Pixel 2 vs iPhone 7

I’ve been using iOS devices since an old boss of mine handed me his used iPhone 3G after he’d upgraded to the at the time new 3GS.

I remember holding that device in my hands and comparing it the phone I had been using at the time – the SPV C550. I’d had a history of changing devices every few months. I’d been through Nokia and Motorola’s almost entire catalog of devices before jumping ship over to HTC for Windows Mobile.

You’d be forgiven for scratching your head and wondering what on earth the SPV C550 was. Turns out, I had to google it too as at the time, I was more interested in what the phone could do, rather than who built it and what SPV meant.

According to Wikipedia, the phone was built for Orange, a European mobile phone carrier by HTC. SPV stands for Sound, Pictures, Video. It had a 240x320px screen, and ran Windows Mobile 2003 SE. It wasn’t the best smart phone at the time, but I loved it. That is, until I was handed the iPhone 3G, which quickly became my go-to device. The SPV was shoved to the back of the junk drawer to gather dust and be somewhat forgotten.

That 3G sparked my love for Apple devices. I’d had iPods before then, but there was something special about the iPhone.

I went on to buy almost every iDevice that came out after. Moving from the 3G to the 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6S and finally the 7, where I came to a sudden hault in my iPhone journey.

My first go with Android

Before we go any further, I should mention that I’ve had android devices before. Two to be exact.
A Motorola device that I accidentally took swimming, and the original Google Pixel XL.

Right before the 7 came out, I decided to jump ship from Apple and give the Pixel XL a go. I think I rushed into things though, and found the experience kind of frustrating. I wanted the device to act like an iPhone without really letting go of the iOS experience and embracing android. Coupled with the fact that I probably bought the wrong size device (the XL was far too big for my tiny hands), I quickly gave up on the pixel, sold it and bought the iPhone 7. I was back in familiar territory for now.

Round Two – Pixel 2

Then came along the Pixel 2. It’s sleek, lightweight design coupled with the fact that I’d now lived with the iPhone 7 for a year and had gotten over the initial “OMG THEY’VE TAKEN MY HEADPHONE JACK AWAY HOW EVER WILL I LIVE” shock. I’d also had experience with Android before and so kind of already knew what to expect. So I thought, what the heck, let’s give android another go.

Making the move

Moving phone platforms is a bit like moving house. Bloody painful!

Google does have a built in app and cable that is supposed to make the move as painless as possible. No matter what I tried though, it just wouldn’t work for me and I ended up having to find other solutions to get my contacts, photos and content across to the Pixel 2.

In short:

  • Contacts – I had already been saving contacts to my google account on my iPhone, so I was in luck here. I did have to export a copy of my Apple contacts and upload them to my Google contacts, but this was relatively painless.
  • Photos and Videos – The migration app just flat out didn’t work. I tried to install Google’s photo sync app on my iPhone but it never finished syncing. Instead I synced my photos to my Mac, and then installed the Google photo sync app on my Mac which eventually (after many weeks) synced my 38,000 photos and videos to Google Photos.
  • Messages and Call History – Again the migration app let me down and failed to copy anything. I ended up having to suck it up and start from scratch. This did mean I missed a bunch old messages I had saved.
  • Apps – I ended up having to download and install these all manually from the store. This wasn’t so bad though as it allowed me to do some spring cleaning.

The phone

Straight out of the box, the Pixel 2 is a slightly bigger handset compared with the iPhone 7. I immediately noticed this when holding the devices in hand. The Pixel 2 felt lighter, but cheaper. The iPhone 7 felt higher quality in hand.

Cases

I drop everything. I once got out of a cab in the city, dropped my MacBook and then spilt coffee all over my pants whilst trying to pick it up. That was a great start to the day!

Typically, whenever I buy a new device I won’t even leave the store unless I have a case in hand to protect my investment. The Pixel 2 was no different.

I had been used to using Bellroy cases on my iPhone. I had been using the case with the built in card slot on the back where my Opal (Sydney Public Transport) card had been sitting. Bellroy doesn’t make a similar case for the Pixel 2 and so I had to slide the Opal card back into my wallet. A small price to pay, but one I was willing to compromise on.

Unlocking

It took me a while to get used to the fingerprint sensor on the back of the Pixel 2. I kept reaching for the home button, which of course isn’t a button on the device.

Now that I’m used to the button on the back of the device, using anything else feels obscure. Android pay is awesome with the fingerprint sensor too.

Charging

Being able to top up my devices on the go is important. I had already invested heavily in iPhone (and iPad) charging cables and plugs throughout the house, car, the office and my work bag. If you remember back in the day of having a Nokia handset, and being able to charge it at anyones house as they’d probably have a Nokia handset too. That’s what its like owning an iPhone.

A new platform meant a whole new bunch of charging cables. Luckily I could (mostly) reuse my iPhone and iPad charging plugs and connect up a new USB to USB C cable to charge my Pixel 2. Charging with Google’s own Pixel 2 charger is super fast too – far faster than charging an iPhone.

Charging from my MacBook though is a different story. The MacBook just simply doesn’t supply enough power to the Pixel 2, and so even though the device is connected the battery drains rather than charges. I learned this the hard way many times before sucking it up and buying a high output wall charger to carry around.

Apps

Having been on iOS for a long time, I’ve invested a bit of coin in paid Apps, such as TripView, a Knots app that I use when at SES, as well as various other bits and pieces that I’ve bought over time.

Switching between iOS and Android meant re-purchasing these apps. Most of them were $2 each, but my Knots app ending up costing over $10. Not a significant amount of money to spend but something to consider.

Nowadays, both platforms are very established and so finding an app on either is simple. I did notice that apps on android appeared to be a little more buggy than those on iOS, but overall was happy with what was available.

One area that i’m still not satisfied with is Podcasts. Apple’s built in Podcasts app is far better than anything I’ve been able to find on Android so far.

Notifications

Alright, let’s be straight up here. Android handles notifications far better than iOS. The fact that similar notifications for apps are bundled together means less scrolling to find what i’m looking for. I found that I’d miss things on iOS whereas with Android, I knew exactly what was going on.

One area where things could be improved for someone moving from iOS to Android is having the red notification balloons on the app icons. Android doesn’t show these, and instead shows a teeny blue balloon which can be easily missed.

Camera

There’s no hiding the fact that the Pixel 2 shoots amazing photos. I’m constantly impressed with the cameras ability to capture stunning shots, that almost makes me want to leave the DSLR at home.

The iPhone 7 is arguably better in low light and seems to handle those situations a little better but for overall picture quality, the Pixel 2 is where its at.

Google will also allow you to upload original quality images to your drive until 2020 for free if you do so from the Pixel 2. This is an awesome addition as i’m already paying $15 a month to Apple for iCloud storage.

Other Devices

There are two things I used to use constantly with the iPhone: My Apple Watch and any number of Bluetooth headsets throughout the day (Bose, Plantronics, Jabra).

Switching to Pixel 2 meant that my Apple Watch quickly became useless. Without an iPhone, you can’t sync the watch with anything and it effectively becomes an expensive paperweight.

Pairing my numerous Bluetooth headsets was a breeze with the Pixel 2. It even liked pairing with the car – something that my iPhone never did quite enjoy doing.

Why no iPhone X?

Honestly? The price, and that the entire device is made of glass (refer to the section where I mention that I drop everything). It’s the same reason why I’m still using a 2015 MacBook Pro.

Isn’t this blog about Skype for Business and Teams? Do they work ok?

They work great on both devices! I’ll say that it would appear that Microsoft are spending more effort on updating the SfB and Teams apps on iOS than they are on Android (screen sharing was added to the. iOS apps first).

Verdict

Having been a huge iOS user over the years, moving to a new platform and phone was both scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

The initial hurdles of migrating my data across from iOS was painful, but in the end once everything was across I haven’t looked back.

My Pixel 2 is in for repair at the moment due to a sound issue and so i’m back to using the iPhone 7. I must admit that i’m missing the Pixel 2.

What are your thoughts on each device?

 

2 comments

  1. Soneil Purmeswar Reply

    I sometimes miss iPhone, ive gone through different versions, iPhone 4 was my fav – at the time is was the most beautiful phone ive ever owned, and the equally impressive iphone 5 and 6. However, ive also gone through the Galaxy S4, S6, S8+, Note5 and now Note 8 – Android is sometimes easier to use. Apps are more freely available, and yes when youre in desperate need of juice, youre more likely to find someone with a friendly end of a usb c plug to use to charge up. The eco system also much more inclined to sharing and copying stuff over networks, which comes in handy. I still use an ipad pro though-might never give that up.

  2. Keanan Kruse Reply

    Craigy bear, I remember my SPV600 I think it was, the sliding touch screen and stylus.

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