How Google’s new Nexus phones stack up against the competition

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Should the Nexus 6P be your next smartphone? Photo: Google
Should the Nexus 6P be your next smartphone? Photo: Google

Following their big unveiling in San Francisco this morning, Google’s new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are now available for pre-order. But should you buy one, or is your hard-earned cash better spent elsewhere?

To help you decide, here’s a handy comparison that shows you how Google’s latest devices stack up against the competition from Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and more.

The chart below makes it easy to compare specifications between Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and their biggest competitors on the market right now. It also includes their all-important price tags. Click the chart to see it at full size.

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Android 6.0 and timely updates

The big advantage the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P have over their rivals is that they come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow pre-installed, and they’ll get future Android updates faster than any other smartphone on the market. They also offer “pure” Android software exactly as Google intended it — without third-party tweaks and user interfaces.

If this is super important to you, then you’ll certainly want to consider a Nexus phone. Choose a device from Samsung or LG and you’ll be lucky to get Marshmallow at all this year.

Nexus 5X comes in carbon black, quartz white, and ice green. Photo: Google
Nexus 5X comes in carbon black, quartz white, and ice green. Photo: Google

Specifications

If you want the best specifications available, then you’ll obviously want to consider the Nexus 6P, which can compete with the best thanks to its Quad HD display, Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, and impressive rear-facing camera (according to Google).

Whether these specifications will make the Nexus 6P fast than Apple’s new iPhones or Samsung’s latest flagships in benchmark tests remains to be seen, but that doesn’t really matter; it will be speedy and smooth whatever you throw at it during everyday use, and that is what’s important.

The Nexus 5X will be speedy too, of course, but with just 2GB of RAM of 16GB of storage as standard, it’s lagging behind a little in late 2015. If you want your next smartphone to last you two or three years, you’ll want the best specifications you can get — they’ll last longer.\

Pre-order your Nexus 5X today! Photo: Google
Pre-order your Nexus 5X today! Photo: Google

Price

For less than the price of a Nexus 5X, you can pick up the OnePlus 2 or the Moto X Play and get more RAM, a bigger battery, and in the case of the Moto X Play, more storage. You sacrifice speedy Android updates, but both of these devices run near-pure Android firmware without too much bloat.

For just $20 extra, you can get a Moto X Style, which offers the same processor as Nexus 5X, combined with a sharper Quad HD display, more RAM, more storage, and a water-resistant design you can customize through Moto Maker.

If you’re eyeing up the Nexus 6P, however, you’re not going to get much better for $499. It has a stunning metal design with high-end specifications, USB-C, a fingerprint scanner, and a large battery with fast-charging. Combine that with pure Google software and you have the perfect Android.

Nexus 6P is here. Photo: Google
Nexus 6P is here. Photo: Google

Conclusion

As much as I loved the Nexus 5 and was excited for its successor, I feel a little let down by the Nexus 5X. The only real advantage it brings to the table is pure Android, and while that’s a must for some, you can get better specifications elsewhere for less. This makes Nexus 5X hard to recommend.

However, that’s not the case for Nexus 6P. It’s a premium flagship in every way, and at $499, it’s cheaper than competing devices from Samsung, LG, and Sony. It’s also prettier with that high-end metal unibody. The only reason not to get the Nexus 6P is if you want iOS instead of Android.