Within one month at the end of 2014, two major smartphone competitors released their newest models, entering themselves into the growing “phablet” market. In September, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus was released, and in October, Google reacted with their Nexus 6. We compare the key features of both smartphones to aid consumer decisions on which manufacturer’s device to opt for.
Design & Build Quality
The Nexus 6 measures at 6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 inches with a 6.0 inch display. It is larger than the iPhone 6 Plus, which measures at a smaller and thinner 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches, holding a 4.7 inch display. Naturally, the Nexus 6 weighs more than the iPhone by approximately 10 grams. The iPhone case is composed entirely of aluminium, giving it an elegant and premium design, while the Nexus 6 has a contoured aluminium front but a cheaper plastic back.
The Nexus 6 has a larger display, and boasts a far higher 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution than its competitor, which only displays 1920 x 1080 pixels per inch. If you can accept some plastic within the build of the Nexus, then you’re getting a larger screen in as small amount of space as possible. The screen-to-body ratio of the Nexus 6 is a high 74.03% while the iPhone offers a lower 65%.
The Nexus 6 packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor offering 2.7GHz with a very high 3GB of RAM. The iPhone 6 Plus boasts a lower 1GB of RAM but holds a custom-built, 64-bit A8 processor and M8 motion co-processor that performs extremely well in tests against the Nexus 6. A key feature of the Google Nexus 6 is the dual front-facing speakers, allowing clear sound targeted towards the user as opposed to the iPhone’s bottom-facing speakers next to the charger port.
Smartphone users increasingly are ditching their separate cameras and using their phone instead, pushing the importance of internal cameras. While the Nexus 6 offers a 13-megapixel camera, which is high in comparison to the iPhone’s 8-megapixel lens, both devices deliver similar results in final picture quality. Those obsessed with “selfie” photos will be more attracted to Google’s 2-megapixel front facing camera in comparison to Apple’s lower 1.2-megapixel front lens.
One of our most important measures is the ability of a smartphone to match its capabilities to its power supply. A beast of a device is useless unless it can power itself efficiently. The Google Nexus 6 wins with a higher standby time 13.8 days compared to the iPhone 6 Plus’ poor standby time of 10.4 days. As both models are strenuous on their batteries, don’t be surprised if you’re device lives longer next to a wall plug than in your hand.
The Nexus 6 outshines the iPhone 6 Plus with its more advanced capabilities and higher standards of features commonly used by consumers. A better screen and camera sheds light on its advance into the media-obsessed market. But it cannot beat Apple’s overall design quality and sleekness, fitting well in the hand while maintaining build strength with its fully aluminium casing.
by Will French