The Pixel 4 is the best Pixel phone so far, but it has a few of problems that make it difficult to recommend it to everyone out there. The Pixel 4 is often directly compared to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, but how does the cheapest Apple device compare to the most expensive Google device?
At the end of 2019, we’re spoiled about new smartphones and pure choice. Even this year, Apple has really upped its game and fixed a number of glaring flaws in its devices. Which means the entire iPhone 11 series is a very attractive prospect if you don’t mind which mobile OS you are using on a daily basis.
The Pixel 4 is, of course, also hailed as the iPhone’s Android equivalent The main similarities are that Google controls, designs and manufactures the hardware for its own software. Although Apple and Google share the close approach to hardware and software integration, they have much in common as tech companies.
Nonetheless, since the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 are daily catch-all smartphones, there are some core common traits and, of course, there are many differences. Heck, in our own analysis of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, we suggested that for some of you out there looking for a brand new smartphone, the iPhone 11 could be even better purchase. But if you’re not so sure what’s right for you, what are you supposed to pick?
The Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 hardware is not too far apart but they are only separated by the execution. Talking of pure aesthetics, the iPhone is a retreat from previous designs, but with some added rear tweaks.
It takes a step away from the Pixel 3 as for the Pixel 4 and has a very distinct standout design At first glance, the matte black sides and the colorful power button are much more striking. That said, making the iPhone 11 available in multiple colors is a real bonus — and in person the mint green and purple colors are really stunning.
Both phones have large displays with impressive and precise face-scanning technology. Google dropped the knot and opted for a forehead while the display notch of Apple persists. The Pixel has some hands-free Motion Sense software, of course, but for the most part, the face unlocking on both phones is about the same — though on the Pixel a tad faster.
By contrast to the FHD+ and QHD+ AMOLED displays on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, the displays are very different however, with the 828p LCD screen on the iPhone 11 looking definitely less sharp and vibrant. The refresh rate of 90Hz really favors the Pixel 4 line, but it’s worth noting that the display of the iPhone 11 is getting much brighter — which will be more important in direct sunlight and bright environments.
I’d have to say the iPhone 11’s smoother aluminum sides feel more comfortable but the Pixel 4’s matte edges and back glass make the hand more tactile. It will also be personal preference how you feel about the camera layout, but in my opinion the Pixel feels more coherent and less tackled-on. Without a case, it should also be better, unless you try to bend it.
It shouldn’t be an issue to get either phone wet as both are rated IP68. This means that they will tolerate no deeper than 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. For this purpose, both phones are great for people who are active.
If you’re an Android fan, there’s no doubt that the Pixel 4 is the smartphone to choose if you want to create fast updates and full OS. Likewise, the iPhone 11 gets regular updates, but for a much longer period it is expected to get all-important full OS updates.
Of course, it’s hard to compare Android directly with iOS, but what’s worth noting is that Android 10 on the Pixel 4 has been the closest thing to iOS 13 for some time in terms of extras, additions, and general tweaks. What we say is that you can get the cleanest version of Android. Like iOS, it doesn’t have any extra bloat carrier or unnecessary apps or tweaks. All builds are mere versions of how their own mobile OS is envisaged by each tech firm.
You’re not going to get as much customization with iOS 13 as you do with Android 10, but you’re getting some features the pixel can’t replicate yet. Things like AirDrop and iMessage are the reason why a lot of individuals don’t want to part with Apple products. The Pixel 4, though, has a ton of great features the iPhone 11 just won’t get. Deep integration with the Google Assistant means that when it comes to hands-free controls, it is lightyears ahead of Siri.
While Live Captions and real-time translation are even more important additions that help round off one of the market’s best mobile experiences. Google pushes the software limits more than Apple— choosing to hold back and finetune the interface before many industry-standard apps were implemented.
Additionally, the addition of a 90Hz refresh rate display ensures it feels faster while iOS tuning is impressive and the experience is definitely slick. Our preference is for Android 10 but iOS 13 is really nice to use and there are many better versions of your favorite apps available from the App Store. At this point in 2019, it was never easier to switch from one side to the other.
The iPhone 11 series has for some time brought the biggest shake-up to Apple-made smartphones ‘ stills capabilities. While the Pixel 4 tweaks and refines, the iPhone 11 has made leaps forward and enhances the smartphone camera king in some cases.
This boils down to your choice for image features in many scenarios The iPhone 11 produces slightly warmer photos, whereas in most settings the Pixel 4 tends to produce cooler yet sharper photos.
For the first time, both smartphones even come with dual cameras (based on the iPhone 11 being an upgrade over the XR). Apple, however, has opted to combine a standard wide lens with an ultra-wide lens, while Google has gone for wide and photos.
Personally, I prefer a zoom lens for a telephoto. My reasoning is that you can get involved in a subject and not lose any fidelity to the image. I almost exclusively use an ultra-wide-angle lens for landscape shots— which is very rare. It’s not a negative though to include an ultra-wide angle on the iPhone 11. It will allow you to take interesting photos that have more character in the bags, but it is worth noting that a significant drop in quality will occur.
However, you also have that enhanced Super Res Zoom when using the telephoto zoom on the Pixel 4. It uses post-processing AI from Google to maximize sharpness, clarity and magic in action. You can still zoom in on the iPhone, but no impressive software techniques support the digital zoom.
For the first time, the iPhone now has a Night mode, although this is not a dedicated camera mode, unlike Night Sight on the Pixel. Through increasing exposure and showing more details in darker settings it is automatically enabled and works in a similar way to Night Sight. While I’m going to say the Pixel 4 takes cleaner photos of the night, the iPhone 11 will look much more natural and be very impressive as a result.
However, where the Pixel 4 excels is in the extra modes. With the telephoto lens, the portrait mode is improved, while the Astrophoto mode is the best I’ve tried on a smartphone. It is difficult to pick between the two devices in stills photography and will boil down to your own preference of the above-mentioned camera features.
However, video is a non-contest. The iPhone 11 is the market’s best video smartphone. There is no excuse for the lack of 4K 60fps video modes for the Pixel 4. On the front-facing camera, the iPhone 11 can even do 4 K, the Pixel 4 manages just 1080p 30fps. The iPhone is still the phone to pick if you value the video.
This is a no-contest if you compare the 2.800mAh battery of the Pixel 4 to the 3.110mAh battery of the iPhone 11 — instead of the 3.700mAh found in the 4 XL. The iPhone 11 really has an exceptional battery that even the most intense days can get you through. With the smaller Pixel 4, don’t expect anything close. While the Pixel 4 XL shows great, it’s still not up to Apple’s cheapest 2019 smartphone’s lifespan.
Both phones have 10W wireless charging, but there is no fast charger in the box on the iPhone 11. If you want to charge without waiting hours, you’ll need to fork out for a faster charge brick That said, you’re not going to have to charge the phone as often as possible. Whichever Pixel 4 device you compare to the longevity stakes of the iPhone 11 — it loses.
The iPhone 11’s base model and the Pixel 4 have a suggested retail price of $699 and $799 respectively— though deals are taking those prices down a little bit. The package you get with your iPhone for $100 less than the Pixel 4 is hard to deny.
When the OnePlus 7 T is available for less than $600, it puts the price of that particular Android device into further perspective. The iPhone 11 provides you with far more money value than the Pixel 4— that’s just a frustrating fact. Sales, rebates, and discounts, though, do more directly suit the cost, making the Pixel 4 much more appealing.
Which one should I choose?
Using the daily Pixel 4 XL and iPhone 11, I’d have to say the iPhone 11 is much more in line with my expectations than the Pixel. That was a bitter inhaling pill, but I still prefer the Android 10 experience over iOS 13.
The Pixel 4’s battery life question marks and poor pricing mean the iPhone 11 is a solid buy, even if you’re an ardent Android fan. That said, the Pixel 4 is still a fantastic package if you’re not a heavy user.
I prefer the design of the Pixel 4 and the display is far superior— though somewhat dim. Android 10 runs like a dream on the internals, and if you’re worried about longevity, you can always come up with the fast charger in the box. Photography stills is very similar, but on the iOS device the video modes are far superior. It’ll boil down to whatever OS you want— Android or iOS.
With that said, in many ways, the iPhone 11 is still a bit better buy than the Pixel 4. With Black Friday deals on the horizon, we’re sure that at fantastic discounts both phones will be available— allowing you to choose which one suits you best or best suits your needs.