Interface and Functionality

Android 5.0 Lollipop in the Nexus 6 is that step forward for Google, but don’t count out TouchWiz and its many phablet-like features.

Yes, we certainly know that they’re both Android phones, but in looking at their respective experiences, there’s barely any resemblance between the two. That’s because the Nexus 6 is running the most up-to-date version of the platform, Android 5.0 Lollipop, which benefits from having a cleaner presentation and an arsenal of new features that haven’t been otherwise seen before. Conversely, the Galaxy Note 4 is running Sammy’s TouchWiz UI on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Even though it’s technically an older build of Android, the customization that Samsung has done also enhances the experience appropriately for a phablet.

Before we get into how their particular software features enhance the Android experience, let’s first place our attention on their visuals. Without a doubt, stock Lollipop sports a better layout and presentation than TouchWiz – thanks in part to the bold colors, natural motion, new typography, and other new elements that accompany its Material Design. Meanwhile, TouchWiz’s design has evolved a little bit from its cartoonish looking beginnings, but it’s still in need of a modern touch to catch our attention.

Where TouchWiz lacks in the visual department, it undeniably makes it up in its supreme set of software features. Don’t get us wrong, Lollipop introduces several new elements on the Nexus 6 that elevates the overall Android experience to a higher level, like having support for multiple users, prioritizing notifications, and pinning apps, but TouchWiz running on the Galaxy Note 4 offers features that are more practical for a phablet. For example, we have some additional multi-tasking capabilities with its Multi Windows feature, a nifty S Note app that makes good use of the S Pen, and a handy one-handed mode.

Processor and Memory

They’re powered by the same processor, but there’s more of that snappy feel with the Nexus 6.

Speed demons, that's what these two are with their performances. Interestingly enough, they're powered by the same chipset – a quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC, accompanied with 3GB of RAM and the Adreno 420 GPU. You'd think that they exhibit the same level of finesse with similar, basic operations, but they don't. Sure, they're mostly responsive for the most part, but there's more of that snappy feel with the Nexus 6 when it comes to navigating around the UI.

At the bare minimum, the two prized stallions are stuffed with a spacious 32GB of internal storage, but the Note 4 benefits from having a microSD card slot to supplement its capacity.

Quadrant Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12915
Samsung Galaxy Note4 24053
AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 49480
Samsung Galaxy Note4 41185.33
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 2731
Samsung Galaxy Note4 1230.33
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3644
Samsung Galaxy Note4 3041
Sunspider Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 797.6
Samsung Galaxy Note4 1087.87
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 27.9
Samsung Galaxy Note4 25.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12
Samsung Galaxy Note4 11.2
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1470
Samsung Galaxy Note4 1038.67
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1062
Samsung Galaxy Note4 1112.67
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3295
Samsung Galaxy Note4 3259.67

Internet and Connectivity

Due to their generous screen sizes, there's no denying that they're meant for surfing the web in full fidelity. Of course, the performance between the two are top notch – thanks in part to their LTE connections, quick page rendering, and buttery navigational controls. However, the Note 4 provides us with that desktop-like qualify with its S Pen stylus. Essentially, it functions similarly to a mouse – where it can be used to hover over certain elements.

Both handsets are available in an assortment of configurations; both GSM and CDMA. On top of that, they offer support for a variety of LTE bands – while also laying claim to the nearly the same set of connectivity features. They include aGPS, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and NFC. We have to point out, however, that the Note 4 also packs along an IR blaster, which doubles it as a universal remote.

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