Google announced two new flagship smartphones in the form of the Pixel and the Pixel XL at an event in October. The latter is the more progressive of the two devices, with a design that follows the trend of other 2017 flagship devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Apple iPhone X, offering an almost all-screen front.

So with the Pixel 2 XL fully reviewed and the iPhone X now available for pre-order, how do these devices compare?

  • iPhone X: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm, 174g
  • Pixel 2 XL: 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 175g
  • Both metal and glass, both waterproof
  • iPhone X has wireless charging

The Google Pixel 2 XL features a combination of glass and metal, with a metal frame and a glass panel at the top of the rear housing the single-lens camera sensor. There is a circular fingerprint sensor just beneath the glass panel on the back, while subtle "G" branding is positioned at the very bottom of the rear.

The Pixel 2 XL has an almost all screen front with fairly slim bezels at the top and bottom featuring front-facing speakers within them, and there is a power button on the right edge with the volume rocker.

The Apple iPhone X meanwhile, has a metal and glass design too, though the entire rear is glass, rather than just a panel at the top like the Pixel 2 XL. There is a dual-camera setup in the top left-hand corner, along with an Apple logo in the middle of the rear.

The front is all screen, with just a small notch at the top for the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors, while stereo speakers are positioned either side of the Lightning port at the bottom of the device.

Both the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Apple iPhone X are waterproof but the Apple iPhone X is also compatible with wireless charging.

The Pixel 2 XL is quite a bit taller and wider than the iPhone X. Some of that comes down to having a bigger display, but a lot of space is also given over to the stereo speakers, so it doesn't really embrace the shift in screen aspect as well as Apple does, leaving the phone feeling larger than it should be.

Apple's camera placement is a bit of an eyesore however, that's not a pretty look.

  • Pixel 2 XL has slightly larger and sharper display
  • Both OLED, both support HDR
  • iPhone X has pressure sensitive display
  • Pixel 2 XL display has attracted a lot of criticism

The Google Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels, which puts its pixel density at 538ppi. It has an aspect ratio of 18:9, like the LG V30 and the Pixel 2 XL also has an always-on option, allowing you to see notifications and important information even when the main display is off.

The Apple iPhone X has a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED display with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels, which puts its pixel density at a little softer than the Pixel 2 XL at 458ppi.

It too has a taller aspect ratio though there is no always on display option, but it does add HDR compatibility. The iPhone X also offers 3D Touch, which is Apple's version of a pressure sensitive display and it also comes with Apple's True Tone technology, meaning the display adapts to its surroundings.

The Pixel 2 XL display has attracted a lot of criticism for its appearance, with many saying that it's dull and lifeless. Google says that it was aiming to create a more natural display where the colours truly reflected the colours authored by the developer, but that it will be adding a new saturated option to make it more comparable with other devices and to make colours pop more. 

  • iPhone X has dual-rear camera with dual OIS
  • Higher resolution front camera on Pixel 2 XL
  • Facial recognition on iPhone X

The Google Pixel 2 XL comes with a single rear camera sensor with a 12.2-megapixel resolution, with 1.4µm pixels and an aperture of f/1.8. It features both dual pixel phase detection autofocus, laser detection autofocus, optical and electrical image stabilisation and it also offers software-induced portrait mode for bokeh images. The front-facing camera is 8-megapixels with an aperture of f/2.4.

Generally speaking the Pixel 2 XL is one of the most capable smartphone cameras around, only faltering occasionally on white balance measuring and there's unlimited storage for photos too, with some very potent results from that portrait mode and the auto HDR.

The Apple iPhone X has a dual-rear camera comprised of two 12-megapixel sensors, one telephoto with an f/2.4 aperture and one wide-angle with a f/1.8 aperture. It has dual optical stabilisation on board, along with hardware-induced Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting mode.

The front camera is a 7-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture. It too offers Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting Mode, along with a Retina Flash but it also offers body and face detection. This latter feature enables FaceID, allowing users to unlock their device and pay using Apple Pay with their face, replacing the need for a fingerprint sensor.

Currently we don't know how the iPhone X camera will perform, but having seen great performance in the iPhone 8 Plus, we suspect it will be very powerful.

  • Both have powerful hardware
  • More storage available as option for iPhone X
  • Both offer fast charging, iPhone X also offers wireless charging

The Google Pixel 2 XL runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, supported by 4GB of RAM. It is available in 64GB and 128GB storage options, neither of which offer microSD support for storage expansion. Its battery is 3520mAh, charged via USB Type-C with support for fast charging, delivering up to 7 hours in 15 minutes. There's also a custom imaging chip.

It offers day-long usage.

The Apple iPhone X runs on the A11 Bionic chip with neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor. Apple doesn't detail RAM, but we believe it to be around 3GB, while storage options come in the form of 64GB and 256GB, neither of which have microSD.

Apple claims the iPhone X's battery will last up to 21 hours for talk time, charged via Lightning or wirelessly with a Qi wireless charger. It too is fast charge capable, offering up to 50 per cent in 30 minutes.

Neither the Google Pixel 2 XL or the Apple iPhone X have a 3.5mm headphone jack, though both come with adaptors in their box with Google including a 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter and Apple including a 3.5mm to Lightning.

As we mentioned briefly in the design section, the Pixel 2 XL has front-facing speakers at the top and bottom of the display, while the iPhone X has stereo speakers which fire from the bottom of the device.

  • Pixel 2 XL runs on Android Oreo
  • iPhone X runs on iOS 11
  • Both have personal assistants

The Google Pixel 2 XL runs on Android Oreo with no bloatware over the top. It is pure Android with all the latest features and functions Google has to offer from its software.

The Pixel 2 XL also has Google Assistant, which is easily accessible by squeezing the Pixel 2 XL's frame and compatible with a whole range of services as Google has marched into smart home control.

The Apple iPhone X meanwhile runs on iOS 11, which includes all the latest features Apple has to offer. The iPhone X also offers a personal assistant, though in the form of Siri. It too is easily accessible, though not as conversational as Google's Assistant and generally Siri isn't so well placed in voice control.

Google has promised a quick update for the Pixel 2 XL to address some of the display colour issues. 

The Google Pixel 2 XL starts at £799, but it won't be available until 15 November, although it is available for pre-order.

The Apple iPhone X will be available to pre-order from 27 October, with delivery from 3 November. It starts at £999, making it much more expensive than Google's offering.

The Google Pixel 2 XL and the Apple iPhone X are both premium devices with powerful hardware under their hoods. The Pixel 2 XL has a slightly larger and sharper display, coupled with a higher resolution front camera, likely more RAM and a more open software platform, although it's attracted early criticism for it's lack of punch in colours.

The Apple iPhone X however, has a pressure sensitive display, offering various features and functions based on the force with which you press, HDR, as well as a dual rear camera, the option of more storage and facial recognition and a better overall design.

The Pixel 2 XL is a pure Android experience while the iPhone X will present the future of Apple phone going forward, with a new UI. It might be expensive, but we can't help feeling that the Pixel 2 XL has already stumbled and the iPhone X is likely to be the better device.