Google Nexus 6 vs Google Nexus 5
Interface and functionality
Stock Lollipop runs like a charm on the two Nexus phonesi, but the lack of one-handed mode plagues the huge Nexus 6 phablet.
Both being Nexus devices, the phones sport the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop build with all the flat and minimalistic Material Design it brings, and all the under-the-hood improvements, like a new kernel and native 64-bit support. The interface runs smooth on both handsets, without noticeable lag and hiccups, and moves in a typical fluid stock Android fashion.
And of course, there are all of the cool new features of Lollipop, which, like any successive update, only diversifies and deepens the experience. We’re not going to rehash all of them, but we’ll share a couple that stand out. In particular, we’re ecstatic to see that we’re now given support for multiple users, which isn’t something necessarily new with Android per se, seeing that Android tablets have offered this feature since the release of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. With Android 5.0 Lollipop, however, this is the first time smartphones are being given access to it.
Another new feature that we normally don’t get with other platforms is the ability to “pin” apps with Lollipop. We wouldn’t say it’s something we’d use frequently, but when the occasion arises when it’s needed, there’s no kidding that it proves its usefulness. The premise with pinning is being able to lock the phone to use one specific app, so if you have a friend who is notorious for posting weird status messages on your Facebook as they’re borrowing your phone, they won’t be able to do that because the phone is locked to a certain app – say like the web browser or something.
Considering that we’re dealing with a phablet-like device here with the Nexus 6, it’s missing certain elements that take full advantage of the larger real-estate it has over other smartphones, though. There are no one-handed modes, split window multitasking, or scooching the keyboard, dialer or calculator left or right to help with typing.
Courtesy of Lollipop, both handsets sport a neat new feature, called Ambient Display. It lights the screen up automatically when you pick up the phone, or when you receive a notification, which is time-saving if it's lying next to you on the table, but can be turned off at will.
Processor and memory
Top-of-the-line Snapdragon 805, more RAM and twice the storage in the Nexus 6 make this quite the unfair fight.
The battle of the chipsets is not a fair one here, as the Nexus 6 comes equipped with a quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC, coupled with an equally beefy 3GB or RAM and the Adreno 420 GPU. The Nexus 5 steps two CPU generations back, donning a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 silicon and 2 GB RAM. Frankly, since both are running the light and flat stock Android interface, they both feel fast and fluid in everyday usage.
Nexus 6 models come with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, while Nexus 5 starts you off with 16 GB, and you can pay extra for a 32 GB option. Both are lacking microSD slots for storage expansion, so pick wisely.
AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 49480
Google Nexus 5 26340
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 2731
Google Nexus 5 1166
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3644
Google Nexus 5 2607
Sunspider Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 797.6
Google Nexus 5 723.9
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 27.9
Google Nexus 5 23
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12
Google Nexus 5 9.4
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1470
Google Nexus 5 891.3
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1062
Google Nexus 5 939
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3295
Google Nexus 5 2889
Internet and connectivity
Chrome’s functionality with the two phones hasn’t greatly changed with Lollipop, so the experience is for the most part identical to any other Android smartphone running the browser. Lollipop introduces the option of having individual page tabs appear in the app switcher as separate entities. Overall, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary with the experience here, seeing that we’re presented with fast pages loads, instant page rendering, and that tight feel with navigational controls.
The Nexus 6 and 5 are available in two variants - one for the US market, and another for the rest of the world. The US model of the Nexus 6 offers support for 12 LTE bands, while the Nexus 5 makes do with 9. The international version goes up to 10 bands for the Nexus 6, and six bands for the Nexus 5. The handsets support up to 42 Mbps HSPA+ download speeds, too, if your carrier's 3G network can supply those, of course. Both units are armed with the usual set of connectivity features we’d expect to find – like A-GPS, Bluetooth, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and NFC.
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