The iPhone 7 is Apple’s best yet, and the Google Pixel is the best way to get Android - so picking between the two phones ain’t easy.
Does it just come down to the old iOS vs Android argument? Not quite. There's a lot going on with these two. Keep reading and we'll take you through it all… and give you our ultimate verdict.
The phones at a glance
|iPhone 7||Google Pixel|
|OS||iOS 10||Android Nougat|
|Size||138 x 67 x 7mm, 138g||144 x 70 x 9mm, 143g|
|Display||4.7 inches, 750 x 1334px, LCD||5 inches, 1080 x 1920px, AMOLED|
|Processors||A10 Fusion, quad-core||Snapdragon 821, quad-core|
|Camera||12MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, OIS, dual-tone flash||12.3MP, f/2.0, phase detection and laser autofocus, EIS, dual-tone flash|
|Front camera||7MP, f/2.2||8MP, f/2.4|
|Connections||Lightning port||USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone|
|Colours||Black, jet black, silver, gold, rose gold, red||Quite black, very silver, really blue|
|See deals||See deals|
The iPhone sports Apple's usual gorgeous design, this time featuring a cool brushed metal chassis with aerial lines that follow its curves on the back. Plus, there's a glossy jet black option that's so shiny you can basically see your face in it. The 7 is also the first iPhone with the new pressure-sensitive home button: instead of a physical button, it's a pad with haptic feedback to make it feellike one. Takes some getting used to, but it's cool.
The Google Pixel doesn't look quite as impressive, but it's fancy all the same. Brushed metal - tick. Polished glass - tick. Buttons in all the right places - tick. Fab. Okay.
The iPhone 7 definitely has the best look. Not that the Pixel is ugly, of course - it's just a bit meh.
Here's an area where the Pixel shines. The screen on this phone is amazing: it's got a Full HD resolution, and AMOLED tech means colours and lines are incredibly crisp. The XL version is even better, rocking a QHD (Quad HD) resolution that bumps its pixel density up to a huge 534ppi. The iPhone 7 sits at 326ppi, for comparison.
But as smartphone displays go, the iPhone isn't bad either. It's finally HD, with 750 x 1334 pixels, and nice and bright. It's also got 3D Touch, which brings a bit of extra functionality - applying more pressure to the screen opens extra menus, takes Live Photos, and so on. It's clever, but let's be real, it ultimately doesn't add a whole lot.
Google Pixel wins.
Performance and interface
Apple says: "Something really special happens when hardware and software are made for each other. Everything just works. Incredibly well." Well, hey, good news - this is the case for both the iPhone and the Pixel.
The iPhone is made for the latest iteration of iOS - iOS 10.0.1 straight out of the box, though it's upgradeable to the newest version - while the Pixel is one of the few ways to get Android (Nougat) in its raw form. That's a big boon if stock Android is something you're fussed about, and if you've had to suffer TouchWiz or Xperia UI for too long, you might well be.
As for performance, both are powerful smartphones. Playing intensive games and flitting between apps isn't an issue - like, at all - thanks to the quad-core chipsets on each one.
It's a tie. The iPhone vs Android debate is alive and well.
When it first came out, the camera nerds at DxOMark named the Google Pixel the best smartphone camera on the market - and yeah, it's pretty blooming good. The lens is 12.3MP with an f/2.0 aperture, and it's got both phase detection and laser autofocus, as well as EIS (electronic image stabilisation). That all adds up to an impressive snapper.
That said, the iPhone isn't far behind. Specs-wise, it's extremely similar: 12MP lens, f/1.8 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS (optical image stabilisation). Any pictures you take will come out looking great.
Day to day, both phones will take fantastic photos that you can be pleased with… but budding photographers will likely prefer the Pixel.
There's just a few more things to consider that may impact how you use your phone…
That darn headphone jack
All right, here we go. To listen to music on the Pixel, you just grab the nearest pair of headphones - any kind will do - and plug them in.
On the iPhone… well, you could get some of those fancy Bluetooth AirPods - or maybe not, since they cost an extra £159. Instead, you could use the wired ones that came with your phone, the ones that are Lightning-ready - though they're not exactly top quality. But wait! You can use your favourite regular headphones after all, thanks to the Lightning-to-3.5mm adaptor the came in the box. But, oh - that means you can't charge your phone up at the same time. Also, the adaptor is in your other bag so you forgot to bring it with you.
Water and dust resistance
Here's the main reason the 3.5mm headphone port was probably sacrificed in the iPhone 7: waterproofing. It's IP67 certified, meaning it can handle a dip in a puddle without needing to sit in rice for a few days afterwards.
The Pixel, meanwhile, is only IP53 certified, which you will notice is a lower number. You can't really chuck it in a lake and expect it to come out unscathed, unfortunately.
The battery will no doubt be a bit of a sticking point for previous iPhone users. There's not a whole lot to say here, other than that both phones easily last all day on a single charge - though the Pixel lasts just that bit longer, and with constant use, the iPhone does struggle to make it through.
Annoyingly, neither phone has an SD card slot, so you'll have to rely on the in-built storage. On the iPhone, this goes up to a stonking 256GB, while the Pixel only offers a maximum 128GB. However, all Pixel users do also get free unlimited cloud storage which is a big help.
It's a close one, but ultimately we're going to have to give the crown to the Google Pixel.
With one of the best smartphone cameras, a beautiful display, and, well, a headphone jack, it's quite clearly one of the top phones out there.
Of course, if you're more of an Apple fan - and don't mind the new headphone setup - the iPhone will still impress you plenty, thanks to its HD screen and buttery smooth OS.