clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How the Google Pixel 3 stacks up against the iPhone XS and Galaxy S9

New, 38 comments

Now that the October Pixel event has wrapped up, we’ve seen all the new flagship phones coming out from Google, Apple, and Samsung this year. The much-leaked Google Pixel 3 still had some surprises, like Google spam call screening transcription and improved AI photo capabilities on top of an already great camera. Some of the new features Google introduced today are completely exclusive to the Pixel line, while others are features we’ve seen before on other phones.

Take for example, Top Shot, a new Pixel 3 feature that uses AI to automatically pick out the best frame from the moment a photo was taken. Apple’s Live Photos does a similar thing, saving the moments a photo is taken and letting you manually choose which frame you want to keep. The iPhone’s photo burst mode does this as well when you hold down the shutter to take multiple photos, but the AI will choose what it thinks is the best photo for you.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL also got the added advantage of another camera in the front, introducing a new feature called Group Selfie Cam. Manually zooming out with the wide-angle lens will let you capture “184 percent more of the scene than the iPhone XS”, as Google claimed during its presentation.

Numbers-wise, Samsung wins at battery life capacity and the lowest starting price of $719 for the Galaxy S9. It also gets brownie points in my book for keeping the headphone jack. If you want to take a look at all the specs across the board, take a look at the chart below and make your own judgements.

Google Pixel 3 vs. iPhone XS vs. Galaxy S9

Specification Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL iPhone XS iPhone XS Max Galaxy S9 Galaxy S9 Plus Galaxy Note 9
Specification Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL iPhone XS iPhone XS Max Galaxy S9 Galaxy S9 Plus Galaxy Note 9
Display 5.5 inches 6.3 inches 5.8 inches 6.5 inches 5.8 inches 6.2 inches 6.4 inches
Resolution 2160 x 1080 2960 x 1440 2436 x 1125 2688 x 1242 2960 x 1440 2960 x 1440 2960 x 1440
Processor Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, 64Bit octa-core) Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz and 1.6GHz, 64Bit octa-core) A12 Bionic A12 Bionic Snapdragon 845 (2.8GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 845 (2.8GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core) Snapdragon 845 (2.8GHz and 1.7GHz, octa-core)
RAM 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 6GB 6GB, 8GB
Storage 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB 64GB 128GB, 512GB
Rear camera 12 megapixels 12 megapixels 12 megapixels, 12 megapixels (wide) 12 megapixels, 12 megapixels (wide) 12 megapixels 12 megapixels, 12 megapixels (wide) 12 megapixels, 12 megapixels (wide)
Front camera 8 megapixels, 8 megapixels(wide) 8 megapixels, 8 megapixels(wide) 7 megapixels 7 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Battery 2,915mAh 3,430mAh TBA TBA 3,000mAh 3,500mAh 4,000mAh
Water protection IPX8 IPX8 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68
Wireless charging? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ports USB-C USB-C Lightning port Lightning port USB-C, headphone jack USB-C, headphone jack USB-C, headphone jack
Weight 0.33 pounds 0.4 pounds 0.39 pounds 0.46 pounds 0.36 pounds 0.42 pounds 0.44 pounds
Dimensions (in.) 5.70 x 2.70 x 0.30 6.20 x 3.00 x 0.30 5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 6.20 x 3.05 x 0.30 5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 6.37 x 3.01 x 0.35
Starting price $799.00 $899.00 $999 $1,099 $719.99 $839.99 $999.99
Misc. Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides Google Duplex spam transcription, Active Edge squeezable sides Face ID, Dual SIM, software-adjustable aperture Face ID, Dual SIM, software-adjustable aperture Iris scanner, mechanically adjustable aperture, Dual SIM Iris scanner, mechanically adjustable aperture, Dual SIM Dual SIM, Bluetooth S Pen, iris scanner, mechanically adjustable aperture

If you’re thinking of buying a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, Google’s including six months of YouTube Music Premium and unlimited Google Photos storage with your purchase. Here’s how to trade in your old Pixel phone if you want to upgrade, and some different options for preordering. The phone ships October 18th, so get your preorders in by then.