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

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After a bumpy launch of Google's new flagship smartphone, the Pixel 2 XL appears to be back and ready to compete again. Google says it has issued software updates for the Pixel 2 XL that address the display issues reported by many users, such as weird color rendering and screen burn-in. Meanwhile, Apple is working to address some reported issues with the iPhone X, too, such as problems using the phone in cold temperatures and sporadic display burn-in. Putting those points aside, though, how do the two phones line up? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center lays out how the Apple iPhone X compares vs. the Google Pixel 2 XL on specs and price.


Both the Google Pixel 2 XL and Apple iPhone X have large-sized displays, at least compared to smartphones released before this year. The Pixel 2 XL display is 6 inches and the iPhone X measures 5.8 inches. Both phones feature OLED technology for terrific colors and contrast, along with slim bezels around the display. (Note: The iPhone X notch at the top of the screen may irritate some users.) Additionally, both the iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL include very high resolution, though the Pixel 2 XL has more pixels at 2,880 x 1,440. The iPhone X "Super Retina" display features 2,436 x 1,125 resolution. Assuming that burn-in and other issues aren't a major factor, however, the display should be a high point of the devices.

Processor & RAM

Both phones perform computing tasks very well. The Pixel 2 XL uses the eight-core Snapdragon 835, which is Qualcomm's fastest mobile processor (running at up to 2.45GHz). The iPhone X, meanwhile, leverages Apple's A11 Bionic, which features six cores (and reportedly runs at up to 2.39GHz). Google does include more RAM in the Pixel 2 XL, though, with 4 GB -- compared to the 3 GB included by Apple in the iPhone X.

Battery Life & Charging

Google isn't giving out a battery life estimate for the Pixel 2 XL, beyond saying that it has enough juice for "all day" usage. The Pixel 2 XL also doesn't support wireless charging. By contrast, the iPhone X offers Qi wireless charging capabilities, which just requires resting the phone on a charging pad (sold separately). In terms of battery life, Apple promises up to 12 hours of internet usage on the iPhone X.

Biometrics & Home Button

Apple has eliminated Touch ID fingerprint recognition and the home button with the iPhone X. In their place, Apple has introduced Face ID facial recognition for unlocking the phone, along with an upward-swipe gesture to get to the home screen.

The Pixel 2 XL maintains a home button as well as fingerprint recognition for unlocking the phone -- with the fingerprint sensor located on the back of the device. The Pixel 2 XL doesn't offer facial recognition for authentication.


The iPhone X has two 12-megapixel cameras -- one wide-angle, one telephoto -- with optical image stabilization. Among the special camera features is "portrait lighting," which improves the lighting of the contours over a subject's face. The cameras are also specially calibrated for use with augmented-reality apps.

While rumors suggested the Pixel 2 XL might feature a dual-camera setup, this turned out to not be the case. Still, Google argues that the phone doesn't need it. The Pixel 2 XL camera has received the highest rating ever for a smartphone camera by research firm DxOMark, as Google touted in launching the device. The Pixel 2 XL includes a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with features such as optical image stabilization, improved autofocus, and a new type of portrait mode.

Connectors & Storage

Google has followed Apple's lead by removing the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Pixel 2 XL. The iPhone X, of course, doesn't have the headphone jack either. Instead, both phones rely on a single port for charging and headphones -- USB-C for the Pixel 2 XL and Lightning for the iPhone X. Both phones come with an adapter for connecting standard headphone cords.

The iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 XL have the same starting point for internal storage, 64 GB. The Pixel 2 XL also has a 128 GB model, and owners will get unlimited free cloud storage for all photos and videos they take with the phone. The highest-end iPhone X model, meanwhile, comes with 256 GB of internal storage.

Virtual Assistant

One of Google's biggest differentiators with the Pixel 2 XL is its voice-interactive intelligent assistant, Google Assistant, which is baked into the phone. In our tryouts, Google Assistant is clearly more advanced and useful than the iPhone's virtual assistant, Siri. Google Assistant is more conversational and generally better at understanding what you're asking for. Google Assistant also has the advantage of featuring strong integration with Google apps such as Google Calendar, which can be useful when asking about what's ahead in the day's schedule.

Price & Availability

For buyers looking for the lower-priced option -- as well as a phone they can get sooner rather than later -- the Pixel 2 XL will be the winner. The Pixel 2 XL has a starting price of $849, and the black model (at last check) is available for shipping immediately. (The black-and-white model is showing shipping dates of three to four weeks.)

The iPhone X has a significantly higher starting price of $999. Its shipping dates have improved, though Apple is still listing shipping estimates of two to three weeks for the iPhone X.