Both of Google's new Nexus phones are up for pre-order now. Maybe you're torn between premium value and just plain value? Let's compare the flagship Nexus 6P and its cheaper (but still powerful) sibling, the Nexus 5X.
Unlike Apple's recent iPhones and Samsung's 2015 flagships, the two new Nexus phones aren't just more or less the same phone in two different sizes. But size is still one of the key differences here.
The Nexus 6P comes out at 8 percent taller and 7 percent wider than the 5X. The 6P is also 8 percent thinner.
The smaller Nexus 5X is 24 percent lighter.
The aluminum 6P is the first Nexus with an all-premium build. This is one of the biggest downgrades in the cheaper 5X, as it's made of polycarbonate.
In case you're wondering, that black bar at the top of the Nexus 6P's back is made of glass. It houses various sensors, and also gives the phone its unique look.
Google is offering each handset in three different color options.
The Nexus 6P's screen is 20 percent bigger than the 5X's display.
You also get a resolution bump in the bigger model, with a 22 percent higher pixel density. The 5X's 1080p spread out over 5.2 inches will still look very sharp, it just won't likely dazzle quite as much as the 6P's 1440p.
Huawei put an
in its larger Nexus, while LG is using an IPS in its smaller one.
Here's one area where the 5X didn't skimp: both handsets have fingerprint sensors on their backs.
Though the Nexus 6P should have the better front camera, both models have the same optics in their rear cameras. Google is making big promises about both handsets' image quality, so we're looking forward to getting some extensive time with them.
That also means both Nexus phones get laser-based autofocus (similar to what we've seen in several
Physical camera shortcut
Similar to Samsung's 2015 flagships, both Nexuses let you quick-launch their cameras from anywhere (sleeping or awake) by double-tapping the power button.
The Nexus 6P's battery holds 28 percent more juice. That doesn't likely mean 28 percent longer battery life though, as there are many other factors that determine that (stay tuned for our reviews).
had Qi wireless charging, but neither of the 2015 models do.
Both handsets have quick-charging capabilities, when using a compatible cable (like the one provided).
Google is stepping into the future with the new reversible
Bundled legacy USB adapter
If you buy the Nexus 5X and want to use the phone with USB Standard-A accessories or PCs (most likely every single one you already own), then you'll need to buy a separate cable or adapter. The 6P includes both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a legacy cable that works with all the old stuff.
Both the Nexus 6P and 5X have powerful 2015 processors, but the 6P's Snapdragon 810 has a more powerful GPU, and should be a little zippier all-around.
You also get an extra gigabyte of RAM in the 6P.
The Nexus 6P gives you better storage options, including double the space in the entry-level tier, along with 64 and 128 GB tiers that the 5X doesn't offer.
As is always the case with Nexus phones, you get a "Pure Google" experience, running the latest version of Android with no manufacturer UIs in sight. In this case, that's
Pre-orders are up for both handsets, with the first shipments set to arrive late this month.
Starting price (full retail)
There's little room to argue which phone is better, but there's a bit more room to debate which is the better value. For US$120 less, the Nexus 5X gives you the same rear camera, but a smaller (and not as high-res) screen, less RAM, a slightly downgraded chip and only a USB-C to USB-C cable. And you can't forget that plastic build that won't hold a candle to the 6P's beautiful all-metal design.
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It's too early to say for sure whether that's worth it (stay tuned for our reviews), but, at least for some phone buyers, that's a pretty significant carrot that the 6P is dangling. You could easily argue that those perks will add up to more than $120.