Google and Huawei teamed up to release the most high-end Nexus device yet with the Nexus 6P. It has a slick metal frame, rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The newly released G5 is similar in a lot of ways. It too has a metal frame, rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and Marshmallow. Things are a lot different when you look more closely, though. The Nexus 6P lacks any modular features, and LG has taken the modular aspect more seriously than ever with the G5. So, how do these phones stack up? Let’s find out.
Both of these phones make use of aluminum in the constructions, but you’ll notice a distinct difference when you pick them up. The Nexus 6P feels like a solid aluminum phone should feel. It has a very clean design with chamfered edges and a somewhat unusual Gorilla Glass window at the top of the back panel for the antennas. It’s also extremely thin at just 7.3mm.
The LG G5 has a different aesthetic. It’s more rounded, and the aluminum frame doesn’t feel like metal. This was a bit of PR disaster for LG when the G5 came out. There’s a thick layer of primer on top of the aluminum that makes it feel more plasticky than the Nexus 6P. It’s not bad, but I don’t think it has the same premium feel as an unpainted metal phone. That said, the G5 is more comfortable to hold as it’s a little smaller and the rounded edges provide more grippable area.
The G5 has a single bottom-firing speaker, though it does get fairly loud. The Nexus 6P has front-facing stereo speakers. So, if having great audio is important to you, the 6P is worlds better.
Around back the G5 and Nexus 6P both have a fingerprint sensor placed conveniently for your index finger. The 6P’s sensor continues to be the best one on any Android phone with amazing speed and accuracy. The G5’s sensor is all right, but it misreads often compared to the 6P. The G5’s fingerprint sensor is also a power button, but it’s a little looser than I’d expect from a flagship phone. The 6P can also be woken up with the fingerprint sensor, but it has a separate power button on the side, as setup I think I prefer.
The Nexus 6P is a unibody phone, so the battery doesn’t come out. With the G5, the chin on the bottom comes off and the battery slides out for easy swapping. This chin can also be replaced with modules like the camera grip. However, these are expensive, and the camera grip is the only one available in the US. The chin also doesn’t sit entirely flush on the G5. The modules could be interesting, but right now it’s a miss for LG. The 6P simply feels like a better-built aluminum phone.
The G5 is a smaller phone than the Nexus 6P with a 5.3-inch 1440p LCD versus the 6P’s 5.7-inch Super AMOLED. Because we’re talking about an LCD, the G5 lacks the extremely vivid colors of the 6P, but it’s not prone to burn-in as AMOLED panels still are. The G5’s panel has good viewing angles and surprisingly high brightness. The colors are quite accurate as well.