Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: the key differences

It’s the battle of the Pro phones, as following Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro launch, Google unveiled the Pixel 8 Pro just a month later.

These two phones are very different in one obvious way – namely one runs iOS and the other Android – but beyond that they have a lot of other differences too, as well as a number of similarities.

For a closer look at how these phones compare then – including both their specs and the impressions we had in our Google Pixel 8 Pro review and our iPhone 15 Pro review – read on, as while both rank among the best phones, one might be a much better fit for you than the other.

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: specs comparison

We’ll look closely at each aspect of these phones further down. But first, here’s an overview of their key specs, so you can see how they stack up on paper.

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Google Pixel 8 ProiPhone 15 Pro
Dimensions:162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm146.6 x 70.6 x 8.3mm
Display:6.7-inch 1344 x 2992 20:9 adaptive 1Hz to 120Hz 'Super Actua' LTPO OLED6.1-inch 1179 x 2556 19.5:9 adaptive 1Hz to 120Hz 'Super Retina XDR' LTPO OLED
Chipset:Google Tensor G3Apple A17 Pro
Storage:128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras: 50MP wide, 48MP ultra-wide, 48MP 5x zoom48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP 3x zoom
Front camera: 10.5MP12MP
Charging:30W wired, 23W wireless (2nd-gen Pixel Stand), 12W wireless (Qi)27W wired, 15W wireless
Colors:Obsidian, Porcelain, BayBlack Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, Natural Titanium

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: price and availability

Google Pixel 8 Pro flat on a table

The Google Pixel 8 Pro (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The Google Pixel 8 Pro was announced on October 4, 2023, and shipped on October 12. It starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,699, which gets you 128GB of storage, and it rises to $1,059 / £1,059 / AU$1,799 for 256GB of storage, $1,179 / £1,179 / AU$1,999 for 512GB, and $1,399 for 1TB, though that top model is only available in the US.

As for the iPhone 15 Pro, that was announced slightly earlier on September 12, 2023, and shipped on September 22. It starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,849, which as with the Pixel 8 Pro gets you a 128GB model. The price rises to $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049 for 256GB, $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,399 for 512GB, and $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,749 for 1TB.

So the available storage configurations are the same for both phones, making it easy to directly compare prices. The two phones start at the same price then, at least in the US and the UK, with the iPhone 15 Pro costing AU$150 more in Australia.

Higher storage configurations of the iPhone 15 Pro cost slightly more than the equivalent Pixel 8 Pro model in all regions, but the difference isn’t drastic, so these are similarly priced phones overall.

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: design and display

iPhone 15 Pro review side handheld

The iPhone 15 Pro has titanium sides (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Pixel 8 Pro has a glass back, with the now iconic camera visor running the width of it – which oddly also houses a temperature sensor, something you won’t get on any iPhone. The Pixel 8 Pro also has an aluminum frame, tiny bezels around the display, and a punch-hole camera in the top center.

The iPhone 15 Pro also has a glass back, but it has a more conventional camera block, with its trio of lenses situated in the top left corner. It also uses a more premium material – titanium – for its frame, and has a larger cut-out in the screen, though it’s also a more functional one, as it’s a Dynamic Island.

Both phones have toughened glass, and both have an IP68 rating (for dust and water resistance), but their weights and dimensions differ. The Google Pixel 8 Pro is 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm and 213g, while the iPhone 15 Pro is smaller and lighter at 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.3mm and 187g.

Their colors also differ. The Pixel 8 Pro is available in Obsidian (black), Porcelain (white), and Bay (blue), while the iPhone 15 Pro can be had in Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium shades.

Google Pixel 8 Pro AI wallpaper bicycle

The Pixel 8 Pro has a bigger, brighter screen (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

As for their screens, the Google Pixel 8 Pro has a 6.7-inch 1344 x 2992 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 489 pixels per inch, and a peak brightness of 2,400 nits. The iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.1-inch 1179 x 2556 OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 461 pixels per inch, and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits.

So the Pixel 8 Pro’s screen is bigger, brighter, and higher resolution – though its larger size means it still only has slightly more pixels per inch.

It’s arguably got the better display, with our Pixel 8 Pro review saying that it’s “the standout feature on the Pixel 8 Pro, this bright and sharp display is just as good as the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and maybe better.”

But we were very positive about the iPhone 15 Pro’s screen too, saying in our review that it has “a great adaptive 120Hz OLED with the best always-on display implementation out there.”

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: cameras

iPhone 15 Pro review back flat angled camera

The iPhone 15 Pro has a triple-lens camera (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The cameras are among the most interesting and best features of both of these phones. In the case of the Pixel 8 Pro you get a triple-lens camera on the back, with a 50MP f/1.7 main camera, a 48MP f/2.0 ultra-wide, and a 48MP f/2.8 telephoto, offering 5x optical zoom.

The iPhone 15 Pro also has a triple-lens camera, with a 48MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 12MP f/2.8 telephoto with 3x optical zoom.

If you’re more into selfies then you’ve got a 10.5MP f/2.2 front-facing snapper on the Pixel 8 Pro and a 12MP f/1.9 front-facing camera to play with on the iPhone 15 Pro.

So the two phones have the same kinds of lenses, but the Pixel 8 Pro gives you more megapixels in most cases and a longer distance zoom. It also has numerous AI features for editing, combining, and improving images.

Does that make it the better camera? Not necessarily, though our review was positive about the cameras, saying it offers “great all-around camera features, with some unique AI editing tools that are more like Photoshop creation than photography.” Of the iPhone 15 Pro we said “sure, there's no 5x optical zoom but that doesn't stop the cameras that are present from being powerful and excellent.”

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: performance

Google Pixel 8 Pro review camera angled BLTR

The Pixel 8 Pro lacks slightly for power (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There’s a clear winner when it comes to performance, but we’ll get to that. First, the raw specs: the Google Pixel 8 Pro has a Tensor G3 chipset paired with 12GB of RAM, while the iPhone 15 Pro has an A17 Pro chipset alongside 8GB of RAM.

In both cases these chipsets are interesting, as they’re made specifically for each company’s phones, so you won’t find them used by other brands.

That perhaps also explains their unusual number of cores, with the A17 Pro having six cores while the Pixel 8 Pro has nine. The vast majority of Android phones though use octa-core chipsets.

You might have noticed that both the number of cores and the amount of RAM is higher in the Pixel 8 Pro, but that doesn’t lead to better performance than what the iPhone 15 Pro offers. Far from it.

In fact, going by benchmarks, the Pixel 8 Pro isn’t even a match for most of the best Android phones when it comes to raw power, and the iPhone 15 Pro has every Android phone beat here.

Our Pixel 8 Pro reviewer noted that “it handled all of my favorite games and ran high-resolution videos smoothly, but everything looked better on phones like the iPhone 15 Pro or even older Android phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra.”

It's also worth noting that Google's Tensor chips tend to favor AI-centric processing over raw performance in order to power the host of smart features the Pixel phones come with. 

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: battery

iPhone 15 Pro review USB-C angled handheld

The iPhone 15 Pro (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has the bigger battery of these two phones, at 5,050mAh to the iPhone 15 Pro’s 3,274mAh. As a result, the Pixel’s battery life is also probably better, though not by much. In our reviews we found that both phones would last all day, but the Pixel 8 Pro did so more easily.

Google’s phone also charges slightly faster, at 30W to Apple’s 27W, and if offers wireless charging at up to 23W, compared to 15W on the iPhone. Though note that the Pixel 8 Pro’s peak wireless charging speeds are only available when charging with the Google Pixel Stand (2nd gen).

Still, when it comes to both battery life and charging, the Pixel 8 Pro is the winner, albeit only by a small amount.

Google Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro: verdict

Despite being similarly priced these are in many ways very different phones. The Pixel 8 Pro has a bigger, arguably slightly better screen, its cameras can zoom further, it makes greater use of AI, it has a temperature sensor, its battery life seems slightly better, and its design is very different.

But the iPhone 15 Pro is more powerful and more compact, and while its cameras include generally smaller numbers in their specs, the actual performance is similarly impressive.

Of course, as noted at the start the single biggest difference is the operating system these phones each use, and you probably already have a good idea of whether you prefer Android or iOS. They’re both excellent devices though, so you’re unlikely to go wrong with either of them.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.