Google’s idea with the Pixel and Pixel XL phones is to bring about pure Android hardware, much more like Apple has successfully done with its iPhone lineup.
While working very hard to achieve this same status as Cupertino, Google has been forced to drop some of its old habits, primarily pricing its handsets at a relatively cheaper price than its counterparts from Apple and Samsung, among other OEMs.
Like the iPhone 7 Plus, you need $769 to get the base model of the Google Pixel XL. There are two storage options available, with the 128GB model valued at $869. This is the same price you also pay for an iPhone 7 Plus with the same capacity, but the latter adds to this option with an even larger 256GB unit, which is valued at $969. One thing that has made Android phones remain unique is the support for microSD card. This, however, is nowhere on the Google Pixel XL, just like the iPhone 7 Plus. But for the latter, this is actually the norm.
Another aspect that the iPhone 7 Plus totally floors the Google Pixel XL is the camera. There is a dual-lens camera setup on the former as opposed to the single-lens setup on the latter. Even though the 12.3MP lens on the Pixel XL has received the highest score ever (89) by a smartphone from camera obsessives DxOMark, you still don’t get up to 10x digital zoom on the iPhone 7 Plus. In addition, there is no OIS on the Pixel XL, which has kind of become a norm for Google phones.
There were reports that Android Nougat will come with baked support for pressure-sensitive screens with the Google Pixel XL touted to come with this technology. However, this did not materialize and it stands, only Xiaomi’s Mi 5s Plus can stand against the iPhone 7 Plus in this aspect. There is 3D Touch and a pressure-sensitive Home button on the Apple phone, features that Pixel XL users can only dream of.
Apple also made some design changes to the audio system, this time shipping the iPhone 7 Plus with stereo speakers that deliver much louder audio playback. As for the Pixel XL, you only get one speaker that delivers mono sound. One thing that the Pixel phone might beat Apple’s iPhone in the audio department is the 3.5mm headphone jack. It is missing on the iPhone 7 Plus, but Google kept faith in it. Whether or not this will help up the sales of the Pixel XL when compared to the Apple phone is still unknown.