iPhone 7 vs. Google Pixel vs. iPhone 8: Is it time to buy or wait?

iPhone 7 vs. Google Pixel vs. iPhone 8: Is it time to buy or wait?
Source: AP
Source: AP
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A recurring feature for Mic staff to explore a particular theme in depth.

The arrival of Google Pixel has placed prospective smartphone buyers in a conundrum: Pixel or iPhone 7? Or maybe wait until the highly anticipated iPhone 8, which marks the sure-to-be-special 10th anniversary of the device. Is it better to go all-in now or hold onto your hand? Let's discuss. 

iPhone 7 vs. Google Pixel

Before it can be decided if you should invest in one of these phones, we need to see how they stack up. We've already published a comprehensive comparison of the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel, but let's run down the basics: 

The iPhone 7 and Pixel have fairly similar designs, but Apple's latest phone is missing one key element: a headphone jack. Until more companies and their subsequent products adapt Lightning or wireless technology, this remains rather inconvenient. Props to Apple for having the "courage" to take the first step, but Lightning-port headphones aren't super-mainstream yet. That being said, the iPhone 7 does have 3-D touch functionality. Depending on how you use your smartphone, the convenience level could balance out.

One of the hallmarks of convenience is accessibility, and a key to accessibility is speed. Apple has Google beat in that regard. Benchmark tests showed the iPhone 7 is not only faster than the Pixel, but the Galaxy S7, as well. That hardware performance is pretty wild considering Apple has typically been regarded more for its software. The gold standard is iOS: It's simple to use and attractive to look at. But Google may finally usurp Apple with its new operating system that boasts a powerful new AI assistant. Not to mention Google is keeping its eyes on the future with Daydream virtual reality, with which the Pixel is already compatible

But in the age of social media, the biggest measurement of a phone's success perhaps lies within its camera. This match-up is hard: Both companies have gone on-the-record saying their respective devices flaunt the most powerful smartphone camera yet. Newcomer Google may actually be right, according to early test shots. But it's the iPhone 7 Plus's DSLR-esque portrait mode that gives Apple the edge. The feature alters depth of field to create blur effects comparable to professional-quality photos. 

The back-and-forth advantages of this debate make choosing pretty difficult — too difficult, perhaps, to do right now. Maybe it's better to wait? In the fast-paced world of consumer tech, it's never too early for new iPhone rumors. Though much remains unknown, there's one compelling reason buyers may want to hold out: the iPhone's birthday.

iPhone 8 rumors

The iPhone turns 10 in 2017 and we, among many others, have strong reason to believe Apple will do something special to commemorate the occasion. Expect the typical "S" model to get skipped in favor of a brand-new number: the iPhone 8. 

Typically reliable MacRumors suggested the iPhone 8 will get a major redesign for 2017. Those features include wireless charging, a glass body and OLED display. That display could even be edge-to-edge, as in the screen would cover the entire body. Inside that screen could feature a front-facing camera and Touch ID embed — pretty radical stuff. 

If you've gone years without an update, it might be time to pull the trigger. The iPhone 7 and Google Pixel are offering a lot and the technology has come so far in just a few years. But if you're using an iPhone 6 or Nexus 5x, do yourself a favor and just wait. We have a feeling Apple is going to pull out all the stops in celebration of the smartphone that changed the world. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

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