Samsung Galaxy S6 edge vs Motorola Nexus 6: first look

Introduction


With the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge storming out of the gates, we'll take a look at how a last year's flagship phablet - the Motorola & Google-machined Nexus 6 - compares to a product that's been through a year of innovation since its predecessor - the Galaxy S5 - was announced.

Design


The Galaxy S6 edge is unusually design-conscious for a Galaxy phone: it’s slim, lightweight, and made of premium materials (metal for the frame and glass on both front and back). With such build qualities, the utilitarian Nexus 6 barely stands a chance. It has a plastic shell and metal outer trim without anything all that special about them. Which isn't really a bad thing, as there are many fans of this understated look. Besides, Nexus devices were never made to impress the masses. They are for the spec enthusiasts and developers - their modest designs absolutely work for this crowd.

As you can clearly see, the Galaxy S6 edge lacks those front-firing stereo speakers that crown the Nexus 6's upper and bottom bezels. It also lacks one more thing.

Display


With a 5.1-inch curved AMOLED screen with a 1440 x 2560-pixel (Quad HD) resolution at the front of the parade, the Galaxy S6 edge could realistically grab the mobile display crown of 2015. Not only is this screen impeccably sharp, but Samsung has improved the brightness levels too, with the screen reportedly reaching up to 600 nits!



But the Nexus 6 is no slouch either! Not only it's a match for the Galaxy S6 edge's screen technology, it also plots it on a significantly larger area by diagonal - that's 6 inches of brilliant display you're getting! It doesn't have those eye-catching curves, and its glass cover is a fingerprint magnet, but it's really good for the most part. Still, Samsung's latest AMOLED panels are better in terms of brightness levels and color reproduction, so if you want the best display for your money, go with team Korea.



Interface: TouchWiz vs stock Android Lollipop


For the Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung put its TouchWiz Android interface on yet another diet. It seems even less cluttered now, more streamlined and overall cohesive. Of course, the typically Korean cheerful, jolly look to everything still stays. It's friendly, we like it.



What about the Nexus 6? It was destined to run either Android as it came out of Google's fortress in Mountain View, or whatever you please - if you're savvy enough to tinker with custom ROMs and kernels. Pure stock Android 5.0 Lollipop is such a joy to use, but it's so squeaky-clean and transparent that you'd be forgiven if you wanted something more out there, you know? Either way, both smartphones pack enough basic apps to get you going with productivity and entertainment tasks, but keep in mind that Samsung has prepared a mobile payments system - Samsung Pay - to take over the United States and Korea with. The Nexus 6 doesn't have the fingerprint sensor or security platform (Samsung KNOX) to support this functionality.



Processor and Performance


The Galaxy S6 edge features a 14nm octa-core chipset that is the first of its kind in the mobile industry, according to the company. Samsung did not say that it is using its homegrown Exynos 7420 processor, but we consider this a public secret at that point. It is paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a powerful ARM Mali T760 GPU. Our first benchmarks have shown this configuration has seriously impressive capabilities, reporting excellent results in processing and graphics performance.

The Nexus 6 too is a formidable piece of hardware. It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which is still one of the most potent chipsets available right now. It's not the Snapdragon 810, and it doesn't obliterate AnTuTu quite like Samsung's processor did in our benchmarks, but it aces Quad-HD and 4K content and it will take quite a bit of punishment before you feel it slowing down.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 49480
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 69042
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 27.9
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 39
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 15
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3295
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 5181
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1062
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 1473


Storage-wise, the Galaxy S6 edge comes with 32GB of extremely fast UFS 2.0 flash storage, which will surely give it an edge (wink) against competing smartphones with respect to app and content loading times. The Nexus 6 doesn't have that blistering fast memory, but it has two times more of the stuff - it comes with 64GB as standard.

Camera


Samsung is a strong player in the mobile camera department, and by the looks of it, the Galaxy S6 edge will be a photography force to be reckoned with! The camera resolution stays at 16 MP, but it sees the addition of HDR, infrared white balance, and tracking auto-focus for the video camera. Samsung also upgraded the camera module with a wide, F1.9 aperture that could deliver better low-light image quality than that of the Galaxy S5, whose aperture size was F2.2. In addition, the camera app itself now resides permanently in the smartphone's RAM memory, and launches in a near instant with a double-press of the home button. As for the front cam, it's a 5MP unit.



The Nexus 6’s 13-megapixel camera is camera hardware in good light, as it features an f/2.0 aperture lens, optical image stabilization, dual-LED flash ring, 2-megapixel front camera, and up to UHD 4K video recording. Megapixels aside, this camera can definitely hold its own against Samsung's latest and greatest, coming up with detailed and color-accurate daylight photos, and featuring an HDR+ mode that helps it perform well in low light situations. Naturally, both cameras take 4K video as well, and tell you what, it looks great on those pixel-dense 2K displays!



Battery life


The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge packs a 2600mAh unit, which sounds a bit less reassuring than we'd like it to. However, Samsung is giving it a pretty good prognosis! It should be enough for 12 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 11 hours of browsing over LTE, up to 13 hours of media playback, and up to 49 hours of music playback with the display turned off. But still, we'd rather let our proprietary battery test be the final authority on the matter. In addition, the Galaxy S6 edge comes with fully embedded wireless charging, working with any wireless pad on the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. Not only that, but Samsung also developed a fast wired charging solution that's able to give you 4 hours of usage after just 10 minutes on the charger. Once again, we'll have to see about that in practice.

The Nexus 6 is a comparatively larger device with a comparatively larger battery - it's a 3220mAh unit that does a respectable job of powering this behemoth of a smartphone for 7 hours and 53 minutes of on-screen usage. It too has wireless charging as standard, and it comes with a charger that tops of the battery to the max in about a hour and a half.

Expectations


Honestly, we can't really imagine folks that walked away impressed with Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge going for a device as understated and bulky as the Nexus 6. On the other side, those who are happy with their Nexuses already will probably hold onto them for another year or two, as the phablet is pretty futureproof - even if it isn't going for full-on 64-bit processing.


Related phones

Galaxy S6 edge
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2600 mAh(26h talk time)
Nexus 6
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3220 mAh(24h talk time)

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8 Comments

1. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

nothing is as good looking as the amazing s6 edge

2. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

The Nexus 6 looks old now.

3. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

what color is that Edge??? is that the green? it looks chrome to me

4. Dj_Yawar

Posts: 43; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

those ugly reflections :-(

5. Truth

Posts: 62; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

is what you say when you look in the mirror. j/k

6. zelahit

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Hard to choose between these two.

7. jnoot

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 08, 2015

I've squeezed out an Antutu score of 51291 out of my nexus 6. Stock device.

8. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Nexus 6 wasnt great at all... :C Nexus 4 and 5 were really great.

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