Google Pixel, LG V20 Android Nougat Handsets Face Off on Features

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-10-18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Google Pixel, LG V20 Android Nougat Handsets Face Off on Features
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    Google Pixel, LG V20 Android Nougat Handsets Face Off on Features

    The first smartphones running Android Nougat, the LG V20 and Google Pixel, are coming this month. Here's a look at key features of the two handsets.
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    Screen Size Could Be a Decisive Factor
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    Screen Size Could Be a Decisive Factor

    There is some variety in screen sizes for customers to choose. On the V20 side, users will find a 5.7-inch quad-HD screen that comes with Corning's Gorilla Glass 4 to protect it against scratches or minor falls. The Google Pixel comes in two sizes: 5 inches and 5.5 inches. The 5-inch model has a full-HD resolution, while the Pixel XL features quad-HD resolution. Both versions use Gorilla Glass 4.
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    Both Have the Latest Android Nougat Features
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    Both Have the Latest Android Nougat Features

    Both devices ship with Google's latest mobile OS, Android Nougat, and run the same applications, including Google Chrome, Google Play, YouTube and others. At least on software, the LG V20 and Google Pixel experiences will be the same.
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    Fingerprint Sensors for Security
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    Fingerprint Sensors for Security

    Both the Google Pixel and LG V20 come with a fingerprint sensor on their back plates. The feature is designed to let users into their handsets without inputting a code, and can also be used to make secure payments through Android Pay. Anyone worried about hardware-based security, therefore, shouldn't be too concerned about the LG V20 or Google Pixel.
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    Both Feature High-Quality Cameras
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    Both Feature High-Quality Cameras

    Google claims that its Pixel will ship with the world's best smartphone camera by offering a 12.3-megapixel camera and large pixels designed to perform well in low and bright light. It also can shoot video in 4K. Similarly, LG touts the V20's rear-facing lens, which has a 135-degree viewing angle and comes with a Steady Record 2.0 feature that's designed to reduce shaking while recording video.
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    LG Gains Advantage With Broad Mobile Carrier Support
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    LG Gains Advantage With Broad Mobile Carrier Support

    Google made a somewhat surprising move with the Pixel by partnering only with Verizon. The move means customers who want a monthly installment plan will need to buy it from Verizon. Those who want to run it on any other network will have to buy a Pixel at full price through Google's online store or other e-retailers. LG, however, is selling the device through any of the four major carriers, and customers can use the device on any network for the more affordable monthly installment, if they so choose.
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    The Designs Aren't Groundbreaking
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    The Designs Aren't Groundbreaking

    Following so many other device makers, neither LG nor Google have delivered new design concepts with their smartphones. In fact, one could argue they're both somewhat ho-hum designs, featuring rounded corners, big screens and large bezels at the top and bottom of their screens. Google's design comes with a metal back plate, but it's not a cut above anything else on the market. The same can be said for the V20.
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    LG Makes an Audio Push
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    LG Makes an Audio Push

    LG, which seems to have invested heavily in audio, notes that its device is the first smartphone to support Quad DAC, a technology that offers "cleaner" audio and better streaming-music fidelity. The V20 also has an HD audio recorder that uses three mics to capture audio. Look for the LG V20 to be a better-sounding smartphone.
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    Battery Life Expectancy Competitive for the 2 Handsets
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    Battery Life Expectancy Competitive for the 2 Handsets

    Both the LG V20 and Google Pixel come with solid battery lives. The Google Pixel's battery life can last between 26 hours and 32 hours of talk time, depending on the screen size customers choose. With internet usage, the battery can hang in there for up to 14 hours before it requires a recharge. The LG V20 can survive up to 23 hours on a single charge during continuous talk time. LG doesn't say how long the V20 can last while surfing the web.
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    LG Takes the Lead in Data Storage Capacity
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    LG Takes the Lead in Data Storage Capacity

    The LG V20 comes with up to 64GB of internal storage, though that can be boosted with help from a microSD card with a maximum capacity of 2TB. The Google Pixel comes with two on-board storage options—32GB and 128GB—and doesn't come with microSD card expansion. However, Google is offering unlimited and free storage for all photos and videos taken with the Pixel.
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    Broad Differences in Pricing Terms
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    Broad Differences in Pricing Terms

    The unlocked Google Pixel comes with a starting price of $649 but jumps to $769 for the larger Pixel XL option. Customers who want 128GB of storage will see the price rise to $869. Customers who don't want to pay full price can get a monthly installment plan through Verizon for a starting price of $27.08. The LG V20 is also available unlocked though its price starts at $830. Customers who want to get it locked to a carrier will pay a monthly installment fee of around $27 to $28.
 

The LG V20 and the Google Pixel are shaping up to be holiday favorites. Both smartphones are scheduled to ship in October and promise solid performance, attractive designs and outstanding image quality, thanks to powerful rear-facing cameras. Most importantly, the V20 and Pixel will ship with Android Nougat, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. The OS has several new and appealing features, including improved notification support and security enhancements, which could prove to be a major selling point for customers who want the latest software experiences to complement the nice hardware. This means Android mobile phone fans who want to acquire a smartphone with the Nougat experience before the holidays arrive in December likely will have to choose between the LG V20 and Google Pixel, unless there is a late-year smartphone model entry before year's end. The LG V20 and Google Pixel will be the first Nougat models to appear although other vendors say they'll update their devices to run Nougat. This slide show covers the key features in LG's latest high-end smartphone and the Google Pixel to help users choose between the two.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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