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iPhone XS vs. Pixel 2 Camera Comparison: Apple and Google Do Battle

by Brandon Russell | September 29, 2018September 29, 2018 11:30 am PST

In our last camera comparison, we put the iPhone XS against last year’s iPhone X. While the iPhone X held it’s own, Apple’s newest flagship very clearly produces more pleasing images, thanks in large part to Apple’s new algorithms and processing techniques. But how does the iPhone XS fare against Google Pixel 2?

We walked around the office taking pictures with each device to get an idea of how they stack up. It’s worth noting that both cameras feature a 12-megapixel sensor with 1.4μm pixels and a wide angle f/1.8 lens. The iPhone XS, however, has a second telephoto lens, which makes Apple’s device a much more flexible shooter.

Having been released nearly a year ago, Google’s flagship still holds up surprisingly well. In fact, some might argue that the Pixel 2 still takes the best pictures of any smartphone on the market, which is high praise considering the caliber of devices now available.

What makes the Pixel 2 so good is Google’s image processing and machine learning. By combining up to 10 images, the Pixel 2’s photos are beautiful without losing detail, even in low light situations. And the Pixel 2 is capable of snapping portrait shots with just one lens, relying on software to achieve a bokeh effect.

Apple’s iPhone XS does similar trickery, offering a few fun features Google’s device does not. For example, you can use the telephoto lens to get closer to your subjects, and you can also re-focus portrait images after the fact, giving users more control.

Below, you can see a gallery of photos to compare. Even though the Pixel 2 is at the end of its life cycle, it still takes excellent images. It makes us very excited for the Pixel 3.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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