Call Quality


We were not particularly impressed with the audio quality on the Google Nexus 6 – it was not among the clearest sounding devices for calls, but the issues with clarity were still fairly minor. The Galaxy Note5, on the other hand, can definitely boast about having very good call quality on both sides of the line. Voices sound clear and natural, with almost no distortion, and side noise is filtered out nicely. We also appreciate the option to boost volume an extra bit via one tap on a new button in the dialler – this way more distortion is introduced, but this allows for the volume boost and you can actually hear the other person in even noisier environments.

The speakerphone on the Nexus 6 is definitely loud, but also a bit squeaky. The Galaxy Note5 is somewhat similar: speakerphone sounds loud but not ideally clear.

Battery life

A smaller battery on the Galaxy Note5 doesn’t hurt battery life: it’s better than the Nexus 6, and also better than most other phones. The Note5 is also the fastest charging phone we’ve tested so far.

Making a thinner and more stylish handset meant that Samsung had to take some shortcuts, and one of them was the battery. The Note5 features a 3000mAh battery, slightly smaller than its predecessor. The Google Nexus 6, on the other hand, features a 3220mAh battery, but do keep in mind that the phone also has a larger screen that consumes more energy.

These numbers mean little without some testing, and that’s where our battery life test comes in. We measure typical smartphone usage with the display on phones set at an equal 200 nits, a brightness level that is considered sufficient for comfortable indoor use. How did the Galaxy Note5 do? Well, it turns out great! The Note5 scored an impressive 9 hours and 11 minutes of battery life, well above the 7 hours and 53 minutes on the Nexus 6, and we attribute this improvement to its more advanced and battery savvy AMOLED display, as well as on the new, 14nm chip.

We’re also happy to see Samsung further improve its quick charge solution: the Note5 is capable of juicing back up from dead to full capacity in just and hour and 21 minutes, faster than the already speedy Nexus 6 (it takes 1 hour and 38 minutes to fully charge a Nexus using a quick charger).

Both phones also support wireless charging right out of the gate, and this is one great convenience: you do need to buy a wireless charger separately, but once you have that, you can just leave your phone there and have a peace of mind that your phone will always be in optimal battery condition.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 9h 11 min (Excellent)
Google Nexus 6 7h 53 min (Good)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 81
Google Nexus 6 98

Conclusion


Looking at the list of features alone (with no regards to price), the Galaxy Note5 looks like the vastly superior device: a much faster and consistently good camera, a significantly better and brighter AMOLED display, the S Pen that is a nice extra, neat wireless charging option, a thinner, better looking design, the presence of a fingerprint scanner and option for future use with Samsung Pay... the list goes on.

Quite importantly: the Note5 is also much more compact at almost the same screen size, and this makes a big difference, as the Nexus 6 just feels inconveniently gigantic - it’s hard to use with a single hand and barely fits in pockets (even when it fits, climbing stairs can be a painful exercise).

However, if one considers price, this difference is indeed reflected in the cost. The Google Nexus 6 has the advantage of having been on the market for nearly a year now, and this has brought a significant price drop: from an initial MSRP of $650, the phone is now officially sold for $500 (full retail price). The Samsung Galaxy Note5 looks like a costly device in comparison: it comes with an MSRP of $750, exactly 50% higher price than the Nexus 6.

Put in simple terms, the Galaxy Note5 is clearly the superior phone in most aspects. But is a 50% difference in price justified? It’s up to your wallet to give a judgment about that.

Samsung Galaxy Note5

Pros

  • Stylish design and a compact-for-the-screen-size body
  • 'Basic' display mode offers very good colors and calibrationTop-notch performance with Exynos 7420 system chip and 4GB of RAM
  • Outstanding camera
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Fastest charge times we've seen on a phone
  • New TouchWiz brings a fresh look

Google Nexus 6

Pros

  • Stock Android runs very smoothly
  • Guaranteed to get Android updates fast
  • Comparatively affordable
  • An even larger canvass
  • More streamlined user experience




FEATURED VIDEO

14 Comments

1. Super.Vegito

Posts: 43; Member since: Aug 04, 2015

I'd say the Note 5 is better but I will still buy the Nexus 6 because of that critical s pen design flaw. Also saving some bucks doesn't hurt.

3. -Shadow-

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Seriously -_-

4. TyrionLannister unregistered

WTF. You are not getting a working flawless stylus in Nexus 6 either.

5. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Why would you even insert the S-Pen in the wrong way? :/ It's so easy to feel the S-Pen whether it's facing down or up.

12. Aroma

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

exactly, ss note5 is fine but Nx 6 is more prefer than, I vl choose Nx 6. hoping I vl be sold in Viet Nam (Asian) lol

2. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

Pretty much the same results from last year between the Note 4 vs N6. I still choose the Nexus in the end because of stock Android and modding freedom. An GPE Note 5 would be perfect. Hopefully the 2015 Nexus 6 will deliver.

6. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

https://youtu.be/JV8LlTxcIvY It seems that note 5 even with 4 gig of ram still can't multitasking even better than G4 sad :/

8. keithtae

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

but it still finished up faster than any of them. nice troll haha

9. Trex95

Posts: 2383; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

The different not even noticeable for a 4 gig of ram compare it to dated G4 Soc and ddr3 ram.

7. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

The Nexus 6 cannot even be compared to a Note 5. The only thing that is better in Nexus 6 is faster updates. Even the UI of touchwiz has improved a lot after the option of theme customization (especially the material dark theme).

10. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

You're right, I wouldn't compare a great phone like the Nexus 6 to the Touchwiz ridden overpriced abomination called the Note 5.

11. ShaunO13

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Haha! Yes! I've always disliked TouchWiz UI. When I had my SGS3 in 2012, I've flashed a custom ROM on it as soon as devs had a version for the device. I don't know what buyers really are paying for for Samsung devices, overpriced, doesn't really have that premium feel as what you would expect on an iPhone, so much gimmicks with the features and barely gets updates, well at least with the Nexus 6 you get Google stock experience which means uhm, EVERYTHING!

14. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Better screen Better camera Better processor Faster storage and more RAM Better design S Pen and all of its functionalities As I said, the only thing good about Nexus 6 is faster updates. I am not a fan of the TouchWiz UI but that is subjective. Besides, the theme has made it at least more pleasing than before. You can say whatever you like but you can't deny facts. Stop comparing phones based on the brand name printed on them. Try and analyse the facts and appreciate good technology.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1930; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

LOL at the "design flaw" in the Note 5. Unless you are holding the S-Pen upside down, you aren't going to put it in wrong.

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