Google’s Pixel 2 lineup from last year turned out to be the best camera smartphone and continues to be the leading option for smartphone photography, trumping the likes of iPhone XS and Galaxy S9+. This is the sole reason we were super excited to test out the Google Pixel 3 XL.
We’ve been testing out the Pixel 3 XL for the past week and I’m not mincing words here when I say Google has surpassed our expectations. While you can check our Pixel 3 XL review to know everything about the phone in general (hint: it’s bloody brilliant), we also decided to pit the dual rear cameras on the iPhone XS against the single camera on the Google Pixel 3 XL. Here are our results:
Pixel 3 XL vs iPhone XS Max: Camera Comparison
Before we jump in and take a look at comparison shots, let’s talk about the hardware. The Pixel 3 XL packs just a single 12.2MP (f/1.8) camera lens on the rear, with OIS and dual-pixel PDAF, whereas iPhone XS (as well as iPhone XS Max) sports a dual rear-camera setup. It has a 12MP (f/1.8) primary lens and a 12MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens, both with OIS and PDAF.
Now, here are the camera samples from both phones:
In broad daylight, Pixel 3 XL and iPhone XS Max both capture some great and crisp shots. The former packs more detail and has better color accuracy whereas the latter, as you can see below, seems to capture more light and punch up the color at times – making the shot look a bit saturated.
While there are a few shots where the iPhone XS Max catches the eye and has better overall quality, I’d have to pick the Pixel 3 XL for its natural hues and warmer tone, which seems to be better than the sometimes cold looking iPhone shots.
The photos captured using the Pixel 3 XL and iPhone XS Max are quite comparable under low-light conditions and I found no reasons to complain in both.
The Pixel 3 XL manages to capture enough and continues to maintain a more natural tone, which is something Pixel has come to be known for. The night time photos from the iPhone XS Max also looked good and the clarity is, at times, better than the Pixel 3 XL.
Right out the gate, let me say that the Pixel 3 XL is the master of portrait shots. The iPhone XS Max had recently been embroiled in the BeautyGate controversy whereas Pixel 3 XL doesn’t seem to be doing any form of softening or retouching.
And here are some more selfies from including a wide-angle selfie:
The dual front cameras on the Pixel 3 XL include a number of new features too and it’s without a doubt the better among the two flagships here.
Pixel 3 XL vs iPhone XS Max: Camera Comparison Result
Ultimately, you can obviously see that Google has still managed to do wonders with its single rear camera, coupled with its computational photography algorithms. It has overcome the hardware prowess of the Apple iPhone XS Max and emerged on top yet again. It’s a seriously good camera and your will see more in our full camera review of the Pixel 3 XL, which is coming soon.
What do you think of the shots from the Pixel 3 XL? Like them? Love them? Let us know right below in the comments.