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Google Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3: has Google overtaken Sony's stunner?

Google’s new Nexus 6 phone is Android’s new flagship - so how does it compare to Sony’s most recent and most stylish phone, the Xperia Z3? Does Sony’s smartphone have substance to match its style?

xperia z3 homescreen
Sony's Xperia Z3 offers the familiar Sony combination of style and build quality / © ANDROIDPIT

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: display and screen

The Nexus 6 has a 5.96-inch QHD display delivering 1,440 x 2,560 pixels at a pixel density of 493 ppi, while the Xperia Z3 has a 5.2-inch AMOLED delivering 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at a density of 424 ppi. That means the Nexus has the better screen but the Sony may be more comfortable in the hand or pocket.

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: design and build quality

The Nexus is really a Moto X with the build quality you’d expect from Motorola. It isn’t the prettiest phone out there but it’s hardly been beaten with the ugly stick either. The Sony is much better-looking, though, and delivers the familiar Sony combination of good engineering and design flair. It’s also waterproof.

xperia z3 back
Sony knows what it's doing when it comes to smartphone design / © ANDROIDPIT

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: processor and RAM

The processor inside the Nexus 6 is a quad-core Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.7 GHz, with 3 GB of RAM and an Adreno 420 GPU. The Xperia Z3 has a quad-core Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5 GHz and 2 GB of RAM.

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: operating system

The Xperia comes with Android 4.4 KitKat and the Nexus runs Android 5.0 L.

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: camera

As you might expect from a company famed for its compact cameras and Digital SLRs, the Sony smartphone has the edge when it comes to snapping: it packs a mighty 20.7 megapixel sensor compared to the 13 MP of the Nexus 6. It’s better in low light, too, thanks to Sony’s own Exmor RS sensor. 

xperia z3 camera sample 02
The sensor in the Xperia Z3's camera is superb / © ANDROIDPIT

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: battery

The Sony has the slightly smaller battery here - it’s 3,100 mAh compared to the Nexus’s 3,220 mAh - but the Nexus’s bigger screen will almost certainly negate that when it comes to real world battery life. However, the Nexus has an ace up its sleeve: like the Moto X 2014 it has Motorola's turbo charging technology, which can deliver up to 6 hours battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: tech specs

  Nexus 6 Xperia Z3
OS Android 5.0 L

4.4.4 - KitKat

Display 5.9 inches, QHD 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, 493 ppi 5.2 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
CPU Quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 2.7 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16 / 32 GB 16 / 32 GB
Battery 3,220 mAh 3,100 mAh
Camera 13 MP 20.7 MP
Connectivity LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11ac (MIMO) HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 (D6653, D6616, D6643)
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.0 (D6633)
Dimensions 82.98 x 159.26 x 10.06 mm

146.5 x 72.4 x 7.3 mm

Weight 184 grams 152 grams
Extras tbc n/a

Nexus 6 vs Xperia Z3: early verdict

What do you use your phone for? If you answered “taking photos”, then the Xperia is the phone for you: while the camera in the Nexus 6 is perfectly decent, the one in the Sony is significantly better. Sony has years of expertise in the camera business - its sensors are in stacks of phones - and the sensor it’s put into its Xperia is capable of amazing things.

If you’re less snap happy, the Nexus is the more powerful device - but that screen is likely to draw more power, so it may end up making more trips to the charger than the smaller-screened Sony. Then again, the fast charging in the Nexus means that might not be too onerous.

What do you think? Does Sony style beat the Nexus's power?


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  • i,ts hard to choose, maybe i wait on the Z4

  • To much fanboy Nexus propaganda Nexus is boring, uneventful, drastically overrated, and pathetically dull especially featureless.

    Sony sucks MAJOR MONKEY BALLS as well both equally will never be anything worthwhile to the android platform.

    Samsung will always be android nothing else will ever matter.

  • Nice comparison. Im absolutely choose xperia Z3 because the camera and the screen size

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