I’ve been using Google’s Pixel 2 XL for a few weeks, and, for the first time, I’m finding it harder to convince myself that it’s that much better than an iPhone.
The iPhone X makes a serious case for itself purely based on design. It’s that pretty, especially when you see it in person.
But once I snapped out of the iPhone X spell, I remembered there are several key reasons why the Pixel 2 phones are better.
Right off the bat, Google's new Pixel 2 phones have a huge advantage over the iPhone X: Price.
The Pixel 2 starts at $A1,079, which is $A500 less than the iPhone X's $A1,579 starting price tag.
The larger Pixel 2 XL costs $A1,399, which is still $A180 less than the iPhone X starting price.
Apple finally added support for fast charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, a genuinely meaningful feature that Android phones have had for years. It lets you get hours of battery life from just a few minutes of charging, which is incredibly useful when you're in a pinch.
However, you'll find a standard iPhone charger when you unbox the iPhone X, and you'll have to buy separate accessories if you want to fast charge the new iPhones.
Meanwhile, Google's Pixel 2 phones come with a fast charger included in the box. So, not only are the Pixel 2 phones cheaper, they don't require you to spend more to take advantage of core features.
3. The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger screen than the iPhone X, even though both phones are roughly the same weight.
The 175-gram Pixel 2 XL and the 174-gram iPhone X are almost identical in weight, but the Pixel 2 XL has larger 6-inch screen compared to the iPhone X's 5.8-inch display. You get more screen for the same weight with the Pixel 2 XL.
The smaller Pixel 2 weighs in at 143 grams, but it's not exactly a fair comparison considering its smaller 5-inch display compared to the iPhone X.
The GIF above shows the original Pixel versus the iPhone 7, but the same is true with the Pixel 2 and iPhone X.
I can adjust Android to make it feel faster than iOS by cutting down, or removing altogether, the animations when I open apps and swipe between screens.
Apple's iOS has a 'Reduce Motion' option, but it seems to only change the default zoom-in and zoom-out animations when opening and closing apps to fade-in and fade-out animations. Apps don't appear to open or close any faster.
6. The Pixel 2 is a cheaper phone, and its camera is just as good, if not better, than the iPhone X.
I've had a few iPhone-toting colleagues and friends who were curious about the Pixel 2's camera, which is widely reported as one of the best cameras on a smartphone. Some even expressed interest in switching to the Pixel 2 for its camera instead of upgrading to another iPhone.
The truth is that both the iPhone and Pixel 2 phones take excellent photos, and they're among the best smartphone cameras you can buy. But the Pixel 2 has a great proposition that makes it more tempting than the iPhone X: Again, it's the price.
Also, the iPhone X tends to make certain details more yellow than the Pixel 2 XL's photo. It's especially noticeable on the street and buildings. It's a common theme with the iPhone camera, where it wants to make photos appear 'warmer' than they actually are by adding a yellow-ish tint to the photo. Technically, making a photo warmer means that the iPhone X takes photos will less colour accuracy, which some may not appreciate compared to the Pixel's more accurate colours.
One of the main things that draws me to Android over iOS is the fact you can hide your apps in the Android app drawer. And for the apps you want to keep on your home screen, you can rearrange them anywhere on the screen.
It's an age-old Android benefit that's been touted for years in the ongoing 'iPhone vs Android' fan wars. But with the iPhone X, it's never been more relevant. Wouldn't it be nice to hide all your app icons on the iPhone X and make its gorgeous edge-to-edge OLED screen shine with your home screen wallpaper?
The signature Android notifications shade is also a main selling point for the Android operating system. When you swipe down from the top of the Pixel 2's screen to bring up the notifications shade, you find everything you need in one place to manage your notifications and the core settings of the phone. Quite simply, notifications on Android are a lot easier to manage and more useful compared to their iOS counterparts. And you can quickly manage settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, battery settings, aeroplane mode, and even the flashlight straight from the notification shade, too. I've rarely ever needed to go into the Pixel 2's settings menu as a result, and it's a lot more efficient than iOS.
There are a lot of ways that Android is more customisable and efficient than iOS, like the app icons and the notifications shade, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference. If you care about customisation and general efficiency, the Pixel 2 offers the best experience.
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