Most people who buy tablets care deeply about their displays. After all, if you’re getting a bigger screen, you might as well get a nice-looking bigger screen. Both the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6 have sexy high-resolution screens:
Nexus 6: 2560×1440 resolution 5.96-inch display with 493 pixels per inch.
iPhone 6 Plus: 1920×1080 resolution 5.5-inch display with 401 pixels per inch
The Nexus 6 clearly has the better screen here if you’re just looking at specs. I mean, quadHD is miles beyond 1080p HD in terms of quality. Standard HD is so last year.
The Nexus 6, despite having a screen that is .4 inches larger than the iPhone 6 Plus, has nearly 100 more pixels per inch (which is a good thing). That means crisp resolutions and sharp graphics.
Plus, you can finally watch those YouTube videos in their full 1440p glory.
Winner: Nexus 6
Tech specs and performance
This category is always tough to judge when you’re comparing Apple to Android. While Android smartphones tend to have stronger tech specs, iPhones tend to offer more efficient performance.
With that being said, here’s how the Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus stack up in terms of raw performance:
Nexus 6: 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU with 3GB of RAM
iPhone 6 Plus: 1.4GHz Apple A8 CPU with 1GB of RAM
Now, don’t let that 1.4GHz processor clock speed fool you: the A8 is no joke when it comes to efficient mobile performance and it’s been outperforming top Android devices in certain benchmarks thanks to its effective utilization of 64-bit architecture – at least on native iOS apps.
But even if you consider CPU performance anywhere close to equal, you’ve gotta give the edge to the Nexus 6 here due to the fact that it has three times as much RAM as the iPhone 6 Plus.
Since not all apps are heavily optimized on iOS (or optimized for 64-bit processors), many popular apps feature similar performance requirements on both Android and iOS. If you want to smoothly run high-end games and enjoy superior multitasking, you’re going to need that extra 2GB of RAM on the Nexus 6 – no matter how fast your mobile processor may be.
Winner: Nexus 6
Case, form factor, and design
You can ridicule Apple all you want, but even the most ardent Android supporter can agree that Apple makes some pretty cool-looking electronics.
Of course, many of us still buy Android because we care more about what’s under the hood than what the car looks like.
With all that being said, I have to give this category to the iPhone 6 Plus. This may be the most subjective category on our list, but most people will agree that the iPhone 6 Plus is the better looking phone.
Something about the soft rounded edges of the iPhone 6 just looks more attractive than the awkward bulk of the Nexus 6 and its wide design.
One weird thing about the Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is that they’re almost the exact same height: yes, the Nexus 6 has a diagonal screen length that is .46 inches longer than the iPhone 6 Plus, but Google has increased the width of their phone instead of the height. Some people may like these changes, because you can still reach your thumbs to the top of the screen, but there’s no arguing that the Nexus 6 can feel a bit bulky.
Winner: iPhone 6 Plus
We’re at a point where iOS and Android are remarkably similar. Once you add up all the differences and unique technical features, Android versus iOS boils down to this:
-iOS is more smoothly-optimized to run on the iPhone 6 Plus
-Android is more customizable
Now, that’s not to say that Android doesn’t run smoothly on the Nexus 6 – because it does. But in general, Android is less smooth and polished than iOS.
With Android, you can add widgets to your desktop and totally customize the appearance of your phone from top to bottom. With iOS, you enjoy a smooth, streamlined design experience and, for the most part, your iPhone 6 Plus looks exactly like your friend’s iPhone 6 Plus.
I’m leaving this category up to you.
Winner: Totally up to you
The Nexus 6 will cost $649 in North America off-contract.
The iPhone 6 Plus costs $749 off-contract, but is also available on a two-year contract starting at $299.
If you want more storage on your iPhone 6 Plus, you can pay $849 for the 64GB version and $949 for the 128GB version.
The Nexus 6, on the other hand, comes with 32GB and 64GB storage options. We don’t know how much the Nexus 6’s 64GB storage option will cost, but I’d bet on $799.
If budget is a factor, then neither of these phones are steals. The Nexus 5 retailed for about half the price of the Nexus 6 ($349) when it was first released, so the Nexus 6 is a huge jump up in price. Meanwhile, iPhones have never been the affordable option for anyone on a tight budget.
Still, paying $749 for a phone with 32GB of storage is lame, and paying $649 for the Nexus 6 is slightly less lame. Based on that damning evidence, this category goes to the Nexus 6.
Winner: Nexus 6
The iPhone 6 can be bent by applying a moderate amount of force to its center. The Nexus 6 does not have this feature.
Winner: iPhone 6 Plus
Ultimately, there’s a lot of subjectivity in this comparison. First, it’s getting harder and harder to compare Android to iOS based on performance alone. Second, things like operating system and case design are two subjective ratings that have an enormous impact on how you like your phone.
But if you total up all 5 categories listed above (ignoring bendability for obvious reasons), you get a total score of:
Nexus 6: 3
“Totally up to you”: 1
iPhone 6 Plus: 1
It’s close, but the Nexus 6 comes out on top in this head-to-head matchup.