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Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro: Which flagship phone is right for you?

New phones from Google and Apple may just be their best ever. Read on to learn which one you should pick.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Pixel 8 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro
June Wan/ZDNET & Jason Hiner/ZDNET

It's rare to find someone that isn't squarely on Team Android or Team iPhone, but this year's flagship smart phones are making it tougher than ever to stay loyal to one operating system. Apple's iPhone 15 Pro is a dazzling phone that brings a lot of upgrades from its predecessor, and Google's Pixel 8 Pro promises to be the company's best phone yet with a fantastic camera. 

Also: Every product unveiled at the Made by Google event

So how do you know which one is right for you? Fortunately, there are enough differences between these two phones that choosing isn't difficult. Read on to learn whether you should pick the iPhone 15 Pro or the Google Pixel 8 Pro.


Google Pixel 8 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro


6.7 inches

6.1 inches


3,120 x 1,440 pixels, 20:9 ratio, 513 PPI

2,556 x 1,179 pixels, 461 PPI


Google Tensor G3

Apple A17 Pro 3nm

Battery4,422 mAh5,000 mAh
Camera50MP main, 64MP ultrawide, 48MP 5x telephoto 48MP main, 12 MP ultra wide, 12MP 2x Telephoto

You should buy the Google Pixel 8 Pro if...

Pixel phone
June Wan/ZDNET

1. Battery life is important

For some people who dont use their phones enough every day for it to be an issue, battery life doesn't really matter. But if battery life is important to you, the Pizel 8 Pro should be your choice. With a battery capacity of 4,950mAh compared to the iPhone's 3,274mAh, you should get a lot more use out of the Pixel until you need to charge.

2. You'll be taking a lot of pictures

If you plan on taking a lot of pictures, the Pixel 8 Pro is the clear winner here. Solely looking at megapixels, the main camera is about the same. But the Pixel's ultrawide camera has five times the megapixels of the iPhone 15 Pro and the telephoto has 4 times as many -- plus a 5x zoom compared to a 2x. Add in Google's AI editing elements and manual controls, and the choice is even more obvious. The iPhone's camera here is perfectly capable for most uses, but if you want the better camera, choose the Pixel 8 Pro.

3. Size matters

With a display of 6.7 inches, the Pixel 8 Pro is a bit larger than the iPhone 15 Pro's display of 6.1 inches. If you watch a lot of streaming content on your phone or you just find a large display appealing, the Pixel should be your choice here. And when you consider that the Pixel has more nits -- 2,400 compared to 2,000 -- the display will be brighter, too. This is especially useful outdoors in direct sunlight, so if you often use your phone outdoors, pick the Pixel 8 Pro. 

You should buy the iPhone 15 Pro if...

iPhone 15 Pro in silver
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. You need the Action Button

The action button, first introduced on the Apple Watch Ultra, isn't unique to the iPhone 15 Pro, but it is unique to Apple, and it's a big selling point. This button is fully customizable and can be set to open an app or perform a system function like turning the flashlight on or opening the camera. Essentially, whatever action you perform often, you now have a dedicated button for it. If you like having the customization of a button that can do almost anything you want it to, go with the iPhone 15 Pro.

2. You want your phone to be fast

The iPhone 15 Pro run on Apple's A17 Pro chip while the Google Pixel 8 Pro run on the Tensor 3. The A17 features a six-core CPU with a 20% improvement in performance, two performance cores, and a Neural Engine that's twice as fast as before. In short, it's an upgrade over Apple's already blazing-fast A16 chip. Google's Tensor chips have traditionally underperformed against Apple's, and this year should be no different. 

Also: New iPhone 15 models compared: iPhone 15 vs. Plus vs. Pro vs. Pro Max

The Tensor 3 isn't slow by any means and should handle multiple apps and multitasking just fine. But comparing the iPhone 15 Pro and the Google Pixel 8 Pro head-to-head, the iPhone 15 is going to be noticeably faster. The A17 is one of the fastest, most efficient chips ever produced, and it will provide an almost computer-like performance. 

3. You transfer a lot of files

The iPhone 15 Pro is the first iPhone to support USB 3.2, which provides file transfer speeds of up to 20 times faster. With the right cable (which you'll need to purchase on your own as the included cable is USB 2.0), you'll be able to transfer up to 10GB a second of data. The standard iPhone 15 transfers data at just 480 Mbps, making the Pro a pretty significant upgrade. If you transfer a lot of files to and from your phone, you'll want to look to the iPhone 15 Pro.

Alternatives to consider

View at SamsungView at Apple
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