Nexus 6P vs Nexus 5X: Which Google flagship phone is the right one for you?

Nexus 6P vs Nexus 5X: Which Google flagship phone is the right one for you?

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Camera

Having a good phone camera is very important, and it’s great to see that both the Nexus 5X and 6P pack the same fantastic rear snapper.

This means both phones come with a 12.3-megapixel sensor, laser autofocus, f/2 aperture and large light-gathering 1.55μm pixels. Unfortunately there’s no optical image stabilisation, meaning video can be a tad shakey, but you can record up to 4K footage at 30fps.


Taking photos in low light is a breeze, with images coming out almost exactly as you see the real-life scene. Details are crisp and vibrant, and the camera is incredibly quick to snap photos, meaning you can go from lock screen to captured photo within the space of a second or two. As our reviews editor Jonathan Bray put it, this is on equal footing with the best smartphone cameras in the business.

As for front-facing cameras, selfie lovers will probably find the 5X’s wide-angle camera better for group shots, even if its resolution is lowe than that of the 6P. However, despite having an 8-megapixel front camera, Huawei’s choice of a narrower angle means it’s a bit of a struggle to get a few friends in the frame.

In terms of software, it’s very much as you’d expect, with the 5X and 6P using Android’s own capture and editing software. While that’s great for quickly snapping a photo or two, it’s not so good for video, providing a lack of control around ISO sensitivity and shutter speed.

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Features

As far as features go, both phones are practically identical.


Both have fingerprint sensors located on the rear underneath the camera and, in the States at least, both use NFC for Android Pay. And, as both devices also run Android Marshmallow, they have the benefits of Now on Tap, a redesigned app drawer, and the incredibly useful Doze mode.

Basically, it doesn’t matter which phone you opt for, you’re going to receive the same set of great features.

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Battery

Battery life on both the 5X and 6P is absolutely fantastic. The 5X contains a rather modest 2,700 mAh battery, while the 6P uses a 3,450 mAh one.

“Among the best smartphones I’ve used in the last couple of years”

In terms of actual usage numbers, that translates to around a day of standard use out of the 5X, and a day of heavy use from the 6P. During our video test the 6P managed to last 11hrs 58mins, a rather middling result, but in the wild you’d be hard pressed to find yourself with low battery when using it moderately. 

In fact, Jon ranks the 6P’s battery life as “among the best smartphones I’ve used in the last couple of years when it come to moderate to heavy use, and that’s doubly impressive given how powerful the thing is”.

Both phones also feature superfast charging. The Nexus 5X does charge the faster out of the two phones, reaching 20% in ten minutes, 48% in half an hour and a full charge in under 2 hours. Conversely, the Nexus 6P hits full charge in just over two hours. Still, both phones can be topped up fairly quickly if battery life falls dangerously low.

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Price

No matter which phone you go for, you’re definitely getting great value for money on both devices. While the super-hard-to-get OnePlus 2 completely outshines the Nexus 5X in terms of price, at £339 you really can’t go wrong with snapping up the 5X.

If you’re content to pay a premium, the 6P can be had for £449. While this does make it on the cheaper end of the pablet market, it’s really not that cheap for a Nexus device, so you need to ask yourself if you really do need the extra oomph it offers.

Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Verdict


With either of these phones it’s really down to what you want to use them for.

The 6P is the phone for the style conscious who need a powerful high-end smartphone at an affordable price – but those individuals already know that they want a Nexus 6P anyway. The 5X is perfect for those more concerned about having a great phone without breaking the bank to get one.

As Jonathan Bray summed up in his Nexus 5X review, unless you have more money to throw around than sense, it’s really worth considering the Nexus 5X. It may not be beautiful, but for the price it’s an excellent all-round device, and you really need to think hard if you actually need the performance boost the 6P offers for the extra £100 on the price.

Not convinced either of the Nexus phones are for you? Take a look at our list of the best smartphones of 2015 to see if something else would suit you better.

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