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Nearly 2 months with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 followed by over a month with the Google Nexus 6 smartphone. I have enjoyed both the powerful phablets of the 2015. If you like big and super-sized Android smartphones, you will like these two machines.
It is time for me now to write about the Nexus 6 to Note 4 comparison.
Yes, that is right.
But only a high level comparison which will make or break a deal for an average and common user like me. Let me make it very clear at this stage that neither Samsung nor Google/Motorola has influenced me to write this article in the favour of any particular phone. It is a pure personal experience shared with my readers.
Both these phablets are great machines which will keep their owners generally happy. But if you are in the market to go for one of them, this article will help you to make your decision. This is an opinion of someone who has used both of these machines over the last three months and is in a position to share his verdict.
I don’t want to drill into the specifications.
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 2K display, both these phablets are top of the range specifications for the end 2014 / early 2015 Android flagships. Note 4 comes with a 5.7 inch screen with a 515 ppi pixel density and the Nexus 6 with a 5.96 inch screen with a 493 ppi pixel density.
If there is one thing for sure, that is, “both the phones are big”.
You need to have a natural likeness and affinity for the phablets to like one of these smartphones. I have reviewed both the Nexus 6 and the Note 4 for their design and size recently – head over to these articles to know more about how they look and feel.
Before giving my verdict about which one I would buy if I have to choose between the two, let me say it again that both these power-houses are excellent machines. There is very little between them and there are pluses and minuses on both sides.
If I have to pick one out of the two (Nexus 6 or Note 4), I will go for the Note 4.
There are only two main reasons for that. Let me explain.
No Stylus (S-Pen) With Nexus 6
You will be surprised why I classed the built-in stylus as my number one reason to prefer Galaxy Note 4 over the Nexus 6.
I wrote about the Note 4 S-Pen feature in detail in this article a few days back.
After using the Nexus 6 for more than a month now, one feels a need to have a stylus (like S-Pen) with this large screen. The 6 inch screen could have been better utilised had there been a built-in stylus offered with the Nexus 6.
I must say that I was not a massive user of the S-Pen when I was using the Note 4. However, I can understand the usefulness and appreciate the practicality of the stylus on large screen personal mobiles.
You need to give people a solid reason to use massive smartphones which are super-sized.
Samsung offered a differentiator – the note taking S-Pen. It makes it stand out of the crowd.
Google and Motorola did not offer any such feature. It blends in with the rest of the competition.
No Multi Window (Multi-tasking) with Nexus 6
Pure Android lovers will not like me for this one.
While I love the concept of using a pure Android stock experience, I am not convinced that the Lollipop 5 (5.1) is a refined user experience so far. It just did not feel like a polished product.
Coming out of the “bubble of pure stock experience”, we are provided with a simplistic and a basic set of apps. While many of us love the idea of “no bloatware” but no one can deny the importance and usefulness of free apps and features which make your life easier.
Multi Window on the Galaxy Note 4 was one such example.
I loved it. Simple as that.
It allowed me to run two apps simultaneously.
Listening to a TEDx talk over the youtube while checking and replying to my emails.
I believe that the 5.7 inch screen and the powerful hardware allowed the Note 4 to utilise the multitasking feature very well. There is no such out-of-the-box app or function in the Nexus 6 which allows multitasking.
I did a bit of research and tried a few multitasking apps (like Viral Lite) by installing via Google Play Store but nothing comes close to the Multi-Window offering in the Note 4.
“I believe that Nexus 6 missed the trick again by not including a built in multi-window/multitasking feature in this phablet. I have read that they are working on an app to allow for multitasking but have not seen anything yet at the time of writing this article.”
Nexus 6 & Note 4 Comparison – Wrap up
It was not the Lollipop or Touchwiz either – both overlays need improvement although the Lollipop experience was marginally better.
The removable battery and SD card expansion slot are nice to have in the Note 4 but not something that will massively influence me.
It was also not the 0.26 inch of screen size difference – they are both bigger than normal.
It was not the battery life either, both were similar and forced me to charge the device on a daily basis with a normal use.
And finally, it was not the design, feel and look either. Both phablets are decent designs but not stunning and premium feel.
Price wise, both are expensive phones. Nexus 6 is marginally cheaper than the Note 4 at the time of writing this article. Again, not a deal breaker considering you are planning to buy one of them.
So what tilted it in the favour of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for me?
The note taking feature of the Galaxy Note 4 with built-in S-Pen and the Multi-Window feature for multitasking.
Nexus 6 should have included something unique in this model to utilise the brilliant 6 inch screen to its maximum benefit.
Leaving it to watch nice pictures and videos only is not good enough.
If you are given an option to buy one of these smartphones, which one would you go for ?
Comment below with your choice and your biggest reason to pick that option.