Camera

The Nexus 6 shooter won't top any camera comparison charts, but it is pretty well-rounded, unlike the camera of the Nexus 5, which often has white balance issues.

The 13 MP camera on the Nexus 6 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. The Nexus 5 answers with quite the modest 8 MP shooter with f/2.4 aperture and optical image stabilization in its turn, able to muster 1080p video recording “only”.

The snapping app on both phones is Google's Camera – one that’s been available for quite some time as a downloadable app in the Play Store. Yet again, we can see Lollipop’s favor of offering a cleaner and simpler UI, since the Camera app’s interface is predominantly reserved for the viewfinder. In terms of shooting modes, we’re given photo sphere, panorama, HDR+ and lens blur.


Outdoors, both handsets take pretty decent photos, even in not so ideal lighting conditions. They often mess up the white balance measurements, casting an overly warm, yellowish hue over the scene (Nexus 5), or a leaning to the colder side of the spectrum somewhat (Nexus 6). The Nexus 6 exposure is largely spot on, while its predecessor often chooses an exposure setting that is a step under what it should be. The Motorola phone also captures a bit more detail than the Nexus 5.

The Nexus 6 performs well in terms of color presentation indoors, but the shots seem a tad too dark, and it introduces a bit too much noise in the frame. Indoors, the Nexus 5 fares well – it achieves decent exposure without washing it out too much, and the white balance issues from outdoors don't translate in low light. Its flash is very weak, though, when compared to the Nexus 6, and illuminates the scene quite unevenly, too.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 4
No data
393
303
Google Nexus 5 3.5
4
406
347

Motorola's phone is capable of 4K video, while the Nexus 5 maxes out at 1080p footage. The Nexus 6 video is very fluid, and the optical image stabilization makes the scene just flow in front of the lens without jittery effects. The color presentation is slightly colder than reality, while the overly warm tones from the Nexus 5, whose video is yellowish to the point of unpleasantness. The Nexus 6 overall exposure is better than what the Nexus 5 spits out, as it makes the video brighter, and exposure compensation while panning around is faster, too. Continuous autofocus works like a charm on the phablet, while we wish you good luck trying to focus back and forth with the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 tends to produce a rather unpleasant sound recording, especially when you're shooting in a noisy location (as can be heard in the video sample below). With the Nexus 6, things sound a whole lot better. Both phones record sound in mono, unlike plenty of current handsets that record stereo.


Multimedia


Needless to say, one big advantage of the huge Nexus 6 display over the 5-incher on the Nexus 5 is media consumption, as pictures, video and games just look and feel much better on a larger screen. As for the pixel density, that's of a dubious advantage, as it's unlikely you'll go through the trouble to dig out the rare 2K video out there just to watch it in native resolution on the Nexus 6, as the difference will be close to invisible to the naked eye. Motorola's phone, however, flaunts an AMOLED display, whose blacks are really deep, compared to the slightly greyish-looking ones on the LCD panel of the Nexus 5, which makes a difference while watching darker scenes in movies, for instance. However, you'll also need to have luck on your side when picking a Nexus 6 unit, since some of those suffer from inaccurate (bad) color reproduction. As for codec support, the phones play most popular formats you throw at them.


The tune players are identical, using Google's stock Play Music app, which, lo and behold, is pretty devoid of anything other than the basic features. Another media consumption point for the Nexus 6 are its two stereo speakers at the front, while the Nexus 5 is equipped with one loudspeaker only, and a pretty wimpy one at that.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 0.98
Google Nexus 5 0.36
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 75
Google Nexus 5 71


FEATURED VIDEO

24 Comments

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: 704; 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.

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Max nits = terrible

4. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; 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...

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.

6. DroidMystic

Posts: 91; 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.

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

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

9. Angst

Posts: 35; 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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

17. threeline

Posts: 313; 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.

19. Blazers

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

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

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.

21. Elusivellama

Posts: 73; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

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

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