iPhone 7 vs. Google Pixel – Battery Life Comparison

Technology has made incredible strides since the first iPhone was introduced almost ten years ago. Displays are bigger, brighter, and offer incredible resolution, processors, memory, and wireless technology are substantially better than they were just a few years ago, the cameras on our smartphones rival near-professional quality cameras that cost thousands – the list goes on and on. However, one area where it seems like we haven’t gained much ground is in battery life. Sure, the batteries in our phones today are much more efficient and powerful than the ones we had in 2007, but powering all of the incredible new features in our smartphones takes a toll on battery life. It seems like when it comes to battery life, we aren’t much better off than we were with the original iPhone – use your phone during the day and charge it throughout the night – perhaps a refresh or two throughout the day with heavy use.

Increased battery life, although not a huge focus for smartphone manufacturers, is a feature that any smartphone owner desires. Almost every time a new iteration of a flagship smartphone is introduced, increased battery life is a feature that the manufacturer brags about. When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were introduced, Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller assured users that the phones would offer “the longest battery life ever in an iPhone.” And the Google Pixel, billed as possibly the best Android smartphone ever, is expected to feature stellar performance in all areas – battery life included. Let’s take a look at how they stack up.

Specs and Advertised Statistics

Google Pixel

Non-removable lithium-ion 2770mAh battery

Standby time (LTE): up to 19 days

Talk time (3g/WCDMA): up to 26 hours

Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 13 hours

Internet use time (LTE): up to 13 hours

Video playback: up to 13 hours

Audio playback (via headset): up to 110 hours

Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging

iPhone 7

Non-removable lithium-ion 1960mAh battery

Standby time: Up to 10 days

Talk time (wireless): Up to 14 hours on 3G

Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 14 hours

Internet use time (LTE): up to 12 hours

Video Playback: up to 14 hours

Audio playback (wireless): up to 40 hours

Google Pixel XL

Non-removable lithium-ion 3450mAh battery

Standby time (LTE): up to 23 days

Talk time (3g/WCDMA): up to 32 hours

Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 14 hours

Internet use time (LTE): up to 14 hours

Video playback: up to 14 hours

Audio playback (via headset): up to 130 hours

Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 15 minutes of charging

iPhone 7 Plus

Non-removable lithium-ion 2900mAh battery

Standby time: Up to 16 days

Talk time (wireless): Up to 21 hours on 3G

Internet use time (Wi-Fi): up to 15 hours

Internet use time (LTE): up to 13 hours

Video Playback: up to 14 hours

Audio playback (wireless): up to 60 hours

Real Life Usage

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL feature substantially larger batteries than the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, respectively. However, as we’ve often seen before in speed tests, battery tests, etc., the beefed up specs of many Android flagships don’t necessarily translate into real world performance. That appears to be true with Google’s new phones, as well.

Although the Pixel lineup sports rather large batteries, the fragmented Android operating system is a notorious resource hog, and typically eats away at battery life faster than the efficient, closed system of iOS. Although the latest version of Android, Nougat (which the Pixel and Pixel XL ship with), added some impressive battery-saving improvements like the Doze feature, it still doesn’t stop the OS from eating away at battery life. Also worth mentioning are the displays in the Pixel lineup – the Pixel sports a 5-inch, 1920×1080 resolution AMOLED display, while the Pixel XL boasts a 5.5-inch, 2560×1440 resolution AMOLED display. Although the displays on the Pixel line aren’t as bright as the displays on Apple’s latest iPhones, powering that kind of resolution, which many would argue is unnecessary on a 5 or 5.5-inch screen, can eat up a lot of battery life.

With all of that said, the Pixel lineup offers solid battery performance – just not as solid as the latest iPhones. Smartphone blog PhoneArena put Google’s Pixel XL (alongside Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge) up against the iPhone 7 Plus in a battery test, with the iPhone 7 winning handily. The Pixel XL offered 7 hours and 19 minutes of screen-on time in their test – almost an hour longer than Google’s previous smartphone effort, the Nexus 6P, and one minute longer than Samsung’s latest flagship. However, the iPhone 7 Plus trounced the competition, providing an incredible 9 hours and 5 minutes of screen-on time.

Putting the 5-inch Pixel against the iPhone 7, however, was much more competitive. PhoneArena found that the Pixel offered 7 hours and 45 minutes of screen-on time – only one minute less than the iPhone 7, which clocked in at 7 hours and 46 minutes of screen-on time. Although the Pixel’s battery is substantially larger, the efficiency of the iPhone 7 more than makes up for the size difference.

Charging

It’s clear that Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus offer a bit more battery life than Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL. With heavy use, however, both the iPhone line and the Pixel line will probably need a bit of recharging to make it through the day. And that’s where Apple is still lagging behind many of the Android flagships.

Like other Android flagships, including the LG G10, the Samsung Galaxy S7, and the HTC 10; Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones support fast charging technology. Utilizing USB-C as opposed to Apple’s proprietary Lightning cable (also a plus for the Google phones, if you ask many people), Google claims that placing the Google Pixel on the charger for fifteen minutes will yield an incredible seven hours of usage. From a completely dead battery, the Google Pixel reaches 100% charge in just over 90 minutes, while the Pixel XL charges in just over two hours. By contrast, the iPhone 7 takes about 2 and a half hours to charge up to 100%, and the iPhone 7 Plus can take up to 3 and a half hours to attain a full charge.

While fast charging may not be a huge factor for many people, heavy users will appreciate the speed in which Google’s phones top off on the charger. It’s clear that Apple is lagging behind in the charging department, but with the company’s most recent laptop lines utilizing USB-C for charging, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if next year’s iPhone switched to USB-C, as well. It would certainly be a shame to ditch all of your Lightning cables and fancy new Lightning-enabled headphones, but imagine a world where everyone can charge every device with the same cable? Doesn’t that sound nice?

Overall, both the Pixel line and iPhone line offer top-of-the-line battery life when compared to other flagship smartphones. The iPhone 7 Plus reigns supreme as the king of battery life, but the Pixel and Pixel XL charge substantially faster. When it comes to battery life, almost any user would be impressed with the results they get from the Pixel, Pixel XL, iPhone 7, or iPhone 7 Plus.

Read more about iPhone 7 vs Google Pixel.

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