iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3 – Spec shootout

With the recently unveiled Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google is competing with Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Here’s how these two high-end smartphones stack up against each other.

Design and display

The iPhone XS and Google Pixel 3 are premium smartphones, with a price tag that goes with it. Nevertheless, there are many differences between the two in terms of design.

Both the Pixel and the XS have a metal frame with a glass front and back, which makes wireless charging possible. The Pixel 3 is slightly longer and thicker than the iPhone XS, but also slightly lighter.

As soon as we look at the front, Apple still has a considerable advantage over the Pixel 3 in terms of design. The smaller Pixel 3 has large screen edges at the top and bottom, making the screen smaller.

iPhone XS

The Pixel 3 XL makes an attempt at a frameless screen, but still has a wide “chin” at the bottom and a notch at the top of the screen. The notch is narrow and very deep, which makes it a lot more obtrusive than the wider and shorter notch of iPhone.

Google Pixel 3

Both devices are equipped with an OLED screen. The iPhone XS has a screen resolution of 2436 by 1125 pixels and that of the Pixel 3 is 2160 by 1080 pixels.

The Google Pixel 3 has a slightly lower pixel density of 439 PPI as compared to the 463 PPI of the iPhone XS.


Comparing the performance of an iPhone with an Android smartphone remains rather difficult. Simply putting the numbers opposite and calling the smartphone with the highest number the winner would not be right.

This is because Apple is able to achieve better performance from less powerful hardware due to better integration of software and hardware.

In addition, the iPhone XS runs on Apple’s own A12 Bionic chip, while the Pixel 3 runs on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip. Both devices have 4GB of RAM.

A12 Bionic Chip

Therefore, if you are looking for a fast phone with reliable and good performance, then you are at the right place with both the Pixel and the iPhone.

The internal memory of both smartphones cannot be expanded. With the Pixel, you can choose between 64GB and 128GB variants. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, offers users 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB of internal memory.


The iPhone XS has a dual 12-megapixel camera on the back and the Google Pixel 3, a single 12-megapixel lens. However, that does not mean that the iPhone takes better photos.

Pixel’s advanced software makes sure you don’t need two lenses to take simulate the portrait mode of the iPhone.

This year the Pixel 3 introduces a number of new camera functions that once again put the software first. With Top Shot, the camera takes multiple photos in quick succession, so that you can still save a failed photo.

With the Night Sight feature, the device takes extra good photos in the dark, something that the iPhone still has trouble with.

The iPhone XS is the first camera with Apple’s Smart HDR technology. When you take a photo, the iPhone camera actually clicks multiple photos, all of which have different settings.

For example, a photo is overexposed, while the other person focuses on the person in the photo. Then, only the best elements from these photos are chosen and combined in one single photo.

The Pixel also has two lenses on the front while the iPhone makes do with a single camera lens. Google uses this extra lens for an extra-wide image for selfies. It comes in handy if you often take pictures with several people at the same time using the front camera.


As with performance, it remains difficult to compare Android and iOS directly with each other. It will differ per user what he or she finds more convenient and better.

iOS is generally more “closed”, with less freedom for the user to adjust specific settings. This makes iOS safer and more accessible.

iOS 12

Another common complaint about Android is the short support of updates. That is fortunately not the case with Pixel as it is developed by Google itself.

Pixel will get the latest versions of Android for a long time. The Pixel 3 runs standard on Android 9.0 (Pie) and the iPhone XS runs iOS 12, Apple’s latest operating system.

Other features

Biometric security

The two new Pixels are equipped with a fingerprint scanner on the back, while the iPhone XS and XS Max rely on Apple’s proprietary Face ID facial recognition technology.

The Pixel, however, can make use of the standard face recognition built into Android. It simply uses the front camera and is therefore much less fast and safe than Face ID.


Finally, Google Pixel 3 is equipped with a stereo speaker on the front of the device. The reason that the Pixel still has a screen border on the bottom and the iPhone is not, because Google has incorporated an extra speaker here.

The iPhone XS also has stereo speakers, but Apple has chosen to make the ear microphone extra powerful. This ensures that both devices can produce a considerable sound.

Water resistance

Google Pixel 3 is also highly resistant to water with an IPX8 certification.

The iPhone XS goes one step further with the IP68 certification which, in addition to being water resistant, also provides good dust protection.


The base price of the Pixel 3 (64GB) is $799. The iPhone XS (64 GB) starts at $999. You can check the full price list of Apple’s latest smartphones here.

Both devices are available in three colors. The iPhone XS and XS Max in the gold, silver and space grey, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL in black, white and pink.

iPhone XS vs Google Pixel 3 – Which smartphone should you buy?

Both the Google Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS are excellent smartphones with a hefty price tag.

You must make a choice between iOS or Android based on your personal preferences and taking into consideration how often you plan to use additional features of these devices.

Pixel 3 vs iPhone XS

In terms of design, the iPhone is the clear winner this year, but according to experts, the Pixel has an edge in the field of the camera.

Since the arrival of the first Pixel, Google appears to be a good competitor for Apple. The Pixel 3 and iPhone XS again go head to head this year and are two of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

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