LG G6 vs Google Pixel: Which Android flagship is the best?

LG G6 vs Google Pixel: When Android titans LG and Google clash, who comes out on top? Here’s the definitive guide.

The LG G6 is now official, which means many consumers will now by eyeing up the phone with a view to buy. But even though LG’s new flagship smartphone is an undoubted Android powerhouse, there’s plenty of competition, not least from the formidable Google Pixel.

So which phone is better? Well the most fair argument is that both phones showcase the hyper-refined nature of modern smartphone manufacturing, so you’re probably going to be happy with either. But there are some clear advantages on both sides of the fence, so we’ve rounded up what’s good and what’s bad about the two handsets.

The LG G6 is set to go on sale in South Korea in the next few weeks, with a US launch tentatively pinned for the week beginning April 3. The phone should be coming to Europe shortly thereafter, so what do you need to know before then?

In this article, I’ll answer the following questions:

  • How do the designs differ?
  • How do the LG G6 and Google Pixel specs compare?
  • Which phone has better software?
  • Which phone is better value for money?
  • Should you buy the LG G6 or the Google Pixel?

Alternatively, scroll down to the bottom of this page for a summarised version of this article.

Related: Best Android Phones 2017

LG G6 vs Google Pixel Design: What’s the difference?

It’s fair to say both handsets are attractive, and you certainly won’t be mocked by your mates for carrying either around in public.

LG has done a lot of work with the LG G6 to ensure that it doesn’t suffer from the multitude of design failings seen from the LG G5.

For a start, LG has completely scrapped the LG G5’s modular design, which allowed users to swap out a portion of the phone to trade between features. That’s probably for the best, as the feature was largely useless considering the low number of “modules” available.

cheese 45LG G6

LG has also chosen a clearly metallic unibody design, which should help prevent any material controversies. Some of you may recall that the LG G5 was bemoaned by many owners who suggested the handset was made from plastic, rather than LG’s claimed metal chassis. It turned out that although the LG G5 was made from an aluminium alloy, it was coated with a layers of pigment and primer, which were mistaken for plastic.

Overall, the LG G6 is much more refined, with a sleek glass and metal build, a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a slim chassis.

The Google Pixel is also reasonably pretty, but doesn’t necessarily stand out in any way. The body is made from metal and glass, and features a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. There aren’t any physical buttons on the front, so you’ll be resigned to on-screen navigation only.

Google Pixel XLGoogle Pixel

Perhaps the most quirky design point is the two-tone rear, which our office has mixed opinions on. The Pixel is also about 0.6mm thicker than the LG G6, although this shouldn’t be particularly noticeable. The biggest difference is that the Google Pixel has a 5-inch screen, making it smaller than the LG G6.

Here’s our Mobile Editor Max Parker’s take on two phones’ design:

“Neither the LG G6 or the Pixel are what I would call gorgeous phones. The Pixel has that odd glass panel on the back, while the G6 struggles to stand out from the crowd of metal and glass devices. I’d give it just to the G6 though, simply because the engineering in getting such a big screen into a small body is impressive.”

LG G6 vs Google Pixel Specs: Which phone is the most powerful?

Until we fully review the LG G6, we’re limited as to how much we can compare the performance against the Google Pixel. That said, we’ve seen the specs and, on paper, the LG G6 looks like it’s a little more feature-packed than the Google Pixel.

Let’s start with the display; the LG G6 has a much bigger screen than the Google Pixel, rocking 5.7-inches compared to the Pixel’s lowly 5-incher. It’s also got way more pixels: the LG G6 has a resolution of 1,440 x 2,880 pixels (564ppi), while the Pixel uses a Full HD 1,080 x 1,920 pixel screen (441ppi). This means that the LG G6 screen is both bigger and more pixel-dense, giving you a more detailed viewing experience.

cheese 25LG G6

Both phones use the same Snapdragon 821 chipset, meaning you should theoretically get the same performance – although this will depend on how well-optimised both phones are. It was originally expected that the LG G6 would use Qualcomm’s newer Snapdragon 835 processor, but that’s not the case; apparently Samsung scooped the initial run of those chips for its Galaxy S8.

We loved the Google Pixel’s camera, with the snapper being one of the main reasons we gave the phone a 9/10 score. But its 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera (with a f/2.0 aperture) may struggle to compete with the dual camera configuration offered by LG.

LG has loaded the back of the LG G6 with two 13-megapixel cameras (one with optical image stabilisation), both of which have a wider f/1.8 aperture than the Google Pixel. Still, phone photography depends on a lot more than megapixels and aperture, so stay tuned for a full review with more details.

Google Pixel XLGoogle Pixel

Buyers of the LG G6 will also enjoy a few additional perks not enjoyed by Pixel owners, including wireless charging (not available on the Pixel) and a bigger battery (3,300mAh compared to 2,770mAh). The LG G6 is also fully waterproof with an IP68 certification, which is a far cry from the Google Pixel’s water-fearing IP53 rating.

For a full spec comparison, check out the table below:

LG G6 Google Pixel
Screen 5.7 inches 5 inches
Display Resolution 1,440 x 2,880 pixels (564ppi) 1,080 x 1,920 pixels (441ppi)
Screen-to-body Ratio 80% 69%
Aspect Ratio 18:9 16:9
Dimensions 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB 32/128GB
Rear Camera Dual: 13-megapixel OIS, f/1.8 | 13-megapixel f/1.8 12.3-megapixel, f/2.0
Front Camera 5-megapixel, f/2.4 8-megapixel, f/2.4
Battery Size 3,300mAh 2,770mAh
Charging Quick Charge 3.0, Wireless Quick Charge 3.0
Headphone Jack Yes Yes
Waterproof Yes (IP68 Certified) No (IP53 Certified)
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, USB-C Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, USB-C
Colours Black, White, Platinum Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue

Related: Best Android Apps 2017

LG G6 vs Google Pixel OS: Which phone has better software?

There’s not much difference when it comes to software, thanks to the fact that both phones run on Google’s latest Android 7.0 Nougat software.

It’s worth noting that LG has loaded the G6 with a modified version of Android called LG UX, which supports the quirky 18:9 aspect ratio on the phone. This allows the screen to show two apps at once, both of which will be perfect squares.

cheese 1LG G6

The key advantage that the Google Pixel has, however, is update speed. The Google Pixel will get Android updates long before third-party phones, which means it’ll also get the next major version of Android first too. By comparison, LG will have to test the new software on its phone first, make any necessary changes as part of LG UX, and then roll the OS out via carriers, all of which could delay the software rollout.

For a full breakdown of features, check out our comprehensive Android 7.0 Nougat guide.

LG G6 vs Google Pixel Price: Which phone is better value for money?

The LG G6 hasn’t been given UK pricing just yet, so we can’t do a direct pricing comparison unfortunately.

We know that the LG G5 priced at £529 originally, so we’d imagine that the LG G6 will be at least as expensive. There’s also a good chance it will cost even more, considering the recent fluctuations in the value of Sterling.

Google launched the Pixel at £599 in the UK for the most basic option, and the price remains the same to this day. That’s a fairly hefty fee for a phone, but we shouldn’t forget that despite launching in 2016, the Google Pixel is still only a few months old.

google pixelGoogle Pixel

Assuming both phones cost the same, we’d say that the LG G6 seems to be marginally better in terms of specs, so those looking for a more practical phone may find better value from LG’s flagship.

Should you get the LG G6 or the Google Pixel?

If you’re weighing up your options, here’s our advice about which phone you should buy.

If you want the best possible hardware, choose the LG G6. It’s fair to say that in terms of raw hardware, the LG G6 edges out over the Google Pixel. You’re getting a bigger screen with a better resolution, a dual-camera setup, wireless charging, a bigger battery, and plenty more.

If you’re all about software, the Google Pixel could be the better choice. If you’re desperate to stay on the bleeding edge of Android updates, the only choice is Google. The Pixel phone is guaranteed to get the next few Android updates before third-party handsets, so it’s a good choice for anyone hoping to try out upcoming software versions as early as possible.

Consider the alternatives before purchasing either phone. While the Google Pixel and LG G6 are certainly some of the best flagships you can buy right now, we can’t say what the future holds. Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S8 in March, which could blow both phones out of the water. And if you can wait a little while to upgrade, we’re expecting LG to unveil the LG V30 in autumn this year, around the same time as Google should show off the Google Pixel 2. None of that’s confirmed mind, so take those time-frames with a hefty pinch of salt.

cheese 21LG G6

LG G6 vs Google Pixel Summary: What’s the difference?

Here’s a brief overview of the key differences between the LG G6 and the Google Pixel.

Design: Neither handset is particularly standout in terms of design, but neither are they ugly. It’ll come down to personal preference, but some may prefer the LG G6 thanks to its very high screen-to-body ratio.

Specs: The LG G6 uses the same Snapdragon 821 processor as the Google Pixel, but boasts additional perks like wireless charging, waterproofing, and a dual-camera on the back. The LG G6 display is also much bigger, and significantly more pixel-dense.

Price: There’s no word on LG G6 pricing yet, but we’d be surprised if it was significantly different from the Google Pixel’s £599 price tag.

Value: Assuming pricing is equal, the LG G6 seems to offer better value in terms of hardware. But the Pixel rocks unskinned Android, and will almost certainly receive major updates first. So the best value comes from whichever aspect you favour most – hardware or software.


Related: MWC 2017 news and phones

Which phone would you rather have? Let us know in the comments.