Do we have a good one for you today – the LG G5 takes on the new Google Pixel XL. The all-metal LG G5 with its module design and removable battery is one of the new breeds of smartphones that allow you to add modules to expand its capabilities. The new Pixel XL is made from polished glass and metal and removes the old Nexus brand, which it replaces, with a real flagship smartphone that Google expects users to tie in with their Google Home and AI. When it comes to specifications just how do these two stand up to one another? Let's take a look and see just what these two smartphones have in common and then we will look at each device in greater detail.
The LG G5 and Google Pixel XL have very little in common other than their physical dimensions with the Pixel XL just slightly larger due to its slightly larger display – 5.3-inch versus 5.5-inches. Both devices do use the QuadHD resolution for their displays, but the technology is different. When it comes to processors, they are very close with the LG G5 using the Snapdragon 820 quad-core and the Pixel XL using the updated Snapdragon 821, which Qualcomm claims gives it a 10-percent boost in performance. They both use the same Adreno 530 GPU, which will handle the most demanding graphics. Both have 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and both have a 32GB memory variant – but only the LG G5 has room for expansion. Main cameras are very different, but both put out great pictures. They both have an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies or video chats. Both have a fingerprints sensor to unlock the device and to authorize mobile purchases. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the new 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.
It looks like the future of smartphones will include some sort of attachments or modules to expand their capabilities. LG started the trend on their G5, and the new Moto Z line of phones includes Moto Mods. People are slow to adopt new changes, and there seem to be more doubters than adopters, but it did allow LG to retain a replaceable battery and expandable storage. LG also made a move from a plastic back that was disguised to look like metal to an all-metal design that they painted to hide the antenna lines. Let's take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the new Google Pixel XL.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display and includes the 'always on' feature and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 554 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) LG chose the best processor at the time, the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and another dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. Qualcomm uses an Adreno 530 GPU that will handle any demanding graphics you can throw its way. The G5 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card.
The LG G5 comes with two primary cameras that operate independently from one another. It has the same single 16MP sensor like that in the G4 and then added an extra 8MP wide-angle sensor. To take a regular picture the device will use the 16MP shooter, but if the user needs to capture a wider shot in the photo for a group photo or landscape, the 8MP wide-angle can be used. LG retained the 8MP FFC from the G4, allowing the user to take high-quality selfies and video chatting as well. Although LG decreased the battery size to 2800mAh in the G5, the modular design retains the ability to remove/replace the battery. For regular charging, the LG G5 uses Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.
The way LG designed the modular G5, it was not possible to place the fingerprint sensor at the bottom front of the phone, so LG positioned it on the back of the phone where the on/off and volume control resided on the LG G4. The good news is that the fingerprint sensor still acts as an on/off switch, but the volume controls are relegated to the side of the LG G5. The LG G5 retained its IR Blaster and FM radio and has Hi-Res sound for listening through earphones. The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold, and Pink. The device is available on all the leading carriers for $625.
Google Pixel XL
Google is causing quite a stir among the media and former Nexus users by eliminating their Nexus devices and creating a new Google Pixel device. Google claims they are in it for the long haul as Google wants to create an Apple-like ecosystem where Google fans can use their new Home products right with their Google Pixel. There is not too much that differentiates the two models – mostly just in the display and battery size. 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 LG G5.
The Google Pixel XL is sporting a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD 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 will put out 10-percent more speed than the usual 820. Qualcomm packages that with an 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.
Even though the specifications do not seem very impressive, the Pixel camera scored the highest of any mobile smartphone. It comes with a 12.3MP sensor for the main 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 excellent selfies and video chatting. As I said earlier, the Google Pixel XL camera was 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. There are three color variations: 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 splashing water and will cost you about $770.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This was a tough decision. While the LG G5 does offer the Modules and expandable storage, it just seems like the Google Pixel XL with its AMOLED display, Snapdragon 821, higher rated camera, larger battery, splash and dust resistance, and pure Android Nougat experience with the fastest upgrades has more to offer.
The LG G5's module idea is interesting but does not seem very popular among buyers. It is viewed as a specialty device, and many everyday users are not interested in purchasing expensive modules or having a device open up to slide them into before you can use them. It does have expandable memory, which is always a big plus.
The Google Pixel XL does cost more, and that is a decision that only you can make. However, for my money, I am choosing the Pixel XL as the winner of this comparison.