Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Nexus 6P: Vote for the better phone

If you've grown accustomed to phablets, or just don't mind lugging around a device the size of a small tablet, then you've likely eyed both the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Google Nexus 6P with interest on more than one occasion. Undeniably among the freshest of offerings this year, the two giants take markedly different approaches in most categories, and specifically in terms of design — both hardware and software.

It won't come off as a surprise if we told you that we're always interested in your take on most topics, and in this case we wanted to hear your take on these two well-rounded smartphones, broken down into categories. It goes without saying that the aim here is for you to be as objective as possible, and to vote your heart even if it means going against a device you own.


After years of endless complaints, Samsung took note in 2015, and came up with a fundamentally different design language for its high-ends. The Note 5, which is really an up-scaled and slightly tweaked Galaxy S6, exhibits all the great qualities of that new vision: premium-felling metal and glass throughout, a relatively slim chassis, and no removable battery mumbo-jumbo. If you were to ask us, it's the most stylish Galaxy Note member to date.

Up in Google's camp, things look similar. Built by Huawei — a company more invested in metal builds than pretty much everyone save HTC — the contoured, all-aluminum Nexus 6P comes across as decisively premium and also a big step forward compared to the older Nexus 6. Huawei's influence is also apparent with the rear-mounted, touch-type fingerprint scanner, which comes in stark contrast to the solution available at the front of the Note 5. 

In terms of size, the Nexus 6P is notably taller, a tad wider and heavier, but also slimmer than the Note 5. Since the screen diagonals are essentially identical, this means that Samsung has achieved a better screen-to-body ratio, which sits at approximately 76.62% — versus 71.60% for the Nexus 6P.

Armed with this information and the comparison images below, which one would you say you prefer in terms of design?

Galaxy Note 5 vs Nexus 6P: Which is the better designed?

Galaxy Note 5
Nexus 6P


While the Huawei/Google duo went for markedly different styling with the Nexus 6P when compared to the Samsung camp, the two devices are actually quite alike when talking displays. At least on paper.

You're looking at two 5.7-inch AMOLED panels — a Samsung-branded Super AMOLED in the case of the Note 5 — that both offer Quad HD resolutions (1440 x 2560) and an identical pixel density of 518 ppi. That's about where the differences end, however.

With the Note 5 under the non-default 'Basic' display mode, we measured a significantly higher maximum nit brightness of 470 nits (versus just 356 nits), a notably lower color and grayscale error, but less ideal average gamma that tends to brighten up highlights unnaturally. The Nexus 6P's average gamma might appear spot on, but it's also consistently higher than optimal, so the image is generally darker than ideal. Still, on the whole, we'd say the two offer about the same level of fidelity on the gamma front, just going at it from different directions.

Based on this summary and after consulting the below tables and measurements, which of the two offers the better display?

Galaxy Note 5 vs Nexus 6P: Which display is better?

Galaxy Note 5
Nexus 6P


Perhaps the most striking difference between Samsung's Note 5 and Google's Nexus 6P is the software running things. Sure, we're talking about Android in both cases, but with the latter you're looking at pure, vanilla Android — just the way Google intended it — without any bloat. The build on the Nexus 6P is the 6.0 Marshmallow one, and is therefore newer in comparison with the 5.1 Lollipop version (with TouchWiz on top) available with the Note 5.

The Nexus 6P is also guaranteed to get updates as soon as Google pushes them out in the future, while the Note 5 will require Samsung engineers to first port everything to TouchWiz. Of course, in return you're getting quite a bit more extra features, including goodies such as MultiWindow, a one-handed mode, and the whole S-Pen stylus suite.

Keeping all this in mind, which interface do you like more in terms of UX design and feature set?

Galaxy Note 5 vs Nexus 6P: Which interface do you like better?

Galaxy Note 5
Nexus 6P


When it comes to the main shooters on these two phablets, neither of the two snappers has clear superiority. 

The Note 5 is equipped with a 16-megapixel camera (16:9), made by either Sony or Samsung (depending on the batch), with super-wide,  f/1.9 lens, phase detection auto focus, and optical stabilization. As for Google's Nexus 6P, we're looking at a more standard, 12.3-megapixel sensor (4:3), with wide, f/2.0 lens, laser-assisted auto focus, and dual LED (versus single on the Note 5) flash. The camera here has no optical stabilization, but it's actually notably larger (1/2.3" vs 1/2.6"), which coupled with the lower amount of pixels packed into it, results in larger, 1.55 μm pixels (vs 1.12 μm with the Note 5).

Both cameras can shoot up to 4K UHD video at 30FPS, but the Nexus 6P is better at slow motion video, managing up to 240 frames per second, whereas the Note 5 is limited at 'just' 120FPS.

Here are some image and video samples meant to aid you in choosing the better camera. Which one do you like more?

Galaxy Note 5 vs Nexus 6P: Which has the better camera?

Galaxy Note 5
Nexus 6P

Related phones

Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 7.0 Nougat
    Samsung TouchWiz UI
Nexus 6P
  • Display 5.7 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB,
  • Battery 3450 mAh
  • OS Android 8.1 Oreo



116. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

But without touchwiz, Samsung will be no different with other phone. For me the features like Google movie, play book, music are bloatwares. And touchwiz is the only way to maximize its hardware in Samsung phones. Features in Camera and Media players are the real ecsamples. Lags it seems are problem in products with carriers not with no carriers ones. Correct me if I am wrong. And one more quetions. If you realy love stock Android, why many of you modify it wig another ROMs? Should you more happier with what it is rather than change it to another? Because it sounds hypocrites to me. Thank you

117. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

This coment is for JeffDenver

118. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

LOL...why do people keep saying that? Of course Samsung would be different from every other phone. They would have the best hardware on the planet. Hardware is how they would be different from other phones. Why do people think Skins are such a big deal? If touchwiz was really such an asset, Samsung would not prevent you from uninstalling it. They prevent that because they know full well that most people would get rid of it if they had the choice.

119. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

Lag has nothing to do with the carrier. Touchwiz alone lags way more than it should. My ancient Nexus 5 with marshmallow is fast and smooth despite having significantly inferior hardware to the Note 5. Touchwiz is entirely the reason for that. People like customization. The reason it's different with vanilla android is are not stuck with stuff you don't want, and you can add the stuff you do want. Vendor skins take that choice away. They impose Samsung/HTC/LGs choices on you. That is why people hate skins. Even many Samsung fans hate Touchwiz.

120. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Then they are hypocrites. Sorry if it sounds rude, because it is just my opinion. They scream at their lungs 'STOCK IS THE BEST'. Yet, they get rid the stock ROM and everything with another. Do you get my point? Well, different people have different taste. It seems the new Samsung CEO have good plans for Samsung Services. And Note 6 rumored to have Dual OS. Good replacement for my Note Edge. Thank You Mr JeffDenver.

121. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

Not sure how they're hypocrites. They say it's better because it gives them options that Touchwiz and other skins do not. Which is true. They can get the benefits they want without the lag and bloat of a vendor skin that they don't want. You happen to be one of the few people that likes all the bloat and doesn't care about the lag. But that's not the norm, even among Samsung owners.

113. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

No, In my opinion you are wrong. With Samsung you have best services from both different companies. You can have both S-Pay and Android Pay, You can have Oculus service and Google Cardboard service and etc. Not to mention their gifts/bonuses. And Vanilla android too plain for my taste though.

112. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

No, In my opinion you are wrong. With Samsung you have best services from both different companies. You can have both S-Pay and Android Pay, You can have Oculus service and Google Cardboard service and etc. Not to mention their gifts/bonuses. And Vanilla android too plain for my taste though.

115. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

Which would be great if not for the price you pay...lag and bloatware. No option to uninstall it. When are you expecting you think you'll get it before Christmas of 2016? Touchwiz is like those people on the hoarder shows...tons of crap all over their houses that they think they want but never use. And can't get rid of.

109. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Hello, new member here. Sorry of I dont agree. If nexus realy first class than Note 5. Why highclass people still prefer Samsung over Nexus? Correct me if I am wrong.

107. pnut91red

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 24, 2015

When the Nexus (or any other phone) gets a stylus I'll have a look. Until then .. Note gets the Vote!

106. barondebxl

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

The Note 5 gets my vote. Its built better, is more powerful and future proof. Who knows how the 810 will hold up a few months from now.

99. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Nexus 6P? That flip phone?

98. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I personally find it a pretty safe bet that people who says the Note 5 lags have never used the phone for any longer than 2 minutes at bestbuy. Turn off the crappy flipboard page and the GS6 is the fastest phone I have ever used EVER. The Note 5 should be faster. And I just got my my 6p and had the 5x for a good long while. I also have the iPhone 6s for a work phone and used windows phone before as well. I just haven't really used bb10. And I have had my GS6 since launch which is over 6 months. So excuse me if I find the people that says the Note 5 lags are full of s**t and just hate Samsung or own a 6p but have never touched the Note 5. The Note 5 is superior in pretty much every way, especially size.

104. Shocky unregistered

Neither the Galaxy S6 or the Note 5 lag. They've had time to iron out the bugs with the first few firmwares on the Galaxy S6 and now all is well, it was a new version of touchwiz so to be expected I guess.

89. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

Oh my god. Can anyone compare Note5 with Nexus 6P. Note5 is the king of 2015. I am sure only Apple babies are voting for Nexus 6P.

90. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I'm no crapplé baby, I voted for the Nexus 6P in the camera section, Note 5 wins everything else...

94. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

Do you think Nexus 6P have better camera? Is it a joke?

95. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

The pictures speak for themselves, it's no joke...unless the photographer intentionally made the Note 5 overblow certain images and black-out in others, while the Nexus 6P remained great looking.

96. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

Please use personally to compare camera. Note5 camera will blow you away.

111. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

The Note 5 is blowing out highlights in several of those images, and has less detail in others. So yeah, it's not a joke. Unless the photographer is deliberately trying to make the Note look bad.

88. ananthu07 unregistered

Take a look at the colour accuracy charts of 6P and Note5. The target colours are different for both. Look at both target reds and greens.

73. chenski

Posts: 793; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

A lot of samsung fans here, so any vote articles will be biased, including blind camera articles

79. tedkord

Posts: 17520; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

How can they bias a blind comparison?

67. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Physical design= Note 5, anything else= Nexus 6P (specially in UI)

61. Topcat488

Posts: 1424; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

The Note 5 won in every category except "camera" IMO... Design: Looks speak for itself, it's beautiful. Display: Chart Measurements speak for itself... *GAMMA- Lower is Better. Interface: The Note5 at lollipop 5.1 is WELL in ADVANCE of Marshmallow 6.0, so updates, eh. Camera: Nexus6 wins this category hands down... Samsung lost by default!!! The daylight shots are too bright and the nighttime shots are too dark, Note5 lose in camera to Nexus6, Samsung. O.o

58. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Wow, the Nexus 6P's camera is so great. Many parts that were all blacked-out by the Note 5 showed clearly in the Nexus 6P. In some of the images, the Note 5 seemed a bit overblown with brightness whereas they appeared pretty great with Nexus. On the other hand, in the low-light shots, the Note 5 seems to do a good job with objects that are bright whereas the Nexus 6P makes it look overblown. Then again, it makes more of the image visible in the low-light shot whereas the Note 5 was blacked-out...I'm giving the vote to the Nexus 6P, great job on the camera google. Everything else, the Note 5 takes my vote.

56. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

no need for Samsung related polls, when you are preaching to the choir. Regardless, I will take a Nexus anyday over touchwiz ui

52. tedkord

Posts: 17520; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Display: Note 5 Design (aesthetics): Note 5 Camera: too close to call Updates: Nexus 6p (duh) Features: Note 5 UI: subjective, but either can be changed with a launcher so it doesn't matter

57. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I like design of both but I would take note 5 over 6p just for curved back. It makes phone feel much smaller in hand.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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