Over the course of this month, two of the most anticipated Android phones of the year have been released. Let’s compare them side by side.
To start, we have the successor of the highly acclaimed V10 and the flagship of the brand for 2016, the LG V20. This 5.7″ phablet has ditched the plastic build of its predecessor in favor of an all-metal build, while still providing the removable battery and the expandable storage features that are loved about the V10 as well as the Snapdragon 820 processor. It’s presented in Silver, Pink, and a dark gray called Titan.
On the other hand, the newly released Pixel XL is both the (spiritual) successor to the Nexus 6P and the beginner of a brand new line of products from Google (alongside its companion, the Pixel). This handset features a glass-aluminium uni-body design (with no camera bump!) and boasts the best camera on a smartphone yet. In addition, features like the Google Assistant baked in or the latest Snapdragon 821 add to the phone. The Pixel XL comes in “Very Silver, Quite Black, and Really Blue.”
The LG V20 is slightly larger at 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm, while the Pixel XL stands at 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm, making it almost 1 mm thicker than the V20.
The V20 has an IPS, 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4. But that’s not all—this phone also features a secondary 2.1-inch (multitouch) display on top of the main panel, also with IPS technology and a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels. This display primarily holds app and settings shortcuts.
The Pixel XL is rocking a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel with a 1440 x 2560 resolution as well as Gorilla Glass 4. Both phones have a pixel density of above 500 ppi (534 ppi for the Pixel and 513 ppi for the V20).
Both handsets come with 4GB of RAM, which is to expect from a flagship in 2016. For the internal storage, the V20 comes in two versions: 32GB or 64GB, also allowing for MicroSD expansion of up to 256GB. The Pixel also comes in two flavors: a 32GB model and a 128GB model—skipping the 64GB version, and it does NOT support microSD expansion.
The Pixel XL has a 12.3 MP, f/2.0 sensor for the rear camera, with phase detection & laser autofocus and dual-LED flash, and it can record on 4K@30fps and 1080p@120fps. The selfie camera is an 8 MP, f/2.4 sensor.
The V20 has two rear facing cameras, one wide-angle 8 MP (12mm, f/2.4) and a more refined 16 MP camera (29mm, f/1.8) with laser autofocus, OIS, and dual-LED flash. The selfie camera has a 5 MP and f/1.9 sensor.
The battery department is said to be of most importance for all users, and these two handsets present different approaches each one with its own pros and cons.
The Pixel XL has the bigger capacity of the two with 3450 mAh, which is well above average and claims to provide 7 hours of use with just 15 minutes of charge. This promising feature is yet to be tested, but nonetheless, this phone seems to be among the best of the best in terms of battery life, if we ignore the fact that this great battery is non-removable.
The V20, on the other hand, packs a smaller but still beefy battery with 3200 mAh and features Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. So technically it will last you less than the Pixel’s (especially with the slightly bigger display), but being able to swap the battery at any moment is very appealing, and it still offers good capacity as well as fast charging.
The LG V20 was the first smartphone to retail with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, but as always it has been skinned with the latest version of LG UI (5.0). Love it or hate it, LG’s skin is pretty light compared with other versions and still adds personality to the device while maintaining the performance fast and snappy. The secondary display lets you have the most important shortcuts at a one-tap distance and the camera software lets you change between the two sensors really quickly. Overall, it is a very polished and up to date experience the V20 is offering.
But let’s not forget about the Pixel XL, if the V20 was “up to date”, this device takes that expression to the next level. With Android 7.1 out of the box and maintaining the pure Android experience and the fastest and latest updates for at least two years. Aside from all that, the Pixel phones are the first to be labeled as “Daydream Ready,” which means they are optimized for handling VR apps and games in the Daydream platform.
The unlocked LG V20 is available for preorder at $799 for the 64GB model. We still don’t know about the other models, but expect a difference of about $50-$100.
The prices of the Pixel XL were announced the day of its announcement, and are as follows: $769 for the 32GB model and $869 for the 128GB model.
The Pixel XL and LG V20 are absolutely astonishing phones on paper, each with a different approach to what a smartphone should be, and to be honest, you can’t go wrong with either of them. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments!