In order to understand how great one phone can be, we have to pit it against another phone from the same class. In our case, the competitors are Samsung Galaxy S6 and Google Nexus 6. But this is not simply a comparison of specs. We want to go deeper. We will examine the design, display, battery, processor, camera etc.
You can see the full Samsung Galaxy S6 review here.
You can see the full Motorola Nexus 6 review here.
Design and construction
In the picture below you can see how the two phones look side by side and how much bigger the Nexus 6 is next to Galaxy S6.
Design is an odd thing, difficult to compare like other components. Different users have different tastes. While that may be true, it should be noted that Samsung has made a big step here. There is no trace of plastic in Galaxy S6 – just a glass back and metal borders. The body is just 6.8 mm thick, which makes the phone the thinnest Galaxy S device so far.
With Nexus 6, we go back to the plastic. The phone has a metal border like Galaxy S6, but the back is plastic. A thickness of 10.4 mm may seem too much on paper, but Nexus 6 has a curved back, so it looks thinner than it actually is. For example, the thinnest point (at the edges) is only 4.8mm.
Both phones come with AMOLED displays and a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, but Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch display compared to 6 inches for the Nexus 6, which means that the Samsung phone has a higher pixel density. More specifically, 576ppi for Galaxy S6 and 493ppi for Nexus 6. However, there are even more important screen characteristics, so let’s take a look.
Color Gamut Coverage (CIE)
We measured average brightness of 349 cd/m2 on Galaxy S6’s screen, while the average brightness of Nexus 6 is 268 cd/m2. The two phones have nearly identical color gamut coverage – Galaxy S6 with 99% of the sRGB and 98% of the Adobe RGB, and Nexus 6 with 100% of the sRGB color gamut and 99% of the AdobeRGB one. Absolutely superb results.
Both smartphones boast pretty accurate colors. The average DeltaE is 1.20 for Galaxy S6 and 1.29 for Nexus 6 – a slight difference. The images below illustrate the color reproduction. Keep in mind that results under 1.00 are visible to the naked eye.
|Samsung Galaxy S6||Motorola Nexus 6|
|Operating system||Android 5.0||Android 5.0|
|CPU||Exynos 7420 (4x [email protected] + 4x [email protected])||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 (4-core, 2.70 GHz, Krait-450)|
|RAM||3GB RAM (1600 MHz, LPDDR4, 25.6 GB/s)||3GB RAM|
|Storage||32/64/128GB flash memory||32/64GB flash memory|
|GPU||Mali-T760 MP8 (772 MHz)||Adreno 420|
|Display||5.1-inch (12.95 cm) – Super AMOLED, 2560 х 1440 pixels (577 PPI), Gorilla Glass 4||5.96-inch (15.14 cm) – Super AMOLED, 2560 х 1440 pixels (493 PPI), Gorilla Glass 3|
|Connectivity||4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP, LE, apt-X), GPS (a-GPS + GLONASS), NFC, Infrared port, MicroUSB 2.0 (with On-The-Go support)||4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 + A2DP, GPS (a-GPS + GLONASS), NFC, MicroUSB 2.0 (with On-The-Go support)|
|Cameras||Sony IMX240 Exmor RS – 16MP, f/1.9, autofocus, LED flash, OIS, [email protected] video recording (back); Samsung S5K4E6 – 5MP, f/1.9 (front)||13MP f/2.0 with autofocus, dual LED flash, OIS, [email protected] video recording (back); 2.1 MP (front)|
|Features||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, hear rate sensor, Wireless charging (Qi/PMA)||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Battery||2550 mAh||3220 mAh|
|Dimensions (W/H/D)||143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm – 8.8 mm||159.3 mm x 83 mm x 4.8-10.4 mm|
|Weight||138 g (4.87 oz)||184 grams (6.49 oz)|
At first glance, Nexus 6 has a bigger battery than Galaxy S6 (3220mAh – 2550mAh), but this doesn’t mean that it comes with longer battery life. Nexus 6 has a bigger 6-inch screen which needs more energy. In the other corner of the screen drain ring is the Galaxy S6 which with its 5.1-inches. In addition, the new Samsung’s 14nm FinFET processor is famous for its low power consumption, so S6 would probably be the winner, but let’s see.
We’ve already shown you what the difference is between Exynos 7420 and Snapdragon 805. The new technology makes a difference – Galaxy S6 achieved better results than Nexus 6 in almost all of our CPU and GPU tests.
|Benchmarks||Samsung Galaxy S6||Motorola Nexus 6|
|Geekbench 3 (Multi-Core)||4604||3332|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited||22007||23594|
|GFXBench 3 T-Rex (offscreen)||52.7||38.8|
|GFXBench 3 Manhattan (offscreen)||24.6||18.6|
Samsung Galaxy S6
Motorola (Google) Nexus 6
|SoC||Samsung Exynos 7420 (4x [email protected] + 4x [email protected])||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 (4-core, 2.70 GHz, Krait-450)|
|GPU||Mali-T760 MP8||Adreno 420|
|RAM||3GB RAM LPDDR4||3GB RAM LPDDR3|
In our real gaming test, the results were almost the same, but more important is the fact that you will have no problem with any game available on Google Play.
Samsung Galaxy S6 and its Exynos 7420 got us 60 fps on Asphalt 8, while Nexus 6 is limited to 30 frames per second. Both phones achieved an average framerate of 31 fps in Despicable Me: Minion Rush.
Temperatures and comfort
One test, two different devices, with two different results. We shot a 4K video with both phones for 5 minutes after which we measured the temperatures in three different areas. In this test, the winner is Galaxy S6. It managed to stay relatively cool. Nexus 6 is also not so hot, but there is a difference, as you can see in the images below.
Galaxy S6 has a 16MP main camera which comes with f/1.9 aperture, OIS and a LED flash, while the Nexus 6 camera features a 13MP back camera with f/2.0 aperture, OIS and two LED flashes. Both phones have great Sony sensors – IMX240 Exmor RS for Galaxy S6, and IMX214 Exmor R for Nexus 6. We took some photos, and we have to say that they are of high quality, with no chromatic aberrations and very little color noise.
In the scheme below you can see how accurate the color reproduction is. Slight advantage for Nexus 6 in this component.
We have to say that both phones can take quality low-light photos, but we have a winner, though. Galaxy S6 with f/1.9 aperture shoots great night photos, as you can see below.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Far be it for us to define either of those great devices as better than the other, but it should be noted that Galaxy S6 has a slight advantage in most of our tests. For example – it has a more powerful processor, longer battery life etc. Then again, Nexus 6 has a bigger screen, and you know that there are many people who like the phablet models, so in that case, Nexus 6 would be a great choice. Actually, Nexus 6 has no major weaknesses, but that is to be expected from such a high-class device.
Reasons for Galaxy S6 over Nexus 6:
- Fingerprint scanner
- Manual settings for the camera
- Better quality front camera
- Faster UFS 2.0 storage
- LPDDR4 RAM
- Longer battery life
- More powerful SoC
- Lower external temperatures during higher loads
Reasons for Nexus 6 over Galaxy S6:
- More frequent updates
- Stereo speakers
You can read the detailed Samsung Galaxy S6 review here.
You can read the detailed Motorola Nexus 6 review here.