Head-To-Head: Google Pixel 2 XL Vs. Apple iPhone 8 Plus

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With its updated smartphone line, Google is ramping up its push to get Apple iPhone users to switch. The company makes its case on a page about the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, entitled "Why Switch," which displays an image of what looks to be an iPhone transferring its data to a Pixel 2. Apple, of course, has its own pitch for why users will want to upgrade to its new iPhone 8 lineup. For those looking to choose between the newest Google and Apple phones, which is the better fit? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center looks at the larger-screened models of the new Google and Apple offerings -- the Pixel 2 XL vs. the iPhone 8 Plus -- and compares them on specs and price.


One of the biggest places where Google is aiming to differentiate the Pixel 2 XL from Apple's iPhone 8 Plus is on the display. The Pixel 2 XL's display is significantly larger at 6 inches, vs. 5.5 inches on the iPhone 8 Plus. The Pixel 2 XL also features colorful OLED display technology and QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440) resolution, compared to the LCD display and FHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080) of the iPhone 8 Plus. Still, Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for the display on the iPhone 8 Plus other than using OLED or high resolution; the smartphone's True Tone feature enables colors to appear more vivid than they normally would on the LCD screen.

Maybe the most striking difference, however, is on the bezels for the two device's displays. Google has significantly shrunk down the bezel above and below the Pixel 2 XL's screen, while Apple keeps a sizable display bezel for the iPhone 8 Plus.

Overall Size

Thanks to the minimal bezels, Google can keep its Pixel 2 XL to a similar overall size as the iPhone 8 Plus, even though the display is a lot larger. The Pixel 2 XL measures 6.2 inches x 3 inches, equalling 18.6 square inches on one side. By comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus is actually bigger in terms of surface area; the iPhone 8 Plus measures 6.24 inches x 3.07 inches, equalling 19.16 square inches on one side.


Contrary to previous rumors, the Pixel 2 XL will not come with a dual-camera system. Google is arguing that the phone does not need it to take superior photos, however. The Pixel 2 XL includes a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with features including optical image stabilization, improved autofocus and a new type of portrait mode. The Pixel 2 XL camera has received the highest rating yet for a smartphone camera by research firm DxOMark, according to Google.

The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, does come with a dual-camera setup. The smartphone includes a wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera in the rear, and both are 12-megapixel cameras. Along with optical zoom, 10X digital zoom, and optical image stabilization, the iPhone 8 Plus camera includes features such as "portrait lighting," which improves the lighting of the contours over a subject's face in real time. The cameras are also specially calibrated for use with augmented-reality apps, according to Apple.


Google has reversed course with the Pixel 2 XL by removing the 3.5mm headphone jack, following Apple's lead. The iPhone 8 Plus, like the previous-generation iPhones, doesn't come with a headphone jack either. The Pixel 2 XL relies on a USB-C port as the sole connector, and Google includes an adapter to convert a standard headphone cord to USB-C. Likewise, the iPhone 8 Plus -- which uses a Lightning port for charging and data transfer -- comes with a Lightning-to-headphone adapter.

Processor & RAM

Both the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus come with processors that offer strong performance and battery efficiency. The Pixel 2 XL features the eight-core Snapdragon 835 -- Qualcomm's top-of-the-line mobile processor -- while the iPhone 8 Plus includes Apple's new six-core A11 Bionic. Both offer impressive speed -- though Google does include more RAM in the Pixel 2 XL, 4 GB, than Apple does in the iPhone 8 Plus, which has 3 GB of RAM.

Battery Life

Google has not offered specifics on battery life for the Pixel 2 XL, beyond promises that it will provide "all day" usage. It's encouraging that the smartphone does have a large battery (3520mAh), however. By comparison, the iPhone 8 Plus reportedly has a smaller, 2,675mAh battery. Apple promises up to 13 hours of Internet usage on the iPhone 8 Plus.

Water Resistance

Both the iPhone 8 Plus and Pixel 2 XL come with strong ratings in terms of water resistance. The devices have the same rating, in fact -- IP67. That means the phones should be able to survive after a dip for a half hour, in waters as deep as 3.3 feet.


Apple offers two configurations for the iPhone 8 Plus in terms of internal storage -- 64 GB and 256 GB. Google is offering the Pixel 2 XL with slightly different variations on storage -- 64 GB and 128 GB. However, Google says Pixel 2 XL owners will receive unlimited free cloud storage for all photos and videos that they take with the phone.

Special Features

Both the iPhone 8 Plus and Pixel 2 XL offer fast-charging capabilities, but only the iPhone 8 Plus allows for wireless charging using a Qi charging pad.

One area where the Pixel 2 XL stands out is its integration of the Google Assistant, a voice-controlled assistant that has proven to be proficient at answering questions and accomplishing tasks in our tryouts (more so than Apple's Siri assistant).

One new feature that will be debuting with the Pixel 2 phones is Google Lens, which uses computer vision and machine learning to look up information by pointing the phone at a structure or object -- such as buildings, books and artwork. Google Lens will also be able to copy email addresses, phone numbers and URLs automatically.

Price & Availability

Despite Apple's reputation for releasing expensive devices, the company actually has the cheaper device in this comparison, with the iPhone 8 Plus starting at $799. The Pixel 2 XL -- perhaps due to factors such as its OLED screen and edge-to-edge design -- is priced starting at $849. Both prices are for models with 64 GB of storage.

While the iPhone 8 Plus is available now, the Pixel 2 XL is in pre-orders as of this writing, with shipping set to begin on Oct. 19.