Gone are the days when most smartphone displays were 4″ in size, and anything bigger was “daring”. Now, 6″ displays are common and 4″ is seen as a bit on the small side.
So which of these 6″ heavyweights pulls off the extra size the best?
|6.44 x 3.34 x 0.34 in||6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 in||6.45 x 3.30 x 0.35 in||6.32 x 3.21 x 0.34 in|
6.60 x 3.46 x 0.31 in
|6.84 oz||6.49 oz||7.27 oz||6.24 oz||7.02 oz|
|720 x 1280 px||1440 x 2560 px||720 x 1280 px||720 x 1280 px||720 x 1280 px|
|1080p Full HD||2160p Quad HD||720p HD||1080p Full HD|
1080p Full HD
|802.11 n||802.11 ac||802.11 n||802.11 ac||802.11 ac|
|16/324 hrs||24/330 hrs||16/320 hrs||15/720 hrs||10/420 hrs|
SD Card Slot
|Yes – up to 64GB||No||Yes – up to 64GB||No||Yes – up to 64GB|
A larger display is entirely the point of larger smartphones. Compared to smaller displays, the effect is almost cinematic in comparison. But not all displays are equal. They have different resolutions and different screen types. In our table, the biggest winner in the resolution category, by a mile, is the Nexus 6. With its 13440x2560px resolution, it is so far ahead of the rest that it makes a real difference. In fact, in a straight pixel count, the Nexus 6 display is 4x higher resolution than all the others.
Although it might always follow through that bigger is better, in this case it very much is. The Display of the Nexus 6 is simply wonderful. The rest actually do a very decent job in isolation, but just look almost washed out and dull side by side with the Nexus.
The physical sizes of the displays in our comparison is less problematic for any of them. The Galaxy Mega is 6.3″, with the rest being almost bang on 6″ but, at this size, it’s not really an advantage. 0.3″ is a lot if you have a 4″ and 4.3″ screen, but not once you get up to the 6″.
Here is where the Nexus 6 takes the tape first again. The 13MP rear camera is matched only by the LG G Flex, with the rest being a still very useful and usable 8MP. The front cameras are all very similar, at around 2MP. Although recent models have started to provide much higher MP counts on front cameras, 2MP is still plenty for most social media purposes.
All do a good job in most circumstances, but the Nexus produces a better image all round.
At the risk of sounding boring, video capture is another category where the Nexus 6 walks off with first prize. With the exception of the – frankly disappointing – 720p capture resolution of the Huawei Ascend XT, 1080p Full HD is a fairly standard norm for smartphones. However, the Nexus pushes the bounds much further. The 2160p capture resolution is 4x that of the Huawei, and 56% more than the rest of the devices here. That can make a big difference in sharpness and clarity when watched on larger sized screens such as TVs.
All devices are 4G ready, we’re pleased to report. In addition, all have a variation of Bluetooth 4 and GPS. Huawei lacks NFC, so no contactless payments or wireless file transfer between devices for the Ascend XT. The Nexus 6, LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Mega do all have the fastest 802.11 ac Wi-Fi available, with the Mega 2 and Huawei only reaching 802.11 n speeds.
If you want all day use, the larger case sizes of all our devices will get you there. A bigger case means a bigger battery, and none let us down on that score. The Nexus 6 claim 24hrs of talk time, which is much more than the rest and way above average. The LG G Flex, for its part, claims 720hrs of standby. These are, of course, manufacturer’s figures, so take them with a pinch of salt. In tests, though, all had plenty of juice left after a reasonably heavy day’s use.
All have good levels of internal storage. The surprise is that neither the Nexus 6 nor the G Flex have a Micro SD Card slot. This seems an odd omission for devices which just scream to be used to watch movies.
All are very similar in physical size, with the Nexus 6 the smallest and Galaxy Mega being the largest. Either way, though, we’re talking barely a quarter inch in height, and almost nothing in width and thickness to choose between all our devices.
There is some difference in the weights, however. The G Flex is an almost lightweight 6.24 oz, against the heft of the Huawei at 7.24 oz. The weight of the Huawei is something of a surprise, seeing as it lacks the specs of the others in almost all departments.
With larger smartphones, the extra size and weight can be an issue at first. But, even if you come from a much smaller device, the adjustment to the bigger size takes only a couple of days.
Really, there’s only one winner, the Motorola Nexus 6. It out-specs and out-performs the rest by some distance on almost all fronts. The LG G Flex comes next, some distance behind the Nexus 6, but still clear of the chasing pack.
The Huawei is perhaps showing its age a little, but is still an excellent choice for those looking for a larger size smartphone without quite moving into full-on phablet territory.