Boy do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Motorola Nexus 6 goes up against the new Sony Xperia Z4. The remade Nexus 6, which surprised everybody with its larger size and high-end specs go up against the new and reliable Xperia Z4. The Nexus has a metal frame, flat display, but a curved back for a good fit in your hand. The Xperia Z4 is all about glass and metal, a little squared off, but nicely rounded edges for a comfortable fit. Both devices look great, have a solid build quality, but the ‘pretty face’ award would have to go to the Xperia Z4.
The two smartphones do not have a whole lot in common – their displays are different, processors are different and their cameras are not nearly the same quality. They both offer 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, they both have dual front-facing stereo speakers, both have non-removable batteries with a quick charge option and they both offer the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. The Nexus 6 is larger all around and weighs in at 184 grams versus 144 grams for the Xperia Z4.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Motorola Nexus 6
Google had Motorola do a complete remake of their flagship, the Nexus 6, designed originally to be a showcase of pure Android at a price the masses could afford. The Nexus smartphone was always sold directly through the Google Play Store as an unlocked device so buyers had to pay off-contract prices. It was designed with good specifications, if not spectacular, but sold for around $350. The new Nexus 6 display is a whopping 5.96-inches, it used the best processor on the market, packed in 3GB of RAM and actually put in a decent camera and stereo front-facing speakers and even sold it through the carriers this time around to soften the blow of the high price tag. It was quite a shock to the loyal Nexus followers and they even lost a few in the process, but gained others that were ecstatic about the great specs.
The Nexus 6 sports a beautiful 6-inch QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the 5.2-inch FHD display and 424 PPI in the Xperia Z4. The Nexus 6 packs a 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz – a great processor at the time, but certainly not up to the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor in the new Xperia Z4. Both devices have 3GB of RAM and the Nexus 6 has either a 32GB or a 64GB variation with no room for expansion. The Xperia Z4 also has 32GB, but also a microSD card slot to expand an additional 128GB. The 13MP main camera with auto focus, OIS and a dual-LED Flash Ring that encompasses the lens in the Nexus 6 is a huge improvement over the 8MP in the Nexus 5 – however, the Sony’s 20.7MP main camera (no OIS) should easily trump it. The Nexus 6 uses only a 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) and the Xperia Z4 uses 5.1MP FFC…another Sony win.
The Nexus 6 also offers the Nexus Wireless Charging and the Motorola Turbo Charger – which can give up to 8 hours of use from a 15-minute charge. It is available not only in the Play Store, but also on all major U.S. networks as well as U.S. Cellular. It will run you $600 off contract for the 32GB model…but if you are willing to go with a two-year contract, you can get one for as little as $200. Last, but certainly not least – far from it – you will get the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system with a whole slew of improvements, including 64-bit. The Nexus 6 also comes with some great software benefits brought over from the Moto X.
Sony Xperia Z4
The Sony Xperia Z4 is a small update from the previous Xperia Z3 – a few cosmetic changes, such as the microUSB port was moved from the side of the device to the bottom and no longer requires a sealed door. The magnetic charging pins were removed from the sides and the SIM card and microUSB slots are now consolidated into one port. The major change is with the upgraded processor, as the RAM and memory all remained pretty much the same.
The Sony Xperia Z4 has a ‘smaller’ 5.2-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI and uses the IPS LCD technology – a beautiful display, but not in the same ‘pixel park’ as the Nexus 6 with 493 PPI. The Xperia Z4 uses the newest 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 quad-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz. The Nexus 6 uses last year’s 32-bit Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor…no match for the Snapdragon 810. The Xperia Z4 does offer the expandable internal storage of up to 128GB via a microSD card, while the most internal storage you can get in the Nexus 6 is 64GB.
The camera area is important today when buying a smartphone, and Sony Xperia models never disappoint. The Xperia Z4 has a 20.7MP with LED Flash and auto focus…but they went a step further and made it a 25mm wide-angle lens. This means that you can capture a wider shot and get in more landscape or more people in a group picture. They upped the FFC to a full 5.1MP for excellent selfies and video chatting…this compares to a 2MP FFC on the Nexus 6 and a 13MP main camera.
As far as extra features, it does offer an FM Radio, and with an optional holder that allows you to turn your Z4 into a PS4 Remote Player. While the Nexus 6 does have a nano-coating to repel water, the Xperia Z4 is fully IP65 and IP68 certified for dust and waterproof. This means that the Nexus 6 is fine in a rain shower, but the Xperia can go underwater for 30 minutes and take pictures or a video. A firm release date was not set and we are not sure if the Xperia Z4 will make it out of Japan, but it comes in White, Black, Copper and Aqua Green. No pricing is available, but it should fall in the same price range as the Xperia Z3.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a very tough decision – the Nexus 6 is larger, maybe too large for an everyday driver and has the better display…but it does have the older 32-bit processor, poorer cameras main and front, no room for expansion of memory, less dust and water resistant and no FM Radio. For those reasons, I am picking the Sony Xperia Z4 as the winner of this comparison. Not much of a reason to pick the Xperia Z4 over the pure vanilla of the Nexus 6 – maybe so, but it is a lot of little things and two big reasons when it comes to the processor and camera. If you threw in a Snapdragon 810 into that Nexus 6 we would have a solid winner – sans the camera area.
However, the processor is a big deal and with Lollipop 5.0 built on the 64-bit architecture, it is nice to have the 64-processor and I think it trumps the QHD display you are giving up on the Xperia Z4. The camera is also a big deal, especially if you take a lot of pictures, which most people seem to be doing, especially with social media – the Xperia Z4’s 20.7MP main camera and the 5.1MP FFC simply trample the 13MP and 2MP in the Nexus 6. The biggest drawback is its lack of availability, but from a specification standpoint, the Xperia Z4 wins…by a hair. Let us know which one you think wins this comparison test.