What you are looking at are two of the best Android phones of the year. One that is extremely affordable and undercuts everything and the other is a phone with the blessings directly from Google themselves. It’s the Nexus 6 vs the OnePlus One and it all starts right now.
This video would be completely different if Google hadn’t made their new Nexus device a flagship. It was something along the lines of a Nexus 5 with the same price tag, this would be one of the largest videos of 2014. But it’s not and you’ll find out later in this video.
Let’s start with something simple: the design, hardware and the specs. The OnePlus One has one of the simplest designs but it also makes this phone completely desirable. Based on the OPPO Find 7, the OnePlus One is a simple slab with a 5.5-inch display. What is different is the materials used on the OnePlus One, especially on the 64GB Sandstone Black edition. Using a soft, felt-like material coated with little specs of sandstone. The Nexus 6 is a little more adventurous, basing its 5.96-inch display design based on the Moto X for 2014. It feels more solid for sure but that’s due to the metal band construction.
Hardware and specs are slightly more different stories. Starting off with the OnePlus One, it features a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD panel with 401ppi. Taking a quick spin around, you’ll find the volume rockers and the SIM slot on the left side, the power lock switch on the right side, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, a microUSB port on the bottom next to the bottom facing speakers, and when you flip it to the back, you’ll find the 13MP Sony Exmor sensor with two LED flashes. On the internals, it features a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, the Adreno 330 GPU, and 64GB of internal storage.
On the Nexus 6, we’re looking at a 5.96-inch Quad HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That’s a huge 493ppi. The Nexus 6 likes to keep the left side clean of the power locks, switch, and volume rockers living on the right side of the device. On the top, you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack and the SIM slot. On the bottom, you’ll find the microUSB port for charging and when you flip this guy to the back, you’ll find the 13MP camera with two ring LED flashes.
Battery sizes are also slightly different on these two. The OnePlus One packs a 3100 mAh battery, while the larger Nexus 6 packs a 3220 mAh battery. And we’ll definitely see how these two perform later on in this video.
Now let’s take a look at these displays next to each other. Regardless of the resolution, the Nexus 6 has a much more vibrant look and display. It is warmer than the OnePlus One. So if you like the coolness of the OnePlus One, you might be more comfortable with that display. But both of these panels are really pixel-dense and absolutely great to use. One thing the OnePlus One has a leg up on the Nexus 6 is that IPS display and the ability of being viewable from extreme angles as the Nexus 6 has a certain color shift at more extreme angles. Also, white colors may look more yellow on the Nexus 6 compared to the OnePlus One.
Now let’s dive into the software. The OnePlus One, at the time of recording which is November of 2014, is running Android 4.4.4 KitKat with CyanogenMod 11S. This is the Android customizer’s extreme device with the best software. Basically, all the stock options being swappable and change-friendly, the stock software lets you customize basically every single detail of the phone’s operating system. Even whole themes are available to download right from the marketplace, which you can currently see right now, I’m running the Android Lollipop theme. This is not the most user-friendly software for your standard Android users. CyanogenMod is really meant for people who love tweaking their devices but that does not mean it is not user-friendly. It acts and looks like Android and there’s really zero bloatware.
On the Nexus 6, we’re running the latest version of Android; which is 5.0 Lollipop. Being a Nexus device, it has absolutely zero bloatware. Everything is set up the way Google designed their software to be. And this latest generation of the software is the biggest leap in Android since its conception. The more flat up here is a lot more user-friendly and the dash on its material design throughout the interface gives it a lot more life. The only downside is the time it takes for the animations to run its course on Lollipop. It’s not a massively amount of time but it certainly could be a little quicker.
Performance between these two are pretty similar. Real-world usage and you won’t be able to tell the difference between the Nexus 6 and the OnePlus One. Now I can totally see the lack of skins on the Nexus 6 will probably give a better performance in the long run but honestly, Cyanogen runs so well on the OnePlus One that it’s really hard to complain. It’s really going to depend on your preference on whether you want stock Android (which to some can seem very boring) or an Android software experience that allows you to change absolutely everything. And remember, the OnePlus One will be getting Android 5.0 Lollipop very soon.
Next, we can take a look at the battery performance of these two. One thing is for sure, these two have big batteries. And when I reviewed the OnePlus One earlier this year, I was flat out impressed by the battery life. On the Nexus 6, things haven’t been all that great; which is really surprising. You would think that a giant 3220 mAh battery would give you the best amount of battery life but it’s actually been worse than the OnePlus One. I’ve struggled to get four hours of on-screen time on the Nexus 6 while the OnePlus One easily gets over five hours of on-screen time with really good standby. Maybe it’s in the software and likely it has something to do with those extra pixels it’s driving but it really needs to be fixed.
I’ve debated whether I should bring up the cameras on this video and the truth is these two aren’t the best examples of cameras in the Android ecosystem. That title still belongs to Samsung with their Galaxy Note 4 and even Sony with their Xperia Z3. These two take average quality photos. The only difference among these two is the OIS found on the Nexus 6 and the DCI 4K video found on the OnePlus One.
To wrap up this video and declare a winner, the Nexus 6 and the OnePlus One are two very different devices with completely different intentions. The Nexus name has shut its affordable monitor to a more premium brand name and the OnePlus One really hasn’t changed much. It’s still a very hard phone to buy apart from the recent Black Friday Sale.
But overall, these two have very different intentions yet have almost the same markets. If it were up to me, the OnePlus One is the one that makes more sense financially. And when the OnePlus One does get Android Lollipop, it might reclaim the best Android phone on the market. But Android 5.0 Lollipop is still so attractive to have with all the new changes. But if it were up to me, the Nexus 6 still edges the win but the OnePlus One is right there on its tail. So when the OnePlus One does get Lollipop, I would say Nexus 6, you might want to watch out.
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