A look at the Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Last updated: June 4, 2018.

Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

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With the Nexus 6, Google has taken its first step into the large smartphone market that, till now, had been dominated by Samsung.  Samsung’s Galaxy Note series might have started out as a niche product but has evolved into what many feel is the company’s real flagship with the development of the Galaxy Note 4.

We take a look at these two latest offerings from these big companies to see how the stand in comparison with one another.  Check out our in-depth review of the Google Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Design

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a metallic frame that holds together a 2.5D glass front and a removable back cover that is made of textured plastic.
  • Samsung still utilizes its signature button layout, a home button found below the display that is flanked by the capacitive back and recent apps keys, with the volume rocker and power button on the devices sides.
  • The Google Nexus 6 also has a metal frame and uses a 2.5D glass front. The back cover of the Nexus 5 is made from hard plastic and has a noticeable curve.
  • The Nexus 6 has a slightly bigger display so it’s a bit bigger all around then the Galaxy Note 4.
  • The textured plastic back and flat sides of the Galaxy Note help contribute to a pretty secure grip. Meanwhile, the hard plastic back and curved sides of the Nexus 6 make it feel slightly slippery.

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Display

  • Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Google Nexus 6 use Quad HD. Both also come with AMOLED technology in their displays.
  • The screens offer a good viewing experience, but the Galaxy Note 4 is a little better as the Nexus 6 can lose a bit of fidelity at the sharpest viewing angles.
  • The Nexus 6 has a slightly larger screen but there is not significant difference in the overall media and gaming experience you can get with the Galaxy Note 4.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 allows you to adjust the color profile of the display, this is not a feature available with the Nexus 6.

Speakers

  • The Google Nexus 6 has two front-facing speakers. The grills of the speakers are located above and below the Nexus 6’s display.
  • The Samsung has a rear facing speaker.
  • The placing of the speakers of the Nexus 6 makes for a better audio experience.

Performance

  • Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Google Nexus 6 use Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processors, clocked at 2.7 GHz. These processing packages are backed by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB of RAM.
  • These are some of the best processors currently available and they enable the devices to run incredibly smooth.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 uses TouchWiz, a colourful and bright operating system sotware that has great multitasking capabilities.
  • The Nexus t uses Android 5.0 Lollipop which has flowing animations and allows for smooth transitions from one app to another.

The S-Pen

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  • In the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the S-Pen can be found in an easily accessible slot at the bottom right of the device.
  • The click and drag enhancement offered by the S-Pen is a great feature in the Galaxy Note 4.
  • You can use the S-Pen to open an Air Command menu that offers a variety of functions, this includes the ability to use the S-Note to record notes in many ways. You can use the S-Pen to clip out parts of the screen you wish to save or even just to write text down for contextual action.

Battery

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offers superior battery performance over the Google Nexus 6.
  • Both devices can offer close to 5 hours of screen on-time, but Galaxy Note 4 has better standby power consumption. This means it can last longer, getting close to two full days of use compared to the Nexus 8.
  • Both devices have fast charging capabilities.

Camera

  • Google has really improved the camera experience of the Nexus 6, making this the best Nexus camera so far. Samsung on the other hand, has a reputation for good cameras and the one on the Galaxy Note 4 is an industry best.
  • The Nexus 6 has a 13 MP rear shooter which now features better colors and good detail. The simplicity of the camera application allows for ease of use.
  • The HDR+ of the Nexus 6 does a very good job of darkening highlights and brightening shadows for a compelling image.
  • The Nexus 6 also has Panorama, Photo Sphere and 4K video recording capability.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 has a 16 MP shooter that captures plenty of detail. The photo quality in general is fantastic with high saturation levels.  Video recording is also good.
  • Both phones have optical image stabilization which helps maintain the quality of photos taken even as lighting conditions deteriorate.

Software

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  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 uses Android and is set to be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop soon.
  • The Google Nexus 6 uses TouchWiz.
  • For a home screen, the Nexus 6 uses Google Now which provides a better experience then the non-customizable, highly curated full screen widget for Filpboard that the Galaxy Note 4 does.
  • When it comes to multitasking, the Galaxy Note 4 is the device to choose as the Recent Apps screen is still the main way that tasks are performed in Android.

Final thoughts

  • One thing that has taken many Nexus users aback is the fact that the Nexus 6 is go much more expensive than any previous Nexus release. But the price increase is understandable when you factor in how powerful Google has made this device.  The Nexus device is priced at $649.
  • AT $700, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, is still more expensive then the Nexus 6. Even if this is not by much.
  • Both of these smartphones are available with various network carriers in the US under a variety of subsidies and payment plans.

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Both the Google Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are examples of the best that their respective product lines have to offer.  Both devices are powerful and capable of running smoothly for a great user experience.  What it comes down to in the end is how you want to be able to perform general tasks.

The Galaxy Note 4 tries to be everything for its user but providing multitasking abilities and a unique stylus experience.  While you can also do all of your tasks with the Nexus 6, the methods are different despite the Android upgrade.

Whichever you choose, you will be getting a highly powerful and capable phone.  So which will you choose the Google Nexus 6 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4?

JR

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