How does Superman know his phone is ringing? He uses X-ray vision to see the vibration motor moving, of course! Well, okay thats probably not canon but someone with access to an X-ray inspection system shot the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL and the operation of their vibration motors.
Apple made a big deal about the Taptic engine – the well-loved feature from MacBooks made its way on the iPhone and pushed out the 3.5mm headphone jack along the way. Now, were no experts on the matter, but the Taptic engine definitely looks different than the regular vibration motor in the Pixel XL.
The iPhone 7 Plus component seems built up of multiple weights instead of one big one and it is controlled differently – short bursts with little travel. Meanwhile the weight in the Pixel travels further and for longer.
Apple is trying to simulate a click with the Taptic engine (with arguable success), while the Pixel simply vibrates to get your attention.