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Is the Nexus 6 too large?

The Nexus 6 is larger than your average smartphone, but it its size unwieldy? Does the end of the Nexus 7 line mean that we should be treating the 6 more like a tablet?
October 16, 2014
Nexus 6 size

The launch of the Nexus 6 has been a little controversial for some. Firstly, the $649 price tag caught a few people off guard and seems a little steep compared with the competitively priced Nexus 5. The other issue for some is its sheer size. This definitely isn’t the everyman’s Nexus. But just how big is the Nexus 6?

Exact dimensions for the handset come in at 159.26 mm x 82.98 mm x 10.06 mm, making this a bulky handset in pretty much every axis. Compared with the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 is 16 percent taller and 13 percent wider, meaning that the front surface area of the phone has grown by an astonishing 45 percent in a single generation. Even when compared with the larger flagships smartphones on the market right now, the Nexus 6 comes out as the biggest. In fact, the only smartphone range that I could find which was larger than the Nexus 6 was the beastly Galaxy Mega line-up, although the hardware is considerably worse.

Nexus 6Galaxy Note 4LG G3OnePlus OneAscend Mate 7Desire 820
Size (mm)
Nexus 6
159.3 x 83 x 10
Galaxy Note 4
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9
OnePlus One
152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9
Ascend Mate 7
157 x 81 x 7.9
Desire 820
157.7 x 78.7 x 7.7
Nexus 6
184 g
Galaxy Note 4
176 g
149 g
OnePlus One
162 g
Ascend Mate 7
185 g
Desire 820
155 g

Just like the Moto X, the Nexus 6 is also a little deeper than its rivals at 1cm thick. The similarly sized Ascend Mate 7 is 0.8cm thick by comparison. Furthermore, the Nexus 6 is one of the heavier smartphones around, even amongst handsets of a similar size. Coming in at 184g, the Nexus 6 is 23 percent heavier than the LG G3 and the Galaxy S5, and 42 percent heavier than the lightweight Nexus 5.

Whichever way you look at it, the Nexus 6 is big. But perhaps the question we should be asking is, is it too big for its screen size? 6-inch handsets aren’t the norm, but if you’re in the market for one will the Nexus 6 be too big?

To give you a sense of proportion, each device above is to scale.

In comparison with the 6-inch Galaxy Mega 2 and Ascend Mate 7, or the 5.9-inch LG G Pro 2, the Nexus 6 is actually rather average. However it is still a little thicker and heavier than most of its competitors. The only handset heavier, and larger, than the Nexus 6 is the Galaxy Mega 2. As with most handsets this generation, much of the device is taken up by the screen rather than by overly large bezels.

Screen to Body Ratio Nexus 6

Just like other large smartphones, the Nexus 6 is not going to suit everyone’s needs or sense of style. But before we end the discussion, I would like to return to the painstakingly created comparison image above.

There is a secondary reason as to why I included the Nexus 7 on there. If you look at just the size of the display area for a second, you’ll probably find that the 1 inch difference between the Nexus 6 and Nexus 7 doesn’t actually seem that much. The super slimmed down form factor of the Nexus 6 perhaps disguises one of its purposes, as a sort-of replacement to the Nexus 7.

If you’ve had a look at the new Nexus website, you’ll notice that only the Nexus 5, 6, and 9 are listed on there. Following the removal of the 7-inch tablet, the job of a large, portable display falls to the Nexus 6. When you start to think of the Nexus 6 as, for want of a better word, a phablet or ultra-compact tablet, its position in the Nexus line-up being to make more sense. The Nexus 5 is the phone that Google still thinks will suit most users, whilst the Nexus 9 is the new range’s new high-end tablet.

But that’s enough rambling from me, what do you think? Is the Nexus 6 far too large for you, or does it fit nicely in the new line-up of Nexus products?

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