Phone Comparisons: Huawei Nexus 6P vs Google Pixel XL

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – this is another round of the old versus the new and just how does the old Huawei Nexus 6P stand up to the new Google Pixel XL? Even after being out a year, the Nexus 6P does stand up quite well, but Google made some significant improvements over last year. The Nexus 6P is an all-metal design that is sharp looking once it grows on you while the Google Pixel XL is a combination of polished glass and metal with a limited edition bright blue that really catches your eyes. Despite a year difference, they do have a few things in common that we will go over in the next paragraph before we move on to the detailed specifications.

The Nexus 6P and the Google Pixel XL have a few things in common. Because their displays are almost the same size – 5.7-inch on the 6P and 5.5-inches on the XL – the physical size of the device is very close, and the 6P weighs in at 10 grams heavier. Both use an AMOLED QHD display with 2560 x 1440 pixels of resolution and each use Gorilla Glass 4 for added protection. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, only different models, and different Adreno GPUs for graphics. They both offer a 32GB or 128GB memory variant with no means to expand the internal memory. The primary cameras are about identical in size and take excellent pictures. They both use an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies or video chatting. They both use a 3450mAh non-removable battery with fast charge capabilities. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your phone and authorizing mobile payments. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a 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

Huawei Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P has been around, yet it still stands up to some of the newer smartphones coming out. The Nexus 6P was designed to satisfy the many users that want the pure Android experience, but also would like the top specs – this would be the Nexus 6P. The Nexus 6P is an all-metal, high-end device that comes with a higher price tag. It has a premium look and feels solid in your hand. Just how does the last of the high-end Nexus device hold up to the new Google Pixel XL?

The Nexus 6P sports a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 pixels of resolution with 518 PPI. It uses a newer v2.1 version of the Snapdragon 810 as the brains of the Nexus 6P, which is supposed to control any heating issues. It is an octa-core processor, slightly underclocked, with one quad-core clocked at 1.55GHz and one quad-core clocked at 2.0GHz. It is packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM with a choice of 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of non-expandable memory.

The Nexus 6P’s primary camera has a 12.3MP sensor, laser autofocus, an aperture of f/2.0, and a dual-tone LED flash – but still no OIS. For the FFC the Nexus 6P uses a large 8MP sensor for selfies and video chatting. The Nexus 6P has a large 3450mAh non-removable battery for its power and comes with a rapid charge feature via its Type-C plug.

The Nexus 6P does have one nice feature that the Google Pixel XL doesn’t have – dual front-facing stereo speakers that provide great sound. The XL has just a single speaker that puts out some nice sound that isn't distorted, but nothing beats dual stereo speakers. It is running pure vanilla Android – it will be the first to receive the new software upgrades – Nougat, for instance. You can purchase the Nexus 6P through Amazon, Best Buy or eBay as an unlocked device that is usable on all major US networks. Pricing is at only $400 for the 32GB model and offers an excellent value. It comes in one of the four colors – Aluminum, Graphite, Frost, or Matte Gold.

Google Pixel XL

Google has done the unthinkable and changed their Nexus devices into a Google Pixel device, and it’s causing quite a stir among the media and former Nexus users. Google finally made up its mind to go down this new path and claim they are in it for the long haul. There is not too much differentiation between the two models – mostly just in the display size. We will be looking at the Google Pixel XL because it more or less replaces the Nexus 6P. Let’s see how this newly designed Pixel XL with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the old Nexus 6P and the specifications that it brings to the table.

The Google Pixel XL is sporting a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a robust 531 PPI. It is using the newest Qualcomm 821 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. The Snapdragon 821 will put out 10-percent more speed than the usual 820. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS memory with no means to expand. It uses a large 3450mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.

Google worked hard in the camera area even though the specifications do not seem that impressive. It comes with a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. The sensor is 1/2.3-inches, and it uses a larger 1.55µm pixel size. The 8MP FFC is large and comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This combination of specs should offer excellent selfies and video chatting. The Google Pixel XL camera has already been tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone.

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

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

There was little doubt that the new Google Pixel XL would win this comparison. It simply has too many newer components that outclass the classy Nexus 6P. These two devices do have a few things in common - the QHD AMOLED display, running the latest Android Nougat, comfortable design, quality camera area, although the Google Pixel XL scores better, and the same size battery.

However, the Google Pixel XL has a much faster processor, much better GPU, more RAM, and is IP53 rated for splash and dust resistance. It is an expensive device, but the difference in performance should make up for the price.

If you can get your hands on a Nexus 6P, don't be afraid to purchase it as your daily driver...you will not be sorry...just know that it will suffer a little in performance.

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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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