had a Pixel 2 XL for 2 weeks and am on my 3rd day with the iPhone X. I'm not sure which one I'm going to end up with yet. A few comments:

    The problem with blue shift on the Pixel 2 XL is way overblown. My issue with the screen was that it was a little soft and a little dark compared to the X or my 6s plus. However, I only noticed this when they were side by side. Viewed on it's own, I never had any problems with the 2 XL screen.

    I liked the squeeze to use the google assistant, but I didn't use it a lot. I guess that's something I need to remind myself to do more often. While the Assistant was generally more useful than Siri, I had one big issue with it. I set up my home Gmail account as my default Google account and the Assistant would not read me appointments off my work calendar. Siri does.

    I didn't like how the voicemail app was a separate app from the phone app on Android.

    I loved the widgets on Android and also loved their weather app.

    Notifications and settings are better on Android.

    I like a home button better than swiping to go home. I like the back button in Android. I like the swiping left or right on the X to get to other apps. Never really used the split screen on the Pixel.

    I liked not having to login to Google all the time to activate apps on the Pixel. I liked that LastPass would pop up within apps to fill in passwords on the Pixel.

    Other than the zoom lens, the camera on the Pixel was better.

    I like having a physical ringer switch on the iPhone. Liked the placement of the other buttons better on the Pixel.

    That's all I can think of for now. Not sure which one I'll end up sticking with. If it's a tie I'll go with the Pixel 2 since it's cheaper.
    Just_Me_D and aximtreo like this.
    12-21-2017 01:06 PM
  20. popkurn611's Avatar
    I'm the opposite. I had an iPhone X and got a Google Pixel 2 XL instead. Overall, it's a better phone and fits in with my ecosystem. I use Google for everything--Google Home, Google Drive, Google Play Music--and it just makes sense to use a Google-branded phone. Plus, the unlimited photo and video storage on Google Drive sealed the deal for me. And the amazing cameras.

    The iPhone X is great for those invested in the Apple ecosystem, but I wasn't, so I sold it. But I hope everyone who has one enjoys the hell out of it.
    I don't agree that you need a google device just to use Google apps. The integration in both iOS and android are pretty seamless. I came from android and not one Google app on iOS is integrated "as well" as it was on android. Now, to take this a step further, the Google apps with iOS notifications may be where the integration lacks a little. But to me it's not worth leaving the iOS ecosystem.
    12-21-2017 04:53 PM
  21. DMP89145's Avatar
    @popkurn611 I read your post a couple times and I just want to make sure I understand your post.

    First you said:

    The integration in both iOS and android are pretty seamless.
    Which made me think you were saying the experiences were about the same. But then you said:

    I came from android and not one Google app on iOS is integrated "as well" as it was on android.
    Which made me think you DID recognize a significant difference in integration. But your next sentence suggests the only difference being in the notification system.

    Now, to take this a step further, the Google apps with iOS notifications may be where the integration lacks a little.
    Could you clarify a bit more?
    cwbcpa likes this.
    12-21-2017 08:09 PM
  22. popkurn611's Avatar
    @popkurn611 I read your post a couple times and I just want to make sure I understand your post.

    First you said:



    Which made me think you were saying the experiences were about the same. But then you said:



    Which made me think you DID recognize a significant difference in integration. But your next sentence suggests the only difference being in the notification system.



    Could you clarify a bit more?
    Yes sorry, I mistyped my thoughts!

    What I am saying is to move to a Google phone for Google apps experience is not necessary in my opinion when they work just as well on iOS. I am talking about the functionality of the apps individually. If you mix in how they are handled through notifications then android is a better experience, but would not say one needs a Google pixel for that android experience with google.
    12-21-2017 09:08 PM
  23. reeneebob's Avatar
    One word. Apps.

    Very few companies are spending time developing decent apps for Tizen. There are tons of apps available for watchOS.

    The simplicity of the UI doesn't make it attractive. A round watch doesn't make a ton of sense for notifications, maps navigating, messaging, etc. The turnable bezel was a smart touch, but doesn't really add anything. And again subjectively, the Gear S3 is not attractive.

    Samsung makes beautiful phones, but it's watches just aren't great.
    Another thing is it’s made by Samsung, and I’ve had more than my share of negative experiences with Samsung customer support as a customer and on behalf of my customers to ever give them money again.
    12-21-2017 09:51 PM
  24. VivaTerlingua's Avatar

    What I am saying is to move to a Google phone for Google apps experience is not necessary in my opinion when they work just as well on iOS. I am talking about the functionality of the apps individually. If you mix in how they are handled through notifications then android is a better experience, but would not say one needs a Google pixel for that android experience with google.
    Exactly my experience. The apps themselves are almost exactly the same on both devices but logins and notifications were much better on the pixel. For example on the Pixel 2 XL I would get a notification when somebody needed access to a google doc and I could grant access right from the notification. In iOS you can not even get a notification for that.
    DMP89145 likes this.
    12-21-2017 10:12 PM
  25. popkurn611's Avatar
    Exactly my experience. The apps themselves are almost exactly the same on both devices but logins and notifications were much better on the pixel. For example on the Pixel 2 XL I would get a notification when somebody needed access to a google doc and I could grant access right from the notification. In iOS you can not even get a notification for that.
    Yep, same with replying to an email directly from the notification. It's a little more polished in android but it's not enough of a hassle for me on iOS to leave. Just have to use other ways to get to that end point which I am used to already on iOS.
    DMP89145 likes this.
    12-21-2017 10:14 PM
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