Google still demands top dollar for its aging Pixel XL. So should you consider the latest phone from Pixel-maker HTC instead?

They’re both made by HTC, pack similar display sizes, high performance and phenomenal cameras. But there’s a big price difference between the Google Pixel XL ($769), and HTC U11 ($649) — and you’ll also be getting a significantly different software experience. So which should you buy? Let’s take a look at some of the major points of divergence between two of the top Android phones of the moment.

Where to buy the HTC U11

Where to buy the Google Pixel XL

First off, the specs. And in this area, you’re mostly looking at a generational gap between the U11 and the Pixel XL. As great as the Pixel is, this is late-2016 smartphone hardware going up against a 2017 flagship.

Category
Google Pixel XL
HTC U11
Operating System
Android 7.1.2
Android 7.1.1
Display
5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 4
5.5-inch Quad HD SuperLCD5
Gorilla Glass 5
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM
4GB
4/6GB
Storage
32/128GB
64/128GB + microSD
Main Camera
12MP f/2.0 with HDR+, laser AF
12MP f/1.7 with OIS, HDR Boost
Front Camera
8MP f/2.4
16MP f/2.0, UltraPixel Mode
Battery
3,450mAh
3,000mAh
Fast Charging
USB-PD
Quick Charge 3.0
Water Resistance
IPX3 Splash Proof
IP67 Water Resistant
Edge Sense
No
Yes
Headphone Jack
Yes
No
Daydream VR support
Yes
No

Aside from faster benchmark scores and (potentially) quicker high-end gaming performance, the Snapdragon 835 powering the U11 also leads on efficiency. And that allows the phone to sip power from its fixed 3,000mAh cell at a rate which gives the U11 similar battery life to the Pixel XL, despite its larger capacity.

I’ve noticed virtually no difference in longevity between the Pixel XL and U11 in day-to-day use — both are “all day” phones, though you’d probably struggle to get a second day out of either. Quick charging — provided through Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 in the U11, and USB-PD on the Pixel — allows for fast refills on both phones, with the U11 having a slight lead on charging speeds.

Specs are all well and good — what about the way these things look and feel? Well, both phones share a handful of common design traits, like the style of speaker cutouts, the rounded corners of the display and the style of the metal trim. But overall these are two very different designs. The Pixel XL is understated, particularly in the silver and black color options, while the HTC U11 is all about color. There are five bold hues available, including the eye-catching “solar red” and “amazing silver” options, which change color as they tilt through light.

The glass back of the U11 makes it a little slipperier, and a good deal more fingerprint-prone, while the upper glass segment of the Pixel is a magnet for hairline scratches. So Google’s phone wins on ease – Source