Android Phone Comparisons: Nexus 6 vs Nexus 5


Here we have the Google Nexus 5 versus the Google Nexus 6 - Please no whining about the Nexus 5 being a year older...we know that.  We thought it would be fun to compare the old with the new and see the differences and improvements.  The Nexus 5 was built by LG and the new Nexus 6 is built by Motorola - two different companies and two totally different designs...with Google's oversight, of course.  Google really made a great decision when they picked LG for the Nexus 5, but picking Motorola to design the Nexus 6 was a brilliant decision.

Nexus owners should be very excited about the new Nexus 6, hell, I'm excited about it and I have never been excited about a Nexus smartphone!  The only BIG problem is if the Nexus crowd will accept the larger size display - we are talking about a full 1-inch increase - and much larger overall device.  Somehow, I think that current Nexus users will embrace the new Nexus 6 - the new design and the new display size.  The Nexus 5 was a good device, but a little austere - a no nonsense device at a reasonable price - but it looks like with the Nexus 6 Google is pushing the envelope and design to possibly compete one-on-one with their arch nemesis, the iPhone. It is a bolder design with state-of-the-art specifications with Google's new Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Nexus 6 looks like a pimped up Moto X, bigger all around, but unmistakably made by Motorola.  This Nexus has the looks, style, specifications, and build to stand up to any current flagship.  Since there is nothing even remotely the same between the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 - other than the name, Nexus - we will look at each one individually below.  First take a look at the detailed specifications below - the most up-to-date that we can present right now.



Nexus 6

The new Nexus 6 has arrived and is making a huge splash with its new 'Moto X' kind of look, metal frame and trim and its curves and smooth lines - gone is the minimalistic approach and now we have a true contender.  The Nexus 6 has a 6-inch (okay 5.96-inch) QHD AMOLED display - it's bigger, has a 2560 x1440 resolution and 493 PPI - no more LCD like the Nexus 5.  The processor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core clocked at 2.7GHz (same one as in the Galaxy Note 4) and now a whooping 3GB of RAM and a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal storage...with no expansion...Google wants us to use the cloud for storing our pictures, videos and music.

Another area of vast improvement over the Nexus 5 is in the camera department - the Nexus 6 jumps the sensor from 8MP to 13MP...not only that but it has Motorola's Dual-LED Flash ring around the outside of the camera lens, along with auto focus and OIS.  We can expect some great shots from the new Nexus 6.  The 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) is nothing to get excited about, but it will certainly do the job for an occasional video chat or selfie.  The third area that was really improved was the battery - the Nexus 6 jumped from a puny 2300mAh battery in the Nexus 5 to a huge 3220mAh battery, finally giving the Nexus owner great battery life, especially the way Motorola optimizes their devices.

The larger size may be an issue with some users, but I have a feeling that all of those Nexus 5 owners that were happy with a smaller device, will now be singing the praises of a phablet.  The new Nexus 6 measures almost 83mm wide x 159.26mm tall and 10.06mm thick and weighs in at 184 grams...up from the 130 grams of the Nexus 5.  There was a huge improvement in the speakers - from a little speaker on the bottom to a dual front facing stereo arrangement.  It comes with the Motorola Turbo Charger and Nexus Wireless Charging...and the new Nexus 6 will debut in Midnight Blue and Cloud White.

Last, but certainly not least, it will be sporting the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop AND be available on all major U.S. carriers for $649 off-contract.

Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 was a no nonsense device and nothing fancy - I am not saying that it is an ugly device, not by a long shot.   It has a great feel - both a comfortable 'in your hand,' but also feels like a quality is just restrained.  No fancy glass, metal trim or curved metal backing, but a device that lets you get a good grip to hold on and for long periods of time, if necessary.  The Nexus has never been about Bling-Bling, but about value and a way for Google to showcase their newest operating system.  The Nexus 5 was really the first Nexus smartphone that you could call a flagship, and it looks like that is a trend that will continue.

The Nexus 5 has a 5-inch Full HD IPS+ LCD display, which means a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 445 PPI.  It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.26GHz.  This is hooked up to 2GB of RAM and either a 16GB or a 32GB model of internal storage with no option for expansion.  The main camera is a modest 8MP shooter with auto focus, LED Flash and OIS, that took a decent picture, but nothing you could blow-up and use on your wall.  The FFC is only 1.3MP, barely enough for a decent Selfie, let alone a good video chat.  Battery life was always another topic in the Nexus lineup and the 2300mAh battery was nothing different.  The speaker was on the bottom of the Nexus 5 and was good enough to use as a speakerphone and that is about all.  It is currently running a pure vanilla Android 4.4.4 KitKat and is sold on the Google Play Store for $349 for 16GB and $399 for 32GB.  It works officially works on Sprint and T-Mobile and should work on AT&T.

...And the Winner is...


It had to be the new Nexus 6 - we are happy to report that Google took a good device, made it larger in all directions, made the specs better in all areas and then presented us with a true flagship device and one that Nexus lovers should be proud of.  It looks great with its metal frame and trim and its nice Midnight Blue and Cloud White colors.  With its new 6-inch QHD AMOLED display it will be perfect for watching videos, movies, gaming or just surfing the web.  The new Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.7GHz with 3GB of memory will allow the Nexus 6 to fly fast and smoothly with any task set before it.  Finally, a Nexus 6 that we will not have to make any excuses for either its pictures or its battery life.

The price is higher than most Nexus users would like to pay, but if you get Corvette parts, than you have to pay Corvette prices...but even at $649, it is cheaper than most manufacturers' flagship devices.  Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about the new Nexus always, we would love to hear from you.

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About the Author

Cory McNutt

Senior Staff Writer
Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]