Google Nexus 6P vs Samsung Galaxy Note5: in-depth specs comparison

Well, folks, it looks like Google will not be giving up on phablets any time soon. This year, the company decided to bring back the beloved 2013 Nexus 5 in a new form, but still with a relatively compact shape. However, the company refused to give up on what it started with the 2014 Nexus 6, so it also introduced a new large-screened handset this year – the Nexus 6P. And, out of the two Nexuses, it is bears the better specs and more premium design. Naturally, the Huawei-made phablet is what should be considered the true Google flagship for 2015.

So, what is the best large screen handset that money can buy today? Many would point towards Samsung's Galaxy Note5 line for a variety of reasons – the crisp and beautiful Super AMOLED display, powerful hardware, unmatched S Pen stylus, fantastic camera, and the many features that the TouchWiz interface adds to Android are often pointed out. All that said, Samsung has also been stepping up its game in terms of design this year, and the Note5 is a stunner in terms of looks.

So how does the Google Nexus 6P match up against Samsung's beast? Let's dive in deeper and take a closer look!


Google finally has a metal-clad warrior to fight on the vanilla Android side. Indeed, Huawei certainly added its touch to the premium-looking device. Built with aircraft-grade aluminum, the Nexus 6P will not be laughed at, should it decide to sit at the same table with all of 2015's flagships. Now, the Galaxy Note5 is still a bit flashier, with Gorilla Glass 4 covering its back, giving it that much more flair and bling. However, due to the shiny back, the Samsung phablet is much more prone to always holding greasy fingerprint smudges on its back, and it's more slippery, which many large smartphone users prefer to avoid.

So, in terms of size, the Nexus 6P is noticeably taller, very slightly wider, and ever so slightly thinner than the Galaxy Note5. The former measures at 6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29 inches (159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm), while the other's body is pinned at 6.03 x 3.00 x 0.30 inches (153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm). All despite the fact that both handsets have the same 5.7" display diagonal. The Nexus' tallness can be forgiven due to its front-firing stereo speakers, so long as that's what the user is looking for. Also, it's impressive that Huawei managed to stick a 3,450 mAh battery under its hood, while the Note5 has a 3,000 mAh one.

Google Nexus 6P

Google Nexus 6P


6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29 inches

159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm


6.28 oz (178 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5


6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm


6.03 oz (171 g)

Google Nexus 6P

Google Nexus 6P


6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29 inches

159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm


6.28 oz (178 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5


6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm


6.03 oz (171 g)

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

Fingerprint scanner placement is a design choice, which will affect the way you use your phone. The Galaxy Note5 has its biometric sensor embedded within its home button, on the front of the device, just under the display. The Nexus 6P has its placed on the back, just under the camera. The premise is that the user always has their index finger back there, when they are holding the phone normally. However, should you want to unlock the Nexus while its simply lying on the table, when its held by someone else, or generally in any situation when you are not holding it in your dominant hand and in portrait mode – unlocking will be a bit awkward. In contrast, the Note5's fingerprint scanner placement takes care of this issue in most situations.


The Nexus 6P is a phablet-class handset with its 5.7" screen. Google also hopped on the QHD bandwagon and had the phone equipped with a 1440 x 2560 resolution display, which results in a 518 ppi pixel density – very crisp. It employs the AMOLED technology, so we expect a lot of vibrant, punchy colors from the panel. Still, let's not rule out the possibility for Google to have had said colors subdued – much like how Samsung did with its Basic color mode.

Speaking of Samsung, the Note5 has the same sized screen with the very same resolution – 5.7" diagonal, 1440 x 2560 resolution, all resulting in the same 518 ppi density. Sammy's flagship employs the Super AMOLED tech, and it has recently become famous for being able to achieve near-perfect color reproduction. Samsung's flagships are currently praised as having some of the best displays to be found on an Android smartphone.

Both displays are protected by the latest and greatest by Corning – Gorilla Glass 4.

Software and functionality

Google's Nexus 6P will, of course, deliver the pure Google Android experience – no external apps, functions, APIs, or anything that Google did not intend to be installed on the phone on shipping day. This has been one of the Nexus line's selling points for many people, as the Google-designed hardware will, naturally, run the Google-designed software very snappy. We expect nothing but lightning-fast responsiveness from the Nexus 6P. However, some may find stock Android a bit on the boring side – as we said, it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that other manufacturers like to add to their smartphones. Think split-screen, customizable app drawer, customizable quick toggles, and many, many more.

The Note5's TouchWiz is a bit slimmer than the one we could find on the 2014 Galaxy Note 4, but it still retains that Samsung touch. The interface looks lighter, but we assure you, there are a few features that you will actually miss. Add on top of this the S Pen stylus, which makes using the Note5 as an organizer that much easier and pleasurable, and we have a true contender for the 1st place in the functionality contest. However, even lightened, we've noticed TouchWiz still lagging here and there, so there is still a toll to be paid.

The Nexus 6P will come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, bringing some cool new features, such as native support for fingerprint sensors, much better control over app permissions, Google Now on tap, and the battery-saving Doze. The Note5? Well, you know how it goes – all other manufacturers take their time before updating their handsets, and Google's Nexuses are certainly the devices that are guaranteed to receive Android updates the longest. At least that's what history tells us so far.

Processor and memory

In accordance with its aspirations to be a 2015 flagship, the Nexus 6P, naturally, packs a 2 GHz, 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 under its hood. The processor was off to a rocky start this year, as rumors about it overheating spread early in 2015. It still came through, it seems, as it's currently humming under the hoods of a lot of this year's top-class devices.

Samsung decided to steer away from the Snapdragon 810, allegedly due to the overheating debacle, and chose to use its home-made 2.1 GHz, 64-bit, octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC, which managed to wow tech heads with its solid performance throughout the year.

In terms of memory, the Nexus 6P has the more modest 3 GB of RAM, whereas the Note5 packs 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. To be honest, the latter is a bit overkill at the moment, however, users who want to have "future-proof" stamped all over a device, will certainly appreciate the extra gig of random access memory.

The Nexus 6P comes in three storage variants – 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB. The Galaxy Note5, on the other hand, only comes in two – 32 GB and 64 GB. Neither of the phones offers microSD expansion.


We have huge expectations for both the Nexuses' cameras. They rock the same Sony-made sensor, which offers a 12.3MP resolution with 1.55-micron pixels. The reason we mention this in particular is due to the fact that most smartphones employ 1.22-micron pixels in their cameras. A larger sensor pixel can collect much more light for shorter periods of time, so the Nexus 6P's camera should show some impressive low-light photo-taking prowess. In fact, Google said that the 1.55-micron pixels are so effective that the company doesn't think the camera needs optical image stabilization (and it doesn't have one).

The Galaxy Note5 rocks a 16 MP sensor and, as we've already had a lot of time with the phone, we found it to take excellent photographs. It has a larger resolution, which promises better detail reproduction than the Nexus, at least on paper. And the Note5's camera is assisted by OIS, which help it not only for low-light shots, but also when shooting in shaky conditions.

Now, the bells-and-whistles rule applies here, too – stock Android's camera app will probably not be as elaborate as the one found on the Note5's TouchWiz, which is quite sophisticated. Still, Google did say that the Nexus 6P will be capable of recording 240 FPS slow-motion video, 4K clips, and even GIF animations, so the Android Camera may not be far behind the TouchWiz one, albeit not as sophisticated.


Based entirely off of on-paper specs and educated expectations, one can't easily point out the "better" phablet here. As previously said, the Galaxy Note5 is often touted as the "best Android phablet money can buy", but the Nexus 6P seems to promise a lot in terms of design, function, camera, and battery life. Indeed, if one is craving some snappy, stock Android on their phone, and can live without the S Pen, they may wish to wait a bit and check out the Google Nexus 6P, as it's a serious contender.

Related phones

Nexus 6P
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h talk time)
Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)



1. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

I do think the Note 5 beats the Nexus 6P in specs, however, I decided not to go with the note 5 mostly because of touchwiz and my main motivation to go with the nexus is because it's stock. My nexus 5 still keeps up with current flagships of today although it may seem underpowered. Hopefully it will be the same story for the nexus 6P. Another awesome thing is dat huge battery

3. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

Agreed. The aesthetics of the Nexus are remarkably better. No unnecessary logos decorating the front, no horrendously ugly varied types of buttons at the bottom, just sleek black minimalism. TouchWiz with its gaudiness and bloatware is a deal breaker, and I will absolutely trade a slightly better display and the S Pen for better battery life, stock Android, and fast updates. Just waiting for reviews to finalize my order.

4. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

I doubt the Nexus 6P will have better battery life than the Note 5. The Exynos SoC is more power efficient and the SD810 (even with the 2.1 iteration) will suck the battery dry. I'm wishing some OEM would eventually release a phone with Exynos 7422-30 and a massive 5,000 mAh battery.

6. greenrolaids

Posts: 56; Member since: Feb 04, 2012

combine the v2 version of the 810 marshmallow will save battery life when sleeping. and the 3400mAmp battery. Should equate to bettery battery life. Plus the 70% charge in 10 min. will be pretty darn cool. And that its a pure nexus device, ie getting updates waaay quicker and being supported for over 2 years. You get more with the note5, but you also pay more. Note5 after taxes is almost $800. Vs. $549 after taxes for the nexus. Its all personal preferance, but my hard earned dollers are going nexus.

15. DaveElliott

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

New Note 5 GSM is 580.00 usd pretax on ebay right now. Ships from CA, although I'm sure what shipping adds.

13. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

I bet any difference in SOC efficiency is insignificant. Issues with battery life are mostly software related.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The display usually causes the most battery drainage these days

5. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The Note 5 probably has better battery life.

8. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

The only reason the note 5 would be because of its aggressive memory management. But I really dought that the nexus 6P with a larger battery and stock marshmallow would be worse.

10. Dinged

Posts: 37; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

Here's my wishlist which no one has been able to hit yet: -up to 5.7" amoled display -f2 or lower aperture, sony 1/2.6" sensor or larger, ois, laser focus, camera2 api compatible w/raw -4k recording (at least 30 fps), 1080(at least 120 fps), 720(at least 240 fps) -pure google experience -min 32gb w/sd storage option -any processor that can drive the 4k/slow motion recording/playback and recording with no lag -fingerprint scanner -nfc -water resistant -quick charge capable

22. RisinT96

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

Aside from clean android and the amoled display, I think the Sony Xperia Z5 series is pretty much perfect. But my understanding it that they reduced on the bloatware a LOT so you get a very close to pure android phone.

16. DaveElliott

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

I have a Note 4 and feel the lag of TouchWiz. My mom's Note 5 has no lag and who cares about the crap you delete or throw into a subfolder. Fortunately, she doesn't need sd or extra battery so it works for her.

17. fredphoesh

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 25, 2010

Yes... I have a Note 4 and want to upgrade to the 6P as I'm tired of touchwiz lags... I don't believe Samsung can make a phone as smooth as a 2013 nexus 5. I don't use the stylus either, sooo forward to the smoother experience. I wish it was WATERPROOF! Xperia Z5 is my next favourite.

19. iushnt

Posts: 3174; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

You can try s6 edge +, it has no lag

29. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

It might not have lag but it gets slow over time, and for me it hangs for few seconds mostly when screen is off and I press power(home) button. also there is lag I would say most of time(not always) when keyboard pops up.. Thing is this is not just with S6 edge+ its with all new galaxy lines. I had S6 for almost 20days then I switches to green S6 edge+(felt it had better battery) then I had note 5(gold) and I felt note 5 got slow over time and I had same issues and then I got S6 edge+(black/blue) now its about 2 weeks and I can feel its getting slow(actually I'm using two phones Nexus 6 along with S6 Edge+ ) Thats just my experience. Battery of Note 5 was better then S6 Edge+

23. maverick786us

Posts: 159; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I didn't quite understand. Why the hell did Google choose an Chinese vendor Hiuwai for their flagship phablet. Its bit frustrating LG is fine. I think Google should start manufacturing Nexus devices by themselves instead of relying on 3rd party vendor and their nexus devices should have premium luxury feel like iPhones and Galaxy

27. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

Nexus 6p has a luxury feel, cant you see? Plz have a look again. I hope it might change your views. Huawei has done a remarkable job and deserve some praise. For your kind information, Foxconn is a chinese vendor too and you are calling its iphone a luxury feel? Plz dont act like a hypocrate bcoz it made Doggie feel sad.

2. blue305

Posts: 26; Member since: Sep 23, 2015

Finally nexus phones got goos cameras. Can't believe how ni e are the camera samples from 6P

7. combatmedic870

Posts: 987; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

I'm curious about battery life and if the nexus will over heat....

9. green2u

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

Samsung really screwed the pooch on my Note 2, ceasing Android updates on it when it was less than 2 years old. I believe Nexus phones receive updates for at least 2 years. That's a major factor for my selection of Nexus over Samsung.

12. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I was have Galaxy Note 2. I'm happy Samsung can upgrade to Kitkat. I also see Nexus UI only has basic UI of android OS more or less I feel like have android one

25. ichibanmugen

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

It should be exactly the same as Android One. (google launcher and UI) or also known in the android community as AOSP, which is the Default Android UI.

20. iushnt

Posts: 3174; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Note 2 of my friend got lollipop

11. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

The 6P seems to have a larger footprint than the Note 5. Definitely a deal breaker.

18. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

That silver titanium Note 5 looks sick.

24. MDave

Posts: 210; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Touchwiz and the S Pen is what makes the Note actually useful. Stock Android on a phone of that size means carrying a brick in your pocket with none of the benefits.

26. ichibanmugen

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 30, 2015

Not necessarily, It's always good to use it for reading/media consumption.

28. rajendra82

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

I will never tout a Samsung device as future proof, no matter how much RAM it has. The software on there devices appears to be written by cheapest people they can find., and everything ships with bugs. The current software on the Note 5 is a buggy version of Lollipop that kills apps in memory too soon, slowing the phone down when doing the same tasks again. Samsung will promise to fix this with Marshmallow update, but by the time the Samsung bloatware gets tested on it, and then the carriers get their say in putting their bloat and running tests, the update will not hit until 6 months into next year. By that time Samsung would announce Note 6, and move on. Android N update will be promised, and will take forever to be delivered. It will likely not be pushed out until Android O has already hit. There will never be any update to Android O, and Samsung would be busy with Note 6 and 7. You will install a custom mod, if you figure out how to unlock the boot loader, and then you will be faced with bugs due to new version of android fighting with old versions of binaries tacked on. In the meanwhile the Nexus 6P will get monthly updates. You can test drive developer previews of Android N and O a few months early, or wait a week after release to get them. The community will be thriving for two years after the device support officially ends, and custom ROMS will be bug free due to all binaries being kept up to date. Which of these two phablets sounds more "future proof" to you?

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