Google Pixel XL
Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product Management at Google, speaks about the new Pixel phone during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, US, October 4, 2016. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

One of the reasons Apple iPhones are popular is because of their cameras. In fact, iPhones are all over Flickr, taking four of the top five most popular cameras on the image hosting site. The iPhone 7 Plus continues that tradition, and is easily the best camera phone the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has ever produced, thanks to its dual-camera setup.

The Google Pixel XL, meanwhile, isn’t named as such for nothing. It is intended to capture the hearts of photographers with how it quickly launches, shoots, enhances and saves images while remaining battery efficient. Let’s have a look at the camera specs, features and sample shots of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel XL to find out which one has the edge over the other.

The main shooter of the iPhone 7 Plus is a dual 12 MP (28 mm f/1.8 and 56 mm f/2.8) camera. It has phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom and quad-LED (dual tone) flash. The iPhone 7 Plus is able to absorb significantly more light compared to its older brother, the iPhone 6s Plus.

The iPhone 7 Plus rear camera also has optical image stabilisation (OIS), which is helpful in producing steady shots despite of wobbles and thumps. The Apple handset is capable of simultaneous 4K video and 8 MP image recording and has features that include touch focus, face/smile detection and HDR. Its selfie snapper is a 7 MP camera with a 32 mm f/2.2 aperture, capable of creating 1080p HD videos at 30 FPS and excellent 720p slow-mo videos at 240 FPS. The latest iPhone incarnate retains plenty of details in decent lighting, but some softness in corners of certain shots may be noticeable at times.

The Google Pixel XL, on the other hand, furnishes a 12.3 MP primary camera with an f/2.0 aperture. The Pixel XL doesn’t have OIS like the iPhone 7 Plus and instead uses electronic image stabilisation (EIS). The Google flagship’s rear camera also has phase detection/laser autofocus and dual-LED flash.

The iPhone 7 Plus’ wider lens allows it take in a little more light than the Pixel XL. Images shot in low lighting conditions are much better with a wider aperture. The same goes with OIS and EIS. OIS is more effective at low resolutions and in poorly lit surroundings than EIS.

Although the front-facing camera of the Google Pixel XL has a higher megapixel count than that of the iPhone 7 Plus, it isn’t necessarily better. The Pixel has an 8 MP f/2.4 secondary camera, but the Apple flagship’s 7 MP f/2.2 FaceTime camera can easily hold its own.

WATCH: iPhone 7 Plus vs Pixel XL camera and comparison | CNET


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