Two new shiny devices are here from Apple and Google and they’ve both certainly made their presence known. In the battle of the flagships, Google’s Pixel 2 goes up against Apple’s iPhone X. They’re both powerful and both very good, making it difficult to decide between the two.
Pixel 2 vs iPhone X: Design
The Pixel 2 is a fine-looking phone, but the iPhone X is on another level. With a near-bezel-less design, the iPhone X certainly looks modern, and when you compare it to previous iPhone models, you can really see the improvement.
The Pixel 2, on the other hand, looks almost exactly the same as the original Pixel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but won’t be much change if you’re upgrading from last year’s model. It certainly has bezels though, so if an edge-to-edge screen is important to you, the iPhone X is the better option.
Even if we agree that bezels are unsightly, edge-to-edge displays aren’t without their problems – chiefly where to put the front-facing camera. In the iPhone X’s case, it’s there in the form of an unsightly notch that dips into the top of the display. Despite this, the amount of screen real estate you get on the iPhone X is very nice indeed.
To our hands, though, the Pixel 2 feels a bit nicer. Rather than the easily smashable glass black of the iPhone X, the Pixel 2 has a very nice textured aluminium rear with a glossy glass panel above it Being textured, the Pixel 2 also feels a lot firmer to hold in your hand than the iPhone X.
If you want a 3.5mm headphone jack… well, you’re out of luck on both. Maybe look at Samsung or OnePlus’ offerings instead, if this is a dealbreaker.
The colours are fairly limited on both phones, with the Pixel 2 giving you one additional colour over the iPhone X. You can get the Pixel 2 in Clearly White, Just Black and Kinda Blue. The iPhone X only comes in Space Grey or Silver. Sleek or bland? You decide.
Pixel 2 vs iPhone X: Screen
Both these phones have beautiful OLED screens with no weird colours (ala Pixel 2 XL). In a bit more detail, the Pixel 2 has a 5in display with 1,080 x 1,920 resolution, displaying 440 pixels per inch. The iPhone X, on the other hand, has a slightly larger 5.8in OLED HDR screen and a higher resolution of 2,436 x 1,125, that’s 458 pixels per inch.
Sharp, colourful and bright, there’s not much between these two phones in the display department. Though it’s worth mentioning that the colour accuracy is ever so slightly weaker on the Pixel 2 than the iPhone X, which has pixel-perfect colour calibration – amazing for an OLED screen.
As for brightness, the iPhone X outshines the Pixel 2. The iPhone X peaks at 501cd/m, while the Pixel 2 peaks at a still bright, but less fantastic, 418cd/m2. Not only is it bright, but the iPhone X also gets to make use of Apple’s True Tone technology.
Pixel 2 vs iPhone X: Camera
Google set the bar impossibly high with last year’s Pixel camera, and the Pixel 2 is even better. Good luck topping that, Apple.
The iPhone X has two 12 megapixel dual-lens cameras on the back and offers up optical image stabilisation and an aperture of f/1.8 and f/2.4. While the iPhone X has two cameras, it is not significantly better than the Pixel 2. The Pixel 2 has one camera on the rear boasting 12.2megapixels with an aperture of f/1.8 as well as optical image stabilisation and perfect dynamic range. Having two lenses, the iPhone X is able to take photos in Portrait Mode, giving pictures a bokeh effect, something I wish the Pixel 2 had.
Both phones produce incredible photos in low-light, although we did notice that the iPhone X does have some issues with using the zoom lens in poor lighting. Instead of reducing noise thanks to its bright aperture, the phone switches to the wide-angle lens, producing a cropped photo instead. The Pixel 2 obviously doesn’t have this issue, its wide-lens seems to be more reliably good than the iPhone X.
As for the front-facing camera, the Pixel 2 is much better than the iPhone X. The Pixel 2 has a crisp 8-megapixel camera, whilst the iPhone X has a lower-quality 7 megapixel one. Still, the iPhone X now lets you take Portrait Mode photos with the front-facing camera, something previously exclusive to the iPhone’s rear.
Both phones are excellent at capturing video in 4K, but the colour accuracy really lets the Pixel 2 down here, which is pretty noticeable when capturing video. Video on the iPhone X stays solid, however.
Pixel 2 vs iPhone X: Battery and Specifications
We haven’t had enough time to truly test the iPhone X’s battery, but at the moment it’s not looking too good, especially when compared with the Pixel 2. In our test, we found that the iPhone X’s 2,716mAh battery only lasted nine hours and 22 minutes in our video benchmark. The Pixel 2, on the other hand, with its very marginally smaller 2,700mAh battery, lasted a lot longer, eventually conking out at 14 hours and 17 minutes.
The iPhone X runs on Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip with a six-core CPU. Coupling this with 3GB of RAM makes it the fastest phone on the market when it comes to CPU and graphics processing. The Pixel 2 runs on the famous Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 2.35GHz octa-core processor and while it sounds impressive, it isn’t technically faster than the iPhone X. It does, however, have slightly more RAM than the iPhone X at 4GB.
The Pixel 2 comes in storage sizes of 64GB and 128GB. While the iPhone X comes in 64GB and 264GB.
It’s a shame that the highest storage capacity on the Pixel 2 is only 128GB as the iPhone X goes up to 264GB, which would be a much better storage size for taking advantage of the Pixel 2’s camera. Though Google does provide Pixel 2 buyers with unlimited cloud storage for their snaps in Google Photos until 2020.
Pixel 2 vs iPhone X – Price
I’m sorry iPhone X, but for all your fantastic qualities, the Pixel 2 is significantly more affordable and provides far greater value for money. At £999 for the basic 64GB model and £1299 for the 264GB model, it’s really hard to recommend the iPhone X over the Pixel 2. Google’s flagship retails for almost £400 less than the pricey iPhone, coming in at £629 for the 64GB model and £729 for the 128GB model.
If you take into account price, all of the improvements the iPhone X has over the Pixel 2 can be argued away. The Pixel 2 is nearly as good as the iPhone X and it is much, much, cheaper.
Of course, if money is the bar to entry, the iPhone 8 Plus is far more affordable, and not that far behind the iPhone X in terms of performance – so if you’re wedded to iOS, but don’t want to spend the Earth, that may be a sensible place to look next.
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