Google has just announced the Pixel 8 Pro and it comes mere weeks after Apple showcased its superpowered iPhone 15 Pro. Here’s how the two phones compare.
Google and Apple releasing new phones within a few weeks of each other has become a yearly tradition and it’s fascinating to see where each behemoth focuses big upgrades on each year.
Here we’ll compare the Pixel 8 Pro – Google’s high-end flagship for 2023 – against Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and its larger Pro Max sibling. Aside from running Android and iOS respectively, what are the biggest notable differences between these two phones? Read on to find out all the important details.
The iPhone 15 Pro comes in two sizes
Apple splits its Pro series into two devices, a 6.1-inch Pro and a 6.7-inch Pro Max. Aside from the larger device having a 5x telephoto camera, rather than 3x, both these Pro phones are virtually the same. One is just bigger.
It’s a different story for the Pixel. The Pixel 8 Pro comes in one size with a 6.7-inch screen and unlike the Pixel 7 Pro the screen is flat rather than curved. The iPhone has long had a flat screen and we much prefer it.
If you want a smaller Pixel then there’s the 6.2-inch Pixel 8. This lacks some of the higher-end features – the dedicated zoom camera and higher-res display for example – but is more affordable.
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The Pixel 8 Pro is after Apple’s video crown
The iPhone has long been the best phone for capturing videos, a position it only improved upon with the iPhone 15 Pro. The latest phone added support for log format, ideal for those who wish to colour-grade footage to ensure it matches up with other cameras.
With the Pixel 8 Pro, Google is certainly looking to catch up in the video stakes. The new phone adds the same Real Tone feature we’ve seen before in photos, adding extra realism to skin tones. Google also said a new Dual Exposure video mode reduces grain and ups detail in trickier lighting.
Whether these new additions will help Google topple the iPhone when it comes to video recording remains to be seen.
A17 Pro vs Tensor G3
Both of these phones are powered by custom chips, each designed specifically for the device. The iPhone 15 Pro uses the A17 Pro, while the Pixel 8 Pro has the Tensor G3 at its core.
Let’s start with the Tensor G3. Google has said this chip, which keeps an AI focus, has a machine learning mode 10x more complex than the previous chip. Google also likes to focus on how the chip powers other aspects of the phone, like how the Call Screen feature can now filter out more spam calls than before and Clear Calling can improve the quality of incoming calls. It also said the G3 helps the new Magic Eraser for Audio work effectively, allowing you to remove annoying audio from videos.
Of course, we’ll have to run the Tensor G3 through our usual suite of benchmarking tests to judge how it performs when we get the phones in for review.
The Apple A17 Pro, on the other hand, offers a lot in the performance area. This 3nm chipset gets comfortably the highest scores in various synthetic benchmarking tests, including Geekbench 6, and it will allow the iPhone 15 Pro to play high-end games like Assasin’s Creed Mirage.
Plenty of software updates across the board
While Apple doesn’t specify how many software updates a phone will get, we can assume the iPhone 15 Pro will be supported for a good number of years simply by the fact iOS 17 arrives on devices like the iPhone XR and XS.
Google, on the other hand, has confirmed that the Pixel 8 Pro will get OS, Feature Drops and Security Updates for a very impressive seven years.
The Pixel 8 Pro really packs in the megapixels
It wouldn’t be a Pixel launch without a heavy focus on the camera skills, both in terms of hardware and software. The 8 Pro packs in three high-res cameras, including a 50MP main sensor, a new 48MP ultrawide and a 48MP telephoto.
Both the Pixel 8 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro tout 5x optical zoom on their telephoto cameras, however the Pixel can then utilise the Ai-tinged Super Res Zoom to get up to 30x. The iPhone 15 Pro has a 48MP main camera, however its secondary sensors are both 12MP.
There’s autofocus on the Pixel’s 10MP front camera too, which is always a welcome addition.
Once we’ve fully reviewed both these phones we’ll pit them against each other to see which is the best camera phone on the market.
There’s a lot that is the same
When you get into the weeds, there’s a lot that’s the same between these two phones. They both start at $999/£999 with 128GB storage, eschew expandable storage and charge via USB-C.
They both have OLED screens that can drop down to 1Hz and up to 120Hz and both support wireless charging.
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