iPhone 7 vs Google Pixel: which of the two takes better selfies?

It is believed that the world's oldest selfie – a photo one takes of oneself – dates back from 1839. Preserved safely in the Library of Congress, it was captured by a man named Robert Cornelius, and according to estimates, he had to sit still for 3 to 15 minutes for the image to be exposed. Today, millions of selfies are taken on a daily basis, which is why the quality of a phone's front-facing camera is more important to the average buyer than it has ever been. 

This brings us to today's quick selfie camera shoot-out. In the left corner we have the iPhone 7, equipped with a 7MP camera – the highest resolution ever on an iPhone's front. In the right, there's the Google Pixel, packing an equally respectable 8MP selfie cam. We spent a day in the company of both and snapped a set of images for a side-by-side comparison. Let's take a look, shall we?

Note: high-resolution versions of the photos used in this comparison are available in the gallery at the end of this article.

Scene 1

Right from the start, we're treated to a pair of selfies that don't look exactly right. They're both clear and detailed, but the accuracy of their colors could be better. The Pixel delivers an image with too much magenta in it, giving Stephen a purplish look, while the iPhone's image is a bit yellowish. Overall, both images are usable, but we expected better.

Scene 2

In the second set of images, the iPhone appears to be lacking in clarity, but the phone itself isn't to blame. Let's say that our hands might have not been perfectly steady when taking this one. While the selfie out of the Pixel looks fine overall, the iPhone's is also likeable due to its greater exposure – an approach that works well in this case, as the position of the sun is behind our handsome model.  

Scene 3

Moving on, we see the color reproduction trend continuing. The Pixel's selfie has a slight purplish tone to it, while the iPhone is giving its image a warm, yellowish look. Another thing worth mentioning is that the iPhone has a narrower field of view. This makes it ideal for self-portraits where the focus is put on one person or on the few people in it. The Google Pixel's wider viewing angles would allow it to easily fit more people into the frame, or the extra space could be used to add context to the image. We're okay with both solutions, as they both have their pros and cons, depending on the scenario.

Scene 4

This pair of images was taken indoors, and as it is clear to see, light wasn't abundant. We have to give this round to the iPhone as it has managed to deliver a clearer, brighter selfie. Of course, the one from the Pixel is also usable, but a bit more clarity would have been welcome.

Scene 5

This time around, the Pixel delivers slightly better results with a selfie that is clearer and more detailed. Meanwhile, the iPhone sticks to a slightly warmer color tone, as it did in its previous images. 

Scene 6

And lastly, here's a pair of selfies that we took at night. While it's hard to pick a favorite, we can easily call both images pretty decent. The one from the iPhone is a bit more lively and with more accurate skin tones, hence it has a greater potential to get more likes on social media.


While the iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel are two of the best phones one can get right now, taking selfies is clearly not their main selling point. Both deliver usable results of so-so quality – worthy of being posted on Facebook or Twitter, but not quite good enough to hang on a wall. 

The main issue with the two selfie snappers appears to be color reproduction. Yeah, we know that's not always easy to get right, but given the phones' high price point, one would expect to see better results. 

Still, we can't call any of the two phones bad either. They're okay when it comes to taking selfies, and frankly, we doubt that any of their competitors would be significantly ahead of them. This means that while the selfies out of the iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel aren't stellar, we'd still rank them among the better phones in that respect.

What's your opinion on the matter, and which phone's selfies do you like better? Let us know in the comments below!

Related phones

  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2770 mAh(26h talk time)
iPhone 7
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1960 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



1. ebilcake

Posts: 1231; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

iPhone still making people look yellow I see.

12. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Heck, when the iPhone won in Scene 4, Nick outright said "we have to give this round to the iPhone". But, when the Pixel won in Scene 5, Nick said "This time around, the Pixel delivers slightly better results". Why slightly better? The iPhone was alo slightly better in Scene 4, yet Nick didn't say so, but he outright gave the round to the iPhone. He should have as well outright given Scene 5 to the Pixel. This sounds to me like it isn't just a mere play of words, but precisely chosen to make the iPhone's victory margin appear bigger when the iPhone wins, and to make the Pixel's victory margin appear smaller, when the Pixel wins... I don't dig this sort of play of words, as it makes people suspicious.

22. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Dude, they did the same BS with the iPhoen 7 review. They are doing ti on purpose, it is a play on worrd, and all the fanboy writers here do it. Its just getting to be to much for me. That and these intrusive ads that keep appearing that take up the full page, even time you post and the page reloads. PA is a junk site. The only people who are going to stay here, are the diehard losers. I was frequenting AA more, but their comment section causes every browser I use on it, even mobile ones to stall and lock up. I think both sites are ran by the same monster! Its getting to the point all these tech sites such! You tube is now the best place to get tech reviews on stuff that matters.

27. phonearenarocks

Posts: 607; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Phonearena has always been like this, I'll someday deactivate my profile and have to keep a new username. BTW, to which phone shall we give the Selfie Crown?

29. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Beside scene 4 wich i suspect he moved when taking the picture with pixel (its never take such blurry selfie in any review or comparison online) the Pixel is clearly superior all around. but hey its iphonearena :)

19. AlikMalix unregistered

And the alternative looks blue.

30. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

With better resolution more detail and overall everything better. They both failed to an extend with colors reproduction but otherwise pixel is clearly superior. Other review proven it.

42. alex150

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

Are you crazy or what..the iPhone is clearly superior..

43. tedkord

Posts: 17481; Member since: Jun 17, 2009


2. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Overall it's mixed between the two, no argument there. But for Scene #2 you said Iphone wasn't' that bad???????? What? It wasn't even close between the two! (You say it's possible it was shaky, then why not retake a pic if that's the case?)

6. MrAnonymous

Posts: 95; Member since: May 25, 2014

I was about to ask the exact same question!!! Well if the image came out shakey, you couldve simply taken another one

23. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

If he was a smart reviewer, he would have just placed both phones on a stick and took photos.

45. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Hehe, would've never happened with the HTC 10 having OIS on the front cam!

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

scene 4 the pixel look like its was also shaky because its never take blurry selfie NEVER.

3. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

wow, seriously that is the praised selfie camera that the iphone 7 has? colours are all over the place, for all the praise said phones get this kind of thing is shocking.

9. Unordinary unregistered

At least I can see the subject in half the shots

34. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Where phone should be in terms of distance can always be changed, quality of picture cannot :/

4. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

Both front facing cameras turned out 'meh' at best. Nothing to write home about.

17. dimas

Posts: 3422; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

But iphone's quite blurry, so it's a double meh for iphone? Either way most people won't notice it. Not everybody buy an iphone and pixel at the same time just to compare selfies.

7. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Both are not great.

16. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

Pixel has the best smartphone camera Google has ever sold, but it's not without its problems. Users have been reporting a distracting halo lens flare in photos take in bright light.http://techpathy.com/google-pixel-has-a-lens-flare-problem-software-fix-coming/ Google will issue a software update in the coming weeks that it thinks will be able to remove this halo lens flare as it processes HDR+ photos.

32. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

software fix is already out so this is old story.

8. Joms_US

Posts: 201; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

Two (well 3) words: Jaundice and Vaseline.

10. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

WOW really uncalled for.

11. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I don't think either look bad considering it's the selfie camera. From other sites that tested the front camera, it looked perfectly fine. This is a front camera folks. I want to know what this guy is comparing the camera's to? Also, people need to understand that these photos in the real world will never be side by side with other camera pics. You will never really be able to tell the difference otherwise.

24. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

No. They don't look bad, they both look terrible. The iPhone makes him look pale, and the Pixel makes him look like he is wearing peach colored makeup. Both terribly unnatural. The iPhone shots are a bit more blurry and the Pixel shots are a bit sharper. The color tones on the iPhone with his blue shirt looked mor eon par, while its greenish on the Pixel. Both have bad color reproduction overall. Apple still over saturates white balance and the Pixel is taking a slightly darker picture. They both are TERRIBLE for what they cost. I rather have some other phone. Both phones are trying to over-compensate for what they don't have. Since the front facing camera is the primary for taking photos of yourself, it should be 100% as accurate asif you took it with the rear camera. The iPhoen camera makes you look big and bloated, while the Pixel took Samsung's route and is trying to offer a wider angle. I think for you, you are so use to taking a picture with a phone (iPhone) which basically has always had crappy cameras, that you actually now thing it looks good. Though we've obviously seen much better. The iPhone has always taken terrible photos, its just in the past, other phones were even worse. Now other phones are so much better. Especially when the iPhone can't even beat a 7 month old flagship.

38. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

False. iPhones have always been near the top until maybe 3 years ago. It only takes 3 words Techie. I hate iPhone.

13. bassembm

Posts: 143; Member since: Dec 27, 2015

Google Pixel any day

36. blingblingthing

Posts: 982; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

I'm surprised how crazy the Pixel's pictures are and how high the dynamic range is.. Why does this comparison seem to paint a picture that these phones are even

14. dimas

Posts: 3422; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Yellowish selfie is yellowish. I'm impressed with pixel's

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

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