Do we have a good one for you today – the venerable Huawei Nexus 6P goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. These two devices could not be more different looking with the high-end Nexus 6P going with an all-metal chassis while the Galaxy Note 7 uses a metal frame and the newest Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and the back. This is the first time that the dual-curved edges have made their way to the Note 7, and they do give it a more polished look – an expensive look. The Nexus 6P is a nice looking phone, but it doesn't come close to the design of the Note 7. Despite their differences, they do have many things in common that we will go over in the next paragraph before we move on to the detailed specifications.
As different as the Nexus 6P and Galaxy Note 7 are, they do have a few things in common. They are very similar in physical size with the Note 7 just slightly smaller and 9 grams lighter. They both have a 5.7-inch display, both use AMOLED technology, and both use a Quad HD (QHD) resolution. When it comes to the US/Canada models of the Note 7 they both use a Snapdragon processor, but different models. They both have a 64GB model, but only the Note 7 has room for expansion. The primary cameras are very similar in size, and both take great pictures. Both devices have built-in Hi-Res sound for listening through earphones. Both have near-identical sized (3,450 mAh vs. 3,500 mAh) non-removable batteries with rapid charge to supply their power. Both are packing a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone and/or authorizing mobile payments and the both have the usual suspects including WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a Type-C reversible connector for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful 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 device in greater depth 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.
Huawei Nexus 6P
Nexus devices help display the pure Android experience – if every manufacturer followed suit, we would not have all of this fragmentation. However, each manufacturer wants to differentiate themselves from the other devices. Even within the Nexus line we are starting to see two different models emerge – a Nexus 5X for the masses that is both mid-range in specs and pricing and the Nexus 6P, designed to satisfy the many users that want the pure Android experience, but also would like the top specs. The Nexus 6P is an all-metal, high-end device that comes with a higher price tag, but it has a premium look and feels solid in the hand.
The Nexus 6P sports a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 pixels of resolution with 518 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) It uses the newer v2.1 of the Snapdragon 810 that has supposedly fixed any overheating issues. It is an octa-core processor with one quad-core clocked at 1.55 GHz and one quad-core clocked at 2.0 GHz. It is packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM with a choice of 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of non-expandable memory.
The Nexus 6P uses a 12.3MP sensor, laser autofocus, an aperture of f/2.0, and a dual-tone LED flash – but still no OIS – for its primary camera. The front-facing camera (FFC) is a large 8MP sensor for selfies and video chatting. The Nexus 6P has a large 3,450 mAh non-removable battery for its power and comes with a rapid charge feature via its Type-C plug.
The Nexus 6P has a nice pair of front-facing stereo speakers that provide great sound. Because it is a Nexus device, it will be the first to receive the new software upgrades. You can purchase the Nexus 6P through the Google Store as an unlocked device that is usable on all the main US networks. Pricing is at only $550 for the 64GB model and offers an excellent value, although there is a 32GB model for $500 as well as a 128GB model for $649. It comes in one of the four colors – Aluminum, Graphite, Frost, or Matte Gold.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Many have been waiting since the Galaxy Note 4 for another curved screen Note device, and those waiting have now finally gotten what they asked for with the new Galaxy Note 7. While the curve is not quite as much as some would like, the new display certainly gives the Note 7 a more elegant and polished look. Teaming up with Wacom years ago has allowed Samsung to create a unique writing experience with the newest S-Pen – it just gets better every year and this year, it is even waterproof. Just in case you were wondering, no, the S-Pen cannot be put in backwards this year.
The Galaxy Note 7 sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD display a dual curved edge, giving it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI. The Note 7 sports an always-on display to save battery life. Galaxy Note 7s purchased in the US/Canada will pack a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. In other countries, it will sport an Exynos octa-core with a quad cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and a quad cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. The Note 7 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory and brings back expansion via a microSD.
The Galaxy Note 7 utilizes the same primary camera used on the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge. It uses a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with an aperture to f/1.7, faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and Smart OIS. For its FFC, it uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR to take excellent selfies and video chats. The Note 7 has a large non-removable 3,500 mAh battery but also features rapid charge features as well as quick wireless charging capabilities.
The S Pen has many new added features giving it more, functionality, and sensitivity – it is even waterproof and will not go in backward this year. It still carries the obligatory heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor, as well as Samsung Pay, and built-in wireless quick charging. The Galaxy Note 5 is the first Samsung to use the newer USB Type-C reversible connector for charging and data transfer. All of the talking finally paid off as Samsung added a new Iris Scanner for more security that allows you to unlock your Galaxy Note 7 by looking into the top area of the display and there are plans to upgrade the software shortly to have the scanner authorize mobile payments – Samsung Pay as well as Android Pay. The Note 7 is fully IP68 certified against dust and water. Depending where you buy the Galaxy Note 7, it will come in Blue Coral, Silver Titanium, Black Onyx, and Gold. It measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 169 grams, and will cost you about $865.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
The winner in the pure sense is the Galaxy Note 7. Even Nexus lovers have to admit that the Note 7's display is better, the processor and GPU are much better, it packs more RAM, has faster UFS 2.0 memory, quick wireless charging, an iris scanner, the S-Pen, IP68 certification, heart rate monitor, oxygen sensor, always-on display, and Samsung Pay.
The Nexus 6P is a terrific device and probably the best Nexus device so far, but we are looking at last year's technology. Except for the dual front-facing stereo speakers and the pure Android experience, it has nothing over the new Galaxy Note 7 with the exception perhaps of price. The 64GB Nexus 6P will cost you $549 versus the $865 of the Note 7.
There is no arguing that the Note 7 is more technologically advanced and offers more features – but are those features worth an extra $315? That is something only you can decide.