iPhone 12 vs Google Pixel 5: Which Phone for You?

Late last year, Apple and Google went head to head again in the battle of the tech supergiants. Apple released its iPhone 12 and Google released its Google Pixel 5, the fifth version of it’s android cell phone. The two phones couldn’t be more different from each other and each has its own pros and cons. If you’ve ever owned an iPhone then there’s not going to be too much you won’t already be familiar with from the iPhone 12 but you may be less familiar with the Google Pixel 5. In this review, we’ll take a look at each phone’s tech specs and what each of these stunning phones can offer you.


DesignDisplayCameraPerformance
iPhone 12DRAWWINNER
Google Pixel 5DRAWWINNERWINNER

Specifications

iPhone 12

  • Price: $799
  • Screen: 6.1 inches
  • Resolution: 2532 x 1170
  • CPU: A14 Bionic chip
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Main camera: 12MP
  • Size: 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches

Google Pixel 5

  • Price: $599
  • Screen: 6 inches
  • Resolution: 2340×1080
  • CPU: Snapdragon 765G
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Main camera: 12.2MP
  • Size: 5.70 x 2.77 x 0.31 inches

Design

The design of these two phones couldn’t be more different. Apple has moved into 2021 with the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. In this comparison guide, we’ll be looking at the standard iPhone 12 version out of the four which comes in at $799

The iPhone 12 has ditched the curved edges and gone with slimmer, sharper edges on its phone. It’s a familiar look but more modernized. It’s also covered in glass and aluminum which feels like quality. Like all iPhones though, it has quite a large black stripe across the top front of the phone which houses the front camera. This is compared to the Google Pixel 5 which avoids this completely by using a small punch hole in the top left-hand corner to place its front camera. It ends up looking like part of the screen and frees up more screen space.

The Google Pixel 5 also uses glass on the front with an aluminum wrap all around the phone which will be a familiar feeling for most. In terms of size, the iPhone 12 is only a fraction larger than the Google Pixel 5 when you sit them side by side. It’s worth noting though that the iPhone 12 comes in more colour varieties than the Google Pixel 5, five in fact whereas the Google Pixel 5 only offers Real Black and Sorta Sage.

Display

iPhone 12 vs Google Pixel 5

Both displays are very large with the iPhone just nudging it with its 6.1 inch screen compared to the Google Pixel 5’s 6 inches. Because of the iPhones large black border across the top of the screen, it arguably looks smaller than or at least exactly the same size as the Google Pixel 5. 

The iPhone 12 uses its OLED display screen whereas the Google Pixel sticks with the more traditional LCD screen. Both are very impressive and ultra-sharp however the Google Pixel 5 edges it in terms of refresh rates. The iPhone manages 60Hz compared to the Google Pixel’s 90Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 5’s brightness is also more impressive at over 600 nits compared with the iPhone 12’s 570. Whilst the iPhone 12 does do a better job with color accuracy, it still lags behind overall due to that impressive 90Hz with the Google Pixel 5.

Cameras

The cameras on these two phones are very similar however the Google Pixel 5 just nicks it with an extra .2 MP’s compared to the iPhone 12’s 12MP rear camera. Both will take similar quality photos but it’s worth pointing out that the Google Pixel has Night Sight features so if you’re shooting in the dark you’ll get better resolution and see more detail than the iPhone 12. The Google Pixel also displays a better and crisper photo when used in low lighting compared to the duller iPhone 12.

When it comes to taking selfies with the front-facing cameras, the iPhone 12 does a better job at showing detail in the foreground with its 12MP camera compared to the Google Pixel 5’s 8MP. The foreground often looks much more blurry than the iPhone 12 but it still does a good job of detailing the background in photos.

This makes me feel like the iPhone would suit those who take a lot of selfies and the Google Pixel would be a great option for budding photographers.

Performance

As an operating system, the iPhone 12 blows the Google Pixel 5 out of the water with its industry-leading A14 Bionic chip. The Google Pixel runs on the Snapdragon 765G which is not even the most powerful processor made by Qualcomm. This was probably the case to keep costs down but it comes at the cost of processing speed. The Google Pixel 5 can take better photos in my opinion but if you use apps for video editing then the iPhone 12 is going to run these types of applications twice and sometimes even three times the speed.

Running Geekbench 5 benchmark tests, on the iPhone you’ll see scores coming in on the multi-core result at over 4100 every time compared with the Google Pixel 5’s 1600 range. That’s more than twice the speed right there. That’s not to say that the Google Pixel 5 isn’t very powerful but if you align any current phone in this price range, the iPhone 12 is always going to win thanks to its unique processor. 

When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 12 falls short with 8.5 hours of use compared with the Google Pixel 5’s 9.5 hours of use on a full charge. This is probably due to the fact that the Pixel 5’s processor is not as demanding and so it can run for a little longer on a full charge. It’s worth pointing out that in true Apple style, you’re limited with your charging options. You can charge your iPhone 12 wirelessly but you’re going to have to buy the MagSafe wireless charger. You’ll also have to buy your own charger anyway because Apple no longer provides one with their phones.

When you compare that with the Google Pixel 5, you can charge it with just about any Android charger and you’ll still get a wired charger in the box with the phone.

iPhone 12 vs Google Pixel 5: Who wins?

iPhone 12 vs Google Pixel 5

Because Google’s Pixel phones haven’t been around for very long, it might still feel as if you’re taking a risk when you buy one, as if you’re buying into the unknown. Even if this is how you feel, there’s no denying that the Google Pixel 5 outdoes the iPhone 12 in lots of categories. If you love Apple and you buy all of their newest and greatest products then you’ll feel very at home with the iPhone 12. 

The slightly worse battery life won’t be an issue and you might even not be bothered about buying your own charger. However, the Google Pixel does everything that you want a modern phone to do and the fact that it’s an Android phone opens up a lot of different accessories that the iPhone 12 just can’t compete with. You’ll get better photos with its rear-facing camera and you’ll also have a decent enough processor for daily tasks.

The Google Pixel looks and feels like quality too. In my opinion, if you’re on the fence and 50/50 about buying one of these phones, I would advise you to go with the Google Pixel 5 because it is more versatile and cost-effective. Google came into the market at $200 dollars cheaper than the iPhone 12 but you’re still getting 5G, a great battery, lots of accessories, and a leading camera.

About John Temple

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