16-12-2016 My Mobile
One represents the best that Android can offer. The other is the iOS flagship. Bo th come with premium price tags, but which of the two is worth shelling out (a lot of) cash for? We compare the iPhone 7 Plus and the Pixel XL.
The battle between iOS and Android is a bitter one and nothing reflects it better than the debate ranging over each platform’s flagship device - the iPhone 7 Plus and the Pixel XL. In the past, the Google device always held the price advantage over the one from Cupertino but this year even that has disappeared thanks to the Search Giant’s decision to go for a premium pricing for the Pixel XL. So which of the two expensive phones should you go for? We pit the two behemoths against each other to find you the answer.
Yes, the iPhone has always had the design edge on its competition and that does not change with the iPhone 7 Plus, even though some feel that Apple could have gone in for a more radical design overhaul. The Pixel XL might be more compact than the iPhone 7 Plus but there is no doubting that the iPhone has the more eye catching design especially if you look at the black or jet black options. The Pixel XL’s Quite Black edition is eye catching with its mix of glass and aluminum at the back but honestly, we don’t see it holding its own against the iPhone 7 Plus.
Winner: iPhone 7 Plus
This would normally have been a cakewalk for the Google device but Apple has pulled a few rabbits out of its hat this time. Yes, the Pixel XL has a higher resolution display (quad HD) but on the flip side, Apple has a dual camera arrangement as well as stereo speakers not to mention water and dust resistance, which we think considerably offset the advantage the quad HD display gives the Pixel XL. Neither device has expandable memory, each claims to have best in class cameras and both have very good processors and on the face of it, ample RAM. All said and done, we are calling this round a tie.
This has always been a tight battle with iOS taking on pure Android. This time, Google has also thrown its Google Assistant into the fray, a Siri-like digital assistant that offers to answer queries as well as make polite chit chat with you if you so wish. There are those who will feel that Android comes with the better apps already onboard (such as maps, search and mail) but the iOS faithful will point to the formidable treasury of apps that iOS has in its app store. Yes, we like Google Assistant a lot but we are not sure it does enough to offset iOS’ app advantage (in terms of quality) over Android. We are handing this round to the iPhone 7 Plus by a narrow margin.
Winner: iPhone 7 Plus
Multimedia and gaming
With both devices coming with powerful processors, ample RAM and good displays, gaming and watching videos is an absolute joy on both the Pixel XL and the 7 Plus. Yes, some might prefer the sound on the 7 Plus, but then the Pixel XL has a higher resolution Super AMOLED display which sort of evens matters out. In either case, you are unlikely to be disappointed. We are calling this a tie.
The iPhone would normally run away with this round but the Pixel XL’s camera is one of the best we have seen on an Android device and runs it very close. Both cameras take excellent pictures in low light as well as good light conditions. We are however handing this one to the iPhone because of its dual camera set up which allows users to get 2x optical zoom onto their shots, and also because it does not face the lens flare problems that the Pixel XL did.
Winner: iPhone 7 Plus
In terms of general performance, we really found it hard to separate the two devices. Both handle routine tasks like social networking and browsing really well, and are dab hands at gaming and multi-tasking. And both come with large batteries that are easily able to see out more than a day of normal to heavy usage. We are calling this one a tie again.
Value for Money
At one time, this would have been a runaway winner for the Google phone, but with the Pixel XL starting at Rs 67,000 and the iPhone 7 Plus at Rs 72,000,the value for money gap between the two phones has narrowed considerably. Yes, the iPhone 7 Plus does cost more but then it does come with better cameras and a dual speakers as well as water and dust resistance. We are calling this one a tie again.
On the face of it, it would seem like a cakewalk for the iPhone 7 Plus as the Pixel XL does not beat it on any of our parameters. Look more closely, however, and you will see a much closer contest. For, apart from design, the iPhone does not run out a clear winner and records narrow margin victories. Significantly, most of the parameters witness ties, which just shows how evenly matched the two devices are. We really think it is going to boil down to an Android vs iOS battle, with those preferring the former harking to the Pixel XL, while those who like the latter will go for the iPhone 7 Plus. Speaking as neutrals we must confess we are swayed by the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera and more eye-catching design.