Head-To-Head: Google Pixel XL Vs. Huawei Honor 6X

The Next Big Thing In Android?

When it comes to smartphones, Google is no longer content just to be known for its software. The company's Android operating system has helped many smartphone makers to build huge businesses -- and Google now wants to be counted among them.

The first move: the Google-branded Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, which launched in the fall. Meanwhile, another fresh face in smartphones -- at least in the U.S. -- is also aiming to achieve a high profile quickly. China-based Huawei and its Honor smartphone brand are a smash hit in Asia and some parts of Europe, and Huawei is looking to replicate that success in the U.S. market. Most recently, Huawei launched a smartphone during CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the Honor 6X, that aims to grab millennial-aged customers.

How do the new smartphones stack up? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares Google’s Pixel XL vs. Huawei’s Honor 6X on specs and price.

Operating System

Google's Pixel XL comes with the latest version of Android, which is Android 7.1 Nougat. Notably, the company's artificially intelligent assistant, Google Assistant, is baked into the operating system.

Meanwhile, Huawei's Honor 6X comes with the previous version of the Android operating system, Android 6.0. The Honor 6X also has a customized Android user interface known as EMUI (or Emotion UI), which brings a simpler design style than standard Android.

But Huawei isn't packaging the latest version of EMUI, either; the phone comes with EMUI 4.1 (rather than 5.0). Huawei has said that updates to the latest versions of EMUI and Android will come to the Honor 6X in the second quarter.

Display, Body & Overall Size

Both Google's Pixel XL and Huawei's Honor 6X feature a display that measures 5.5 inches diagonally. The phones are also similarly sized overall, with the Pixel XL measuring 6 x 2.9 inches, and the Honor 6X measuring 5.94 x 3 inches. And both phones come with an all-aluminum body.

The Pixel XL features a sharper display, however, with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. That's compared to the 1,920 x 1,080 pixel display of the Honor 6X.


The Honor 6X and Pixel XL turn to different manufacturers for their CPU needs, but the processors end up roughly the same in terms of clock speed. The Honor 6X's processor -- Huawei's Kirin 655 -- which has a clock speed of 2.1GHz. The Pixel XL uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821, which runs just a hair faster at 2.15GHz.


Both Huawei and Google have been heavily touting the cameras that are part of their respective phones. The Honor 6X includes a dual-camera setup on the rear-facing side -- consisting of one 12-megapixel camera along with a 2-megapixel camera. The Honor 6X claims a fast focus time for its rear cameras and a wide aperture range.

For the Pixel XL, it's a 12.3-megapixel camera that features HDR+ (for improving image quality) as well as advanced stabilization (which is especially helpful for shooting video).

Battery Life

One advantage that Google's Pixel XL can claim is a larger battery -- 3,450 mAh. That gives the phone the ability to, for instance, play 14 hours of video on a charge, according to Google. Huawei has included a slightly smaller battery in the Honor 6X, at 3340 mAh, which promises 11.5 hours of video watching on a charge.

Storage & RAM

Google includes 4GB of RAM in the Pixel XL and has two options for storage -- 32GB or 128GB. The company also says that buyers will receive free, unlimited cloud storage of their photos and videos (at full resolution).

Huawei has two models for the Honor 6X -- one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the other with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Price & Carriers

The biggest difference with the Honor 6X is on price. Huawei is offering the smartphone unlocked with a starting price of $249.99, for the model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. By contrast, the starting price for the Pixel XL (with the same amount of storage) is more than triple that amount, at $769.

However, Honor 6X buyers get fewer options for their carrier -- the phone works only with GSM carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile. While Google has advertised that its Pixel phones are "only on Verizon," because Verizon is a distribution partner for the phones, that's not actually the case. The Pixel XL can be purchased unlocked and will work on the four top carrier networks -- AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and, of course, Verizon.