All Sections

Google Pixel phone vs the best Android phones you can buy in 2016

We compare the fresh new Google Pixel phone with all of the biggest Android mobiles you can buy in 2016, to see if the ‘Made By Google’ handset really is the best Android blower around. From the mighty Samsung Galaxy S7 and Sony Xperia XZ to last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, here’s how the Google Pixel stacks up against the competition.

Google only just announced its new 5-inch premium flagship phone, dubbed the Google Pixel, alongside its larger 5.5-inch sibling, the Google Pixel XL. The Google Pixel phone packs some seriously impressive specs, including the very latest Snapdragon processor for super-nippy performance, plus Google’s exclusive Assistant AI. It doesn’t come cheap, but the Pixel certainly looks like one of the best Android mobiles of 2016 so far.

Read next: Pixel phone vs Pixel XL, what’s the difference?

So, the question is, how does the Pixel phone really compare with the greatest Android mobiles that we’ve reviewed this past year? And is it a big step up from last year’s Nexus 5X, making this a worthy upgrade for existing owners? Here’s our Pixel phone vs the best of Android comparison feature, so you can make up your own mind.

Check out our Pixel and Pixel XL hub for everything you need to know about Google’s phones, including reviews, features and more comparisons. And take a look at our Best Android Phones 2016 feature to see what we rank as the most impressive Android blowers of the year.

Google Pixel vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Which is best for me?

Phone Google Pixel Samsung Galaxy S7
Screen size 5-inches 5.1-inches
Screen resolution Full HD 1920×1080 Quad HD 2560×1440
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? No Yes
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 820/Exynos
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 32/128GB 32/64GB
MicroSD? No Yes
Battery 2770mAh 3000mAh
Rear camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 5-megapixel
Price From £599 From £500

Google’s Pixel phone is almost the exact same size and weight as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and both handsets pack a very smart design. The S7 sports a glossy, curvy finish that’s attractive and comfortable to handle, while the Pixel’s glass and metal rear certainly stands out from the crowd. Only Samsung’s flagship will survive a dunking in water, however.

The S7’s screen is also sharper with a full Quad HD resolution, but both phones produce sharp visuals and vibrant colours. Either Android here will keep media fans happy, although the Pixel’s on-board storage can’t be expanded with a microSD memory card. Thankfully Samsung’s phone does support microSD.

Performance-wise either phone here will play the latest games without issue, and when it comes to camera tech, you’ll struggle to find better Android snappers. The S7 is the king when it comes to low-light shots but the Pixel and S7 can both shoot up to 4K video and pack full image stabilisation.

Check out our full Google Pixel vs Galaxy S7 comparison for more info.

Google Pixel vs Sony Xperia XZ: Which is best for me?

Phone Google Pixel Sony Xperia XZ
Screen size 5-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution Full HD 1920×1080 Full HD 1920×1080
Weight 143g 161g
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? No Yes
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 820
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 32/128GB 32/64GB
MicroSD? No Yes
Battery 2770mAh 2900mAh
Rear camera 12-megapixel 23-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 13-megapixel
Price From £599 From £500

Sony’s Xperia XZ is a significantly bigger handset thanks to its straight-edged rectangular design, even though the 5.2-inch screen is only marginally larger than the Pixel’s display. That means the Pixel is more comfortable to wield one-handed, although it isn’t water resistant like the Xperia phone.

Both phones boast a crisp Full HD display that pumps out punchy colours, especially if you activate Sony’s Super Vivid mode. The Xperia XZ is best for media fans however, with its support for Hi-Res audio and expandable storage. You can even stream your gaming session from your PS4.

On the other hand, the Pixel has exclusive access to Google Assistant AI, which can help save you time and gives you intelligent search results. And the Pixel boasts a more up-to-date Snapdragon processor, although either mobile gives you smooth performance right now.

As for the cameras, the Xperia XZ can capture more detailed photos and we’re currently testing to see which is best for low light performance. Both handsets can shoot up to 4K video with image stabilisation.

Take a look at our full Google Pixel phone vs Xperia XZ comparison review for all you need to know.

Google Pixel vs HTC 10: Which is best for me?

Phone Google Pixel HTC 10
Screen size 5-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution Full HD 1920×1080 Quad HD 2560×1440
Weight 143g 161g
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? No No
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 820
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 32/128GB 32/64GB
MicroSD? No Yes
Battery 2770mAh 3000mAh
Rear camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 5-megapixel
Price From £599 From £500

HTC made both its own HTC 10 flagship phone and the new Google Pixel handset, and they’re two of the best Androids of 2016.

The HTC 10 is the chunkier, more serious handset with an all-metal design, while the Pixel sports a funky glass and metal finish. Both are top performers, although the Pixel sports a more up-to-date Snapdragon chipset, and you get a fingerprint sensor on both phones for secure unlocking.

We love the HTC 10’s gorgeous Quad HD screen, which is sharper than the Pixel’s Full HD panel. And the HTC 10 supports microSD memory cards, something missing from Google’s flagship. However, the Pixel is still a strong media machine and can be grabbed with up to 128GB of storage, if you have the cash to spare.

Both phones here boast a strong 12-megapixel rear camera that can shoot up to 4K video, as well as a respectable selfie camera for shooting your mug. Stay tuned for a full camera comparison.

Have a gander at our mighty Pixel vs HTC 10 comparison review for the full skinny.

Google Pixel vs OnePlus 3: Which is best for me?

Phone OnePlus 3 Google Pixel
Screen size 5.5-inches 5-inches
Screen resolution Full HD 1920×1080 Full HD 1920×1080
Weight 158g 143g
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? No No
OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow Android 7.1 Nougat
Processor Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 821
Memory 6GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 32/128GB
MicroSD? No No
Battery 3000mAh 2770mAh
Rear camera 16-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Price £329 £599

The OnePlus 3 is roughly half the price of the Pixel phone, yet boasts some seriously premium features just like Google’s own-brand handset.

For a start, you get a spacious 5.5-inch Full HD screen which produces rich, beautiful visuals just like the Pixel – although that increased size does make the OnePlus 3 more difficult to operate one-handed. You also get incredible performance and a seriously fast and accurate fingerprint sensor, no matter which handset you choose.

Neither phone here supports microSD memory cards and neither is water resistant.

When it comes to camera tech, the OnePlus 3 does an admirable job for the price. Everyday shots look fine, although video quality isn’t as strong as we hoped. Fingers crossed the Pixel holds up, as so far it seems to be a fast, intelligent snapper.

Want to dig deeper? Here’s our in-depth Pixel phone vs OnePlus 3 comparison review.

Google Pixel vs Google Nexus 5X: Which is best for me?

Phone Google Pixel Nexus 5X
Screen size 5-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution Full HD 1920×1080 Full HD 1920×1080
Weight 143g 136g
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? No No
OS Android 7.1 Nougat Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Snapdragon 821 Snapdragon 808
Memory 4GB 2GB
Storage 32/128GB 16/32GB
MicroSD? No No
Battery 2770mAh 2700mAh
Rear camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 5-megapixel
Price From £599 From £300

Last year’s Nexus 5X is looking a little creaky these days, as you’ll know if you’ve read our long-term review. That plain jane design is put to shame by the Pixel’s funky glass and metal finish, while performance can be quite stuttery and battery life isn’t too great.

The 2016 Pixel phone has the Nexus 5X beaten in almost every department, although the 5X’s 5.2-inch screen is still sharp and colourful. And both phones share most of the same weaknesses, including a lack of expandable storage.

That said, the Nexus 5X can be picked up for as little as £240 these days, which is less than half the cost of the Pixel. If you have basic needs, the 5X will definitely suffice, but any more demanding users who currently have last year’s Nexus phone will enjoy an upgrade to the Pixel.

Take a look at our full Pixel phone vs Nexus 5X comparison review for more details.

Our full Google Pixel review is incoming, so stay tuned. For now, check out our Google Pixel phone hands-on review.

Comments