Do we have a good one for you today – the iconic Google Nexus 6 goes up against the new “flagship killer,” the new Chinese OnePlus 2. Is the OnePlus 2 up to the challenge? How does the Nexus 6 hold up after close to a year on the market? Which one of these great devices would you pick as your main driver? We will attempt to answer those questions and more in this phone comparison, but first, let’s take a look and see if these two devices have anything in common.
The Nexus 6 and OnePlus 2 are both ‘phablet-style’ smartphones – the Nexus 6 is a full 6-inches and the OnePlus 2 comes in at 5.5-inches. Both devices use a Qualcomm processor, but one is a 32-bit quad-core processor and one is a 64-bit octa-core processor. Both offer a 3GB RAM variant and the OnePlus 2 also offers a 4GB option, which OnePlus has said will be the only variant offered in the beginning. When it comes to internal memory, neither the Nexus 6 nor the OnePlus 2 offers any form of expansion. Both have a 13MP main camera with autofocus, dual-LED flash and OIS – the front-facing cameras (FFC) for selfies and video chatting differ in size.
They both have most of the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and a microUSB (2.0 in the Nexus 6 and Type-C in the OnePlus 2). Both devices have a large, non-removable battery. One disturbing point is that OnePlus decided not to include NFC in the OnePlus 2 model, nullifying the phone’s capability to make mobile payments.
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
Designing a Nexus smartphone is like making dinner in a crock pot (okay, I’m hungry) with Google selecting the ingredients and allowing the manufacturer to do the actual ‘cooking.’ When Motorola was selected to design and build 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…too large by many people’s standards.
The Nexus 6 has a huge 6-inch display with its QHD AMOLED technology and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI). While large, it is not too much larger with the 5.5-inch FHD LCD display on the OnePlus 2 with 401 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. The OnePlus 2 uses the newer 64-bit octa-core processor. The Nexus 6 has 3GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the OnePlus 2 has two variations – 3GB/16GB and 4GB/64GB. There is no means to expand in either device.
It is funny that neither Motorola nor the Nexus line were never known for their photographic prowess, however the main camera on the Nexus 6 is surprisingly good. The Nexus 6 uses a unique dual-tone flash ring around a 13MP lens and comes with autofocus and OIS… and this compares to the 13MP sensor on the OnePlus 2. The small 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) is small by today’s standards and goes up against the 5MP FFC in the OnePlus 2.
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 Motorola’s Turbo Charger that comes with the Nexus 6 and get up to a 60-percent charge in only 15 minutes. The OnePlus 2 also enjoys a large non-removable 3300mAh battery and either device should easily make it through the day.
As far as extras go, the Nexus 6 enjoys built-in wireless charging and shares the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop, completely unskinned with the fastest upgrades available. It is also nano-coated for water resistance and dual front-facing stereo speakers and is NFC capable. 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.
The new OnePlus 2 is the follow up from the OnePlus One, the first smartphone by the Chinese startup company, OnePlus. There is no questioning the build quality of the OnePlus 2’s with its solid metal frame and trim, but it is difficult to build a flagship device with low pricing without cutting some corners. OnePlus carried over the same FHD display, the same size camera then added 1GB of RAM and increased the battery from 3100mAh to 3300mAh. OnePlus added a fingerprint sensor, but took away the NFC, which was included in the OnePlus One. What this means is that the fingerprint sensor can unlock the phone, but nothing else…no Android Pay, no mobile purchases at all.
The OnePlus 2 sports a 5.5-inch LTPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI versus the AMOLED QHD display on the Nexus 6 with 493 PPI. OnePlus tapped Qualcomm for the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor under-clocked to 1.8GHz that goes up against the Nexus 32-bit Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor. The OnePlus 2 has two options when it comes to RAM/Memory – 3GB/16GB or 4GB/64GB – although, according to OnePlus, the 4GB/64GB is the only one available for a while. The Nexus 6 packs 3GB of RAM with either 32GB or 64GB. There is no room for expansion in the either the OnePlus 2 or the Nexus 6.
The camera in the OnePlus 2 retains the same 13MP sensor as the OnePlus One, but improved by adding laser autofocus, a dual-LED flash and OIS. This goes up against the 13MP, autofocus, dual-ring flash (encircles the lens) and OIS on the Nexus 6. For the FFC, OnePlus included a large 5MP camera for selfies or video chatting, whereas the Nexus 6 has only a 2MP FFC. The OnePlus 2 increased the non-removable battery size from 3000mAh to 3300mAh and it goes up against the non-removable 3220mAh battery in the Nexus 6, which also has a quick charge option and a built-in quick wireless charging.
The OnePlus 2 does come with a great sound ‘system’ built-in to the device. It is also using a newer USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer that uses a nice, reversible plug. It runs OnePlus’ own OS called OxygenOS 2.0 over stock Android Lollipop 5.1. LTE works on AT&T and T-Mobile and the OnePlus 2 will cost you $329 for the 16GB model and $389 for the 64GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a tough decision, as the OnePlus 2 definitely has the newer 64-bit octa-core processor and possibly 1GB more RAM and a fingerprint sensor – items I usually take fairly seriously. However, there has been trouble with the Snapdragon 810 overheating to the point where users of the chip are actually throttling it to keep it cooler…something that OnePlus did. While it has one more gig of memory, the Nexus 6 has 3GB and is running pure Android, and does not miss that extra gig of RAM at all. It is disappointing that Google’s Nexus 6 does not have a fingerprint sensor, especially with Android Pay coming and Android Marshmallow coming out soon, the one on the OnePlus 2 is only good for unlocking the devices because they left out NFC!
The Nexus 6 has a QHD AMOLED display, a solid Snapdragon 805 processor, a great main camera with the dual-ring flash, stereo front-facing speakers, NFC for mobile payments and Android Pay, Nano-coated for water resistance, wireless charging (Qi enabled) and a large 3220mAh battery. The Nexus 6 will get the newest Android updates quicker than anybody else and is a great device, although a little large for some.
The OnePlus 2 is a well-built device, but with its delivery track record, FHD display, restrictive use on AT&T and T-Mobile and inexcusable absence of NFC, I just cannot pick it over the Nexus 6 as the winner of this comparison.