Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

Introduction


Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
If you live outside the United States, prepare for some big changes: chances are that instead of a new Galaxy Note5, your only option this fall when it comes to Samsung phablets will be the trendy new Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. Yes, the futuristic _phone_ with screen that curves on both sides is now the norm for Europe and many other markets. So how does that hip new _phone_ compare with the staple of Google’s pure Android phablet army, the Google Nexus 6?

Both are large devices: the Galaxy S6 edge+ with a 5.7-inch display, and the Nexus 6 with an even larger, 6-inch screen; both have AMOLED screens, both lack expandable storage. And that’s where the similarities end: the S6 edge+ features the latest TouchWiz adorned with some Edge gestures, while the Nexus 6 runs stock Android.

And the actual quality of the screen, cameras, and just about most other aspect differ.

So which one should you get? We look at the details to try and answer this question.

Design

We love the stylish, premium design of Galaxy S6 edge+ and the futuristic twist that comes with its edge functionality. The Nexus 6, on the other hand, is inconveniently gargantuan and features a plastic back cover that can get really messy.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ is all about new: it comes with the new design language that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S6 earlier this year, and it’s also the first phablet with a dual curved edge screen. Make no mistake, this is a flagship-grade, premium product with a metal frame and two pieces of tempered glass around it, and all of that feels firmly put together in an impressively slim and good-looking package. The Google Nexus 6, comparatively, doesn't look as impressive: it is still well put together and features a neat metal frame, but its style much less refined and its plastic back catches fingerprints like crazy and quickly starts to look like a mess (admittedly, the S6 edge+ also catches fingerprints, but does not feel so greasy).

Then there is the size. The difference between a 5.7” screen and a 6” one should not be that big, but these two devices feel vastly different in size. Samsung has done an admirable job with smart curves, a thin profile, and impressively slim side bezels, so that the S6 edge+ feels more like a 5.5 incher. It’s very compact for its screen size. Not so for the Nexus 6 – it has a large 6-inch screen, but it is not disguised in any way: the phone is fairly thick, the bezels are not minimal, and the overall feel of this phablet is more like that of a small tablet rather than a big phone. And yes, this will definitely feel uncomfortably large for many people, while the S6 edge+ tends to be a bit more manageable and user-friendly in terms of size.

In terms of buttons, there is the signature Samsung physical home key on the S6 edge+ (it also acts as a touch-type fingerprint reader) with two capacitive keys, and then you have a power/lock key on the right and two volume buttons on the left hand side. The Nexus 6, on its part, lacks a fingerprint scanner, and uses on-screen navigation buttons.

What about those fancy new curves? Well, content seems to just flow into them in a neat futuristic effect and the phone feels almost bezel-less. We also like the expanded functionality of the edge - you can now switch between apps and quickly dial contacts - still not something that brings ground-breaking improvements to functionality, but it’s a cool little touch and we like it for what it is.

 

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Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
6.08 x 2.98 x 0.27 inches
154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm
5.40 oz (153 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6



Display

The 5.7-inch Quad HD screen on the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a showcase for the best of Super AMOLED: the screen is bright and well calibrated in ‘Basic’ mode. The Nexus 6’s 6” Quad HD screen is also AMOLED but colors are off.

Samsung has been improving its AMOLED displays at a fast pace, and while just a year and a half ago there were severe issues with color quality, these days AMOLED screens on top Samsung phones look much, much better.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a clear example of this improvement: it boasts a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels). The Google Nexus 6, in comparison, also comes with a Quad HD resolution and AMOLED tech, but it’s an older generation of the tech and the actual quality is actually much worse. This is not about sharpness: both screens use the Diamond PenTile matrix, and appear sharp and pixelization-free (pixel density is 515ppi on the S6 edge+ and 490ppi on the Nexus 6).

The difference is in color quality. The Galaxy S6 edge+ comes with various screen modes: ‘Adaptive’ is the default one, but for most accurate color mode is ‘Basic’. ‘Basic’ conforms to the sRGB color standard, the single color space that everything on the web and on Android is optimized for. Unfortunately, the Nexus 6 does not adhere to this color standard, with colors that look unnatural: oversaturated and unrealistic.

Looking at our exact lab measurements, the S6 edge+ has whites that look pure white, with a color temperature close to the reference 6500K, and gamma slightly south of the 2.2 reference value at 2.12 (a lower gamma may result in slightly washed out images). Color error is also notably small. At the same time, the Nexus 6 has overblown, unrealistic colors and gamma of 1.94, way below the 2.2 standard.

Samsung has been hard at work to make AMOLED screens brighter, and the S6 edge+'s is one of the brightest we’ve seen so far, reaching a peak brightness of 502 nits, while the Nexus 6 is noticeably dimmer at a peak brightness of just 270 nits. The higher brightness of the S6 edge+ matters most when outdoors, where the phone can truly shine and be easier to read and use. Keep in mind that with AMOLED screens, brightness varies depending on the colors displayed, and these are values that we have estimated by measuring an all-white image. We should also mention that viewing angles are excellent on both devices, as far as retaining brightness and contrast is concerned, but not color quality.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 502
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6658
(Excellent)
2.12
2.59
(Good)
3.12
(Good)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 45.2%
0%
unmeasurable
13.7%
1.5%
24.2%
151.7%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 73.5%
0%
unmeasurable
14.8%
0.9%
67.2%
150.3%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

Introduction


Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
If you live outside the United States, prepare for some big changes: chances are that instead of a new Galaxy Note5, your only option this fall when it comes to Samsung phablets will be the trendy new Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. Yes, the futuristic phone with screen that curves on both sides is now the norm for Europe and many other markets. So how does that hip new phone compare with the staple of Google’s pure Android phablet army, the Google Nexus 6?

Both are large devices: the Galaxy S6 edge+ with a 5.7-inch display, and the Nexus 6 with an even larger, 6-inch screen; both have AMOLED screens, both lack expandable storage. And that’s where the similarities end: the S6 edge+ features the latest TouchWiz adorned with some Edge gestures, while the Nexus 6 runs stock Android.

And the actual quality of the screen, cameras, and just about most other aspect differ.

So which one should you get? We look at the details to try and answer this question.

Design

We love the stylish, premium design of Galaxy S6 edge+ and the futuristic twist that comes with its edge functionality. The Nexus 6, on the other hand, is inconveniently gargantuan and features a plastic back cover that can get really messy.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ is all about new: it comes with the new design language that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S6 earlier this year, and it’s also the first phablet with a dual curved edge screen. Make no mistake, this is a flagship-grade, premium product with a metal frame and two pieces of tempered glass around it, and all of that feels firmly put together in an impressively slim and good-looking package. The Google Nexus 6, comparatively, doesn't look as impressive: it is still well put together and features a neat metal frame, but its style much less refined and its plastic back catches fingerprints like crazy and quickly starts to look like a mess (admittedly, the S6 edge+ also catches fingerprints, but does not feel so greasy).

Then there is the size. The difference between a 5.7” screen and a 6” one should not be that big, but these two devices feel vastly different in size. Samsung has done an admirable job with smart curves, a thin profile, and impressively slim side bezels, so that the S6 edge+ feels more like a 5.5 incher. It’s very compact for its screen size. Not so for the Nexus 6 – it has a large 6-inch screen, but it is not disguised in any way: the phone is fairly thick, the bezels are not minimal, and the overall feel of this phablet is more like that of a small tablet rather than a big phone. And yes, this will definitely feel uncomfortably large for many people, while the S6 edge+ tends to be a bit more manageable and user-friendly in terms of size.

In terms of buttons, there is the signature Samsung physical home key on the S6 edge+ (it also acts as a touch-type fingerprint reader) with two capacitive keys, and then you have a power/lock key on the right and two volume buttons on the left hand side. The Nexus 6, on its part, lacks a fingerprint scanner, and uses on-screen navigation buttons.

What about those fancy new curves? Well, content seems to just flow into them in a neat futuristic effect and the phone feels almost bezel-less. We also like the expanded functionality of the edge - you can now switch between apps and quickly dial contacts - still not something that brings ground-breaking improvements to functionality, but it’s a cool little touch and we like it for what it is.


Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
6.08 x 2.98 x 0.27 inches
154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm
5.40 oz (153 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6



Display

The 5.7-inch Quad HD screen on the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a showcase for the best of Super AMOLED: the screen is bright and well calibrated in ‘Basic’ mode. The Nexus 6’s 6” Quad HD screen is also AMOLED but colors are off.

Samsung has been improving its AMOLED displays at a fast pace, and while just a year and a half ago there were severe issues with color quality, these days AMOLED screens on top Samsung phones look much, much better.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a clear example of this improvement: it boasts a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels). The Google Nexus 6, in comparison, also comes with a Quad HD resolution and AMOLED tech, but it’s an older generation of the tech and the actual quality is actually much worse. This is not about sharpness: both screens use the Diamond PenTile matrix, and appear sharp and pixelization-free (pixel density is 515ppi on the S6 edge+ and 490ppi on the Nexus 6).

The difference is in color quality. The Galaxy S6 edge+ comes with various screen modes: ‘Adaptive’ is the default one, but for most accurate color mode is ‘Basic’. ‘Basic’ conforms to the sRGB color standard, the single color space that everything on the web and on Android is optimized for. Unfortunately, the Nexus 6 does not adhere to this color standard, with colors that look unnatural: oversaturated and unrealistic.

Looking at our exact lab measurements, the S6 edge+ has whites that look pure white, with a color temperature close to the reference 6500K, and gamma slightly south of the 2.2 reference value at 2.12 (a lower gamma may result in slightly washed out images). Color error is also notably small. At the same time, the Nexus 6 has overblown, unrealistic colors and gamma of 1.94, way below the 2.2 standard.

Samsung has been hard at work to make AMOLED screens brighter, and the S6 edge+'s is one of the brightest we’ve seen so far, reaching a peak brightness of 502 nits, while the Nexus 6 is noticeably dimmer at a peak brightness of just 270 nits. The higher brightness of the S6 edge+ matters most when outdoors, where the phone can truly shine and be easier to read and use. Keep in mind that with AMOLED screens, brightness varies depending on the colors displayed, and these are values that we have estimated by measuring an all-white image. We should also mention that viewing angles are excellent on both devices, as far as retaining brightness and contrast is concerned, but not color quality.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 502
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6658
(Excellent)
2.12
2.59
(Good)
3.12
(Good)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Google Nexus 6 45.2%
0%
unmeasurable
13.7%
1.5%
24.2%
151.7%
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 73.5%
0%
unmeasurable
14.8%
0.9%
67.2%
150.3%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all

Interface and functionality

The edge adds some clever functionality and notifications – it’s not a ground-breaking change, but it’s cool. Also, the new TouchWiz is cleaner and more refined. Still, stock Android on the Nexus 6 feels a bit faster in daily performance and comes with guaranteed updates.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ features the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with the newest version of TouchWiz on top of it. The Google Nexus 6, in contrast, runs on the latest 5.1 version of Android Lollipop in its pure, stock form. Stock Android is the bread and butter of the Nexus series - with the blessing of Google, Nexus phones are guaranteed to be first in line to get Android updates with new features and security patches. Samsung, on the other hand, has promised to be quicker with updates and we’ve recently heard a promise for regular security updates that bypass the time-consuming carrier approval process, but when it comes to big Android updates, fact remains that Samsung phones take a few months to get them.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

The Galaxy S6 edge+ runs the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop


As to the new face of the TouchWiz skin, they are evident from the get-go: there’s a slightly changed set of icons, now all of them have rounded corners and non-transparent backgrounds, with an evolved style. At the same time, the typical contrasty colors and cartoonish feel remains. Samsung has now introduced captions for everything, and we mean everything: even the toggles have ‘On/Off’ captions for extra clarity. Stock Android 5.1 differs in both feel and look: it uses the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance.

Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

Stock Android 5.1 on the Google Nexus 6 differs in both feel and look using the signature, flat Material Design language and seems better optimized for speedy performance


Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The big highlight feature of the S6 edge+ is the Contact and Apps Edge functionality. You can now select whether to use the right or the left edge (lefties will appreciate this choice). The actual use boils down to getting quick access to contact and/or apps, which is neat. Naturally, you can select the contacts and apps display on the edge of the screen. Then, there are the edge notifications that appear as a little ticker that you can read when your phone is left resting in a horizontal position.

Processor and Memory

The Exynos 7420 system chip is a monster that kills it in benchmarks, faster than the Nexus 6 in all testing and games.

Samsung was the first in the smartphone chip race to start 14nm manufacturing and it used this advantage fully with its Galaxy S6. Then, it was a surprise seeing Samsung ditch Qualcomm’s then-ubiquitous chips in favor of the new Exynos 7420 system chip, but benchmarks proved it was not a mistake. The same chip now powers the Galaxy S6 edge+, and it’s an octa-core 64-bit solution that runs at up to 2.1GHz and relies on a big.LITTLE configuration of four high-performance Cortex A57 cores and four power-efficient Cortex A53s. The Nexus 6, in comparison, sports the Snapdragon 805, a quad-core 32-bit chip that features four Krait 450 CPU cores running at up to 2.7GHz.

It’s also worth separately mentioning the fact that the Galaxy S6 edge+ is among the very first phones to come with 4GB of fast, LPDRR4 RAM. More RAM theoretically means better multitasking as more apps could remain open, and you have less of reloading times.

What about the perceived real-life performance, though? The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a step in the right direction for Samsung: it brings further improvements wtih a cleaner interface that works a bit better than before. At the same time, we still find the Nexus 6 running zippier and more stutter-free thanks to the excellent optimizations in stock Android.

Looking at benchmarks, it’s clear that the Exynos 7420 on the S6 edge+ brings some big improvements in comparison with the Snapdragon 805 on the Nexus 6: single-core performance is up nearly 40% improvement, and then there is the even bigger gain in multi-core scores.

For the gamers, good news is that the Mali T760 GPU used in the Galaxy S6 edge+ easily outdoes the Adreno 420 in the Nexus 6, and you’ll be able to play the most intense games with less dropped frames.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 69306
Google Nexus 6 49480
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 2461
Google Nexus 6 2731
Vellamo Browser
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 5120
Google Nexus 6 3644
Sunspider
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 675.2
Google Nexus 6 797.6
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 37
Google Nexus 6 27.9
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 15
Google Nexus 6 12
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 1790
Google Nexus 6 1470
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 1503
Google Nexus 6 1062
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 5134
Google Nexus 6 3295
View all

When it comes to internal storage, we’re glad that both devices come with the fairly abundant 32GB of internal storage in even the base model. At the same time, we’re also sad to see the lack of microSD card expansion options on the two - you’re stuck with the internal storage you have. The lack of microSD card feels particularly sore on the Galaxy phone, as Samsung used to include this option in its high-end products until recently, while the Nexus series have shipped without microSD card slots for quite a while. At the same time, we should say that the massive move to streaming music and cloud services for photos and videos, should alleviate a lot of the burden put on the internal storage before.

Internet and Connectivity

The large screen on both phones helps a lot with browsing, and surfing is speedy and without any major issues on both. Of course, you have 4G LTE connectivity.

Having a large screen such as the 5.7” one on the S6 edge+ and the 6-inch one on the Nexus 6 definitely helps for a better browsing experience. The vast screen estate allows for pages to load in their entirety and require less scrolling around.

In terms of browsers, both phones come with Google's mobile Chrome, but while that's the only pre-installed option on the Nexus 6, the Galaxy S6 edge+ actually defaults to a custom browser solution that offers a full screen view, and a few other perks. Web surfing speeds were fast on both – pages rendered fast, scrolling was not jittery, and zooming in and out of pages happened without a stutter, just as you'd expect.

When it comes to connectivity, both phones support 4G LTE with a variety of bands, depending on the market. Since both phones are officially sold in the United States and Europe, you should not worry about any inconveniences with unsupported bands – LTE works fine on both phones on the common in the Western world bands.

In addition, you have the typical dual-channel Wi-Fi modem, MIMO (2x2) antennas for better reception, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2, as well as GPS.

Camera

The 16-megapixel camera on the S6 edge+ is great: it starts quickly, focuses quickly, and takes sharp, detailed, beautiful looking images. The Nexus 6 camera is good, but not great with a slower performance and smudgy detail.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ features a 16-megapixel main camera with support for optical image stabilization (OIS) and an LED flash, while up front, there is a 5-megapixel selfie cam. The Nexus 6, on its part, sports a 13-megapixel camera on its back and a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter. For the Galaxy S6 edge+ chances are that we’re dealing with the same setup used in the Galaxy S6: a 16-megapixel Sony IMX240 1/2.6” sensor with 1.2 micron pixels and 16:9 native aspect ratio.

When it comes to the camera experience, the Galaxy S6 edge+ has an instant advantage in the speed department with the awesome ‘Quick Launch’ feature, a neat option that allows you to double click the home button to start the camera app from anywhere (even from a locked device). The actual camera app differs vastly between the two: the Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode, along with other more specific shooting modes, while the Nexus 6 has cut all the manual features, and instead offers only the auto mode with practically no manual settings. We prefer the S6 edge+ approach better: after all, it’s nice having the extra choice, and users who don’t want to deal with the details can always shoot in the neat auto mode. It’s also worth saying that it’s easier and quicker to find settings on the Galaxy: for instance, the essential HDR feature is accessible with one tap, while it takes some fiddling to find and enable it on the Nexus. In the ‘Pro’ mode, the S6 edge+ now you get a full-on manual ride with access to ISO and shutter speed, which is nice. The Nexus 6 lacks those capabilities.

The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

The Galaxy S6 edge+ has both an auto and ‘Pro’ manual mode


Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6 - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

Camera UI of the Google Nexus 6



Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 2.1
2.7
791
No data
Google Nexus 6 4
No data
393
303
View all

When it comes to actual image quality, the Galaxy S6 edge+ lives up to the hype with one of the best cameras around: it captures very detailed and sharp-looking images in all conditions. In fact, camera quality is almost identical to what we saw on the Galaxy S6. The Nexus 6, on the other hand, is also not a bad camera phone, but often misjudges color balance and errs badly with bluish, cold-looking images, plus detail appears smudged and overall images lack in dynamics. The S6 edge+, on the other hand, has the peculiarity of going a bit overboard with the warmth, adding a bit of excessive yellows, but that’s a rather small complaint.

In lower light and indoors, both devices do a very good job: images turn out sharp, with very little blur, which speaks great about their ability to pick the right shutter speed (we noticed that the Galaxy tends to shoot with faster shutter speeds). The color issues we saw in daylight are muted here, but overall the same trend of a bit-too-cold images on the Nexus 6 images is present. When you have to use the LED flash, the S6 edge+ performs better: its flash covers the image more uniformly and fully, and it provides more adequate lighting, while the Nexus 6 flash is insufficient for some scenes, and it also creates a spotlight rather than an evenly-lit image. Plus, again, we have the issue with the smudgy detail on the Nexus 6.

What about selfies? The 5-megapixel front shooter on the S6 edge+ has a wide field of view and can fit in all your buds in the picture. Heck, you can even take a full body picture of yourself with the front camera on the S6 edge+! We find this extra space to be quite the important advantage for selfies where you often want to capture many people. At the same time, the Nexus 6’s selfie cam not only has a narrower field of view, but overall much less detail and selfies were not very consistent with quality.



Turning over to video, we have 4K UHD video recording (3840 x 2160 pixels) on both the S6 edge+ and the Nexus 6. Both phones are thermally limited and can’t record more than a few minutes before getting hot (or running out of storage). Videos, however, do look fine on both with the same peculiarities when it comes to color reproduction (preference for warmer colors on the S6 edge+, and colder-looking ones on the Nexus 6). Auto-focusing is very speedy on the Galaxy, and a bit less quick on the Nexus 6, but overall fast on both. Stabilization is again much better on the S6 edge+. Samsung has said that it uses both optical and digital video stabilization in concert for a better effect, and it can be felt.


Multimedia


When it comes to media, we look at three main apps and their performance: the video player, gallery, and music player. Since you should be familiar with the stock Android apps on the Nexus 6 for those purposes, we won't spend too much time explaining those, and you can take a look to freshen up your minds about their looks in the screenshots on the right.

When it comes to the new kid on the block, the Galaxy S6 edge+, it features a new version of TouchWiz, but the media apps have remained largely unchanged. The gallery app, for instance, is practically identical to the one on the Galaxy S6, allowing you to switch between a timeline of all of your images, as well as a per-album view, events view, and an automatically generated folders with different categories of images (the phone shows you all your selfies, pictures with other people, and scenery images, for instance). You can also do some basic edits via the gallery apps, and you have the neat search option allowing you to search images by time, categories, events, location, and people.

The video app on the S6 edge+ handles the overwhelming variety of modern codecs with ease, and we had no issues playing back videos in even the demanding Quad HD resolution.

Then, the music app that many people will spend a lot of time in, is now flatter with more densely packed text, and it comes with an equalizer that allows you to customize the sound to your preferences.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ - Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

     
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
The Google Play Music app on Google Nexus 6 - Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
Music players - Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
   

The Google Play Music app on Google Nexus 6

 

Music players


Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 0.98
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 0.766
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Google Nexus 6 75
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 73.1
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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.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ vs Google Nexus 6
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 Benchmarks

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