The iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro are the most recent flagship phones from Apple and Google. When it comes to their technical sheet or the software, they offer the best from both companies. They promise to offer almost the best technologies available on the market.
Now, the camera is the main reason why anyone should be purchasing a flagship phone these days, and this is where Google is trying to outperform everyone using the clever ways of artificial intelligence (AI) and some hardware upgrades.
When it comes to main camera performance I believe the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best flagship phone because it captures 24 MP photos with excellent dynamic range while all other smartphone manufacturers only take pictures at 12 MP resolution, which results in better detail on the iPhone.
On the other hand the Pixel 8 Pro's standard resolution output is still 12 MP, so you might prefer the colors on the Pixel because it is subjective. However, detail is something that is not subjective, and Apple has a significant advantage in this area because of the high 24 MP output.
Now, moving on to lenses that is where Google has a chance to outperform Apple, not just because the Pixel 8 Pro has a higher resolution, but also because the ultra-wide lens has a 48 MP resolution.
Also, you'll probably get crisper Ultra wide-angle shots on the Pixel 8 Pro because it has an aperture of f1.9 as opposed to the iPhone 15 Pro Max's f2.2.
Regarding zoom performance, both phones offer 5x Zoom at f2.8 aperture but again Pixel 8 Pro has 48 PM resolution which you can unlock in the Pro Mode. If used properly, the Pixel 8 Pro may display detail that is superior to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It might not seem like a big deal, but the fact that the iPhone 15 Pro Max can capture portrait mode images using its 5x lens, something Google hasn't done with its 5x Zoom as we've seen with the Pixel 7 Pro Series, and they haven't mentioned it in relation to their Pixel 8 Pro series this year, means that the iPhone will also going to win when it comes to zoom performance.