Skip to main content

Nexus Spec Showdown: Nexus 6P vs. Nexus 5X

google specifies nexus updates 5x 6p 0052
Jeffrey Van Camp/Digital Trends
Google unveiled its newest Nexus smartphones — the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X — at a conference in San Francisco on September 29, and although they may share parentage, the two handsets couldn’t be less alike in appearance or price. That makes the job of prospective buyers everywhere tougher, but our handy breakdown should help narrow the options.

Huawei Nexus 6P

Phone Image

LG Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X Thumb
Size 159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm (6.27 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches) 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm (5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 178 grams (6.27 oz) 135 grams (4.80 oz)
Screen 5.7-inch AMOLED 5.2-inch IPS LCD
Resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Storage 32GB, 64GB, 128GB 16GB, 32GB
SD Card Slot No No
NFC Support Yes Yes
Processor 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (v2.1) 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Connectivity Wi-Fi, GSM, CDMA, HSPA, LTE Wi-Fi, GSM, CDMA, HSPA, LTE
Camera Rear 12.3MP w/ IR laser-assisted autofocus,  Front 8MP Rear 12.3MP IR laser-assisted autofocus, Front 5MP
Bluetooth Yes, Version 4.2 Yes, Version 4.2
Sensors Barometer, gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, hall sensor, digital compass, Android Sensor Hub Barometer, gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, hall sensor, digital compass, Android Sensor Hub
Fingerprint Sensor Yes Yes
Misc. RGB LED notification light
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4, smudge-resistant oleophobic coating Corning Gorilla Glass 3, smudge-resistant oleophobic coating
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3,450 mAh battery Non-removable Li-Po 2,700 mAh battery
Charger USB Type-C USB Type-C
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price From $499 From $379
Colors Aluminum, Graphite, Frost Carbon, Quartz, Ice
Availability Preorder starts Sept. 29, full release late October Preorder starts Setp. 29, full release late October
DT Review Coming soon Coming soon

Design and display

Given the bifurcated development of the two Nexus phones, it’s not surprising that the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X look and feel quite different.

Chinese phone maker Huawei’s Nexus, the Nexus 6P, takes a cue from HTC’s One series in adopting a fully anodized aluminum body. With the exception of a black plastic strip on the top rear that houses the handset’s camera, radios, and sensors, the Nexus 6P is composed entirely of metal and glass. The glass, speaking of, is Gorilla Glass 4, the newest iteration of manufacturer Corning’s protective touchscreen material.

The Nexus 6P’s corners are rounded, its edges chamfered, and the rear ergonomically curved. It’s a slick look, and one that serves to spotlight the 5.7-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) display.

LG’s Nexus 5X, on the other hand, exhibits a minimalist design philosophy very much in line with its predecessor, the Nexus 5 (2013). It’s made of injection-molded plastic and Gorilla Glass 3, and features considerably fewer embellishments. With the exception of a protrusion around the rear camera, it’s generally flat and understated.

The Nexus 5X’s 5.2-inch, 1080p LCD panel is a bit of a step down from the 6P’s, but the 5X has the advantage of compactness. That smaller display fits in a body measuring 5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches, which is just a tad thicker, but shorter than the 6P (6.27 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches). It’s a good deal lighter, too, at 4.80 oz, which is almost a full two ounces less than the 6P (6.27 oz).

Size and weight are ultimately matters of personal preference, but the Nexus 6P undoubtedly takes the crown in the areas of build and display quality. Plastic may have its advantages, but the Nexus 6P appears beautifully sculpted, and it’s hard to argue the superiority of LCD over brilliantly saturated (if sometimes power hungry and color-inaccurate) AMOLED.

Winner: Nexus 6P


Both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X pack 64-bit Snapdragon chips, but the two occupy radically different places on the processing spectrum.

The 6P’s processor, the 810 (v2.1), is a 2.0GHz processor with eight cores in ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration. There are four powerful cores to handle processor-intensive tasks, such as gaming and video rendering and four less capable, power-conservative cores to assist with lighter loads.

The Nexus 5X’s 808 processor is similar architecturally, but lacks two of the 810’s high-power cores. Instead, dual cores handle the intensive tasks, while the aforementioned low-power quad cores take on computational matters less taxing.

Day-to-day, the difference might not be all that noticeable. Use a lot of complex apps, though, and the 810 will no doubt shine. Also worth noting: the 810’s paired with a slightly revised GPU that can theoretically, for example, higher frame rates in graphics-heavy games. Of course, overheating could be a concern, as many 810 processors have been known to overheat. The new version that’s in the 6P doesn’t run as hot, though.

The 6P’s a winner on other performance fronts. It’s got more RAM (3GB vs. 2GB) than the Nexus 5X, which confers a multitasking advantage. It offers more storage — up to 128GB. And it’s got a much larger battery (2,700 mAh vs. 3,450 mAh), although the 6P’s higher-resolution screen and more powerful processor may partially negate that advantage. Still, from a raw numbers perspective, the 6P wins the hardware round.

Winner: Nexus 6P


The rear-facing cameras on the 6P and 5X appear by and large the same — both are 12.3MP shooters with f/2.0 apertures, IR laser-assisted autofocus, and dual flash — but differ in one facet. The 6P and 5X can capture up to 4K at 30 frames-per-second (FPS), but only the 6P can capture slow motion at a higher FPS — up to 240fps at 720p and 120fps at 1080p (the 5X is limited to 120fps at 720p).

The differences continue on the front. The 6P sports a 8MP front-facing shooter with an f/2.4 aperture that’s capable of high-def video capture at 30 fps. The 5X’s 5MP, f/2.0 aperture camera, meanwhile, lacks such HD capabilities.

It’s tough to say how even (or not, as the case may be) the two cameras are without access to either, but as far as preliminary/speculative judgments go, the 6P’s superior slow-mo and better front-facing camera put it over the top in the camera category.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Unique features

The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X share a good number of really unique features that most high-end Android phones lack. They pack USB Type-C ports, they support fast charging, and they have 3-mic arrays for noise canceling.

But the 6P offers ever-so-slightly more, namely on the audio front. It’s got stereo front-facing speakers. Like many Nexus smartphones before it, it features a programmable RGB LED light that glows in response to app notifications.

The Nexus 6P wins yet again.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Availability and Price

The Nexus 6P may have utterly swept the Nexus 5X in every category so far, but pricing’s where things get trickier. The Nexus 5X is, it’s true, the cheaper of the two: it starts at $380 for 16GB ($430 for 32GB). The 6P, on the other hand, starts at a much pricier $500 and goes up from there: $550 for the 64GB model and $650 for the 128GB model.

The Nexus 5X easily takes the pricing crown.

Winner: Nexus 5X


By accumulated “wins” alone, the Nexus 6P has the edge over the Nexus 5X. But those wins aren’t the whole story. The 6P may be superior in almost every respect — design, computational prowess, battery life, and camera capabilities, to name a few — but not in price. Price, which is the factor that more than a few purchasing decisions will likely come down to, weighs heavily in the favor of the Nexus 5X.

And it’s competitive at its price, too. $380 for an unlocked, 1080p smartphone with a fingerprint reader, Type-C connectivity, and an excellent camera is nothing to scoff at. The Nexus 6P may technically be superior of the two Nexus phones, but there’s nothing objectively “bad” about or “wrong” with the 5X. It’s just a tier down.

What we mean to suggest, is you can’t go wrong. Value extras and have the money? Go with the 6P. Satisfied with what the 5X offers? Your decision’s made. We’re waiting on review units, but we expect neither will disappoint too much.

Editors' Recommendations

Your Pixel 7 is about to get a whole lot less buggy — here’s why
Two Google Pixel 7 Pro smartphones.

Google is rolling out a new Android 13 update that fixes 46 bugs and performance issues for the Pixel 7. The fixes range from squashing smaller bugs to larger, systemwide updates that do things like optimize battery life and overall performance, making this one of the most substantial Pixel 7 updates to date. While the update, Android 13 QPR2, provides a lot of fixes for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro specifically, it also cleans up performance for the entire Pixel 6 line as well.

There are plenty of small fixes in the update. However, the bigger ones seem like they're going to noticeably improve the user experience for all Pixel 7 owners on just about every front.

Read more
Google Pixel 7a: news, release date and price rumors, and more
Leaked render of the Google Pixel 7a.

Google's Pixel family of smartphones has made a notable impact on the Android smartphone world, but not in the way we saw coming a few years back. Flagship Pixel smartphones are great, but where the Pixel really shines is in the budget space. In 2023, the next phase of the affordable Pixel will take the shape of the Google Pixel 7a.

The Pixel 7a will have pretty big shoes to fill, as 2022's Pixel 6a remains one of the best smartphone deals, delivering an excellent camera and software experience at a killer price. The Pixel 5a before it was also a highlight, especially when it came to battery life. Where will Google go next for the Pixel 7a? Here's a roundup of all the latest rumors and news you need to know.
Google Pixel 7a: design
Pixel 7a render OnLeaks / SmartPrix

Read more
The one thing the iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7 all get wrong
Apple iPhone SE (2020) being plugged in to charge.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, new smartphones broke cover as one would expect. I won't bore you with all the details; Digital Trends' Joe Maring and Jacob Roach wrote an excellent roundup of all the best MWC 2023 announcements already.

One key quality-of-life-improving feature we picked up on as a theme was charging speed. Apple, Samsung, and Google, the mainstream phone brands by coverage (even if not all by sales), stick to a fast-charging average speed of just over an hour — even with the latest iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7. By comparison, a phone from Xiaomi, Oppo, or OnePlus can get you moving in 30 minutes or even less. It's time to demand more from our phones.
Fast charging exists — just not for you

Read more