Google Pixel XL vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
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.
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.
Furthermore, the Pixel XL is a rather large phone – it's taller, wider and heavier than the S7 edge, with copious amount of bezels all around, even though it employs on-screen buttons, so the one-handed operation and pocketability rounds go to the S7 edge easily. Granted, having the Dual Edge display helps in narrowing the handset's chassis, but that's about the only tangible advantage it brings. The buttons and volume rockers are sturdy, and easy to feel and press on both phones.
The placement of the fingerprint readers on each of the handsets has its pros and cons. Having the scanner on the back, like in the Pixel XL, may be convenient in certain situations, but many desk-dwellers prefer having it at the front, like on the S7 edge, as they won't have to pick the phone each time to unlock the screen for a quick check.
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.