Google and Apple are the 2 newest phone-makers to launch a 5G cellphone: the long-awaited iPhone 12 (in the stores now) and the Pixel 5, which Google unveiled alongside the Pixel 4A 5G, and are on sale now as nicely. The 2 largest variations between the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 are the worth and the working system.

Pricewise, this is not a particularly reasonable combat. Whereas the $699 Pixel 5 (£599, AU$999) is Google’s present flagship, it lacks most of the premium options we have come to anticipate from manufacturers like Samsung and Apple. (Here is how the Pixel 5 compares to a equally priced iPhone 11 as a substitute.) The iPhone 12 value construction is a little more difficult, as a result of Apple launched 4 fashions and costs differ between unlocked and provider fashions. The bottom iPhone 12 mannequin begins at $799 (£799 and AU$1,349) with provider reductions, and that $100 value distinction to the Pixel 5 is nothing to smell at, particularly as belts tighten through the coronavirus pandemic.

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iPhone 12 vs. Pixel 5 digital camera comparability


So far as the working system goes, those that are plugged in to Apple’s iOS ecosystem are unlikely to even look twice at a Google cellphone. And the identical goes for Android customers. However in the event you’re seeking to make a change from iPhone to Android or from Android to iOS, or in the event you identical to to rubber-neck at cellphone showdowns, learn on as we evaluate the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5’s design, digital camera, battery and efficiency.  

Learn extra: iPhone 12 takes us a step nearer to Apple’s portless future

Patrick Holland/CNET

With 5G assist, a glossy new look, main digital camera upgrades, a ceramic defend display screen and an general zippy efficiency, Apple’s latest flagship is a pressure to be reckoned with. CNET’s Patrick Holland known as the cellphone “a whole unit” and praised its “slabular magnificence” — harking back to the iPhone 5 design. Not solely did the 12 rating greater on efficiency benchmark checks than some other cellphone we have ever examined, but it surely’s additionally considered one of our highest rated telephones of all time. Too dangerous it would not include headphones and an influence adapter.

Learn our Apple iPhone 12 assessment.

Juan Garzon/CNET

We known as the Pixel 3 “the very best Android cellphone of 2018,” however our impression of the next yr’s Pixel Four and now the Pixel 5 had been very related: cool digital camera, however not for that value. Nonetheless, Google devotees will respect the bevy of goodies included within the newest Pixel, like a 90Hz show, a bigger battery and a few neat computational pictures methods. And in order for you 5G for $100 much less, the Pixel 5 has you lined.

Learn our Google Pixel 5 assessment.


The iPhone 12 made a splash with its throwback design. Apple introduced again the flat, squared-off edges, which differentiate the iPhone 12 from rivals that favor curved sides. The brand new flagship additionally is available in new blue hues, darkish blue for the iPhone 12 and Pacific blue for the 12 Professional. The Pixel 5 has a extra minimalist design, with a hole-punch digital camera, skinny bezels and a flush rear digital camera setup.

Learn extra: iPhone 12 drop check end result are in: Ceramic defend is as robust because it sounds 

One space the place the Pixel 5 beats the iPhone 12, not less than on paper, is its 90Hz display screen refresh price. Apple’s flagship has a 60Hz show. Having a 90Hz show means the display screen refreshes 90 frames a second, making scrolling smoother. Remember that the Pixel 5’s refresh price is dynamic, very like many different 90 or 120Hz telephones. The cellphone will revert to 60Hz when the upper refresh price isn’t wanted, similar to when the display screen is static, to assist save battery. 

The iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 are almost equivalent in measurement. The iPhone 12 is barely bigger, with a 6.1-inch display screen in comparison with the Pixel 5’s 6-inch show. The iPhone 12 can also be heavier at 5.78 ounces to the Pixel 5’s 5.33 ounces. However as a result of the iPhone 12 is available in 4 variants and three sizes, small- or big-handed folks will certainly discover an iPhone that matches. The iPhone 12 Mini contains a 5.4-inch show, and the Professional Max is a whopping 6.7 inches. You’ll be able to evaluate all the size and different specs between Apple’s 4 iPhone 12 fashions right here.


As a trailblazer in computational pictures, Google’s cellphone cameras actually shine of their software program. However as rivals like Apple have improved their software program choices, Google’s {hardware} has did not sustain. The Pixel 5’s digital camera setup remains to be fairly terrific although and it has some thrilling new methods up its sleeve, like the wedding of Night time Sight and Portrait Mode for blurred-background pictures in low lighting. Different upgrades to the Pixel 5’s digital camera embody a brand new modifying mode for mild and portrait pictures, and an ultrawide digital camera for panorama and group pictures. 

Learn extra: The very best cellphone to purchase for 2020

However the iPhone 12 caters to the higher-end wants of even professional photographers. Apple already added an ultrawide lens on final yr’s iPhone 11, and the 12 Professional contains each the ultrawide angle and a telephoto digital camera (plus lidar!). In the meantime, Apple tackled the low-light drawback with {hardware} upgrades — a brand new lens with an aperture of f1.6 and a brand new bigger sensor, which Apple says gives 27% enchancment in low-light conditions. Apple additionally added Night time Mode to each its ultrawide and selfie cameras.

Processor, battery and efficiency

The iPhone 12 is supplied with Apple’s Bionic 14 processor, whereas the Pixel 5 has the Snapdragon 765G chipset from Qualcomm. The Pixel 5’s processor is definitely slower than the Pixel 4’s Snapdragon 855, however Google mentioned it went with this chipset as an effort to maintain prices down. We did not discover any decelerate, however our Pixel 5 benchmark checks did yield decrease scores than final yr’s iPhone 11.

The Pixel 5 boasts a 4,000-mAh battery, the best capability of any of the Pixel telephones. Whereas Apple would not launch battery specs, a current teardown video confirmed a 2,815-mAh battery capability. In CNET’s testing of steady video playback on airplane mode, the Pixel 5 lasted 21 hours, 43 minutes, whereas the iPhone 12 clocked in at solely 17 hours, 14 minutes. 

As a result of 5G connectivity is usually a main battery drain, each Google and Apple have launched some distinctive options to the battery life drawback. Along with throttling between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh charges, the Pixel 5 options an excessive battery saver mode that may severely restrict app utilization to increase battery life. The iPhone 12 introduces a characteristic known as Good Information mode, which can equally throttle 5G (right down to 4G, or between completely different bands of 5G) with the intention to steadiness efficiency with battery. 

Each telephones supply wi-fi charging (although solely the iPhone 12 lineup has a cool new MagSafe charger possibility), however solely the Pixel 5 contains reverse charging, which means it may possibly cost different telephones and equipment.

iPhone 12 vs. Pixel 5

iPhone 12  Pixel 5
Show measurement, decision 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 460 ppi 432 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.29 in 5.7 x 2.eight x 0.Three in
Dimensions (millimeters) 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.Four mm 144.7 x 70.Four x eight mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 5.78oz; 164g 5.33 oz; 151g
Cell software program iOS 14 Android 11
Digicam (megapixels) 12 MP (extensive), 12 MP (ultrawide) 12.2 MP (commonplace), 16 MP (ultrawide)
Entrance-facing digital camera 12 MP eight MP
Video seize 4K 4K
Processor Apple Bionic 14 Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB
RAM Undisclosed 8GB
Expandable storage No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 15 hours of video playback 4,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor None (Face ID) Rear
Connector Lightning USB-C
Headphone jack No No
Particular options 5G enabled; 60Hz refresh price; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; waterproof (IP68); 90Hz refresh price; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wi-fi charging; quick charging
Worth (USD) $799 (64GB), $849 (128GB), $949 (256GB) Unlocked: $829 (64GB), $879 (128GB), $979 (256GB) $699
Worth (GBP) £799 (64GB), £849 (128GB), £949 (256GB) £599
Worth (AUD) AU$1,349 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB), AU$1,599 (256GB) AU$999


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