Although there are plenty of great smartphones coming up in the next few months, two of the best mobile devices ever released have already been available to purchase for some time now. I’m sure some may argue that the Motorola Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are not actually among the best, but I think we can all agree that they are at the very least quite impressive. However, these are no doubt some very huge handsets and I’m sure some people might not find them appealing because of that very fact. I’m not exactly fond of ginormous smartphones myself, but after playing around with a Nexus 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus I’m finally starting to see the appeal.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re not all that fanatic about smartphones and only use them for basic stuff like calling and texting, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from the large ones because their benefits lie elsewhere. Plus, they’re generally pretty expensive – the Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being no exception – and it’s not very wise to spend a lot of cash on a mobile device if you don’t use it to its full potential. On the other hand, if you tend to feel lonely without a gadget by your side and are constantly using the said gadget for a wide variety of activities ranging from checking email to playing games and reading articles during your work break, then a big smartphone can come in handy. All these activities and more are made better by a large display that gives you a better view of things and good processing power, which allows for faster loading times. Coincidentally, the Nexus and iPhone 6 Plus can offer both, although one may be better suited to your needs than the other.
Size is often crucial when deciding whether or not you should purchase a certain smartphone. Obviously, I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems to make sense that you should buy a large handset only if you can make good use of the equally large display. In the case of the iPhone 6 Plus, this display comes in at 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 resolution and 401 pixels per inch. All in all, this is pretty standard for a 2014 flagship and the body-to-screen ratio is exactly what you’d expect from an Apple smartphone. If you ask me, the iPhone 6 Plus could have looked better if the body would have been just a tiny bit more compact, but that’s just me. As it stands, this device arguably offers the best display ever found on an Apple smartphone and the shatter proof glass does a pretty good job at keeping it scratch-free. That said, don’t test its limits because the iPhone 6 Plus is meant to be handled with care, so do be gentle.
Moving on to the Motorola Nexus 6, we’re looking at an even bigger display coming in at almost 6 inches (5.96 to be precise) and a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels which translates into roughly 493 ppi. Needless to say, this phone offers a great viewing experience. In addition, you also get Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which is highly resistant to scratching, but again, don’t go throwing your phone around just to see how much punishment it can take. While most manufacturers are now going with the 1440p resolution and high ppi, the human eye can’t actually distinguish much beyond 300 ppi, so a whole lot of pixels won’t actually do that much for you. However, even the untrained eye can see that the Nexus 6 does offer better clarity compared to many other smartphones, but that’s not even the best part. The main benefit here is that the phone is not incredibly huge despite the unusually large display. Indeed, the Nexus 6 is only about 1 centimeter taller than the iPhone 6 Plus, although it’s also a bit wider and thicker as well.
As you know, looks aren’t everything and what’s inside is important, too. This applies not only to people, but to smartphones as well. There are a number of aspects that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to the hardware, but don’t worry because we’ll talk a bit about all of them. A lot of people bash Apple for insisting on offering only 1 GB of RAM and I’ll admit that I was among those people for a while there. However, the truth is that Apple handsets, including the iPhone 6 Plus can dish out impressive performance despite the low amount of RAM thanks to the 64-bit chipset, which in this case is an Apple A8 dual-core CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz. Generally speaking, there won’t be any need to worry about performance regardless of what kind of apps you throw at the device. Poor performance can often come as a result of a buggy OS update, so make sure to keep that in mind before blaming the hardware.
As for the Nexus 6, the specs are some of the best out there and the performance is definitely up to par. Under the hood you’ll be able to find a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor @ 2.7 GHz complete with 3 GB of RAM. Different benchmark tests yield different results, but overall the Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are pretty evenly matched in terms of power, so performance won’t be much of an issue despite their differences. When it comes to the camera however, neither of these devices are something that you should write home about. We’re looking at a 13 MP primary shooter on the Nexus 6 vs an 8 MP primary senor on the iPhone 6 Plus. With both you’ll have the usual features like optical image stabilization, dual-LED flash, and autofocus. At first glance, the most noticeable difference you’ll see is that the Nexus 6 is capable of taking higher resolution pictures while the iPhone 6 Plus is better at recording videos at a higher framerate.
When it comes to internal storage, you have some pretty good options with both devices, but the downside is that neither of them comes equipped with a microSD card slot. It goes without saying that choosing the best option for you is crucial because you won’t be able to expand the memory further down the line. As such, if you’re interested in the Nexus 6 you should know that storage options only include 32 and 64 GB while if you’re going for the iPhone 6 Plus the options are 16, 64, and 128 GB. Wrapping all the specs up for the Nexus 6 is a 3,220 mAh battery which should normally last for at least a day and a half of mixed use. But even if you manage to somehow drain the battery in just a matter of hours don’t worry because the Turbo Charger can get it back up to about 20% in just a matter of minutes. Couple that with wireless charging and Android Lollipop’s Project Volta feature that allows for battery-saving optimization and you can rest assured knowing that battery life won’t be an issue on the Nexus 6. The 2,915 mAh battery found on the iPhone 6 Plus is also pretty reliable and can easily get you through a day of mixed usage, but that’s pretty much as far as it goes. Still, it’s not too bad all things considered.
Here we’re looking at a classic Android vs iOS battle. It’s no secret that more than a few people buy their phones based exclusively on the operating system, which isn’t necessarily the wisest decision, but to each his own. Currently, the Nexus 6 can go up to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, although you may have to grab the factory image for it as the OTA has not been pushed out in all regions. The Nexus 6 is rumored to skip Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and jump straight to Android 5.1 Lollipop at some point in the near future. The current version of Android is pretty buggy, so hopefully the next major update brings the much needed bug fixes everyone is waiting for. On the bright side, Motorola is not too big on bloatware which means that the Nexus 6 features the stock version of the OS. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll get iOS 8 straight out of the box, but you can upgrade to iOS 8.1.3 and then to iOS 8.2 once it becomes available. iOS 8.2 is said to launch late next month in anticipation of the Apple Watch, which is scheduled to hit the shelves in April. iOS 8.1.3 is arguably not as buggy as Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, but there are definitely a lot of problems here as well. However, most of the problems have been spotted on older Apple devices, so the OS should run pretty smooth on iPhone 6 Plus all things considered.
When choosing between an Apple product and another similar product you’ll most often than not come to the conclusion that the Apple product is more expensive. That’s just the way it is I’m afraid and this scenario is no exception. The official unlocked pricing for the iPhone 6 Plus goes a little something like this: $750/$850/$950 in the US, €800/€900/€1000 in Europe and £620/£700/£790 in the UK. Needless to say, this is a very expensive phone, but that’s not to say that the Nexus 6 can be considered cheap. A brand new unlocked Motorola Nexus 6 will cost you $650/$700 in the US, €570/€650 in Europe and £500/£550 in the UK. As mentioned, the iPhone 6 Plus is available in 16/64/128 GB storage configuration and the Nexus 6 comes with either 32 GB of 64 GB of storage on board.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Motorola Nexus 6 offers a better bang for the buck when compared to the iPhone 6 Plus despite the fact that this is the most expensive Nexus smartphone yet. Traditionally, Nexus device have been praised for their affordability, but that’s not the case here anymore. The Nexus 6 is still worth the money, however, as it offers great performance and battery life tucked beneath one of the best displays out there. Not a whole lot to say about the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple gambled a bit by entering the phablet market, but it looks like the gamble payed off. The iPhone 6 Plus is a very good device that managed to become crazy popular is a short amount of time, and with good reason. The folks over at Cupertino actually worked on offering plenty of improvements this time around, not just rehashing the old formula and calling it something new like they did with previous iterations. That said, the price is definitely nothing to sneeze at, so consider buying this device only if you prefer iOS over Android and have plenty of cash to throw around. Personally, I would say that the Nexus 6 offers overall better value, but that’s just me.