Like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the Google Pixel XL has received rave reviews and according to Google, consumer response too has been better than the Nexus 6P from last year. That’s not surprising though, as the Google Pixel XL truly is a fantastic device overall and doesn’t really have any major weakness. While Nexus smartphones in the past weren’t too impressive in the camera department, the Pixel XL is a big step up and delivers fantastic image quality. The hardware inside is supreme too, and the design of the handset happens to be quite unique as well.
In our Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge specs battle, we will be comparing these two flagship smartphones across ten different parameters and try to find out if Google’s latest flagship smartphone can beat the older Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in our versus comparison. Like our previous versus comparisons, the winner in each category will be awarded a single point and the smartphone that manages to win most number of rounds will be picked as the winner. So let’s jump right in and begin our Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge specs battle.
On a modern smartphone, the display is definitely the most important component without a doubt. Be it media consumption, browsing the web, or playing games, a great display does play a big role in immersing you into whatever you are doing. So, how do these two 2016 flagship smartphones compare in the display department? Let’s find out.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch dual-curved Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 Quad HD resolution and an impressively high pixel density of 534 pixels per inch. The large display is protected by 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 4 layer, which is claimed to offer greater protection against scratches and damage when compared to Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Using a latest generation Super AMOLED panel, the display on the Galaxy S7 Edge is not only excellent in terms of all the major display parameters but also in terms of efficiency, especially when compared to LCD panels used on a number of rival flagship handsets. Similar to Galaxy flagship smartphones from last year, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes with four different display modes that you get to choose from – Basic, AMOLED Cinema, AMOLED Photo, and Adaptive Display. The default Adaptive Display mode basically “adapts” the display colors based on whatever content you are viewing, dynamically. In this mode, the colors appear to be really punchy and bright, but inaccurate. However, switch to the Basic or even AMOLED Photo mode, and you will notice true-to-life colors with no oversaturation that you would normally associate with Super AMOLED panels of the past. In fact, as far as color accuracy goes, the Galaxy S7 Edge is among the best devices out there. In addition to offering accurate colors, the Galaxy S7 Edge panel delivers a high peak brightness of around 800 nits according to DisplayMate. The high peak brightness makes the screen easily legible even in direct sunlight, so if you live in a region with clear skies, this should be quite important. On the software front, Samsung has improved the “Edge” features that it first debuted with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge in 2014. However, in terms of functionality, the Edge features on the Galaxy S7 Edge are an evolution of what was offered with the Galaxy S6 Edge last year. A new feature that the company has introduced this year is “Always-on Display”. The feature keeps a part of the screen on all the time, showing you the time, missed notifications, and the remaining battery percentage. So if you check for the time regularly on your smartphone or check for any missed calls or messages on a regular basis, you will not have to turn on the display if you have feature enabled. To make sure there is no screen burn-in, the display area used is changed in regular intervals. And to save battery life, the feature is disabled when your smartphone is inside your pocket.
The Google Pixel XL features a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 Quad HD resolution AMOLED display, with a pixel density of 534 pixels per inch. Not only is the size and resolution identical to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, it even features the same 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 layer on top. In terms of key display parameters, the Google Pixel XL doesn’t disappoint at all. It is fairly bright for an AMOLED panel, hitting over 400 nits at maximum brightness, almost matching the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge display in terms of sunlight legibility. However, in terms of color accuracy, the Pixel XL display isn’t a match for the Galaxy S7 Edge. By default, colors are far from accurate, but once you enable the sRGB option under Developer Settings, it does improve significantly. Google even lets you adjust the scale of the UI with the “Display size” setting.
Overall, both the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Google Pixel XL displays are fantastic for media consumption and pretty much anything else you can use them for. However, thanks to slightly higher peak brightness under Auto mode and better color accuracy, the Galaxy S7 Edge display emerges as the winner of this round.
Now let’s take a look at the connectivity specifications and find out if the newer Google Pixel XL has an advantage over the Galaxy S7 Edge in connectivity department.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, ANT+, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Micro USB 2.0, and LTE Cat.9 network support with maximum download speeds of up to 450 Mbps. Google’s Pixel XL on the other hand supports WI-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, USB Type-C port, and 4G LTE Cat.12 network support with maximum supported download speeds of up to 600 Mbps.
The newer Google Pixel XL does have a slight edge over the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with faster LTE network support and a USB Type-C port. That means the connectivity round goes to the Google Pixel XL.
The Google Pixel XL and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge both feature a 5.5-inch sized display. But which one of the two is more compact?
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge measures 150.9mm tall, 72.6mm wide and 7.7mm thin. In terms of weight, the flagship Samsung smartphone weighs in at 157 grams. Google Pixel XL on the other hand measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 168 grams.
As you can tell from the numbers above, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has the higher screen-to-body ratio of the two handsets. It also happens to be lighter, although the difference is marginal at best. Still, that makes the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge the winner of the dimensions round.
Unlike 2015, most of the flagship smartphones released this year are a significant improvement over their predecessors in terms of battery life. Let us find out which of these two smartphones has the edge in the battery life department.
Last year, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge was a disappointment in the battery life department thanks to a relatively small 2600mAh capacity battery inside. The Galaxy S7 Edge however, is a big improvement over the S6 Edge with a 3600mAh battery inside. That’s an increase of 1000mAh over its predecessor. Thanks to the much larger battery, the Galaxy S7 Edge offers impressive battery stamina, making it one of the best flagship smartphones on the market in terms of battery life. Along with great battery stamina, the S7 Edge offers the convenience of fast charging as well as wireless charging. There is even support for wireless fast charging, so you will not have to sacrifice on speed when using the wireless charger.
The Google Pixel XL packs a 3,450mAh capacity battery inside its metal and glass shell. While on paper that is only 150mAh smaller than the Galaxy S7 Edge’s battery, real world results are slightly more complicated. While the Google Pixel XL fares well when it comes to talk time, it doesn’t impress when it comes to web browsing time and video playback time. This is probably due to the difference in optimization. Samsung usually gets battery optimization right on most of its devices. While battery stamina isn’t as impressive, the Pixel XL does support fast charging via the USB Type-C port. Google claims users can get up to 7 hours of usage from only 15 minutes of charging, which is quite impressive. However, since the smartphone is made of metal, it does not offer wireless charging support.
Quite clearly, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has the edge in the battery life department with its larger battery, longer battery life, and support for fast wireless charging. So the battery life round goes to Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.
Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel XL both aren’t the most impressive flagships around when it comes to memory, despite being two of the more expensive Android flagship smartphones on the market right now.
With the Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung reduced the storage variants to two from three last year. While the Galaxy S6 Edge came in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes only in a 32GB variant in most markets and a 64GB variant in select markets. However, on the plus side, Samsung has included a microSD card slot for expansion, so most buyers shouldn’t have any issues with the lack of a 128GB storage variant. Samsung is still using the ultra-fast UFS 2.0 internal storage inside the Galaxy S7 Edge, delivering transfer speeds well above what most eMMC 5.0 modules can achieve. UFS 2.0 storage is now a lot more popular than it was last year, and is no more exclusive to flagship Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Samsung has been shipping UFS 2.0 chips to a number of other Android OEMs since the beginning of this year. When it comes to RAM, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which may not sound very impressive anymore, but is still quite adequate for a flagship smartphone. Samsung has worked on improving the memory management as well, so multitasking performance on the Galaxy S7 Edge is nowhere as bad as on 2015 flagship Galaxy smartphones. That said, it is still not ideal and most rivals do have an edge when it comes to multitasking.
The Google Pixel XL comes in two storage variants as well – 32GB and 128GB. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the Pixel XL too uses the new UFS 2.0 storage standard, which helps in reducing game load times as well as general day-to-day usage. However, like Nexus smartphones from Google, the Pixel XL does not come with a microSD card slot for expansion. So if you get the 32GB model, you will have to live with 32GB of onboard storage. Of course, you do get free unlimited cloud storage from Google, so you can store all your full-resolution camera backups in the cloud. The Pixel XL is identical to the Galaxy S7 Edge when it comes to RAM, featuring 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. This is slightly disappointing as the Pixel XL is a newer device and a number of recent flagship smartphones come with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM instead of 4GB.
The two smartphones appear to be evenly matched in the memory department, but the Galaxy S7 Edge manages to win this round as it comes with a microSD card slot for further expansion.
As more people start to bid farewell to their compact digital cameras, camera performance is fast becoming one of the most important areas of importance to consumers when buying a new flagship smartphone.
Samsung has always equipped its flagship smartphones with excellent cameras and the Galaxy S7 Edge is no exception. The Galaxy S7 Edge features a 12MP rear camera with large 1.4 micron pixel size and a bright f/1.7 aperture lens. In addition to boasting of a large pixel and sensor size, the Galaxy S7 primary camera also integrates Dual Pixel technology which allows the sensor to focus faster than most other smartphone cameras on the market today. Instead of packing a single photodiode in every pixel, the Galaxy S7 Edge sensor includes two, which is what helps the sensor to be blazing fast when it comes to focus speeds. The tech is considered to be a step-up from the phase detection autofocus technology used by most smartphone makers on their mid-range and flagship smartphones. Samsung has retained most of the other key technologies from its last year’s lineup, such as Smart OIS (optical image stabilization). The rear camera also comes with a single-LED flash, Auto HDR, support for 4K video recording, a powerful single-LED flash, panorama shots, face detection, Motion Panorama, Motion Photo, Hyperlapse, and more. On the software side of things, the camera app comes with PRO mode that lets more advanced users take control over the exposure, ISO, white balance, shutter speed, and more. You can choose to capture photos in RAW as well. The selfie camera on the S7 Edge is a 5MP unit which has been paired with an f/1.7 aperture lens for great performance even under low-light. It offers several features such as Selfie Flash, Wide Selfie mode, Beauty mode, 1440p video recording, and more.
Google’s Pixel XL comes with a 12.3MP primary camera at the back, boasting of large 1.55 micron sized pixels. The sensor inside is the Sony IMX378 Exmor RS, a slightly upgraded version of the 12.3MP IMX377 sensor found inside the Google Nexus 6P and Google Nexus 5X from last year. The camera integrates phase detection autofocus as well as laser autofocus technologies to achieve fast focus speeds. The only slightly disappointing aspect of the Pixel XL rear camera is that Google has opted to use an f/2.0 aperture lens, which doesn’t sound impressive anymore. There is no optical image stabilization either, although it does come with advanced Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which uses the gyroscope to ensure steady footage. Key camera features include a dual-tone LED flash, panorama, 4K video recording, face detection, and slow-mo videos in 720p HD at up to 240fps. What is quite impressive though is the Pixel HDR+ feature that the smartphone offers. The feature comes enabled by default and lets you take HDR images with better highlights and true-to-life colors as well. Shortly after Google announced the Pixel XL, DxOMark released its review of the smartphone’s camera and claimed it to be the best smartphone camera on the market. Most reviews seem to agree as well, so if you are looking for the best camera on a smartphone, the Pixel XL it is. Even in low-light, the Google Pixel XL manages to deliver excellent results, on par or sometimes even better than the Galaxy S7 Edge. The 8MP selfie camera on the front is stunning as well. Although a fixed focus unit, it boasts of large 1.4 micron sized pixels and is paired with an f/2.4 aperture lens.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge came out on top of all of its rivals in the camera department until the middle of the year, but things have changed now. The new Google Pixel XL offers superior image quality and the HDR+ feature is highly impressive as well. A clear win for the Google Pixel XL in the camera department.
This is another round where the newer Google Pixel XL has an advantage over its older rival.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core chipset in the United States and Chinese markets, while the international variants of the smartphone are powered by the company’s in-house developed Exynos 8890 chipset. The Snapdragon 820 from Qualcomm is a quad-core chipset with two high-performance Kryo cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and two efficiency-oriented Kryo cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. Handling the graphics is the Adreno 530 GPU, which is a significant upgrade over the Adreno 430 GPU from 2015 in terms of both real-world performance as well as benchmark performance. The chipset is manufactured by Samsung on a 14nm Low Power Plus node, the same process used for the Exynos 8890. This makes the Snapdragon 820 significantly more efficient than its predecessor, although the Exynos 8890 does have an edge when it comes to efficiency. Which is why the Exynos 8890-powered variants of the Galaxy S7 Edge fare slightly better than the Snapdragon 820-powered variants when it comes to battery life. The Exynos 8890 happens to be an octa-core chipset, with Samsung’s first custom M1 cores. It features four high-performance Exynos M1 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz for performance and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz with efficiency in mind. The GPU integrated with the SoC is the ARM Mali-T880MP12 clocked at a high 650 MHz. As far as performance goes, the Exynos 8890 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chips are more or less similar to each other.
The Google Pixel XL is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, which is a slightly more powerful variant of the Snapdragon 820 chipset. While on most smartphones the Snapdragon 821 features a higher clock speed compared to the Snapdragon 820, Google has decided to keep the clocks identical to the Snapdragon. As a result, the Snapdragon 821 chipset on the Pixel XL comes with two 64-bit Kryo cores clocked at 2.15 GHz and two Kryo cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. The Snapdragon 821 features the same Adreno 530 GPU used on the Snapdragon 820, clocked at 624 MHz. As a result, the Pixel XL manages benchmark scores that are more or less identical to what Snapdragon 820-powered smartphones can manage. There is no noticeable performance boost in any benchmark, so you shouldn’t expect the Pixel XL to be a better performer just because it is powered by the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset under the hood.
Even though the Google Pixel has the advantage over the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on paper, there is no performance gain in actual day-to-day usage or even in benchmarks. That means the processor round ends up in a tie.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge features a similar design to its predecessor, with a sturdy Series 7000 aluminum metal frame in the middle and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 front and back. However, unlike the Galaxy S6 Edge, the S7 Edge features a curved back that helps in making the handset easier and more comfortable to hold in the hand. It also comes with IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, which means you can use it outside even when it rains or take it to the pool without having to worry about any kind of liquid damage. The smartphone can survive being submerged under water up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes. Samsung has also taken care of the protruding camera lens at the back, which was one design criticism that we had against the Galaxy S6 family and the Galaxy Note 5 last year. The smartphone comes in a new Black Onyx Shade, Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, White Pearl, and Silver Titanium color options. A new Glossy Black option is also rumored to become available starting next month.
The Google Pixel comes with a unique seamless glass-aluminum body with smooth surfaces and easy-to-grip curved edges. Designed by HTC, the Pixel XL is an extremely well-built premium smartphone that looks and feels every bit as expensive as it is. The overall design is very similar to the HTC One A9, the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s “Hero” phone released last year. Like the One A9, the Pixel XL too features a number of visible antenna lines as well, which may or may not be to your liking. The fingerprint scanner however, is positioned at the back of the handset and not on the front. The Google Pixel XL is available in Quite Black and Very Silver color options.
While the design is subjective, the Galaxy S7 Edge does have a slight advantage as it offer IP68 certification. It also looks more appealing in our opinion. So the design round goes to the Samsung flagship.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge currently runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system with the company’s TouchWiz UX on top. A beta Nougat program has been announced by Samsung for owners of the handset, but the official Nougat update is expected to be rolled out in January next year. The latest version of TouchWiz on the Galaxy S7 Edge isn’t as heavy as previous iterations in terms of bloatware, but Samsung still includes a wide range of apps and features from its side. Some of these include Smart Manager, S Voice, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Slide Sync, S Finder, S Health, Download Booster, Quick Connect, and more. You also get a whole suite of Edge Panels, Edge Feeds, and Edge Lighting features as well.
Google Pixel XL runs on the latest Android Nougat operating system out of the box, offering the cleanest Android experience possible. The biggest highlight on the software front is that the Pixel XL is the first phone with the Google Assistant built-in. Although it is largely based on Google Now, it does offer greater functionality and a lot more talkative. The Pixel XL supports the Google Daydream platform as well, which is unique to Android 7.0 Nougat. Until recently, the Google Pixel XL and Pixel were the only two smartphones to support Daydream. Being a Google smartphone, the Pixel XL comes with a promise of consistent software upgrades until two years from launch. Additionally, Google promises three years of security updates as well.
While Samsung’s TouchWiz may have quite a few nifty additions, there is no doubt that the Pixel XL’s stock Android 7.1 Nougat experience and the promise of fast and consistent updates do seem more attractive. The Google Pixel XL wins this round.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is widely available from all the major as well as smaller carriers in the United States. Prices for the 32GB variant of the smartphone vary from $33 monthly on a 24-month contract at Verizon to $26.50 monthly for 30 months at ATT. If you wish to purchase the smartphone outright, then you will need to shell out around $790. Prices vary slightly depending on which carrier you’re purchasing it from.
Google Pixel on the other hand is only being sold by Verizon Wireless in the United States. The carrier is selling the 32GB model for either $32.08 monthly for 24 months or $769.99 outright. If you opt for the 128GB variant, you will need to pay $36.24 each month for a period of 24 months, or pay $869.99 to purchase one outright. You can also purchase your Google Pixel XL from the Google Play Store online. The 32GB variant is being sold at $649 outright, while the 128GB variant costs $749.
Despite the fact that the Google Pixel XL is a newer device, it can be purchased for slightly lower prices than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The price round goes to the Google Pixel XL.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel are undoubtedly two of the best Android smartphones that you can purchase right now. Which is why the two smartphones were evenly matched in most categories that we compared them against each other in. The Google Pixel XL managed to emerge victorious in four categories, while the Galaxy S7 Edge turned out to be the winner in five categories. Only one category ended up in a tie.That means the winner of our Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge specs battle is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Which of these two smartphones would you pick? Leave a comment down below and let us know.