Although the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 Plus has proved to be very popular, not everyone favours the iPhone range. The massive success of Apple has made it very ubiquitous in the smartphone market, but many consumers prefer Android handsets. Given the sheer number available on the market, it is inevitably the case that sales of Android devices dwarf iPhones by some distance, even if the iPhone is the world’s largest selling mobile range.
Two of the very best Android handsets, and certainly two of the most prominent, are the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) Galaxy Note 4 and the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Nexus 6. All the consumers that opt for an Android device will certainly consider these devices before making a purchase, so contemplating which is the better handset of the two is certainly worth considering.
Galaxy Note 4 vs. Nexus 6
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is not a huge departure from its predecessor. The main physical difference between the previous iteration in the Galaxy note series is the introduction of a metal frame. This has generally led to the tablet receiving warm reviews, and it is not unattractive in the looks department by any means.
It is also significantly smaller than the 159.3x83x10.1mm, 184g Nexus 6 in all dimensions, and marginally lighter. To what extent this is a selling point is debatable, as both devices are pretty large by mobile standards. But it seems reasonable to conclude that the Galaxy Note 4 has a slight edge in the design department.
The Nexus 6 features one of the largest displays to ever be included in a mass market phablet. Its 5.96-inch screen is larger than that of the Galaxy Note 4, with Samsung opting for a 5.7-inch display for its device. Both systems offer the same resolution (2,560 x 1,440), but given the fact that the Nexus 6 is slightly larger, the Galaxy Note 4 does often somewhat better pixel density; 515ppi as opposed to 493ppi. Realistically, this is barely discernible, though.
Both displays are protected with Gorilla Glass 3 and based on AMOLED technology, which obviously means that there are significant similarities between the two. The difference comes in that Samsung has deployed SuperAMOLED Technology in the Galaxy note 4. This means that the Samsung tablet includes a single touch-sensitive layer, which effectively ensures that the display is thinner, lighter and easier to see in bright sunlight conditions. The Samsung device also consumes less power and offers better sensitivity as a result of this innovation.
Both devices offer a good display, but overall Samsung certainly has the edge in this department.
In common with Samsung devices in general, the processor fitted in the Galaxy Note 4 differs from region to region. However, in most Western markets, the Galaxy Note 4 is powered by a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU, which Samsung pairs with Adreno 420 graphics and 3GB of RAM. This is extremely similar to the processor fitted in the Nexus 6, and it is hard to really recommend one over the other in this regard.
Storage and features
Both the Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offer 32GB of storage as standard, but the Galaxy Note 4 can be boosted up to 128 GB via its micro-SD capability. This means that there is a Galaxy Note 4 device which is superior in storage terms to anything offered by Google in its Nexus 6 model.
The S-Pen stylus functionality has been upgraded for this version of the Galaxy Note 4, and this has always generated a lot a praise from followers of the device. The Galaxy Note 4 also includes a heart-rate sensor, fingerprint scanner and UV scanner, while support has been included for Gear VR; Samsung’s virtual-reality headset.
The feeling persists that the Nexus 6 is a more rudimentary phablet in terms of features, and Samsung has clearly benefited from its premier place in the market with the feature set of the Galaxy Note 4.
Also included in the portfolio of features related to the Galaxy Note 4 is a download booster, which via 4G technology offers potential download speeds of 400MB per second. While most users won’t achieve this level of Internet connection, it nevertheless ensures that the Galaxy Note 4 is an extremely strong performer in Wi-Fi terms.
The Google Nexus 6 performs perfectly capably in this department, with support for 4G and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, along with NSC and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. But the download boost offered by Samsung just pushes the Galaxy Note 4 over the edge.
The raw specs of the Galaxy Note 4 suggests that it possesses a stronger camera than the Nexus 6, with its 16-megapixel rating as opposed to the 13-megapixel lens in the Nexus 6. But the Galaxy Note 4 camera has been notoriously rather average in low-light conditions, while the Nexus 6 is said to perform particularly well with its dual-LED flash. Both cameras offer optical image stabilization.
However, the Galaxy Note 4 has a stronger front-facing camera, and this probably helps Samsung offer a device which provides a better package for photographers.
Both phablets feature 3220mAh batteries, while make differing claims regarding the amount of power that can be gained from charging. Both perform well, but power saving functionality built into the Galaxy Note 4 gives it the edge over the Nexus 6.
Google may have high hopes for the Nexus 6, but at this point in time the Galaxy Note 4 is superior in almost every department, and is still the king of Android phablets.