Even more importantly, unlike past years when Google shied away from directly competing with Apple in the top-end space, the firm chose to go head-to-head with its competitor and priced the Nexus 6 in the post-£500 bracket.
The price led many potential phablet buyers to wonder which plus-sized handset is the best for them, and ignited a fresh grudge match between Apple and Google.
Design and build
Visually the iPhone 6 Plus lives up to its name and looks like a blown up version of its smaller sibling, the iPhone 6.
This is no bad thing. Apple's 2014 smartphone design is one of the best we've seen in recent years.
Featuring a fully metal chassis, with a flat back and round corners and sides, the iPhone 6 Plus is one of the most luxurious feeling smartphones available.
The Nexus 6, which features a polycarbonate back that clips into metal sides, feels slightly less premium and not quite as solidly built.
We also found the Nexus 6's increased 159x83x10mm measurements and 184g weight made it slightly unwieldy compared with the 158x78x7.1mm, 172g iPhone 6 Plus.
That said, with prolonged use we soon found that the Nexus 6's increased size and weight was balanced by its more intelligent button placement.
The Nexus 6 places the power and volume buttons on the bottom side of the phone's right-hand side, while the iPhone 6 separates the controls, placing the power button on the top right side and volume on the top left side.
The placement means that the iPhone 6 Plus was slightly more cumbersome to use when doing basic things like waking the phone up or adjusting the volume of music when using it one handed or on the move.
But this isn't too big an issue as neither device is small enough for any regular sized user to sensibly interact with one-handed.
Winner: iPhone 6 Plus
Screen technology is an increasingly competitive area in the smartphone arena. Originally Apple had a big lead thanks to the Retina display technology.
However, in recent years Apple has gradually been losing its edge here as competitors created their own equally, if not more, impressive display technologies.
As a result, we expected that comparing the iPhone 6 Plus 5.5in 1920x1080, 401ppi Retina HD display with the Nexus 6 6in, 1440x2560, 493ppi quad HD display was going to be tricky.
On paper 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 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.
By comparison, IPS displays create more consistent and realistic colours by organising liquid crystals on a fixed plate that's charged at a consistent rate.
We found that the iPhone 6 Plus display had a definite edge on the Nexus 6. This is largely because, like many Amoled screens, the Nexus 6 display is slightly oversaturated.
The Nexus 6 has a tendency to slightly distort colours, particularly whites, when viewed from the side and can push reds far more than it should. This isn't a problem for general purposes, but it's particularly noticeable when viewing photos or images.
The iPhone 6 Plus also had superior brightness levels and a more reactive Auto setting that was noticeably more efficient in adjusting the screen settings when moving between different lighting conditions.
Winner: The iPhone 6 Plus
Next: Operating system and security