Google Pixel 5 vs iPhone 12

Whether you’re an Android or an iOS devotee, both Google and Apple released new 5G compatible phones in 2020. The two smartphone brands introduced the Pixel 5 and the iPhone 12 (plus iPhone 12 Pro, Mini, and Pro Max). So, what’s the difference between the two products, and which phone comes out on top, the Google Pixel 5 or the iPhone 12?


  • The specs:

Pixel 5 is 5.7 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches vs. iPhone 12 at 5.78 by 2.81 by 0.29 inches.

Both new smartphones have updated design aspects from their previous models. The Pixel 5 is now made with recycled aluminum, making for an eco-friendly housing. Apple rarely changes their aesthetic, but with the line of iPhone 12s they changed the look of their flagship phone. The edges of the phone — which are usually a rounded, smooth design — are now flat and square edged. This design change is also meant to improve the phone’s durability, in tandem with a new Ceramic Shield material that helps with cracking. 


  • The specs:
Pixel 5 battery boast 4,000 mAh (milliamp Hou) vs. the iPhone 12s 2,815 mAh

Both phones are made for 5G, and 5G tends to use up battery quite quickly. Because of this, both brands have come up with solutions to save battery while performing quickly. The Pixel 5 uses an Adaptive Battery that sends power to the apps you use most. They also added an Extreme Battery Saver mode that pauses activity on any apps you don’t need (which you can select in your settings). The iPhone 12 solves the battery issue with a feature called Smart Data mode. This allows the phone to switch between 5G down to 4G to preserve battery life.

Both phones include wireless charging. The iPhone 12 has a feature called ‘MagSafe’ which includes magnets in the back of the phone that center a charging puck (so that you don’t have to align it yourself). Essentially, it’s an easier way to charge your phone without fiddling around with a wire. The Pixel 5 features reverse charging, which allows you to use the phone to charge other phones or accessories by simply placing them on the phone.


  • The specs:

12.2MP wide (ƒ/1.7), 16MP ultrawide rear camera on the Pixel 5 vs. 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4) on the iPhone 12. Front camera is 8MP (ƒ/2.0) on Pixel 5 vs. 12MP (ƒ/2.2) on the iPhone 12. 

Both companies know the importance of a great phone and video camera in their smartphones. The Pixel 5 features a dual-lens camera system, while the iPhone 12 continues to improve their already stellar camera with higher aperture, low-light performance improvements, and 4K HDR video recording. The Pixel is a great camera for night shots, and has Super Resolution Zoom capabilities, making it better for shooting from far away. 

Performance and speed

  • The specs:

The Pixel 5 uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, while the iPhone 12 uses Apple’s A14 Bionic processor. 

Both of these phones were designed specifically to connect with 5G coverage. Carriers have focused on installing different bands of 5G, so some areas are covered with sub-6GHz 5G while others have shorter-range millimeter-wave 5G. Luckily both phones are prepared for this, and were formatted to perform well with the full range of 5G coverage. 

Apple’s 5-nanometer processor is the first to ever be used in a smartphone, likely making it the fastest mobile chip. The Pixel has a faster screen refresh rate (90Hz as compared to the iPhone’s 60Hz), making for a smoother scrolling experience


  • The specs:

The Pixel is $699 versus the iPhone 12, which starts at $799 on contract, or $829 unlocked. 

On the iPhone 12, increasing your storage also ups the price. You can choose to increase your storage to 128GB for a total of $879, or 256GB for $979. Another thing to note is that Apple won’t be including a charging adapter, or headphones with your smartphone purchase. The Pixel 5 has a storage capacity at 128GB; however they do not offer the option to increase storage. Some have noted that Pixel 4 performs similarly and is offered at a cheaper price point. 

Both phones are the newest, highest end smartphone from their respective brands. Each device has its advantages and disadvantages, but you’ll get a 5G compatible phone with an amazing camera, good battery life, and impressive speed regardless of which phone you choose. Depending on what’s most important to you, either phone could be a great choice.

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