It's no surprise that the competition for the title of the best camera smartphone usually boils down to Apple and Google. Running for the top spot in 2023 are the Google Pixel 8 and iPhone 15. Both come with custom-designed processors, cutting-edge camera technology, a commitment to long-term security updates, and a steep price tag. But when deciding which is the superior choice, there's plenty we can compare. Have a look at the breakdown of how these two smartphones stack up against each other.
Google Pixel 8 vs Apple iPhone 15: Which is better?
So that you can select wisely!
Both the Google Pixel 8 and Apple's iPhone 15 might look a bit like their (respective) predecessors at first glance, but there are some neat tweaks to notice. The Pixel 8 retains a similar design as its predecessor and adds rounded corners and symmetrical bezels with a flat display. You'll still spot the signature camera bar on the back with its metal finish, housing the dual camera setup.
The iPhone 15, on the other hand, still gets flat edges and the diagonal dual camera setup, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Previous base model iPhones had shiny glass on the back, but the iPhone 15 takes a different route with a new kind of glass that's “colour-infused” giving it a (kind of a) matte finish. Plus, it's got smoother, rounded edges compared to its predecessor. Apple also goes for an aluminium frame that’s (apparently) good at keeping fingerprints at bay, and it also keeps the phone lightweight.
When it comes to colours, the Pixel 8 comes in obsidian, hazel, and rose. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 gives you a whole rainbow to choose from — black, yellow, blue, green, and pink. And, if we had to pick, we'd say the pink one's our personal favourite.
In the latest iteration, Google has opted for a slightly smaller display on the Pixel 8. Compared to the Pixel 7 which sported a 6.3-inch screen, the Pixel 8 now features a 6.2-inch Actua LTPS OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Plus, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR brightness reaching up to 1,400 nits and 2000 nits of peak brightness. Google also claims that the new Actua display is 42% brighter than what we saw on the Pixel 7. Moreover, the Google Pixel 8 offers an always-on display with features like At a Glance and Now Playing. To keep things sturdy, it's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
The iPhone 15, on the other, offers a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a resolution of 1179 x 2556 and an aspect ratio of 19:5:9. It hits a typical brightness level of 1,000 nits but can reach a peak brightness of 2,000 nits when used outdoors. Apple has also introduced the Dynamic Island feature from last year's iPhone 14 Pro models as the new standard for the iPhone lineup.
However, despite its higher price compared to the Pixel 8, the iPhone 15 only features a 60Hz refresh rate, which is actually lower than what the Pixel 8 offers. This means even though the iPhone 15's display showcases vibrant and bright colours, scrolling may not be as smooth especially if you're accustomed to a higher refresh rate. Additionally, the iPhone 15 does not support an always-on display mode.
When it comes to cameras, the Pixel 8 wields a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide, with features like laser autofocus and image stabilisation. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 rocks a dual setup with a 48MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide, offering 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. Pixel’s selfie camera is a 10.5MP lens with a wide field of view. The selfie game is strong for the iPhone 15, featuring a 12MP lens with autofocus, a perk the Pixel 8 misses out on.
Apple has also made camera quality improvements with Smart HDR 5, resulting in more natural and vibrant colours. The introduction of Auto Portrait mode benefits the entire iPhone 15 lineup, allowing depth data capture even without Portrait mode enabled. This feature works for both rear and selfie cameras.
In the video department, the Pixel 8 brings its A-game with 4K recording and a bunch of features like macro focus video and cinematic blur and pan. It even offers an astrophotography time-lapse mode. On the other side, the iPhone 15 boasts 4K recording at various frame rates, a cinematic mode, HDR video with Dolby Vision and slow-motion video tricks.
The Google Pixel 8 runs on Android 14 straight out-of-the-box, featuring Google's fresh Tensor G3 chip and an accompanying Titan M2 security coprocessor. You'll find the Pixel 8 with either 8GB of RAM and storage options of 128GB or 256GB. Google says with the Tensor G3 chip, the Pixel 8's machine learning capabilities have seen a remarkable 10-fold boost compared to its predecessor on the Pixel 6. Google is also prioritising the longevity of its phones, pledging to deliver OS and security updates for a seven-year duration. Furthermore, they intend to roll out Feature Drops every few months, introducing valuable new functionalities to enhance the Pixel 8.
Apple's iPhone 15, meanwhile, comes equipped with iOS 17 and is powered by the A16 Bionic chip, which made its debut alongside the iPhone 14 Pro models the previous year. It offers 6GB of RAM and provides storage choices of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. The A16 Bionic chip ensures top-notch performance, and iOS 17 maintains a solid track record for reliability. Apple typically supports its devices for approximately six years, indicating that the iPhone 15 is poised to deliver a lasting user experience.
The Pixel 8 comes equipped with a 4,575mAh battery, ensuring up to 24 hours of usage and a potential of 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver mode. Fast charging via USB-C is supported, offering a claimed 50% charge within 30 minutes. For wireless charging, the Pixel 8 is compatible with Qi chargers, reaching speeds of 18W when paired with the Google Pixel Stand and up to 12W with other wireless chargers. Additionally, it supports reverse wireless charging at a rate of around 4.5W.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 features a 3,349mAh battery, which should comfortably see you through a day of moderate usage. It represents a minor improvement over the iPhone 14's battery capacity. Notably, Apple has adopted USB-C, eliminating the need for proprietary cables. However, the charging speed tops at around 20W, achieving a 50% charge in 30 minutes. Wireless charging options include 15W MagSafe and 7.5W Qi-compatible pads, and the iPhone 15 also supports reverse-wired charging at a speed of 4.5W.
The Pixel 8 starts at ₹75,999 for the 128GB model while the iPhone 15 starts at ₹79,990 for the 128GB version. We have already told you the colour option you get for both devices so wait for our full review of both there smartphones. The Apple iPhone 15 review is up now and we’ll surely test the Pixel in the coming weeks.