Do we have a good one for you today – the infamous Apple iPhone 6S goes up against the new mid-range LG Nexus 5X. The iPhone 6S has the pure Apple iOS experience and the Nexus 5X has Google's pure Android 6.0 Marshmallow experience. There is no arguing that the iPhone 6S is the prettier and better built of the two devices, but then the iPhone 6S is a premium high-end device made from metal that will cost you $650, whereas the Nexus 5X is decidedly a mid-range device made from plastic that will cost you only $379. Does the Nexus 5X have enough specs and performance to match up with the iPhone 6S and do these two devices and anything in common with one another. Let's take a quick look at these two devices and see if we can find any common ground before we move on to delve deeper into each device on its own.
As we look down the list comparing the iPhone 6S and the Nexus 5X, we see very little these two have in common – they both utilize the LCD display technology, they both have 2GB of RAM and offer a 16GB storage variant. Their camera areas are very similar with a 12MP shooter on the 6S and a 12.3MP on the 5X and both have a 5MP front-facing camera. They both use a single speaker, although in a different location and they both use a non-removable battery. The iPhone 6S and Nexus 5X each have a fingerprint sensor, although the sensor on the iPhone 6S is more restrictive when it comes to authorizing purchases – only for Apple Pay. The sensor on the Nexus 5X can be used for Android Pay purchases, but the device will also allow other mobile purchases.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Apple iPhone 6S
Although Tim Cook would like to proclaim that the iPhone 6S is "totally new," it is a carryover of the iPhone 6 with an improved aluminum body, a new camera and video options and a few new features. It is certainly a beautiful design and has a solid build – much nicer looking than the plastic Nexus 5X.
The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch display – it is an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1334 x 750 and 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – compared to the 5.2-inch Full HD display and 424 PPI found on the Nexus 5X. The 6S uses a 64-bit A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1.84GHz and it is smooth and fast, using a PowerVR GT7600 GPU…comparing nicely to the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Nexus 5X and its Adreno 418 GPU. The 6S comes with 2GB of RAM, which is the same found in the Nexus 5X. The iPhone 6S offers a choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no expansion while the Nexus 5X offers 16GB or 32GB of storage and no means to expand.
The camera has always been one of the iPhone's strong points and in the iPhone 6S Apple increased the size of the sensor from 8MP to 12MP and with other tweaking here and there. It has the phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. It has always been one the best point-and-shoot cameras on a smartphone and will certainly take better pictures than many other smartphones. However, the Android phones have not only caught up to the iPhone cameras, but they have surpassed them in many cases – the Nexus 5X being one of them. When tested by DxOMark, the Nexus 5X actually had a slightly higher score (84 versus 82) than the iPhone 6S. The FFC on the iPhone is now a larger 5MP for social media selfies or video chatting – ONLY through Apple's FaceTime unless both users download a third-party app. The Nexus 5X also uses a 5MP as its FFC. The iPhone has never been known for great battery life and the puny 1715mAh non-removable battery in the 6S does not do much to help its cause. While the larger 2700mAh non-removable battery in the Nexus 5X should easily outlast the iPhone 6S and should your battery get low, the Nexus 5X has rapid charge available via its Type-C port.
What does the iPhone 6S have the Nexus 5X does not? It has Apple's proprietary Apple Pay and its proprietary FaceTime video chat feature – if you can call that a good thing. iOS is easy to use and efficient, but rather boring when compared to an Android device and its customization capabilities and extended features. New this year is what Apple is calling 3D Touch display, where the display can 'sense' up to three pressures – press once to open up and app and then press harder within the app to go somewhere else – this is much like Android's long-press. The pricing has always been a sore spot with the iPhone, commanding an off contract price of $650 for just the 16GB all the way up to $850 for the 128GB model.
LG Nexus 5X
LG is very familiar with Nexus smartphones – they built two other models, the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013. After a Motorola Nexus 6 monster last year, Google went back to LG and asked them to make the mid-range Nexus 5X this year. With a popular sized 5.2-inch display and a price of only $379, it looks like they built another winner. It is a mid-range device, and as in all mid-range devices, certain corners have to be cut and in this case, LG had to use a polycarbonate build that is rugged, but not very premium feeling or looking.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI. This goes up against the 4.7-inch IPS LCD display on the iPhone 6S with only 326 PPI. The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. The iPhone 6S uses an A9 dual-core clocked at 1.84GHz. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available. The iPhone 6S comes with 2GB of RAM with either 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal memory with no means of expansion.
The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor with a 12.3MP main camera with large a 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. It has a 5MP FFC for social selfies and video chats. This goes up against a 12MP sensor on the iPhone 6S and a 5MP FFC. This is a perfect example of how many pixels you have does not necessarily mean a better picture – the 12.3 MP Nexus 5X will actually take a great picture and it scored 2 points above the iPhone 6S. The Nexus 5X has a larger 2700mAh non-removable battery while the iPhone 6S has a much smaller 1715mAh non-removable battery. The Nexus 5X should make it through a full day and has rapid charge capabilities.
The LG Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS. With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize mobile payments using Android Pay, among other things. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector and a single, front-facing speaker. The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice. It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.
…And The Winner Is…
Surprised? Probably not since this is an Android device site…but hear me out before you start calling me names. This comparison is about specifications and features, not about which device is the prettiest, because the iPhone 6S would win in that category. But hey, just because the Nexus 5X is made from plastic does not mean that it is ugly or that it lacks in build quality…it does not.
With that out of the way, let us look at the features and performance – the Nexus 5X has a better display, when it comes to the processor we may have to give the nod to the iPhone 6S, but the Snapdragon 808 running pure Android 6.0 is smooth and fast as can be. Both use 2GB of RAM and offer no expansion of their internal memory, although the iPhone 6S does have higher base amounts available. Both offer a fingerprint sensor, but the iPhone 6S is limited to unlocking the device and making purchases through only Apple Pay, whereas the Nexus 5X can unlock the device, make purchases via Android Pay and also make other mobile purchases. Although they both only have one speaker, the Nexus 5X places its prominently on the front of the device, not on the bottom as the iPhone 6S. The Nexus 5X even has a higher rated camera than the iPhone 6S and comes with a much larger battery.
If the above features are not enough to convince you – the Nexus 5X will cost you $379 and the same 16GB configuration on an iPhone 6S will cost you $650. I am sorry, but with the flexibility of the Android OS and the bevy of features the Nexus 5X packs in for only $379, it is the clear winner of this comparison.
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