This has been a very good year for smartphones. It started off strong with the Galaxy S8 ushering the year the bezel-less display and ended on a high note with the OnePlus 5T. Two of the major flagships that received at lot of the buzz during that time were the iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL.

We already reviewed each device—you can read those here and here—but we wanted to see how they stack up head to head. Each offers a slew of high end specs and cutting edge designs, but there are a few areas that separate these flagships. Let’s talk about those features and decide which device is better.

iPhone X

  • 5.8-inch OLED display
  • A11 Bionic processor and 3GB of RAM
  • Face ID and Animoji
  • 12MP dual camera

The standout features of the iPhone X are the display and True Depth camera. Those alone are worth the price of admission for the iPhone X, which happens to be $999. Apple finally brought its flagship device up to a par with the competition in terms of display technology. We can talk about how great the display is, but words don’t do it justice. Colors pop, images are crisp and it is unequivocally the best display an iPhone has ever had. There is just one minor quirk with it that also leads to the other standout feature—the notch.

At the top of the iPhone X lives the notch, and it houses the True Depth system responsible for Face ID. This is Apple’s new biometric sensor that replaces Touch ID. It works just as wells as Touch ID, but it does have its quirks. You won’t get it to work 100-percent of the time, but Touch ID didn’t either, so it evens out thanks to its ease of use.


Pixel 2 XL

  • 6-inch P-OLED Full HD display
  • Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM
  • 12.2MP camera
  • Squeezable frame to access Google Assitant

Google’s follow-up to the under-appreciated Pixel device of last year is the Pixel 2 XL. This device also has two standout features: a fantastic camera and Google’s smarts. The Pixel 2 XL has arguably the best camera around. The 12.2MP sensor takes sharp and vivid images that offer loads of detail. But what sets the camera apart is Google’s integration of artificial intelligence.

In a bold move, Google only included one camera for the main sensor. Instead of using two sensors other smartphone makers rely on to create the Portrait Mode the iPhone helped popularize, Google does that with just one camera thanks to its intake of information. This is none more evident than with the portrait mode the front-facing camera takes. It is next-level performance that no other company has managed to match.

So which one is the better smartphone? You can’t go wrong with either one, but the iPhone X takes the crown. Not only does is stand strong on its own merits, it also outdoes the Pixel 2 XL due to its own exclusions. It just comes down to what the iPhone X does better; it has a better display, better design and a better feature set with wireless charging.

Again, if you opt to go with the Pixel 2 XL, you’ll be very happy because it is a great device. But on this particular battle, the iPhone X beats it out.

Jon did a similar comparison between the iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL in the video above. You can check that out above.