Like the iPhone 14, the Google Pixel 7 is unfinished
If you obtain a brand new iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro, you in all probability find it irresistible. If you’re ordered a Pixel 7 Pro, you’ll love that too. You don’t must learn a bunch of opinions to know that Apple’s present iPhone lineup is its strongest ever or that Google’s latest handset brings sensible, significant modifications and a digicam system unmatched on every other smartphone.
Of course, I may’ve written the identical factor final 12 months. And the 12 months earlier than that. More than every other system, smartphones are perpetually a piece in progress that in some way at all times really feel like they’re not fairly completed: The iPhone 12 Pro was lacking ProMovement, the 13 didn’t have an always-on show, the Pixel 6 Pro was lacking Face Unlock.
And your new iPhone 14 or Pixel 7, pretty much as good as it’s and as a lot as you find it irresistible, remains to be a 12 months or two away from being good. And it at all times will probably be.
The identical however totally different
The Pixel 7 Pro seems to be lots like final 12 months’s mannequin, with a digicam bar on the again and small hole-punch for the selfie digicam. It seems to be good, but it surely feels extra like a compromise than the head of a decade of cellphone design.
The identical might be stated of the iPhone 14. Apple has primarily used the identical design for 3 years, and whereas it’s recognizable, it’s additionally beginning to really feel a little bit stale. But it’s arduous to pinpoint the way it may change with no radical breakthrough. Like the Pixel 7, the digicam wants a bump, the display wants a digicam cutout, and the bezels can’t be lowered rather more.
Whatever cellphone you decide will really feel unfinished regardless of what its maker may have you imagine. We have goals of cameras which are flush in opposition to the again, bezels which are invisible, skinny sheets of glass that really feel like paper. Maybe we’ll get there in 2030 or 2041, however for now, smartphones are in an limitless cycle of catchup and one-upmanship that looks as if it can by no means finish.
Wait until subsequent 12 months
Apple is at all times a few years forward with regards to iPhone growth, so whereas we’re shopping for the iPhone 14, engineers are engaged on the iPhone 16. That’s a part of the rationale why Apple at all times appears to carry again options. With every iPhone technology, you may level to a serious function that ought to be there however isn’t.
Besides, it’s not like Android telephones aren’t catching up too. One of the Pixel 7’s premier digicam options is Cinematic Blur, which is mainly a carbon copy of the iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode. The identical goes for Macro Focus, which was launched on the iPhone 13 Pro final 12 months.
iPhone followers and Pixel followers will argue that the options are totally different, however that’s not likely the purpose. Phones are taking part in a simultaneous recreation of catch-up and one-up that will get repeated every year, and there’s at all times going to be one thing that one has and the opposite doesn’t. For instance, the iPhone 14 Pro has a telephoto lens, but it surely’s not so good as the one on the Pixel 7 Pro or the Galaxy S22. That’s in all probability coming with the iPhone 15.
After years of 12MP pictures, the iPhone solely simply received a 48MP digicam. High-megapixel cameras and always-on shows have been staples of high-end Android telephones for years, and Apple may have given them to us at any time over the previous few updates. But that’s not how the sport works. Apple and Google are by no means going to provide us greater than the precise function set calculated to maintain us comfortable sufficient to purchase the newest mannequin, however unhappy sufficient to wish to improve the next 12 months.
Maybe the Pixel 8 will get a Dynamic Island function. Or the iPhone 16 will get Google’s Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur. Maybe one thing just like the digicam bar involves iPhone sooner or later or the Pixel will get a flatter design.
While you discover your new iPhone 14 Plus, options for the iPhone 16 are already being finalized and unlikely to alter a lot between now and 2024. And by the point they arrive, there will probably be one thing else the iPhone doesn’t have.