Home Reviews iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Pixel 7 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Pixel 7 Pro


Can the Pixel 7 Pro give the iPhone 14 Pro Max a run for its money? These are the best phones that Apple and Google make. Both companies make their own custom silicon chips, their own software, and both phones have a premium feel and look. So which one is actually better?

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Pixel 7 Pro

Now, keep in mind that, at least in the US, there’s a $300 difference with the starting price. The Pixel 7 Pro starts out at 899 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max at 1099. Both come with 120 gigabytes of storage.


And let’s start out by comparing the cameras and then get to daily use. I think we can all agree that cameras on flagship phones have come a long way over the past few years.

With the Pixel 7 Pro, we’re getting a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with a five-time optical zoom and a 10.8-megapixel selfie camera.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with a three-time optical zoom and a 12-megapixel front-facing camera.

But the specs are only part of the story and so much of what we see with the final images comes down to computational photography and the post-processing that happens.

Overall, the iPhone photos are a bit more saturated and contrasted than the Pixel 7 Pro. The iPhone photos also tend to be on the warmer side. The Pixel 7 Pro photos, on the other hand, show more details in the shadows, and they’re less likely to blow out the highlights. And when we look at night photos, we see that the Pixel produces much brighter photos. It brings out more details in the shadows and it creates an image that’s brighter than the actual conditions. Now of course, whether you actually like this level of processing or whether you prefer a more natural-looking night shot, that’s a matter of personal preference.

When we look at portrait mode with the person, both phones did a good job at isolating the subject from the background. The iPhone has cleaner edge detection and the Pixel photo was sharper and more detailed. With the selfie photos, I like the exposure better on the iPhone and I think that it did a better job at brightening the overall image and producing a more pleasing image.

When I tested zoom, I actually saw some interesting results. So the iPhone telephoto lens has a three-time optical zoom and I expected it to have much better results than the Pixel 7 Pro, but that wasn’t the case. The Pixel software doing some really nice job at noise reduction. I think that this is a clear win for the Pixel. We’re having to do a lot less digital Zoom. It also has a much higher resolution sensor to begin with and the final image is sharper, has better color and less noise. As a final note on zoom, the Pixel 7 Pro can actually go all the way up to 30x zoom but let’s go ahead and turn our attention to video.

So here there’s no question that the iPhone comes out ahead. The video quality is better, it has better cinematic mode and you can also shoot in Pro Res if you really wanna get the most out of this sensor. I’m working on a more detailed camera comparison for those of you who are interested, but for now I also wanted to add that the iPhone Camera app is faster and more responsive than the one on the Pixel, which sometimes lags.

And in terms of some fun software features, the iPhone allows you to super easily remove a subject from the background and the Pixel has unblur to help with blurry photos and a magic eraser to help you remove unwanted elements from your photos.


Next, let’s talk about the displays. So both are 6.7 inches. The Pixel has a slightly higher resolution in Pixel density and both have an adaptive refresh rate that can go from one to 120 hertz. This gives us smoother animations in scrolling when we need it, improved battery life when we don’t, and it’s also responsible for the always-on display, which we’ll get to in just a moment. And in terms of brightness, the iPhone goes all the way up to 2,000 NITS versus 1,500 on the Pixel, so the iPhone is better able to handle brighter environments and reflections.

Another new feature on the iPhone is Dynamic Island, which combines software with two smaller hardware elements to create a useful animated and interactive user experience. In the Pixel, we have a small punch hole camera, which is definitely less obtrusive. I actually really like the implementation of the Dynamic Island. I love having quick access to media controls and to other aspect of background apps, but there is no question that even in its closed form, it’s more disruptive to the viewing experience. Personally, that’s a trade-off that I’m willing to make because I really like the functionality and I don’t even really mind the notch that was there before but the Pixel does provide a cleaner viewing experience if that’s your priority.

In terms of how the displays look, both are very nice. They’ll work great if you’re watching videos, surfing the web or playing games, but I prefer the image quality on the iPhone. And speaking of watching video, the speaker quality on the iPhone is better than the Pixel. Movies and music sound Fuller, they have more presence to them and less of that tinny quality.

Both phones also offer their own implementations of the Always On display. The Pixel is more basic with a very minimalistic design that shows the time and date, notification icons, media info and a fingerprint sensor. The iPhone essentially shows you a full version of the lock screen. It’s just dimmed down.

Now moving on to design, we don’t really see a major difference between this year’s models and the previous year. So the iPhone has a slightly larger camera module but it has the same look and feel with rounded corners, squared off edges, a stainless steel frame and instead of a notch, like I said, we’re getting Dynamic Island.

The Pixel 7 Pro also looks similar to the Pixel 6 Pro but the visor was upgraded to aluminum. Now, I like this better visually because it blends into the frame, but it does scratch up pretty easily, which brings me to durability.


Both phones have an IP68 rating so they’re protected against dust and water but the iPhone can be submerged in up to six meters of water for 30 minutes versus 1.5 meters on the Pixel 7 Pro.

The back of the iPhone has a matte finish versus a glossy one on the Pixel, so the iPhone is also a little less susceptible to fingerprints. In terms of glass, we’re getting Apple’s ceramic shield on the iPhone and Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back of the Pixel 7 Pro. And while every year companies come out with stronger and more crack-resistant glass, I drop my phones all the time and I know that it’s only a matter of time until something bad happens, which is why I always use a case.


Both processors are extremely powerful and they’re designed in a way that specifically complements the strengths of each phone. If you only look at benchmarks, then the A16 on the iPhone 14 Pro Max pretty much crushes the Tensor G2 on the Pixel 7 Pro for both single and multi-core performance. But that’s not really something that I focus on too much. I’m much more interested in the actual user experience of both phones.

Both phones were able to easily run any app or game that I tried without an issue. I have a section that’s dedicated to gaming, but for now, I wanted to share some actual differences that I noticed in my day-to-day use. And keep in mind that I have a lot of phones and I switch between them all the time so I’m probably much more likely to notice these differences than the typical user.

The first difference is super basic and it actually has to do with scrolling in certain apps. So using the Twitter app, the scrolling experience on the iPhone is significantly better. That might have more to do with the app itself than the phone, but it’s just something that jumps out at me whenever I’m using the Pixel. Moving on to settings, I feel like the Pixel settings are better organized and specific settings are easier to find.

In terms of customization of the home screen, iOS continues to improve with every iteration and at the same time, there’s much more flexibility on the Pixel with Android. Even a basic thing, like placing apps exactly where you want rather than always having them auto aligned to the top left is impossible with the iPhone without jumping through hoops.

The Pixel uses a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication. The sensor has been pretty good, but it’s still not as fast or as reliable as the iPhone’s face ID. The Pixel also has face unlock with the front-facing camera which actually worked pretty well for me both in bright and even the fairly dark environments. Obviously, there’s no IR on the Pixel so it’s not gonna work in extremely dark situations like my iPhone and it’s also less secure but it did work in less light than I expected.

Another difference that may be important to some users is multitasking, where only the Pixel is actually able to run in split mode with two apps running side by side or one on top of the other.

Battery Life

As far as battery life, the Pixel 7 Pro actually has a bigger battery but the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasts much longer and that’s a true testament to the efficiency of Apple’s A16 Bionic. I still get through a full day of typical use with both phones but I have much more additional headroom on my iPhone. Of course, this all depends on what you’re doing with your phones and I’m working on a more detailed battery test.

As far as charging, neither phone has particularly fast wire charging. When we look at wireless charging, the Pixel can accept 23 watts versus 15 watts on the iPhone. And the Pixel also has a battery share feature so you can wirelessly charge your headphones or even another smartphone right on the back of the Pixel 7 Pro.


A lot of you’re probably thinking, okay, this is all great, but what about gaming? So in terms of performance, both phones were able to run all of the games that I usually play so that’s games like PUBG, Genshin, Asphalt, and then, of course, less demanding games ran without an issue. Now, in both cases, the graphics looked great and the games were responsive and lag free and both phones got pretty hot during long gaming sessions unless I used something like the Razer Phone Cooler Chroma.

When playing PUBG, both phones can go up to HDR for graphics with Extreme for frame rate or Ultra HD for graphics with Ultra for frame rate. I usually play on balance and then Extreme in order to get a good combination of gameplay experience and battery performance. I also paired an Xbox controller and then streamed games on both phones using the Xbox Game Pass app and both phones easily ran all of the available games.

Ultimately for gaming, I have to give the edge to the iPhone. I prefer the display and even though there wasn’t a noticeable difference in performance now, the A16 has so much additional headroom when compared with a Tensor G2 that I feel pretty comfortable saying that it should perform better for longer.

Final Thoughts

When it actually comes down to choosing, you should also look at the rest of the products that you own and consider how each phone fits in. Apple has a pretty complete ecosystem with laptops, desktops, tablets, headphones, and smart watches. So if you already own some of those products and you’re happy with them, it’s pretty hard to recommend going outside of that.

Google has a much less complete ecosystem but the Pixel 7 Pro may still be a better fit for you if you mostly use Windows or other Android devices. Google’s also been focusing a lot on software improvements rather than hardware ones. I always tell you to look at your own personal use case.

So here’s how I would choose. The Pixel 7 Pro takes amazing photos. It has a nice display, it’s more comfortable to hold because of the rounded edges, has a ton of incredibly impressive software features and it’s significantly less expensive. For me, the iPhone 14 Pro Max fits really well with the rest of the ecosystem. Features like iMessage and AirDrop are very important to me. I appreciate the nicer and brighter display, the improved video qualities the impressive processing power, and the longer battery life.

Good luck and see you soon.


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