If the newly announced Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are any indication, Google is quite happy to split its focus between the top and middle ranges of the smartphone market. The Nexus 5X is a 5.2in handset starting from £349, while the Nexus 6P is a gigantic 5.7in phablet with a starting price of £449.
Nonetheless, from cameras to operating systems, these two devices have more in common than their names and price tags suggest. We've broken down their key specs to determine whether the Nexus 5X can truly keep pace, or whether the Nexus 6P's upgrades make it worth the money.
Nexus 6P: 159x78x7.3mm, 178g
Nexus 5X: 147x73x7.9mm, 136g
Unsurprisingly, the Nexus 6P's larger screen makes it taller, wider and heavier, gaining over 40g on the Nexus 5X. What we didn't expect was that the phablet is actually thinner: 7.3mm to the Nexus 5X's 7.9mm.
Of course, 0.6mm isn't a gaping chasm of a difference, but it does imbue the Nexus 6P with a technical impressiveness which its little sibling somewhat lacks. This is also true of the former's distinct aluminium unibody, which provides slick looks as well as a reassuring durability.
Still, both smartphones can boast a speedy USB-C port as well as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Once the preserve of only the most premium smartphones, this handy authentication tool has recently found its way onto more affordable handsets, and both sensors are equally fast and responsive.
Another design similarity, albeit one we're far less enthusiastic about, is the shared lack of a microSD port. Recent Nexus phones haven't been friendly with the concept of removable storage, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing that Google couldn't even find the space on the pricier Nexus 6P.
Nexus 6P: 5.7in AMOLED at 2560x1440
Nexus 5X: 5.2in AMOLED at 1920x1080
Unfortunately for the Nexus 5X, its above-par pixel density of 423ppi can't match the sharpness of the Nexus 6P's 515ppi display. The latter's superior amount of real estate also secures its position as the better screen for watching videos or scrolling through text-heavy web pages or e-books.
On the bright side, both are equipped with AMOLED tech which helps ensure vivid colours and deep blacks by electrically charging individual pixels. As a result, both screens offer some of the most vibrant palettes we've seen outside Samsung's Super AMOLED-powered devices.
Nexus 6P: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Nexus 5X: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
These aren't just Google's latest smartphones, they're showcases for the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow, being the first devices to ship with it pre-installed.
This upgrade from 5.1 Lollipop adds a long list of new tools and usability improvements. Among many others, there's Android Pay support, less intrusive notifications, app search, the ‘Doze' battery saver mode, Google Now on Tap and native support for fingerprint scanners and USB-C which, wouldn't you know, both appear on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.
It only makes sense that the two new smartphones will arrive with the revamped OS, and what's more they'll also be free from bloatware; as with Google's previous smartphones and tablets, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P won't be custom-skinned. This should also make sure that future Android updates will be delivered without delays.
Nexus 6P: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core (four 2GHz cores, four 1.5GHz cores), 3GB RAM
Nexus 5X: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core (two 1.8GHz cores, four 1.4GHz cores), 2GB of RAM
The Snapdragon 810's overheating problems are well documented, but its faster clock speeds and greater core numbers should give the Nexus 6P a significant performance advantage over the Nexus 5X, even without the extra gigabyte of RAM. We expect this to become particularly apparent in multitasking.
That's not to say the Snapdragon 808 is slow. After all, it's previously helped the LG G4 deliver some very solid benchmarking scores, although that was when paired with 3GB of RAM rather than the Nexus 5P's 2GB. Regardless, in terms of on-paper power the Nexus 6P is the clear winner here.
Nexus 6P: 12.3MP rear with 4K video, 8MP front
Nexus 5X: 12.3MP rear with 4K video, 5MP front
The Nexus 6P looks like the wiser choice for video calls or, if desired, selfies. It offers a considerably finer front-facing camera than the Nexus 5X which, judging from our hands-on time, has far fewer problems with low light or loss of detail.
However, these two handsets reach a dead heat where the main rear-facing cameras are concerned. That's particularly good news for the Nexus 5X, which can claim to be among the cheapest 4K video-enabled smartphones around. 12.3MP isn't amazing, especially for a premium product like the Nexus 6P, but this top-quality video capture capability more than makes up for it.
Nexus 6P: 3,450mAh
Nexus 5X: 2,700mAh
This is admittedly a bit of a dubious comparison considering how thirsty a 5.7in display can be compared with a 5.2in, but what looks like a huge capacity deficit for the Nexus 5X might not actually result in significantly shorter battery life.
That said, the Nexus 6P does have a nearly 30 percent larger battery powering what isn't anywhere near a 30 percent larger screen. We'd therefore be fairly shocked if it didn't manage to outlast the Nexus 5X by a meaningful margin.
Nexus 6P: 32GB, 64GB or 128GB
Nexus 5X: 16GB or 32GB
Another good showing for the Nexus 6P. Its smallest integrated storage option is the same as the Nexus 5X's absolute maximum, and it offers more capacity and more choice from there. Options for the Nexus 5X, by comparison, are fewer and smaller.
Space is particularly important with these devices, as neither can be expanded with a microSD card. We'd wager that anyone who opts for the 16GB Nexus 5X will find that fills up alarmingly quickly.
It would be unfair to characterise the Nexus 5X as the runt sibling of a stronger, smarter Nexus 6P, as many of the latter's best features - Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 4K video capture and a fast-acting fingerprint sensor - are included as standard on both.
However, the specs have spoken, and the Nexus 6P is outright better equipped in a number of key ways. Thus, we stand by what we said in our Nexus 5X hands-on test: it's a good all-round device with no obvious weaknesses, but isn't quite as attractive a proposition as the premium Nexus 6P.
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