iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Which Has the Best Camera, Battery and Experience?

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Which Has the Best Camera, Battery and Experience?

Earlier this week, we compared the Google Pixel 7 Pro to the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, the two top-tier phones from each handset maker. But these phones aren’t cheap, and they’re packed with a lot of features many of us won’t even use. So, we thought we’d put the cheaper models through the same dual: we present, the Apple iPhone 14 vs the Google Pixel 7.

Apple dropped the iPhone 14 in September and Google quickly followed with the Pixel 7 just this month. While we’ve still got both review units, we thought we’d take a look at everything from battery life, to software, to camera and anything in between.

Which is better iPhone 14 or Google Pixel 7?

In our review of the iPhone 14, we highlighted a lot that for the cost, you should consider spending a little bit more on the 14 Pro. Meanwhile, in our Google Pixel 7 review, there was little we could fault, except the camera. If you’re yet to check out those reviews, the below will serve as a little TL;DR.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Price

The Google Pixel 7 comes in two different storage configs: 128GB and 256GB, while the iPhone 14 comes in those, but also 512GB option. The below is pricing as per Apple’s website and the Google Store.

  • Pixel 7 128GB: $999
  • Pixel 7 256GB: $1,129
  • iPhone 14 128GB: $1,399
  • iPhone 14 256GB: $1,579
  • iPhone 14 512GB: $1,899

As you can see, the most expensive Pixel device is $270 cheaper than the cheapest iPhone 14. Worth mentioning, however, that the 14 range also has a larger Plus device, with pricing higher still.

  • iPhone 14 Plus 128GB: $1,579
  • iPhone 14 Plus 256GB: $1,749
  • iPhone 14 Plus 512GB $2,099

I truly don’t see a need for the Plus. Get a Pro (128GB Pro costs the same as the 256GB Plus).

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: The Pixel 7 is the cheapest.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Look & feel

Both phones are distinctly products of their respective maker. I actually prefer the look and feel of the Pixel 7 to the Pixel 7 Pro. The Pro is super slippery and is too big for my hand to grip properly (especially being so slippery). While the Pro has more premium-looking features, the 7, particularly the white, looks better. It’s still glossy, it’s just paired back more, and the matte camera bar is gorgeous. It also sits flush on the table, unlike the iPhone 14. But, the reservoir around the iPhone’s camera array prevents it from getting scratched, something the Pixel is prone to.

The iPhone, meanwhile, is nothing really to write home about. It looks like the other iPhones that came before it. Why reinvent the wheel, hey Apple? The colours are also OK. Very shiny but at least the phone has edges so it doesn’t slip away.

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: The Pixel 7 wins, mostly because the matte camera bar is stunning.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: The guts

The iPhone 14 boasts powerful new cameras, a photonic engine, Action Mode, Apple’s A15 bionic chip, Emergency SOS via Satellite, Crash Detection, great battery life and the other standard Apple stuff. I’d go as far as saying it’s the 2021 iPhone 13 Pro with access to 2022 software. It’s fast, the screen is brilliant and audio quality is great. The Pixel 7, meanwhile, has a terrible audio quality when comparing the two, but it boasts the Google Tensor G2 chip, which is the company’s own processor that powers the brilliant software and phone smarts.

Fingerprint unlock works super quick on the Pixel, and while we’re on authentication, as for face unlock, it’s faster than the iPhone 14 and I’m yet to run into a problem.

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: It’s a tie, you can’t split top-tier hardware.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Battery

On every device we can (laptop, phone), we do the Avengers: Endgame test. That is, we stream the three-hour movie from Disney+ on the highest quality, brightness all the way up and volume at max. We see how much this drains the battery.

Starting from 100 per cent, halfway through the movie, the battery on the iPhone 14 was down to 81 per cent, while the Pixel 7 was still at 91 per cent. By the end of the three hours, the iPhone 14 was at 54 per cent and on the Pixel 7, I still had 79 per cent left. Even after doomscrolling Twitter, watching TikToks for no reason and making a few phone calls, you know, usual phone stuff, the Pixel was at 62 per cent.

The battery is great on both, but the Pixel lasted longer.

Apple reckons you’ll get up to 20 hours of video playback (up to 16 hours streamed) out of the iPhone 14 while Google expects beyond 24 hours of battery life from a full charge and up to 72 hours if you put it on Extreme Battery Saver mode.

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: The Pixel 7 wins, yet again.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: Software

Apple first announced iOS 16 back in June at its annual WWDC developer conference. Some features of the new software shipping with the iPhone 14 range include the ability to unsend or edit texts sent via iMessage, (almost) complete Lock Screen customisation, Family sharing (think parental controls), the ability to share photo galleries with family and friends and makeovers to a few existing apps/features/settings.

Meanwhile, Android 13 AND the combination of the Pixel smarts/Google assistant gives you an absolute bucketload of new features, such as the ability to unblur photos, erase stuff from pictures, translate languages right before your eyes, customise apps to your wallpaper and the list goes on. Pixel to Pixel communication is also great.

Both are distinctly Apple and Google, respectively.

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: For looks, the iPhone wins, but only because I find iOS nicer, and for smarts, Google takes the crown.

iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7: the camera

There are two cameras on the back of the iPhone 14, a main and an ultrawide. While the main remains at 12MP, it’s now paired with a faster, f/1.5 aperture, a component directly lifted from the iPhone 13 Pro. The ultrawide camera is also the same as in the 13, but it benefits from Apple’s Photonic Engine. The TL;DR? Similar hardware, better software.

Over on the Google Pixel 7, similar to the iPhone 14, the camera is mostly unchanged from its predecessor, with the 7 packing the same specs (on paper) as the Pixel 6. The 50MP rear camera is exactly the same, while the 12MP ultrawide camera is also the same. The selfie cam, however, gets a boost, from 8MP to 10.8MP. You also get Photo Unblur this year, a feature exclusive to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

Here’s how the shots stack up.

iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

The above is just a standard photo taken of a plant, inside an office on a dark and rainy day. The colour from the iPhone 14 is a lot better, more true-to-life than the Pixel 7.

apple iphone 14 vs google pixel 7
iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Yet another standard shot, and the ability to see the bridge in the distance is great on both. The colour, once again, is better in the iPhone pic.

apple iphone 14 vs google pixel 7
iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Up close and although a more deep red colouring, the Pixel 7 handles the macro-like shot a lot better.

apple iphone 14 vs google pixel 7
iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Here we have portrait mode and hands down the iPhone 14 wins. The Pixel is trying soooo hard to blur everything, over the top and its native zoom is too much, too. Thanks to my model Mateus for allowing his mug on our website.

iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Now we have night mode, and the iPhone seems to be making colours up here, BUT the detail on the tree is much more clear than on the Pixel 7 shot.

iPhone 14 (left) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

I can’t really split the difference here, the Pixel makes the road a little odd but it’s minor and I’d argue both are great.

apple iphone 14 vs google pixel 7
The actual scene (left) iPhone 14 (middle) vs Pixel 7 (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

I can’t understate how dark it was here. The software on both the iPhone and the Pixel is working super hard to give us some light. The iPhone is very orange, but they’re both fine.

One feature the Pixel has that the iPhone doesn’t is a post-production tool known as Magic Eraser. It allows you to take a shot and remove something from it. The iPhone doesn’t have it, so below you’ll find the iPhone photo, then me manually removing it using the iPhone’s ‘Markup’ feature.

Original iPhone 14 photo (left) and altered using Apple’s ‘markup’ feature (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

And here’s how it looks with Magic Eraser on the Pixel.

The original Pixel 7 photo (left) and altered using ‘Magic Eraser’ (right). Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Another feature the Pixel has that the iPhone doesn’t is Photo Unblur, allowing you to fix a blurry shot, no matter which device it was originally taken with. I don’t have a blurry photo to test this on, but here’s how Google’s examples look.

Apple iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7: The shots from the iPhone are just better, but the post-production smarts on the Pixel are great. Despite this, the iPhone wins.

The verdict

I’ve run into the same problem with the iPhone 14 vs Pixel 7 that I did with the iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Pixel 7 Pro – I can’t possibly tell you which one to get, as both are great phones. If price is your main criterion, the Pixel 7 wins. If the camera is more important, I’d suggest you take a look at the iPhone 14 and Pixel 7’s Pro sibling instead.

If you use a lot of Google apps and you’ve previously used Android phones, get the Pixel 7. If you use Apple AirPods/MacBook, get the iPhone 14. It’s really going to come down to if you want an Apple or Google experience.

Where to buy the Apple iPhone 14

We’ve rounded up all of the iPhone 14 plans available through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, but below you’ll find the cheapest 24-month plans.

Cheapest 24-month iPhone 14 (128GB) plans:

Where to buy the Google Pixel 7

Here’s a complete list of all the cheapest Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro plans, but below you’ll find the cheapest 24-month plans for the 128GB model.

Cheapest 24-month Pixel 7 Pro (128GB) plans:

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