Google Pixel 4 XL vs iPhone 11 Pro Max specs and features preview, clash of the squares

Google Pixel 4 XL vs iPhone 11 Pro Max specs and features preview, clash of the squares
Apple just announced the 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. While the phones stay with largely the same outer appearance as the current XS, Max and XR, the biggest upgrade (and design difference) is in the camera area on the back.

The iPhone 11 - the XR's heir - gained an extra wide camera, and ditto for the Pro and Max. Apple is not the only one stepping up its camera game this fall season, though. Google is expected to issue a direct answer with the Pixel 4 which will have a non-single sensor kit on the back for the first time, adding a telephoto lens to the main one it has had since the inception of the line.

This is why we are pitting these two mobile photography juggernauts against each other in a specs and features comparison to help you choose whether to jump in or wait for the first camera comparisons to trickle down.

Google Pixel 4 XL vs iPhone 11 Pro Max design and specs

Hey, 5.7" 1080p display with big bezels, meet the 5.8" iPhone Pro with wide notch

While from the rear the two phones may look identical, with big square camera "islands" at the top left corner, housing the dual (in the case of Pixel 4) or triple camera kits, the fronts are rather different and not because of the screen sizes. The Pixel 4 is landing with a 5.7" 1080p screen, whereas the iPhone Pro will retain its 5.8" OLED one, not much of a difference here. The XL and Max versions are said to sport 6.2" Quad HD and the same 6.5" screen than we have now on the iPhone. Again, the display diagonals may differ slightly, but the fronts are rather characteristic for each company and therefore quite different.

There is a reason why Google is going with a giant top bezel on the Pixel 4, in times where the Note 10 will be the most compact large-screen phone in our database precisely on account of the shaved-off strip there. No, that reason is not a 3D face-scanning kit, although there will be one, and Google is collecting faces to perfect it at $5 a pop.

Looking at the leaked renders and screen protectors, there was a mysterious and quite large cutout on the right of the Face ID-style module. The best guess was that Google will use it to revolutionize its Pixel phones' interface navigation by introducing the gesture recognition platform it has only had in prototype form so far, and Google just confirmed it will indeed employ it with the official name Motion Sense.

Google's successful miniaturization of the technology fits in a Soli chip that is small as a pinky nail, yet can detect the minutest of motions. It works on the same principle as the big flight radars that detect airplane movements in the sky. Unfortunately, this was precisely why the FCC didn't let the Soli chip fly until December 31 2018, when it granted Google a waiver from some of its requirements for radars in the commercial 57-64 GHz frequency band.

Besides the camera prowess, Motion Sense will be Google's "shtick" with the new Pixels, pushing a new navigation paradigm that may or may not catch up, depending on the execution and the uptake. 

The other design difference besides the top bezel are and new iPhone 11 and Pixel 4 housing colors - the orange of the Pixel versus the purple of the iPhone 11, for instance. 

Google is busy moving the Pixel production from China to Vietnam to escape the US trade war restrictions, so now is not the time to introduce more complex design or extra housing colors that will present logistical challenges.

As for the specs, we are expecting Snapdragon 855 coupled with 6GB RAM on the Pixel, and an Apple A13 processor with the second-gen 7nm process that will most likely run circles around the Snapdragon in terms of performance. Both chipsets are be more than enough to run the light and efficient stock Android or iOS platforms, and that's what matters day to day. 

Pixel 4 XL vs iPhone 11 Pro Max camera options

While we have heard a lot about the iPhone 11 Pro's triple camera in terms of sensor resolution and lenses, the Pixel 4 camera specs situation is a bit murkier. Rumors are that it will sport the same 12MP sensor resolution for the main camera as now, but that will be aided by a 16MP sensor with telephoto lens that will offer up to 3x "optical" zoom, as well as a time-of-flight depth sensing sensor for better portraits. 

Apple, on the other hand, added a 12MP sensor for wide-angle shots, and those will be automatically corrected for the wrong perspective and fisheye edges that typically occur with wide angle lenses. Apple has one more trick up its iPhone 11 camera sleeve called Deep Fusion, merging a few photos pre- and post-shot to get the best one in a second.

As for Google, we know that the Pixel 4's camera will be fantastic, as the search company's computational photography algorithms are second to none, and we can only imagine what the camera will be able to do now that it has added hardware features. So far, Google has just enigmatically teased that:

Pixel 4 XL vs iPhone 11 Pro Max prices and release date

Google ditched the "at cost" business model ever since it switched from the Nexus to Pixel line of phones. It acquired HTC's handset-making division, started using flagship-grade processors and design materials (not flagship design, though, but this year at least it has a reason to go full bezel on us), and commenced charging premium prices. Still, Apple is Apple, so we are expecting the smaller Pixel 4 to cost about two Benjamins less than the basic iPhone Pro with 5.8" display. What do you think?

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh
iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 12 MP front
  • Processor Apple A13 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2650 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3969 mAh



1. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

What's up with the table of camera specs? Neither phone is released so how come you fill one part with everything imaginable and leave a vague one on the other?

2. TBomb

Posts: 1668; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I was thinking the same thing lol It probably depends on who filled out what phone in their database. Someone may have just gone and updated the iPhone but not the P4 yet. However, looking at the prices, even if that table is correct, weeeewwwww that's a no brainer. $200 cheaper for each comparable model :O

3. DolmioMan

Posts: 346; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

How people prefer the caveman forehead of the pixel to the monobrow iPhone I’ll never know. You get more screen real estate than the pixel.

6. OneLove123

Posts: 1262; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Good for you that you prefer big wide notches. Have fun watching YouTube with that big of a cut out.

7. Vancetastic

Posts: 1770; Member since: May 17, 2017

Everyone is different, that's how. I'll never know how anyone could prefer the notch or a hole in the screen.

13. cosmo100292

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 01, 2019

Those corners do nothing and are a waste of screen but good attempt

4. sebstin

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 03, 2015

Why so many big phones?.. why cant they release ONE small factor phone?. 5-5.5" with size 140mm X 70mm size..

5. treksf6

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 30, 2019

Here we go again. A reviewer crying about some bezel. I'll take the bezel over cutting a notch in the screen any day. That notch is obnoxious looking. Also the amount of bezel on this pixel 4 is a nice compromise between functionality and aesthetics. Much easier to handle and pass back and forth than an edge to edge screen such at the Galaxies for instance. Also more durable. I'm all in on this Pixel 4. I've been watching the Pixels since the first one and finally they are coming out with one that I am interested in.

8. Georgio

Posts: 296; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

So the pixel has a really huge fringe ; that's not obnoxious to u? hahahaha go check your eyes my friend. The iphone has no bezel ; except the notch ; which has so many sensors. The pixel 4 still has really big bezels.

12. Vancetastic

Posts: 1770; Member since: May 17, 2017

The Pixel looks miles better. That notch on the iPhone is an abomination. I like some bezel, too. Gives me a place to rest fingers, and not have so many accidental touches.

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

It seems that both phones Camera square is taken straight from Huawei's Mate 20 pro. And they stick it with a glue on the back of iphone and google pixel.

14. CellieCell

Posts: 155; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

"As for the specs, we are expecting Snapdragon 855 coupled with 6GB RAM on the Pixel, and an Apple A13 processor with the second-gen 7nm process that will most likely run circles around the Snapdragon in terms of performance." I don't suppose you know the winning lottery numbers do you? - Daniel Petrov

15. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

That iPhone spectral thing sounds like an easy way to make deepfakes.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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