Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel vs Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro

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Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel takes on the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro. The Google Pixel is Google's replacement of the much-loved Nexus line of products. They are made by HTC and have a solid build with a polished glass and metal backing. The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro has a beautiful, if not slippery backing, made from ceramic. Both devices are easy on your hand to hold and are a flagship in every sense – well maybe not the FHD resolution found on both models. Let's look at just how much these two devices share before we look at each individual device.

The Mi 5 Pro and Pixel do have a few things in common – and we can start with the physical size, as the displays are only .15-inches apart, use the same resolution, but they use different display technology. They also both use a similar Snapdragon quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. The Mi 5 Pro is using the Snapdragon 820 while the Pixel uses the updated Snapdragon 821. The Mi 5 Pro model comes with 128GB of non-expandable memory, while the Pixel comes with 32GB or 128GB of expandable memory – we priced out the 128GB Pixel so it would match up with the Mi 5 Pro's base 128GB. They both have fingerprint sensors and both come with a non-removable battery with rapid charge. The usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and both have a USB reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.

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Please take a careful 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-hands-on-ah-15Googles' new line of Nexus replacement phones are out – the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. As Google pieces together their new ecosystem, the Pixel line of phones is the first to have Google Assistant built-in, which will, in turn, communicate with Google Home. We will be looking at the smaller Google Pixel this time around to see just how this newly designed Pixel with its polished glass and metal construction holds up to the Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro.

The Google Pixel sports a 5.0-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a respectable 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It is using the newest revised version of the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, which should give it 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 and uses an Adreno 530 for serious graphic needs. It 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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Even though this is the smaller of the Pixel models, it has the same great camera that its bigger 'brother' carries. They use a 12.3MP sensor for their primary camera, an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, and no OIS. 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, offering great social selfies and video chatting.

It is on the polished glass and metal back of the Pixel where you will find a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. It will allow you to unlock your device or to authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Pixel only has an IP53 certification rating for splash and dust resistance. The Pixel is running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and will 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.) The 32GB Google Pixel will cost you about $650, and the 128GB will run you about $750.

Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro

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Xiaomi Mi 5 ProXiaomi is gaining recognition in the US, but until Xiaomi actually builds a US model and markets it here they can only be purchased online. They have a reputation of making quality smartphones for a reasonable price with the looks of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. The Mi 5 is the long awaited follow-up to the Mi 4 – almost a year and one-half. The regular Mi 5 series is a metal and glass construction and mimics a Galaxy S7 to a degree. The Mi 5 Pro uses a special ceramic backing to make it stand out from the crowd. It also comes with 4GB of RAM and the standard memory is 128GB. Let's see just how the Mi 5 Pro holds up against the Pixel.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro sports a 5.15-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 428 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Xiaomi chose the best processor on the market at the time the phone was released – the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and another at 2.15GHz. The Mi 5 Pro uses the powerful Adreno 530 GPU. The Mi 5 Pro packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of the faster UFS 2.0 memory with no means to expand.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro's main camera uses a 16MP Sony sensor, with PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), a dual-tone LED Flash, a large f/2.0 aperture, and even has a 4-axis OIS for better stability. The FFC camera is a smaller 4MP with a f/2.0 aperture for selfies and video chatting, but even with only 4MP, the FFC took great shots. The Mi 5 Pro uses a non-removable 3000mAh, but they include Quick Charge 3.0 that will give you up to an 83-percent charge in only 30 minutes.

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The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro is very easy on the eyes and curved enough on the sides to make it comfortable to hold, much like a Galaxy S7. It sports an IR Blaster, and our review had high praises for the camera area. In the US about the only signal we could get from AT&T and T-Mobile's GSM networks was an occasional 4G signal, so you would have to be content with 3G. It measures 144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3mm, weighs in at 129 grams, and will cost you about $500 for the Pro version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

…And  The Winner Is…

google-pixel-hands-on-ah-20

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The Final Word

The Google Pixel does have the better specifications, but we are looking at $250 more in cost. Are the specifications worth it? Only you can decide. The Pixel uses an AMOLED display, and it does have IP53 dust and splash water resistance, slightly faster processor, and one of the best cameras on a smartphone. It also works on all available US networks, and it comes with Android 7.1 Nougat and the promise of the fastest OS updates.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro is very evenly matched with the Google Pixel. It does have NFC and a fingerprint sensor for authorizing mobile payments, the same size display, the v820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of non-expandable storage, which is the same as the Pixel. Its biggest drawback is its ability only to work on AT&T or T-Mobile – and even that was only an occasional 4G.

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I have to go with the Google Pixel as the winner of this comparison. Yes, it is more expensive, but for your only everyday driver, you need freedom to be on the network of your choice and certainly run LTE speeds.

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