Boy do we have a good one for you today – the popular Nexus 6 goes up against the new LG G4. We have two smartphones that are loved by many, but the definitely fall in two separate and distinct groups. The Nexus followers have a long and twisted (just kidding) love affair for all things pure Android and every year look forward to the next Nexus devices even if they were not always using the highest specs possible – but to be fair, they were priced accordingly and were always a solid value. The Nexus 6 changed all of that with the first truly high-end device and a price tag to show for it. The LG G series is where LG really defined themselves as manufacturers that could compete with the likes of HTC and Samsung and the LG G4 is about at the pinnacle of that design, although they did throw a wrench in the works by surprising everybody by using the Snapdragon 808 over the 810. I think most have calmed down now and accepted the 808 – is it as good as say the Exynos 7420 octa-core used in the Galaxy S6…only time will tell.
Both devices are physically large, although the Nexus is the larger of the two with its 6-inch display versus the 5.5-inch display on the LG G4. Both devices have a Quad HD (QHD) display with the Nexus using the AMOLED technology and the LG G4 using the IPS LCD technology. Both are using Snapdragon processors – the 32-bit quad-core 805 in the Nexus 6 and the 64-bit hexa-core 808 in the LG G4. Both use 3GB of RAM and both have a 32GB internal storage option with the Nexus 6 also offering a 64GB option and no expansion, while the LG G4 has a microSD slot to add an additional 128GB of memory.
The main cameras are a good matchup at 13MP for the Nexus 6 and 16MP in the LG G4, although the G4 does have some additional hardware and software. The batteries are not far apart either…a non-removable 3220mAh battery on the Nexus 6 and a removable 3000mAh in the LG G4. The Nexus 6 has wireless charging already built-in and on the LG G4 it is optional. Both devices have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC capable, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, and are running the latest Lollipop and even cost about the same.
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
The new Nexus 6 was worlds apart from any Nexus smartphone Google has ever sold – so much so, that many loyal Nexus owners were somewhat put-off by its size and price. Motorola was chosen to build the Nexus 6, so it has its roots in a favorite of ours, the Moto X. Think of a Moto X on steroids and you pretty much have the Nexus 6 – bigger and better in every way. Let's start with its huge 6-inch (a tad large for most people) Quad HD (QHD) AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 pixels-per-inch (PPI), yet it still maintains the Moto X's shapely curved back…but straight display. This squares up quite nicely with the 5.5-inch QHD display on the LG G4 with 538 PPI.
Motorola used the best processor available at the time of its design – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a 32-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz. It's a terrific workhorse and is also used in the Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Motorola Droid Turbo, but does not have the 64-bit features of the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor used in the LG G4. Both the Nexus 6 and the LG G4 have the same 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage as standard, although the Nexus 6 can be ordered with 64GB of storage, but there is no room for expansion as in the LG G4.
The camera on the Nexus 6 was another surprising upgrade, as the Nexus line was not known for their photographic prowess. The main cameras are not too far apart and both will take great pictures and video, although the nod will still have to go to the LG G4. The Nexus 6 uses a unique dual-tone flash ring around the 13MP lens and comes with autofocus and OIS…it does not have the 16MP lens, f/1.8 aperture or faster Laser Autofocus of the LG G4. The small 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) does not hold a candle to the huge 8MP FFC in the LG G4…also with an f/1.8 aperture.
The Nexus uses a huge 3220mAh battery to make sure you will get through the entire day without having to charge…but when you do 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 LG G4 also enjoys a large, 3000mAh battery and coupled to its new display and Snapdragon 808, it too should be able to get you through the entire day.
As far as extras go, the Nexus 6 enjoys dual front-facing stereo speakers, a full metal frame, water resistant nano-coating, built-in wireless charging and shares the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop, completely unskinned with the fastest upgrades available. It is available on all major US Carriers for $199 (down from $249) on a two-year contract or $649 off-contract in the Google Play Store, with your color choices of Midnight Blue or Cloud White.
The LG G4 is an evolutionary update of last year's popular LG G3, because the G3 was already using a QHD display. However, LG even improved that greatly by adding more brightness and designed it to use less power. The device is slightly larger and LG added a slight curve to the device – not a LG G Flex 2 kind of curve – but just enough to make it more comfortable to hold. Along with the metallic plastic backing, you can special order a real leather one in several colors. It looks very similar to last year's model, but at the same time, it does look even better.
The LG G4 sports a 5.5-inch QHD LCD Quantum display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 538 PPI…and in line with the Nexus 6's QHD display with 493 PPI. LG claims their improved display allows for a 25-percent brighter display with a 50-percent increase in the contrast and 56-percent improvement to the color accuracy…and you can really tell the difference over the duller display on the LG G3. The panel is much brighter than last year's and the colors really pop out. LG decided to pass on the Snapdragon 810 (found in the LG G Flex 2) and instead used Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. The 808 is slightly below the 810, but it is optimized for the LG G4 and should be easier on its battery. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, but also has room for expansion via a microUSB card. The Nexus 6 offers up 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage…you can even get a 64GB model, however, it has no way to expand its memory.
The camera on the LG G4 is first rate with a 16MP sensor, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash, a wide f/1.8 aperture for better shots in low light and OIS+. The LG uses a large 8MP FFC camera that also includes the wider f/1.8 aperture lens and it should take excellent selfies and provide great video chatting. The Nexus 6 only has a 13MP sensor, but does include OIS, and it also uses a much smaller 2MP FFC camera for its selfies and video chatting. The LG G4 uses a removable 3000mAh battery, compared to the non-removable 3220mAh on the Nexus 6.
The LG G4 does offer optional wireless Qi charging and its controls are easily accessible on the back of the device, includes a built-in FM radio and IR Blaster. It also incorporates some great software features like knock-knock and split screen multitasking. The LG G4 comes in a variety of colors, both metallic and leather. It will cost you about $200 on a two-year contract and about $650 off-contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This is a real tough decision and could come down to either device, depending on what you are looking for in your smartphone. The LG G4 only has a slightly better processor, certainly a better camera area in general – main, FFC and software – a removable battery, built-in IR Blaster, FM Radio and internal memory expansion. Is that enough to call it the winner…only you can decide if those are what you look for in a device.
The Nexus 6 certainly has no apologies when it comes to its display…many even like the AMOLED display better. The quad-core processor may be 32-bit, but the Nexus can keep up to the LG G4's hexa-core processor…has the same amount of RAM, up to 64GB of memory and if we use the cloud (as we all will be in the near future) that is plenty of on-board storage. It offers built-in wireless and is ready to go, dual front-facing speakers, a nano coating for water resistance, and a larger battery – sure you cannot remove it, but with the included Turbo Charger, charging is quick. One of the best features about the Nexus 6 is that you will get the latest software upgrades faster than anybody else.
So if you want the better camera, a removable battery and memory expansion, then you would want the LG G4. If you value an all around flagship device with pure vanilla Android and the fastest software updates, then get the Nexus 6. Either device should make their user very happy if they picked their winner for the right reasons.
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