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Nexus 6P vs Nexus 6: Meet the new boss

nexus  p vs google handson x
Jeffrey Van Camp/Digital Trends

The new Google phablet is here, but how does it compare to its predecessor? Dubbed the Nexus 6P, the Huawei-made offering represents a resounding return to form for Google’s Nexus line. This new device is outfitted with a quicker processor, an updated camera, and a design that’s sure to impress even those who balk at the size of modern phablets. Moreover, it sports a gorgeous AMOLED display that boasts a whopping 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution, along with an “aeronautical grade” aluminum body designed to withstand the occasional tumble.

Related: All the news from Google’s event, from the Chromecast 2 to the Pixel C

That said, how does Google’s new smartphone compare with the company’s flagship of yesteryear, the Motorola-made Nexus 6? Check the spec comparison below for a quick look at how the two devices stack up against one another when it comes to hardware, software, and features.

Nexus 6P

Phone Image

Nexus 6

nexus-6-20134-220x220

Size 6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29 inches 6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 inches
Weight 6.28 oz 6.49 oz
Display 5.7-inch AMOLED 5.96-inch AMOLED
Resolution 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (518 ppi) 2, 560 x 1,440 pixels  (493ppi)
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Storage 32, 64, 128 GB 32 GB, 64 GB
Processor 2GHz octa-core 2.7GHz quad-core
RAM 3GB 3 GB
Camera Front 8MP, Rear 12.3 MP Front 2MP, Rear 13MP
Video 4k 4k
Connectivity Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth v4.2 Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth v4.1
Sensors Nexus Imprint, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, ambient light sensor, barometer GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, ambient light sensor, barometer
Battery 3,450mAh 3,220 mAh
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Price 32GB ($500), 64GB ($550), 128GB ($650) 32GB ($500), 64GB ($550)
Carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Availability Fall 2015, pre-orders ongoing Now
DT review Hands-on  4 out 5 stars

Power and productivity

This is a close one. The 6P uses the newer Snapdragon 810, an eight-core processor that runs at a clock speed of 2GHz. The Nexus 6 has a quad-core processor, but one that runs at 2.7GHz. On the one hand, a higher clock speed means the CPU can process calculations faster. However, more cores means the CPU can better perform multi-threading, the ability to divide the calculations for an application across multiple cores. The Nexus 6P’s eight-cores should allow it to run multiple applications more smoothly than the Nexus 6. Both phones also boast 3GB of RAM, support almost the same connectivity options, and run Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It will be interesting to see them go head-to-head in the benchmarks, but we expect the Nexus 6P to edge it on performance.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Design

Google raised some eyebrows when it first announced the Nexus 6 would have a 6-inch screen, which is fairly large for a phone designed to fit in your pocket. The 6P shrinks things down a bit with a 5.7 inch screen. More importantly, while the two phones are the same height, the 6P is slimmer, which should make it more comfortable to hold. Where the 6P really shines, however, is its casing. The body of the phone is made of anodized aluminum, giving the 6P a cutting-edge look and sturdy frame. The larger Nexus 6 uses polycarbonate plastic with metal sides. It’s still a nice design, but nowhere near the futuristic chic of the aluminum 6P.

Moreover, the Nexus 6P comes outfitted with a fingerprint sensor on the back and Google’s Nexus Imprint technology. The feature will allow you to unlock the phone and pay for purchases with just your finger. Unlike Apple’s proprietary fingerprint sensor, where you still have to press the button, you’ll merely have to touch the sensor to unlock your device. The Nexus 6 doesn’t offer such convenience and security.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Camera

Smartphone cameras are becoming more and more capable with each new generation. The Nexus 6P may be a step back in terms of pixels, the device’s rear camera only captures 12.3-megapixel stills compared to the Nexus 6’s 13, but megapixels are not everything, and the 6P’s camera has larger pixels designed to let in more light. That means it can theoretically produce higher quality images. Furthermore, the 6P’s front-facing camera is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor’s, allowing you to capture 8-megapixel selfies. Both phones also shoot 4k video, but only the 6P offers the ability to record slow-motion video at 240 frames per second.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Price and availability

The 32GB and 64GB models of both phones sell for $500 and $550, respectively. The 6P will also be available as a 128GB model in multiple colors for $650. Like its predecessor, the Nexus 6P will be compatible with all four major carriers in the United States — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Pre-orders are open now.

Winner: Nexus 6P

Conclusion

Google seems to be pushing the 6P as its new flagship phone, and it shows. This Nexus 6P vs. Nexus 6 contest has been very one-sided. The 6P is clearly the superior phone, and it’s better than the previous model in nearly every way. With nicer cameras, a newer processor, and a much sleeker design, the 6P is the Nexus we would buy today.

Pre-order the Nexus 6P from Google Store

Order the Nexus 6 from Amazon Best Buy Verizon Wireless