Google's Pixel 3 XL is no match for Apple's iPhone XS Max at Fortnite

Posted:
in iPhone
Continuing the comparisons between the iPhone XS Max and the Google Pixel 3 XL, this time AppleInsider looks at the gaming credentials of each device, by putting both of the premium smartphones through a few rounds of Fortnite.




We recently got the Pixel 3 XL in our hands and we've been comparing everything we can from processing performance, the audio quality of the speakers, to the images produced by the cameras, to the iPhone XS Max.

This time, the devices are being put through their paces in Fortnite, the popular first-person shooter, which tests their graphical and processing capabilities. It also allows us to measure how much battery life is being used by each smartphone while playing at maximum brightness, to determine which will provide the longest gaming sessions.





The XS Max easily outperformed the Pixel 3 XL in earlier benchmarks, especially in Geekbench 4's graphics test, which is what matters the most for graphics-intensive tasks like playing Fortnite. This should give Apple's handset a distinct advantage.

The Pixel 3 XL lags behind the iPhone XL Max in benchmarks
The Pixel 3 XL lags behind the iPhone XL Max in benchmarks


The Pixel 3 XL also has the largest notch we've ever seen in any phone, so it'll be interesting to see how it impacts gameplay.

Two Hours Later

After playing an hour of Fortnite on each phone, here's what was observed.

The iPhone XS Max has the bigger screen, and a less obtrusive notch than the Pixel 3 XL
The iPhone XS Max has the bigger screen, and a less obtrusive notch than the Pixel 3 XL


First of all, the Pixel 3 XL's display is already smaller than the XS Max's screen. Add in that the areas next to the notch are completely unusable, this practically , and the area next to the notch was completely unusable, adding some pretty thick bezels on the top and bottom of the phone.

This made the gameplay controls more cramped on screen compared to the XS Max, which just felt so immersive thanks to the larger screen area and a brighter screen.

The iPhone XS Max dropped 23 percent of its battery after one hour of gameplay
The iPhone XS Max dropped 23 percent of its battery after one hour of gameplay


Even with a brighter display, the XS Max was able to demonstrate better battery life, draining just 23 percent of the battery compared to 29 percent on the Pixel 3 XL after an hour of gameplay.

Fortnite in all its high-performance glory on the iPhone XS Max
Fortnite in all its high-performance glory on the iPhone XS Max


Performance-wise, the Pixel 3 XL experienced a few dropped frames on a consistent basis, and once the Pixel's battery reached below 20 percent, I started to notice that the graphics quality dropped significantly. Some scenes looked absolutely terrible, almost as if the game automatically reduced the visual quality to the minimum to try to conserve battery life.

When the Pixel 3 XL is low on battery, Fortnite lowers its graphical settings

When the Pixel 3 XL is low on battery, Fortnite lowers its graphical settings


The XS Max's graphics stayed exactly the same for the full hour of gameplay, with smooth performance and no noticeable dropped frames throughout the session.

The Pixel 3 XL's battery sunk by 29 percent after 60 minutes
The Pixel 3 XL's battery sunk by 29 percent after 60 minutes


With all of that said, we can easily say that Apple's iPhone XS Max is superior to Google's Pixel 3 XL in terms of Fortnite gaming performance, and those results should translate to other mobile games as well.

Deals on the iPhone XS Max and Google Pixel 3 XL

If you haven't already ordered Apple's iPhone XS Max, wireless carriers are incentivizing the purchase. Want to get your hands on a new device asap? eBay sellers are also shipping units now.

Carrier deals:

  • AT&T Wireless: Buy one iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, get a second $700 off when you add a line.
  • Verizon Wireless: Buy an iPhone XS and save up to $300 with a qualifying trade.
  • Sprint: Get the 64GB iPhone XS for half off with eligible trade-in and Sprint Flex lease.
  • T-Mobile: Save up to $390 on the iPhone XS with an eligible iPhone trade.
Those interested in purchasing the Google Pixel 3 XL can save up to $300 with an eligible trade at Verizon Wireless.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member
    Everything about the Pixel 3 is trash, from the notch, to the performance, to the build, to the numerous OS bugs. Not to mention no wireless charging, no water resistance rating, etc. This is a generation or two behind the XS, and even XR, and is selling for around the same price. What happened to Google's phones being an "amazing value" vs Apple's "over-priced" devices? The XS absolutely decimates the Pixel 3 in every single spec.
    MuntzericthehalfbeePickUrPoisonmagman1979mikeybabestycho_macusercornchipApple Exposedpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Even if that’s true, are you using your iPhone in the room where helium exposed daily?
    StrangeDaysmagman1979Rayz2016tycho_macuserjbdragonApple Exposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    kevin kee said:
    Even if that’s true, are you using your iPhone in the room where helium exposed daily?

    I'm sure it's true. There are lots of strange interactions between electronics and various gases/chemicals. For example, I know of an automotive recall for taillights where outgassing from the type of foam insulator pad used between the light and vehicle body caused a reaction that led to rapid corrosion and failure of the lights.

    People who work in environments with higher than usual concentrations of various chemicals/gases would either not use a cell phone at all, or would purchase devices that are rated to work in such environments (just like they would for other electrical/electronic equipment used in those areas).

    The poster you replied to is nothing but a troll trying to derail conversations by bringing up completely unrelated topics.
    tmayLordeHawkStrangeDaysmagman1979tycho_macuserMuntzcornchipSpamSandwichApple Exposedroundaboutnow
  • Reply 5 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,399member
    Seriously... Helium environment?  Who even cares?  I hear iPhones malfunction after exposure to sulphuric acid for eight minute as well.  Who the fuck cares?
    LordeHawkStrangeDaysmagman1979mikeybabestycho_macusermwhiteMuntzjbdragoncornchipSpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 20
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,100member
    I'm not sure why we need a separate article and video for each and every possible test of the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS Max -- the earlier, more comprehensive benchmarking videos and articles (and common sense, once you know the specs of each device) have made it abundantly clear that the iPhone XS Max will beat the Pixel 3 at nearly everything (the camera test is one area that's a toss-up IMO and that made for a useful video).

    Even though the Pixel 3 is marginally cheaper, the iPhone XS Max is a far better phone -- and for buyers with half a brain in their head, that means its more bang for your buck, and a better overall value at the premium-smartphone level.
    edited November 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    sflocal said:
    Seriously... Helium environment?  Who even cares?  I hear iPhones malfunction after exposure to sulphuric acid for eight minute as well.  Who the fuck cares?
    Exactly. Pathetic trolling from a person who can barely string coherent sentences together most days. 
    edited November 2018 magman1979tmayMuntzjbdragoncornchipSpamSandwichApple Exposedroundaboutnowpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    BluntBlunt Posts: 220member
    chasm said:
    I'm not sure why we need a separate article and video for each and every possible test of the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS Max -- the earlier, more comprehensive benchmarking videos and articles (and common sense, once you know the specs of each device) have made it abundantly clear that the iPhone XS Max will beat the Pixel 3 at nearly everything (the camera test is one area that's a toss-up IMO and that made for a useful video).

    Even though the Pixel 3 is marginally cheaper, the iPhone XS Max is a far better phone -- and for buyers with half a brain in their head, that means its more bang for your buck, and a better overall value at the premium-smartphone level.

    You are right. The Pixel 3 is not relevant. It's only loved by the tech press and nobody knows why. They probably get money for praising it. That notch! LOL.
    Muntzjbdragoncornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    QuikkmaffsQuikkmaffs Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Who cares about fortnite? Are the people reading this 11 years old? the iPhone is trash for its pricing. At least it has a better camera. (stop trying to say iPhone is better, it isnt) And I'd agree the OnePlus 6 with a google camera app takes way better photos than a brand new 1200 dollar iPhone. It makes me so furious that people pay for such a wasted product. Even the OP6 I feel is expensive at 500.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Who cares about fortnite? Are the people reading this 11 years old? the iPhone is trash for its pricing. At least it has a better camera. (stop trying to say iPhone is better, it isnt) And I'd agree the OnePlus 6 with a google camera app takes way better photos than a brand new 1200 dollar iPhone. It makes me so furious that people pay for such a wasted product. Even the OP6 I feel is expensive at 500.
    Loser talk. 
    mikeybabesMuntzStrangeDaysjbdragonApple Exposedroundaboutnowpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Who cares about fortnite? Are the people reading this 11 years old? the iPhone is trash for its pricing. At least it has a better camera. (stop trying to say iPhone is better, it isnt) And I'd agree the OnePlus 6 with a google camera app takes way better photos than a brand new 1200 dollar iPhone. It makes me so furious that people pay for such a wasted product. Even the OP6 I feel is expensive at 500.
    So … much … pain. 😢


    edited November 2018 MuntzStrangeDaysking editor the gratejbdragoncornchipApple Exposedroundaboutnowpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Who cares about fortnite? Are the people reading this 11 years old? the iPhone is trash for its pricing. At least it has a better camera. (stop trying to say iPhone is better, it isnt) And I'd agree the OnePlus 6 with a google camera app takes way better photos than a brand new 1200 dollar iPhone. It makes me so furious that people pay for such a wasted product. Even the OP6 I feel is expensive at 500.
    The latest release of iPhones starts at $749 so like most trolls and halfwits you don't have a single clue. Fear not readers, he won't be reading his replies. he's off now to find anything forum to troll.
    tycho_macuserMuntzStrangeDaysApple Exposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    From the article:
    First of all, the Pixel 3 XL's display is already smaller than the XS Max's screen. Add in that the areas next to the notch are completely unusable, this practically , and the area next to the notch was completely unusable, adding some pretty thick bezels on the top and bottom of the phone.”

    Sorry, but that paragraph is a mess!
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    [...].
    *plonk*
    edited November 2018 cornchipSpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,618member
    Very interesting...   But my grandson refuses to use either his iPad or iPhone for Fortnite and instead prefers his X-Box with its game controller.

    I would love to see a comparison of the iPhone with controllers (if Apple Stores will sell them for phones newer than the 8) or, possibly more interesting:   the iPad or iPad Pro equipped with game controllers (which Apple Stores do sell).
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    slurpy said:
    Everything about the Pixel 3 is trash, from the notch, to the performance, to the build, to the numerous OS bugs. Not to mention no wireless charging, no water resistance rating, etc. This is a generation or two behind the XS, and even XR, and is selling for around the same price. What happened to Google's phones being an "amazing value" vs Apple's "over-priced" devices? The XS absolutely decimates the Pixel 3 in every single spec.
    Pixel 3 can charge wirelessly, Google even launched their own wireless charger alongside the Pixel 3.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Apple ExposedApple Exposed Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    With that notch can you really call that a 6.3" display on that iKnockoff?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Who cares about fortnite? Are the people reading this 11 years old? the iPhone is trash for its pricing. At least it has a better camera. (stop trying to say iPhone is better, it isnt) And I'd agree the OnePlus 6 with a google camera app takes way better photos than a brand new 1200 dollar iPhone. It makes me so furious that people pay for such a wasted product. Even the OP6 I feel is expensive at 500.

    Settle down, Beavis.
    watto_cobra
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