With the Google Pixel XL now available for pre-orders, it is only ideal for us to come up with a comparison between the new phone and one of our readers’ best choices in the shape of Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Of course, it would look more natural to pit the Google Pixel XL against the Galaxy S7 Edge, but that is spared for another piece. As for now, let’s take a head-to-head look at the two flagships and how they stack up against each other.
For starters, you will notice that there is a lot of style in the new Google Pixel XL phone, but it brings nothing new in this design that we haven’t seen before. There is a metallic design that features a sleek finish, which is the trademark for today’s flagship handsets. As for Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you get a similarly premium build that comes with metal and glass, something that has grown to be synonymous with recent Samsung Galaxy flagships.
The design aspects go as far as the screen, with the Galaxy Note 7 coming with a nice curved dual-edge front that makes the phone feel thinner and easier to hold in one hand despite its huge size. The Google Pixel XL lacks this feature, but it is still a beauty to hold in your hand. In end, it is just a matter of self-preference that will set these two apart when it comes to the looks.
It gets even better for the Galaxy Note 7 as it comes with an IP68 certification to mean that it can survive up to 30 minutes in water of about 1.5 meters deep. As for the Google Pixel XL, you get IP53 rating, which can only protect the phone against minor splashes and dust. Despite this lower IP53 certification, the Pixel XL still feels more robust as opposed to the more fragile Galaxy Note 7.
Getting a little more specific, the Galaxy Note 7 has a larger 5.7-inch AMOLED screen with QHD resolution. The Google Pixel XL uses the same AMOLED panel and keeps the same QHD resolution as well, but the size is at 5.5 inches. In short, these two displays should deliver the same quality, but Samsung Galaxy Note 7 adds the Edge software as well as Always On Display features on top – features you won’t find on the Google Pixel XL.
Under the hood, there is a newer and much faster Snapdragon 821 SoC that is paired with 4GB RAM on the Pixel XL. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 7 has the same 4GB RAM, but a weaker Snapdragon 820 or Exynos 8890 SoC. When it comes to the storage, the Pixel XL still beats the Note 7 with its two options of 32GB and 128GB as compared to the one and only 64GB option of the latter. However, you get a microSD card slot on the Note 7, which can accommodate up to 256GB.
As far as battery capacity is concerned, these two are on the same level, with Google’s phone featuring a 3450mAh unit as compared to the 3500mAh unit found on the Samsung handset. There is fast charging on both handsets, but it is only Samsung that adds fast wireless charging to its flagship.
In terms of security, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 should be ahead of the Pixel XL with its iris scanner and fingerprint scanner options. You only get the latter on the Pixel XL, located at the back alongside the 12.3MP camera sensor. The fingerprint scanner of the Note 7 is embedded in the home button while the iris scanner is adjacent to the front-facing camera. Speaking of the front-facing camera, there is an 8MP lens on the Pixel XL while the Galaxy Note 7 has a 5MP sensor to go along with a 12MP sensor at the back.
As usual, Google-made phones lag behind in camera matters and this is no different for the Pixel XL, despite receiving a very high rating from industry experts DxOMark. There is no OIS on the main camera, a feature you find on the Galaxy Note 7. Still, both handsets support 4K video capture, PDAF and LED flash, among other features.
Software-wise, there is Android Marshmallow on the Galaxy Note 7 but Google went for the latest Android 7.1 Nougat for its new Pixel XL flagship. The prices of these two are very close to each other, despite the mega differences between them. The 32GB Pixel XL costs $769 while the high-end variant is valued at $869. This is the same amount you will pay for a 64GB Galaxy Note 7, but the price is higher for those getting it from U.S. carriers.