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" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)
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 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h talk time)



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Note 5 hands down.. Nexus 6P would be my second pick for a Android flagship.

6. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Note 5 easy money. But exactly for a second flagship "phablet", the 6P will be one to go to.

12. Kumar123 unregistered

Nexus 6P is the best android phone of 2015. No doubt about it. All the esteem media and tech site rewarded 6P as the best and I fully agree. Note 5 is like second class citizen compared to nexus 6P.


Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 16, 2015


27. Shocky unregistered

Is that the same media that praised and rewarded HTC for the One M7 and M8 and proclaimed them the best. Oh wait, that turned out so well.

33. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not even close. The Note5 is not only the best Android phone, it's the best phone period

38. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

Not impressed with the photos...look at the 2nd one with blown out highlights on the droid doll on the left side. Same thing in pictures 7 and 8. Look at the graphic below the first window in picture #9, and then the 6p version in picture #10...on the 6p it is fully legible.

85. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yet.. until note6 but i dont expect much from note6 since note5 already great at everything :-/ but maybe they can add IRblaster, microSD, and removable battery

46. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Yeah, its nice to see how Nexus 6P works so great compared to iPhones

81. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

No need to insult we know you hate Sammy no matter how good their flagship was.

108. 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.

110. JeffDenver

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

The answer to your question is easy: Advertising.

114. 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.

53. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

NEITHER. Only an idiot buys a phone without removable battery and microSD. LG V10 is closest thing to a good phone in 2015.

82. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

So if one battery and 32mb is more than enough for your needs you are an idiot? Sounds like you should look in the mirror, see the idiot looking back?

87. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

i can't believe 32mb is more than enough.

64. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Note 5 is the best phablet Poll closed........ (good to see, nexus improved so much this year)

83. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

yep , went from an htc one m8 to a note 5 , best phone i ave ever touched ! tried my dad iphone 6s plus , great phone too would be my 2nd pick for a smartphone but i need more features

100. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Note 5 has marginally better techinical specifications, however the 6P wins in the only compartment that actually matters to most users: user interface and user experience.

2. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 294; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Nexus 6p will/should win all of them - i have the s6 edge and which was good first few months but it lags like hell now all samsung products are probably destined to do that. cost me 859 for this unusable pos- my one year old nexus 6 runs circles around this. I will never buy samsung again.

5. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

riiight. And you don't have 200 chinese apps either do you?

71. techandbeers

Posts: 110; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

HE'S RIGHT. My only concern with Samsung phones is that they lag. You don't have to have a bunch of crappy apps for that to happen. While using a Note 5, it feels much laggier compared to the nexus 6p, or even a moto x. Why do people always have to defend Samsung when it comes to lag? Sooooo many people see lag in Samsung phones. Just because you don't doesn't mean it isn't there.

78. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We defend when people like you make false statements. There is no lag on the Note 5. Just because you want to see it there doesn't make it so.

9. Jason2k13

Posts: 1462; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

"I will never buy Samsung again"... That line itself Probably means you don't own an S6. If what you say is true, then you got a faulty S6. My S6 edge never lags on me anymore after the 5.1 update. But 5.0 was pretty bad.

10. KParks23

Posts: 725; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

I used a s3 for 2 years and it will be the last samsung i buy period.. Tv, fridge everthing im done with them!

14. maherk

Posts: 6879; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Oh dayummm, Samsung is going bankrupt now lmao

41. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I had the same experience with my Galaxy S3, and pretty much any Samsung product I've owned or experienced (TVs, Bluray, etc). You can joke all you want, but if it happens enough times, it becomes an issue. And I seriously doubt that your average consumer is as loyal as most of the fanboys on this site. I'm not saying they're necessarily bad, but my experience forced me to swear them off as well, even though I like what they're doing with their lineup lately, it's their performance and reliability down the road that keeps me from going back to them. By the end of my first year with them I had extreme burn in on the screen, it had extreme lag after about 6 months, battery life was half of what it was at the start, GPS was useless, and just after the warranty expired it lost the ability to run mobile data, so now it's a WiFi only device. That's a lot of issues in just over a year of use, and I baby my stuff, it still looks like a new device. Taking all that into account, can you understand why I'm not willing to give them another chance?

68. JohnK

Posts: 117; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

Everyone who owned a S3 (and other Galaxy S from the series) knows that it was the worst despite its huge marketing success. Quad core looked so powerful back in that time with a new design that reviewers didn't dare to point its drawbacks : overheating even during simple calls, 1gb ram in international version and crippled storage space to 8gb for a "16gb official". People who just think that all Galaxy S are the same based on that only model should start to evolve. Like for any brand, you can't have a real mind on one unless you give it a shot several times at least.

20. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

I have used S3 for 3 years and bought S6 Edge - I havent been happier with anyother mobile.

72. techandbeers

Posts: 110; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

I've owned an S6 before and I can confirm what he is saying to be correct. You don't have to call the guy a liar because you disagree. Many people see lag in Samsung phones, and more than you're supposed to. Here is one of many links with others complaining about lag: just because it isn't an issue for you doesn't mean it isn't for someone else.

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

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