Many have been bold enough to call the new Google Pixel XL the best Android phone in 2016, but is it, really?
One thing that is for sure is that Google really made a huge change to what we know as far as the Nexus lineup is concerned. The Google Pixel phones are identical, with the Pixel XL being not just the larger of the two, but also the high-end model. Even though Google has not mentioned it, reports claim that HTC was behind the manufacturing of the Pixel phones. The Taiwanese company already has its flagship offering in 2016 – the HTC 10 – and there is no doubting that this handset has just about everything you can ever want in a premium phone, at least for 2016.
So, how does the Google Pixel XL compare against the HTC 10?
For starters, there are quite a number of similarities between these two. Both handsets have a QHD display panel that is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass technology and are powered by the latest Snapdragon processors alongside 4GB RAM. You also get the same 32GB of storage on the two phones, although the Google Pixel XL has no room for microSD card storage. You’ll also love the cameras of both phones as well as the battery capacity.
The Google Pixel XL is the latest talk of the town, boasting a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 531ppi. Under the hood, the flagship packs the newest Snapdragon 821 SoC, a 64-bit quad-core chipset that is clocked at a speed of 2.15GHz. This is the same clock speed of the Snapdragon 820, but Qualcomm says that the former is 10% faster than the latter.
The new processor keeps the same Adreno 530 GPU alongside a 4GB DDR4 RAM. There are two storage options for the Google Pixel XL – a 32GB for the base model and 128GB for the premium model. As noted earlier, there is no microSD card slot, so, if the base model is not enough, better go with the high-end model, but you’ll pay $100 more.
You get a huge 3450mAh non-removable battery in the Google Pixel XL. This is supported by fast battery charging technology, but not from Qualcomm. You will love the cameras of the Pixel XL, especially since they have the backing of independent reviewers DxOMark. The back has a 12.3MP snapper with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF as well as dual-tone LED flash, but there is still no room for OIS. However, you can still get to use EIS. The front part has an 8MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture.
The Google Pixel XL has its fingerprint scanner on the back and it also adds IP53 certification for water and dust resistance. The base model of the Pixel XL has a price tag of $769 while the high-end variant is priced at $869, however, there is an option to buy the phone on a contract.
Despite the similarities, these two phones have their own differences as well. The QHD display panel on the HTC 10 is 5.2 inches in size and is of Super LCD5 technology. Under the hood, the 10 has a Snapdragon 820 SoC, a 64-bit quad-core chipset that is clocked at 2.15GHz and an Adreno 530 GPU. This is paired with a 4GB DDR4 RAM alongside 32GB of expandable storage. The microSD card slot can accommodate up to 256GB.
In terms of cameras, the HTC 10 has an amazing offering. The back has a 12MP sensor that is based on the company’s UltraPixel 2 technology alongside features such as OIS, laser autofocus, f/1.8 aperture and dual-tone LED flash. The front part has an equally better 5MP sensor with the same aperture, but it makes things sweeter by including OIS on this wide-angle lens as well. To make things even better, there is an on-screen flash that promises great selfies even when in the dark.
To keep the phone alive, the Taiwanese tech giant went for a 3000mAh non-removable battery that is supported with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. It uses a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. As usual, you get a fingerprint scanner, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.2 and other latest connectivity standards on board. The HTC 10 has a price tag of $650 for an unlocked model, but some carriers are offering it for $199.99 on a two-year contract.
There is no doubt that these two phones are great creations. However, the choice remains with you. If big is your thing, the Google Pixel XL is a definite choice for you. The HTC 10, on the other hand, is still a decent offering with its all-metal design, great camera, equally capable performance specs, expandable storage and BoomSound, among other features. It gets even better for the latter when it comes to pricing.
Keep in mind that the Google Pixel XL has Android 7.1 Nougat on board and promises timely updates as opposed to the Android Marshmallow-powered HTC 10.