Switching from iPhone to Android or vice versa has always been a hot topic in the tech world – what you gain, what you lose, what’s better and what’s worse on each platform divides opinion always. However, what if you’ve already decided to switch to the Pixel and are coming from an iPhone or even an older Pixel?
this week, and I discovered a few quirks worthy of more attention than the slight variations in photo quality or the better design of the camera bar.
It turns out that transferring data from another Android device to Pixel is not as smooth as transferring data from iPhone to iPhone. Before you take the leap, you should also be aware of the existing flaws in Google Face Unlock, multitasking/RAM management, and video quality, because otherwise, they might catch you off guard.
At first glance, transferring data from an old Android phone to Pixel seems simple enough – you grab a USB-C cable; connect the two telephones to each other; and follow the on-screen instructions. However, in reality, the connection between Google’s own Pixel 6 Pro and the Pixel 7 Pro dropped every time I touched the cable (without unplugging it).
Reconnect the cable; Cable disconnected; Reconnect the cable to your Pixel 7 Pro – it lasted a good half hour before I finally got it to work (don’t know how), and over an hour after playing with both Pixel phones it was all over.
You can’t transfer all your data from Pixel to Pixel like you can with iPhone
Some important data from Pixel 6 cannot be transferred to Pixel 7, let alone iPhone or Galaxy.
Once you’ve transferred “all” your files from your old Android phone to the Pixel 7, surely you’re all set, right? Well, not quite.
First, some data and settings from your old device can’t be copied, like apps that aren’t from the Google Play Store or ringtones. While understandable, some of the other things you can’t transfer from Pixel to Pixel really surprised me:
- Downloads (such as PDFs) cannot be moved from one Pixel/Android to another
- Photos, videos and music received via SMS also don’t go from one Pixel/Android to another (this one makes sense since Google doesn’t have a 1:1 WhatsApp, iMessage equivalent)
- Voice recordings – for some reason Pixel won’t transfer your voice recordings (particularly annoying for someone like me who has hundreds of them); the worst part – is that when you share your Pixel 6 voice recordings with Pixel 7 nearby, they go directly to the Downloads folder instead of the Recorder app, which means there is no way to get your voice memos unless you have access to a PC and are willing to transfer them manually
Going from iPhone 14 to Pixel 7 won’t be great if you like Face ID, record tons of TikTok videos and use multiple apps all day
Pixel 7’s Face Unlock and in-display fingerprint reader aren’t as convenient or reliable as the current version of Face ID
I had a short but complicated relationship with Apple’s Face ID over the years…
When Face ID started, I just couldn’t get used to the inconvenience of the slow and not so flexible face unlock method on my iPhone XS and iPhone XR. I ended up getting rid of it to buy a Huawei P30 Pro. But today my experience of using Face ID on iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 14 Pro is much better!
What’s not so lucky is that Face Unlock on Pixel 7 is slower than Face ID, and not as flexible or reliable in different lighting conditions. Sure, it’s nowhere near as secure as the iPhone’s sophisticated system, but that’s no surprise given Pixel only uses its camera to do the trick.
Thing is, the second unlock method – the under-display optical fingerprint scanner on the vanilla Pixel 7 is still likely to misinterpret your touch, similar to the Pixel 6. Interestingly, I find the reader on the Pixel 7 Pro is less likely to miss, but that’s a story for another time. In a nutshell, Pixel 7 now has two unlock methods, but neither of them seems to be on par with an iPhone or Galaxy flagship, something to be aware of if you’re looking to switch.
Pixel 7 video quality not as good or reliable as iPhone
Although the quality of photos on Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro is very comparable, the same is not true for videos. Unless you have a perfectly well-lit scene, Pixel 7 videos tend to be very noisy, not as well stabilized (this one comes close), and especially bad when using the ultra-wide camera. low light angle.
The other thing that stands out is that Cinematic Mode on Pixel 7 is a hot mess compared to the second-gen Cinematic Mode on iPhone 14 Pro. Google’s phones record cinematic video only at 1080p at up to 24 fps, but that’s forgivable. What I can’t see beyond that is that Google delivered the worst version of a cinema mode compared to not only Apple, but also Samsung and OnePlus phones. Cinema Mode on Pixel 7 is spotty, blur is everywhere, and there’s zero control over how much blur you want or where you want the focus to be. In other words, it looks like the Google-loaded Pixel 7 with a very early beta version of this feature, which might have stayed out of the Pixel 7.
RAM management on Pixel 7 not as good as iPhone, even with 50% more RAM
And for the last point of things to know before upgrading from iPhone to Pixel 7, you might want to know that RAM management on Google flagships is still much less efficient than that on Apple devices.
Historically, that’s nothing new under the sun – that’s why iPhones have less RAM than Android phones. However, in my tests, opening and switching between about 20 different apps (social media, gaming, video streaming, etc.) was more reliable on iPhone. When it comes to keeping apps ready in the background:
- My iPhone 13 mini with 4GB RAM is about on par with the Pixel 7 with 8GB RAM
- My iPhone 14 Pro with 6GB of RAM is on par with the Pixel 7 Pro with 12GB of RAM
In what is a very unscientific experiment, I’ve come to the conclusion that Apple iPhones are about 50% more RAM efficient than Pixel, while in practical terms my iPhone 13 mini is definitely not a champion multitasker as it often kills applications in Context.
However, the iPhone 14 Pro is a beast when it comes to RAM management, as I often find apps I had open the night before ready to go the next morning – without having to recharge. According to Apple, the A16 Bionic in the iPhone 14 Pro has 50% more memory bandwidth thanks to the presence of LPDDR5 memory compared to LPDDR4X on vanilla iPhones.
For the record, the Pixel 7 Pro would also have LPDDR5 RAM, and I find its RAM management to be very good (definitely better than on the vanilla Pixel 7), although probably not as good as the iPhone 14. Pro.
Upgrading to the Pixel 7 from the Pixel 6, Galaxy S22, or iPhone might not be the smoothest experience, but that’s not why you buy a Pixel!
Of course, switching to Pixel from Galaxy or iPhone will come with some caveats like those mentioned in this story, but that’s to be expected, isn’t it?
Google is much newer in this software-hardware trade show compared to apple and Samsung, but other than that, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are more affordable and will only be cheaper to get compared to Cupertino or South Korea alternatives, and that’s for US buyers.
If you live in Europe, the UK or India, for example, getting a Pixel 7 flagship could be literally over 100% cheaper than splurging on that iPhone 14 Pro. In Germany, where I am now, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max start at $1,300 and $1,450 respectively, while the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are only $650 and $900, which isn’t really a spare change, to begin with, given the current economic situation.
Plus, Pixel 7 arguably takes the best photos and delivers the smoothest Android experience you could ask for, so what are some shortcomings…right?