Apple iPhone 15 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Two great smartphone cameras go head-to-head

Sep 13, 2023

  • Source: Apple

    Apple iPhone 15 Pro

    USB-C on an iPhone!?

    Doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but comes with some great improvements

    Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro is the talk of the town, with the new A17 Pro chip offering incredible power for gaming, 3D rendering, and computational photography. The new, more versatile Action Button replaces the Mute Switch from the previous model, and the frame is made out of titanium for a lighter but more durable construction. Plus, Apple finally added USB-C. 


    • Fantastic display
    • Cameras are the best Apple offers
    • Action button has tremendous versatility

    • More expensive
    • You likely won’t use some niche features

  • Render of the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel

    Source: Google

    Google Pixel 7 Pro

    Google’s best

    All of the Google perks you want

    The Pixel 7 Pro from Google provides an enhanced version of the Pixel experience, addressing the issues faced by its predecessor, 6 Pro, last year. It offers improved stability and elevates camera performance by introducing image fusion and 4K60fps video capabilities for all cameras. Additionally, it features 30W fast charging and popular Pixel functionalities, such as automatic Call screening and Pixel recorder, which make it a desirable phone upgrade.


    • Larger display
    • Useful AI-powered software features
    • Less expensive

    • Less powerful chip
    • No alert slider or Action Button

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is our current favorite Android smartphone because it just seems to do everything you need while remaining cheaper than many other Pro phones out on the market. That remains true, but the newest competitor from the other side of the software wars recently announced its latest pro phone. That’s right, the iPhone 15 Pro is finally here, and with some very notable changes, you may be wondering how it stacks up against the best Android has to offer.

Like always, comparing Apple’s iPhone and iOS to the likes of Google’s Pixel and Android is a lot like comparing apples to oranges (pun intended), but here we will highlight all the crucial details and, as much as we can, measure the devices spec-for-spec, so you can know what phone is right for you.

Price, specs & availability:

The iPhone 15 Pro was just announced and thus hasn’t been officially released yet. You can preorder the device through Apple starting September 15, 2023, but the phone’s official release won’t be until a week later on September 22, 2023. The base model, which has 128GB of internal storage, will cost you $999. That’s the same price that the previous iteration of the iPhone Pro cost when it launched. It’s worth noting that Apple announced trade-in deals directly through them, up to $650 off when you trade in an old iPhone. And, if you opt to trade in via one of the major carriers, you could get up to $1,000 off, depending on your trade-in model.

The Pixel 7 Pro will be replaced just next month, as Google is getting set to release its Pixel 8 series. The device launched a tad cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro at $899 for the base model with 128GB of internal storage. Usually, you can find a small discount on it — about $50 — but with it about to be replaced, there is potential for it to be discounted as we head into Black Friday.

Both phones have 5G compatibility and work on all the major carriers here in the U.S. Something worth noting is the iPhone 15 Pro is eSIM-only in the U.S., just like the iPhone 14 Pro last year. International versions still have physical SIM card slots, though. The Pixel 7 Pro supports eSIM, but you aren’t forced to use it here in the States.

Exact specs for the iPhone 15 Pro are a little sparse right now, as Apple doesn’t release many technical details like most Android phone companies—like their batteries’ capacity. So, while we will have to wait for the phone to launch and for someone to do a teardown of it to get everything, here is a quick look at how the iPhone 15 Pro compares to the Pixel 7 Pro based on what we do know.

  • Apple iPhone 15 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
    SoCA17 ProGoogle Tensor G2
    Display6.1-inch OLED @ 120hz with an Always-On display6.7 inches, 1440×3120 (QHD+), LTPO AMOLED, 120Hz, 1500 nits peak brightness, Gorilla Glass Victus
    Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
    Operating SystemiOS 17Android 13
    Rear cameras48MP 1.78ƒ main sensor; 12MP 2.2ƒ Ultra Wide; 12MP 2.8ƒ Telephoto50MP f/1.85 primary (82° FoV w/OIS); 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide with autofocus (125° FoV); 48MP f/3.5 5x telephoto w/OIS; LDAF, Spectral and flicker sensor; 5x optical and up to 30x Super Res Zoom
    Connectivity5G (mmWave), Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6E5G (mmWave supported in the US), Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Ultra-Wideband, Dual-band GNSS, Dual SIM (nanoSIM + eSIM)
    IP RatingIP68IP68
    PriceStarting $999$899 USD


iPhone 15 Pro lineup color

Source: Apple

Unsurprisingly, the overall design of the iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, but it has a few notable changes that are new to the iPhone product line. For starters, the new titanium frame on the outside makes the iPhone 15 Pro lighter than the previous iteration while maintaining its durability. It’s still glass on both the front (Ceramic Shield) and back, meaning it’s still prone to breaking if you’re not careful.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is also glass on both sides of the phone, held together with an aluminum frame, which is a fair bit less durable than titanium. Still, both phone comes with an IP68 rating for water and dust incursion, meaning an accidental drop into the bathtub should ruin either device.

While the Google Pixel 7 Pro is rocking the familiar volume control and power buttons on its side, this year, Apple got rid of the Mute Button and replaced it with a new Action Button. The button’s base functionality will still mute alerts; it can also be customized to do other core functions or even more complicated procedures by setting it to run your favorite Shortcuts — pretty cool.

DisplayA person is holding a Google Pixel 7 Pro, interacting with the Signal chat overview

The Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro feature some pretty great OLED panels that offer fantastic color accuracy and contrast. The Google device is noticeably larger thanks to its 6.7-inch display with a max refresh rate 120Hz. The iPhone 15 Pro rings in a bit smaller, just 6.1 inches, but still has an Always-on display with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, so both devices are great for always looking sharp whether you’re gaming or just scrolling through your favorite social media feeds.

Software and performance

Here’s where it starts to get really tricky to compare the two phones since the iOS vs. Android debate has become fully prevalent. They are two very different systems and offer their own unique twist on how to use a smartphone in 2023.

The iPhone 15 Pro will be running the latest version of iOS — iOS 17 — upon its launch. Meanwhile, the Android 14 for the Google Pixel 7 Pro appears to be a bit delayed. Of course, the Android 14 beta has been available for Pixel 7 Pro owners who are brave enough to put the beta software on their phones. Just like iOS 17, the beta has been running since mid-June.

A lot of what both the software experience offers comes down to preference. It’s no secret that Apple tends to treat iOS as a walled garden — an Apple orchard, if you will — that tends to favor first-party apps and services more than third-party solutions. As a long-time iPhone fan myself, I can say this is changing, and Apple has been doing a good job of allowing more customization options as iOS continues to mature, but it still pales in comparison to the sheer amount of options, customizations and settings you can adjust in Android. However, the simple approach allows the iPhone to be a much more streamlined approach for smartphone newcomers or the average user who doesn’t care about getting into the weeds of the Settings app.


All of this is to say that iOS 17 and Android 13 are both excellent operating systems, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find too many flaws in their central designs, especially if you don’t care to explore your phone’s every virtual nook and cranny.

On the performance side, it’s a little more one-sided in Apple’s favor. Regarding pure raw performance power, the A17 Pro will likely be much faster and more potent than the Tensor G2 powering the Pixel. While we will have to wait for the phone to be officially released to know for sure, you can look at performance scores from Geekbench for the A16 Bionic — Apple’s chip in the iPhone 14 Pro — and see that it performed much better across the board than the Tensor G2. Plus, the new A17 Pro, has significantly upgraded the GPU to have six cores this year and even can perform hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing, which for games is a huge deal. In fact, Apple announced that Resident Evil Village will come to the iPhone natively later this year, which is downright impressive.

While Google’s Tensor G2 can’t boast stats like that, in practice, the chip isn’t slow by any means. It feels snappy and responsive regardless of what you’re doing, and it is also the brains behind some of Google’s best AI-powered features, like Call Screening.


Close up of iPhone 15 Pro camera system

Source: Apple

Both Apple and Google have prided themselves on having absolutely stellar camera systems on the Pro models of their hardware each year. The Pixel 7 Pro is hands down our favorite camera phone on the Android side of things. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro had a very impressive system last year, and the iPhone 15 Pro improved on it.

First, let’s start with the specs. The Pixel 7 Pro has three cameras on its rear. A 50MP f/1.85 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, and a 48MP f/3.5 5x telephoto sensor, give you a wide variety of options and focal lengths to get the best shots. Of course, though the primary sensor is 50MP, it bins down images to only 12.5MP for a super sharp-looking image.

The iPhone 15 Pro’s rear camera system comprises a 48MP f/1.78 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide; 12MP f/2.8 3x telephoto sensor. It also bins down photos by default to 24MP shots from the main sensor, but unlike the Pixel 7 Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro allows you to shoot the full 48MP if you want.

Both camera systems are top-notch in the smartphone space, and both cameras also do a fair amount of computational photography on portraits, night photography, and a truly impressive HDR. While I don’t think you can go wrong with either option, the Pixel 7 Pro’s 5x optical zoom is much more handy than the 3x optical zoom. If you want 5x zoom on your iPhone, you’ll have to dish out the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which does come with a 5x telephoto lens.

The iPhone has long been a fantastic video camera, and the iPhone 15 Pro continues to find new ways to impress when it comes to video recording. This year, it’s introducing Spatial Video, which uses primary and ultra-wide lenses to record a 3D-esque video that can be viewed on Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset Vision Pro. Obviously, this is an incredibly niche feature that 99% of people won’t care about. Still, it proves Apple isn’t slowing down when it comes to pushing the boundaries of video recording on the iPhone.

Battery and charging

Google Pixel 7 Pro next to iPhone 14 Pro Max

USB-C is finally on the iPhone, which means for the first time, you won’t need a separate cable to charge your iPhone 15 Pro and other devices. And, the iPhone can finally take advantage of the 10gb/s data transfer speeds that come with the technology. Of course, none of this is impressive to long-time Android users. USB-C has been around forever, and it is the connector on the Pixel 7 Pro.

Apple never releases their battery capacity numbers, so we will have to wait until it’s out in the wild before we know for sure. Still, according to Apple, you should get about 20 hours of streamed video — like Netflix or YouTube — or about 75 hours of audio playback. This is the same as the iPhone 14 Pro (which had a 3,200mAh battery), which means the battery life for day-to-day use was pretty mediocre. It was good enough to get you through a day, but it isn’t a phone that will likely last you multiple days. The same can be said about the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a 5,000mAh battery but also struggles to make it through a full day with more than 20% of its battery life.

When it comes to charging, the Google Pixel 7 Pro can charge up to 23W of charging speeds when you use the Google 30W charging and can wirelessly charge with 23W on the Pixel stand. Regular Qi chargers can only give the device up to 12W of charging power. Still, it’s better than the iPhone 15 Pro, which can only be charged wirelessly with 15W of power with a MagSafe wireless charger. All other Qi chargers only give a paltry 7.5W — super slow by 2023 standards.

Which one should you buy?

A lot of the Apple vs. Android debate comes down to personal preference, and it’s no different here; however, when push comes to shove, we still think the Google Pixel 7 Pro offers a bit more bang for your buck. The camera experience is smooth, Android 13 is snappy and responsive with the Tensor G2 chip, and Google’s AI-powered software is the cherry on top. Plus, while iOS has been making a valiant effort to be less closed off in recent years, it’s still nowhere near as customizable as Android, so you’ll end up with a more tailored experience as you spend more time with it in your hands.

Render of the Pixel 7 Pro in Hazel

Source: Google

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Android’s still got it

Google’s amazing software in a very neat package

Google’s Pixel 7 Pro is our favorite Android phone, and even though it’s getting replaced soon, it still offers a ton of performance, great cameras, and fantastic software. It’s the best Android experience and at least $100 cheaper than its Apple counterpart.

There’s no question the iPhone 15 Pro is the best iteration of the iPhone. As Apple keeps pushing its camera hardware — especially the video recording capabilities to the limit — it’s creating quite a niche for itself, and it could become the undisputed king of it if left unchecked. Of course, it has all the Apple drawbacks you’d expect — like not being as customizable — but Apple also has some of the best hardware longevity in terms of new update support on the smartphone market these days.


Source: Apple

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Apple’s newest offering

A really powerful chip makes it the best iOS experience.

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro still has many of the same iOS-related drawbacks Android fans will recognize, but that doesn’t make it a bad phone. Quite the contrary, the sheer power of the A17 Pro chip and Apple’s dedication to video recording capabilities have carved out a nice little niche mark for the phone videographers of the world.