Samsung's new S series flagship was just revealed days ago, and it hasn't even hit shelves yet. The Huawei-made Google Nexus 6P, on the other hand, has been around since September 2015. How does the long-time Nexus favorite stack up against the newcomer Galaxy S8?
Jump to a section:
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: design and build quality
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: display
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: software
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: technical specs
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: performance
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: audio
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: camera
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: battery
- Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Nexus 6P: early verdict
Out of the Nexus 6P and Galaxy S8, it's clear which has the better looking design. The Galaxy S8, as a 2017 flagship, is gorgeous and makes a great first impression thanks to its luxurious curves and seamless build quality. The metal frame is quite narrow because of the curved glass on both the back and front of the phone.
The Nexus 6P was the first all-metal Nexus, and still retains its premium feel despite being a few years old now. The front of the 6P is fairly minimal apart from the stereo speakers, but it has huge bezels when compared to the S8. On the back of the phone, though, there's an awkward-looking glass protrusion housing the camera lens and flash which also allows the NFC and antenna to work.
The fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back of the S8 beside the camera, but the scanner on the 6P is easier to reach as it is lower. The S8 has an iris scanner and IP68 certification against water and dust, which the 6P doesn't.
The 6P is taller and wider than the S8, as it's an older phone with a less optimal screen-to-body ratio. The S8's dimensions are 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm, while the 6P's are 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm. The 6P weighs more than the S8 as well, at 178 g vs 152 g. The 6P is a tiny bit thinner, as despite having the bigger battery of the two, it doesn't have wireless charging.
Although the Nexus 6P being larger and heavier, the Galaxy S8 has a slightly larger 5.8-inch display, compared to the 6P's 5.7 inches. The S8 has a larger resolution and higher pixel density as well. The S8's resolution is 2960 x 1440 pixels, while the 6P's is 2560 x 1440 pixels. Their pixel densities are 568 ppi and 515 ppi, respectively. But that's enough about the numbers.
The main focus of Samsung's new flagship is the beautiful front of the device, and in addition to a low screen-to-body ratio, the display looks fantastic. In our hands-on test, the S8's display was sharp and bright. It's packing a Super AMOLED display with a wide color space, and it has Samsung's edge display design and functionality. It doesn’t interfere with the viewing angles as much as it did with the S7. When you look at the front of the phone, your view of the display isn't obscured as the curves are very subtle.
The Nexus 6P's display is also bright and crisp and the are colors well-represented. The viewing angles are also superior - even at a 70-degree angle, content is still readable. Until we do a full review of the S8, we can't directly compare both screens in our office side-by-side to provide you with specific details, but it seems that the S8's screen impresses us more in general.
Both the Nexus 6P and S8 run Android Nougat, so the main difference between the two in terms of software is the UI. The 6P has stock Android, while the S8 has the latest version of Samsung's custom UI, which has been refined from previous versions.
The Nexus 6P shipped with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and has since been updated to Nougat. As a Google device, the 6P has the advantage of fast updates and a speedy interface.
Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Google Nexus 6P technical specifications
|Samsung Galaxy S8||Google Nexus 6P|
|Dimensions:||148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm||159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm|
|Weight:||152 g||178 g|
|Battery size:||3000 mAh||3450 mAh|
|Screen size:||5.8 in||5.7 in|
|Screen:||2960 x 1440 pixels (568 ppi)||2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)|
|Front camera:||8 megapixels||8 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||12 megapixels||12.3 megapixels|
|Android version:||7.0 - Nougat||6.0 - Marshmallow|
|User interface:||TouchWiz||Stock Android|
|RAM:||4 GB||3 GB|
|Internal storage:||64 GB||32 GB
|Removable storage:||microSD||Not available|
|Chipset:||Samsung Exynos 8895||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810|
|Number of cores:||8||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.3 GHz||2 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0|
Even though we haven't had a chance to do a full review of the Galaxy S8 yet, there is no doubt that it has better performance than the Nexus 6P based on specs alone. The S8 comes with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 processor and 4 GB of RAM, while the 6P has the old Snapdragon 810 and just 3 GB of RAM. In our review of the 6P, its performance was fast and reliable, even though benchmark tests showed that throttling occurred. For a device from 2015, it should still be adequate for use today, but the S8 is undoubtedly in another league.
The stereo speakers on the Nexus 6P really stand out. The speakers are located on the top and bottom of the front of the phone. This means that when you hold the phone in landscape mode for videos or games, it's superb. The speaker quality is clean, loud and without distortion. On the other hand, noise cancelling during calls wasn't optimal.
The S8 and 6P both have a USB type-C port and the traditional headphone jack. Sadly, the newer device only has a mono speaker. We have high hopes for the headphones that come with the S8 since they're from Harmon Kardon, but have yet to test them out.
The camera of the Nexus 6P could hold its own when it was released in 2015, but it couldn't even rival that of the Galaxy S6 at the time, so it definitely can't stand up against the new S8. In recent years, Samsung has paid a lot of attention to the camera on its mobile devices. The S8 has a 12 MP sensor with dual-pixel technology and an aperture of f / 1.7. The S8 uses multi-frame processing, meaning it will take several pictures per shot and merge them into one, hopefully making for better end results. For selfies, the front camera now has 8 MP and auto-focus.
We were generally pleased with the camera of the Nexus 6P back when we did our full review. The 6P has a 12.3 MP main camera with laser auto-focus. However, it lacks optical image stabilization. For video, the Nexus 6P is capable of shooting in 4K and slow motion at both 120 fps and 240 fps. The front camera has 8 MP, and is enough for selfies or video calling.
Samsung wasn't overly ambitious with the battery of the Galaxy S8 - for good reason after the Note 7 disaster. We haven't had a chance to do a full review of the Galaxy S8 yet, but based on its screen size and specs, we expect users to get a full day out of one charge of its 3,000 mAh battery.
The Nexus 6P on the other hand has a large 3,450 mAh battery, and our review proved that you can count on it to get you through at least 11 hours of use. Its capacity is more than enough to power its large QHD display. Even more, rapid charging means the 6P can be charged to last 7 hours in just 10 minutes.
The S8 has wireless charging, while the 6P does not (to keep it thin). Both have a USB type-C port for charging and data transfer, but the S8 has USB 3.1 while the 6P just has 2.0.
The Galaxy S8's design gives a much more persuasive first impression than the Nexus 6P. It has a very modern look with curved glass on both sides surrounded by a thin metal frame, while the Nexus 6P's all-metal design and huge bezels identify it as an older premium smartphone.
While we haven't yet had the pleasure of doing a full review of the S8 yet, based on its newer processor and an extra 1 GB of RAM, it will clearly have better performance than the 6P by a long shot. Plus, the S8 has some untested, yet potentially exciting, special advantages like the Bixby AI assistant and the DeX docking station that turns it into a PC.
The Nexus 6P still has adequate performance to keep up in 2017, and thanks to it being a Google device, it has been updated to Android Nougat as well. But, the Galaxy S8 is setting a new bar for flagships in terms of design and its superior specs will give it more longevity than the 6P.
Let us know what you like about these devices in the comments.