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Galaxy S6 Edge vs. Nexus 6: Two devices that couldn’t be more different

by Brandon Russell | April 18, 2015April 18, 2015 11:00 am PST

How keen are you on the Galaxy S6 Edge’s curved display? If that’s something you need in your life, then your mind is pretty much made up about whether or not you’ll buy the device. But while Samsung’s new device is the current belle of the ball, there are still some other very good Android phones on the market. Among them is the humungous Nexus 6. You haven’t forgotten about that device, have you?

Samsung’s propensity to slather Android in software makeup has been well documented, and while the Galaxy S6 Edge comes with plenty of bloat, TouchWiz has been dialed back considerably in its newest iteration, which is a big deal. It still isn’t the prettiest skin on the market, but it’s an improvement, and in some instances it’s better than stock Android.

On that note, the Nexus 6 offers Android exactly how Google intended, which is to say without any fluff or unnecessary additions. To that end, it receives the newest and latest updates, while a lot of big flagships usually take months to receive the latest version of Android.

But it isn’t just software that sets these two devices apart; design is another big factor—literally. The Nexus 6 is a huge monster that, frankly, is too unwieldy for my tastes. For someone like Jon, who has larger hands, it’s a good size—and there are benefits to the larger screen.

The S6 Edge, on the other hand, sports a more manageable size that’ll please fans of both big and small phones. For me, it’s in that Goldilocks Zone in terms of size, but I feel like that’s creeping up toward larger sizes as the years go on.

It’s not just size that separates the design. While both utilize aluminum, the Nexus 6 uses a soft-touch rear shell, while the S6 Edge has a flat piece of glass—both are fingerprint magnets, so it’s a wash there.

These two devices differ in a number of other ways, which Jon goes over in the video above. The Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the more unique smartphones we’ve seen in a long time, while the Nexus 6 is a safer bet that combines sleek style and a vanilla version of Android. For a lot of people, that’s more than enough.

If you’re on the fence, maybe Jon’s assessment will help you decide.

Recommended Reading

Nexus 6 REVIEW: A Delight for Big Phone Fans

Google’s Nexus lineup has always been a terrific showcase for pure Android. From the start, these devices have been important for developers and die-hard enthusiasts, but let’s be honest: the Nexus brand has never been desired the way a Note or iPhone has. Consumers just don’t know any better.

Slowly, surely, that’s begun to change. The Nexus brand has started to build an audience (albeit, a very small one) outside of elite tech circles. Today, “Nexus” is a name people actually associate with Google, and that’s a very big deal. Consumers who might normally purchase something from Samsung or HTC are now spending their money on Nexus devices, signaling a shift in the industry. People are seriously starting to take notice of the look and performance of pure Android.

Galaxy S6 Edge REVIEW: The best phone Samsung has ever built

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge offers a perfect combination of first-class tech and design. Read our full review here.

Samsung - Galaxy S6 edge Motorola - Nexus 6
Display Size 5.1-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel display (576 ppi) 5.96-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel display (493 ppi)
Resolution X 1440 1440
Resolution Y 2560 2560
Display Type Quad HD AMOLED
Operating System Android 5.0 (at launch) Android 5.0 (at launch)
Processor Exynos 7 series Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore application processor 2.7 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 805
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 32GB
  • 64GB
External Storage No No
Main Camera (Back) 16MP 13MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 5MP 2MP
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1 Bluetooth 4.0
Battery 2600mAh 3220mAh
NFC Yes Yes
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Micro USB
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Micro USB
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Gyroscope
  • Hall
  • HRM
  • Proximity
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Proximity
  • Digital compass
  • A-GPS
  • Digital compass
Height 142.1 mm (5.59 inches) 159.3 mm (6.27 inches)
Width 70.1 mm (2.76 inches) 83 mm (3.27 inches)
Depth 7 mm (0.28 inches) 10.1 mm (0.40 inches)
Weight 132 g (4.66 oz) 184 g (6.49 oz)
Colors Black, Gold, Green, White Blue, White
Supported Audio Formats MP3, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, OPUS N/A
Supported Video Formats MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM, VP9 N/A
Other Features
  • IR Remote
In The Box N/A
  • Wall Adapter
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.