It could only be a PhoneBuff video if you find a robotic arm flicking through a smartphone. The latest video on the YouTube channel pits the Google Pixel 4 XL against the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max in a performance test. To nobody’s surprise, the Apple flagship took the lead while the Pixel 4 XL did show some signs of improvement over its predecessor. Even if you don’t approve of such speed tests, they do bring out some crucial points on how a phone handles demanding conditions.
The iPhone’s efficiency becomes apparent within the first few seconds of the test when the phone loads a 500-page document without breaking a sweat. Similar was the case with Snapseed and Premiere Rush where the Pixel 4 XL took a couple of seconds more to finish applying filters and rendering a video, respectively. Load times for games were comparable on both phones, but the Google handset still felt lagging since its opponent had already moved on to the next apps.
Of the 16 apps tested, the iPhone could keep 11 last-used apps active in its 4GB of RAM. The Pixel 4 XL, on the other hand, could only handle 9 apps running in its 6GB of RAM, excluding Premiere Rush and Snapseed. To Google’s credit, the RAM management has improved for sure as the Pixel 3 XL struggled to keep as many apps in memory during a similar test last year.
On PhoneBuff’s website, the speed test leaderboard still ranks the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ in the top two positions. Though, it’s worth noting that these phones were tested with 12GB of RAM, which is a few times more than what both the Pixel 4 XL and the iPhone 11 Pro Max come with.
I wonder why the folks at PhoneBuff didn't use Android 10’s navigation gestures that could’ve been faster than repeating the two-step process of hitting the home button after pulling up the navigation bar in full-screen apps. Not that it would’ve substantially compensated for the performance difference and mediocre RAM management of the Pixel 4 XL, but it’s better to abstain from such inconsistencies — all the more so when you’ve already got a freaking robotic arm to avoid the exact thing.
Battery test: Pixel 4 XL vs. iPhone 11
The Pixel 4 XL couldn’t trump even the lower-priced iPhone 11 in PhoneBuff’s battery test, though the difference wasn’t as drastic this time. Calling, texting, and scrolling through Instagram uniformly pulled the battery percentage down on both phones. What took a toll on the Pixel’s juice were gaming, YouTube, web browsing, and even reading emails. The Apple handset fared better in standby usage as well.
In the end, the Pixel 4 XL gracefully lost by a margin of just 1 hour in both screen-on time and total awake period, standing at 7 hours 43 minutes and 23 hours 43 minutes, respectively. These aren’t bad numbers considering the Pixel is pushing more pixels at a higher 90Hz refresh rate, while the iPhone 11 settles for close to a 720p LCD panel. To the iPhone’s credit, it took the crown despite sporting a smaller 3110mAh battery versus the Pixel 4 XL’s 3700mAh.