With the launch of the Pixel smartphones, search giant Google is now officially in the league of flagship devices. With Pixel’s hardware specifications giving other premium devices a run for their money, can it be considered as a true high-end flagship? Only time will tell. With the new smartphones, Google plans to go against the likes of flagships from Apple and Samsung. So what do these flagships offer?
All three flagships offer premium, well-built designs. With Pixel XL being the lightest of them all, iPhone 7 Plus is the slimmest and the Galaxy Note 7 is the smallest. The three have a fingerprint sensor for security, but the Note 7 has an iris scanner, making it a better choice for additional security. The Note and iPhone 7 Plus have fingerprint sensors on the front, while the Pixel is positioned on the rear, making it somewhat convenient when holding, but inconvenient when kept on a table or placed on a car dashboard mount.
The iPhone and Note are both water and dust resistant with ratings of IP67 and IP68 respectively. However, the Pixel on the other hand lacks water resistant capabilities, giving the users an additional responsibility of caring for their prized possession.
In terms of the display, the Note has the biggest Super AMOLED display with a dual-edge design and Pixel offers one of the sharpest AMOLED display of all. However, the iPhone takes its LCD display functionality to a completely new level with 3D Touch technology, that’s one of the first in the industry.
As for the panel resolution, Samsung is proud with what it has done to its Note successor — a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1440x2560 screen resolution and 518 ppi pixel density protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The iPhone on the other hand has a 5.5-inch Full HD resolution with a pixel density of 401ppi across the LCD screen. The Pixel theoretically has one of the sharpest displays of the three with a 5.5-inch Quad HD resolution and a pixel density of 534ppi. However, Apple's trump card is the 3D Touch, the company's version of pressure sensitive technology, which has additional functionality over the Note and Pixel.
On the photography front, Google claims to have used the best sensors on its Pixels. It packs in a 12.3MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, phase detection autofocus and laser autofocus, along with optical image stabilisation. It also has an 8MP front facing camera, which has the highest resolution among the three flagships. The iPhone 7 Plus on the flipside uses a dual camera setup comprising of two 12MP sensors working in tandem — one wide-angle and other telephoto. It also offers optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a quad-LED flash. For selfies it boasts of a 7MP front facing camera with Retina Flash. Lastly, the Note 7’s rear camera has a 12MP sensor with standard LED flash, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization and is also capable of taking 4K videos at 30fps. Till date, Samsung was always leading the mobile photography area, but iPhone and Pixel are now here to give it a tough competition.
And finally on the software front, the Pixel offers a pure (stock) Android Nougat experience, while the Note comes with a generous amount of unwanted bloatware. However, the Note scores higher with additional features with the S-Pen. On the other hand, iPhone offers a streamlined experience for its users as the user interface can be considered as ‘almost flawless’. Lastly, Pixel offers a completely new and better artificial intelligence in the form of ‘Assitant’ while iPhone had ‘Siri’ all the while. Both Google and Apple and Google have now built their own ecosystem around their operating system and hardware, putting these two flagships on the best choice list. On the other hand, Samsung has absolutely nothing to offer, but just makes use of ‘S-Voice’ and the older ‘OK Google’.
Picking the right flagship is really tasking since all come with a hefty price tag. And, it gets even confusing when deciding between design, performance, functionality and features. While the iPhone is smooth, the Note is feature-rich and the Pixel is highly functional. Even the best of techies can end up confused with this these decisions.
So which flagship handset will finally command over your budget? If you are confused too, check with your friends who already own one of these smartphones and make a list of their suggestions and woes. Finally, list out your requirements and make your choice. All three flagships will start selling during this festive season and why not make the best of the shopping season sales.