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- The Google Pixel 4 XL and iPhone 11 Pro Max are two of the very best smartphones in 2020 so far.
- Both phones have a lot to offer, namely in the interface and camera departments, but they offer pretty different focuses and experiences.
- Both the phones are excellent options, but one may be better for some, especially if you’re already involved in one of these two companies’ devices and services.
- Generally speaking, we find the iPhone 11 Pro Max to feature a cooler design, an easier interface, and a more versatile camera — making it the winner.
Two of the most anticipated9 phones of 201, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 4 XL, are holding their ground in 2020 as some of the best, bringing with them a host of new features, classy new designs, and more.
If you’ve been waiting on the sidelines to see which one is for you, or whether either is a worthy upgrade from what you’re using right now, we understand. Both phones cost an exorbitant amount of money, after all.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide. We put the two new phones head to head to find out which is best for your needs.
iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 4 XL specs comparison
iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 4 XL design and display
The design of a smartphone is important, and these two phones take a pretty different approach to design. At least from the front, the iPhone 11 Pro Max looks identical to the previous-generation iPhone XS Max. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – most have gotten used to the notch, and apart from the notch, the display takes up the vast majority of the front of the phone. On the back, the device looks a little different, offering a frosted glass design and a square camera bump, housing the triple-lens camera. It looks a little strange at first glance, but you’ll quickly get used to the square camera bump, and the frosted glass look is a good one.
The Google Pixel 4 XL takes a different approach to design. Google has done away with the huge notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL, and instead the Pixel 4 XL has a relatively large forehead that looks a bit out of place in 2019. Sure, that forehead houses some pretty fancy tech – but we wish Google took the design of the phone a little more seriously in that respect. On the back of the phone, the Pixel 4 XL also has a square camera bump, though you’ll only get two camera sensors, instead of three. Again, it’s not a bad look, and you’ll definitely get used to it. Perhaps more important are the colors – and the Pixel 4 XL comes in “Oh So Orange,” “Clearly White,” and “Just Black.” They all look great – but if you’re on the fence, the Oh So Orange is the most interesting color.
Generally, the iPhone 11 Pro Max looks more classic, though the colors on offer by the Pixel 4 XL help make it look more fun.
The display on the two phones is a little different, too. On the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll get a 6.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,242 x 2,688. While the display on the Google Pixel 4 XL is a little smaller, none of it is taken up by a notch, and it has a higher resolution – so it’s a little better here. It’s also important to note that the Google Pixel 4 XL has a 90Hz display, so animations are smoother and everything seems a little more responsive.
iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 4 XL performance and battery
The Google Pixel 4 XL’s display might be little better than the iPhone, but the iPhone’s performance is clearly the winner here. The iPhone 11 Pro Max offers an Apple A13 Bionic processor along with 4GB of RAM, while the Google Pixel 4 XL comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and 3GB of RAM. It can be hard to compare Android and iOS phones based solely on specs – but in benchmark results, the iPhone is clearly faster.
The iPhone seems to be better when it comes to battery life too. The Google Pixel 4 XL has a 3,700mAh battery capacity, while the iPhone has a battery capacity of 3,969mAh. That, on its own, isn’t that big of a difference, but after testing both the phones, it’s not uncommon to end the day with the iPhone with 40% or 50% still left, while the Google Pixel 4 XL often needs a charge during the day under heavy use, or otherwise will end the day with only around 20% or 30%. Both phones offer fast charging and Qi wireless charging.
iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 4 XL camera
Both the Google Pixel 4 XL and the iPhone 11 Pro Max seriously step up the quality of the camera over previous-generation devices. The iPhone 11 Pro Max offers a triple-lens camera with a wide-angle and a telephoto lens, while the Google Pixel 4 XL offers a dual-sensor camera with a standard wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. Because of the extra lens, the iPhone’s camera is a little more versatile than the Pixel’s camera – so if you’re looking for a phone that will look good in all situations, the iPhone might be the way to go.
The cameras have other features, too. Apple has added a Night Mode to its camera, which looks great. The iPhone also offers a Deep Fusion mode for more detailed shots, and the Camera app makes it easy to switch between camera sensors. The Pixel 4 XL has some super smart camera features too. You’ll get an improved Portrait Mode, a new Astrophotography mode, and more.
Both of the cameras on these phones look incredible. Generally, the iPhone takes slightly warmer shots, though that’s not necessarily a good or bad thing – just something to consider. It’s also important to consider that the iPhone is a little better at video, and can take higher-frame rate 4K video – which might be important to you.
iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Google Pixel 4 XL software and features
We’re not going to get into the Android vs iOS debate here – but the gist of things is that iOS 13 is generally a little easier to use, while Android 10 allows for more customization. Both Android 10 and iOS 13 offer a number of new features over their predecessors, too – like new system-wide dark modes. Both phones will get upgrades to newer versions of their operating systems on the day that those upgrades are available – so if you like keeping up with software updates, either will do the job.
Both devices also offer a few cool extra features. While it is a few years old now, Apple’s Face ID still makes unlocking your iPhone super easy.
Google has added facial recognition tech to the Pixel 4 XL, too, but it goes a step further. The Pixel 4 XL actually uses Google’s Project Soli radar tech, which can detect when you’re reaching for your phone and detect hand movements above the phone’s screen. With that, Google has built in gestures like the ability to swipe left or right in the air to go to the next or previous songs, among other things. It’s interesting, however most probably won’t use this feature unless they have dirty hands in the kitchen or something like that.
Last but not least is the digital assistant. Google has developed a new iteration of Google Assistant, which now largely lives on-device. That means that it can better handle offline requests. In general, Google Assistant is a lot smarter than Apple’s Siri, though hopefully that will change in the future.
The bottom line
So, which phone is better? Well, it’s not that easy. The unfortunate truth is that it’s not that easy to switch ecosystems these days. If you’ve used iPhones in the past, then sticking with the iPhone 11 Pro Max is probably the way to go. If, however, you’re an Android user, the Google Pixel 4 XL is the way to go.
On the fence? Then it really depends who you are and what you’re looking for. The Google Pixel 4 XL leverages Google Assistant and a bunch of artificial intelligence to offer a smarter experience. That said, the iPhone is a little easier to use, looks classier, and has a more versatile camera.