First off, why should you trust me? I?ve spent immense amount of time with both of these devices. I?ve thoroughly reviewed both the OnePlus One and the Nexus 6. If you?re just tuning into my work, you can find all of that below:
A Handy List of my OnePlus One Work
Does this hard to find phone truly Never Settle?
A handy list of my Nexus 6 work
The behemoth flagship with ?Android Everywhere? aspirations is here.
Google?s Nexus brand has long been synonymous with value and example for Android. Great specs, the latest version of Android, and a great price used to be the staple for the Nexus program. Used to be. Now, Google is aiming to have Android everywhere. Google has ditched the budget phone market in favor of carrier subsidized premium handsets. Enter the Nexus 6, the big, beautiful, expensive flagship built by Motorola.
Motorola is one of the most successful phone companies of all time, crafting the first portable phone, the ultra popular RAZR and Droid lines, and now having a renaissance after a date with Google. Google and Motorola teaming up like superheroes to make a super phone was a no brainer.
Enter a brand new company out of China, OnePlus. Founded on the ideal of the mantra, ?Never Settle?. OnePlus hyped themselves up immensely, taking shots at every phone manufacturer on earth without having a phone released yet. Finally, the unveiling of the OnePlus One came, and with it, the invite system that most despise. Regardless, OnePlus has created a runaway hit with the OnePlus One using the same formula Google set a foundation with on their Nexus line. Great hardware and software at an unbeatable price.
This raises a very intriguing question. How could a $350 phone compete with a $700 one?
One thing that is easy to overlook with budget phones is build quality. But companies like Samsung have proven that a premium price tag does not mean premium build.
The Motorola Nexus 6 is a fantastically built phone. Seeing as the device is a larger version of the Moto X, it?s built to the same standard. A metal trim, ergonomic curves, and premium feel envelop every inch of the Nexus 6 hardware. It is a premium device through and through.
Looking at the OnePlus One, price in no way reflects the build quality. The OnePlus One is a sturdy behemoth of a phone. With faux-metal trim, a absolutely fantastic Sandstone Black textured back, and an overall industrial-esque design. The OnePlus One is immensely wonderful to hold and operate.
Both of these phones are incredibly sturdy and well built. The Nexus 6 is ergonomic and sturdy, while the OnePlus One caters to the more industrial end of the spectrum.
The Nexus 6 has a 5.96inch, 2560×1440 AMOLED panel. Colors are rich, vibrant, and quite accurate. Every bit of content I consume on the Nexus 6 is an absolute pleasure. I was never one to use a smartphone to share content with others. But with the Nexus 6, people crowding around a phone screen isn?t all that ridiculous.
The OnePlus One has a 5.5inch, 1920×1080 IPS panel. Colors are a bit warmer, which is stated to be by design. Other than warmer colors, the display is bright, vibrant and great as well.
Upgrading from the OnePlus One to the Nexus 6 was exactly that. An upgrade. Those extra pixels do make a difference. One that is subtle when you go from OnePlus One to the Nexus 6. But when you go from the Nexus 6 to the OnePlus One. The difference is quite apparent. Photos, text, and any other content is far sharper and more detailed on the Nexus 6. While a 2650×1440 screen might be overkill, it is incredible to see. Take the immense amount of pixels and make the screen AMOLED, and it isn’t even close.
Winner: Nexus 6
The OnePlus One (mostly)ships with CyanogenMod 11S. CyanogenMod is version of Android that takes Stock Android and adds immense customization and user power. CyanogenMod 11S is based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat. The issue with the OnePlus One and its software, lies with updates. CyanogenMod and OnePlus have had a strained relationship as of late, due to legal trouble in India.
This has caused OnePlus to roll out their own ROM for Android. There?s good news and bad news to this. The bad news is that if they indeed ditch CyanogenMod, the OnePlus One will lose the Theme Engine, Camera software, and other great CM-specific software. The good news is that OnePlus has based their in house ROM after Android 5.0 Lollipop. While it is in Alpha right now, the ROM will become more stable over time.
On the other hand, the Nexus 6 ships with Stock Android 5.0 Lollipop. Because it has the Nexus logo emblazoned on the back, it will always be first in line for updates. Lollipop is immensely refined and beautiful. All the while keeping the power Android users have come to know a love.
I hope CyanogenMod and OnePlus can kiss and make up. Their partnership was a fantastic one for the Android community. CyanogenMod has great features that made the OnePlus One fantastic to use. Knowing CyanogenMod?s standard for quality, I can assume that the Lollipop rendition of CyanogenMod will be just as stable and fluid as CM11.
Winner: Nexus 6*
*Once the OnePlus One has a more stable ROM available from OnePlus themselves, or they work out the drama with CyanogenMod; this could become a tie.
The Nexus 6 packs in tons of hardware prowess into its ergonomic shell. Within that shell, resides a 3220mAh battery. The OnePlus One packs a 3100mAh battery into its body.
Both of these batteries are immensely large and beefy.
In battery comparison tests, the OnePlus One easily edges out the Nexus 6 in longevity tests. In my extended use of both phones, the OnePlus One averaged 4.5 hours of screen on time throughout 20 hours of usage. The Nexus 6 averaged 3.25 hours of screen on time throughout eighteen hours of usage.
The OnePlus One does come with a less pixel dense display, making pushing images and animations easier on the battery. The Nexus 6, which has the 2560×1440 display, suffers in battery performance compared to the 1080p panel of the OnePlus One
In addition to the large battery in the OnePlus One, CyanogenMod allows for performance tweaks due to its more advanced feature set. You can change the performance profile as well as the CPU clock speed from within the system setting. Giving you a dose of added control to the already great battery life.
In Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 6, a new feature named ?Battery Saver? is available. You are able to set Battery Saver to automatically enable at either 15% or 5%. It restricts background performance and throttles back the hardware to elongate the battery life.
The OnePlus One ships with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, while the Nexus 6 ships with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805. Both of these are admirable processors that sip power when not in use.
Winner: OnePlus One
Funny thing. The Nexus 6 and the OnePlus One both ship with the exact same sensor. The Sony EXMOR CMOS 214 Sensor.
For the spec junkies, the sensor is a 13 megapixel shooter with a maximum aperture of f/2.0. It is capable of 4K Video @ 30fps and 1080p @ 60fps.
When you dive into the software provided with each phone, certain things become apparent. The OnePlus One camera software(provided by CyanogenMod) is immensely well featured. In addition to 4K video, you also have SloMo and Timelapse capabilities. With the OnePlus One, you have various different shooting modes and scene selections to better compose your shot. You can even change the ISO and Shutter Speed for Long Exposures on the OnePlus One.
On the Google Camera that comes preinstalled on the Nexus 6, you have an immensely barren and simplistic camera experience. There are no advanced modes, no unique features, nothing. It is disappointing to see such a great sensor not be realized to its full potential on the Nexus 6.
Both the cameras take remarkable photos. But the OnePlus One camera software is leaps and bounds more advanced than the Nexus 6 softare.
Winner: OnePlus One
The Nexus 6 currently retails for $249 with a two year contract through AT&T, or for $649 unlocked(for the 32GB model). The OnePlus One currently retails for $349 for the Sandstone Black 64GB model.
Out of the five categories available. We sit dead even at 2?2, with one tie. Every flagship level phone has some caveats. It?s clear to see both of these phones bring immense strengths to the table.
The OnePlus One has great build quality, a great camera and full featured software, and class leading battery life. The Nexus 6 has great build quality, a gorgeous screen,and the fantastic Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Both of the devices are incredibly well balanced and sit in the upper echelon of Android devices available today. But the OnePlus One is nearly half the price of the Nexus 6, and available with no contract obligation. For nearly half the price, you can have 80% of what the Nexus 6 offers with the OnePlus One. Consumers always clamor for better battery life, great build quality, and great cameras in their phone. The OnePlus One gives you all of these for $349.