iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: A Detailed Showdown
In this comprehensive comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Google Pixel 7 Pro go head-to-head in design, pricing, performance, and software, catering to diverse user preferences and needs.
Every year, the tech world eagerly awaits Apple's latest iPhone release, and this September is no different. The iOS vs. Android debate reaches its peak as the iPhone 15 Pro Max steps into the spotlight, boasting several notable upgrades over its predecessor. The question on everyone's mind is whether this shiny new iPhone can finally convince Android users to switch. In this article, we'll delve deep into the iPhone 15 Pro Max and pit it against what we consider the best Android phone of the moment, the Google Pixel 7 Pro, to determine which one emerges victorious.
Release and Pricing
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has been officially announced but is not yet available for purchase. Starting from September 15, 2023, you can place preorders for the device, with its official release scheduled for September 22, 2023. The base model, featuring a generous 256GB of internal storage, is priced at $1,199. While this marks a $100 increase over the iPhone 14 Pro Max's starting price, it's important to note that the storage capacity has also doubled. Interestingly, Apple has introduced trade-in deals for those looking to upgrade from their old iPhones, offering discounts of up to $650 through direct trade-ins or up to $1,000 off when trading in through major carriers, depending on the model you're trading in.
On the other hand, Google is set to release its Pixel 8 series next month, replacing the Pixel 7 Pro. The base model of the Pixel 7 Pro, equipped with 128GB of internal storage, launched at a competitive $899, making it $300 cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Furthermore, it's worth noting that discounts for the Pixel 7 Pro are already available, with prices as low as $649 on platforms like Amazon and Best Buy. With the upcoming Pixel 8 series release and the approach of Black Friday, additional discounts may soon become available, making the Google Pixel 7 Pro an even more attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.
Both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 7 Pro are compatible with 5G networks and work seamlessly with major carriers in the United States. However, there's a noteworthy difference: the iPhone 15 Pro Max exclusively supports eSIM in the U.S., following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the iPhone 14 Pro Max. For international versions, a physical SIM card slot is still available. In contrast, the Pixel 7 Pro supports eSIM but doesn't require it in the United States, providing users with more flexibility in their choice of SIM card.
While we don't have access to all the technical specifications of the iPhone 15 Pro Max at this moment—since Apple typically keeps certain details, such as battery capacity, under wraps—we can offer a preliminary comparison based on the information currently available. Let's take a closer look at how the iPhone 15 Pro stacks up against the Pixel 7 Pro.
Design and Build
The iPhone 15 Pro Max retains a design that may not be significantly different from its predecessor but incorporates several noteworthy updates that set it apart from previous iPhone models. Its titanium frame contributes to a lighter overall weight without compromising on durability. The front and back of the phone still feature glass surfaces, with the front benefiting from the added protection of a Ceramic Shield. However, it's important to handle the iPhone 15 Pro Max with care as its glass construction leaves it vulnerable to damage.
In contrast, the Google Pixel 7 Pro boasts an elegant design with glass panels on both the front and back, secured by a sleek aluminum frame. While the aluminum frame offers sturdy support, it falls short of the exceptional resilience provided by a titanium build. In terms of protection, both phones are rated IP68, ensuring reliable safeguarding against water and dust. This means you can rest easy knowing that accidental submersion won't harm either of these impressive devices.
Button Layout and Customization
The button layout on the Pixel 7 Pro is conventional, with standard volume controls and power buttons located on the sides, reminiscent of earlier Pixel designs. However, Apple has made a subtle but interesting change this year by removing the Mute Button and introducing a new Action Button. While this button still serves the basic function of muting alerts, it can now be customized to perform a range of essential tasks or even execute complex operations by setting it to run your favorite Shortcuts—an impressive addition that enhances user convenience.
Both the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max feature impressive OLED panels, delivering excellent color accuracy and contrast. The Google device sports a 6.7-inch display with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, matching the iPhone 15 Pro Max's 6.7-inch screen with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. These displays are ideal for maintaining sharp visuals during gaming or social media browsing. Additionally, both phones incorporate an Always-on display feature, ensuring that users make the most of those adaptive refresh rates.
When it comes to smartphone performance, Apple has consistently maintained its lead. The much-anticipated A17 Pro chip is expected to outshine Google's Tensor G2 chip that powers the Pixel phone. While we can't provide definitive comparisons until the iPhone 15 Pro Max is officially released, we can draw insights from the performance scores of the A16 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 14 Pro. This chip outperformed the Tensor G2 in all aspects, as evidenced by Geekbench scores. Moreover, the new A17 Pro boasts a GPU with six cores and the capability to execute hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing—a significant advantage for mobile gaming enthusiasts. Apple's announcement that Resident Evil Village, a full console/PC game, will be available on the iPhone later this year adds another impressive dimension to its gaming capabilities.
Although Google's Tensor G2 chip may not match the raw power of Apple's chip, it remains fast and efficient in practice. It offers high responsiveness and smoothly handles various tasks. Additionally, it powers some of Google's top AI features, such as Call Screening and Magic Easer, enhancing the overall user experience.
Operating Systems and Software Experience
The iOS vs. Android debate has become more pronounced, with each system offering its unique approach to smartphone usage in 2023. When the iPhone 15 Pro Max is released, it will come with the latest iOS version, iOS 17. In contrast, the Android 14 update for the Google Pixel 7 Pro appears to be slightly delayed. Nevertheless, Pixel 7 Pro owners have the option to access the Android 14 beta version if they are willing to install it on their devices. Similar to iOS 17, the beta version has been available since mid-June.
In terms of software experience, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. iOS, Apple's operating system, has traditionally been considered a closed system, prioritizing first-party apps and services over third-party alternatives. However, Apple has gradually introduced more customization options as iOS evolves. Nevertheless, when compared to Android, iOS still lags in terms of the sheer number of options, customizations, and settings available. Despite these differences, the simplicity and intuitiveness of iOS make it an excellent choice for smartphone beginners or users who prefer a hassle-free experience without delving into the intricacies of the Settings app.