Samsung and Google have been facing each other in the smartphone “beast” wars for quite some time now – be it in the entry-level market or the high-end market.
The growth of the phablet world has meant these two become even more fierce rivals in the business than before. Last year saw the release of a 5.7-inch Google Nexus 6P to counter Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, which also packs the same screen size. But the year before was even more interesting with the release of the Google Nexus 6 to go head-to-head with Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Boasting 5.96-inch and 5.7-inch AMOLED display panels, the Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are among the devices that shaped the phablet world. Despite their aging nature, these two are still some of the best phones you can find in the smartphone market. It gets even better as their age means their prices are also going down, but the quality is still the same. So, which one should you go for – Google Nexus 6 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4?
Design and display
The Google Nexus 6 is slightly larger in size than the Galaxy Note 4 and it also weighs slightly heavier at 184g. However, the two are quite different in terms of designs. The Nexus 6 leads the way in terms of ergonomics. It has a rounded rear that means it won’t rest flush on a flat surface, but still, it means holding it in one hand, despite its massive size, is a lot easier than the Galaxy Note 4.
Motorola fitted a 5.96-inch screen inside a frame that measures 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm, which is almost the same size as the one found on the Note 4, measuring 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, yet the latter has a screen size of 5.7 inches. You will also notice that the camera of the Nexus 6 is flush as opposed to the protruding lens of the Note 4.
As for the display specs, the two phones have the same AMOLED panels that have resolutions of 2560 x 1440 pixels. Where the screen of the Galaxy Note 4 is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4, the Google Nexus 6 has the older Gorilla Glass 3 on board.
Hardware specs and performance
In terms of hardware, these two are basically the same – meaning you get the same performance levels. But of course, the level of software optimizations usually have a say in the final performance levels of a phone. You get a Snapdragon 805 SoC in both handsets, both of which are paired with a RAM of 3GB and an Adreno 420 GPU. These hardware specs are capable enough for handling anything thrown at them from the Play Store.
Still, there are a few differences here and there. The Galaxy Note 4 comes with an S-Pen, heart rate monitor as well as fingerprint scanner, something that is famously missing on the Nexus 6. You also get to remove the back cover of the Galaxy Note 4 in order to access the battery unit, but this is no possible with Motorola’s Google Nexus 6.
As far as software is concerned, you will probably enjoy the Google Nexus 6 more than the Galaxy Note 4. This is true because the former is currently eligible for an Android Nougat OTA update, something that is not guaranteed for the latter. At the moment, the best you can do with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Keep in mind that both handsets need a software update to get them to the latest OS versions. You will also be enjoying a stock Android experience on the Nexus 6 handset as opposed to the TouchWiz-based version of the Galaxy Note 4.
Camera and battery life
The Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are up there when it comes to camera quality. Even though there are significant differences on paper, you will be surprised with the end products from each case. The Nexus 6 has a 13MP snapper on the back, a Sony-made IMX214 sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, OIS and ability to record up to 4K videos. The Galaxy Note 4 is no joke either, boasting a 16MP snapper on the back, a Sony-made IMX240 sensor with an aperture of f/2.2, OIS as well as ability to record 4K videos.
The larger aperture and few megapixels on the Google Nexus 6 camera means more light is allowed in, ensuring the best shots are realized even when lighting conditions are poor. But this doesn’t mean the Note 4 is poor at what it does. As for the front snappers, the latter excels over the former with its 3.7MP snapper as compared to the 2MP on the Nexus 6.
Coming down to the battery life, you get the same capacity on the two handsets – 3220mAh. There is support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology, but it is the Galaxy Note 4 that takes the crown thanks to its removable battery unit.
Price and storage
As noted earlier, the Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are two phones released in 2014. Given their age, their price tags have also dropped with time. Each of these phones has two storage options that are also priced differently. As at the time of this writing, the base model of the Google Nexus 6 is available for as low as $309.99, down from its launch price of $649 while the 64GB variant is priced at $399.89, down from $699 at launch. As for the Galaxy Note 4, you get a 32GB variant that is currently priced at$356.13. The 16GB variant of the Note 4 is a Duos version of the phone and surprisingly, it is still quite pricey at $395.99.
So, which one will you opt for – the Google Nexus 6 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4? Please let us know your views in the comments.