Google Nexus 6P vs. Google Pixel XL – What Has Changed?

Google Pixel, Pixel XL vs Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X

Even though the names might look worlds apart, you better believe that the Google Pixel XL is the successor to the 2015 Google Nexus 6P.

In addition to the changed names, you will also come across a new design, a bunch of exclusive features and so on. Dubbed Made by Google, the Pixel and Pixel XL are yet to start selling, but they should be available beginning tomorrow, October 20th. Unlike the case where the Google Nexus 6P was a lot different from the Nexus 5X that was launched beside it, the 2016 Google Pixel XL has a lot in common with its smaller counterpart, the Google Pixel.

To help you decide on whether to make the shift to the newer Pixel XL, here is a look at the flagship in comparison to last year’s Nexus 6P.


For starters, the Google Pixel XL didn’t just change the branding and design, it also changed the pricing strategies of Google Nexus 6P. Where the latter was available directly from the Google Store and other retailers as unlocked models, this year’s Pixel XL comes with financing options. The same device is also selling through a number of carriers, with U.S. dwellers looking at Verizon Wireless as their only option.

Unlike the Nexus 6P that came in with a great design, monster specs but at an affordable pricing of $499, the Pixel XL keeps the same specs and features, but hikes the price to $769. These former has since been dropping its price tag and apparently, it is easily obtainable at about $400.


HTC reportedly manufactured the Google Pixel XL. The premium standards of the phone are without doubt a notch above the Nexus 6P. However, both phones have their controversies when it comes to the rear panel. You will come across a two-tone design on the back of the Pixel XL, with the upper third made of glass as opposed to the rest which is made of metal. This is a similar case to the Nexus 6P, which has a glass and metal back, with the former part hosting the main camera of the phone.

Pixel 12.3 MP camera

Both phones have a rear-facing fingerprint scanner as well as LED flash. In terms of real measurements, the Google Pixel XL is slightly smaller than the Nexus 6P. The latter is 159.3 mm tall and 7.3mm thick, however, the former is 154.7mm tall and much thicker at 8.6mm.

In areas where the Google Nexus 6P looked slightly wider at 77.8 mm, the Pixel XL has tweaked that to something easily manageable at 75.7mm. However, the latter lacks the amazing front stereo speakers that the former has. But you still get a selfie camera, a light sensor as well as earpiece on both handsets.

Google introduced USB-C ports in 2015 and it has kept on with it on the new phone. The 3.5mm headphone lives at the top for both phones and so does the power and volume buttons that are found on the right. The opposite side has a single nano-SIM card slot and there is also no support for expandable storage.

Unlike the Nexus 6P that has a “Nexus” branding at the back, the Google Pixel XL has a G logo.

Specs and features

 Google Pixel XLGoogle Nexus 6P
Display size5.5 inches, AMOLED5.7 inches, AMOLED
Resolution2560 x 1440 pixels, 534ppi2560 x 1440 pixels, 518ppi
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 821Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
GPUAdreno 530Adreno 430
Operating systemAndroid 7.1 NougatAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Upgradable to Android 7.0 Nougat
Storage32GB, 128GB32GB, 64GB, 128GB
Front camera8MP, f/2.48MP, f/2.4
Back camera12.3MP, f/2.012.3MP, f/2.0
Battery capacity3450mAh3450mAh
Fast chargingYesYes
Color variantsQuite Silver, Really Blue, Very BlackAluminum, Frost, Graphite


Both phone’s screens are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4, even though Glass 5 is already available. There might be significant changes in the hardware under the hood, but this has little effect on the performance gap between the two.

Google Pixel Camera

The cameras are quite one and the same thing on paper, but the new Google Pixel XL promises to offer much better photography thanks to the addition of features such as HDR+ and enabled EIS when recording 4K, but both lack OIS. The Google Camera 4.2 that comes preinstalled on the Pixel XL also offer much more than what you find on the Nexus 6P, but there are workarounds that can help you get this latest camera app on your 2015 flagship. The Pixel XL also gets PDAF and laser autofocus.

Android Nougat is currently the latest version powering Google Nexus 6P, but this is through an OTA update. The phone, however, comes preinstalled with Android Marshmallow, unlike Google Pixel XL which has Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. While v7.1 and v7.0 might both be Nougat, there are some features you only find on the Pixel XL. For instance, the aforementioned Google Camera v4.2, Google Assistant, unlimited photo and video storage via Google Photos and more.

So, will you make the switch to the Google Pixel XL or you still believe the Nexus 6P is still a capable device? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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