Google debuted its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

While Google dominates the smartphone software market with its ubiquitous, customizable Android operating system, it’s a relative pipsqueak when it comes to selling its own handsets. The company is hoping the two phones will be strongly competitive to rival gadget-makers Samsung, which earlier this year released its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus phones and Apple which last month unveiled its iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Google has a long way to go. Presently, the company has less than 1% of U.S. market share for phone hardware versus Samsung’s control of about 21% of the global market and Apple’s share just under 14%.

What do the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X have in common?

 

They’re both rearing to be the best smartphones on the market, and we’re all waiting for them to actually release.

The iPhone X doesn’t release until early November, and the Pixel 2 XL was just announced. Since each is the pinnacle of what the makers of iOS and of Android can do with a phone, they embody the iOS-Android rivalry. So, now we need to see how they stand apart.

Design

the Pixel 2 XL has more bezel going on, looking a little less futuristic and a lot more metallic because of its aluminum unibody. It has stereo speakers positioned at the top and bottom of the display. There’s no physical home button on the front of the Pixel 2 XL either, but it includes what Google claims is the fastest smartphone fingerprint scanner on the back. It has a single camera on each side.

 

 

The Pixel 2 XL is larger than the iPhone X in every dimension. The Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 175g. The iPhone X is just 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm and a single gram lighter than the Pixel 2 XL.

AI TAKES CENTER STAGE
Google’s voice-activated digital assistant will serve as the brains for all the speakers, just as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri run their competing devices. All three technology companies are trying to establish their assistants as prescient concierges that understand people’s needs and desires to help them better manage their homes and lives. Google is counting on the knowledge that it has accumulated through its dominant search engine to make its assistant far more intelligent than either Alexa or Siri, giving it an edge over its rivals over time.

 

Verdict

Comparing the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL and naming a winner is just as hard as comparing iOS and Android. They’re two different beasts, and each has ways of beating the other depending on what they’re competing over.

 

 

 

 

The iPhone X is going to be the best iPhone experience available for the next year. And, the Pixel 2 XL may very well be the best Android experience for a while (if it can actually conquer the Note 8).

For anyone that’s a fan of Android, the iPhone X probably doesn’t have a compelling enough edge to switch over to iOS. Similarly, iOS fans are probably not going to feel like the Pixel 2 XL offers enough improvements over the iPhone X to warrant switching teams.

 

When we get our hands on review units, we’ll have a better idea of which phone is really the best, but there’s no doubt both will be great.

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