The annual smartphone battle between Apple and Google has become a fixed event on most tech fans' calendars.
The battle has traditionally been fairly balanced as, rather than take Apple on at the top end, Google has chosen to undercut its competitor on price with its Nexus devices.
But Google has decided this year to rethink its strategy, and has partnered with Motorola to build its most expensive smartphone to date. Featuring top-end specifications and a premium £500 price tag, the Nexus 6 is designed to take on Apple's iPhone 6 head on.
Design and build
Apple is credited as one of the best companies in the world at design, and has a track record of creating beautifully crafted smartphones, tablets and PCs. The iPhone 6 continues this legacy.
The iPhone 6 has a single-piece metal chassis with curved sides and a flat back, and is one of the best looking smartphones on the market. It has a radically different look to past iPhones, which featured noticeably sharper sides.
The iPhone 6 is also larger than its predecessors, measuring 138x67x6.9mm and weighing 129g.
This will put off some people used to 'normal' sized phones, but the iPhone 6 is still significantly smaller than the Nexus 6, which measures a phablet-sized 159x83x10mm and weighs a whopping 184g.
The Nexus 6's increased size will be a stickler for buyers who aren't used to phablets, as it is close to impossible to use one-handed.
That said, for those used to phablets there is plenty to like about the Nexus 6 design. While not wholly metal like the iPhone 6, the Nexus 6 is the first top-end Google phone to integrate metal into the design.
Featuring metal sides and a non-removable polycarbonate back plate, the Nexus 6, while not as premium feeling as the iPhone 6, is a significant step up from its predecessors, such as the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, which featured entirely polycarbonate chassis.
Winner: iPhone 6
Apple has long maintained that people can't tell the difference in quality once a display breaks the 300ppi mark. In keeping with this, Apple has loaded the iPhone 6 with a 4.7in 1334x750, 326ppi Retina HD display.
This puts the iPhone 6 behind the Nexus 6's 6in, 1440x2560, 493ppi quad HD, Amoled display based on pixel per inch density and size.
Comparing the two screens, we found that both displays had their strengths and weaknesses. This is mainly due to the Nexus 6's use of Amoled and the iPhone 6's use of IPS screen technologies.
Amoled improves screen quality by letting displays produce deeper and richer blacks. It does this by electrically charging each pixel to generate colours, meaning that all the screen has to do is stop charging them to create black.
While this sounds great, we've had some problems with Amoled screens, as many firms, such as Samsung, have a tendency to set them to oversaturate colours.
By comparison IPS displays work to create more consistent and realistic colours by organising liquid crystals on a fixed plate that's charged at a consistent rate.
The iPhone 6's IPS tech means that the display features more consistent and realistic colours than on the Nexus 6. We also found that the iPhone 6 has better viewing angles than the Nexus 6, which has a tendency to slightly distort colours, particularly whites, when viewed from the side.
That said, with prolonged use we did find that the Nexus 6's higher ppi count and extra screen space made the Google handset nicer to use for certain tasks. For example, text and icons on the Nexus 6 appear slightly sharper than those on the iPhone 6.
This, combined with the extra screen space, made it easier to do things like edit spreadsheets and word processor files, type emails or read long documents on the Nexus 6.
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