Before you get your pitchforks and flaming torches out, let me explain: I’ve been using a Nexus 6P for several months and switched to the Galaxy S7 Edge a month ago. While I consider myself a stock Android and Nexus fan to the core, I have to give credit where credit is due. The Nexus 6P is a fantastic phone, and I love it too (these are my two favorite phones right now). But there are a few things that the Galaxy S7 Edge does better – in my humble opinion – than the Nexus 6P. So let’s do this.
“What!?!” I hear you scream. Yes, I said it. The Nexus 6P camera blows my mind, it really does. It’s just that the Galaxy S7 Edge camera is even better. Both phones have a great quick launch feature, but the S7 Edge’s is faster. It also focuses and shoots faster than the 6P.
I also prefer the S7 Edge’s camera app and functionality over the Google Camera. Admittedly, I prefer the Nexus 6P over the S7 Edge in low light, but the S7 still has the slightly superior camera in my opinion. Even DxOMark has given the Galaxy S7 Edge it’s highest mobile camera rating yet.
I have the 64 GB Nexus 6P and in all fairness that’s enough for me. I don’t store huge music or movie libraries on my phone but if I ever wanted to – or had a need to use my phone as a temporary storage device for large files – then the microSD expansion in the Galaxy S7 Edge is fantastic.
Knowing I have the flexibility to throw in a storage card if and when I might need to (which I’ve already had reason to) goes a long way. While the Galaxy S7 Edge may not officially support Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage Devices, there’s a neat trick that lets you format a microSD card as internal storage if you want to.
The 5.7-inch Nexus 6P display is great for a lot of reasons, but I still struggle with the size of the phone even several months on. It never fits in jeans pockets properly and using it one-handed requires way too much hand shimmying, making a drop feel less like a possibility and more like an inevitability.
The Galaxy S7 Edge not only feels better in the hand than the 6P, it crams an almost-as-large screen into a much smaller body. Having said that, the S7 Edge is incredibly slippery, so while it may be smaller to hold, it’s just as easy to drop. Smartphone size is a purely subjective matter though (and I have to admit I’d hate to live without the front-facing speakers on the Nexus 6P which require a bit more room).
I’m not just talking about battery life here, but all things battery related. I love the huge 3,450 mAh battery in the Nexus 6P and have been very impressed by Doze Mode. But the Galaxy S7 Edge is a smaller phone with an even larger battery and I regularly get well into my second day before needing to charge, something that rarely happens with the 6P.
Plus, the Galaxy S7 Edge has wireless charging and fast wireless charging, two options sadly lacking from the metal Nexus 6P. Having grown used to charging my Nexuses wirelessly it was a shame to lose the option on the 6P, even if I generally prefer its metal build to the Galaxy S7 Edge’s fingerprint magnet glass.
Water-resistance feels like a dream for Nexus fans, right up there with a microSD card slot. While water-resistance may or may not ever come to the Nexus line, it’s back in full force on the Galaxy S7 Edge.
Now, I’m not the type to take my phone in the shower with me or try to take underwater photos with my phone, but to know that the S7 Edge should be fine if I drop it in water or get caught in the rain adds a layer of security to a very expensive investment. When it rains and I have my 6P with me, I shelter it like a child running from a volcanic eruption.
I’ve definitely gotten used to the Nexus 6P’s “visor” – where the camera array, laser auto-focus and sensors are placed – and have even come to like its instant recognizability. But the Galaxy S7 Edge does a much better job of dealing with the camera bump we’re seeing more and more on recent smartphones.
Samsung took the unsightly hump from the Galaxy S6 and flattened it out by adding a bigger battery and making the phone itself thicker – something tech writers have been requesting for a long time. So for that I’m thankful. Now, just imagine if the Nexus 6P had done the same and arrived with a 4,000 mAh battery…
This might seem like nitpicking and it pretty much is, but hey, nitpicking is valid when you’re contrasting two of the best phones around right now. The difference in button placement for me comes down to the volume buttons.
On the Galaxy S7 Edge they are nice and high up, out of the way where I won’t actually press them unless I mean to (I’m right-handed). The Nexus 6P’s power and volume buttons are too close together and the volume rocker is in the worst place for accidentally pressing it with your thumb just while holding the phone.
That rounds up my lists of pros for the Galaxy S7 Edge over the Nexus 6P. Some of you will disagree with my thoughts on the camera, button placement and size, but this was meant as a subjective assessment, not an objective review.
To keep things fair, I’ll have another article up soon detailing the areas in which I think the Nexus 6P is better than the Galaxy S7 Edge (because there are just as many). Although when we’re down to this level of nitpicking, we really are spoiled for quality.
Which phone do you think is better and why? What do you think are the biggest pros and cons of each device?