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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6

Earning the beloved Nexus moniker isn't something that can be achieved so easily, so when a company is given the opportunity to build one, there's a lot of expectations riding on the back of it. The Google Nexus 6 managed to charm many folks thanks to its phablet-esque size, incredible specs, and the latest iteration of Google's always evolving mobile platform – Android 5.0 Lollipop. In a way, the Nexus 6 was a departure from the more humble-looking Nexus 5, by taking everything to a bigger scale.

Similarly, the Samsung Galaxy S6 follows the same approach by being a significantly different phone than its predecessor in the Galaxy S5. Some folks vouch that it's more of an evolutionary thing, while others deem it more revolutionary, but whatever the case, we can't deny that it's a formidable thing that has jump-started 2015 with a bang. No doubt, they target totally different demographics, but at the end of the day, we can't help to wonder which of the two will have more of the star power to continue being a relevant thing throughout the rest of the year.


They’re two very differently designed phones catering to different audiences, but the Galaxy S6’s design steals more glances and looks from people with its premium design.

Staring at them longingly, there’s no denying that the two are just two very differently designed phones – crafted to appeal to certain demographics more than other. In terms of aesthetics and appeal, we’d give the Samsung Galaxy S6 the nods on achieving more glances and looks from bystanders, mainly because it has the luxurious qualities that cater to a wider audience.

Brandishing one sharp design, thanks in part to its Corning Gorilla Glass 4 surfaces and metal trim bezel, the entire package is enhanced even further by the way light reflects off the glass, producing this cool shimmering and dazzling effect. Add to that, it’s incredibly skinny, super lightweight, and far more compact, it all translates to an unprecedented change we’re happy to experience from a company that wasn’t all that notable for its smartphone designs.

Conversely, the Google Nexus 6 is pretty much on the other side of the spectrum with its gargantuan size. That alone, will probably keep some folks at bay, but then again, others favor its phablet-esque dimensions. Yes, it’s obnoxiously large, which, surprisingly enough, can catch the attention of some people. However, it’s just a handful to operate – requiring two-handed operation more than anything else. Visually speaking, it’s a bit more contemporary with its design language, comprised out of mostly durable plastic.

Impressively enough, even with its compact stature, Samsung is able to stuff several other goodies into its already tight package – like an improved finger print sensor, wireless charging, IR blaster, and heart rate senor. Meanwhile, the Nexus 6 also boasts wireless charging, in addition to dual front-firing speakers, but that’s all. For having so much real estate to work with, you’d imagine that Motorola would’ve been able to crap a few extra features in the process. Guess not.

Samsung Galaxy S6
5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Quad-HD resolution is in full effect here, but Sammy’s Super AMOLED panel shows why it’s one of the best out there.

In being true pioneers in the space, it’s wonderful to know that the two handsets tip the scales with their quad-HD resolution displays – something we feel that’s necessary to stand head-above-water over the rest of the high-end crop. For the Galaxy S6, it’s fashioned with an incredibly sharp, 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display, which achieves a higher pixel density count of 577 ppi. The figures alone paint something exquisite with the Galaxy S6, but we can’t neglect the same level of attention paid to the Nexus 6’s 6-inch 1440 x 2560 AMOLED display – one that still pulls in a respectable 493 ppi pixel density.

Seriously, the two panels cram a ton of pixels, giving plenty of detail in everything that’s being displayed. Whether it’s viewing them up close and personal, or from a normal distance, we can’t argue that they deliver sharp visuals that make it easy on eyes to decipher the most miniscule of things. All told, it purely boils down to size preference – where the Nexus 6 carries more real estate, which some can find useful for specific occasions.

Even though they both rely on AMOLED technology, the S6’s Super AMOLED panel produces higher quality results. To be fair, however, we have to applaud both companies for getting the displays very close to that ideal color temperature reference value of 6500K – giving them a very neutral tone, neither too warm, nor too cold. Still, the S6’s screen drives away with its stronger brightness output of 563 nits, versus the Nexus 6’s poor mark of 270 nits. Naturally, the vast discrepancy between the two becomes apparent outdoors when viewing the displays under the gaze of the sun. The Nexus 6’s display is just unviewable.

Moreover, Sammy has calibrated its display perfectly in Basic mode, so that it’s one of the most color accurate screens out there, which is something noteworthy for AMOLED technology in general. With the Nexus 6, it’s evident that it favors a more saturated color production, made more profound as it doesn’t technically hit each of the target values in the color gamut chart below.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 563
Google Nexus 6 270
View all

  • Options

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:14

1. sgodsell (Posts: 3758; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Considering Motorola gets their AMOLED displays from Samsung. Why would the brightness be so low John in your test? I know when I turn the brightness up on either device. I have to wear sunglasses.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:29

2. JMartin22 (Posts: 1982; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)

Because they aren't the same AMOLED display panels. Samsung is using the most efficient and newest generation AMOLED panel, while Motorola is not. Having the same resolution doesn't mean they're going to have the same quality or be based on the same panel.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 10:35

17. cvu524 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Apr 2015)

To be more specific, the S6 uses Super AMOLED, while the N6 uses regular AMOLED. The Super just has the touch digitizer built in with the panel, instead of multiple layers, as well as far better color gamut and accuracy. Whites on the N6 are warmer. Motorola could have used a Super AMOLED panel for the N6, but i guess Sammy didn't want the Nexus eating into its S5 sales at the time.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:32

3. Max_Boost (Posts: 101; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

Phonearena forgot to mention another pro for the S6 over the Nexus 6: Internal memory size, which you can get up to 128GB, whereas the Nexus 6 maxes out at 32GB.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:57 4

6. johanbiff (Posts: 405; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:36 1

4. JMartin22 (Posts: 1982; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)

To be honest, stock Android looks barren and terrible and hasn't offered any real practical advantages over OEM propriety modified Android versions in the last 2 years. It might look a bit better in Lollipop, but I'm not seeing this aesthetic or functional advantage minority power users like to espouse.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 05:50 9

5. TAMARETTE (Posts: 182; Member since: 15 Jun 2014)

Let's get real. Comparison:

Best Display: Galaxy S6

Best Benchmarks: Galaxy S6

OS Fluidity: Galaxy S6

Premium Build: Galaxy S6

Camera: Galaxy S6

Battery LIfe: Nexus 6 (By a narrow margin)

Recharge rate: Galaxy S6

And no matter how much these reviewers try to convince themselves that Touchwiz is ugly, it's ten times prettier than stock Android.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 06:10 3

9. Kakarotto (Posts: 253; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


Storage Size: Galaxy S6

Storage Speed: Galaxy S6

Design: Galaxy S6

Payment System: Galaxy S6

Overall User Experience: Galaxy S6

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 06:10

10. JMartin22 (Posts: 1982; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)

Pretty much this. There's literally no advantage to having stock Android over TouchWiz. The pre-installed applications can be disabled and removing them from the phone anyway will not free up storage, as that storage space is partitioned anyway.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 07:12 5

12. Orion78 (Posts: 82; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)

Let's get real... pointless reasons. The only things that's a major advantage is the camera and screen. Everything else is blah. Crapwhiz will always look ugly and I'll prefer stock over it any day....but that's an opinion. To each their own. I love how S-sheeps clown everything not Samsung. You guys are truly worse than apple fanboys.... honestly. Now make me a sandwich.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 10:37

18. cvu524 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Apr 2015)

TouchJizz is fugly and features gimmicky features. 'Nuff said.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 20:35

20. EcoCare (Posts: 434; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)

You'll never know when you will use all that useful but overlooked features and apps, especially when you have no internet connection.

Also, people have different tastes regarding design.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 08:39

15. singhkaran9830 (unregistered)

I can take touchwiz over stock at any moment just because it offers much more features than stock.I can bear few hiccups for features.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 13:53

19. tury694 (Posts: 167; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)

OS fluidity is not better on the S6. I have both and the S6 is better for me because I don't want that giant phone, but the nexus feels smoother to me. How do you even quantify OS fluidity. It seems like such a dumb thing to say. You are right on the other stuff but you come off as a Samsung shill. Do they pay well for posting this kind of stuff in forums?

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 22:37

21. G9-Kokos (Posts: 27; Member since: 31 Jan 2015)

You forgot 1 BIG difference

Support by community and developers: Nexus 6 (BY FAR)

And that trumps all the others.

UI? - Root/ change it / Theme it / Do whatever- Even do it like TW
Battery? - Custom kernels
Want different experience? - Countless Roms with different features

S6 comes with Exynos - Big problem for the developers because isnt full open source.

And 1 more BIG Difference:

Because Nexus 6 is supported by the community that means Lifespan of the mobile will be HUGE. Over 3 years and you will still find active development for the Nexus.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 06:03 1

7. alex3run (Posts: 713; Member since: 18 May 2014)

Lol... Stock Android is just ugly compared to the new Toucwiz...

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 06:08 1

8. Nibbler1 (Posts: 32; Member since: 03 Apr 2015)

Touchwiz is so ugly that I dont want to touch the Samsung phone. :)

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 07:00

11. SamsungEU (Posts: 147; Member since: 29 Dec 2014)

so that's why people touch you with sticks

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 07:47

14. chillywill95831 (Posts: 3; Member since: 05 Apr 2015)

We all have our preferences. I went out to buy the S6 yesterday, but I just couldn't get ready for touchwiz. I don't want to say it's ugly, but it just doesn't appeal to my senses like vanilla Android does on my Nexus 6. I'm one that will upgrade every year just because I like the newer stuff, but I have to admit that my Nexus doesn't leave me wanting or desiring anything. It's so fast and fluid and able to handle a bunch of demands simultaneously without stutter. I remember having my M8 and sometimes I'd be doing several things at once and the phone would just stammer and in some cases, it would reset. I kept having to do factory resets with it, and the Damn camera issues really pissed me off. I'd really be interested to see how the S6 runs after 90 days.

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 07:13

13. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1149; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

Back display pictures "in my opinion" looks better on the Nexus 6. The protruding square camera is the only fail appearance wise "to me"

Fluidity of OS is helped by the newer processor. I liked my GS3 software, and miss a lot of it's features BTW!

posted on 14 Apr 2015, 10:21

16. theflu88 (Posts: 13; Member since: 15 Mar 2015)

Lets get real, stock Android vs. TouchWiz aesthetics is all a matter of OPINION (with respect to looks)

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