iPhone 13 Pro vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: The Best Smartphone of 2021
Apple and Google both announced new smartphones this year, and the comparisons between the two devices are many. The iPhone 13 Pro release was highly anticipated due to iPhone’s 10th anniversary, while the Pixel 6 Pro was a bit of a surprise announcement from Google. Both phones have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you? Read on to find out more about these two powerhouse devices!
Gone are the days when the Google Pixel was considered a low-cost alternative to Apple and Samsung flagships. This year, Google has decided to pair its more “regular” Pixel 6 model with the Pixel 6 Pro, a performance-oriented premium smartphone that competes with the iPhone and Galaxy S while remaining reasonably priced. It adds a strong new processor, a large 5,003mAh battery, a triple-lens rear camera, and a wonderfully detailed 6.71-inch AMOLED screen to the solid foundation created by earlier Pixels (particularly in the photography and software sectors).
It appears to be a solid contender for flagship of the year, but it is up against some tough competition. The iPhone 13 Pro, in particular, is Apple’s best smartphone to date, featuring a slew of amazing features. It has a larger battery, newer features, and improved camera technology as compared to last year’s iPhone 12 Pro. Its display, like the Pixel 6 Pro’s, has been given a delightful 120Hz refresh rate, giving it a true feast for the eyes.
Which one is the best smartphone overall?: The Pixel 6 Pro or the iPhone 13 Pro? Continue reading to find out.
Although appearances are always subjective, we can accept that Google has gone for an entirely new design with the Pixel 6 Pro, while Apple has mainly stayed to its guns with the iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone has the same flat-edged sides as the iPhone 12 series, albeit the notch at the top of the display is 20% smaller (not that it makes a massive difference). The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, features a familiar edge-to-edge display (with a punch-hole selfie camera at top-entry) but an entirely redesigned back. The phone now has a camera bar/visor that runs horizontally across the back and contains the device’s three camera lenses.
In terms of being a premium gadget, the Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.71-inch AMOLED display, as opposed to the OLED variations found on the Pixel 5 last year (and on the iPhone 13 Pro). This enables it to display stunningly deep blacks and vibrant colours, which, when combined with a 120Hz refresh rate, creates an extremely appealing image. Furthermore, it has 512 pixels per inch and a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels. In comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro’s 460 ppi doesn’t look quite as luscious, despite the fact that it’s not a slouch.
Both phones have a certified IP68 rating, which means they can be submerged in up to 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes. However, because the Pixel 6 Pro has a more adventurous design and a slightly more luxurious screen, we’re going with Google’s phone this time.
Winner: Pixel 6 Pro
A look at performance, battery life, and charging
This year, both smartphones are at the pinnacle of smartphone performance. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is powered by a Google Tensor chip with 5nm transistors that is more than capable of handling the latest games, apps, and tasks, especially when combined with the phone’s 12GB of RAM. Similarly, the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 Pro is powerful, and while the iPhone has just 6GB of RAM, peculiarities in how the iPhone’s software works mean it will be almost as quick as the Pixel.
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro both come with 128GB of internal storage as standard, while the Pixel can be upgraded to 512GB and the iPhone can go up to 1TB. This will, of course, come at a premium, with the 1TB iPhone costing $1499 (as opposed to $999 for the 128GB model). If you’re a photographer, you’ll have to be careful (or utilise a cloud service) because neither phone has a slot for microSD cards.
Winner: iPhone 13 Pro
The Pixel’s camera has always been a strong suit, and it appears that Google has made a concerted effort to capitalise on this with the Pixel 6 Pro. It has a triple-lens configuration on the back, with a 50-megapixel wide lens, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens. The iPhone 13 Pro features a triple-lens array as well, albeit each camera (wide, ultrawide, and telephoto) only has 12MP.
As a result, you would believe that the Pixel has an advantage over the iPhone when it comes to producing stunning images. In practise, though, it isn’t quite so simple, as software is always a factor in deciding camera performance. For example, while we’ve found that the Pixel 6 Pro generally produces fantastic, detailed photos in most circumstances, we discovered the same with the iPhone 13 Pro, even though its features aren’t as remarkable on the surface.
At the same time, the iPhone 13 Pro has a really good and usable macro mode that produces some breathtaking close-up images, which the Pixel cannot match (it seems to have a little trouble focusing up close by comparison). Similarly, the iPhone’s ultrawide lens is more capable than the Pixel’s, making it a somewhat more versatile camera in general.
Software and updates
When it comes to software comparisons, we all know the drill: iOS and Android are both fantastic in various ways, and picking a favourite is all about what you’re used to and what your priorities are. Needless to say, Android 12 — which the Pixel 6 Pro ships with — is one of the nicest stock Android releases in years, with a redesigned interface, a new notification shade, support for digital vehicle keys, and a slew of new camera features (such as Magic Eraser). In contrast, iOS 15 brings several pleasant new capabilities to the iPhone 13 Pro, with Focus Mode (which lets you define personalised do-not-disturb modes) being one of them.
In terms of upgrades, though, iPhones continue to have the upper hand. While Google has promised three key software updates for the Pixel 6 Pro (bringing it up to Android 15), the iPhone 13 Pro is likely to get twice as many. Indeed, the iPhone 6S, which was released in 2015, has received iOS 15, demonstrating how long iPhones may last if you’re the type of person who prefers to get the most bang for your buck.
Winner: Pixel 6 Pro
Overall winner: Apple iPhone 13 Pro
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro comes out on top, and while it’s a close race, it’s still a clear victor. It has a longer battery life than the Pixel 6 Pro, as well as a better camera and the assurance of longer update support. Both devices are similarly matched in terms of speed and performance, while the Pixel has a more appealing design and a more brilliant display.
Sure, if you like Android, the Pixel 6 Pro is certainly worth considering, not least because it comes with some very intelligent software. We hope that this is the beginning of Google committing more time and care to its smartphones, as it is the best it has ever developed.
Do you have a favourite device? Let us know in the comments section below. We would love to hear your thoughts on how these devices compare and which one is most appealing to you!