Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Huawei Nexus 6P goes up against the new Sony Xperia X – both all-metal devices – yes, even the Sony. Up until now, if the smartphone had a metal casing and a glass back, it was a safe bet that it was a Sony product – although Samsung recently changed that concept. With the new Xperia X series, Sony decided to go with an all-metal design, which did away with another Sony tradition – no more IP68 waterproofing. The Xperia X still has that 'Sony look' and they retained their usual FHD display. The Xperia X is going up against one of the best Nexus devices ever made and even with its unusual hump across the top back, it is a beautiful device. Nexus and Sony owners are fanatics when it comes to the love of their devices so we can expect some 'difference of opinion' in the comments section. Before we take a close look at each device, let's look at some of their similarities.
When it comes to having very little in common, the Nexus 6P and Sony Xperia X may very well lead the race. They are not the same physical size, the displays are different in size, the technology, and the resolutions are all different. They both use a Snapdragon processor, but entirely different models, although they do share 3GB of RAM and you can get a 32GB or 64GB variant, but only one offers expandable storage. The camera areas are very different – both are great, but they obtain their results using different parts and pieces. They both have a fingerprint sensor (in the international Xperia X version), a non-removable battery and each offers a rapid charge feature and dual stereo speakers. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a port for charging and data transfer – the new Type-C on the Nexus 6P and a microUSB v2.0 on the Xperia X.
Please take a thoughtful 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 device in greater depth 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.
Huawei Nexus 6P
After what Google did with the last two Nexus smartphones, it will be interesting to see what they do this year. When the massive Nexus 6 came out, many Nexus owners were 'put off' by its large size, high specs, and high price tag. So last year when they introduced two Nexus levels – the smaller, more traditional Nexus 5X and a real flagship, the Nexus 6P – it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Tapping LG for the 5X and Huawei for the Nexus 6P were also brilliant moves. The Nexus 6P is well-built and comes with an all-metal unibody construction. Any one of the four colors – Aluminum, Graphite, Frost, or Matte Gold will give your Nexus 6P that premium look and the specs are nothing to sneeze at even after eight months.
The Nexus 6P comes with a large 5.7-inch AMOLED display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Huawei went with the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, v2.1, which is supposed to fix the overheating issues with the original 810. It has four cores clocked at 1.55 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0 GHz. The Nexus 6P has 3GB of DDR4 RAM and a choice of 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of internal memory with no means for external expansion.
Huawei made sure its high-end Nexus 6P smartphone could take great photos. It uses a highly rated 12.3MP sensor, laser autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and dual-tone LED flash, but still no OIS. The Nexus 6P also has a large 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) with an aperture of f/2.4 for selfies and video chatting. The Nexus 6P has a very capable 3450mAh non-removable battery that includes a rapid charge feature via its Type-C reversible plug.
The Nexus 6P has a few things that the Sony Xperia X does not – it has a great Samsung-built AMOLED QHD display and competes with dual front-facing stereo speakers. It is running pure vanilla Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and will always get the fastest upgrades possible when new versions come out. Pricing is at only $550 for the 64GB model and offers an excellent value. Sold through Google as an unlocked device, the Nexus 6P is usable on all major US networks.
Sony Xperia X
You certainly will not mistake the Xperia X for anything but a Sony device – the large top and bottom bezels along with its rather rectangular look are a dead giveaway. Gone are the metal and glass design – but enter a new metal backing that surprisingly looks and feels like plastic. The Xperia X also loses its IP68 certification because of this switch in materials. Sony did make slight modifications to the edges that create a smoother look and make it easier to handle the device. Sony is putting out two versions – a US model that Sony removed the fingerprint sensor, but included in the international version. Sony also bypassed including a top processor and opted for the mid-range Snapdragon 650 hexacore processor.
In Sony's continuing efforts to avoid using QHD displays, the Xperia X sports a 5.0-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. The Xperia X uses a mid-range 64-bit Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.8GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz. It packs 3GB of the slower DDR3 memory – limitations imposed by the Snapdragon 650 processor. There is 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
Sony brought the camera over from its Xperia Z5 – with a 23MP sensor with f/2.0, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) and LED flash – however, according to our review, it did not fare as well when we tested the Xperia X. Sony increased the FFC from 5.1MP to a massive 13MP and gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for selfies and video chatting. A 2620mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
Sony took away some liberties that people came to expect from a Sony smartphone – its IP68 certified dust and water-resistance – is gone, thanks to the new metal casing. However, the Xperia X does retain the dual stereo front-facing speakers. Another strange marketing move on Sony's part, the Sony Xperia X, model F5121, is the US model, and it comes without the fingerprint sensor. However, model F5122, which is the International model, does come with a fingerprint sensor. The saving grace is that both of these models use the same spectrum, so it should not matter which model you use in the US. It measures 142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 153 grams. The full array of colors is White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and the Xperia X will cost you about $550.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This win has to go to the Nexus 6P. For the same amount of money, you get a bigger and better display, as good or better processor, faster DDR4 RAM, as good a camera, competes with front facing stereo speakers, a larger battery, and the Type-C reversible plug, and pure vanilla Android and the fastest updates possible. It is true that there is no room for memory expansion, but $550 will give you 64GB.
Sony, after all of these years, is still struggling to sell their smartphones in the US. One only has to look at the smaller Full HD display, mid-range processor, small battery, lack of LTE Bands, high pricing, and even lack of a fingerprint sensor on the US version to understand the reason.
Looking at both of these devices, it is clear that the Nexus 6P dominates the specifications, is unlocked to work on all major US carriers, and the quickest software updates.