“We pitch two generations of Google smartphones against each other to see who comes out on top”
Pixel is here. No, not the dot in the matrix which makes up your display, but the first smartphone to carry ‘Made by Google’ branding. Replacing the Nexus tag, the launch of Google’s Pixel line of smartphones open a new chapter in the company’s phone business and is being touted as the largest reveal by the company in years. The Pixel is kitted with the best hardware the market has to offer right now, but is that enough to surpass the benchmarks set by the LG-made Nexus 5X (review) last year? Read on to find out more.
Design and Display
The design language of the two smartphones is poles apart. Unlike the Nexus 5X which carried LG branding at the back, the Pixel comes with a minimalistic ‘G’ tag and has no mention of its manufacturer HTC anywhere. While Google had opted to construct the Nexus 5X strictly out of plastic, the newer Pixel can be seen adorning a blend of aluminium and glass in its build which makes the device a tad bit heavier, but also takes the looks and build quality up several notches. Both the phones feature fingerprint sensors at the back under the camera module. Talking about the displays, the Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full HD AMOLED display which puts the pixel density at 441ppi. The display is coated with a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. As for the Nexus 5X, the phone sports a 5.2-inch full HD IPS LCD display putting the pixel density at 424ppi which means that the Google Pixel will sport a marginally sharper display. If the AMOLED vs IPS LCD comparison is put into the equation, users should find a considerable difference between the screens of two phones. The LG Nexus 5X comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection making it more susceptible to scratches than its newer sibling.
Performance, Storage and Software
The LG Nexus 5X was a stripped down version of its bigger sibling, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P (review), and was furnished with less powerful hardware to cut down the costs and make it more appealing to buyers on a budget. However, the Google Pixel sports the same specifications as can be found on its bigger brother, the Pixel XL, except for the smaller, lower resolution screen and battery. The processing package of the LG Nexus 5X comprised of a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chip with two high performance cores and a cluster of four battery saving cores with Adreno 418 GPU tasked with handling the graphics. The Pixel on the other hand, comes equipped with a Snapdragon 821 processor which comes with a cluster of two high performance cores and two low performance ones with Adreno 530 rendering the graphics. The Pixel gets a huge bump in the RAM department and features 4GB of LPDDR4 memory over the 2 gigs provided on the LG Nexus 5x.
For storage, the Nexus 5X comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no room for expansion. The Google Pixel on the other hand, ships with either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage but doesn’t come with support for expansion like its predecessor. However, buyers investing in the Google Pixel will get unlimited storage on Google photos with photos shot at their original resolution.
Software wise, both the phones offer a vanilla Android experience. While the Nexus 5X ships with Android Marshmallow, the Google Pixel will be running Android Nougat 7.1 out-of-the-box which makes it the first phone to ship with this version of the software. The Google Pixel will also be the first phone to ship with Google Assistant built-in, the same AI which made a debut on Google’s messaging app Allo and which is also present on the newly announced Google Home speaker.
Camera, Battery and Connectivity
The Nexus 5X’s shooting capabilities brought about a change to the conventional thinking regarding Nexus cameras and Google seems to have repeated the spectacle with the Pixel. As per Google, the Pixel scored an impressive 89 from DXOMark’s camera benchmarks, and is touting it as the best smartphone camera around. Hardware wise, the Nexus 5X boasts a pair of 12.3MP and 5MP sensors on the back and the front where as the Pixel is decked with a 12.3MP primary camera and an 8MP selfie shooter.
The Nexus 5X is fuelled by a 2,700mAh battery which supports fast charging while the Pixel comes with a slightly bigger 2,770mAh battery which also comes with quick charge capabilities. On the connectivity front, users will find the standard connectivity options along with support for a single SIM as well as 4G LTE on both the devices.
In terms of specs on paper, the Google Pixel is clearly a huge improvement over the LG Nexus 5X. However, while the launch event was positioned to showcase Google’s fancy new hardware, the company has gone above and beyond to enrich the Pixel with a slew of software features, which paired with the massive bump in specs, make it a worthy successor of the Nexus 5X. Although, the premium pricing of the Pixel smartphone might scare buyers away from the phone.