Ok, so iOS isn’t relegating Pixel to the Dead Pixel Society, but even without a hint of poetic licence, the fact that iOS fans are seeing iPhone 7s being faster than Pixels could easily be seen as poetic justice.
Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are the first it has completely designed from start to finish, with HTC manufacturing the devices.
Apple takes a similar development path, as it designs iPhones and gets Foxconn to manufacture them.
This allows Google to have its most advanced version of Android (7.1) ever on its own Google-only branded devices with Google Assistant included and not limited to being run with the Google Allo messaging app as on non-Android OS 7.1 devices.
Coupled with the latest and greatest Qualcomm SnapDragon 821 processor, said to be 10% faster than the SnapDragon 820 processor in most other Android flagships out there from the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10, LG G5 and others, Pixel smartphones should be high-performance devices.
But aside from the loading of some generally light, but native Google apps, iOS loads most other apps faster than either Pixel, especially when it comes to graphically heavy games and apps.
Apple also appears to make better use of its memory management software, not needing to reload apps but keeping them in memory, something the Pixels struggle to do despite having 3GB RAM as does the iPhone 7 Plus (but not the 7).
The best way to experience this is by viewing the two videos below. Clearly most people won’t have both phones to do speedtests with, so if you’re using one phone or the other only, you won’t see the speed-up or slow-down comparisons.
Even so, iOS consistently does a faster job in most of the comparison videos I’ve seen, showing the continuing work Google needs to do to speed up the OS and the apps that run on it, not only to be a faster device for end-users and their needs, but, from Google’s point of view, a faster, better ad-serving platform for its own purposes, too.
Until then, Google must be already hard at work on the Pixel 2 range for next year, just as Apple’s work on the presumed iPhone 8 for 2017 must also be well-advanced. But if Android makers are to better challenge Apple, then winning some of these speed tests in the future is something that ARM chip designers and creators need to do a better job of achieving.
Video 1, followed by Video 2 below:
Video 2 below: