2014 was a great year for technology enthusiasts and saw the release of a multitude of great smartphones.
Featuring a wealth of top-end internal components and custom software, all three are impressive smartphones that cater to different segments of the market. However, knowing which one is right for you can be tricky.
Visually the iPhone 6, Nexus 6 and Xperia Z3 are about as different as you can get. The iPhone 6 features a metal chassis with rounded sides and corners.
The Nexus 6 has a polycarbonate back and Gorilla Glass front that clips into a metal frame, while the Xperia Z3 has metal sides and glass front and back faces.
The Nexus 6 at 159x83x10.1mm and 184g feels the most unwieldy of the three.
Picking between the 138x67x6.9mm, 129g iPhone 6 and 146x72x7.3 mm, 152g Xperia Z3 we found both handsets reasonably comfortable to hold, although the Apple handset is slightly more ergonomic thanks to its curved sides.
That said, the Xperia Z3 is the clear winner in terms of build quality. Built to IP68 certification standards, the Z3 is the only one of the three that is dustproof and water resistant. Specifically, the Z3 is water resistant up to one metre for 30 minutes.
Testing the three, the certification rang true and the Xperia Z3 proved noticeably more drop resistant than the iPhone 6 and Nexus 6.
Winner: The Xperia Z3
Screen technology is an increasingly competitive area in the smartphone arena, and Apple, Google and Sony have worked hard to load their smartphones with impressive display technologies.
We found that the Nexus 6's 2560x1440, 493ppi Amoled capacitive touchscreen is the weakest. This is largely due to the poor colour calibration and noticeably lower brightness levels.
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 is great, many manufacturers still oversaturate colours on Amoled displays in a bid to make colours look 'punchier'.
This problem remains true on the Nexus 6, which 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.
Picking between the iPhone 6's 4.7in 1334x750, 326 ppi Retina HD display and the Xperia Z3's 5.2in, 1080x1920, 424 ppi IPS with X-Reality Engine technology and Triluminos display, we found that the Sony handset had an edge on its Apple competitor.
The use of IPS ensures that colours look great on both handsets, but the Xperia Z3 is slightly sharper. IPS displays create more consistent and realistic colours by organising liquid crystals on a fixed plate that's charged at a consistent rate.
This is likely due to the inclusion of Sony's X-Reality Engine and Triluminos display technology. Sony claims that the combined technologies make the Xperia Z3's screen sharper, clearer and more defined than competitors' by reducing image noise and interference resulting from overlapping colours and pixels.
The Xperia Z3's lead is cemented by the inclusion of an inbuilt white balance screen calibration tool that lets users adjust the display's settings.
Winner: The Xperia Z3
Next: Operating system and security