Will Apple or Google's next Pro phone be the better handset?

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo/Google)

An iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro showdown won’t take place for another few months, but it’s already a match we’re excited to see go down. Apple and Google typically make the best cameras you can buy, so any comparison between their flagships is often a hard-fought one. (Just look at the Google Pixel 6 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max face-off to see how the current phones stack up.)

Neither phone has been officially unannounced, but enough details have leaked out to give us a sense of how this smartphone battle will shape up. The iPhone 14 Pro, for example, will make some noteworthy hardware changes — so much so that the revamped display, cameras and chipset could make Apple’s phone more expensive than the iPhone 13 Pro it’s replacing.

In contrast, the Pro version of the Google Pixel 7 Pro should be very similar to the Pixel 6 Pro, with a new chipset the only major change that Google’s confirmed to date. However, the Pixel 6 Pro was already an excellent deal for a top-tier phone, and with some refinement, it can continue to make the competition look overpriced while matching them on key features.

Read on to see how an iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro comparison is likely to shake out, along with our thoughts on how both phones are shaping up based on the current rumors. (For a more general face-off, check out our iPhone 14 vs Google Pixel 7 match-up.)

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Possible release date and price

While Apple’s said nothing about the iPhone 14 yet, we’re fairly comfortable with rumors of an iPhone 14 release date in September. That’s the month that Apple revealed the iPhone 13 last year, as well as several other previous generations of Apple’s phone.

Google’s already promised a fall debut for the Pixel 7, but nothing more specific than that. Given that the Pixel 6 series launched in early October last year, we’ll be marking our calendars for a similar time this year.

The iPhone 13 Pro was already at a $100/£100 disadvantage to the Pixel 6 Pro, and we expect to see a similar gap between the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro. In fact, that gap could be larger as there are rumors of a $100 price increase for both iPhone 14 Pro models.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Design

Neither the iPhone 14 Pro or Google Pixel 7 Pro should look too different from their predecessors, although they’ll still look quite different from one another.

We’re anticipating another flat-sided handset with a triangular arrangement of cameras on the back for the iPhone 14 Pro, with a choice of several matte-textured colors. One new element to look out for whether display cut-outs for the selfie camera and Face ID sensors replace the famous iPhone notch, as has been rumored. This would set the Pro model apart from the regular iPhone 14, which is said to be keeping the iPhone 13’s notch design.

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Front Page Tech / Ian Zelbo)

Google gave the Pixel 6 a completely different design from previous Pixels, but the Pixel 7 will iterate on its predecessor’s look rather than shaking things up again. There is a subtle change to the rear camera bar to make the camera sensors stand out from the rest of the visor-shaped bump, and Google will likely offer one or two new colors to help differentiate the new model as well. Otherwise, it’ll look a lot like the Pixel 6 series.

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Google)

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Display

Like the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max should offer 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively. These should both use ProMotion 120Hz displays like before too, except there are rumors of a lower minimum refresh rate, and a new always-on display feature as a result.

The Pixel 7 Pro should also have a 6.7-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate, as the Pixel 6 Pro did before it. One possible upgrade may boost the screen’s brightness, which would help make the display easier to use in bright sunlight.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Cameras

Both the iPhone 13 Pro and the Pixel 6 Pro sit at 1 and 2 on our best camera phones guide, and history suggests the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro will replace them once we get a chance to test both devices. There are only limited upgrades on the cards though, according to the rumor mill.

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Souta)

The basic arrangement of the iPhone 14 Pro’s main, ultrawide, telephoto and selfie cameras (plus its rear LiDAR sensor) doesn’t seem to be changing from the iPhone 13 Pro according to the rumors we’ve heard. The big upgrade this year is thought to be the addition of a 48MP sensor for the main camera, allowing for brighter or more detailed shots (as well as a larger camera array from the iPhone 13 Pro’s).

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Google)

We’re not expecting any changes to the Pixel 7 Pro’s cameras front or back, which isn’t a surprise given Google changed so much last year. We may see some new software-side upgrades to compliment existing features like Magic Eraser, plus other small refinements to the existing cameras.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Performance

Apple’s likely to maintain its sizeable smartphone performance lead over the Pixel 7 Pro and other Android phones with a new A16 Bionic chip. With that power bump, plus faster LPDDR5 RAM allegedly coming to the new iPhone, it’ll be difficult for the Pixel to keep up.

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Google)

However the chip in the Pixel 7 Pro will be interesting for its own unique reasons. Google’s already said it will be using a second-generation Tensor chip to power the new flagship Pixels, after introducing the original Google Tensor on last year’s Pixel 6. 

As with the first one, Tensor 2 is focused on AI and machine learning applications rather than raw power, which should hopefully mean lots of smaller enhancements for Pixel users rather than a simple performance bump like Apple will offer.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Battery and charging

According to leaked battery capacities for the iPhone 14 series, the iPhone 14 Pro will use a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 13 Pro, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max will use a slightly smaller one. We can’t say if this will have a big impact on either device’s battery life since that will depend on other components’ power draw. But it could mean Apple’s smaller Pro iPhone lasts a bit longer than the larger one.

There are no rumors or specific claims from Google about Pixel 7 Pro battery size or longevity. In lieu of more specific claims, we would assume the Pixel 7 Pro will use a 5,000 mAh battery like the Pixel 6 Pro did. We just hope it lasts a bit longer on a charge than the 6 Pro did, as disappointing battery life is one of the worst parts of the Pixel 6 Pro experience.

There are minimal rumors about changes to charging for either the iPhone or the Pixel. If things stay as they are, that would mean 20W wired and 15W wireless MagSafe charging for the iPhone 14 Pro, and 23W wired and wireless charging for the Pixel 7 Pro. None of these speeds are particularly impressive, but they should offer enough extra juice if you need to use them in an emergency during the day. A recent leek did predict 30W charging for the entire iPhone 14 line, though.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Software

Here we have the biggest divergence between these two phones. Apple introduces the newest version of iOS alongside the iPhone for that year, and this time it’ll be iOS 16. The public beta for iOS 16 is already live, and we’ve been enjoying its new abilities like customizable lock screens, editing and deleting options for your iMessage texts, haptic keyboard feedback and more.

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google also debuts its latest flagship phone with the latest version of Android, which means this year it’ll be Android 13. That software update is currently in the final stages of beta testing. The list of upgrades includes new customization options for the OS’ Material You design, a new Now Playing widget for the lock screen, editable copy/paste text and more granular permissions for apps to keep your data as private as you need it to be.

smartphones, android

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Outlook

Neither the iPhone 14 Pro nor the Pixel 7 Pro looks to be a major departure from what came before, though that doesn’t mean we won’t get two impressive flagship phones. And we’d certainly expect an iPhone 14 Pro vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro battle to be the best camera phone of 2022.

The upgrades claimed for the iPhone 14 Pro are more interesting on balance. The removal of the notch, the new 48MP main camera and the always-on display would be big upgrades even if the phone doesn’t look much different from previous generations. However, a higher-resolution camera sensor, AOD and punch-hole display are things the Pixel 6 Pro already has, and will no doubt pass on to the Pixel 7 Pro. Plus, the rumored price increase for the iPhone will make it a harder purchase to justify for budget-minded buyers.

The Pixel 7 Pro has its own array of updates, that seem smaller in scope at the present time. Chances are Google will introduce some fun software updates that we’ll only find out about on launch day. Failing that, the Pixel 7 Pro seems bound to be a capable but unexciting update of the Pixel 6 Pro. If you prioritize performance-per-dollar though, the Pixel 7 Pro once again looks like it’ll be unbeatable for what you’ll pay for it.

We’ll find out more as we get closer to the fall launch dates for both phones.

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