Pixel 8 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro: Comparing specs, price, cameras

Google has officially unveiled its latest update to its Pixel line of phones, the Pixel 8. This announcement comes just weeks after Apple’s launch of the latest in its line of flagship mobile devices, the iPhone 15.

And both businesses have a higher-end model that seems to be generating more interest than the less-expensive base model, Google with the Pixel 8 Pro and Apple with its iPhone 15 Pro.

So, it’s time once again to answer that age old question, which should you get?

Before we break it down, Mashable would like to note that this head-to-head is based on what the Pixel 8 Pro looks like on paper, as the device has not yet been released yet, and experiences with previous iterations of the smartphone line.

Of course, readers can check out our hands-on review with the recently released iPhone 15 Pro.


How to preorder the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Operating System

Let’s be honest, this is what it’s going to come down to for the vast majority of users. Which mobile operating system do you prefer? Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android? Do you prefer Apple’s infamous walled garden which has its pros and cons or Google’s more open operating system which also has pluses and negatives.

The iPhone 15 Pro runs the most recent iOS 17. The Pixel 8 Pro comes with the latest Android 14.

Besides personal preference of one operating system over the other, one difference that was announced by Google alongside the Pixel 8 Pro was how long the phone will be updated for. Google is promising that the Pixel 8 line of smartphones will be compatible with 7 years of Android updates. Apple historically has made iOS updates compatible with iPhone devices for 5 years. While Google has the upperhand here, when we’re talking 5 or 7 years, it’s probably a moot point as most users will have likely upgraded their phone after half a decade of usage.

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Price

Both the iPhone 15 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro start at $999. Strictly focusing on the price, there’s no difference here. If you’re already looking to spend a thousand bucks on a phone, both Apple and Google’s pro models come in right at that price if you get the base model for either.

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google’s specs for the Pixel 8 Pro from the announcement event.
Credit: Google

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Storage

When it comes to what you get for that $999, here’s where the iPhone 15 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro start to differ.

Storage-wise, $999 will get you 128GB on either the iPhone 15 Pro or Pixel 8 Pro. However, if you want to upgrade the storage, Google’s pricing on the Pixel 8 Pro undercuts Apple. 

If you want 256GB of storage for your smartphone, the iPhone 15 Pro will cost $1,099 whereas the Pixel 8 Pro costs $1059. Looking for 512GB? The iPhone 15 Pro costs $1299 whereas the Pixel 8 Pro will cost $1,179. Finally, if you’d like to max out the storage at 1TB, you’re paying $1,499 for the iPhone 15 Pro versus $1,399 for the Pixel 8 Pro.

So, it looks like you’ll get more bang for your buck, storage wise, with the Pixel 8 Pro over the iPhone if you choose to upgrade.

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: RAM 

Here’s another major difference: RAM. No matter what iPhone 15 Pro model you buy, the RAM maxes out at 8GB.

The Pixel 8 Pro, however, comes with a whopping 12GB of RAM. 

So, on paper, more memory means that the Pixel 8 Pro should be able to handle features like multitasking much better than the iPhone 15 Pro. Again, though, on paper…

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Chipset

And here’s why we stress on paper when it comes to that memory difference between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pixel 8 Pro. Much like we’ve seen with Apple’s new Silicon chip powering its Mac computers, sometimes a more powerful chipset can perform and handle tasks better than a computer with just more RAM.

The Pixel 8 Pro comes with Google’s new Tensor G3 chipset. The real selling point of these chips have been the power behind many of the Pixel phone’s unique AI features, which the iPhone lacks. However, historically, these chips have underperformed when going head-to-head with Apple-made chipsets.

The iPhone 15 Pro comes with Apple’s newest A17 Pro chipset, the very first 3nm mobile chip. And it’s been clocked with a 20 percent performance improvement over Apple’s previous line of iPhones.

So, unless Google has a surprise in store for us with the Tensor G3 chipset when the Pixel 8 Pro comes out, the iPhone 15 Pro will likely be noticeably faster than the latest Google mobile device.

Pixel 8 Pro

The Pixel 8 Pro design
Credit: Google

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Design and Display

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what you might think is sleek on one phone may look gaudy to another.

Google is sticking with the aluminum build on the Pixel 8 Pro whereas Apple has decided to go with a new Titanium frame on iPhone 15 Pro, which may or may not bare some responsibility for the iPhone’s reported overheating issues.

Feature-wise, the iPhone 15 Pro has a programmable “action” button whereas the Pixel 8 Pro has a temperature sensor, which can scan objects to gauge their temperature.

If you’re looking for a bigger phone with a larger display, the Pixel 8 Pro might be for you as Google’s new smartphone has a 6.7 inch display. The iPhone 15 Pro is smaller, with a 6.1 inch display. If you’re looking for a display that matches the size of the Pixel 8 Pro’s in an iPhone, you’d need to upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Each phone deals with the inevitable protruding cameras on the back of the phone a little differently. The iPhone 15 Pro has the “camera bump” right where the lens’ are. The Pixel 8 Pro instead opts for a camera band, which wraps around the back of the device for a more even design.

Pixel 8 Pro camera specs

The Pixel 8 Pro camera specs from the Google event.
Credit: Google

iPhone 15 Pro vs. Pixel 8 Pro: Cameras

Speaking of cameras, this is where Google’s new Pixel 8 Pro may really excel over the iPhone 15 Pro. Specifically when it comes to megapixels, which dictates how much detail can be captured in your photos and videos, the Pixel 8 Pro may very well blow Apple’s device away.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s main, wide camera is 50MP compared to the iPhone 15 Pro’s 48MP main camera. So, just with that, the Pixel 8 Pro technically has a better camera than the iPhone 15 Pro. But, Pixel’s other cameras have bigger upgrades too. Pixel has a 48MP ultrawide and 48MP telephoto camera compared to the iPhone’s 12MP ultrawide and 12MP telephoto camera.

Furthermore, the Pixel 8 Pro telephoto camera has a 5x zoom. The iPhone 15 Pro only has a 3x zoom, with the 5x zoom available with the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max model.

Google seems to think it really has an upper hand over Apple with the cameras, specifically. The company specifically spent time comparing the photo and video quality from a Pixel 8 Pro to the iPhone 15 Pro as the Pixel 8 announcement event.

For now, we can only look at the examples Google provided us. But, soon, we’ll know for sure just how the Pixel 8 Pro stacks up to the iPhone 15 Pro.

For more face-offs, check out the Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8 vs. Pixel 7.