Since the launch of the Pixel family, Google has upped its position as the closest rival Apple faces in the American smartphone ecosystem. And this can be seen with this year’s continued rivalry between the Google Pixel 2 and Apple iPhone 8.
The two phones are without a doubt powerful and of a decent size when compared to the rest of the competition, but given their price tags, it’s unlikely you’ll be buying both of them. So which one should you buy?
When composing any list of the best phones on the market right now, it would be incomplete if the Google Pixel 2 and iPhone 8 don’t feature. They are fast, comfortable and come with just about every feature you’d want to see on a premium phone. However, we are yet to see a perfect phone, which means either has their strengths and weaknesses. In short, buying one means you will be trading off some of the features you’d have gained on the other.
Design and display
It’s the same old story for both phones. When compared to the OG Pixel and iPhone 7, the Pixel 2 and iPhone 8 bring no major surprises to the table, however, you’ll love the sleeker, all-glass back on the latter compared to the two-tone design on the former, although it’s not bad-looking in any way. One downside of having a glass back is the vulnerability to cracks or shatter when dropped, which makes the plastic-coated aluminum body of the Pixel 2 a much better option for those who tend to be a bit careless with their phones.
Both phones’ bodies have dust and water resistance certification for extra protection, however, neither has a 3.5mm audio jack. This means you either use a wireless headphone or a dongle to connect your old headphones to the phones.
In terms of display, the iPhone 8 has a slightly smaller 4.7-inch screen while the Pixel 2 gets a 5-inch panel. Both phones are easy to carry around in your pocket and operate one-handed, but the Pixel 2 carries the day with its slightly bigger and sharper screen. If you’ve heard any stories about the Pixel 2 XL display screen, well, none of them are affecting the smaller model.
Processor and battery capacity (life)
The Google Pixel 2 has a Snapdragon 835 processor from Qualcomm while the iPhone 8 has an A11 Bionic chipset from Apple. Just like any other release, Apple’s A11 SoC comes out on top in just about every benchmark test, including Geekbench and AnTuTu. However, we all know those benchmarks don’t determine the real world performance of a phone, which also means that the Pixel 2 isn’t painted as a slouch. If anything, you might never notice the difference between launching a camera, switching between apps or scrolling through web pages on the Pixel 2 and iPhone 8, but on paper, the latter wins the battle.
The iPhone 8 has a significantly smaller battery of 1821mAh compared to the 2700mAh unit used on the Pixel 2. Interestingly, the two phones have just about the same battery life but don’t be surprised if the iPhone 8 gives you a few more minutes of usage. Furthermore, the iPhone comes with support for wireless charging, a feature you won’t find on the Pixel handset.
Lately, many smartphone camera reviews have been based on the views of DxOMark – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Apparently, the platform gave the Google Pixel 2 a score of 98 while the iPhone 8 managed a score of 92. Remember, these scores are not out of 100, so don’t assume the Pixel 2 is near perfect because the 100 mark can still be surpassed.
While DxOMark has a detailed explanation of how these scores are arrived at, all you need to know is that the iPhone 8 is a better performer in low-light conditions while the Pixel 2 wins the battle for fast-taking photos in Portrait Mode, a feature that is common with dual-lens cameras.
Both phones have 12MP units on the back and for the first time, Google has OIS on board that helps capture steadier shots and video. You can also capture slow-motion videos and fun photos known as Live Photos/Motion Photos. However, it’s only the Pixel 2 camera that ships with inbuilt features for capturing dramatic, bokeh-style portrait shots and although not perfect, you’ll still love what you see, especially since it’s coming from a single-lens camera.
Software and pricing
Apple’s iPhone 8 has the latest iOS 11 installed out of the box while the Google Pixel 2 has Android Oreo running the show. These two sets of operating systems are great and when compared to a few years ago, they are both showing significant maturity in how they do things. The iOS vs. Android debate has existed for years and honestly, I won’t be going into that. If anything, it all comes down to preference.
As far as pricing is concerned, the two phones are not so different. The base model of the Google Pixel 2, which comes with 64GB of storage, costs $649 and an extra $100 will earn you the 128GB variant. As for the Apple iPhone 8, the base model (64GB) costs $699 while the high-end variant of 256GB will set you back $849.
As you may have noticed, this has been a closely contested affair, but in the end, we have to choose. So, which one is right for you? Unless you are that deep into the Apple ecosystem, the Google Pixel 2 is a decent buy. The iPhone 8 does offer a much better-looking design and a faster processor (on paper), however, one of the core reasons people buy high-end phones these days is photography – and the Pixel 2 doesn’t disappoint on this front. The phone also comes with a slightly bigger and sharper screen, is $50 cheaper than the entry-level iPhone 8 and adds a new, although seemingly gimmicky, feature in the shape of squeezable edges. As a bonus, you now get a 2-year warranty with the Pixel 2 compared to iPhone 8’s one year warranty.
What do you think? Let us know in your comments below.