Do we have a good one for you today – the tried and true LG Nexus 5X takes on its replacement, the Google Pixel. Just how well does the old Nexus stand up to the new Pixel? Does the increase in specifications justify the increase in price? Is there really a Google Pixel for the average person or has Google priced itself from mid-range to upper-mid-range? These questions and more we hope to answer in today's comparison.
The LG Nexus 5X was a back-to-basics device – made out of polycarbonate, an FHD display, mid-range processor, less RAM, less memory, and an okay camera area. The Google Pixel is made with polished glass and metal, has an AMOLED FHD display, but the processor, RAM, memory, and great camera are the same as those found on the Google Pixel XL. Let's take a closer look at both the Nexus 5X and the new Google Pixel smartphones and see just how they stack up to one another. Is The Google Pixel worth the extra money or are there enough similarities that the Nexus 5X will suffice?
The Nexus 5X and the Pixel are physically very close in size, with the Nexus 5X coming out slightly larger, but 7 grams lighter than the Pixel. The display sizes are very close – 5.2-inches on the Nexus 5X and 5.0-inches on the Pixel – and use the same FHD resolution, but different display technologies. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but different models. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of RAM and has a choice of 16GB/32GB of non-expandable memory, whereas the Pixel is packing 4GB of RAM and a choice of 32GB/128GB of non-expandable memory. The main camera area has almost identical specs, but the Pixel camera was tested and rated by DxOMark with an 89 – the highest rating given to a mobile camera. They both sport a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile purchases, and they both have a non-removable battery. The usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible port for charging or 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.
LG Nexus 5X
Nexus users are more concerned with running pure Android than they are about specs – just a solid device at a reasonable cost. Google did it right in 2015 with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. There was enough of a price difference it gave Nexus purists a chance to pick up a Nexus 5X and those that wanted something more powerful a chance to get the Nexus 6P. However, along with mid-range specs and mid-range price comes a mid-range build – it starts with the polycarbonate body. It is rugged and looks, but it certainly cannot compete with looks and feel of the new Google Pixel with its polished glass and metal body.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) To make the price more affordable, LG went with the mid-range 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.44GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82GHz and an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of DDR3 RAM (a restriction on the processor) with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory and no means to expand. We are comparing the 32GB model to make it a fairer and more realistic comparison.
The Nexus 5X camera uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for the primary camera with a large 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS. The Nexus 5X takes some great photos for the most part as long as it is not taxed too much. It uses a 5MP lens for the front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chats. The Nexus 5X has a 2700mAh non-removable battery to power the device – provided you use the proper cord you can have rapid charge capabilities.
As part of the Nexus family, the LG Nexus 5X comes running pure vanilla Android. That guarantees the fastest updates possible each time Google updates the OS. The Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor so you can authorize Android Pay purchases with your fingerprint. The Nexus 5X has a large, single, front-facing speaker that can put out some good sounds for a small unit. The available colors are Carbon, Quartz and Ice and the Nexus 5X will cost $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB variant – although it appears the Google Store is only posting Pixel devices.
Google has made a huge change by getting rid of the Nexus line and now calling their new smartphones the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL. Google claims they are in this change for the long haul and that by building hardware and software together, they can more quickly get their own ecosystem going. Let's see how this newly design Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Nexus 5X polycarbonate construction and the specifications that it brings to the table.
The Google Pixel is sporting a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a 441 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. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB or 128GB of fast UFS memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.
Google took care of the camera buffs on its new Pixel phones. The specifications do not seem that impressive – a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera along with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. The sensor is 1/2.3-inches, and it uses a 1.55µm pixel size. Even with these specs, the Pixel camera was tested by DxOMark and received a score of 89 – the highest yet for a smartphone. There is a large 8MP FFC that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p. This setup should offer excellent selfies and video chatting.
The Google Pixel measures in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue (as a limited edition.) A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Pixel is IP53 rated splash and dust resistant. It will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. The 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This comparison was actually a tougher decision than I thought, but taking into account the build quality, the AMOLED display, the specs, the camera qualities, its capabilities, and memory options, I had to pick the new Google Pixel as the winner.
There is a $250 difference in the price between the Nexus 5X (with 32GB) and the 32GB Google Pixel, and I thought that amount would prove to be its downfall. However, with only 2GB of RAM and mid-range processor, the Nexus 5X just doesn't seem to have the power needed in today's hi-tech world – back when we tested the Nexus 5X, we notice some stutter when multitasking.
The Nexus 5X is a great smartphone if you want the basics and pure Android, but if you want today's technology, the Google Pixel is the way to go…for an extra $250.