If you're looking for a phone to go spec-for-spec with the Lumia 950 XL, you could do worse than Google's Huawei Nexus 6P. They're both at the top of their class, physically and internally, so much so you might be seeing déjà vu for a bit when you run down the spec sheets.

Category Lumia 950 XL Nexus 6P
OS Windows 10 Mobile Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Screen Size 5.7 inches 5.7 inches
Screen Resolution 1440x2560 (564ppi) 1440x2560 (564ppi)
Processor Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core
Internal Storage 32GB 32GB/64GB/128GB
External Storage microSD
Security Windows Hello iris scanner Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner
Rear Camera 20MP ƒ/1.9 PureView camera, triple-LED flash 12.3MP ƒ/2.0 camera, dual-LED flash
Front Camera 5MP, wide-angle lens 8MP ƒ/2.4
Battery 3340mAh removable 3450mAh non-removable
Charging Qi wireless, USB Type-C port, Quick Charge USB Type-C port, Quick Charge
Height 151.9mm 159.3mm
Width 78.4mm 77.8mm
Thickness 8.3mm 7.3mm
Weight 165g 178g

While the comparisons with the iPhone 6s Plus might seem unfair (though that could be framed as a question of raw power versus efficiency), the Lumia 950 XL pitted against the Nexus 6P seems like as fair of a fight as there has ever been. They come to the table with screens of the same size, resolution, and type, the same processor and amount of RAM driving things behind the scenes. Heck, they even have the same base storage space, though if you want more on the Nexus you'll have to buy the higher-capacity version instead of just throwing in a microSD card.

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That's where the comparisons start to diverge. Where the Nexus line has always been Google's definition of what an Android device ought be like, Microsoft's top-end Lumias are about more than just setting an example for their manufacturing partners and impressing the fanboys. Lumias have always had incredible cameras, and while we have little reason to doubt that the 20MP shooter on the 950 XL will impress, Nexus phones have consistently been a let down in the imagery department. Google says things will be different this time, but they said that last time and the time before that too.

On the software front there are obvious differences — Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Windows 10 Mobile are both the clearest visions yet of the future of mobile computing from their developers. On could argue that Microsoft's ahead of the curve here with features like support for Continuum docking. It's a thing that Android manufacturers have toyed with in the past, but it looks like hardware and software have finally caught up to the dream and it's up to Microsoft to execute on it all.

Nexus phones have never been huge sellers, at least in comparison to the rest of the expansive Android universe. But they typically help to set the trend for what to expect from Android for the coming year, as well as offering a look at the future of Android software. And in that we can look at the Nexus 6P as a bellweather for what Android competition the Lumia 950 XL will face in the months ahead, and things have never been as evenly-matched as they are now.

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