Why the Pixel 2 might be the best iPhone upgrade

    The Pixel 2 is a rising temptation from many present iPhone customers.

    Josh Miller/CNET

    Generally, you simply want a good friend to persuade you that you simply’re proper. Over the previous weeks, I’ve had just a few pals who’re “lifelong” iPhone customers message me and ask about switching away from Apple. They wish to break their biannual iPhone improve cycle and eschew the brand new iPhone X for the Google Pixel 2. Certainly one of my pals wrote me this:

    “I am actually over Apple iPhones. I am type of into the Pixel 2, however that is solely on Verizon, proper? I do not like their limitless plans. I just like the iPhone X, however don’t need it.”

    After receiving a handful of comparable messages, I made a decision to take this Pixel pining critically and share my experiences with each phones. This comparability is much less about proving which telephone is “higher,” and extra about why the Pixel 2 is a stable improve for somebody who’s all the time owned an iPhone.

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    The Pixel 2 makes it OK to depart Apple and skip the iPhone…


    A lot cheaper

    Let’s begin with value. A brand new 64GB Pixel 2 is $350, £370 or AU$500 cheaper than a 64GB iPhone X. The chart under compares the costs for the Pixel 2 and iPhone X. The Pixel 2’s worth is precisely the identical as what a base level-iPhone used to value till the iPhone eight.

    Pixel 2 and iPhone X costs

    Pixel 2 64GB Pixel 2 128GB iPhone X 64GB iPhone X 256GB
    US worth $649 $749 $999 $1,149
    UK worth £629 £729 £999 £1,149
    Australia worth AU$1,079 AU$1,229 AU$1,579 AU$1,829

    I ought to acknowledge that Google makes a bigger model of its telephone with the identical processor and digicam referred to as the Pixel 2 XL. A 64GB model of the XL prices $849, £799 or AU$1,399. At launch the Pixel 2 XL suffered some screen issues which the Pixel 2 didn’t.

    Apple additionally makes the iPhone 8 which has the identical processor and wide-angle digicam because the iPhone X. A 64GB iPhone eight prices $699, £699, AU$1,079 which is extra in-line with the price of a Pixel 2.

    However my iPhone pals weren’t within the Pixel 2 XL or the iPhone eight. For them, it is both the iPhone X or the Pixel 2.

    Provider assist

    There appears to be just a little confusion over which US networks assist the Pixel 2. You should buy and finance an unlocked Pixel 2 from Google and apply it to AT&T, T-Mobile, Dash, Verizon and Google Mission Fi. Some third-party retailers like Best Buy promote and finance unlocked Pixel 2 telephones, too. And there is all the time Verizon, which sells the handset to make use of solely on its community.

    The iPhone X could be purchased and financed from Apple, third-party retailers and all main carriers.

    Notch vs. brow

    Each telephones are practically an identical in dimension. The iPhone X is a hair slimmer and smaller however has a much bigger show — 5.eight inches in comparison with the Pixel 2’s 5 inches. The iPhone X is heftier, weighing 31 grams, 1.09 ounces greater than the Pixel 2.

    The design of the Pixel 2 is in line with the best way telephones have appeared for the previous three to 5 years. On the entrance, there is a pronounced brow, chin and bezels. The corners are rounded and there is a rear fingerprint sensor. Regardless of this dated system, the telephone’s match and end make it look up to date — particularly the small glass panel on the again that homes the digicam.

    I additionally love the plastic-clad aluminum texture of the Pixel 2’s decrease again. It is reassuring and cozy to carry. I convey this up as a result of I’ve an unstated anxiousness holding the iPhone X. I am so afraid of dropping it. In a CNET drop take a look at, the iPhone X’s glass back cracked on the first drop. However once I maintain the Pixel 2, I do not really feel that very same unease.

    The iPhone X is principally all glass with a chrome steel band that actually ties the telephone collectively. It appears like a prop from a futuristic sci-fi film or a chunk of jewellery. The display screen, apart from “the notch,” covers the entrance and is framed by the tiniest of bezels. The one buttons on the telephone are alongside the perimeters.

    In lieu of a house button, Apple added on-screen actions. Throughout my first few days with the telephone, I discovered these new gestures irritating, however now they’re like second nature. Apple changed the fingerprint sensor (beforehand constructed into the house button) with FaceID. The telephone unlocks as quickly as you have a look at the display screen. It really works like a allure for me, however when you assume you may miss unlocking your telephone with a fingerprint, the Pixel 2 is a greater match.

    Audio system on each telephones are first rate and louder than the unique Pixel and the iPhone 7 and seven Plus. However neither telephone presents the big, rich sound of, say, the Razer Phone.

    Quick charging vs. headphones

    The Pixel 2 comes with a quick charger that may add 7 hours of battery life after 15 minutes of charging. The iPhone X helps quick charging, however would not include the cable or wall charger you may must make it work. It’s a must to purchase a USB-C to Lighting cable ($25, £25, AU$35) and a 29-watt charger ($49, £49, AU$69).

    The iPhone X is able to wi-fi charging with a conductive charging mat (additionally not included). The Pixel 2 would not assist this, however with that 15-minute top-off talked about above, I do not assume you may miss it.

    Beneath is what comes within the field for an iPhone X and Pixel 2:

    What’s within the field

    iPhone X Pixel 2
    Wall charger 5W USB 18W USB-C
    Charging cable Lighting to USB USB-C to USB-C
    Headphones Sure, with lighting connector None
    Headphone Jack Adapter Lighting to three.5mm USB-C to three.5mm
    Extras None Fast swap adapter

    Neither telephone has a headphone jack, however each include an adapter so you possibly can nonetheless plug in your wired headphones. The iPhone X additionally comes bundled with lightning-connected earbuds whereas the Pixel 2 would not include any. If you do not have an previous pair you should use, you may must spend extra money.

    Apple additionally sells wi-fi earbuds referred to as AirPods ($159, £159, AU$229), whereas Google presents its personal wi-fi headphones referred to as Google Buds ($159, £159, AU$249).

    So what is the takeaway right here? No matter telephone you go together with, you may must embrace dongle life. However…

    Android Oreo is nice

    The largest change it’s essential to think about just isn’t the bodily telephones themselves, however how you are going to swap operating systems — particularly to Android. For seasoned iPhone house owners, older variations of Android had a status of being chaotic and fewer safe. Early Android, relying on the telephone, might be a dumpster hearth filled with bugs, belated updates and bloatware apps from carriers and producers.

    iOS 11 on the iPhone X has some new gestures in lieu of a house button.


    However that has modified with Android Oreo. It runs simply as nicely on the Pixel 2 as iOS 11 does on the iPhone X.

    You may also miss Apple-centric options akin to iMessage and FaceTime — particularly when you’ve got family and friends who use them closely.

    However aside from forsaking the blue bubbles, Android Oreo and iOS 11 are nicely matched in each method in terms of options, safety and ease of use.

    Since Google makes each the and software program, like Apple, the corporate is nice about sending common updates to Android.

    iPhone X has Apple Pay and Siri, whereas the Pixel 2 has Android Pay and Google Assistant, the latter of which might run on an iPhone, too. When you’re an Apple Music subscriber the service is available on Android.

    When you have numerous apps or video games to procure on iOS, you may must repurchase them on Android. This is not as massive a deal because it was just a few years in the past since most apps are “free” with in-app purchases.

    Switching from one to the opposite will inevitably imply a small studying curve. However Android Oreo will seemingly shock most iOS customers with its stability and have set. 

    For extra about switching from iOS to Android, take a look at our how-to article with tips and tricks.

    Google not too long ago introduced Android P, its subsequent main replace. Apple will seemingly launch its first developer model of the next iOS at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week.

    The perfect cameras

    The Pixel 2 has a single rear digicam in comparison with the dual-rear cameras on the iPhone X. Each telephones are able to capturing improbable pictures and movies. But, to my eye, the Pixel 2 takes better photos than the iPhone X.

    I desire how Pixel 2 footage have extra element and sharpness due to the way it processes photos with AI. That does not imply the iPhone X is a slouch. It is higher at zoomed pictures as a result of its second digicam has a telephoto lens and permits for 2X optical zoom. Zooming on the Pixel 2 is not all the time fairly, however it’s better than other digital zooms.

    Each telephones have Portrait Mode, which provides footage a man-made shallow depth of discipline mimicking pictures taken with a DSLR digicam and a quick lens.

    The iPhone X creates this impact higher. Portraits have a gradual transition between the topic and the background which appears extra like a DSLR portrait. Apple additionally helps you to adjust lighting effects after the fact to make a portrait picture actually pop.

    The Pixel 2 separates the background and foreground with a laser-like precision. This may generally look a bit synthetic or Photoshop-ish. However there’s something dramatic and interesting concerning the outcomes, too.

    Additionally, the iPhone X takes amazing Portrait Mode photos of fish.

    The front-facing digicam on every telephone additionally has Portrait Mode, too. Right here, the Pixel 2 bests what the iPhone X can produce in each method. Pixel 2 selfie portraits are simply pretty much as good as what its rear digicam can produce. iPhone X selfie portraits sadly do not all the time nail the “background blur” impact.

    As for video, the iPhone X is the king, and presents higher picture high quality and extra capturing choices. However, the Pixel 2’s video stabilization is the best around.

    Longer battery vs. quicker processor

    The iPhone X’s A11 chip blows away the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor within the Pixel 2. In precise use although, it is exhausting to inform the distinction. Neither telephone feels slower than the opposite.

    Pixel 2 and iPhone X velocity assessments

    iPhone X Pixel 2
    GeekBench four single-core four,232 1,917
    Geekbench four multi-core 10,329 6,396
    3DMark Ice Storm Limitless 63,446 39,267

    In our looped video battery assessments, the Pixel 2 lasted 13 hours and 28 in comparison with the iPhone X lasting solely 11 hours and 45 minutes. That is not an enormous distinction. In actual life, I by no means had bother with both telephone getting by a full day of use with out charging.

    The extras

    The Pixel 2 comes with a connector to switch media and recordsdata out of your previous iPhone to your new Google telephone. Additionally when you run out of area on your pictures and movies, know that you simply get limitless Google cloud storage together with your buy of the Pixel 2.

    iOS 11’s animojis create a “cartoon” face that may mimic your facial gestures whereas recording your voice.

    Sarah Tew/CNET

    The telephone will also be used with a DayDream View headset ($149, £99, AU$149). The headset is roofed in fabric and has a tiny Black Mirror-style distant. You’ll be able to entry VR content material from YouTube, Netflix, the New York Times (my favourite) and extra. Although it is enjoyable to make use of, I ended up utilizing the DayDream View as a lot as my sluggish cooker — lots for the primary few weeks, however hardly in any respect ever since.

    Lastly, the Pixel 2 helps ARCore apps and options Google Lens software program that may overlay details about the world round you utilizing the digicam and Pictures app.

    The iPhone helps iOS AR apps and has FaceID, which permits for animoji messages. Aside from that although, it is fairly scant on integrating with AR and VR platforms.

    AppleCare for the iPhone X prices $200 and supplies protection for two years from date of buy from any type of harm. Google’s “Most popular Care” prices $129 and covers the Pixel 2 for 30 months. But it surely lacks the comfort an precise Apple Retailer supplies. Whereas there is not a Google Retailer with a Google Genius Bar for quick restore turnarounds, there’s a round the clock reside buyer assist system in place, which Pixel customers can entry within the Settings on the telephone.

    Different telephones exist, however…

    iPhone eight

    Regardless that my pals are torn between a Pixel 2 and an iPhone X, it is value acknowledging that an iPhone 8 and Pixel 2 are a greater match-up with regard to cost and design. The iPhone eight has a sophisticated tackle the identical reiterative design utilized by the iPhone 7, 6S and 6.

    The insides of the iPhone eight are just about an identical to these of the iPhone X. In our battery assessments, the iPhone 8 lasted an hour longer than the iPhone X when taking part in a looped-video at half brightness. Each telephones have the identical wide-angle digicam, however the iPhone X additionally has a second rear digicam and FaceID.

    Pixel 2 XL

    The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger display screen at 6 inches in comparison with the Pixel 2’s 5-inch show. The bezels on the two XL are notably thinner, giving it a extra fashionable appear and feel than its little brother the Pixel 2. On the within, every part is similar besides the battery. The two XL has a three,520-mAh battery whereas the Pixel 2 has a smaller 2,700-mAh one.

    Galaxy S9

    It is also value stating that Samsung latest telephones, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, are actually out. Each telephones have a variable-aperture camera promising sharper pictures with on a regular basis use. However the Pixel 2 nonetheless shot higher pictures in preliminary assessments. CNET has extensive coverage of the new phones, however none of my iPhone-owning pals who wished a Pixel 2 had been within the Galaxy S9.

    The Pixel 2 and its inventory model of Android have a easy and clear mojo that appeals to an iPhone consumer greater than Samsung’s “add every part” strategy. 

    four months away

    Take into accout we’re simply previous the midway level between Apple and Google’s final telephone launches and their subsequent ones. Apple sometimes releases a brand new iPhone in September whereas Google has launched each of generations of the Pixel in October. However four months is usually a lengthy wait to improve your telephone. In the end this comes right down to you.

    Finest Android telephone for iPhone lovers

    The Pixel 2 is probably the most iPhone-like telephone I’ve seen on Android. It is a stable selection for somebody used to dwelling the Apple life. Upgrading to the Pixel 2 signifies that you may get monetary savings, get one of the best telephone digicam for pictures and have a tool that does not wanted to be coddled. Plus, Android Oreo packs a stage of match and end that may certainly shock probably the most religious iOS consumer.

    When you determine to modify, all it’s essential to do which colour Pixel 2 you need.

    Editors’ observe: This story was initially revealed March 14, 2018 at four a.m. PT. One of many most important questions I received about this text was how safe Android is versus iOS. Here’s a story that CNET has since revealed that explores how Google has made Android as secure as iOS.

    I had just a few individuals ask about guarantee and software program assist for every telephone. Google presents a two-year warranty out of the box on the Pixel 2 whereas Apple covers the iPhone X for only a 12 months. Nonetheless, Google solely helps safety updates on the Pixel 2 for “at the very least three years.” Apple hasn’t shared how lengthy new variations of iOS will assist the iPhone X, however at present iOS 11 can run on phones as old as the iPhone 5S which was launched 4 and a half years a go.

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