Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X — what's the difference?

Google has finally, officially pulled the wraps off of its latest Nexus hardware, and breaking away from previous tradition we actually have two Nexus phones launching at the same time. The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are both heading out to the market at once — so the question is, what are the differences between the two? We're going to break it down.

Hardware and features

Nexus 5X

Though the fact that both phones are running Google's latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system differentiates them from the rest of the Android world, the only thing setting them apart from one another is the hardware. We're looking at phones that both wear the Nexus badge but are actually made by two different manufacturers — the Nexus 5X by LG, and the Nexus 6P by Huawei. This is Huawei's first swing at a Nexus device, while LG has done two — the Nexus 4 and 5 — previously.

The Nexus 6P is the larger and higher-end device of the two. Despite the "6" in the Nexus 6P name, the phone is actually smaller than the Nexus 6 of 2014. The screen comes in at 5.7-inches, but is the same type of screen, AMOLED, as well as resolution, QHD (2560x1440). Its larger size lines up with its higher-end position of the two phones, with the internals rounding out to a Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM and a base of 32GB of storage. You'll get a 12.3MP camera on the back, and while it has large 1.55-micron pixels it lacks optical image stabilization (OIS). A 3450 mAh battery is powering it all, which is an interesting bump in size over the Nexus 6 considering the body itself is smaller.

Read: Hands-on with the Huawei Nexus 6P

The Nexus 5X is more in the lineage of the original Nexus 5 from 2013, with a smaller size, plastic exterior and a step down in hardware internals. The 5.2-inch screen comes in just a touch larger than the original Nexus 5, and keeps the same 1920x1080 resolution. The internals are just a slight step down from the Nexus 6P — a Snapdragon 808 processor, 2GB of RAM and a base of 16GB of storage. The camera here is also 12.3MP, and it has IR laser-assisted autofocus like the 6P to go along with a broad spectrum dual LED flash.

Read: Hands-on with the LG Nexus 5X

Both phones have their own little design flourishes, with the Nexus 6P having a distinctly large black glass portion on the back that houses the camera hardware, setting off against an otherwise all-metal body — available in three colors — with chamfered edges to give it a little shine. The Nexus 5X is nice-looking in its own right, with the solid plastic exterior available in three colors. Both phones share several similarities, though, with front-facing speakers, a back-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB-C charging ports and relatively clean lines all around.

Comparing the specs

Specs don't tell the whole story of a phone (well, not even a majority of it), but when you're ready to put money down for a phone you want to know what's inside it. Looking for a straight-up internal spec comparison of the two new Nexuses? We have you covered right here.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryHuawei Nexus 6PLG Nexus 5X
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Display5.7-inch 2560x1440 AMOLEDGorilla Glass 45.2-inch 1920x1080 LCDGorilla Glass 3
ProcessorSnapdragon 810 octa-coreAdreno 430 GPUSnapdragon 808 hexa-core at 1.8GHzAdreno 418 GPU
Storage32, 64 or 128GBNon-expandable16 or 32GBNon-expandable
Rear Camera12.3MP1.55 μm pixelsf/2.0 apertureIR laser-assisted autofocus4K (30fps) video captureBroad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash12.3MP1.55 μm pixelsf/2.0 apertureIR laser-assisted autofocus4K (30fps) video captureBroad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash
Front Camera8MP1.4 µm pixelsf/2.4 aperture5MP1.4 μm pixelsf/2.2 aperture
SensorsFingerprint sensorSensor HubAccelerometerGyroscopeBarometerProximity sensorAmbient light sensorHall sensorAndroid Context HubFingerprint sensorSensor HubAccelerometerGyroscopeBarometerProximity sensorAmbient light sensorHall sensorAndroid Context Hub
Battery3450 mAh2700 mAh
Dimensions159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight178 g136 g
ColorsAluminum, graphite, frostGold (Japan only)White, black, blue


A big differentiator between the two when it comes to finally choosing one is the price. The Nexus 5X is marketed as the lower of the two, starting at $379 — add an extra $50 for double the storage. For the bigger (and more spec-heavy) Nexus 6P, you'll be forking out a smooth $499 — add $50 for 64GB or $150 for 128GB of storage. Both prices seem fair and are definitely a step below the super high-priced offerings from other manufacturers that easily tip over the $600 price point for their base models, but the new Nexuses are hardly inexpensive themselves in a world of solid phones filling the sub-$250 price range as well.

Of course you won't be signing up for a contract with either of these phones, you'll be buying them directly from the Google Store — or potentially on a Project Fi financing plan — for use on your carrier of choice. That makes the price differential a bit more important, but only you can decide what the "right" price is when you're putting down your own money on the phones.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.