The understated Google Nexus 6 unveiling was enough of a hint that it won't be like any other Nexus so far, and we aren't talking about the pricing scheme only. Unlike its 5” Nexus 5 predecessor, the Nexus 6 sports a six inch screen (duh).

This has made the Motorola-made phablet huge and unmanageable with one hand, but no compromises have been made with its truly flagship specs. That's in stark contrast with the Nexus 5, crafted by LG, which debuted with specs just a step below LG's flagship at the time, but at half of what Google and Motorola are charging for the 6. Which approach to the Nexus line is better? Let's compare the two generations and find out...


Big as a shovel, the Nexus 6 has to be handled with two palms most of the time, while the unassuming Nexus 5 fits very comfortably in the hand.

The Nexus 6 chassis might be fairly compact for a 6-incher, as its bezels are pretty modest all around, but it still requires you to use it with two hands the vast majority of the time. It also leaves a sizable impact in your pocket, to the point that it's very uncomfortable to sit with this thing in your pocket, depending on how tight your pants are. The only thing that saves its manageability somewhat is the dimpled logo on the back, where your index finger can rest more comfortably while operating the phone. The Nexus 5, in contrast, is much more compact, not overly thin, and pretty comfortable to hold and operate with one hand. Both phones are built sturdy and look unpretentious. They are somewhat devoid of premium materials, and yet are ready to withstand the tests of time, and a few drops in the process. The Nexus 5 side keys are wobblier and a tad less clicky than the metal ones on the Nexus 6, which also look more premium, and are jaded with a pattern for extra grip.

Google Nexus 6

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 5

Google Nexus 5


5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches

137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm


4.59 oz (130 g)

Google Nexus 6

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 5

Google Nexus 5


5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches

137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm


4.59 oz (130 g)

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


The Nexus 5 screen is the more color-correct one, while the big AMOLED display of the Nexus 6 is oversaturated.

In sync with these times of super big-screen smartphones, the Nexus 6 is equipped with a 5.96-inch 1440 x 2560 Quad HD AMOLED display. Needless to say, your fingers strain to reach the corners of the display – so two-handed operation should be enforced using it. We can’t deny that its pixel density, clocking at a higher-than-normal 493 ppi, brings about sharp visuals for small text, icon edges and the like. But so does the Nexus 5's panel, which is a 5” 1080 x 1920 one, returning a pixel density of 445ppi. This count is not a far cry from the pixel density on the Nexus 6, and, frankly, indistinguishable from the Quad HD display in that respect when observed with a naked eye.

Where the Nexus 5 screen takes advantage, though, is a much higher brightness, and better color presentation. While the Nexus 6 exhibits the typical for AMOLED displays oversaturated colors, the Nexus 5's LG display is almost spot-on. Its color and grayscale Delta E deviations from the reference points are also much smaller than the ones of the Nexus 6. In terms of color temperature, both handsets perform very well, hitting close enough to the 6500K white point, which means the colors won't look overly cold or warm, so you can go shoe-shopping on both, just keep in mind the overblown hues on the Nexus 6, as you might get something else in the mail than what you ordered on the screen.



21. Elusivellama

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

Nexus 6. Too big, has a crappy AMOLED screen, too expensive.

20. ndearborn

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I thought the nexus 6 is the holy grail of all phones bowing to google and their ingeniity. This phone sucks, it constantly encounters the same issues as all galaxy phones (I have had every version of the galaxy Samsung phones) wait a minute its the same galaxy phone with android but made by motor on. I appreciate that no other carrier/hardware manufacturer software is uploaded. Nonetheless it still sucks. Its not smooth as some claim , it does not work well with "play" or many other applications. It stops ,.glitches ,I need to restart the phone all the time. I am disappointed , deeply in googles attempt to separate its self from the crowd. The size I can get used to but the lack of stability is really a disappointment for a class A google lover.

19. Blazers

Posts: 796; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

And in the N6 doesn't have an IR blaster....something I've become very attached to.

17. threeline

Posts: 325; Member since: Sep 11, 2011

The Nexus 5 doesn't have ambient display does it?

18. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Alas no, it does not.

15. brianbrain

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I wonder what version of Android L each phone was tested with. I've noticed an enormous gain in battery life after flashing the 5.0.1 factory image back to my N5. As always, to each their own, but I see no compelling reason to go with an N6. Even if there were, the N6's size would still deter me. I'd love to see LG come out with a phone with the G3's bezels on a 5" 1080p screen. I'd buy that in a heartbeat.

14. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

The Nexus 6 is only a slight upgrade over the Nexus 5 and definitely isn't worth the premium price.

13. rojiblanko

Posts: 25; Member since: Oct 14, 2011

In my own opinion the only thing is holding me to get the Nexus 6 is the Amoled screen, I've owned the Galaxy S, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note 2 and they all suffer from screen burn...I guess I'll stick around for another year with my Nexus 5!

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

What's the deal with showing the Nexus 5's KitKat interface in the Interface and Functionality page instead of Lollipop?

9. Angst

Posts: 40; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

I totally disagree with the analogy that the Nexus 6 has to be used with both hands most of the time. Having relatively average-sized hands - I don't have to use it double handed. There are times that I am stretching a bit to not use two hands but that's typically if I am doing some serious texting. Having had the Nexus 5 and now owning a Nexus 6, I don't have a problem with the increased price (Yes I wish it was cheaper, but people fail to realize Nexus has not always been a cheap phone.) Yes the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 4 were but I've owned a new Nexus ever year since the Nexus S, this is back to what the pricing was previously. My only real complaint is that Google seriously needs to do something about availability. the last three years straight have been abysmal executions of pre-ordering/ordering from the Play Store and in general. There's just no excuse a company as large as Google can't get the Ordering/Availability right.

8. nomancool

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

not sure whats wrong with your antutu benchmark score on nexus 5 .. because i am constantly getting 44000+ on stock lollipop 5.0.1 . you need to update your database . @phonearena

7. iPhoneboy597

Posts: 13; Member since: Dec 18, 2014

i like the nexus 6, but it would've been a better phone if it stuck with its 1080p display at 5.0" or max 5.2" screen, 6" is just too big for single handed use and not to mention it would've also been cheaper

6. DroidMystic

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

No matter what people think Google did a great job why the Nexus 6 although I wish the size could be 5.2" but still love big phones. And for those complaining about the size. What about the Tablet 7 inch and much taller? Even some Samsung fan saying that Google didn't take advantage of the 6 inch size. What about the tablet 7 inch and 10 inch? Does all use S Pen and does Multi Windows or multi touch? I love the browsing and Multi media also can add Gaming. So the 6 inch doesn't disturb me. It's is a complete win for me playing my Clash of Clans in the big screen. Nexus 6 win and deserve the price of $650 and still cheaper than the Note 4 by example.

5. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I have gone from Nexus 5 > LG G3 > Oneplus One. I don't know but the Nexus 5 is still my favorite phone. The only thing that let it down for me was the battery life. Oneplus One has been awesome so far.

4. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

The price an screen nits keep my N5 in my pocket another year.

11. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Those two points gave me pause as well, but eventually the better battery life and Motorola radios won me over. Re: Low nits - in sunlight it's not as bright as my N5 was, but I find it to be good enough.

12. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Exactly.. Price is also why I opted to order a Nexus 7 2nd Gen yesterday instead of a Nexus 9...

2. wando77

Posts: 1172; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Max nits = terrible

1. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

I lost my faith in google when they released nexus 6 at premium price and stopped the production of nexus 5 .....they didn't even lowered the price of nexus 5.... i don't know why google wants to make nexus a premium series...

3. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

Because it is premium this time. The only premium aspects of the nexus 5 were the snapdragon 800 SOC, 2 gigs of ram and maybe the display which by the way, was washed out and had grayish blacks.

16. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 2013

I, along with many others, would argue the nexus 5 was a pretty premium device. You can not tell me that the nexus 6 should be worth more than double the already solid nexus 5. That is my issue with Google. That is why people are upset. They want this phone spread to carriers to increase their margins, which is something most businesses would do. However, it is very disappointing when a powerhouse like google dismisses an already well implemented strategy to follow what the market is doing. Additionally, to try to force the massive screen size on people without a true upgrade to the nexus 5 was a huge let down for me.

24. asrr62

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

nexus 6 is way more premium than nexus 5. i had the nexus 5 and now i have the nexus 6. people that complain about the screen size ?? i dont know what drugs they are on but it does make them sound pretty stuped.

22. p51d007

Posts: 706; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Because Google "married up" with a lot of carriers. You can't expect the "poor" carriers to sell a phone under contract for only 400 dollars do you? If the "retail" price is 700 bucks, then the carriers can "save" you money by offering it for a reduced price of 299.99 UNDER CONTRACT, and the dopes that buy into that thinking they are saving a ton of money will come into the store with their wallets out ready to spend money, even though if they ran the numbers like I did a couple years ago, they would see that a single contract phone is way more expensive than just buying an N5 and going with a good MVNO.

23. asrr62

Posts: 56; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

i guess you havent heard of galaxy nexus? nexus phones have generally been around 500 - 700 dollars. nexus one $529.99, nexus s $529, galaxy nexus $649, nexus 4 $349, nexus 5 $349. now go buy an iPhone.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless