Phone Comparisons: HTC 10 vs Google Pixel XL

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the HTC 10 takes on the new Google Pixel XL. The HTC 10 started the all-metal trend and continues with it today. The Google Pixel series is replacing the old Nexus line-up, and they decided to go with a polished glass and metal look. Both devices are a solid build, and once the Google Pixel XL grows on you, they are not bad looking smartphones, although the nod may have to go to the HTC 10. There are a few similarities between the two devices. Let’s take a look to see just what these two smartphones have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.

These two flagships do have a few things in common, starting with their QHD display, although they use a different technology. To protect their screens from abuse, the HTC 10 uses Gorilla Glass 3, and the Google Pixel XL uses the newer Gorilla Glass 4. They both use a 64-bit Snapdragon processor – 820 versus 821 – and they both use an Adreno 530 for their graphic needs. Both devices are packing 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of expandable internal memory in the HTC only. The camera areas are both terrific and even use the same number of megapixels. They both use non-removable batteries and offer rapid charge capabilities. They are both packing a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.

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.

Specifications

HTC 10

HTC has redesigned theri flagship series for the past few years and never quite got it right. We are happy to say that the HTC 10 is the best smartphone HTC has made to date. While they started the all-metal revolution a few years back, which got a little boring looking back the past couple of years, they came out with a new bold design, with high-end specs, a QHD display, great sound, and a terrific camera makes it a forceful package. Let’s see just how well it stacks up to the new Google Pixel XL.

Getting HTC to use a QHD display has been a real struggle, but the HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a solid 565 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) HTC grabbed up the best processor they could in the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. It is packaged with an Adreno 530 GPU for terrific graphics. The HTC 10 is packing 4GB of the faster DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 256GB via a microSD card.

The camera area is one that HTC has always done a lot of experimentation but never getting it quite right. HTC finally has all of the right pieces in place and now takes great photos – a 12MP sensor with its UltraPixel 2 that captures more light and image for better low-light shots. They added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, a large aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. HTC uses a 5MP sensor for the front-facing camera (FFC) with a large f/1.8 aperture, a wide-angle lens, and OIS. HTC even included an on-screen flash to ensure excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. Powering the device is a 3000mAh non-removable battery. It uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, which will give you up to a 50-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

Rather than put on a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, they decided to place it on the front, and this disrupted their infamous BoomSound. They put a ‘low-end’ or woofer speaker on the bottom of the device, and the high-end sounds now originate from the earpiece. HTC did rename it to BoomSound Hi-Fi to show the distinction. HTC also included Hi-Fi circuitry for great sounding music for your earphones. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $650 with 32GB of memory, although some carriers are charging $199.99 for a two-year contract.

Google Pixel XL

Google caused quite a ruckus among its former Nexus users by eliminating their Nexus devices and name. Moving forward, the new Google smartphones are now called Google Pixel devices. Google wants to create an Apple-like ecosystem where Google fans can use their new Home products right along with their Google Pixel. We will be looking at the Google Pixel XL this time around to see just how this newly designed Pixel XL with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the all-metal HTC 10.

The Google Pixel XL is sporting a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 531 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 821 is 10-percent quicker than the usual 820. It is packaged with the Adreno 530 GPU to tackle the toughest graphics. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of the faster UFS memory with no means to expand. It uses a large 3450mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.

Although the specifications do not seem very impressive, the Pixel camera was tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. It comes with a 12.3MP sensor for the primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This combination of specs should offer great selfies and video chatting.

A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, and Android Pay will be part of the package as well. The Pixel XL measures in at 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm and weighs in at 168 grams. There are three different colors available: Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition color.) The 32GB Google Pixel XL is IP53 rated against dust and splashing water and will cost you about $770.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

This is really a tough decision. On the one hand, you have a former flagship that is still very capable - all-metal design, with BoomSound, excellent camera, screen flash, expandable storage, and Hi-Res audio. Right now, you can get it at a very good price - less than half of the Google Pixel XL.

The Google Pixel XL does have a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, slightly faster processor, some splash and dust resistance, also an excellent camera, a larger battery, and no room for memory expansion.

The Google Pixel XL comes with 7.1 Nougat and will receive the fastest updates possible. The Pixel series also works with other Google products in the home...but all of this comes with a $770 price tag. If you want the real bargain, hit up the HTC 10, but if you want the most current phone available with pure Android, open your wallet and go for it.

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About the Author
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Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]
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