iPhone 12 and Google Pixel 5 are not only the leading flagship phones, but also the standard carriers for the world’s two major smartphone platforms (iOS and Android).
Indeed, comparing these two phones means marketing the two largest technology companies in the world to each other. From software to hardware, Apple and Google have set deadlines for the appearance of an ideal smartphone.
So, how do these two headlines compare? There are many similarities, and even more differences, this is a truly fascinating comparison.
2 and Pixel 5 prices and time to market
The iPhone 12 will land on October 23, 2020. Prices for the 64GB model start at US$799 / £799 / AU$1,349, the price of 128GB is US$849 / £849 / AU$1,429, and the price of 256GB is US$949 / £949 / AU$1,599.
Google Pixel 5 will be launched a week in advance around October 15, 2020. There is only one Pixel 5 model there, with a suggested retail price of US$699/£599/AU$999, which can be purchased from the official Google Store.
If we are comparing entry-level models, the price of the iPhone 12 is $100/£200/AU$359 higher. However, if we are strictly matching the specifications, then the price of the 128GB iPhone 12 will be 150 US dollars / 250 pounds / AUD 430 higher. 128GB pixels 5.
The two phones have almost no similarities in design, but both reverse the trend in their own way.
In the case of the iPhone 12, it got rid of its fascination with smooth curves and rounded edges, which seems to have occupied the broader smartphone industry. The iPhone 12 has returned to the era of flat surfaces and sharp edges. Since the iPhone 5S, similar phenomena have never appeared in top mobile phones.
On the other hand, for Pixel 5, this is a very important thing. There is no glass back panel here, nor even some form of hybrid plastic seen in the Galaxy S21. Instead, Google peeled off the surrounding metal with a cool and high-quality material.
This metal also has an interesting matte finish, which makes it more like polycarbonate than ordinary aluminum frames. The device only offers two shades, Sorta Sage and Just Black, which is slightly paler than the iPhone 12’s Silver, Graphite, Gold and Pacific Blue options.
Nevertheless, the metal is still metal, and the Pixel 5 seems to be stronger than the iPhone 12 behind the glass. However, it is worth pointing out that the front of the Apple mobile phone is equipped with a new nanocrystalline Ceramic Shield screen, which is said to be four times stronger than competing materials. It also has an excellent IP68 protection rating and can last for 30 minutes in six meters of water.
In terms of proportions, the size of the iPhone 12 is 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm (HWD), second only to the Pixel 5 of 144.7 x 70.4 x 8 mm. This means that Google phones are shorter and narrower than Apple phones, but they are half a millimeter thicker. These are also the two lightest flagship phones on the market-although the iPhone 12 weighs 164g, while the Pixel 5 weighs 151g.
In our review, we are not a big fan of the stiff, hard-to-describe side buttons of the Pixel 5. In contrast, the iPhone 12 includes an advanced metal switch and an excellent Apple alert slider. Although the Pixel 5’s speakers are as stereo as the iPhone 12, it seems to have taken a step back.
Another design difference is related to different methods of biometric authentication. The Pixel 5 has a fairly old-fashioned rear fingerprint sensor, while the iPhone 12 has an obvious Face ID screen notch. Controversially, Apple’s method is more advanced-however, nowadays, the ability to unlock the phone while wearing a mask is very useful.
All in all, we prefer the eye-catching iPhone 12 design to the very practical Pixel5. But they are unique enough that it can be attributed to preferences.
Unlike the appearance of these phones, both have chosen similar compact OLED displays.
iPhone 12 is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen with a resolution of 2532 x 1170. In terms of color accuracy, it is one of the most balanced displays on the market, with a peak brightness level of 1200 nits and 600 nits under typical conditions.
In another corner, Pixel 5 offers a 6-inch OLED with similar brightness, with a resolution slightly lower than 2340 x 1080.
Where Pixel 5 wins is the refresh rate. Google’s flagship product could not reach the leading level of 120Hz with a frequency of 90Hz, but in the end it was 50% higher than the 60Hz iPhone 12. To be honest, this is a bit of negligence for Apple.
The iPhone 12 wins in terms of image fidelity, but the Pixel 5 scores high on fluidity. We will hand over the winning result to Google mobile based on the latter result, but this transaction is about to end.
Both phones believe that with their dual rear cameras, they will become the champions of photography. At first glance, this suggests a similar approach.
The iPhone 12 includes a pair of 12-megapixel sensors: a main widescreen example has a larger f/1.6 aperture, and an ultra-wide example has an f/2.4 aperture. Google’s Pixel 5 offers a 12.2 megapixel main sensor with f/1.7 aperture and a 16-pixel f/2.2 ultra-wide screen.
Both main sensors have the same 1.4μm pixel size and both have OIS support. Neither camera provides a dedicated telephoto lens, and relies on clever cropping algorithms to zoom in on photos.
Google’s proficient approach to smartphone cameras has implemented the Pixel series for a long period of time. It would rather use the same old sensor and make progress through its powerful image processing algorithms than upgrade its hardware every year (this is a resource-intensive method that will inevitably have an impact on price).
Of course, in recent years, Apple has also made considerable progress with its own image processing technology. As a result, both Apple and Google are the best in producing balanced smartphone camera images.
Sure enough, these are the two best camera phones in the industry. Both devices take clear, balanced photos during the day, and frighteningly clear photos at night. Google’s night scene may be brighter, but the iPhone 12 can apply its Night mode on all its cameras (even the selfie camera).
We prefer the wider nature of the iPhone 12’s 120-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, which is more suitable than the Pixel 5’s 107-degree soft viewing angle. However, Google managed to balance the common distortion and ultra-wide color balance problem that makes people feel incredible.
At the same time, the video shooting quality of the iPhone 12 is amazing. Both can shoot 4K video at 60fps, but the iPhone 12 has better performance.
All in all, we must give Apple an overall victory. In order to get a better camera experience on a larger scale, it has taken greater steps on a larger scale-but it is too daring.
Specifications and performance
The performance is indeed not a controversial place. iPhone 12 definitely blows down Google Pixel 5 in this regard.
Of course, the A14 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 12 makes every Android flagship clear at a glance. After all, it is the most powerful mobile processor in the enterprise.
But the Pixel 5 didn’t even fight anymore, due to Google’s landmark decision to compromise power in the name of cost-effectiveness. If you want to know that the price of Pixel 5 is much cheaper than iPhone 12, then the number one is to use Snapdragon 765 CPU.
This is a mid-range Qualcomm chip, and its location is much lower than the Snapdragon 865 that powers most of the 2020 Android flagship phones, and even lower than the Snapdragon 888 that powers the 2021 products.
The Geekbench 5 multi-core benchmark test clearly shows this difference. Compared with the iPhone 12’s 3,859, the Pixel 5 scored 1,617. This far exceeds twice the output.
Google’s phone may be supported by twice the RAM of the iPhone 12 (8GB and 4GB), but it doesn’t matter how different Android and iOS use memory.
In fact, Pixel 5 can easily complete a range of tasks, from browsing the Web to gaming and playing media. After the “Call of Duty: Mobile” continued to be discounted, we really saw a significant performance drop, but not during the game.
However, the iPhone 12 has enough headroom, and we believe it will run quickly in a few years. For the Pixel 5, we can’t say the same with all certainty-especially considering Apple’s excellent record of continuous hardware support.
Pixel 5 hit back in part by providing 128GB of standard storage space. The capacity of the iPhone 12 is 64GB, which does not feel enough. Of course, you can specify 128GB or 256GB, but this will cost you a lot of money.
Both phones are equipped with 5G as standard, so there is no advantage at all. In terms of software, we can’t be called a winner.
Compared with almost all other Android manufacturers, Apple has an advantage here-but not on the Pixel. Even the most beautiful Android UI is still a modification of the core Google OS, so even if you like the way Samsung (or OnePlus or Xiaomi) does things, it’s not a pure or perfectly optimized experience. This is not the case with Google Pixel 5 like Google, just like the iPhone 12 has always been Apple.
The iPhone 12’s 2,815mAh battery looks much less than the Pixel 5’s 4,080mAh battery.
However, it is not that simple, because iOS is generally more frugal than Android. Similarly, the iPhone 12 has a better, more efficient processor and a lower power consumption 60Hz display.
In the end, the endurance of these two phones is good, but not outstanding. We will give the Pixel 5 an advantage—especially a great improvement for the Pixel 4—but both phones are in the “reliable use day” category between lightweight and very heavy use.
iPhone 12 has a slight advantage in charging. Compared with Pixel 5’s 18W, it supports 20W wired charging. But at least the charger comes with the Pixel. You need to purchase a fast charger (or other charger) for the iPhone separately.
iPhone 12 also supports 15W Qi wireless charging next to Pixel 5’s 12W.
Although on the surface the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 gave us an enticing “Apple vs. Google” duel, direct comparison is very tricky.
Apple chose a bold, high-quality design statement on its iPhone 12 to shine in its mainstream product line. On the contrary, Pixel 5 stripped things from Pixel 4, offering an experience close to the flagship at a mid-range price point.
As a result, the Pixel 5 is much cheaper than the iPhone 12, which makes it a better choice for people with a budget of £500 (approximately £550). With this money, you will get a camera system, monitor, and clean software experience that competes with Apple.
If you are willing to spend more money, then the iPhone 5 will undoubtedly feel like a more advanced phone-and its performance is completely comparable to other brands.