Nexus 6P vs. the Competition: Which Phablet is Best?

Google has gone the extra mile to make sure the new Nexus 6P is everything an Android flagship phone should be. But it faces some pretty stiff competition from Samsung and Apple phablets.

The 6P is the runaway winner in terms of price, a typical strength of the Nexus line. At $499 unlocked, the 6P with 32GB is at least $200 cheaper than similar sized phones, such as the iPhone 6S, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. You'll still need to sign up for service through a wireless provider and get a SIM Card, but there won't be a monthly payment plan.

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When it comes to screen size, the Nexus goes bigger than the iPhone 6s Plus (5.5 inches, 1920 x 1440) and ties the Galaxy phablets at 5.7 inches and 2560 x 1440 pixels. The Nexus 6P (6.27 x 3.0 x 0.29 inches) is just barely larger than the iPhone 6S Plus (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches), and is about half an ounce lighter. Both of the Galaxy phones are a little shorter and thinner.

The camera upgrades might be what makes the Nexus 6P truly stand out. Its 8-megapixel front-facing shooter has the potential to provide some of the best looking selfies in existence. Of course, there's more to a good camera than just that, so we'll have to wait for a full face off to be sure. Google says the new Nexus's  12.3-MP camera captures much larger pixels than the iPhone and other smartphones, another claim we'll have to test ourselves.

Huawei and Google outfitted the 6P with the Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. Those specs should at least keep pace with the iPhone (Apple A9), the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5 (both running the Octa-core Exynos 7420), which are all lightning fast.

For the most faithful Android experience, the Nexus line is the only way to go. The 6P will come with 6.0 Marshmallow preloaded. It’ll be a while before the Samsung phones can update, and even when they do, they’ll also have Samsung’s TouchWiz. However, for iOS devotees, the iPhone is the only way to enjoy iOS 9's phone-y goodness.

If you’re looking for extra bells and whistles from your smartphone, you’re not going to find them with the budget-priced 6P. The coolest extra feature is an iPhone-like fingerprint sensor below the phone’s rear camera. You won't find the S6 Edge Plus' curved screen, the iPhone 6s Plus' 3D Touch, or the Galaxy Note 5's built-in stylus.

Still, for its price, the 6P looks like a sweet package. If you’re shopping on a budget for a simple smartphone with a great camera, this may be your pick. We'll have to wait for our full review to be sure.