Battery life

The S6 edge+ might not have the biggest battery on a phablet, but with improvements to the screen and chip, it is able to score at the top of our battery rankings, while the Nexus 6 features good, but not outstanding battery life.

Making a thinner and more stylish handset than the previous plastic phablet slabs we’ve been seeing from Samsung meant that the company had to take some shortcuts. The most notable one is the battery. The S6 edge+ features a 3000mAh battery, less than the average for this class of phablets. The Google Nexus 6, on the other hand, features a 3220mAh battery, also not the most in its class.

These numbers, however, 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 S6 edge+ perform? Well, it turns out… great! The S6 edge+ scored an impressive 9 hours and 29 minutes of battery life, well above the 7 hours and 53 minutes on the Nexus 6, and - in fact - more than the majority of phones we’ve ever tested. 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 bring an even faster quick charge solution: the S6 edge+ is capable of recharging up from dead to full capacity in just and hour and 20 minutes, faster than the fast-charging 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 box, and this is a great convenience: you do need to buy a wireless charger separately in order for this to work, but once you have it, you can just leave your phone on the charge and have a peace of mind that the device will always be in optimal battery condition.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 9h 29 min (Good)
Google Nexus 6 7h 53 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 80
Google Nexus 6 98

Call Quality


We’re not blown away with the call 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 S6 edge+, on the other hand, definitely has a 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 like the fact that you have a button to boost volume – this way more distortion is introduced, but this makes it possible to actually hear the other person in even noisier environments.

Then, the speakerphone on the Nexus 6 is definitely loud, but also a bit squeaky. The Galaxy S6 edge+ is somewhat similar: speakerphone sounds loud but not ideally clear.

Conclusion


It’s hard to get used to the crazy pace of innovation in the mobile space with so many new devices, but comparing the Galaxy S6 edge+ with the nearly year-old Nexus 6, the pace of innovation can be clearly felt. And we’re not talking just about the cool-looking edge screen - we consider this a neat little touch that required some serious display innovation, but its hard to say that it brings a ground-breaking change in usage. No, we’re talking about overall design and performance: the S6 edge+ has a much faster and consistently great camera, a significantly better, brighter and more power efficient AMOLED display, neat wireless charging option, a hugely improved thin and stylish design, a fast and reliable fingerprint scanner with the option for future use with Samsung Pay, and the list just goes on.

Not just that, the S6 edge+ is also features narrower bezels and it is impressively compact for its size, especially compared with the Nexus 6 alongside, which just feels inconveniently gigantic. It’s clear that the S6 edge+ is the better device by a long stretch.

However, if one starts considering price, the Google Nexus 6 has a significant argument: while it started selling for $650, now, the phone is officially sold for $500 (full retail price). The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, on the other hand, is a costly device in comparison: it comes with a retail price of around 700 euro ($800), significantly more than the Nexus 6. The Nexus 6 has also got the stock Android argument on its side and the promise for quick updates, which is really an advantage that should not be overlooked.

If money is no issue, though, and you only care about the phone that is overall better, we have a clear winner, and it’s the Galaxy S6 edge+.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Pros

  • Stylish design with a premium feel
  • Great camera
  • Display with pleasing colors in 'Basic' mode
  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging, wireless charging

Google Nexus 6

Pros

  • Stock Android has better flow
  • An even larger canvass
  • Guaranteed timely updates in the future
  • Comparatively affordable price




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