There was a time when the iPhone was the standard bearer, the best available, the visionary in a sea of also-rans. Upon the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it could boast that it was one of the most powerful and promising phones available. Barely a month later, however, Google has played a trump card with its latest competitor, the Google Nexus 6. Like the Nexus 5 that came before it, the 6 is an instant market leader, an astonishingly powerful device that provides everything a mobile user could dream of– save for iOS 8. If you’re not married to iOS, fret not. With the Nexus 6 comes Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop, which is designed to be a sweet step forward for Android devices.
Every technical offering of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is bested in the Nexus 6. The large, 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 6 Plus? That’s smaller than the 6-inch quad HD display of the Nexus 6. The long-lasting 2915 mAh battery in the iPhone 6 Plus? It takes a back seat to the 3220 mAh battery in the Nexus 6. The 8MP digital camera in the new iPhone models (which is the same as those found in the iPhone 5S)? It’s a step behind the Nexus 6’s 13MP camera with a f2.0 max aperture and optical stabilization. The story continues in nearly every comparable specification.
If you’re an iPhone user, you probably don’t care about the boosted-spec competition. Every competing mobile manufacturer is just waiting for Apple to drop their new phone so they can 1-up everything it offers. The Nexus 6 is no different, right?
Not entirely. In fact, the iPhone 6 base model isn’t even a technical match for the Nexus 6’s predecessor, the Nexus 5. Of all of the iPhone’s Android-based competition, it appears that Google’s Nexus line is more interested in pushing the boundaries of Android than it is 1-upping Apple. Beating Apple at the spec game isn’t a clear formula for success. Everyone tries to do it. Google has been different by providing open, unlocked devices that lead all Android products in OS accessibility is another. In truth, it’s not so much that the Nexus 6 is a competitor for Apple, it’s a competitor for all of the other Android manufacturers that don’t have the same inside line to the future of the Android OS.
That said, the Nexus 6 does represent a departure from what has made the Nexus line so attractive in the past. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 devices were affordable in their unlocked iterations. Right now, a customer can buy a Nexus 5, a device that is a better technical offering than the iPhone 6, for just $349. No contract, no commitment, no monthly payment. The Nexus 6 is a different story. It’s rumored to be priced at $649, which puts it closer to the iPhone in price than the original low-price, direct-to-customer model. That’s a shame. For users to afford one of these, they’ll likely need to sign a commitment with their wireless networks to pay for this phone over a multi-year period.
If you’re used to that model, where you agree to a monthly payment with a wireless network to secure the best device you can, this won’t feel strange to you. It’ll be business as usual. I guess that’s the same situation as just about every iPhone user out there. But the contract-free, unlocked and unchained allure of the original Nexus devices is gone with the Nexus 6.
That aside, the Google Nexus 6 is one hell of a mobile device. It’ll be available for preorder this month, and start shipping by the holidays. If TheCoolist is on your holiday shopping list, you know what to order for us!