As always, it’s been an exciting year in the world of mobile tech, and before you know it – here we are in Techtober! Apple has released its new iPhone 14 Plus just now, following the rest of the iPhone 14 series, and like clockwork, Google recently unveiled the competition – its new Pixel 7 series.We’ll be talking about the Pro models today, namely the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro… And particularly about how each of the two giant brands marketed them. So we won’t be delving into complicated specs, just selling points, and their actual value.
Now, the way Apple tried to sell users on the new iPhone 14 Pro iPhone 14 Pro Max) was, in part, by introducing something called the “Dynamic Island.” It’s a horizontal pill-shaped cutout in their displays, which succeeds the good ol’ notch.
Those cutouts hold the phones’ Face ID sensors, and with some software trickery, they can seem like they’re alive and moving! Extra functional, even – they’re like the place where notifications and quick toggles live! Pretty cool!
However, Google’s own recently-announced Pixel 7 Pro has a different kind of pill-shaped cutout… on the back. Yes, we’re talking about the cameras.
How are those two “Dynamic Islands” related? Well, aside from their shape, they’re related in being major selling points for their respective phones.
Instead of banking on what’s essentially a redesigned notch, which now takes even more screen real estate (if we consider the new, unusable row of pixels above it) like Apple did, Google knew what matters the most for the majority of smartphone users – the camera, and privacy.
Let’s start with the first one, and talk about why Google’s “Dynamic Island” and its new phone in general are way more exciting than what Apple tried to sell as a major feature on its “Pro” iPhone. And, how the Pixel 7 Pro beats the iPhone 14 Pro not only in terms of marketing, but as a general upgrade over its predecessor…
Let’s face it – face unlocking is a thing on both phones now
Let’s take a quick look at the most important “spec” – the price. The base 128GB Google Pixel 7 Pro is $100 cheaper than the base 128GB iPhone 14 Pro, which is $999. Let’s be real though, and round things up – it’s a $1000 phone against a $900 one.Both phones have face unlock now, as Google announced that its Tensor 2 processor can, and will use “advanced machine learning models” to utilize the Pixel 7 series’ single front camera for that.
So even though we can’t expect Google’s face unlock to rival Apple’s Face ID in terms of accuracy and reliability, we do know from experience that Google is capable of making more with less, so let’s not lower our expectations too much.
Stay tuned for our Google Pixel 7 Pro review where we’ll really test it, but at least on paper – it’s official – both the iPhone 14 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro have face unlock now.
Except, the iPhone has this huge pill-shaped “Dynamic Island” taking up a good chunk of the screen, while the Pixel 7 Pro just has a small selfie camera cutout. Plus there’s a bonus on the Pixel – a fingerprint sensor! Which, of course, the iPhone lacks.
And just like that, the Pixel 7 Pro one-upped the iPhone, as it not only offers more ways for secure unlocking, but its face unlock doesn’t require a large horizontal cutout in the display, taking up valuable screen space.
But let’s “face” away from the face unlocking situation on these phones, and look at them as the annual upgrades that they are.
Was the new iPhone 14 Pro the bigger upgrade, or did the Pixel 7 Pro take the larger leap forward from its predecessor? Well, it’s like this…
The Pixel 7 Pro is what a real upgrade should look like (take notes, iPhone 14 Pro)
Like we said in our iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro comparison – the visual differences between the two are almost indexinguishable. We’re talking a slightly different size for the newer model, very slightly smaller bezels, and of course – the notch becomes a Dynamic Island (a pill-shaped cutout).
In terms of software features, always-on display coming with the 14 Pro is a big one, and as for hardware – it gets a faster A16 Bionic chip and a higher-res 48MP main camera.
Just the incremental updates we expect, with no huge surprises. Well, aside from, again, the Dynamic Island, if we want to make it as big of a deal as Apple does.
As for the Google Pixel 7 Pro vs Google Pixel 6 Pro – in the design department they’re quite similar too, but things get interesting when we look at the new features the 7 Pro got.
Yes, it has the same obligatory upgrades as any new flagship – better cameras, slightly better performance… But, we also get face unlock now, a 25% brighter screen, higher camera zoom (5x, SuperRes Zoom at up to 30x), a new Macro Focus feature, a new Photo Unblur feature.
But perhaps best of all, yet likely to be most underrated – the Pixel 7 Pro comes with a built-in VPN powered by Google One! To be fair, Apple does offer a Private Relay feature, which although not a VPN, does protect your internet privacy by masking your IP address, but it only works when browsing the web in Safari. So the rest of your internet traffic remains as unprotected as per usual.
On the flip side, Google’s free VPN that comes with the Pixel 7 series basically hides all of your online activity from prying eyes, making it harder for all apps to collect data about you, and sell it to third parties.
With all of Apple’s talk about user privacy being its main priority, this move by Google is definitely a bold way to say – “Google cares about our phone users’ privacy too, and we’re willing to prove it in a big way.”
Which brand sold you on its “Pro” phone better? Which phone would you buy and why?
So in the end, with all of that marketing about Dynamic Islands and what not, which phone are you really sold on?
Or at the very least, which phone do you believe deserves the bigger hype, and which of its features do you feel is most underrated?
In addition, do you think Apple’s marketing relies a bit too much on hype, significantly masking the true value of the iPhone features it introduces? Or do you love how exciting it is, and wish Google too tried to match it?
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