Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel vs Sony Xperia X Compact

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Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia X Compact takes on the new Google Pixel. The Xperia X Compact is Sony's smaller device that is covered in plastic from top to bottom. The Pixel uses a combination of polished glass and metal on the back of the device. Both devices are rather boring looking, with a rectangle shape and large bezels top and bottom, although the Google Pixel would probably win the fashion contest. The Google Pixel is rock solid in build quality and comfortable to hold. The Xperia X Compact feels cheaper due to the plastic body. Let's look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.

The Xperia X Compact and the Google Pixel do have a few things in common. Even though the displays are close in size – 4.6-inches on the Xperia X Compact and 5.0-inches on the Google Pixel, the physical dimensions are much larger on the Pixel. The displays use a different technology, and they are both using a different resolution. Both devices use a Snapdragon processor but are entirely different models and different Adreno GPUs for graphics. They both have a 32GB variant, but only the Xperia X Compact has expandable memory – you must purchase the 128GB Google Pixel for more memory. Both have excellent camera areas but go about achieving those results in a different way. They both are equipped with a non-removable battery with rapid charge features. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.

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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

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Google Pixel

google-pixel-xl-ah-ns-07The new Google ecosystem consists of a Pixel/XL smartphone and a few other Google products that were announced last month. Google is flexing its muscles by having more control over the building of hardware and software together, and Google can get their ecosystem going faster. You can use your Google Pixel phone that has Google Assistant built-in to issue orders to your Google Home, and that, in turn, can control your HDTV with a Chromecast Ultra attached. IoT (Internet of Things) is taking off in our homes, and Google Assistant could potentially be used to adjust your thermostat, unlock your front door, dim your lights, or turn them on. The new Pixel devices incorporate polished glass and metal as their backing and offer a great feel in your hand. Let's see how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Xperia X Compact.

The display is where the Pixel and XL part ways. The Google Pixel sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with only a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 441 PPI mostly due to the size of the screen. The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch QHD display by comparison. While it is only an FHD display, it is an AMOLED display that should 'pop' with contrasts. It is using the newest 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, which is a revised example of the Snapdragon v820. According to Qualcomm, it gives a 10-percent performance boost over the original v820. It comes with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHZ and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. It uses an Adreno 530 for serious graphic needs and packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand. It uses a 2770mAh non-removable battery for power and has rapid charge capabilities.

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Google Nexus products had mediocre cameras for years until its Nexus 6 model. The excellence continued on the Nexus 6P, and it really shows on their Pixel models. The specs do not seem that impressive with a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera. They added an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS – yet when DxOMark tested the Pixel camera, it received a score of 89 – the highest received for a smartphone camera to date. There is an excellent 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) that comes with a f/2.0 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size, and 1080p recording. This combination should offer great selfies and video chatting.

The unusual but nice looking combination of polished glass and metal on the back of the Pixel is where you will find a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that will allow you to unlock your device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. While the Xperia X Compact does not have any protection from dust or water, the Pixel does have at least an IP53 certification rating for splash and dust resistance. The Pixel will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and continue to receive the fastest updates from Google. 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 (limited edition color) and the 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650.

Sony Xperia X Compactsony-xperia-x-compact-ah-1Sony is not into producing large displayed phones – 5.2-inches is their sweet spot – however, if you are in the market for even a smaller device, the 4.6-inch Xperia X Compact might be what you are looking to own. It is also a cheaper priced device by Sony standards at only $500. However, for that $500 you lose your IP68 water and dust proofing, only have an HD display, no fingerprint sensor, you go from metal to a plastic body, and it only works on GSM networks – AT&T and T-Mobile. It uses a Snapdragon 650 processor and has 3GB of slower DDR3 RAM (limitations by the processor), although the memory is expandable. Let's see just how the Xperia X Compact holds up to the Google Pixel.

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Sony does not like to spend their money on a QHD, or in this case, an FHD display. Instead, they went down to a 4.6-inch HD display with a resolution of only 1280 x 720 pixels, and that works out to 319 PPI. It is still a Triluminos display and does not look bad in the 4.6-inch size. Sony picked the Snapdragon 650 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.4GHz and two cores clocked at 1.8GHz. It uses an Adreno 510 GPU, and it worked great in our review. It packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage that is expandable up to 256GB. The Xperia X Compact is using a 2700mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 built-in.

Camera lenses and cameras are one place that Sony always excelled in, and the Xperia X Compact is no exception. It uses a 23MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, 24mm, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and a LED flash. The pictures were one of the high points of our review. Video is at [email protected] and [email protected] The FFC is 5MP and is capable of 1080p as well. Social media selfies and video chats should be fine.

The plastic backing does little to make the Sony Xperia X Compact stand out from the crowd. The Xperia X Compact is a small device that offers little to the US market. It has no fingerprint sensor and restrictions on what US carriers can use it on as a daily driver. In its defense, it does offer dual front-facing stereo speakers and an excellent primary camera. It measures in at 129 x 65 x 9.5mm, weighs in at 135 grams, and comes in White, Universe black, and Mist Blue – it will cost you about $500. If you are interested in photos or sound, the Xperia X Compact might be just for you.

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…And The Winner Is…

google-pixel-xl-ah-ns-21

The Final Word

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This decision was an easy pick – the Google Pixel is the winner of this comparison. It is better built, has a larger display, a higher resolution display, and it is AMOLED. It packs an extra Gigabyte of RAM, although the internal memory is non-expandable. It has a much faster processor and GPU, it has a great camera section, and it can work on all four major US carriers. It has a functioning fingerprint sensor to unlock the device or to authorize a mobile payment, and it comes with Android 7.2 Nougat.

The Sony Xperia X Compact is a nice little device if you want a really small phone and do not plan on making mobile payments. It left out the IP68 certification for dust and water, but it does have Hi-Res audio and dual front-mounted stereo speakers. You will save yourself about $150, but must be on AT&T or T-Mobile's network.

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