Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) has had a bit of a rough ride recently, with its profits tumbling by 60 percent and many analysts queuing up to put the boot into the beleaguered Korean corporation. But it’s worth remembering that Samsung still remains the second largest seller of mobile devices in the world, and retains an incredibly important position in this marketplace.
Is this about to change though? Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) certainly hopes that it is, and its new Nexus 6 device is quite clearly aimed at usurping Samsung’s position in the phablet marketplace. While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) retains its top of the tree slot, and for the time being looks to be untouchable, the status of Samsung is much less secure.
Samsung has already released its Galaxy Note 4, while the Nexus 6 remains on pre-order for a November release. So how do the two devices compare in terms of specifications and design? Here is a breakdown of all of the most important details regarding both handsets.
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Galaxy Note 4 Versus Nexus 6
The Nexus 6 has already attracted a lot of praise for the quality of its design and build. Its full-scale brushed metal frame is quite attractive, and the super thin bezels included in the device make space for a sizeable display. Samsung has made a good effort with the Galaxy Note 4 as well, attempting to respond to criticism that previous Galaxy Note devices have been a bit average in the looks department. Its sleek build and premium metal frame create a strong impression, and its clear glass screen is a particularly striking feature.
Users will make their own mind up regarding which device is superior in appearance, but both Samsung and Google should be commended for producing physically pleasing handsets.
Whereas Samsung has ruled the roost in terms of the display for quite some time, Google is clearly intending for the Nexus 6 to seriously rival it in this department. The Nexus 6 sports a very impressive 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 QHD AMOLED display, which amounts to 493ppi, which will make viewing photographs and watching movies through the device an absolute pleasure. However, the Galaxy Note 4 is capable of the same level of resolution, and Samsung’s expertise with high-quality displays ensures that the Galaxy Note 4 is at least the equal of the Nexus 6 in this department.
Google has enlisted the assistance of Motorola in manufacturing the Nexus 6, and this is perhaps reflected in the fact that this forthcoming phablet features an extremely powerful processor. The Nexus 6 will be powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 Krait 450 CPU clocked at 2.7GHz with an Adreno 420 GPU, making it one of the most powerful mass-market mobile devices available.
But Samsung has always crammed plenty of spec into its devices as well, and the Galaxy Note 4 is far from a slouch in the processor department. The Korean manufacturer has fitted its phablet with a Snapdragon 805 Krait 450 CPU quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz with an Adreno 420 GPU. This means that once again the two devices are extremely evenly matched in this area, although it could be said that the Nexus 6 has a slight edge.
However, with Android devices, there is always an onus on eking every possible morsel of performance out of the software, as it cannot be as easily optimized in the same way as Apple’s proprietary iOS software and attendant hardware. Although Google can boast better stats in this department, this will not necessarily translate into better real-world performance.
The Galaxy Note 4 has a slight edge with regard to storage, as Samsung has ensured that it can be boosted up to 128 GB via micro-SD. Whether this is a big deal or not is debatable, and both devices are fitted with 3 GB of RAM, meaning that they perform in similar fashion overall.
Samsung looks to have a significant edge here. While Google states that the Nexus 6 will be capable of providing 24 hours of battery life, Samsung claims that the 3220mAh battery with fast charging feature in the Galaxy Note 4 will provide double this figure, in fact lasting for 48 hours per charge. While the claims of device manufacturers should always be taken with a pinch of salt, it can be asserted with absolute authority that Samsung has always been praised for producing outstanding battery life, so it is quite probable that the Galaxy Note 4 will live up to its billing.
Again, the Galaxy Note 4 looks to be stronger as a photograph taking device. Google has significantly improved the Nexus 6 from its previous iterations, and there is nothing wrong with its 13-megapixel optical image stabilization enabled device. But Samsung has always put great stock in its cameras, and the Galaxy Note 4 is no exception to this rule. With a 16-megapixel smart optical image stabilization rear camera with fast autofocus and live HDR, Samsung wins out here without doubt.
Google clearly has high hopes for the Nexus 6, and some publications have proclaimed it to be a triumph even before its release. However, in pure blow-by-blow spec comparisons, it is still slightly inferior to the Galaxy Note 4, and the established following that this Samsung device has garnered should see it retain a status superior to the Nexus series for the foreseeable future.