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Google Pixel XL vs Nexus 6P: Should You Upgrade?

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Google has officially unveiled its latest smartphones and changed the branding from "Nexus" to "Pixel," but the new Pixels are still the successors of last year's Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.

The Google Pixel XL is the larger of the two new smartphones and succeeds the Huawei-made Nexus 6P from 2015.

The Nexus 6P was widely considered one of the best smartphones around, rocking a sleek design and advanced specs all around. So is the Pixel XL worthy of an upgrade?

Google's new Pixels have plenty of neat tricks up their sleeves, and they definitely sport notable upgrades over their predecessors. First of all, they're the first (and only) smartphones to come with a built-in Google Assistant, as well as the first to be Daydream VR-ready.

Taking a closer look at our comparison, we show you how the new Google Pixel XL stacks up against the Nexus 6P.

Design

Both the Pixel XL and the Nexus 6P rock premium metal builds with sleek designs. The Pixel XL is smaller and lighter, but the Nexus 6P is slimmer. The Pixel XL has a metallic build with a glass panel for the top third of its back. This rear glass panel houses the rear camera and flash, as well as the fingerprint sensor. The device has no physical buttons on the front, but it has the power button and volume rocker on the right edge, and sports a subtle "G" logo on its back.

The Nexus 6P, meanwhile, sports an all-metal build, a black strip across the top side of its back, a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and dual front-facing stereo speakers.

Both the Pixel XL and Nexus 6P have USB Type-C ports at the bottom.

Display

The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch screen, slightly smaller than the Nexus 6P's 5.7-inch display. Both smartphones have QHD resolutions (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) and Gorilla Glass 4 and both use AMOLED technology. That QHD resolution on the Pixel XL's smaller screen translates to a higher pixel density compared to the Nexus 6P, 534 vs. 518 ppi to be exact, but that would be hardly noticeable to the naked eye.

Pixel XL vs Nexus 6P Specs

The new Google Pixel packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB or 128 GB of native storage. Other specs include a 3,450 mAh battery, Quick Charge support and USB Type-C.

The Nexus 6P runs on a Snapdragon 810 processor with 3 GB of RAM and comes in 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB storage options. Both the Nexus 6P and the Pixel XL have the same 3,450 mAh battery capacity. The Nexus 6P was also one of the first devices to launch with USB Type-C.

Cameras

The new Pixel XL has a 12.3-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. The handset has a number of neat camera features such as optical image stabilization (OIS), video image stabilization, a Smartburst feature for action sots, and a HDR+ feature used by default.

The Nexus 6P features a similar camera combo with a 12.3-megapixel rear shooter and an 8-megapixel front camera, but without OIS and with fewer features. It does, however, sport a dual-flash on the rear, as well as IR laser-assisted autofocus.

Conclusion

The Pixel XL may not be a giant leap from the Nexus 6P, but it rocks plenty of notable upgrades. It has a faster processor, more RAM, more camera features, a sharper display and enhanced software features, such as Google Assistant built in, a new Pixel launcher and Android Nougat out of the box.

In conclusion, the new Google Pixel XL should provide a substantially improved performance and experience compared to the Nexus 6P, so it's worth the upgrade.

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