Do we have a good one for you today – we are looking at the old Nexus line (5X and 6P) versus the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL versus some of the 2016 flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the HTC 10, Moto Z, LG G5, and LG V20. How do the new Google Pixels hold up to the past Nexus devices is exciting enough, but then we get to see just how the Google Pixel models do against some of the best flagships of 2016. Let’s find out just how good the new Google Pixel devices are when compared to other devices. Let’s take a quick look at all six and see what we can find out about these flagship smartphones – is there much of a difference or are there striking features that would make you want one over the others.
These smartphones have a variety of designs while the materials are mostly glass and/or metal, the lower priced LG Nexus 5X is the only polycarbonate (plastic) variation, but it kept the price low, while still maintaining an acceptable look.
The high-end Huawei Nexus 6P came with an all-metal backing with a wide band across the back where the camera was positioned. It took a little while for people to warm to it, but in the end, sales were great.
The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL are a combination of polished glass and metal on the back, although the fronts seem a little dull with wide bezels on the top and bottom.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a beautiful design on the front with dual curved edges on the display, and the back is Gorilla 4 glass all sealed up with a metal frame and edging.
The HTC 110 is an all-metal design with chamfered edges and a rounded back making it easy to hold and easy on the eyes.
The new Moto Z is another all-metal design that many believe looks better with a Moto Mod installed, due to its protruding camera ring.
The LG G5 has mixed reviews on its design – while physically not bad looking, the thought of sliding your phone apart to insert a new battery or one of their mods is a little daunting…especially if done often.
The new LG V20 is an all-metal design that went from all-stainless last year to aircraft grade aluminum this year and is receiving great reviews for its design and function.
The displays all vary in size, resolution, and technology. The Google Pixel is only 5-inches, comes with an AMOLED display and a Full HD resolution – giving it 451 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The original Nexus 5X had a 5.2-inch display with an IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution, giving it 423 PPI.
The Google Pixel XL jumps the display up to 5.5-inches, keeps the AMOLED technology, but moves up to a QHD resolution – giving it 534 PPI. The Nexus 6P has a 5.7-inch display, AMOLED technology, and a QHD resolution giving it 518 PPI.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display and QHD resolution giving it 518 PPI. The HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch display with IPS LCD technology and a QHD resolution and 565 PPI. The Moto Z comes with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a QHD resolution and 535 PPI. The LG G5 has a 5.3-inch IPS LCD ‘always-on’ IPS LCD display with a QHD resolution and 554 PPI. The new LG V20 comes with a 5.7-inch IPS LCD QHD display with 513 PPI and a secondary display for notifications.
Which processor to use is an area where most of these smartphones agree – only the older Nexus phones use a processor other than the Snapdragon 820/821 series. The Nexus 5X uses the older Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics. It packs only 2GB of RAM and offers a non-expandable choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal memory.
The Nexus 6P uses the Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with an Adreno 430 GPU and packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM and a choice of 32GB/64GB/128GB of non-expandable memory.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL both come with a Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with an Adreno 530 GPU. They both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offer 32GB or 128GB of non-expandable memory. Qualcomm claims that the 821 gives a 10-percent increase in power when compared to the 820.
The US version of the Galaxy S7 Edge also uses the Snapdragon 820/Adreno 530 combo while the international version uses the Exynos 8890/Mali-T880-MP12 combination. They both come with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of expandable memory.
The HTC 10 uses the venerable Snapdragon 820/Adreno 530 combination with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of expandable memory.
The Moto Z also uses the Snapdragon 820 and the Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of expandable memory.
Both the LG G5 and the LG V20 also use the Snapdragon 820/Adreno 530 combination along with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.
The cameras on all of these smartphones take excellent pictures. The Nexus 5X uses a 12.3MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus, and a dual-tone flash. It packs a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social media selfies and video chatting.
The Nexus 6P also uses a 12.3MP sensor with a f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash. It uses a large 8MP FCC for selfies and video chatting.
The two new Google Pixel and Pixel XL both use the same 12.3MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and a dual-tone flash as well as a large 8MP FFC with a f/2.0 and 1080p capabilities.
The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a Dual-Pixel 12MP sensor, a large f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), flash, and OIS. For its FFC it uses a 5MP, Auto HDR, f/1.7, 22mm wide-angle lens for selfies and video chatting.
The HTC 10 uses a 12MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus, OIS, and a dual-tone flash. For its FFC it packs a 5MP with a f/1.8 aperture, OIS, screen flash, and HDR for selfies and video chatting.
The Moto Z uses a 13MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus, OIS, and a dual-tone flash. A 5MP sensor is used for the FCC as well as a LED flash for great selfies and video chats.
The LG G5 uses a dual setup for its primary camera – a 16MP and an 8MP wide-angle lens, with laser autofocus, 2x optical zoom, OIS and LED flash. It uses a large 8MP with a f/2.0 aperture for its FFC. The new LG V20 uses the same main camera setup as the LG G5 but uses a 5MP wide-angle sensor for its FFC.
All of the batteries are non-removable except the LG G5 and LG V20 phones. The Nexus 5X starts us out with a 2,700 mAh battery. The Google Pixel has a 2,770 mAh battery with fast charge capabilities. The Nexus 6P offers up a 3,450 mAh battery with fast charging. While the Google Pixel XL also has a 3,450 mAh battery with fast charge capabilities. The Galaxy S7 Edge has a 3,600 mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and Wireless charging. The HTC 10 has a 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. The Moto Z uses a 2,600 mAh battery and fast battery charging. While the LG G5 has a removable 2,800 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and the LG V20 uses a 3,200 mAh removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
The LG Nexus 5X measures 147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm and weighs in at 136 grams. It is the only one of the group with a plastic back and uses Gorilla Glass 3 for the display.
The Google Pixel measures 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm and weighs in at 143 grams. It comes running Android 7.1 Nougat right from the box. You will have a choice of Blue, Silver, or Black.
The Huawei Nexus 6P measures 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm and weighs in at 178 grams. It has Hi-Res audio for listening through the earphones and has front-facing stereo speakers.
The Google Pixel XL measures 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm and weighs in at 168 grams. It comes running Android 7.1 Nougat right from the box. You will have a choice of Blue, Silver, or Black.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams, and is the only one of the group that has a dual curved edge display. This year, Samsung added IP68 water certification. It is the only device in the group that offers Samsung Pay as an option. The Galaxy S7 Edge also has a heart rate and oxygen sensor.
The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9.0 mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It features a new BoomSound Hi-Fi sound with one ‘woofer’ speaker at the bottom of the device and a ‘midrange/tweeter’ at the top front of the device. It now sports a physical home button that doubles as the fingerprint sensor.
The Moto Z measures 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm and weighs in at 136 grams. It comes with the ability to use Moto Mods to expand its capabilities. One Mod offers a larger battery, and one includes wireless charging. There is a JBL speaker Mod, a Hasselblad camera option, and more.
The LG G5 measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm and weighs in at 159 grams. Its claim to fame is its always-on display, dual cameras, and its ability to accept modules in the bottom of the device. It also sports a removable battery that can be replaced for an ‘instant charge.’
The LG V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs in at 174 grams. Designed for photo and sound enthusiasts, it features dual displays, dual cameras, and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC. The LG G5 and the LG V20 are the only members of the group with a removable battery, and the LG V20 comes to us running Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box.
The Final Word
This has been a look at some of the best smartphones available and it appears that the playing field is fairly level. All of the 2016 smartphones on this list could almost be interchanged with one another. Because they came out later, the Google Pixel models have the advantage of using the Snapdragon 821 over the 820, which may or may not give them a slight advantage.
This comparison was made to see how the new Google Pixel smartphones would hold up to the other 2016 flagship devices. Their design may not be to your liking, but it is quite apparent that they can hold their own in specifications and pure Android software updates. The price may scare some users off, but when compared to a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or LG V20, they are in the same ballpark and deserve the same respect.