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Google Pixel 3 vs iPhone XS : How two finest flagships compete against each other?

13 October 2018 5

There is two type of smartphone customers in the market, either you like Google's Android OS or the Cupertino giant's iOS. Both Google and Apple release new phones every year running on the stock version of OS. For almost six years Google released mid-range Nexus series phones with the stock Android OS, back in 2017 Google stepped up their game by introducing a new Pixel lineup. Under the Pixel branding, Google released flagship phones with the best camera experience.

Last month the Cupertino giant hold their annual iPhones launch event where three new iPhones were unveiled including iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. After a long streak of rumors and leaks Google also finally unveiled Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The tech giants Apple and Google latest flagships are now out that's why it won't an easy task for buyers to decide which smartphone is better in what aspects.

Today we will compare the latest entry-level flagships from both OEMs. We will find out how the latest Google Pixel 3 stacks up against the Cupertino's iPhone XS. Following the latest trend both the devices have a gigantic display with thin bezels around the corner. Both the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS are targetting those buyers who are looking for new standard flagships. We are hopeful this comparison will help buyers to know the real pros and cons of both the devices. Without any further delay, let's start with the design.

68.2 x 145.6 x 7.9 mm
5.5 inches - 2160x1080 px
70.9 x 143.6 x 7.7 mm
5.8 inches - 2436x1125 px
Go to comparison page

This year instead of bringing completely revamped design both Apple and Google sticks to the basic design of last year. The Pixel 3 took the design cues from the last year's Pixel 2 XL. The device bezels are trimmed to fit in a 2:1 display, still it has significant bezels on top and bottom. Google utilizes the bezels by bringing stereo speakers on top and bottom bezel. The top bezel also has dual selfie snappers.

The biggest change is on the rear side. The Pixel 3 has full glass rear for the first time instead of glass-clad design. Unlike most of the latest phones, the Pixel 3 rear glass is quite different as it is available in two-tone finish. The upper portion featuring the rear sensor and LED flashlight comes with glossy finish whereas the bottom part having a fingerprint scanner, G logo comes in the matte finish. It lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack instead rely on the USB-C port for connectivity and headphones. It is an IP68 certified device which means it can resist under 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes. The Pixel 3 edges are pressure sensitive, you have to squeeze the frame to access Google Assistant on the go.

On the other hand, the iPhone XS comes with almost similar design Apple introduced last year with the iPhone X. The device features a stainless steel chassis with glass covering the front and rear side. The front-facing notch remains similar to the predecessor. The bezel is ultra thin from all three sides except the notch, the edge-to-edge glass looks quite stunning. The dual rear sensors are slightly protruding and once again aligned vertically on the top left corner. It is also an IP68 certified device. It has single bottom firing speaker and Lightning port on the bottom edge.

Although Apple didn't bring any upgrade in design this year still the iPhone XS looks more stylish than the Pixel 3. The overall build quality of both the devices is pretty good.


The Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5-inches OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 2:1 and the pixels density is 443 pixels-per-inch. Thanks to OLED panel you don't have to worry about deep blacks, colors accuracy and lighting conditions. The Active edge feature is quite helpful to instantly access apps within no time. The glass panel on the Pixel 3 is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The iPhone XS features a 5.8-inches display. Its an OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1125 x 2436 pixels. The device pixels density is 458 pixels-per-inch. The iPhone XS display comes with True Tone tech which automatically adjusts colors temperate according to the environment. Both the phones support HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The display on the iPhone XS is protected with a scratch resistant glass, Apple claims it is the most sturdier glass on any phone available in the market.


Like the software, both the devices have totally different hardware under the hood. The Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC is powering the device, the Adreno 630 is on board as GPU. It is the same Soc which was powering the Galaxy S9 and other Android running flagships of this year. The Octa-core SoC is accompanied with 4GB RAM and built-in native storage is 64GB. The top of the line model has 128GB storage. Both the models lack support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

The iPhone XS is running on the company's own A12 Bionic chipset. According to Apple, the latest SoC cores performance is 15% faster than the predecessor, it saves power up to 40%, GPU is 50% more efficient than the A11. It comes with 4GB RAM, the base model has 64GB storage whereas the top-tier variant has 512GB storage. Its native storage is also not further expandable. The Snapdragon 845 is built on the second gen 10nm process whereas the A12 Bionic is the first SoC available in the market built on the 7nm process.

Specs Google Pixel 3 Apple iPhone Xs
Display 5.5-inches 5.8-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels 1125 x 2436 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845 A12 Bionic
Rear camera 12MP Dual 12MP
Front camera Dual 8MP 7MP
USB Type-C Lightning port
3.5mm headphone jack No No
Battery 2.915mAh 2,658mAh
OS Android Pie iOS 12
IP68 Yes Yes
Storage 64, 128GB Non-Expandable 64, 256, 512GB Non-Expandable


Like the last year, the Pixel 3 also has a single snapper on the rear side. The rear lens is 12.2MP with f/1.8 aperture. The new sensor comes with the new Visual core to ensure top-notch shots in low-light conditions. The camera pixels size is 1.4µm and comes with both optical and digital image stabilization. The Sight mode is the new addition to capture great shots even in low-light scenarios. Despite having a single sensor on the rear it can still capture bokeh shots.

For the first time, Google introduced dual cameras setup and it's on the front-facing side. The primary camera on the front is a wide-angle 8MP sensor with f/2.2 and 107 FOV (Field of view) whereas the secondary 8MP sensor is a telephoto sensor with optical zoom up to 2x and 75 FOV.

The iPhone XS also has dual sensors on the rear like its predecessor. The primary sensor is 12MP with f/1/8 aperture whereas the secondary depth-sensing 12MP sensor has a f/2.4 aperture. The best thing is you can now even adjust bokeh effects even after capturing shots by a simple swipe. You can adjust blur from f/1.4 to f/16 which is quite impressive. Apple claims their sensors perform a trillion operations on every shot you capture.

The new Smart HDR mode is pretty awesome as it captures shots in no time without any lag. You can adjust exposure according to your preference. It captures multiple shots and then combines them to produce one final result.


The iPhone XS comes with slightly smaller 2658mAh battery cell than the 2,716mAh of the last year. It supports fast and wireless charging. However, both fast and wireless charging setup isn't shipped straight out of the box instead you will have to purchase it as an extra accessory. Due to the power efficiency of A12 Bionic, you can expect better battery life.

On the other hand, the Pixel 3 comes with a 2,915mAh battery. It also supports fast and wireless charging. The fast charger is shipped with the box whereas you will have to buy a wireless charging pad separately.


Both the phones are flagship offering from respective companies. The Pixel 3 is pre-installed with Android Pie straight out of the box, it comes with navigation UI with all goodies of the latest version of Android OS. So if you are a fan of gestures control, now you can enjoy gestures navigation on the latest Pixel phone. This year Apple not only paid any special attention to the design but also instead of bringing new software tweaks the latest iOS 12 is mainly focused on the performance improvements.

Being the latest phones both will receive latest updates at least for the next three years. Thanks to the better optimization of software and hardware the iPhone XS performs optimally on both single-core and multi-core tests.


The iPhone Xs is available at the same price tag like the last year's iPhone X. You will have to pay $999 for the base 64GB model, on increasing the storage you will have to pay at least $100 more. It is currently up for sale across the globe. The Pixel 3 is currently up for pre-orders, the 64GB variant costs $799 whereas the 128GB model can be pre-ordered at $899.


The Pixel 3 and iPhone Xs are undoubtedly one of the best options in the market. The Pixel 3 brings all the goodies to attract Android fans whereas Apple relies on the last year's success formula with few additions. In the display department, both the devices are on par to each other, the Pixel 3 is a good option if you are not notch fan. Under the hood, the A12 Bionic certainly outclasses its Qualcomm's counterpart with a great margin. In the camera department both the devices are amongst the best but so far from last two years Google is taking lead with its camera software prowess, so the chances are high it will be a tough battle this year as well.

Both the devices are running on the stock version of respective OS, so you don't have to worry about lagging and optimization. Last but not the least the price will certainly play an important role here, the iPhone Xs is $200 more expensive than Google's latest flagship.

Feel free to share your views regarding the Pixel 3 vs iPhone Xs in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

  • The Google Pixel 3 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
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