Pixel XL vs. Zenfone 3 Deluxe – Phone Comparison

Here is a battle of the titans. Flagship vs. flagship! Google is officially unveiling the Pixel XL on Oct 4th, but let’s just call this an early comparison. We will build upon this comparison as these two phones are widely available and real life usage comparisons will be possible. For now it’s a matter of what’s on paper and who might edge out the other if at all.

Note: We want to keep this comparison as accurate as possible. It complicates matters when there is a “Special Edition” Zenfone 3 Deluxe with 256GB storage and the Snapdragon 821 processor. Both Zenfone 3 Deluxe models will be included in this comparison. Also keep in mind that the Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) is 5.7-inches instead of the 5.5-inch size of the Pixel XL.

Google Pixel XL vs. Zenfone 3 Deluxe

Overview: If we want to say which phone looks better? I think this is a no contest. Clearly the Zenfone 3 Deluxe wins in the looks department. A picture is worth a thousand words and these two phones are not equals in terms of aesthetics. Antenna lines galore on the Pixel XL phone and a clean, antenna free design on the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. Google’s camera doesn’t have a bump whereas the Zenfone 3 Deluxe does, which you cannot see from this view below. However, which device looks premium?


Which phone is cheaper? Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe is the clear winner in terms of price, but there are extra considerations here.

The spec that needs to be discussed is the screen resolution difference between these two phones. The Pixel XL resolution is 2046 x 1440 and the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is 1920 x 1080. The camera and resolution would be the two specs that the Pixel XL beats the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. However, you must decide what those extra pixels and camera are worth. Additionally, also consider what the added value is for a microSD card slot, included headset, and 2GB of extra RAM is worth and whether that value counters the resolution difference. Google claims camera supremacy, but the jury is still out on that one although early indicators are that the Pixel XL has possible the best camera in a mobile phone. Based on our poll results however, the camera is your least important feature.

We can only utilize the pricing that is available right now. We have a price comparison article here.

Which phone is lighter? The Zenfone 3 Deluxe, even with its larger 5.7-inch size, is 160g in comparison to the Pixel XL which is 168g. The Pixel XL is around 5% heavier. If you look at battery size, there may be the explanation for the weight discrepancy.

Which phone is faster? Same Snapdragon S821 in both Pixel XL and Special Edition Deluxe puts them at a tie, except that Asus packs in an extra 2GB of RAM for 6GB total vs. 4GB RAM on the Pixel XL. The Snapdragon 820 version of the ZS570KL has 2GB more RAM than the Pixel XL but the processor speed of the Pixel XL is faster with the Snapdragon 821.

When you boil it down, all three of these phones are going to be smoking fast. We need benchmark results but it’s hard to imagine the Pixel XL beating the Special Edition of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe.

Which phone is thinner? The Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) is thinner at 4.2 to 7.5mm than the 8.6mm thickness of the Pixel XL.

Which phone has the better screen? The Pixel XL comes in with a 1440 x 2560 px resolution vs. the 1920 x 1080 px resolution of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. Actual display quality and brightness will have to be explored in the coming weeks.

Which phone has the bigger battery? Battery size is not always indicative of superior battery life, but the Pixel XL comes with a large 3450mAh battery compared to the 3000mAh battery with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe. Screen size and resolution will play a role in how much better the battery  performance is on  the Pixel XL.

Which phone has the best camera? We need to see the official unveil of the Pixel XL to know for sure how the camera stacks up. It looks both phones sport a front facing 8MP camera, but the rear cameras seems quite different. Asus has spent a lot of effort in putting the best possible rear camera in the Zenfone 3 Deluxe and it’s unlikely that the Pixel XL can equal it. At first glance, the Pixel XL has a 12MP rear and the Zenfone 3 Deluxe has a 23MP rear camera. More megapixels doesn’t always mean better quality, but we do know that Asus put the latest and greatest Sony lens in the rear camera. Let’s wait a few more days for the “on paper” comparison winner.

Which phone has the better storage? We need to know the Pixel XL specs in more detail before drawing final “on paper” comparison conclusions. The Zenfone 3 Deluxe utilizes the fast UFC 2.0 standard with their onboard storage. The Pixel XL is likely to also have UFC 2.0 storage, but we need to confirm that detail. Capacity wise, the Pixel XL comes with either 32GB or 128GB. The Zenfone 3 Deluxe comes with 64GB storage and the Special Edition comes with 256GB. Having 32GB these days is not an ideal situation so the Pixel XL doesn’t have as good options, although some might prefer saving a bit of money with 128GB rather than the 256GB on the Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition.

One spec sheet indicates that the Pixel XL comes with microSD expandable storage. This would be a first for Google and would actually be shocking if it were true. Let’s assume that the Pixel XL does not come with the microSD card slot. The Zenfone 3 Deluxe allows for up to 2TB of microSD card storage expandability.

We should also mention the freebies that both phones offer. Not surprisingly, Google is offering unlimited cloud storage for full resolution images via Google Photos. Asus on the other hand is offering 5GB for life free Asus WebStorage in addition to 100GB free Google Drive storage for 2 years.

Which phone has the better OS? The Pixel XL has a pure Android experience and because it’s a Google phone, it will get the updates first. In fact the Pixel XL will run Android 7.1 Nougat whereas the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In the software department, the Pixel XL wins. No word from Asus about updating the Zenfone 3 Deluxe to Android 7.0 but with consumer backlash with the Zenfone 2 lack of updates, hopefully it’s a top priority for Asus.



(updating in progress….)



  • Michael Flatman

    the zenfones s821 is at 2.4ghz, the pixels is at 2.15, the zenfone wins!