Nexus 5 vs Nexus 6 – Ready for an upgrade?

The LG Nexus 5 earned its popularity thanks to its great specs and low price tag. Simply put, the smartphone offers the best bang for your buck out there. But while you’ll be hard pressed to find a device that comes with a better performance to price ratio, you’ll certainly find more than a few that offer more in terms of just performance. Google’s Nexus 5 is by no means outdated, but it’s clear that it can no longer go head-to-head with the big boys, especially since several other anticipated devices are scheduled to launch soon. Luckily, its successor seems to be in the works and might be releasing this later this year if rumors are to be believed.

For a while the common consensus was that the Nexus 6 has been canceled due to Google’s new Android Silver program. But lately we’ve seen quite a bit of evidence pointing at the contrary and the device was even spotted on the AnTuTu benchmark database. We learned quite a lot of details from there including the fact that the Nexus 5’s successor currently goes by the name of Google Shamu. Unfortunately we couldn’t find out which of the big manufactures is working with Google on the Nexus 6. The most recent rumors point at Motorola, but earlier this year most sources were hinting at either HTC or LG again. As you might imagine, this information comes from rumors and leaks that may or may not be reliable so I’ll just leave it at that.

On the other hand, AnTuTu is considered very reliable so we’re inclined to believe – or at least take into consideration – the details they shared. These details help us get a better idea on the upcoming device and they also help us make a comparison with the Nexus 5 in order to find out if this will be a substantial upgrade or not. The first thing that caught my attention was the display, which is a 5.2-inch panel with QHD 1440 x 2560 resolution. Not only is this a big improvement over its predecessor, which only features a 4.95-inch 1080 x 1920 panel, but it’s comparable to the superb screen of the LG G3 and even better than the Samsung Galaxy S5’s screen. So far the Nexus 6 definitely seems like a big upgrade over the current flagship.

Next, we looked at its hardware and discovered that the device comes equipped with a pretty beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core Krait 450 processor running at 2.64 GHz with Adreno 420 GPU. By comparison, the Nexus 5 sports a Snapdragon 800 Krait 400 CPU @ 2.3 GHz with Adreno 330 which is by no means bad, but definitely inferior to the Nexus 6. AnTuTu also reveals that the upcoming flagship will feature 3 GB of RAM, 13 MP primary shooter, and 2.1 MP secondary camera. This is again a pretty big upgrade over its predecessor who only offers 2GB of RAM, 8 MP rear-facing shooter, and 1.3 MP front-facing camera. There are no details in regards to its storage memory, but since the Nexus 5 comes with 16GB/32GB options we assume that the Nexus 6 will feature at least that much. However, all the other specs are better than its predecessor’s so I believe the storage will also be a bit better.

The hardware definitely seems to be on par with the latest generation of smartphones, but what about the software? Well, it’s pretty safe to assume that the Nexus 6 will run on the Android L straight out of the box. Google may even host a special event to launch the smartphone and the latest version of the operating system together as both are believed to come out later this year. However, the Nexus 5 will also be updated to Android L as soon as the final build releases, and actually, a developer preview is already available to try out now. So we can’t really say that the software will be improved as they will both have the same OS, but everything else seems to have been upgraded quite a lot.

Naturally, these might end up not being the final specs, so take them with a grain of salt for now. We will also need to know the price before deciding if the device is worth a purchase. The Nexus 5 is famous for offering a great bang for the buck as mentioned and the phone had massive success thanks to this. That’s why I think Google will keep the Nexus 6 in the same $350-$400 price range, or worst case scenario, it will cost just a little bit more. Still, this is way cheaper than pretty much all the other flagships out there, no doubt about that. In regards to its release date, several sources speculate that the device will launch this November at the earliest, which will be a little over a year since the release of the Nexus 5 so that seems like a pretty reasonable speculation to make.