Does the Nexus 6 have what it takes to tackle Apple’s new iPhones?

Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Apple’s latest iPhones have been shipping for a few weeks now, but many have been waiting for Google to show its hand before deciding what will be their new smartphone for the next two years. So how does the new Nexus 6 compare to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and more importantly, which is most worthy of your hard-earned cash?

Our in-depth comparison below will help you decide.

Please scroll the table left and right to see all of its contents

Nexus 6 iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop iOS 8 iOS 8
Display 5.9-inch AMOLED display (2560 x 1440) 4.7-inch IPS display (1334 x 750) 5.5-inch IPS display (1920 x 1080)
PPI 493 326 401
Processor 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 64-bit Apple A8 64-bit Apple A8
Storage 32GB, 64GB 16GB, 64GB, 128GB 16GB, 64GB, 128GB
Camera(s) 13MP (rear) + 2MP (front) 8MP (rear) + 1.2MP (front) 8MP (rear) + 1.2MP (front)
Other NFC Touch ID, Apple Pay, M8 motion co-processor Touch ID, Apple Pay, M8 motion co-processor
Dimensions 159 x 83 x 10.1mm 138.1 x 67.0 x 6.9mm 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
Weight 184 g 129 g 172 g
Battery 3,220mAh ? ?


While Apple paved the way for high-resolution smartphone screens when it introduced the iPhone 4 and its Retina display, the Cupertino company has lagged behind somewhat ever since — at least in terms of pixel count. It did introduce the new Retina HD display with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, finally bringing a 1080p panel to the bigger model — but the Nexus 6 still has the upper hand with its incredible Quad HD display that delivers just under 500 pixels-per-inch.

The iPhone 6 has the best smartphone LCD ever tested by DisplayMate. Photo: Apple

The iPhone 6 has the best smartphone LCD ever tested by DisplayMate. Photo: Apple

Sharper doesn’t necessarily mean better, though. The Retina HD display has been labeled the best smartphone LCD display ever tested by the experts at DisplayMate thanks to its terrific color accuracy and contrast ratios. We won’t know how the Nexus 6 compares until it starts shipping.


The Nexus 6 is packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 805 processor, which is the chosen chip for Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge. Typically, Apple’s 64-bit A-series processors tend to perform better than their 32-bit rivals, but once again, it’s hard to tell exactly how they compare until the Nexus 6 starts shipping.


Nexus 6 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 805. Image: Qualcomm

The Nexus does have an advantage when it comes to RAM, though, with three times as much as the iPhones. Having used an iPhone 6 Plus since it went on sale, I have to say it’s rarely noticeable that only 1GB of RAM is under the hood, but those with a Nexus 6 are likely to find things like multitasking and browsing between multiple tabs is a little smoother.

But whichever smartphone you choose out of these three, you’re almost guaranteed good performance. They may have their small advantages in places, but they will all deliver excellent speeds whether you’re gaming, streaming high-definition video, or getting things done.


Camera quality is hugely important to a lot of smartphone users, and Apple tends to blow its rivals out of the water every year. Once again, it may not deliver the highest megapixel counts, but its software and chip design — plus features like Focus Pixels — mean you’re sure to get great photos with an iPhone.

You're sure to get great photos on an iPhone. Photo: Apple

You’re sure to get great photos on an iPhone. Photo: Apple

Nexus devices, on the other hand, are never remembered for their cameras. That could change with the Nexus 6, however, which boasts a new 13-megapixel sensor capable of recording 4K video (unlike the iPhone). We’ve already published some Nexus 6 camera samples, and it’s immediately clear it’s much more capable than its predecessor.


As I mentioned in my comparison between the Nexus 9 and Apple’s new iPads, all of the points I’ve mentioned above could be totally irrelevant to you if you have a software preference. Long-time Android users who love the freedom and customization Google’s platform brings are likely to feel restricted with iOS, while those who have always used an iPhone and software that “just works” could find Android a little overwhelming at times.

Nexus 9 comes with Lollipop pre-installed. Image: Google

Nexus 9 comes with Lollipop pre-installed. Image: Google

If you’re thinking about switching, the important thing to remember is that all the money you’ve invested in your existing platform to date — all the apps and games you’ve bought — are not transferrable between Android and iOS.