Google launched a couple of new devices at its 4 October event, both of which are manufactured by HTC and both of which are the new poster boys for Android Nougat. Traditionally they would have fallen under Nexus branding, but this year Google changed direction, launching its own devices under the Pixel branding.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Design
- Pixel offers more premium design
- Pixel is smaller, but Nexus is slimmer and lighter
- Both have fingerprint sensors and USB Type-C
The Nexus 5X is a small and compact device that has a polycarbonate rear available in three colour options. It measures 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm and weighs just 136g. There is a fingerprint sensor on the rear, USB Type-C for charging and it is made by LG.
The Google Pixel measures 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm and weighs 143g, meaning it is smaller than the Nexus 5X but slightly thicker and heavier. It sports a mostly metal build with a third of the rear featuring a glass panel at the top. Within this section, you'll find a circular fingerprint sensor, along with the rear camera and flash and it too has USB Type-C.
The front of the Pixel sees just the front-facing camera, a speaker and a sensor. There are no physical buttons, apart from the power button and volume rocker on the right-hand side. The edges are chamfered, like the HTC 10, but there is no manufacturer branding anywhere other than a subtle "G" at the bottom on the rear. The Nexus 5X on the other hand, features a large Nexus logo on its rear, with the LG logo at the bottom.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Display
- Pixel has 5-inch Full HD display
- Nexus 5X has bigger, 5.2-inch Full HD display
- Pixel has Gorilla Glass 4 protection, Nexus has Gorilla Glass 3
The Nexus 5X has a 5.2-inch display that features a Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 423ppi. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Google Pixel has a slightly smaller 5-inch display that also has a 1920 x 1080 resolution for a pixel density of 440ppi. It is an AMOLED display so bright and vibrant colours can be expected, while protection is in the form of Gorilla Glass 4.
The Pixel should theoretically offer a sharper image than the Nexus 5X thanks to the increase in pixels per inch, though the difference probably won't be hugely noticeable.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Camera
- Both have 12.3-megapixel rear cameras with an aperture of f/2.0 and 1.55µm pixels
- Pixel has higher resolution front camera at 8-megapixels
- Pixel camera is very fast
The Nexus 5X has a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, coupled with a 5-megapixel front camera. Both have an aperture of f/2.0 and the rear camera comes with IR laser-assisted autofocus, a dual flash and 1.55µm pixels.
The Google Pixel also has a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and 1.55µm pixels, meaning you can expect similar results to last year's model. The Pixel offers video image stabilisation and a new feature called Smartburst for action shots. It also has an HDR+ feature, which it uses by default, delivering vivid and clear images by extending the dynamic range and minimising noise.
There is an 8-megapixel front camera on the Pixel, meaning selfies should be a little more detailed compared to the Nexus 5X. The Pixel cameras are very fast, offering a clean, easy camera experience.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Hardware
- Nexus 5X has SD808, 2GB RAM, 2700mAh battery
- Pixel has SD821, 4GB RAM, 2770mAh battery
The Nexus 5X has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, supported by 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. There is a 2700mAh battery running the show, charged via USB Type-C as we mentioned previously.
The Google Pixel arrives with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 128GB of storage. The battery has increased slightly to 2770mAh and USB Type-C will once again be on board. Quick Charge is supported, offering 7 hours battery life in 15 minutes.
The Nexus line has never offered microSD support within its devices and the Pixel devices are the same so there is no storage expansion available.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Software
- Vanilla Android experience
- Pixel launches on Android 7.1 Nougat with exclusive features
- Nexus 5X will get some Android 7.1 features
The Nexus 5X launched on Android Marshmallow, while the Google Pixel arrives on Android 7.1 Nougat. There is a new launcher on the Pixel, app some icons are round and the new device features Google's Assistant built-in, amongst some other exclusive features.
Nexus devices have always offered a vanilla Android experience meaning there is no bloatware and are updated to the latest software almost immediately after its release. The Pixel changes things slightly with a few unique features, but a number of additions of Android 7.1 will be coming to the Nexus 5X, likely by the end of 2016.
Google Pixel vs Nexus 5X: Conclusion
The Google Pixel is smaller than the Nexus 5X and it features a more premium design thanks to the combination of metal and glass. It also improves on hardware and performance, including a faster processor, double the RAM and a slightly larger battery.
The Pixel offers enhanced software, a super slick performance and a camera that's much enhanced too.
The Pixel is double the price of the Nexus 5X, however, with a starting price of £599 compared to the Nexus 5X's £299.