Earlier today, Google took the stage to unveil their next-generation smartphones, the rebranded Pixel and Pixel XL. They poked a little fun at Apple during their event and claimed that their new phones have the best camera available on a mobile phone. Here is how they compare to the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are the successors to the Nexus series with a new internal and external design. The Pixel has a screen size of 5″ with a full HD display and resolution of 441ppi. The Pixel XL has a screen size of 5.5″ with a quad HD display and 534ppi. They are powered by a quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM and a headphone jack, USB-C charge port, three microphones, and starting storage capacity of 32GB. Additionally, the front camera is 8MP and the rear camera is 12.3MP.
Compared to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, they tend to be packed with a little more specs. The iPhone 7 has a lower resolution display of 326ppi that is Retina HD and 4.7″. The iPhone 7 Plus has a resolution of 401ppi and a Retina HD display that measures 5.5″. The iPhones are powered by a quad-core fusion processor with 64-bit architecture with 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 7 and 3GB in the iPhone 7 Plus. The phones also have a dual speaker system instead of a headphone jack, Apple-specific Lightning charge port, three microphones and a starting storage capacity of 32GB. The iPhone 7 has a single rear camera of 12MP, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a two rear cameras each with a 12MP sensor. Both phones have a front camera of 7MP.
Looking at the technical specifications of the camera, though, the Pixel has a 12.3MP rear camera sensor. Google does not reveal as many details as Apple does for the rear camera. They state that the aperture is f/2.0 and still has 1.55um pixels. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, have a much wider aperture of f/1.8. They also have a six-element lens, focus pixels, wide color capture, noise reduction, auto HDR, Live Photos, and more.
In terms of full specifications, the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL seem to beat the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It has a higher resolution display since it is designed to work with Google’s virtual reality system and a slightly larger amount of RAM. The cameras, though, is my focus since this is where Google claimed they had the best mobile phone camera. In their event, they referenced the DXOMark Mobile which rated the iPhone 7’s camera at 86 and the Pixel’s camera at 89. The high 89 rating is because the camera is very detailed with its 12.3MP camera sensor and there are “relatively low levels of noise for every tested lighting condition.” The issue with the DXOMark, though, is that only the iPhone 7 has been tested. The iPhone 7 Plus has not finished testing yet and it may actually be more powerful than the Pixel.
In previous tests by DXOMark, the larger Plus version of the iPhone scored higher on their scale. The iPhone 6s scored an 82, matching the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, while the iPhone 6s Plus scored an 84. The iPhone 7 Plus would need at least an 89 (3 points higher) to be equal to the Pixel, or a 90 to be better than the Pixel.
Once DXOMark tests the iPhone 7 Plus, we will know for sure if the Pixel has the best mobile phone camera, or if it has the second best.