There's a fair bit to like about the Google Pixel, the first smartphone designed in-house by the company behind Android.
It was the packing Android 7.0 Nougat and the Google Assistant from day one, so it certainly act like a high-end handset, plus it has an amazing main camera.
Unfortunately, when put against the top of the top-tier Android competition, the Pixel falls short in some key ways – much like last year's LG G5 did. Although a rather capable and intriguing phone on its own, the G5's focus on modular accessories ultimately didn't attract a lot of attention from flagship buyers.
Luckily, LG is well back on track with the G6, an appealing slab of top-end tech with a focus on a stunning, extra-tall screen with minimal bezel. We came away impressed, as our full review explains, and think it's the company's best phone to date.
The G6 overcame the ghost of last year's G5, but can it also outrank the Google Pixel? Here's how it all shakes out.
Design: Gotta be G6
It's obvious: the Google Pixel and Pixel XL look just like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (and 6/6s and 6/6s Plus) at a glance, but as is often the case, the imitation doesn't quite live up to the original. Nor does it really compare to some of the more alluring Android handsets out there today, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and OnePlus 3T.
The glass cutout accent on the back is kind of neat, while the Very Blue colour choice is certainly eye-catching, but the big bezels and antenna lines don't stack up against the top Androids today. And it's not even water-resistant. C'mon, Google.
Luckily, we feel a lot more strongly about the LG G6. Just look at the front of it: the screen takes up more than 85% of the face, with minimal bezel all around to accentuate what you're looking at and playing. And the little rounded edges on the screen are a nice touch, as well.
All told, the design seems ultra-refined and premium, with glass on both sides, high tensile metal holding it all together, IP68 water resistance, and a well-placed fingerprint sensor on the back. It's a beautiful-looking phone, not to mention a big step up from the G5.
Winner: LG G6
Screen: Big and bold
One of the drawbacks of the standard Google Pixel was its insistence on a 1080p display, despite competing against flagships with Quad HD panels. Granted, the Pixel's 5in screen is still sharper than the standard iPhone 7, but it's a step down from the Samsung Galaxy S7 and even the LG G5. The Pixel XL, however, packs a 5.5in Quad HD screen for the extra cash.
Like the G5 last year, the LG G6 has its own Quad HD screen – but this isn't the same panel. For one thing, it's taller: LG opted for an uncommon 18:9 aspect ratio for the phone, which means the screen's a little wider than traditional widescreen (16:9) in landscape mode. Luckily, LG has modes that re-render content to fit the screen without obvious stretching.
It's not just a taller screen, either. The 5.7in IPS display also has a wider colour gamut to support high dynamic range (HDR), which delivers more contrast between bright and dark colours and will make supported content absolutely pop on the thing.
Netflix will add HDR support to its Android app, which means we'll be able to experience Iron Fist and House of Cards at their best even when on the go. That's awesome, and it totally seals the deal on LG having the better panel here.
Winner: LG G6
Power: All the same?
It's a wash here: the Pixel just launched a few months back, and features Qualcomm's currently top-of-the-line Snapdragon 821 chip, which runs about 10% faster than the previous 820. It also has 4GB RAM within.
And the LG G6? That's right: a Snapdragon 821 with 4GB RAM alongside. Both also run Android Nougat with the Google Assistant, and yes, both are incredibly swift and capable of handling just about anything you throw at it.
Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is right around the corner with the speedier Exynos 8895 or Snapdragon 835 within (depending on where you live), but the Snapdragon 821 will remain plenty fast even when that hits stores.
In any case, there's no big difference in performance for this particular matchup, given the essentially identical internals.