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(Pocket-lint) - Google's Pixel and Pixel XL have been on the market for a few months now, and while it might not end up being the most popular among consumers, it's one of the best phones we've reviewed this year. 

The Pixel XL offers flagship specs and a premium design, putting it in the same boat as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus..

How exactly does it compare to Apple's big flagship? Let's find out. 

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Design

  • Both premium, well-built designs
  • Pixel XL is the lightest, iPhone 7 Plus is larger and slimmer
  • Both have fingerprint sensors

Google's Pixel XL and Apple's iPhone 7 Plus both have solid, premium designs. They look different of course, but they both look great. The iPhone 7 Plus is all about metal, while the Pixel XL uses a combination of metal and glass. That distinct glass panel on the back ensure that it can't be confused with anything else on the market. 

The iPhone 7 Plus is water and dust resistant with a rating of IP67, so should cope with being accidentally dropped in the bath, or being caught in drizzle. The iPhone 7 Plus has its fingerprint sensor on the front, while the Pixel XL's is positioned on the rear.

The iPhone 7 Plus is the largest and heaviest of these two devices, but it is also the slimmest, measuring 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and weighing 188g. 

The Pixel XL is the thicker but also lighter, measuring 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighing 168g.

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Display

  • Both phones have 5.5-inch screens
  • Pixel XL has sharpest display
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus has pressure sensitive display for more functionality

The Google Pixel XL and Apple iPhone 7 Plus both have 5.5-inch displays. The Pixel XL has a Quad HD resolution for a pixel density of 534ppi, and it uses AMOLED technology, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 401ppi across the LCD screen.

Apple's trump card is 3D Touch, the company's version of pressure sensitive technology, meaning its display is more functional than the Pixel XL, with extra features available based on the force with which you press.

Both devices offer excellent, sharp and bright displays with great viewing angles. Neither of them will disappoint in terms of their screen. Apple's LCD displays more natural colours and crisp, clean whites, while the AMOLED Pixel XL screen is more vibrant and has higher contrast. 

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Camera

  • Pixel XL has the highest resolution front-facing camera
  • iPhone 7 has a dual-lens rear camera setup
  • Pixel XL camera is very fast

The Google Pixel XL has a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and 1.55µm pixels. It features a dual-LED flash, phase detection autofocus and laser autofocus, along with video stabilisation. The front-facing camera is 8-megapixels with 1.4µm pixels and an aperture of f/2.4.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens setup on its rear comprising two 12-megapixel sensors, one wide-angle and one telephoto. The wide-angle sensor has an aperture of f/1.8 while the telephoto has an aperture of f/2.8 and optical image stabilisation and a quad-LED flash are also on board. The front-facing camera is 7-megapixels with an aperture of f/2.2 and a Retina Flash.

Results are great and consistent on both devices though, with both of them producing brilliant images. The Pixel XL takes some of the best photos we've seen from a phone, and the iPhone 7 Plus photos are incredibly well balanced, and that 2x optical zoom is very useful. 

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Hardware

  • Neither supports microSD expansion
  • iPhone 7 Plus has largest available storage capacity option
  • Pixel XL has largest battery capacity

The Google Pixel XL features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 3450mAh battery charged via USB Type-C. It is available in 32GB and 128GB storage options and it doesn't support microSD. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and it features bottom-firing speakers.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus uses Apples latest A10 Fusion chip with an embedded M10 motion coprocessor. It is thought to be supported by 3GB of RAM with a 2900mAh battery running the show, charged via Lightning. The iPhone 7 Plus comes in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options, none of which have microSD expansion. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack but it has stereo speakers.

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Software

  • Pixel XL offers pure Android Nougat experience
  • iPhone 7 Plus offers streamlined experience for Apple and Mac users

The Google Pixel XL launched on Android Nougat 7.1 and it offers a pure Android experience with no bloatware. There is a new launcher, round app icons and it is the first phone to offer Google's Assistant built-in.

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus runs on iOS 10 and it will offer a streamlined experience for Mac users, like the Pixel XL does for Google users. There is no Google Assistant obviously, but Apple has Siri instead.

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Price

  • Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus start at £719

The Google Pixel XL has a starting price of £719 for the 32GB model. It creeps up to £819 for the 128GB model. 

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus also has a starting price of £719, again for the 32GB model. The 128GB model also costs £819 like the Pixel XL, while the 256GB model will set you back £919.

Google Pixel XL vs iPhone 7 Plus: Conclusion

The decision between these devices will probably come down to the design you like best and the software experience you prefer rather than the specs. For those of you who do care about the specs though, both devices are pretty much on par.

The Pixel XL has the sharpest display, all the power you could want and a brilliant camera offering. The iPhone 7 Plus is the slimmest device and it too is an excellent device in terms of both performance and camera.

Ultimately, whichever you choose, you're unlikely to be disappointed. They are both well-built, both powerful and both flagships.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.