Nexus 6 vs iPhone 6 comparison: which takes the crown?

Nexus 6 vs iPhone 6 comparison: which takes the crown?

The iPhone 6 has been a huge success for Apple, with millions of units sold since its release in September of 2014. With its clean design, premium build and huge app store behind it, the iPhone 6 is a tough competitor. The Nexus 6 is one of the top Android flagships of the moment and, with its monster spec sheet, looks to dominate this Nexus 6 vs iPhone 6 comparison.

Android M iPhone 6 2
Which phone is better: Nexus 6 or iPhone 6? / © ANDROIDPIT

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: design

The Nexus 6 has a 5.96-inch screen and is based on the Moto X (2014). The new Moto X itself is certainly quite striking, with curved back, large camera lens and circular LED ring flash. With the Nexus 6 taking design cues from this it certainly looks like an interesting looking phone indeed.

phase beam nexus 5 live wallpaper
The Nexus 5 proved you can't judge a book by its boring cover. © NextPit

The iPhone 6 is a pretty nice change to the blocky iPhone style we've seen repeated a lot over the last few years. The corners are curved, the chassis is made out of metal and everything seems sleeker, thinner and more "designed" than the iPhone 5s or even the iPhone 4, which have all been iterations on basically the exact same thing.

The Nexus 6 has a refershing design, but we also admire Apple's thinking on the new iPhone design. The iPhone takes a few cues from Android too, with the new device looking a lot like the new Sony Xperia Z3. The iPhone screen has finally grown up too: offering a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch version.

apple iphone 6 6 plus
The new iPhones have finally increased their screen size. © Apple

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: display

The Nexus 6 will arrive with a 5.96-inch, QHD display with 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 493 pixels per inch. The AMOLED screen technology is a wise choice if the touchless controls and ''always-on'' listening are as big a feature of the Nexus 6 as they are to the Moto X.

iphone 6 homescreen
Up front, the iPhone 6 still looks a lot like the iPhone 5s and shares a similar pixel density. © Apple

The iPhone 6 on the other hand introduces a Retina HD LCD. ''Retina'' HD basically just means that its pixel density is over 300 ppi: in the 4.7-inch iPhone 6's case, 326 ppi. The screen resolution comes in at 1,334 x 750 pixels, which is just a tad above regular HD. The Nexus 6 will destroy the iPhone 6's screen, in terms of pixel density and size, but we'll have to wait and see them in real life to make judgments on quality.

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If the Nexus 6 takes after the Moto X's touchless controls, an AMOLED display makes sense. © NextPit

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: system

Both smartphones will arrive with the latest versions of their respective operating systems: the Nexus 6 will appear as the showcase for Android Lollipop and the iPhone 6 has iOS 8.1 on board. We already know a bit about Android Lollipop thanks to the developer preview and we've already seen a bunch of iOS features. We don't have enough room for a full comparison here, but check out our iOS 8 v Android Lollipop comparison for more information. Of course, we expect you have a pretty good idea of which OS is right for you.

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The Nexus 6 will arrive showcasing Google's new Material Design standard for Android L. © Google

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: performance

Not the easiest thing to compare on two phones you haven't used yet, and because Apple and Android components are quite different its not always so easy to figure things out on paper. But we can make estimations based on the improvements over what we already have.

The iPhone 6 has not changed too much compared to the iPhone 5s, which admittedly does its job quite well. Of course, the fluidity and stability of the iPhone 6 will be just as good as what we have seen before and the upgrade to the A8 64-bit chip and M8 motion co-processor will certainly uphold their end of the bargain.

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Android fans may tease Apple's ''walled garden,'' but it's super stable and smooth. © Apple

However, the Nexus line has always been jam-packed with the best specs around and the Nexus 6 will arrive with a quad-core Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.7 GHz with 3 GB of RAM (we don't know how much RAM is in the iPhone 6, but we think it's 1 GB). Considering the 64-bit support in Android Lollipop we're a little surprised that the Nexus 6 will arrive with a 32-bit chip, but regardless, the Nexus 6 will be just as buttery smooth and lag-free as the Nexus 5.

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The Nexus 5 camera got much better with software, but it could still be improved. © NextPit

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: camera

The camera of the Nexus is usually its weakest point. While not a catastrophic flaw, camera quality is a serious concern for most smartphone owners, and its importance is only increasing. Google has announced it wants Nexus devices to offer a class-leading camera experience, and while we admire their pluck, we haven't seen a good enough camera to compete with the iPhone yet.

Keeping costs down on the Nexus usually means a smaller battery and weaker camera than many fans would like. The Nexus 6 has a 13 MP camera with optical image stabilization and a 2 MP front-facing camera.

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The iPhone 6 camera will be just as great as previous offerings from Mountain View. © Apple

The iPhone 6 comes with an 8 MP iSight camera that we expect will produce the same outstanding results we see on every iPhone and a low resolution front-facing camera. The iPhone 6 misses out on OIS, but its bigger brother, the iPhone 6 Plus has OIS on board. We have to be honest though, we fully expect the iPhone 6 camera to embarrass the Nexus 6 camera.

iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6: battery

Neither the iPhone 5s or the Nexus 5 are known for their outstanding battery life. In fact both are generally the butt of every battery-related joke in the smartphone world. Of course, no one is ever satisfied with their battery life, but both devices have been typically poor performers. Apple don't like to tell anyone what battery capacity the iPhones have, so it won't be until we have a tear down that we can share that little nugget with you.

Apple Wall Hugger Samsung Ad
I wouldn't be working for an Android site if I didn't take the opportunity to post this again. © Samsung/YouTube

This Nexus 6 comes with a 3220 mAh battery, up almost 1000 mAh over the Nexus 5. Android Lollipop is also packing Project Volta, which, combined with the new Android Run Time, should squeeze unheard-of amounts of battery life out of even the most pitiable battery. We'll have to wait and see what Apple can do with its poor battery in the iPhone 6. In the keynote however, they rather blandly said it will be as good as or better than the iPhone 5s. Yay.

  Google Nexus 6 Apple iPhone 6
System Android 5.0 Lollipop iOS 8/8.1
Display 5.96-inch AMOLED, 2,560 x 1,440 Pixel (493 ppi) 4.7 inches, Retina HD LCD (1,334 x 750 pixels), 326 ppi
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 805, 2.7 GHz, Adreno 420 GPU Dual-core Apple A8, 1.4 GHz with M8 motion co-processor, PowerVR GX6650 GPU
Internal memory 32 / 64 GB 16 / 64 / 128 GB
Battery  3,220 mAh, Qi wireless charging, Turbo Charger  -
Camera 13 MP with OIS (rear) 2 MP (front) 8 MP iSight (rear), 1.2 MP (front-facing)
Connectivity Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE GSM, HSDPA, LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi
Dimensions 82.98  x 159.26 x 10.06 mm 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
Weight 184 g 129 g
Price 649 USD off-contract 199/299/399 USD (16, 64, 128 GB versions) on a two-year contract


The Nexus line is like the Android prophet: not everyone listens but those that do listen to every word and accept it as Truth. We expect the Nexus 6 to be just as impressive as the Nexus 5 was but with even better specs and performance.

The iPhone 6 is probably much the same for iOS fans, although of course I'm going to compare it to a cult leader instead. Most Apple fans are simply not as concerned with the internal specs of their idevices as they are simply with owning the newest iPhone, and this alone will assure the iPhone 6 of insane levels of success.

Until we can put both side by side for a real life comparison, the jury is still out.

Do you think the Nexus 6 will be the mythical iPhone 6 killer? Or is it simply different strokes for different folks?

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  •   16
    Deactivated Account Oct 22, 2014 Link to comment

    Yes the Nexus 6 trumps the iphone 6 plus very easily it's comical no competition here. But collectively neither the Nexus 6 or the iphone 6 plus offer anything legitimate to the phablet category made prominent by Samsung. Clearly the Galaxy Note 4 trumps every single perpetrating wanna be phablet.

  • Kamal Oct 16, 2014 Link to comment

    i think the iphone 6 is better the all the nexusS because it does not hang because it has ios and 2 gb ram and android phone always hangs but iphone never hang u can compare nexus 5 with iphone 4 s nexus 5 will hang but iphone do not

  • Barbara Writes Sep 23, 2014 Link to comment

    "Until we can put both side by side for a real life comparison, I'll leave you with this: an iPhone 6 with 16 GB of internal storage costs 199 USD on a two-year contract. A 16 GB Nexus 6, on the other hand, if Google's traditional pricing holds true, will cost you 349 USD. Outright. Unlocked. No contract. Think about that for a while." I've thought about it and I still prefer an iPhone 6. I tried to work with android but it was most annoying compared to iOS. Since I'm the only apple fan in my family i work with android to get and keep family and friends up and running. I'm an #applegirl all day long.

  • Janet Rego Sep 19, 2014 Link to comment

    It’s almost guaranteed that the release of Nexus 6 will motivate competing manufacturers to release more versions of their smartphones. The competition will get better and exciting as these companies strive to scoop the largest market share. Curious to know if release of Nexus 6 will have a huge impact of Apple iPhone 6 sales.

  • CJ Brown Sep 17, 2014 Link to comment

    What's to speculate? Apple Cult Consumers will keep buying iPhones no matter how inferior the specs are (even as Apple slowly starts to mimic Android's OS and features (lol). I will give Apple credit for their build (built like a tank, but thin & light) and that's it - the rest? From screen to camera to ram is so 2 years behind, I am left lol'ing that consumers will pay such a high price for crap (I guess over priced crap makes hipsters feel important) ...

    I can't speculate what Google expects Motorola to deliver in the NEXUS 6 (would it be nice to see specs improved from the NEXUS 5? Absolutely! I still won't expect a micro sd card slot and a battery larger then what the Moto X 2014 has). It is definitely different strokes for different strokes (I prefer no contract, unlocked, minimal bloatware) ....

    • Guy De Vos Sep 26, 2014 Link to comment

      Apple built like a tank? Oh I see, your post is a week old. Time to review that opinion :-)

    • Jason Smith Nov 7, 2014 Link to comment

      iPhone Camera is behind? Don't tell me you missed the memo where we all learnt megapixels aren't everything? It came out about 10 years ago, you must be stuck in the past. iPhone cameras produce the highest quality photos out of any phone, at a slightly lower resolution (which nobody actually needs unless they print photos, in which case they'd be using an SLR anyway). iPhones also don't need as much RAM as their android equivalents. No one with an iPhone has a problem with the amount of RAM - it's only the fandroids who keep bitching about it. And don't even get me started on the screen, why would I need more pixels if I can't discern them? So typical for a fandroid to bring up rubbish points instead of bringing anything new or useful to the conversation.

  • jack pollard Sep 17, 2014 Link to comment

    I don't ever see any phone being a iPhone killer, its as if the next BMW is the Honda killer. You're not talking apples to apples in a sense, no pun intended, the respective phones and OS's meet the needs of different demographics. I was a stanch iPhone user for years, but I always jailbroke, until I did I was not happy with the "walled garden" thats Apple. I just did not feel comfortable with where Android was in terms of maturity and hardware. The Nexus 4 changed it for me. I gave my iPhone to my wife and never looked back. But I enjoy technology and customization and for me the Nexus line is heaven, it lets me play to my hearts content. Smartphones have become more than their specs, they make a bit of a statement about the person. I personally enjoying laughing at something like tap & pay, which I have been using for the last few years, being marketed as "innovative and new" technologies.

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