Here’s how Google’s new $800 Pixel 3 compares to the iPhone XS

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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Less than a month after the debut of the iPhone XS, we have another new high-end smartphone to consider: the Google Pixel 3.

Google unveiled its latest phone – along with a new smart-home device and a new tablet – at an event on Tuesday. The Pixel 3 isn’t a major update from last year’s Pixel 2, but it does have a few key improvements and changes: namely, a higher-end look and feel, wireless charging, a notched display on the XL version, and more.

Given that it’s a premium phone, however, it’s only natural to compare it with its most recent competition on the other side of the aisle: Apple’s iPhone XS.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, how do the two devices stack up? Here’s the breakdown.


The Google Pixel is slightly larger overall.

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Here are the dimensions of each phone:

  • Pixel 3: 5.73 inches tall by 2.69 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick.
  • iPhone XS: 5.65 inches tall by 2.79 inches wide by 0.3 inches thick.

But the iPhone XS has a slightly larger display — 5.8 inches versus the Pixel 3’s 5.5-inch screen. (The larger Pixel 3 XL features a 6.3-inch screen.)

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The Pixel 3 is significantly lighter than the iPhone XS.

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The Pixel 3 weighs 148 grams, while the iPhone XS clocks in at 177 grams.


The iPhone XS comes with more storage options.

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You can get an iPhone XS in three storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.

By contrast, the Pixel 3 comes in only two storage options, 64 GB and 128 GB.

That said, Google has one-upped Apple with its cloud storage, at least when it comes to your pictures: Google offers unlimited storage in Google Photos, while Apple makes you pay for iCloud storage if you want more than 5 GB.


Both phones come in three colors, and they’re pretty similar.

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The Pixel 3 comes in “just black,” “clearly white,” and “not pink.”

The iPhone XS comes in space gray, silver, and gold.

While the theme is similar, the iPhone XS is more metallic, while the Pixel 3 comes in more of a solid, opaque color.


Both phones run the latest version of their company’s smartphone operating system.

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The iPhone XS runs iOS 12, Apple’s latest smartphone OS.

The Pixel 3 runs a stock version of Android 9 Pie straight out of the box. That means it has Google’s latest smartphone operating system, but it also doesn’t have any unnecessary layers, or skins, on top of it, unlike so many Android phones from other phone makers.


Both the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS are water-resistant and have wireless charging. Neither phone has a headphone jack.

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Both devices have high-end rear cameras — but the Pixel 3’s is probably better.

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On the hardware side, the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS have similarly high-end rear cameras, except for one major difference: The iPhone XS has two rear camera lenses, while the Pixel 3 uses only one.

However, both devices have a 12-megapixel lens, optical image stabilization, and portrait mode.

Where the Pixel 3 is expected to beat the iPhone XS is on the software side. Google announced a bunch of exciting software features that should make the Pixel 3 the superior camera:

  • “Night Sight” is an alternative to using flash in low-light situations. If Google’s presentation is to be believed, it will make photos much brighter and clearer.
  • Photobooth mode will automatically take your photo if you’re smiling or making a funny face.
  • Portrait mode has been improved so you can edit the depth of field after the fact (like you can in the iPhone XS), but you can also make colors pop by muting other colors, or change the focal subject of the photo.
  • “Super Res Zoom” will give you better close-up photos without losing the detail.

Both devices have high-end selfie cameras too, though the Pixel 3’s has two lenses.

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Both the iPhone XS and the Pixel 3 have stellar front-facing cameras.

The iPhone XS has a 7-megapixel selfie camera that’s part of Apple’s True Depth camera system. You can use portrait lighting and take portrait-mode selfies (with adjustable background blur), as well as create Animoji and Memoji.

The Pixel 3’s selfie camera has two 8-megapixel lenses, one of which is wide-angle. That means the Pixel 3 can take wide-angle selfies, which can fit more people or background in the shot. The Pixel 3 can also take portrait-mode selfies.


The iPhone XS costs $200 more than the Pixel 3 to start.

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The iPhone XS starts at $999, or monthly payments of $49.91.

The Pixel 3 starts at $799, or monthly payments of $33.29.