Home > Smartphone

Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 – will Google come out on top?

Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15: which one comes out on top?
Last Updated on January 3, 2024
Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15: A comparison between the two latest smartphones. Image shows the text "Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 - will Google come out on top?" with the Pixel 8 phones and a pink iPhone 15 on a purple blue gradient background.
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

In this article, we will compare the Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 to determine which one is worth investing in for an upgrade. So, let’s dive in and see how these compact flagship phones stack up against each other.

In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, the era of compact devices seemed to be fading away. However, two new contenders have emerged to challenge this narrative – the Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15. While the iPhone 15 got its official release on September 22, 2023, the Google Pixel 8 is still fresh to audiences, getting a launch on October 4th, 2023. These two smartphones offer a compact yet high-end experience, catering to users who prefer smaller devices without compromising on features and performance.

Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 specs

SpecificationiPhone 15Google Pixel 8
Dimensions146.7 x 71.5 x 7.80 mm, 171 grams150.5 height x 70.8 width x 8.9 depth (mm), 187 grams
Screen6.1-inch, 60Hz6.2-inch, 60-120Hz
ProcessorApple A16 BionicGoogle Tensor G3
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB
CamerasWide: 48MP, Ultra-wide: 12MPWide: 50MP, Ultra-wide: 12MP
Battery Size3,877mAh4,385mAh
Charging Speed25W wired charging, 7.5W wireless chargingUp to 27W wired charging, 18W wireless charging

Design and Size

When it comes to design, both the Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 showcase their respective brand aesthetics. The Pixel 8 follows the design philosophy of the Pixel 7 series, featuring a camera bar on the back and a hole-punch front camera. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 takes design cues from its predecessors, particularly the iPhone 12 series.

Despite their design differences, both devices share a common trait – their compact size. The Pixel 8 measures 5.9 x 2.8 x 0.34 inches (150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm), while the iPhone 15 retains the dimensions of its predecessor at 5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches (147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8 mm). We’ve got the full lowdown of the Pixel 8 size and weight here. The screens of both devices are similar in size, further contributing to their compact form factor.

In terms of materials, both smartphones utilize aluminum and glass, but the Pixel 8 uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. However, the iPhone 15 Pro models feature a titanium frame, showing that the devices are equally matched in terms of high-end design components. For colors, the Pixel 8 comes in three new color options, obsidian, hazel, and rose. There are five color choices for the iPhone 15, and similar to the Pixel they are softer and quite pale: black, yellow, blue, green, and pink. Additionally, a design element from the Pixel that has recently been transferred onto the iPhone 15 is the USB-C charging port.

Display Differences

The Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 feature display panels that are similar in size but differ in refresh rate. The Pixel 8 boasts a variable 60-120Hz refresh rate, providing a smoother and more responsive user experience. In contrast, the iPhone 15 sticks with a standard 60Hz refresh rate, lagging behind other flagship devices in terms of display fluidity.

However, the compact screen doesn’t mean that the display is lacking in any way, with similar resolutions across the phones. The Pixel 8 has a 1,080 x 2,400 resolution, a 1,400 nits (HDR) brightness and a peak brightness of up to 2,000 nits. Not too far off, the Apple iPhone 15 sports a 2556 x 1179 resolution, 1,600 nits HDR brightness and 2,000 nits peak brightness.

Performance and Software

The Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 differ significantly when it comes to hardware and software. The iPhone 15 utilizes Apple’s A16 Bionic processor, known for its exceptional performance and efficiency. On the other hand, Google equips the Pixel 8 with its custom Tensor G3 chip, designed to deliver powerful processing capabilities and to enhance on-device AI experience.

In terms of RAM, the Pixel 8 offers 8GB, while the iPhone 15 manages to deliver a smooth user experience with just 6GB. This discrepancy can be attributed to the optimization of iOS and its apps, which require less RAM compared to Android devices. As for battery life, the Pixel 8 might once again come out on top with its 4,575 mAh battery and a promised 24-hour charge compared to the iPhone 15’s rather small 3,349 mAh. You can read more about the Pixel 8 battery life here.

Software-wise, the Pixel 8 ships with Android 14, Google’s latest operating system. Android 14 introduces various new features and improvements, enhancing the overall user experience. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 runs on iOS 17, Apple’s renowned operating system known for its smooth performance and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem. We’ve compared Android 14 and iOS 17 if you’re after a more in-depth comparison of the two software.

Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 camera

The camera capabilities of the Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 are a crucial aspect of their appeal. Both devices offer impressive camera systems that capture stunning photos and videos.

The iPhone 15 features a new 48MP main camera sensor with a 1/1.5″ size, providing a 27% increase in sensor size compared to last year’s iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro. On the other hand, the Pixel 8 boasts a 50MP 1/1.31″ main sensor with an f/1.68 aperture. While the hardware specifications differ slightly, the overall image quality is expected to be comparable, with differences mainly arising from post-processing algorithms.

Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15 price

Price is an important factor to consider when choosing a phone. The iPhone 15 starts from $799 for the 128GB storage, while the Google Pixel 8 starts at $200 less, from $699 for the 128GB model. However, both are worthy investments considering that Google has promised seven years of OS upgrades, security updates, and feature drops for the Google Pixel 8 phones.

Final thoughts

The Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 offer compelling options for users seeking a compact yet high-end flagship smartphone. Ultimately, the choice between the Pixel 8 and the iPhone 15 comes down to personal preferences, ecosystem compatibility, and budget considerations. Both devices provide a high-quality compact flagship experience, catering to users who prioritize portability without compromising on performance and features. If you want to get your hands on the Pixel 8 as soon as possible, we’ve got you covered with all the pre-order information right here.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.