Nexus 6P vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

27 pictures

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Google/Huawei Nexus 6P (left) and Samsung Galaxy Note 5

View gallery - 27 images

After Google took screen size to the extreme in last year's Nexus 6, the company pulled things back a bit with the new 5.7-inch Nexus 6P. That happens to be the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 5; let's see how the two compare.

Size

Despite those identical screen sizes, the Nexus 6P is 4 percent taller and 3 percent wider.

Both handsets are pretty thin, but the Nexus 6P comes out 4 percent thinner.

Weight

Neither phone is unusually heavy for its size, but the Galaxy Note 5 is 4 percent lighter.

Build (back)

This is where the Nexus 6P gets its "P" (that stands for "premium), as it has an aluminum unibody design. The only exception is that glass bar sitting up by its rear camera.

The Note 5's back is made of Gorilla Glass 4, which is stronger than you might expect.

Build (frame)

Move around to the sides, and the Galaxy Note 5 joins the Nexus in having an aluminum frame.

Colors

These are the color options you can choose from for each phone.

Display size

As we already mentioned, we're looking at 5.7-inch screens on both devices. For a frame of reference, both are 7 percent bigger than the iPhone 6s Plus' screen.

Display resolution

The Nexus 6P and Note 5 also have the same razor-sharp 1,440p resolution.

Display type

It's three for three on the key display specs, as both use AMOLED panels.

Stylus

Samsung's S Pen has always been a big part of the Galaxy Note experience. In addition to giving you an extra sense of precision when doing regular smartphone stuff, Samsung threw in some note-taking apps that fit nicely with the stylus.

Fingerprint sensor

Both have fingerprint sensors as well, though the Nexus 6P's is on the phone's back. The Note's sensor lives (more traditionally) inside its home button.

Storage

Fortunately neither Google/Huawei nor Samsung started out on a 16 GB tier, which is getting pretty cramped for today's app sizes and camera resolutions. Both of these phones start at 32 GB internal storage.

MicroSD

Neither handset has a microSD card slot.

Processor

Both handsets have 64-bit, octa-core processors. The Note 5 is a screamer; we haven't yet put the Nexus 6P through the paces.

RAM

The Note has an extra GB of RAM over the new Nexus.

Camera megapixels

The Note's rear camera is excellent, but Google is making big promises about the new Nexus phones' image quality. Stay tuned.

Camera aperture (rear)

The Galaxy Note has the slightly wider aperture.

Laser autofocus

Similar to several LG flagships, the Nexus 6P has laser-based autofocus for its rear camera.

OIS

Google and Huawei left Optical Image Stabilization out of this year's Nexus flagship.

Battery

The Nexus has the slightly higher-capacity battery, but we haven't tested its actual battery life yet.

Fast charging

Both handsets have quick-charging tech built-in.

Wireless charging

Though last year's Nexus had Qi wireless charging capabilities, Google left that out of the 6P.

Mobile payments

Android Pay will work on both phones, but the Galaxy Note 5 also works with Samsung Pay, which lets you use your phone to pay at most standard credit card terminals (in addition to the NFC readers used for Android Pay and Apple Pay).

VR compatibility

This may not be on your radar right now, but you're going to be hearing a lot about virtual reality in the next year. Samsung has a huge advantage here, as the Note 5 will work with the upcoming consumer Gear VR.

Just about any phone, including iPhones, will work with Google Cardboard VR headsets, but Google's developer platform isn't yet aimed at consumers.

Software

The Nexus 6P will launch with the "pure" version of the next full update to Android, 6.0 Marshmallow.

The Note 5 still runs Android Lollipop (with Samsung's TouchWiz on top). Samsung has said that the Note will receive the Marshmallow update at some point, but that usually takes a while when manufacturer UIs are involved.

Release

The Nexus 6P has been up for pre-order for a week, and shipments should start arriving later this month.

Starting price (full retail)

The Nexus 6P isn't exactly a budget phone, but when you factor in its impressive specs and high-end build quality, you could argue that it's a budget flagship. At full retail, it comes out to roughly US$200 cheaper than the entry-level Note 5 (which has pricing that varies a bit from carrier to carrier).

For more, you can check out our full Galaxy Note 5 review and Gizmag's full review of the Nexus 6P.

View gallery - 27 images

Top stories

Recommended for you

Latest in Mobile Technology

Latest phone comparisons

Editors Choice