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Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 (2022): Which Smartphone Should You Buy?

There is no doubt that the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone are two of the leading names when it comes to smartphones. However, their flagship Pro devices are on the expensive side. If you want flagship-esque specs at an affordable price, you can look at their mid-range models: the Google Pixel 6 and the Apple iPhone 13.

The latest Pixel device brings a refreshed design and a solid camera performance. On the other hand, the iPhone 13 gets a minimal aesthetic upgrade but enough bump in processing power. While they’re no Pro models, both smartphones are certainly capable. Between the Pixel 6 and iPhone 13, which smartphone should you buy?

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Comparison Chart

ModelGoogle Pixel 6 UnlockedApple iPhone 13 Locked + Carrier Subscription
 
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Display6.4-inch OLED display6.1-inch OLED display
Display Resolution1080 x 2400 at 411 ppi1170 x 2532 at 460 ppi
Display Refresh Rate90Hz refresh rate60Hz refresh rate
OSAndroid 12iOS 15
ChipsetGoogle TensorA15 Bionic
Main Camera50 MP (wide), 12 MP (ultra wide)12 MP (wide), 12 MP (ultra wide)
Front Camera
8 MP

12 MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi, dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot; Bluetooth 5.2; GPSWi-Fi, dual-band Wi-Fi, hotspot; Bluetooth 5.0; GPS
SecurityFingerprint (under display, optical)Face ID
DurabilityIP68 water and dust resistanceIP68 water and dust resistance
Battery Life24-hour standard battery life; up to 48 hours on battery saving modeUp to 19 hours of video playback
Dimensions (HxWxD)6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches5.78 x 2.82 x 0.30 inches
Weight7.30 oz6.14 oz
ColorsSorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, Stormy BlackPRODUCT Red, Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Pink

Design

The Pixel 6 offers a bigger design upgrade than the iPhone 13 is to its predecessors.

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Design
Here’s a look at the Google Pixel 6 (left) and the Apple iPhone 13 (right).

When it comes to design, the Google Pixel 6 offers a more exciting upgrade compared to the Apple iPhone 13. The most obvious of these changes is a prominent camera bar that runs the width of the phone. Aside from housing the lenses, the camera bar also serves as a border for the two-tone finish of the Pixel 6. It’s a bold design update that leaves behind the safer color finish of previous Google phones.

In contrast, the iPhone 13 maintains most of the design elements of the iPhone 12. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, there are some updates that, though minimal, refine the look of arguably the world’s most popular smartphone. For instance, the iconic notch is now 20% smaller. The iPhone 13’s rear cameras are also placed diagonally to make room for larger camera modules.

Unlike their Pro counterparts, the Pixel 6 and iPhone 13 are more modest in size. Although still massive at 6.2-inches in height, the Pixel 6 feels easier on the hands than the 6.45-inch Pixel 6 Pro. Apple’s iPhone 13 presents an even bigger size gap between it and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Still, if you want a phone you can comfortably use in one hand, the iPhone 13 is it.

Display

However, there are benefits to having a large phone. On the Pixel 6, you’re getting a 6.4-inch OLED display. The phone’s selfie camera hole punch also translates to more or less an uninterrupted screen. Refresh rates, however, are locked to either 60 Hz or 90 Hz.

Apple’s iPhone 13, on the other hand, comes with a smaller 6.1-inch Super Retina display. Its screen refresh rate is also stuck at 60 Hz, but it does offer a better 2532 x 1170p resolution at 460 ppi. Like the Pixel 6, the iPhone 13 doesn’t have dynamic or adaptive refresh rates.

Click here to read our iPhone 13 vs iPhone 13 Pro & Pro Max comparison.

Camera

The Google Pixel 6 and Apple iPhone 13 both enjoy dual-camera systems.

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Camera
A look at the camera setup of the Pixel 6 (left) and the iPhone 13 (right).

Both the Google Pixel 6 and Apple iPhone 13 boast upgraded camera hardware. However, their dual-camera systems are far from identical.

For the Pixel 6, Google has finally decided to go big. The Pixel 6 boasts a 50 MP main camera with ฦ’/1.85 aperture. It’s also equipped with optical image stabilization along with a laser detect auto-focus sensor. In addition, the main sensor is accompanied by a 12 MP ultra-wide rear camera. Google says that the Pixel 6 comes with a 7x Super Res Zoom, too.

On the Apple iPhone 13, you’re getting a dual 12 MP camera system. There’s a wide lens with ฦ’/1.6 aperture and an ultra-wide module with ฦ’/2.4 aperture and 120ยฐ field of view. If you want a telephoto lens, you’ll have to opt for the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max instead. When it comes to closing in on subjects, the iPhone 13 has a digital zoom of up to 5x.

Google’s Pixel and Apple’s iPhone lineups are known for their image processing features. This remains true for both the Pixel 6 and iPhone 13. Apple has focused on improving the low-light photography performance of the latest iPhone. They’ve also introduced Cinematic Mode for video recording, which is arguably one of the biggest draws of the iPhone 13.

Google’s Pixel 6, on the other hand, offers some nifty tricks like Magic Erase, which removes photobombers or unwanted objects from your shots. For more dynamic images, there’s Motion Mode, which uses an action pan and long exposure to add creative blur to backgrounds and moving subjects, respectively.

Performance

The iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic delivers a more powerful performance compared to the Pixel 6’s new Tensor chip.

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Performance
Key features of Google’s new Tensor chip (left); performance upgrades on the Apple iPhone 13 (right).

On the Pixel 6, Google has ditched Snapdragon’s system-on-chip that has powered its past smartphones. Instead, the company has developed its own Tensor chip, which it says keeps tabs with rival Android phones.

However, the Tensor only gets a score of 2737 based on Geekbench 5 multi-core testing. In contrast, the Samsung S21+ 5G โ€” the Pixel 6’s closest Android competition โ€” scores 3042 running on Snapdragon 888. Compared to the Apple iPhone 13, the Pixel 6’s specs lag behind even more. Geekbench 5 shows the iPhone 13 with a 4802 score for multi-core testing.

Of course, numbers don’t always show the whole picture. Google emphasizes that the Tensor’s machine learning delivers much of the Pixel 6’s onboard smarts. Designed especially for a Google phone, the Tensor chip helps run the apps on Pixel 6 smoothly compared to most Android phones. Still, Apple’s chip delivers the fastest performance on any smartphone. The A15 Bionic is simply in a different class.

Now, the Pixel 6 comes with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 has 4GB of RAM and is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage configurations.

Battery and Software

Apple’s iPhone 13 also delivers a better battery life performance than Google’s Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 6 vs iPhone 13 Battery and Software
Both phones should last users the day.

In the battle for smartphone supremacy, battery life is a major consideration. After all, your phone might have all the features, but it would mean nothing if it doesn’t last a day. Fortunately, both devices can comfortably make it through a day’s full use.

The Google Pixel 6 battery life is up to 48 hours. However, this comes with the caveat you’re using the phone’s extreme battery saver mode. Otherwise, the Pixel 6 delivers about 8 to 10 hours of screen time with double digits still left. On the other hand, Apple shares the iPhone 13 should last up to 15 hours. Based on user reviews, you’re getting closer to 10 to 11 hours of screen time per day.

The Pixel 6 comes with Google’s Android 12. A few of the software’s new features include dynamic color capabilities and a more responsive UI. It also leverages the Tensor chip to deliver advanced voice assistant and command features. In contrast, the iPhone 13 comes with iOS 15. Apple’s latest software comes with upgraded FaceTime, smarter information extraction of photos, and redesigned notifications.

Verdict

For Android users, the Google Pixel 6 is a strong, budget alternative. If you’re into the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 13 is an affordable option over the flagship models.

Choosing between the Google Pixel 6 and Apple iPhone 13 can be challenging. It’s akin to comparing Apples and Oranges. Although they are both affordable alternatives to their Pro siblings, they run on different platforms altogether. So while the Pixel 6’s specs lag behind that of the iPhone 13, it’s worth noting Android and iOS phones use their resources differently.

That being said, the Google Pixel 6 is a solid, budget-alternative choice for Android phones. It comes with a bold design while holding strong as a contender for the best smartphone photography. The Pixel 6 also remains true to Android’s customizability, with smarter features thanks to the new Tensor chip.

For iOS users, the iPhone 13 delivers a flagship experience close to most Pro models. While it lacks a telephoto lens, Apple’s image processing software more than suffices. Yes, you do miss out on better specs for performance like RAM and GPU. However, if you’re keen on getting into the iPhone ecosystem but you’re tight on the wallet, the iPhone 13 should be enough.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the iPhone 13 come with a charger?

No, the Apple iPhone 13 does not come with a charger. Apple only includes the phone, documentation, and a USB-C to lightning cable.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Google Pixel 6 dual SIM?

Like the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6 also supports dual SIM capability.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the iPhone 13 come with a telephoto lens?

No, it doesn’t. Apple’s iPhone 13 uses a dual-camera system instead.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Google Pixel 6 waterproof?

The Pixel 6 comes with an IP68 rating, which means it can prevent sand, dust, and dirt from entering it. It’s also rated water resistant under 1.5m of water for 30 minutes.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.