Introduction


Google's Pixel XL and Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge are the highest end 5.5-inchers with Android you can get at the moment, and, given the sizeable increase in demand for larger screens, a clash of these titans is inevitable. When comparing the S7 edge against the Pixel XL we'll give Google's phone the benefit of the doubt – after all, it is the first true foray of the company in the messy hardware business of making desirable phones, while Samsung has been at it for a good while now.

At first blush, the phones seem pretty comparable, with Quad HD panels, 12 MP cameras, 4 GB RAM and top-shelf processors, as well as similar pricing. When we factor in the design, software and performance differences, however, the picture becomes murkier, and we are here to help you clear up the pros and cons of the Pixel XL when sized up against the S7 edge.

Design

The Pixel XL's bezel largesse is no match for the elegant S7 edge curves, while turning it around reveals a schizophrenic split of premium materials.


“Hey, our $600+ flagship has to be built of premium materials, what's out there, metal and glass? Thank you, we'll take both, and try to use them in equal measure, so nobody gets offended.” That could have been the line of thinking when Google was deciding on the final design of its newly-minted Pixel line. The back of the Pixel XL is half glass, half metal, full bipolar and prone to smudges on the glass area around the finger scanner. The shiny glass back does attract a lot of fingerprints on the S7 edge too, though.

In comparison with Google's efforts, the Dual Edge panel of Samsung's beaut, with its thermoformed glass cover curves, and the reflective back in various pretty hues, look downright gorgeous, especially in the Blue Coral version. Here we have to admit that the blue Pixel XL looks intriguing, too. Samsung, however, waterproofed the phone with IP68 certification, letting you dunk it in up to five feet of water without harm inflicted. No such protection is found on the Pixel XL.


Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Dimensions

6.09 x 2.98 x 0.34 inches

154.72 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches

150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Dimensions

6.09 x 2.98 x 0.34 inches

154.72 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches

150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display



AMOLED vs AMOLED, QHD vs QHD, which one is for you? Well, despite that the two displays seem identical in terms of their 5.5” diagonal and 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution, our tests showed a difference in their performance. The imagery on the Galaxy S7 edge is closely representing the standard gamut, at least in the non-default Basic mode, while the Pixel shows a tad colder colors. The viewing angles are pretty good, though color presentation shifts way to the cold, blueish or greenish side with the slightest tilt of the handsets, which is typical of AMOLED displays.

Google's phone display is a bit dimmer, while both handsets are capable of presenting perfect blacks, increasing the overall contrast, and making for quality video playback sessions. The curved display on the S7 edge, however, takes away from the movie-gazing experience, as it distorts the picture at the upper and lower edges, while on the flat screen of the Pixel, media playback looks more natural.



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35 Comments

2. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 573; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

So despite being released half a year later and with a better cpu inside the Samsung S7 Edge is the winner. Im sure I can live without an update for a few months as long as I have my SD Card slot which is alot more important. Also its feature rich compared to google so yeah I dont mind losing half a second opening an app as long as I have more features :D

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That Samsung will slow down over time. All Samsung phones do. Plus you aren't guaranteed updates even if the phone is still capable. While the Pixel can definitely be better in looks, QC, and price, I would choose the Pixel over the S7. Now if this was the S7 vs the Nexus 6P, yeah the 6P would wipe the floor with it.

7. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 573; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Smsung give you 2 years offical big upgrades my note 4 came on4.4 i got 5.0 and 6.0 so I had my 2 years. Even though Android is a google OS they give 2 years of support too I think they should give minimum 3 years since they make Andoid like how Apple do it because its their ecosystem. I choose the S7 edge personally because of the SD Card slot, everyone in my family has a mini USB cable cant be bothered with USB Type C, its alot cheaper now i can buy a S7 edge for 350 and a pixel is over 500. Plus the fact the phone is nearly a year old and the pixel is a month old it says alot about the tech samsung put in their devices if it it still can go toe to toe with newer releases.

9. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Bulls**t, my exynos note 5 has not slowed down a bit.

41. Callisto

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

Same to mine!

16. Furbal unregistered

Looks are subjective, QC? LOL. HTC and Google have had terrible QC since the Nexus 6. Hardware S7 wins, Software (for us nerds) Pixel wins.

18. PL2006

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Terrible QC? When was the last time HTC was involved in any -gates or had to recall a device because it was a fire hazard?

21. Furbal unregistered

Lens flare on the m7, camera lens basically being plastic on the m8, loose audio jacks on the m8, screen temp differences across the board (similar to the oneplus) I love my M8 but there were plenty of issues with it. M9 overheating, touchscreen issues, gps, vibration motor breaking. Nexus 6, 6p, and 5x had plenty of issues. Congrats on beating the dead horse of the Note 7, we all know it was a failure, that doesnt excuse the lack of QC by other manufacturers

23. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Funny 30% samsung device no matter what model come back same years with various issues : overheating , screen pixel burning , camera lense shattered because of head , phone not booting anymore , freezing ect ect ect. even apple do better with 15-20% of return. all others are under 5% easy HTC been nearly at the top i can sell 50 of them and maybe 1 will come back. not a single M9 came back with overheating. Sure its was becoming quite hot but thanks to METAL build its was able to dissipate it very well ( yes the phone was very warm ) Samsung S7 overheat like crazy and you dont know it because its waterproof and made of glass so all the heat stay inside. i got the LG G5 in an otterbox defender. My friend have a S7 edge naked. We both play same game together ( world of tank blitz ) with all graphic put to max ( yes you can customise graphic quality in thats game just like on a pc ) 30 min of playing my phone still running a steady 60 fps. him after 15 min he start going under ( around 45 to 50 fps ) then after 30 min its often go under 30 fps. Pathetic piece of crap. PS: its still the best looking phone ever if we only take design into account.

27. Furbal unregistered

Where did I ever mention Samsung didnt have QC issues? They obviously do, that doesnt mean you can ignore HTC or Googles failures in the past or present

29. Tkvdogg

Posts: 19; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

My Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Has Never Slowed Down And Battery Life Is Stellar^5

20. PL2006

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Software and its continual improvement is the principal feature, the life force of all devices. You can chest thump about SD card, wireless charging, and IP68 all you want but at the end of the day you are 3 revisions behind. True flagships don't play catch-up!

3. AizenMne

Posts: 14; Member since: May 22, 2014

Lol :D check DXO Mark and see which phone has the best camera :D Over sharpened Shamesung :D blah

8. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 573; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

You mean Pixel that has 87 and the S7 edge has 86?? ! measly point LOL im sure with your expert eye you can see the difference LOL

24. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Read the review they made on DXO mark. Best smartphone camera ever tested = pixel. now go back to your cave.

4. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

Bezel xl*

11. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Those bezels are bad.

10. PL2006

Posts: 18; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

IMO, the Pixel is a clear step above the S7 Edge in camera performance. HDR+ is just too intelligent compared to the basic HDR employed in the S7. In some instances, the contest is close but particularly in low light, the Pixel separates from the S7 Edge and iPhone 7 Plus. S7 Edge produces purple fringing in low light scenes with bright isolated areas so if you are nitpicky that will be something to keep in mind. Also, the Pixel doesn't start at 64GB of storage... ... ...

12. sissy246

Posts: 7112; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

As for the photos, some of the s7 edges were better and some of the pixels were better.

25. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

When S7 beat pixel its by an hair. When pixel beat the S7 its by a mile Blind camera test proven this.

13. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Not sure where you get this horse Apple from that Samsung slows down over time. ALL phones will slow a little over time (even you precious Apple). Samsung no more than others.

14. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

no, Samsung is well known for being the worst. I think they even built in a tool in touchwiz to have it restart automatically at your chosen time. Samsung makes great phones, but the slowdown is definitely true due to their heavy skins and abundance of "features".

15. ebilcake

Posts: 1229; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Just look on gfxbench, long term performance takes into account throttling and Samsung are terrible in this regard. Great peak performance, but for sustained performance they're terrible. (although that does help with battery life I guess )

19. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I would say he's talking about the fact that the Android phone slows down when used for a period of time (with the same OS version), as opposed to an iPhone that runs almost as good as the moment it is turned on (also having the same OS version).

32. ebilcake

Posts: 1229; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Yeah, that affects all devices to some degree. Hardware doesn't last forever so things will degrade, however differences over the short term are just software related, it can get worse but it can also get better.

37. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Based on my experience, on Android phones those short term differences are going to happen often, while in iOS almost never.

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

a phone ( or any computer ) will slow down over time because of fragmentation in the memory ( can be the onboard memory or the ram ) A reboot will often make your phone feel a lots faster ( no matter the brand and os ) Android phone tend to get fragmented overtime so they all slowdown ( this is why i do a full backup of my phone every 2-3 months and then restore my backup ) I dont like apple iphone but the way the OS and file system work its never fragment itself. I am not sure if newer version of android fixed this with the new compiler..

17. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Pixel's stock software obliterates lagwiz s**tty software.

22. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Wow the writter clearly biased toward samsung. the S7 is SLOW compared to the pixel in all aspect. The pixel dont throttle at all the S7 overheat like crazy. blind test showed the pixel having more vote than the other 3 phone compared to it put together ( including the S7 )

28. molsky

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 10, 2011

So I must jump in as I am a power user and recently sold my S7 Edge for the Pixel XL. I disagree with the nod going to the S7 Edge. True it's a more beautiful phone to look at but the difference in speed is night and day...period. Samsung can't seem to make a truly lag and jitter free phone. They prefer to load it up with a bloated overlay and lots of features which most people can live without. In my opintion, the speed and fluid nature of the XL is something Android users have never seen before. This makes it the phone to get. To those people not seeing any lag on their Samsungs, it happens usually over time and you need to really be a constant multitask oriented power user to notice.

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