Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Google Pixel XL: Touchwiz or stock Android?


Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Google Pixel XL : design and display

The team at Gizmodo states: “The Google Pixel XL is too stupid and ugly to replace your iPhone.” You don’t see an analysis in that tone of voice every day, do you? Personally, I wasn’t as offended by the design of Google Pixel XL as they were, though, for me, the Galaxy S7 edge is much more attractive.

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Same screen size, different dimensions / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy S7 edge is more elegant and sophisticated. It fits in the palm of your hand, even with a 5.5-inch screen. Do you know another smartphone that comes with a 5.5-inch screen? Exactly: the Google Pixel XL. Even though the difference in size between these two devices is quite small, it’s evident when you look at them. Take a look:

Device Dimensions
GALAXY S7 EDGE 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
GOGLE PIXEL XL 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm

Both screens are basically the same quality, using AMOLED technology and QHD resolution. The difference, however, lies in the borders. Just like the name indicates, the borders on the Galaxy S7 edge are curved and the screens brightness is a bit better than the Pixel XL, which results in colors that are a bit more vivid.

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Curved or flat screen? / © AndroidPIT

Regarding the fingerprint scanner, the fact that the Galaxy S7 Edge has a digital fingerprint sensor on the front makes it much more convenient to use, whether it’s on a table or in your hand. The biometric sensor for the Pixel XL, sadly, has two problems: it’s located on the back and at the top, making it a difficult device to use.

However, the advantage is in the use of gestures that the Google team included on the Pixel XL. This way, we can quickly see notifications without having to move our hands, just by sliding your finger over the biometric scanner, like we do when we want to activate the notifications bar in our smartphones.

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The USB Type-C is being left behind. / © AndroidPIT

Another difference between the two designs is the fact that the Google Pixel XL has a USB Type-C port while the Galaxy S7 edge comes with a USB 2.0. More than just not being compatible with the standards of the future, transferring data is much slower on Samsung’s flagship model. The Galaxy Note 7 was the first big smartphone to come with this option but this was before its explosive retirement from the market…

Lastly, despite preferring the way colors are seen and the brightness of the display on the Google Pixel XL, the design of the Galaxy S7 edge makes it a better made phone with a much better grip. If, after finishing this comparison, I’m forced to choose a device based solely on design and display the Galaxy S7 Edge would be my choice.

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The curved, lateral borders of the S7 Edge give it a much more modern design. / © AndroidPIT

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Google Pixel XL: performance and software

The Pixel XL features pure Android, manufactured directly by Google and it comes with a launcher exclusive to its system – the famous Pixel Launcher – the same way TouchWiz offers exclusive features to Samsung’s smartphones. The difference is in the number of exclusive services Samsung offers its clients, of which there are quite a lot – although they’re not always useful.

“Pure Android” is definitely not my cup of tea

What do you think?

What I like about Google’s user interface is the fact that the search engine giant is so “self-centered” that it didn’t partner with either Facebook or Microsoft. Consequently, the Pixel XL offers its users the option to download Facebook, Instagram, OneDrive, and OneNote, among others. Still, the software on Google’s camera is extremely limited, which makes the services offered by Apple much better.

While I was writing a review about the Google Pixel XL, I realized that stock Android is definitely not my cup of tea. I’m just saying, if the resources offered by the Android Google Pixel XL were the same as those offered by the Galaxy S7 edge, the contrary will never happen, it would make a large portion of their users very happy. If you’re one of those users, the Pixel XL, just like any Nexus or Moto series, would be the device for you. However, if what you want is more substance, go for a Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, etc.

The performance of the Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel XL isn’t so great that it makes me lean one way or another and, if you don’t believe me, you can easily look up comparisons between them. Now, if we were talking about the iPhone 7 Plus, there would be a difference, which puts on a performance clinic when compared to the Google Pixel XL and the Galaxy S7 edge.

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The experience with Google Assistant should be the deciding factor that separates the two devices but it isn’t./ © AndroidPIT

Google promised us a great personal assistant, Google Assistant. However, the only adjective that comes to mind to define this feature is the same one that Gizmodo used: dumb.  This feature can (in this phase of development) be easily substituted by Google Now on Tap and the Google App. There are very few features that Assistant can learn quickly and then perform. Sadly, Google did the best thing they know how: more Beta versions.

The important thing when comparing the performance and software of these two devices is the fact that, with practically the same starting power (Exynoss 8890 vs. Snapdragon 821) the amount of bloatware can make the difference. However, everything depends on the number of Apps that you use.

With respect to battery life, both the smartphones from Samsung and Google have practically the same performance. However, the Galaxy S7 Edge is in the lead, coming with more advanced ways to save energy such as their wireless charging feature.

As I’ve already said, I’m not a fan of pure Android. I prefer exclusive services – and useful ones. Therefore, in light of this comparison, I would lean towards the Galaxy S7 Edge, mainly due to the fact that I can use a personalized ROM when I get tired of TouchWiz. If you don’t feel the same way, you could always choose a Moto series smartphone. Any device from them is much more suited to use with pure Android.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Google Pixel XL: camera

Camera performance is excellent on both devices. While the Samsung comes with an optical image stabilizer, compatible with RAW, – with a wide dynamic range of colors and light balance – and features like selective focus, the Google Pixel comes with laser focus and an impressive contrast quality.

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Based on the camera, either one is a good option, as both are above average. / © AndroidPIT

The main camera on the Galaxy S7 edge is 12 MP and an image sensor of 1/2.5 inches. Pixels are 1.4 mm and have a greater sensitivity to solar light. It has an aperture of f/1.7 and both devices come with Dual Pixel technology.

On the other hand, the main camera on the Google Pixel XL is 12.3 MP, with 1.55 mm pixels and an aperture of f/2.0. The automatic focus comes with phase detection (PDAF) as well as laser (LDAF). The laser sensor is located in two holes to the side of the camera’s sensor, just like on the Nexus 5X, though here they’re separated.

Below, you can see, in detail, some images made for this comparison. In the end, while the Galaxy S7 edge has excellent light capture, the contrast that the lens on the Pixel XL offers is one of the best I’ve ever seen on a smartphone.

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This picture was taken with the front camera. / © AndroidPIT

Galaxy S7 Edge vs Google Pixel XL: price

The Galaxy S7 Edge can be found at the official Samsung store for $769.99.

The Google Pixel XL can be bought through the Google store in select markets. The price varies depending on the amount of storage. The 32 GB version costs $769, the 128 GB version $869.

Galaxy S7 Edge vs Google Pixel XL: tech specs

  Google Pixel XL Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Model: Sorry, not yet available! G935F
Manufacturer: Google Samsung
Dimensions: 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 168 g 157 g
Battery size: 3450 mAh 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi) 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 12.3 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED LED
Android version: 7.1 – Nougat 6.0 – Marshmallow
User interface: Stock Android TouchWiz
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
128 GB
32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: Sorry, not yet available! microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Samsung Exynos 8890
Number of cores: 4 8
Max. clock speed: 2.15 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

Galaxy S7 Edge vs. Google Pixel XL: which to buy?

The fact that the Google Pixel XL isn’t available in a majority of countries is a very negative factor, especially if they add to the suggested price in the US. The Galaxy S7 Edge was launched at the end of February of this year, so the real competition for the Google Pixel XL should be the Galaxy Note 7, but we know how that story ends.

The Galaxy S7 Edge is globally available and has a range of unique features when compared to the Google Pixel XL, like taking photos in RAW format and having additional camera options. Plus, it comes with a curved border, which will delight gamers, photo aficionados and movie watchers alike.

On the other side, the Google Pixel XL is an excellent example of a smartphone running on pure Android or, as some users like to say, Android “closer to its core”. Yet, it’s more expensive and for many countries can only be imported.

If you have any doubts with respect to which device to choose, analyze the pros and cons of each. When I did at the time, the Galaxy S7 Edge continues to be my definite choice.

Which smartphone do you think is better?

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