Do we have a good one for you today – we have the infamous Apple iPhone 6S going up against the Huawei Nexus 6P. This will be not only be the battle of two great smartphones, but also the battle between the pure iOS and the pure Android OS experience. This is where the differences between the two most up-to-date operating systems will fight it out for the crown of the mobile operating experience.
The Apple iPhone 6s is a premium high-end device with probably a slightly better build quality than the Nexus 6P. However, when we get on the inside, does the Nexus 6P have the necessary hardware to compete against this device called an iPhone? The iPhone 6S will cost you $750 for a 64GB model versus $550 for a 64GB Nexus 6P…could the iPhone 6S be worth $200 extra dollars? Let's look for some common ground among these two devices and then we will look at each device on their own.
There is very little that these two devices have in common – they both use an all-metal body and they both offer a 64GB and 128GB configuration and neither one has the means to expand their memory. Their camera areas are very similar with a 12MP shooter on the 6S and a 12.3MP on the 6P, although the Nexus 6P actually surpasses the iPhone 6S with Laser Focus and received a higher DxOMark score than the iPhone 6S…84 vs 82. They both use a non-removable battery, though the Nexus 6P's battery is over double that found in the iPhone 6S. Both devices sport a fingerprint sensor, but Apple has restricted its use for Apple Pay only – with the Nexus 6P you can use it for Android Pay, but also other mobile payment options.
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.
Apple iPhone 6S
Apple and their advertising machine would like you to believe that the iPhone 6S is "totally new," but in reality it is a carryover of the iPhone 6. Yes, it does have an improved aluminum body, a new camera, new video options and a few new features. It is certainly a beautiful design with a solid build but those attributes also apply to the all-metal Nexus 6P.
The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch display – it is an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1334 x 750 and 326 pixels-per-inch (PPI). This compares to the larger 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display and 518 PPI found on the Nexus 6P. The 6S uses a 64-bit A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1.84GHz and it is smooth and fast, using a PowerVR GT7600 GPU…comparing nicely to the 64-bit v2.1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and its Adreno 430 GPU in the Nexus 6P. The 6S comes with 2GB of RAM, versus the 3GB in the Nexus 6P – both use the newer DDR4 RAM. The iPhone 6S offers a choice of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no expansion while the Nexus 6P offers 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage and no means to expand.
The camera has always been one of the iPhone's strong points and in the iPhone 6S Apple increased the size of the sensor from 8MP to 12MP and with other tweaking here and there. It has the phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. It has always been one the best point-and-shoot cameras on a smartphone and will certainly take better pictures than many other smartphones. However, the Android phones have not only caught up to the iPhone cameras, but they have surpassed them in many cases – the Nexus 6P being one of those devices. When tested by DxOMark, the Nexus 6P actually had a slightly higher score (84 versus 82) than the iPhone 6S. The front-facing camera (FFC) on the iPhone is now a larger 5MP for social media selfies or video chatting – but ONLY through Apple's FaceTime unless both users download a third-party app. The Nexus 6P uses a larger 8MP sensor on its FFC. The iPhone has never had great battery life and the puny 1715mAh non-removable battery in the 6S does not do much to help its cause, nor does it have a rapid charge feature. The Nexus 6P's non-removable battery is over double that of the iPhone 6S and at 3450mAh that should easily outlast the iPhone 6S. Should your battery get low, the Nexus 6P has rapid charge available via its Type-C port.
What does the iPhone 6S have the Nexus 6P does not? It has Apple's proprietary Apple Pay and its proprietary FaceTime video chat feature – if you can call those a good thing. iOS is easy to use, runs smoothly and efficiently, but rather boring when compared to an Android device with its customization capabilities and extended features. New this year – Apple increased the photo and video options and added what Apple is calling 3D Touch display, where the display can 'sense' up to three pressures – press once to open up an app and then press harder within the app to go somewhere else – this is much like Android's long-press, only somewhat more advanced. The pricing has always been a sore spot with the iPhone, commanding an off contract price of $650 for just the 16GB all the way up to $850 for the 128GB model.
Huawei Nexus 6P
Google wanted to reach a larger crowd of Nexus owners – the LG Nexus 5X, a more mid-range device, and the Huawei Nexus 6P, the high-end and more expensive device, accomplishes this goal. The Nexus 6P is a beautifully designed and well-built device with an all-metal unibody construction and available now in four colors – Aluminum, Graphite, Frost, or Matte Gold…it should be a great iPhone 6S or even 6S Plus competitor.
The Nexus 6P sports a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED Samsung display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI compared to 4.7-inch FHD IPS LCD display and 326 PPI on the iPhone 6S. The Nexus 6P uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, v 2.1. It has four cores clocked at 1.55GHz and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz. A little more 'horsepower' than the Apple A9 dual-core clocked at 1.84GHz found in the iPhone 6S. The Nexus 6P is packing 3GB of RAM while the iPhone 6S uses only 2GB of RAM. The Nexus 6P comes with models offering 32GB, 64GB and 128GB and there is no room for expansion. The iPhone 6S has options of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB memory with no means to expand. Both devices use the newer and faster DDR4 RAM.
The Nexus 6P's camera uses a 12.3MP sensor with laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash, but no OIS. It scored a higher rating from DxOMark (84 verses 82) than the iPhone 6S. The FFC is a large 8MP for social media selfies and video chatting. The iPhone's have always been known for their cameras and the iPhone 6S is no exception. Surprisingly, the iPhone 6S has a new larger 12MP camera sensor for the main camera, but scored no better than last year's iPhone 6 with 8MP and uses a 5MP FFC for selfies and FaceTime chatting.
The Nexus 6P has few features not found on the iPhone 6S – it has a fingerprint sensor that is ready for Android Pay and other mobile payments, unlike the iPhone 6S that can be used at Apple Pay only terminals. It has dual front-facing stereo speakers for great sound and a good location for watching videos or playing games on its larger display. It also uses the Type-C reversible microUSB port for faster charging and data transfer. Last, but certainly not least, it is running pure Android 6.0 Marshmallow and will always get the fastest upgrades possible when new versions come out. It will cost you $500 for the 32GB model and $550 for the 64GB model..
…And The Winner Is…
Since we are an Android publication and love all thing Android, seeing the Nexus 6P as the winner should not surprise anybody. Now I am not expecting any iSheeps out there to agree with me – however, any level-headed reader should realize that the Nexus 6P is the clear winner. For two hundred dollars LESS you get a much better display, a larger display, more GB (2GB vs 3GB) of DDR4 RAM, and a higher rated main camera and a larger FCC (8MP vs 5MP). A more robust fingerprint sensor allows the user to make purchases any place the NFC works…not just at retailers that require a separate Apple Pay terminal. The Nexus 6P even has dual front-facing stereo speakers compared to the single speaker on the iPhone 6S. If those facts and figures do not convince you that the Nexus 6P is the better value, I just do not know what else to say.
Okay, I do have one more thing to say – The Nexus 6P runs the open and more flexible Android OS that allows you to use third-party keyboards, widgets and more customization than you could ever create in the closed iOS environment. While they both have their pluses and minuses, the Android OS gives the creative or techie person more opportunities to design their display the way they want it to look. The iOS is for those that are willing to take what they get – does it work and is it smooth and fast…most assuredly…it's just a little boring and restrictive for my tastes.