Phone Comparisons: Motorola Nexus 6 vs HTC One M9



Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Google Nexus 6 by Motorola goes up against the new HTC One M9.  Can the newest Google powerhouse hold its own against the HTC newcomer?  Both devices have extremely loyal followings and this will be a difficult comparison to decide a winner.

Both devices are running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop, both devices have a fairly large, non-removable battery, both use 3GB of RAM and both have a model with 32GBs of internal storage.  The Nexus 6 and One M9 both sport highly improved and competitive main cameras and both have front-facing dual stereo speakers.  They both have the usual dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and microUSB port for charging or data transfer.


Please take a look at the detailed specifications comparison found below – expand it by clicking on the "View Full Comparison" at the bottom and you will get a real sense of how these two devices match up against one another.  After that, we will look at each individual device, talk about it, and weigh out some of the pros and cons in an effort to pick a winner for this comparison.

Google Nexus 6

AH Nexus 6 4 Chris-74


The new Motorola Nexus 6 was a real shock to loyal Nexus fans – the Nexus model was always approached in a minimalistic sort of way.  It was always a solid device with good specs and a reasonable price, but this year, Google tapped Motorola to build the Nexus 6, so think of a Moto X on steroids and you pretty much have the Nexus 6.  It is bigger and improved in every way, beginning with its huge 6-inch Quad HD (QHD) AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – this can be compared to the 441 PPI of the smaller 5-inch display on the One M9.  It still maintains the Moto X's shapely curved back…but flat display.  All of the upgrades caused the device to be priced higher than Nexus owners were used to paying – gone are the days of $350 and say hello to $650, which is about what the new HTC One M9 is rumored to cost.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a 32-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz is a terrific processor – the best one out at the time – and also used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Motorola Droid Turbo, but it does not have the 64-bit nor the features of the Snapdragon 810 found in the HTC One M9.  Both devices enjoy 3GB of RAM and the Nexus 6 can be ordered with 32GB or 64GB of non-expandable memory – the HTC One M9 has a microSD slot for expansion.

The main camera hardware is a 13MP sensor, autofocus, a dual-LED flash ring around the lens and OIS – the HTC One M9 has a larger 20.7MP sensor, but no OIS.  The front-facing camera (FFC) is a different story…the Nexus 6 has the more traditional 2.0MP size for social selfies and video chatting, whereas the HTC One M9 has a larger 4.0MP (UltraPixels) FFC to improve the quality in low-light.


As far as extras go, the Nexus 6 has a nano-coating for water resistance, built-in wireless charging and shares the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, but completely unskinned with the fastest software upgrades available.  It is available on all major US Carriers for $249 on a two-year contract or $649 off-contract in the Google Play Store.

HTC One M9

HTC One M9 Hands On AH 10

There will be no mistaking the new HTC One M9 as nothing but an HTC device – however, you may have trouble distinguishing from the One M7 and One M8 from a slight distance.  The body was changed slightly to add a little 'ledge' to help keep your grip on the device.  The all aluminum design is beautiful, if not a little dated, and very comfortable to hold.  With its rather large bezels the HTC One M9 is a little tall for its 5-inch display.


It sports a 5-inch Full HD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI, not quite up to the QHD display on the Nexus 6 with 493 PPI.  The One M9 uses a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz as opposed to the prior generation 32-bit Snapdragon 805 on the Nexus 6.  It is packing the same 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although it also has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB – something the Nexus 6 does not have…it is either 32GB or 64GB.

The camera area is completely revamped from the One M8 – gone is the 4MP UltraPixel main camera with its Duo Camera.  For the One M9 they are using a Sony 20.7MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, but still no OIS – a real oversight on HTC's part.  Rather than getting rid of the UltraPixel camera altogether, HTC moved the 4MP UltraPixel camera to the front for great selfies and video chatting – it should also help with low-light situations.  It uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery (the Nexus 6 uses a 3220mAh) and supports Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to the Qualcomm processor.

While the Nexus 6 also has dual front-facing speakers, the HTC One M9 retains the great sounding dual front-facing stereo speakers with HTC's BoomSound.  The One M9 includes an IR Blaster, stereo FM radio and comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink.  It should be available around March 25, running Android 5.0 Lollipop with a leaked price of $649 no-contract for the 32GB model.


…And The Winner Is…

AH Nexus 6 logo Chris-76


I told you upfront that this was going to be a tough one to pick, but I went with the Nexus 6.  It may be a little large for some as a daily driver, but there is no denying it is an exciting new direction for Nexus.  It has the better Quad HD AMOLED display – an important area in my opinion – a larger battery that incorporates wireless charging, the main camera has OIS and the device is water resistant.  The Nexus products receive the quickest Android updates and this is always a big plus.

The HTC One M9 is a beautifully designed device, although it hasn't changed much in the past three years.  Lots of work was done in the camera area, but still no OIS. It does have the latest Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon processor – although rumors persist about overheating issues.  It also has its BoomSound speakers, but still uses an FHD display, while all other flagships have moved on to the Quad HD display.  You will be very happy if you chose the HTC One M9, but I picked the Nexus 6 as the winner. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about these two devices. Which one you would pick as the winner of this comparison and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.