Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Motorola Nexus 6 goes up against new and flashy Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. How does the almost one-year-old Nexus 6 stack up against the new kid on the block? The Nexus 6 is much like a large Moto X – a very large device with a 6-inch display. The sleek, new Galaxy S6 Edge+ is made from glass and metal, and even with its 5.7-inch display, it looks and feels smaller and is much easier to hold than the Nexus 6.
These two devices have very little in common. The both use the AMOLED display technology, although Samsung’s own Super AMOLED is just that…super. They also use the Quad HD (QHD) display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. They both offer 32GB or 64GB of internal memory and neither device offers any external expansion. Both devices have non-removable batteries and both offer wireless charging, although the S6 Edge+ offers both the Qi and PMA technologies. They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.1 on the Nexus 6 and 4.2 on the S6 Edge+), GPS, NFC and a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
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 dictates a few guidelines for their Nexus smartphone and then selects a manufacturer that puts its own mark on the device. With Motorola developing the Nexus 6, they naturally slanted it towards the Moto X design – think of the Nexus 6 as a Moto X on steroids – bigger and better in every way. It still maintains the Moto X’s shapely curved back…but straight display, making it easier to hold even with its large size.
Motorola really surprised us with the huge 6-inch display as an everyday driver – somewhat large for most people and its QHD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI). While large, it squares up quite nicely with the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display on the S6 Edge+ with 518 PPI. Motorola used the best processor available at the time of the Nexus’ design – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a 32-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz. However, the S6 Edge+ uses a newer 64-bit octa-core processor. The Nexus 6 is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage as standard and the S6 Edge+ is packing 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of UFS 2.0 internal flash memory. Neither device offers any external expansion.
Motorola and the Nexus line are not known for their photographic prowess, however the camera on the Nexus 6 is a surprising upgrade. The main camera areas will take great pictures and video, although the nod will certainly have to go to the Galaxy S6 Edge+. The Nexus 6 uses a unique dual-tone flash ring around a 13MP lens and comes with autofocus and OIS…it does not have the quick focus, a 16MP ISOCELL lens or f/1.9 aperture on the S6 Edge+. The Nexus 6’s small 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) does not hold a candle to the huge 5MP FFC in the S6 Edge+…also with an f/1.9 aperture and wide-angle lens.
The Nexus uses a huge non-removable 3220mAh battery to make sure you will get through the entire day without having to charge…and when you do need a charge, you will be able to use either the built-in wireless charging or Motorola’s Turbo Charger that comes with the Nexus 6 and get up to a 60-percent charge in only 15 minutes. The S6 Edge+ also enjoys a large non-removable 3000mAh battery and can also take advantage of the quick charge features of a plug-in charge or wireless charge.
As far as extras go – the Nexus 6 has a nano-coating to add water repellency. It is running the latest Lollipop that is completely unskinned and will receive the fastest possible upgrades. It also has dual front-facing stereo speakers. It is available on all major US Carriers for $199 (down from $249) on a two-year contract or the newly reduced cost of $499 (32G) and $549 (64GB) off-contract in the Google Play Store, with your color choices of Midnight Blue or Cloud White.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Samsung change their design philosophy when they designed the new Galaxy S6 series – the plastic is gone and instead we have a solid aluminum unibody with Gorilla Glass 2.5D on the front and Gorilla Glass 4 on the back. The S6 Edge+ is simply an extended variant of the S6 Edge and comes in two colors – Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a real beauty with its dual curved display and has a real premium feel and solid build.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ sports a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 PPI compared to 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display and 493 PPI on the Nexus 6. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ uses the same processor as the S6 – Samsung’s own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor, the first processor to use 14nm technology. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. A lot more ‘horsepower’ than the 32-bit Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor found in the Nexus 6. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is packing 4GB of the much faster DDR4 RAM – the Nexus 6 uses 3GB of DDR3 RAM. The S6 Edge+ comes with Samsung’s new, faster, UFS 2.0 flash memory offering options of 32GB or 64GB with no room for expansion. The Nexus 6 has a 32GB or 64GB variant with no means to expand.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+’s camera uses a 16MP ISOCELL sensor with autofocus, LED Flash, a large f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR and OIS and is without a doubt, the best camera Samsung has ever put in a smartphone. Samsung increased the FFC to 5MP and they wisely added the f/1.9 aperture and a 120-degree wide-angle lens for excellent low-light group selfies and video chatting. The Nexus 6 uses a 13MP sensor for the main camera and only a 2MP for the FFC. The S6 Edge+’s 3000mAh battery is slightly smaller than the 3220mAh in the Nexus 6, but it should easily get your S6 Edge+ through an entire day with moderate usage. However, if you run into trouble, the new Samsung non-removable battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes or use the built-in wireless quick charger for either PMA and Qi formats.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a few features not found on the Nexus 6 – it has a fingerprint sensor that is PayPal certified, it is Samsung Pay ready, and can make payments at any retailer that can swipe a credit card. It includes a heart rate sensor and built-in wireless quick charging for both Qi and PMA standards. The dual-curved display offers several features of its own and really adds that cool factor that is certainly not present on the Nexus 6. It is running Android 5.1 Lollipop and will cost you about $768 off-contract for the 32GB model and $864 for the 64GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This is another one of those quandaries – looking at the list of features and specs alone, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ looks like the superior device in almost all ways. It has a much better and brighter AMOLED display – a much faster and better camera – a superior processor in speed and technology – a thinner and sleeker looking design – a fingerprint sensor that is PayPal certified and Samsung Pay ready – faster RAM and internal memory – and so much more. Even though both displays are quite close to each other in size, the S6 Edge+, with its curved sides make it feel much smaller than the bulky Nexus 6.
However, if you consider the price, these differences are certainly reflective in the cost of the S6 Edge+. The Nexus 6 has been on the market for close to a year, so prices have come down – what was a $650 price is now only $500. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ will cost you about $750, or 50-percent more.
So it boils down to this – the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is clearly the superior smartphone in most all categories, but you have to decide if the extra $250 is worth what you are getting. The Nexus 6 has many good things going for it, including a good price. I pictured the Nexus 6 because of its pricing, but make no mistake, the S6 Edge+ has better specifications.