Here's a portrait from the Pixel 3 to get us started. Both phones let you adjust the bokeh (or background blur) after the shot has been taken. I've left these images on default settings so you can see how each camera renders the blur.
The lighting in this aquarium is tricky, but perfect to show how each phone renders colors in portrait mode.
The Pixel 3 produces shots that are slightly more saturated in outdoor lighting situations than the iPhone XS (see next shot).
Thanks to Smart HDR, there's also a more even look of shadows and highlights.
An indoor photo taken on the Pixel 3.
The same photo on the iPhone XS.
Portrait mode on the Pixel 3 looks tack-sharp. But sometimes it just doesn't get the blur in the background right. Take for example the hair; you can see where the hair ends and where the blur begins. It's not a seamless transition as it is on the next photo.
The blur on the XS, on the other hand, looks natural and falls off more evenly, just like it would if you took the photo using a DSLR.
Pick a portrait between this slide and the next one.
See which one you prefer.
The Pixel 3 has two front-facing cameras. One is a wide-angle lens and the other is a normal field of view. Here's the normal selfie camera in action.
Here's the wide lens that gets a lot more of the background in the photo.
The Pixel 3 has facial retouching modes active on the front camera (that you can also turn off). Here's the default "natural" setting.
Here's without the filter. The photo looks oversharpened and not as flattering.
Here's one taken with the soft filter active. It looks really smooth.
Here's the iPhone XS selfie (no beauty mode). The white balance is a little warmer so I think it looks more flattering than the previous selfies from the Pixel 3.
The Pixel 3 produces a great result with its built-in flash.
So does the iPhone. Which do you prefer?
Another shot where you can see how the Pixel 3 has slightly more color saturation than on the iPhone (next slide).
The iPhone XS has a slightly warmer white balance on this one, but colors don't look as saturated and more natural than the Pixel.
It's time to turn the lights down low and see what the Pixel 3's single-lens rear camera can do. A performer at the San Francisco Dungeon poses in front of a crystal ball. The Pixel 3's shot looks sharp and vibrant.
The iPhone XS is a little less saturated and has a touch more noise on the same low-light image.
Another shot in extreme low light from the Pixel 3. This time you can really see the detail captured at a shutter speed of 1/15 second and ISO 5280.
The iPhone uses a much slower exposure at 1/4 second and a lower ISO of 2500.