Google Nexus 6 vs Google Nexus 5
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.
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.