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iPhone 13 vs Google Pixel 6: What are the Differences?

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On Tuesday, Google unveiled the Pixel 6 series at its streaming Pixel Fall Launch event, with a fresh new look, improved camera system, and Tensor — the company’s first in-house smartphone System on a Chip (SoC).

Let’s take a look at how the Pixel 6, with Google’s own silicon for the very first time, stacks up against the iPhone 13 — Apple’s latest smartphone powered by its own silicon as well.

Colours

The iPhone 13 comes in five colours: Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink, and (PRODUCT)RED.

The Pixel 6, on the other hand, is available in three colours: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black.

Display

The iPhone 13 sports a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, with a 2532×1170 resolution and Apple’s True Tone technology. The Pixel 6 has a 6.4″ AMOLED display with a 90Hz adaptive refresh rate and a 1080 x 2400 FHD+ resolution.

The base iPhone 13 lacks the ProMotion technology found on the ‘Pro’ models, and only has a static 60Hz refresh rate. While the Pixel 6’s 90Hz screen doesn’t deliver the fluidity of a 120Hz refresh rate panel, the extra 30Hz over the iPhone 13’s display makes a world of difference.

The Pixel 6 also offers an always-on display, a feature notably absent on the iPhone 13. One day right, Apple?

For screen protection, the iPhone 13 is fitted with Apple’s scratch-resistant Ceramic Shield, whereas the Pixel 6 has Gorilla Glass Victus. The iPhone 13 display is also treated with an oleophobic coating.

Design and Build Quality

The iPhone 13 carries the same design language as its predecessor, with the biggest difference between the two being the layout of the rear camera module. The iPhone 13 has an aluminum frame, sandwiched between a glass front and a glass back.

For the Pixel 6 lineup, Google went back to the drawing board, and love or hate the linear camera module on the back all you want, the new dual-toned design is fresh and ambitious. The Pixel 6 is made up of a glass front, a glass back, and an aluminum chassis.

Apple wasn’t able to eliminate the ‘dreaded’ notch with this year’s iPhones, but did decrease the size of the notch on the iPhone 13 by roughly 20%, making the notch (slightly) more bearable.

The Pixel 6, on the other hand, has a much smaller punch-hole cutout at the top of the display for its front snapper.

The iPhone 13 comes with MagSafe support built into it for accessories and wireless chargers.

Both phones feature IP68 water and dust resistance, but while the Pixel 6 is rated for 30 minutes in up to 1.5m of water, the iPhone 13 is rated for 30 minutes in up to 6m of water. The Pixel 6 features an additional fingerprint-resistant coating to keep skin oils from smudging the glass body.

Both devices have a stereo speaker setup.

Camera

The iPhone 13 has already established itself as a bonafide go-to for both photography and videography, with a spectacular camera setup and Apple’s powerful camera features.

The iPhone 13 sports a dual-12 MP camera system, made up of a Wide-angle lens with dual pixel phase detect auto-focus (PDAF) and an ƒ/1.6 aperture, along with an Ultra Wide-angle lens with an ƒ/2.4 aperture and a 120˚ field of view.

As good as the cameras on Pixel phones are known to be, Google has really pushed itself with this year’s lineup.

The Pixel 6 boasts a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer main camera with a laser detect auto-focus (LDAF) sensor, an 82° field of view, and an ƒ/1.85 aperture, along with a 12 MP ultra-wide lens with an ƒ/2.2 aperture, a 114° field of view, and lens correction capability.

The iPhone 13 and Pixel 6 both lack a telephoto lens, which is available on pricier ‘Pro’ models. The iPhone 13 can’t shoot in Apple ProRAW, but the Pixel 6 has RAW imaging capability.

Apple has built sensor-shift Optical Image Stabilization into the iPhone 13 for better low-light photos, a feature carried over from last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Pixel 6 only comes with regular Optical Image Stabilization.

Both of the cameras on the iPhone 13 can shoot in Portrait mode, while the Pixel 6 can only shoot in Portrait mode with its main camera.

The iPhone 13 is capable of recording 4K video at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, 1080p HD video at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, and HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps. Apple’s newest base iPhone also comes with a new ‘Cinematic mode’ for recording videos with shallow depth of field (1080p @ 30 fps).

The Pixel 6, on the other hand, manages 4K video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps, and 1080p video recording at 30 fps, 60 fps, 120 fps, or 240fps.

Google has equipped the Pixel 6 with a number of new camera features like Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real tone, Face Unblur, and Manual white balancing, most of which are accelerated by the Tensor chip’s AI and machine learning capabilities. These are some impressive photo features.

As for front snappers, the iPhone 13 features a 12 MP wide-angle camera with an ƒ/2.2 aperture that supports HDR and is capable of recording 4K video at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, and 1080p 30 fps, 60 fps, or 120 fps with gyro-EIS.

In comparison, the Pixel 6 has an 8 MP wide-angle sensor on the front with an ƒ/2.2 aperture that only manages 1080p video recording at 30 fps.

CPU/GPU

The iPhone 13 features Apple’s new 6-core A15 Bionic chip, which brings modest CPU performance gain over last year’s A14 Bionic, along with a 4-core GPU and Apple’s improved 16-core Neural Engine.

The Pixel 6 packs Google’s in-house 5nm octa-core Tensor SoC under the hood, with a Mali-G78 MP20 20-core GPU and Google’s machine learning engine.

Google hopes the seamless synergy between the Pixel 6 lineup’s hardware and software, both of which are of the company’s creation, will allow its Tensor chip to go toe-to-toe with the best in the business. The company says the Pixel 6 lineup delivers 80% faster CPU performance and 370% faster GPU performance compared to last year’s Pixel 5.

Memory and Storage

The iPhone 13 comes with 4GB of RAM, and a choice between 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of internal storage. The Pixel 6 is available with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

There’s a caveat, though — Google has peculiarly limited the storage options you get for the Pixel 6 series by device colour.

For the base Pixel 6, both the Stormy Black and Sorta Seafoam colour options are available with either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, but you can only get Kinda Coral in a 128GB configuration. Just why, Google?

Security and Authentication

The iPhone 13 supports Face ID, enabled by Apple’s proprietary TrueDepth camera. Disappointingly, Apple still hasn’t brought back Touch ID to its flagship lineup.

While the Pixel 6 does support Android’s ‘Face Unlock’ feature, it also comes with a good ol’ optical, under-display fingerprint sensor, something Apple customers have longed for. The Pixel 6 is also fitted with Google’s Titan M2 security coprocessor with dedicated security core.

Networking

Both phones feature 5G capability, and Apple says this year’s iPhones come with improved support for 5G.

Battery and Charging

Apple has bumped battery life on this year’s lineup, with the iPhone 13’s rather modest 3,240 mAh cell getting 19 hours of video playback (as opposed to 17 hours on its predecessor).

For juice, the Pixel 6 packs a 4,614 mAh battery. While Google marketed the Pixel 5 as having an “all-day battery”, the company says The Pixel 6 “can last beyond 24 hours” on a single charge.

The iPhone 13 supports ~23W fast charging with USB Power Delivery 2.0 over a wired connection, 15W MagSafe wireless charging, and 7.5W Qi magnetic fast wireless charging. The iPhone 13 has an advertised charging rate of 0-50% in 30 minutes.

The Pixel 6, on the other hand, manages 30W fast charging with USB Power Delivery 3.0 over a wired connection, which Google says gets the phone from 0-50% in 30 minutes, along with 21W fast wireless charging. The Pixel 6 also comes with built-in reverse charging capability.

Size and Weight

The iPhone 13 is 5.78″ tall, 2.81″ wide, and 0.30″ thick, and weighs in at 173 grams. The Pixel 6 has a slightly larger footprint at 6.24″ tall, 2.94″ wide, and 0.35″ thick, and also weighs a little more at 207 grams.

Pricing

The iPhone 13 costs $949 CAD for the base 128GB variant, $1239 CAD for the 256GB configuration, and a whopping $1509 CAD for the 512GB option.

The Pixel 6 starts at $799 CAD for the 128GB variant, and will run you $929 CAD for a unit with 256GB of internal storage.

So which phone to buy? That’s up to you. If you’re tied to the Apple ecosystem, it may be harder to leave and switch to Android due to iCloud and other services, if you’re deeply entrenched. Price-wise though, it’s cheaper to buy a Pixel 6.

Apple does provide longer iOS updates, whereas Google said its Pixel 6 phones will get updates for three years.

For a detailed overview of how the iPhone has improved generation-over-generation, take a look at our comparison between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12.

To see how Google’s newest Pixel phone stacks up against the previous generation, check out our comparison between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 5.

Click here to order your iPhone 13 from Apple.ca today.

Pre-orders for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are already live. Get yours today from the Google Store, Amazon.ca, Best Buy, Rogers, Telus, Glentel, or Freedom Mobile.

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