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Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Find out which phone to buy

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The Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are almost here, but what’s the difference between the two?

It won’t be long until we finally get our hands on both of Google’s fancy new flagship smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. We’re here to run down the key differences and similarities between both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, to help make your decision a little clearer ahead of their official release.

They both just might be the best smartphones ever made, although that might be a little too early to call. I’ve put both phones side-by-side to see how they stack up against one another.

I’ll be taking a look at each phone’s design, camera, specs, price and release date, so you can make up your mind on whether you should have the Pixel of the bigger Pixel XL in your hands come November.

Buy the Google Pixel now from the Google Store

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Design

Both the Pixel and Pixel XL are 8.6mm thick, although because of the extra screen size, the XL is slightly larger and a little heavier. Both have full metal bodies, aside for the top third at the back, which is covered by a glass panel. It’s a distinctive look, but expect it to be a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.

As with the Nexus 6P, there’s a handy fingerprint scanner on the rear of both handsets for unlocking the phone and using Android Pay. Google was very keen to stress during the unveiling event that the rear camera sits nice and flush at the back on both devices too.

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Camera

Both the normal Google Pixel and Pixel Xl are near-identical in their 12.3-megapixel rear cameras and 8-megapixel front cameras. With an aperture of f/2, the rear camera doesn’t seem much different to the Nexus 6P, aside from the addition of fancy new optical image stabilisation. Obviously, once we get both handsets in for review we’ll do a full comparison.

There’s also Smartburst on both devices, which is used for capturing fast-moving action shots, and “HDR+”, which widens the colour range for more vivid pictures, is enabled by default. The rear camera has received the highest ever DxOMark score of 89, so this looks like it will be the one to beat once the phones pop up in shops.

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Display

The biggest difference between the pricey new smartphones lies in their display sizes. As you can guess, the Pixel XL has a larger, 5.5in, 2,560 x 1440 display, whereas the bog-standard Pixel has to contend with a 5in, 1,920 x 1,080 screen.

The higher 534ppi pixel density of the Pixel XL makes it the better choice if you’re opting for Google’s new Daydream VR headset, and you’ll be getting a wider field of view too. Both displays use AMOLED technology and are better protected with Gorilla Glass 4.  

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Specs

Both the Pixel and the Pixel XL are powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, paired with 4GB of RAM. They’ll also be among the first few handsets running Android 7 Nougat straight out of the box.

Both smartphones come with either 32GB or 128GB storage options, although the latter is considerably more expensive. It’s worth mentioning that Google has gone for zero microSD support again this time around, so try not to run out of space.

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Price

With fixed storage options on both phones, you’ll need to think long and hard about which one to spend your hard-earned cash on. The Google Pixel starts at £599 SIM-free  for the 32GB model and £699 for the 128GB model.

If you decide to opt for the Pixel XL, you’ll have to fork out £719 SIM-free for the 32GB model and a pretty pricey £819 for the 128GB version.

Google Pixel vs Pixel XL: Verdict

While we’re yet to put both smartphones to the test, both the Google Pixel and Pixel XL share the same design, camera, storage options, processor and RAM, and are pretty much identical as a result.

The only massive difference lies in the screen size and resolution. If you’re more accustomed to a larger-screened phone, or you’re looking to invest in Daydream VR, the XL will be the one for you, even if it is more expensive.

Buy the Google Pixel now from the Google Store

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