After the iPhone 7 Plus, the second direct competitor of the new Google Pixel XL is definitely the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Leaving aside the battery explosions (and ceteris paribus), it is one of the most efficient devices on the market and has in common with the new smartphone from the US giant that share the same operating system, Android. In the following article we will compare the Pixel XL with the Galaxy Note 7, with the intention of evaluating the differences and similarities between the two high-end Android phablets.

Features Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Specs Google Pixel XL Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Dimensions 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight 168 g 169 g
Display 5.5 inches 5.7 inches
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels (~534 ppi pixel density) 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)
Cameras Front: 12.3 megapixels, f/2.0; Back: 8 megapixels, f/2.4 Front: 12 megapixels, f/1.7; Back: 5 megapixels, f/1.7
Software Android 7.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 Exynos 8890 Octa
CPU Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo) Octa-core (4x2.3 GHz Mongoose & 4x1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Adreno 530 Mali-T880 MP12
RAM/ROM 4 GB/32 GB-128 GB (non-expandable) 4 GB/32-64 GB (expandable up to 256 GB)
Battery 3450 mAh 3500 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be available for purchase, perhaps in late October, at a price of 879 € for the basic 32 GB model in the colors Blue Coral, Silver Titanium and Black Onyx. The Google Pixel XL will not be sold until the end of this year, with prices of 899 € for the 32 GB model and 1009 € for the 128 GB version. The colors available for the Pixel are Very Silver, Quite Black and limited edition Really Blue.


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One of the preferred aspects by users with each new smartphone from Samsung is certainly its design. The Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Note 7 are devices that are built with quality materials and curved edges where the glass coated with metal finish makes them the most attractive terminals that the company has never done since its inception. Samsung has also added significant enhancements to its ergonomic device, which make it more comfortable to use.

Although it has been repeatedly compared with the iPhone 7, the new Google Pixel XL is much like the HTC One A9, although the reminiscences are left only in the design. The most striking features of Pixel XL, in aesthetic terms, are its beveled edges and a rear alternating metal in two tones with a glass cover, a function that assigns a certain elegance, able to compete with the style of Note 7 although this will always depend on the tastes of each.

In terms of functionality, a substantial difference between the two devices is the position of the fingerprint scanner, which resides in the Pixel XL on the rear deck. Instead, as in the iPhone, the fingerprint sensor is inside the start button on the Note 7. Both devices use as a system of physical connection USB type C port, located on the lower profile of each phone. The Galaxy Note 7 has an iris scanner, which provides an even safer system to unlock the device.


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As for the screen, both Android phablets are indeed very similar. Both Pixel XL as the Galaxy Note 7 have an AMOLED technology which is equivalent to a livelier color and better energy efficiency than can be achieved with a LCD screen. One has a bigger screen than the other, but the difference is not so important, given the size of the two screens. Google's smartphone has a 5.5-inch screen, while Samsung device has a larger screen of 5.7 inches.

The two devices have the same QuadHD resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, which translates to a small advantage in the resolution for the Pixel XL, being slightly smaller in size. In fact, while the Galaxy Note 7 has a density of 518 ppi, the Pixel XL has a pixel density of 534 ppi. Although on paper the Pixel XL is better than the Note 7 in practice it is very difficult to see a clear difference. The only way to highlight a difference would be after use of the device and with virtual reality viewers.


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Samsung has managed to produce the best camera ever made for a smartphone. Also available on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the 12 megapixel camera features optical image stabilization (OIS) and a focal aperture of f/1.7 that changes quite the way photographs are taken with a phone. Photos taken, taking into account the results in the previous smartphones from Samsung, are rich in detail while colors, while seem vibrant, are still very natural. We also found support for 4K video recording at 1080p and allows using HDR function.

The Pixel XL comes with the aim to unseat the smartphone throne taken for Samsung and offers a 12.3 megapixel rear camera with a focal aperture f/2.0, which could ensure that the Note 7 keeps the title of best camera under low light conditions. Still, Google device also supports 4K video at 30 fps.

It will be interesting to see if the Mountain View giant will be able to beat the South Korean company in the segment of the cameras, but have to wait for a direct comparison between the two devices. As for selfies, on paper the Pixel XL offers an 8 megapixel front camera, well above the 5 megapixel provided by the Galaxy Note 7.


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Thus we come to the most interesting part of this preliminary analysis between the two phablets with Android, the operating system that gives life to both devices. But while the Galaxy Note 7 comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on board (but with almost total certainty will be updated to Android Nougat), the Pixel XL already has the latest version of its operating system, Android 7.0 Nougat, and will be updated soon to Android 7.1 Nougat. This temporal differentiation is necessary since Android Nougat is the only operating system that supports Daydream VR, the new virtual platform by Google.

This difference will only last a short time, until Android Nougat would be the new version also on the Galaxy Note 7. But until then, the advantage of a Pixel XL will be able to test the new features of Android, before others do. However, it is worth noting that the two phablets differ significantly due to the customization of operating systems. While the Pixel XL offers a pure version of Android, Samsung has created a variant of the more personalized and functional operating system for its devices (including own support for virtual reality).


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Both the Galaxy Note 7 as the Pixel XL are two of the best phones available in the market, mainly by being equipped with features and high-end specifications. Since there are not yet official tests conducted by benchmarks on Pixel XL it is difficult to determine the actual performance of this device, but we can limit ourselves to quote the device data sheet.

Under the cover glass and metal, the Pixel XL has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, the next-generation chipset provides a boost 10% higher performance than the previous version. This means that the Pixel XL will be able to make great use of Daydream VR.

Samsung has once again implemented the Exynos 8890 chipset for the Galaxy Note 7. It is a very powerful processor that has achieved some impressive results in benchmarks, which provides a seamless user experience without problems. However, on paper this processor is not as powerful as a Snapdragon 821, and in this section, Google could have a real advantage. Of course, it is not due to processing power. In fact, the inclusion of a RAM of 4 GB on both devices ensures fast performance for both.

As the storage capacity, the Pixel XL is available in variants 32 GB or 128 GB. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 7 offers a 64 GB plus 32 GB and 128 GB. In addition, the Samsung phablet also offers a microSD slot, not found in the Pixel XL. Google smartphone also lacks the ability to interact with its own electronic pen, while Samsung has implemented, again, the S Pen.

Battery Life

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With a slightly larger screen, the Galaxy Note 7 should benefit from a battery with more energy, but it is not the case. The Samsung phablet includes, in fact, a lithium-ion 3500 mAh non-removable battery, which, though bigger, is not a radical difference on the 3450 mAh battery seen on the Pixel XL.

Tests conducted to date, ensure that the battery life of Note 7 is more than correct, allowing you to reach the end of a day of normal use with a remaining charge of 25%. It remains to be seen whether the Pixel XL will be able to deliver similar performance, especially after the addition of the new advanced power saving features built into Android Nougat.

Finally, confirm that the charging system is the same for both devices, with the only difference in favor of the Galaxy Note 7 that the Korean smartphone can recharge the device wirelessly through the function of wireless charging, not available on the Pixel XL.

Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy Note 7