Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S6 (and GS6 edge) vs. Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy S6 (and GS6 edg...
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (left), Galaxy S6 edge (middle) and Google/Motorola Nexus 6
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (left), Galaxy S6 edge (middle) and Google/Motorola Nexus 6
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Camera aperture
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Camera aperture
Battery
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Battery
Build
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Build
Camera megapixels (front)
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Camera megapixels (front)
Camera megapixels (rear)
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Camera megapixels (rear)
Colors
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Colors
Processor
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Processor
Curved display
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Curved display
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display (resolution)
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Display (resolution)
Display (size)
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Display (size)
Display (type)
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Display (type)
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Heart rate sensor
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Heart rate sensor
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (left), Galaxy S6 edge (middle) and Google/Motorola Nexus 6
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (left), Galaxy S6 edge (middle) and Google/Motorola Nexus 6
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Navigation buttons location
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Navigation buttons location
OIS
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OIS
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (on-contract)
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Starting price (on-contract)
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Removable battery
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Removable battery
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Weight
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Weight
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging
View gallery - 28 images

Google's Nexus devices have never enjoyed the mainstream popularity of Samsung Galaxy flagships, but the pure Android handsets are still some of the most significant phones every year. Let's compare Google's latest handset, the Nexus 6, to Samsung's two big upcoming releases, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The Nexus 6 is an enormous smartphone (nearly a tablet), towering over Samsung's two new releases. The Nexus is 12-13 percent taller, 17-19 percent wider and 44-49 percent thicker than the two Galaxy flagships.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The much bigger Nexus 6 is also much heavier: 33 percent heavier than the Galaxy S6 and 40 percent heavier than the Galaxy S6 edge.

Build

Build
Build

Samsung went premium with this year's lineup, adding Gorilla Glass backs that bleed into aluminum sides. The Nexus 6 has a higher-end feel than previous Nexuses (with its own aluminum frame) but its plastic back makes it more of a hybrid-premium than full premium design.

Colors

Colors
Colors

You only have two color options for the Nexus 6, next to four for each of the Samsung Galaxy S6 phones.

Display (size)

Display (size)
Display (size)

The Nexus 6's screen also dwarfs the displays on the Galaxy S6 pair, giving you 37 percent more screen.

Navigation buttons location

Navigation buttons location
Navigation buttons location

In many areas of Android, though, that discrepancy won't be quite as wide, as the Nexus sacrifices some of its display for a bottom row of navigation buttons.

This becomes irrelevant, though, in areas where Android's Immersive Mode kicks in. It fades out those nav keys in places like photo, video and reading apps. A quick swipe from the edge of its screen will bring them back.

Display (resolution)

Display (resolution)
Display (resolution)

All three devices have ultra-sharp Quad HD displays, though the smaller screens on the Galaxies make their pixel density 17 percent sharper.

Display (type)

Display (type)
Display (type)

All three handsets use AMOLED panels.

Curved display

Curved display
Curved display

Apart from some minor spec differences, this is the big difference between the Galaxy S6 edge and its standard counterpart. Similar to last year's Galaxy Note Edge, it has a curved display: only here both sides of its 5.1-in display slope off around the edges.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Google and Motorola didn't put any biometric sensors in the Nexus 6. The Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge each have a touch-based fingerprint sensor (which will likely be an improvement over the swipe-based finger scanners we saw in several 2014 Samsung devices).

Camera megapixels (rear)

Camera megapixels (rear)
Camera megapixels (rear)

The Galaxy S6 pair win on megapixels, and could very well have the better cameras. Samsung's 2014 flagships (including the Galaxy S5 and Note 4) had very good cameras, and the Nexus 6's camera, while pretty good, isn't necessarily one of its killer features.

Camera megapixels (front)

Camera megapixels (front)
Camera megapixels (front)

If you take lots of selfies, it's possible the Galaxy S6es will capture a little extra detail.

Camera aperture

Camera aperture
Camera aperture

The cameras in the Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge have an ever-so-slightly wider aperture.

OIS

OIS
OIS

All three phones have Optical Image Stabilization, to help offset the effects of shaky hands.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The Nexus 6's battery didn't test at the very top of the 2014 phones we reviewed, but it still had good uptimes: dropping about 12 percent per hour in our stress test (streaming video over Wi-Fi with brightness set at 75 percent).

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

The Nexus 6 uses Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and the Galaxy phones use Samsung's own approach to fast charging. When using the stock cable, they'll let you quickly juice up a nearly-dead battery to a respectable level.

Removable battery

Removable battery
Removable battery

If you've ever owned a Galaxy phone, you've been able to pop off its battery cover and swap out a replacement battery. The pair of 2015 flagships, though, take things in a new direction (thanks in no small part to their premium glass and metal builds).

Wireless charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

All three handsets ship with wireless charging built-in.

Processor

Processor
Processor

The Nexus 6 is a zippy handset, pairing with Android Lollipop for seamless performance. We haven't yet put the Galaxy S6 (and their "Qual-who?" Samsung Exynos processors) through the paces.

RAM

RAM
RAM

All three have a very healthy 3 GB of RAM.

Storage

Storage
Storage

Samsung is offering more storage options with the Galaxy S6es, though all three offer a solid 32 GB at the entry-level.

MicroSD

MicroSD
MicroSD

None of these three have slots for microSD cards.

Heart rate sensor

Heart rate sensor
Heart rate sensor

Like last year's Galaxy flagships, the GS6 pair each has a heart rate sensor on its backside.

Software

Software
Software

The Nexus 6 runs Android Lollipop, without any skins or bloat – just as Google intended it. The Galaxy S6 phones also have a Lollipop core, though they have Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top (that skin is scaled back this year, though, with much less bloat).

Release

Release
Release

The Nexus has been around for over four months, while the Galaxy S6 and Edge launch on April 10.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

US carriers are taking their sweet old time announcing pricing for the Galaxy S6 and edge. One thing you can expect is a markup for the edge – we just don't know by how much.

Starting price (on-contract)

Starting price (on-contract)
Starting price (on-contract)

On-contract pricing is also still a mystery for the new Samsung phones. Considering its size, spec sheet and feature list, US$250 on-contract for the Nexus 6 is one of the best deals in mobile.

For more, you can hit up Gizmag's reviews of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge Nexus 6.

View gallery - 28 images
1 comment
1 comment
VoiceofReason
So, even after the debacle that was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, one of the worst Androids ever.....Samsung is making an iphone? I know many people are very disappointed that there will not be a memory card slot that some people depend on to make backups and do other tasks. The lack of a removable battery is less of an issue but still a jerk move on their part. Big mistake.
It's not the point that you can do it other ways. People like the convenience for photo and video storage and being able to make a hard backup of contacts to import to excel, etc.
Plus with 5.0 lollipop crashing the Galaxy S 5's by the thousands due to Samsung's ham handed approach to "you're taking this update now, too bad if you don't want to", they will be losing money this year. Time to get it together guys.