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 Note 4 24053
AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 49480
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 41185.33
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 2731
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1230.33
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3644
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3041
Sunspider Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 797.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1087.87
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 27.9
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 25.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 12
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 11.2
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1470
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1038.67
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 1062
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1112.67
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 3295
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 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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37 Comments

1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

There is just Amoled and then there is a SAMSUNG Amoled ! When it comes to Amoled NO ONE does it better then Samsung ! #TakeABow

3. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Sammy king of Amoled But Nexus with Snappy 805 / Android 5.0 is pure performance , less features, ALOT less features , but unmatched performance

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Oh Yeah ? Well then tell me if Nexus 6 is better in performance then Note 4 then 1. Why did Note 4 beat Nexus 6 (with so called 'pure' android) comprehensively in battery department inspite of being about the same battery size ? 2. Why if Nexus 6 is so snappy then why does it take 4 secs to take a picture while Note 4 does it in 2.8 secs ? The thing is there is a perception out there that TouchWiz is heavy and laggy. Whereas, it has improved drastically with N4 and believe it or not it is even better then stock android. Visually it could use some facial uplift but it is extremely good and even better in some areas then stock android in performance department.

6. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Because Samsung with the use of TouchWiz was able to optimize their battery life in a way that stock android does not. Which is unfortunate. Fortunately the Nexus 6 still has an incredible battery life. As for the camera, it has to do with the camera selection that moto made and the fact that stock android again does not include the specific optimizations for that camera as with Samsung has done with its cameras.

9. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

It is well documented that the stock camera app (not the hardware but Google's camera algorithm) is absolutely dismal. Tell me one Nexus which had a decent camera, just one ?! I remember seeing the camera comparison of GS4 international and GS4 Google play edition comparison. Even then with the same optics GS4 GPE lost to GS4 international.

10. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Oh im using Touchwizz for 3 years now on different devices , but im also using Pure android as you call it on my nexus 5. I know Note 4 is better device in every possible way except when it comes to UI performance , i can switch between apps 2x faster on my Nexus 5 than i can on my Note 3, also when running some heavy apps or games like GTA SA and then press home button Nexus 5 reacts instantly while Note 3 takes 3-4 secs sometimes to redraw launcher .. Benchmark is test of GPU power in 90% of cases , but in general use you and everyone else notices how smoother AOSP is compared to any other Android skin.

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I agree with you on the first para but not on the second. Note 4's TouchWiz is a significant improvement over Note 3 that's why. Trust me I've tried it myself instore comparing it to my GS5 and Note 4 is much-much snappier then GS5. Here see the difference yourself:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUHjYP5NXzE Infact, it even beat iphone 6 plus:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVkaY-F6Zhs .......and things will only get better when TouchWiz is introduced.

13. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

That's because of S voice enabled the double tap on the home button to activate S voice, Just disable it, Simple!

14. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Yup. didn't think of that. LOL I just wish S voice just dies away. That thing shouldn't exist !

15. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Yeah ,LOL!! Once I got my Note 4 that was the first thing I did !

21. DroidMystic

Posts: 91; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

What do you call performance? Are you okay by saying that Samsung Touchwiz on the Note 4 perform better than the Nexus 6? The man talk about performance not features or options. Android Lollipop on Nexus 6 perform better than the Note 4 and you can see the performances through out the benchmarks. Samsung only get one higher speed than the Nexus 6. But for the rest the Nexus 6 kill the Note 4 in performance. Performance is based on the OS and Touchwiz or any other UI will not beat the Android stock.

32. shalinsaini29

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

If you put stock android on note 4 note 4 wins with any phone out there And if touch wiz did not had those features touchwiz is more snappy than stock

34. shalinsaini29

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

If you put stock android on note 4 note 4 wins with any phone out there And if touch wiz did not had those features touchwiz is more snappy than stock

25. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Also becz Samsung makes better performing batteries than Motorola

27. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

don't give me this crap that touchwiz is faster than stock android . nexus 5 is smoother and faster than note 4 but looks like nexus 6 is having some encryption issues .

28. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I am not giving you any 'crap'. The facts are in front of you I am only staying them. However, if you want to turn a blind eye to the facts in front of you then it's your prerogative. I've even linked some videos showing comparison between speed test of note 4 and iP6plus in some comments above. I only talk in facts if you can't swallow them its not my problem. 'encryption error' lol.

38. relic74

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

It takes me less than 1 sec, simply use a custom ROM like Pure Nexus, easy to install and will speed the phone up immensely. You can also increase the DISPAY NIT from 270 to 470.

7. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Nexus 6 is like putting intel i7 into chrome computer, when even i3 is too much for chrome. Waste of cpu. Note series are maximize to use both hardware and software.

23. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Both AMOLED displays are manufactured by Samsung -.-

37. relic74

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Actually Samsung cheats by increasing the saturation and NIT of their phones. Something that is easily replicated on your Nexus 6 by using a custom ROM like Resurrection Remix. I 've ncreased my NIT from 270 to 470, works and looks great.

2. nwright94

Posts: 211; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

Both great phones but I know now I definitely chose right with the Galaxy Note 4.

5. rockers123

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

What happened to the pure Android battery? Seems like Touchwiz is more optimized than Stock

8. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Nexus6 to big.

11. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Note 4 FTW Hands DOWN !!

16. junaidahmed

Posts: 103; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

Loving my note 4 even more, glad i didn't wait for this

17. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Will be getting mine in 4 weeks time. Exynos version. Imported from Korea.

19. sipha

Posts: 439; Member since: May 12, 2012

How did you get it imported all the way from korea?? & was it cheaper??

30. junaidahmed

Posts: 103; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

Awesome, mine is Exynos too. Hey, is the Exynos version 64bit?

18. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I was waiting for the nexus 6 but went ahead and ordered the note 4 instead. I should be receiving it soon. We shall see how great it really is.

20. nathan.carter

Posts: 416; Member since: Aug 11, 2014

so everyone here knows everything about the note 4 and nothing about software. NOTE4 HANDS DOWN! give me a break.....

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