iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus vs Nexus 5: Smartphone specs compared

Apple has released its flagship iPhone 6 at a packed-out event in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, amid a frenzy of excited rumour and speculation.

This time last year, it released the iPhone 5S and 5C, two phones that went relatively unchallenged as the king and queen of the smartphone market. This year, things could hardly be more different. With high-end contenders like the LG G3, HTC One M8 and Sony's latest offering, the Nexus 5, the iPhone 6 is definitely swimming with sharks.

But what about the more budget handsets out there? Are there any that can hold a candle to Apple's new smartphone? Well if it's any of them, it'll be Google's Nexus 5, a smartphone now about half the price of the iPhone 6. Surely it won't stand a chance against the juggernaut that is Apple!

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Display

When Google released its Nexus 5 smartphone back in October 2013, it didn't set the world on fire with the quality of its 4.95in screen. However, it did offer something few other budget smartphones had at the time: a decent Full HD screen. Apple, meanwhile, has gone for a slightly lower resolution than the Nexus 5 for its iPhone 6 screen, opting for 1,344 x 750 pixels instead of 1,920 x 1,080, for a total 401ppi compared to Google's 445ppi.

The screen of the iPhone 6 comes in two sizes of course, with the iPhone 6 Plus being slightly larger than the Nexus 5 and the other quite a bit smaller, at 4.7in. Apple is now also offering a 5.5in phablet-style phone that should attract fans of larger screens. For my mind, 4.7in is too small for a phone, and 5.5in is too large - but that's just my preference.

Of course, if you want to trump for the iPhone 6 Plus, you get the full 1,920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) screen - which changes matters completely.

Camera

A year is a long time in camera technology, and Apple devices are renowned for their good quality snaps. the Nexus 5, on the other hand, only shipped with a serviceable 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing selfie cam. The iPhone 6 has a grand total of... 8 megapixels! That's right - this Apple snapper is the same spec as the Nexus 5. That's accompanied with a 1.2-megapixel front-facer, which shaves off a whole point of a megapixel off the budget handset's specs.

But we'll give Apple some credit: their software works well enough with the camera to give an appreciable boost to the photos taken on this camera. So the iPhone 6 definitely has it in this department, despite the comparable specs.

Size & weight

The Nexus 5 is larger than the 4.7in iPhone 6, but exactly the same weight, which is partly down to the slightly larger screen, but also the svelte design pioneered by Apple engineers.

The Nexus 5 weighs almost exactly the same as the iPhone 6 at 130g compared to Apple's 129g. Of course, if you go for the clunkier 6 Plus, you'll be getting a phone 172g, and that's 7.1mm thick. The Nexus 5 is 8.64mm thick.

That being said, Apple hasn't included the slightly protruding camera lens in their thickness measurement, something that Samsung took a lot of flak for in the past.

Under the hood

The Nexus 5 actually blows the iPhone out of the water in specs. While it doesn't have the 64-bit A8 ARM chip that powers Apple's latest behemoth, it does pack double the RAM of the iPhone 6, with 2GB. It also clocks its processor at 2.26 GHz rather than Apple's 1.4 GHz, which has the Nexus 5 whirring away under even tough, processor-heavy apps. The same goes for the battery, with the Nexus 5 chugging along comfortably with its 2,300mAh battery, while the iPhone slows to a halt at only 1,810 mAh.

While Apple's phone certainly isn't under-powered, do the specs really justify the premium customers have to pay for the iPhone 6?

Additional Features

This is where Apple really pushes ahead. With its TouchID fingerprint sensor, mobile wallet and a host of other benefits, this is where the real differentiation happens between the iPhone 6 and Nexus 5. However, Apple is notorious for including well-known features and acting like they invented them. The same is true of Mobile Pay, which looks a whole lot like Google's Google Wallet - readily available on the Nexus 5.

Verdict 

The Nexus 5 gets compared a lot to some really high-end phones, and always comes out punching. When it comes up against Apple's flagship, it does a remarkably good job too. Though slightly thicker, it matches the iPhone for weight, camera power, and beats it in processing power, screen and battery categories. It's really only the lack of Apple's bonus features that make the difference, and when the price is more than doubled for some iPhone 6 models compared to the Nexus 5, potential Apple buyers should really question their decision-making process.

Check out some of our other spec comparisons:

iPhone 6 vs LG G3: Full specs comparison

iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3: Specs Comparison

iPhone 6 vs HTC One (M8) specs: Which should I buy?

iPhone 6 Nexus 5

Display

Screen size 4.7in/ 5.5in 4.95in
Resolution 1,344 x 750 pixels / 1,920 x 1080 pixels 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Pixel density 326 ppi / 401 ppi 445ppi
Type IPS LCD True HD IPS+

Processor and battery

Family Apple A8 Snapdragon 800
CPU Krait 400
Cores Dual-core Quad-core
Clock speed 1.4 GHz 2.26 GHz
GPU Adreno 330
Battery 1,810 mAh 2,300mAh
Claimed 3G talk time 17h talktime

Storage and memory

RAM 1GB RAM 2GB RAM
Internal storage 16/32/64/128GB 16GB
microSD No No

Camera

Rear 8-megapixel 8.0-megapixel
Video 1,080p (Full HD) 1,080p
Front 1.2-megapixel 1.3-megapixel

Wireless

Standard 4G LTE 4G LTE
Wi-Fi WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
NFC Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Integrated wireless charging No Yes

Dimensions

Size 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm / 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
Weight 129g / 172g 130g
Operating System iOS 8 Android 4.4 KitKat
Price (SIM-free) iPhone 6: 16GB: £539 / 64GB: £619/ 128GB: £699

iPhone 6 Plus: £619: $299 / 64GB: £699/ 128GB: £789

£299
Availability 19 September 2014 Now