Do we have a good one for you today – the new and improved Samsung Galaxy S6 goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X. It goes without saying that the Galaxy S6 is the more technically advanced device, but at what price. Does the Galaxy S6 really do so much more than the much cheaper Nexus 5X? How does the mid-range Nexus 5X stack up against the Galaxy S6…does it have enough tech savvy, along with its low price to beat out the Galaxy S6? Let's take a look at the similarities between these two devices before we take closer look at each one individually.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG Nexus 5X are very similar in physical size, with the Nexus 5X just slightly larger all around, but weighing 2 less grams. The displays are also very close in size – the Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch display and the Nexus 5X comes in at 5.2-inches, although they are different resolutions and technologies. Neither device offers internal memory expansion and both devices have a smaller, non-removable battery. Both devices have an excellent main camera for great photos and both have a 5MP front-facing camera. They both have a fingerprint sensor that can unlock the device as well as authorize mobile payments. The both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (v4.1 on the Galaxy S6 and v4.2 on the Nexus 5X), GPS, NFC capable, microUSB port (v2.0 on the Galaxy S6 and the newer Type-C on the Nexus 5X) and both have a rapid charge feature.
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.
Samsung Galaxy S6
For the new Galaxy S6, Samsung got rid of the plastic from the Galaxy S5 and replaced it with an aluminum unibody with Gorilla Glass 2.5D on the front and Gorilla Glass 3D on the back. It comes in a variety of colors, such as White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and an exclusive Galaxy S6 color, Blue Topaz. The Galaxy S6 is beautiful from every angle with a premium feel and solid build, but can be somewhat fragile if dropped without a case.
The Galaxy S6 sports a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 PPI and this compares to Nexus 5X's FHD LCD 5.2-inch display and 424 PPI. Samsung bypassed the usual Snapdragon route with the Galaxy S6 and went with their homegrown 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor using the first 14nm technology. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. The Nexus 5X is using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit 808 hexa-core processor. The Galaxy S6 is packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM, compared to 2GB of DDR3 RAM used in the Nexus 5X. The Galaxy S6 memory options are 32GB, 64GB or 128GB models with the new and faster Samsung UFS 2.0 flash memory with no room for expansion. The Nexus 5X comes with the options of 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no room for expansion.
The Galaxy S6 main camera has a 16MP sensor with autofocus, LED Flash, a wide f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and OIS. Samsung increased the FFC to 5MP and they wisely added the f/1.9 aperture, 120-degree wide-angle and Live HDR for excellent low-light group selfies and video chatting. The Nexus 5X main camera is a smaller 12.3MP with all the right pieces – even laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash – and a 5MP FFC…it takes great pictures, and only scored 2 points less than the Galaxy S6 camera in national testing.
The non-removable 2550mAh battery is smaller when compared to the non-removable 2700mAh in the Nexus 5X, but it should get you through most of the day. However, if you run into trouble, the new Samsung battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and Samsung included built-in wireless charging.
The Galaxy S6 has a few features not found on the Nexus 5X – it is Samsung Pay ready, its fingerprint sensor is PayPal certified, includes a built-in IR blaster, and includes a heart rate monitor, an oxygen saturation sensor, and wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards. It is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (it will be upgraded to Android 6.0) and will cost you about $600 for the 32GB model.
LG Nexus 5X
LG is very familiar with Nexus smartphones and what Nexus users are looking for when they purchase a Nexus device – decent specs for a reasonable price. LG has 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 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a popular size and priced at only $379. It is a mid-range device, and in order to come in at a lower price some corners must be cut…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 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S6 with 577 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. Samsung decided to go with their 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor on the Galaxy S6. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of DDR3 RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available. The Galaxy S6 comes with 3GB of DDR4 RAM with either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of the faster USF 2.0 internal memory with no means of expansion.
The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor – 12.3MP main camera with large a 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. This goes up against a 16MP sensor on the Galaxy S6 and a 5MP FFC. This is a perfect example of how more pixels does not necessarily mean a better picture – the 12.3 MP Nexus 5X will actually take a great picture and only scored 2 points below the Galaxy S6. The Nexus 5X has a larger 2700 mAh non-removable battery while the Galaxy S6 has a smaller 2550 mAh non-removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day and both devices have 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…
This was a very tough decision, but I picked the LG Nexus 5X as the winner of this comparison – not because it is technically superior or has more features…it does not. However, when you take into account what features most smartphone owners actually use or what they value, the Nexus 5X offers those features and it offers them for almost $200 (32GB model) less. True, it does not have the premium build or looks of the Galaxy S6, but it does satisfy many of the basic needs…and then some…at a price that cannot be beat.
Both devices have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and authorizing mobile purchases via Android Pay using Marshmallow. The displays, although different resolutions, are that size that most user like, the processor area is one where the Galaxy S6 is superior, however, with the Nexus 5X running pure Android, with no overlay, and optimized for the device its hexa-core processor is more than up to the tasks at hand. The camera on the Nexus 5X scored only two points below that of the highly praised Galaxy S6. The Nexus 5X even has a larger battery than the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S6 does have a superior QHD Super AMOLED display, but the FHD LCD display on the Nexus 5X is more than adequate. Without the option of expanding the internal memory, the Galaxy S6 does offer a 64GB and 128GB option. The Galaxy S6 does have a heart rate and oxygen sensor – but are you really going to use those features? One feature the Galaxy S6 does have that could be very useful is its built-in wireless charging capability.
It all boils down to this – if you want the device with the more premium looks, technical advances in the processor, and faster flash memory, a QHD display, a slightly better camera, wireless charging and Samsung Pay, then pay the extra money and get the Galaxy S6…you will not be disappointed. However, if you want the latest operating system, good specs, do not care about Samsung Pay and want to save a bundle of money, then the Nexus 5X is for you.
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