CNET took both the Google Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus to a test to see who wins in different shooting situations. The Google Pixel came on top in most of the test. I love this test because it compares the two phones in lots of situations in which you are and most people, are likely to shoot in an average use of their camera, including portraits, selfies, landscapes, indoor, low-light, etc.
Google Pixel XL outdoor results were significantly better in my opinion. Images just look more balanced in terms of contrast, color reproduction, vividness and sharpness, even skin tones looks more natural. I wouldn't like it it was just a boost in saturation, but it isn't, the outdoor images look really natural like they were shot by a professional DSLR camera, whether the iPhone 7 Plus outdoor shots looked duller and had less punch. I remember wanting to achieve these type of results with my Canon DSLR camera, and always found myself tweaking the picture to get those type of results - now you can get them straight out of the camera when you shoot with the Pixel.
Google Pixel camera also reveals more details in the shadow and highlight areas and you rarely notice any blown highlights or details lost in shadow areas, the image processing does an excellent work in bringing more details in those areas, but again, the test images look really natural not like an overprocessed HDR image.
Pictures with Sky also look better. In many of the iPhone 7 Plus images, the sky area looked close to being white, while in the Google Pixel sample images, the sky was bluer and it compliments the overall scene much better.
In the indoor images in the restaurant, you can see that the iPhone 7 Plus overexposed the part of the tray, whether the Pixel XL image was very even without any overexposed areas.
In terms of the portrait quality, the iPhone 7 Plus did better with the built-in shallow depth of field effect, which might suggest a better algorithm used by the iPhone 7 Plus compared to the one used by the Pixel camera. That being said, skin tones look much more natural and warmer on the Pixel. The iPhone 7 Plus also has a telephoto lens that is much better for taking portraits. That's why I would have preferred shooting a portrait image with the iPhone 7 Plus than the Pixel.
The Pixel XL did much better indoors and in low-light. Pixel XL images were more accurate in terms of colors as stated by the photographer, they were better lit and sharp with much less image noise. The iPhone 7 Plus just can't match the Pixel XL low-light performance, even flash shown better results.
The Google Pixel didn't get a high rating in DxOMark for nothing. Its camera has proven to be superb and scored high all across the board. The iPhone 7 Plus has its advantages, of course, but because we shoot many subjects, not just portraits, the Google Pixel XL camera is an easy choice over the iPhone 7 Plus one.
For the sample images, visit cnet.com.