The long-rumoured Google Nexus 6 is finally a reality. Of sorts. That is to say it’s been announced, though it hasn’t been released just yet. US pre-orders open on October 29, Wednesday of next week, while it’s seemingly “not available” in the UK. Zuh?
Anyway! Even in the absence of, y’know, the actual phone, we’re still in a position to compare specs; rather than a modest upgrade, the Google Nexus 6 is in fact a radically different phone. Full story below.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: design
The Google Nexus 5 was built by LG and loosely based on the LG G2, while the Google Nexus 6 is essentially a Motorola Moto X in a larger body.
Last year’s Nexus was fairly minimal, while Motorola’s Google Nexus 6 has a metal frame and curved back. Another welcome addition comes in the form of front-facing speakers.
For our money, the Google Nexus 6 definitely looks like the more premium handset.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: size
With its 4.95in display, the Google Nexus 5 was reasonably big for its time, but actually a little smaller than the 5.2in LG G2 on which it was based, and a tiny wee bit smaller than the 5in Samsung Galaxy S4. Nothing too controversial there.
The Google Nexus 6, on the other hand, has proven hugely divisive, with a colossal 6in display (5.96in, if you want to get pedantic). That makes it bigger even than the 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus and 5.7in Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and easily one of the biggest smartphones out there.
Analysts have pointed out that consumers in emerging markets are buying giant phablets instead of smartphone-laptop combos, but still… 6in, man.
In terms of resolution, the 1080p 5in Google Nexus 5 yielded 445 ppi (pixels per inch), while the QHD Google Nexus 6 weighs in at 496 ppi.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: power
The Google Nexus 5 was – and still is – no slouch, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. It remains a perfectly capable phone, and of course Android is designed to be buttery smooth on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM.
The spanking new Google Nexus 6 leaves little to the imagination, adopting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: cameras
We'll reserve judgement for now, but the Google Nexus 6 – on paper, at least – appears to offer better camera action than its predecessor, raising the Nexus 5’s 8MP/1.3MP combo to 13MP rear and 2MP front. The Google Nexus 6 also has the added bonus of optical image stabilisation.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: storage
Neither the Google Nexus 5 nor the Google Nexus 6 offer microSD. Google seems to think expandable storage is too “confusing”, despite the multitude of Android flagships – the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G3, the Sony Xperia Z3, the list goes on – that have microSD slots.
On the plus side, while the Google Nexus 5 offered just 16GB or 32GB internal storage (16GB being increasingly redundant in this day and age), the Google Nexus 6 stretches to 32GB and 64GB.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: software
The Google Nexus 6 is the official Android Lollipop 5.0 flagship, while the Google Nexus 5 will be right at the front of the queue for the update. It’ll be nigh on identical on both phones – stock Android, just the way Google likes it, but the Nexus 6 – being the newer phone – will inevitably enjoy longer support.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: battery
The Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 have 2,300mAh and 3,220mAh batteries respectively, and while the big guy clearly has more juice, a lot of that will be guzzled up by the gargantuan display.
Having said that, the Google Nexus 6 does boast more talk and standby time, and it also rocks Motorola’s Turbo Charging technology, which promises to yield 6 hours of use after just 15 minutes on charge.
Google Nexus 6 vs. Google Nexus 5: price
Like the sound of the Google Nexus 6? Here’s the real killer: price.
This time last year, the Google Nexus 5 started at $349 for the 16GB model, while the 64GB Google Nexus 6 doubles that to $699. We’re still not sure how much the Nexus 6 will cost in the UK, but it’ll likely be around £500. In any case: Ouch.
Of course, the Google Nexus 6 is clearly the more premium phone, but whether or not that price hike is justified is entirely up to you, buddy.