While the Pixel’s performance both this year and last have blown us away, even the best Qualcomm chipsets pale in comparison to what Apple has been doing lately. Today, the first speed test between the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus has gone live, and the results are actually quite interesting.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 is a fast chipset, but as was revealed in benchmarks a few weeks ago, it’s nothing against Apple’s new A11 Bionic chipset. Because of all that power and how lightweight iOS is, you’d think Apple’s latest phone (for now) would destroy the Pixel in a speed test, but the results are very close.

PhoneBuff, well-known for his drop tests and speed tests, put the Pixel 2 XL up against the iPhone 8 Plus in a battle of speed with a variety of apps. Popular applications like Snapchat, Facebook, Photoshop Express, games, Spotify, Netflix, and more were all opened in succession on both phones with their stopwatches going in the background.

Round one simply tests out how quickly each phone can open and perform a quick action in each app, then move on to the next. Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll be doing daily, but it is a good way to test how quickly apps are ready for you to use them. Here, the Pixel keeps up well through the first few, even with a slight lead at the start, but loses traction with apps like Facebook, Photoshop Express, and the games as well.

The iPhone keeps its lead through that first round, finishing in 1:18 seconds, but the Pixel 2 XL surprisingly comes in close lagging behind by barely 10 seconds.

In round two, the name of the game is RAM, and here both phones perform almost identically. Only one of the four games needs a reload, as does Photoshop Express, but by the end, both have done about as well as each other. The iPhone is the overall winner at 2:05 to finish both rounds, but the Pixel holds its own at 2:10, and even wins by a few seconds in round two.

Clearly, both phones are fast, but the biggest story here, at least for me, is that, through Google’s work in software, the company has basically negated the difference between the fastest mobile chipset and a fast mobile chipset. It’s truly impressive.

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Ben Schoon

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