Nexus vs iPhone cell plans: 5X vs 6s, 6P vs 6s Plus


WhistleOut
06 October 2015

Now that Google has unveiled its Android flagships, it’s time to pit them up against Apple’s offering and see how they fair. This isn’t going to be a direct fight; where Apple focuses on premium design for a premium price, the Nexus line from Google is more about bang-for-buck.

Still, Nexus phones don't tend to sacrifice too much, and each year we manage to see a Nexus phone with fantastic hardware for around two-thirds the price of other phones with comparable tech.

The real question is; are the small sacrifices made by the Google Nexus line deal-breakers, or can we overlook any flaws in favor of saving a fair wad of cash?

iPhone 6s vs Nexus 5X

The Nexus 5X is an LG-made smartphone. It’s the cheaper of the two Nexus devices released this year and, as such, is less-impressive in the hardware department.

That being said, it’s no slouch. We’ve already done a whole article arguing why the Nexus 5X can compete with the iPhone 6s, so we’ll just sum up the good bits here.

Camera

If you don’t know by now, the iPhone 6s has a truly impressive camera. At 12MP, it’s the first time Apple has bothered upgrading its megapixel count since the iPhone 4s. It’s nothing short of the best camera on the market. Can the Nexus 5X compete?

Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you should turn up your nose. LG is the same company that made the LG G4. When that phone was released around six months back, it was the equal-best camera on the market alongside the Galaxy S6. LG knows how to make good smartphone cameras.

The Nexus 5X sports a 12.3MP camera. That’s enough for a manufacturer like LG to work with; expect to see some pretty good photos coming out of this device. It won’t be as good as the iPhone 6s, but for around $400 less starting price it would have to be pretty bad to be out of the running.

Pricing

The difference in retail price between the two phones is huge; the starting price of the iPhone is almost double that of the Nexus 5X. However, 5X storage options max out at 32GB with no microSD for expansion, where the iPhone 6s has 64GB and 128GB variants.

iPhone 6s 16GB
$899
iPhone 6s 64GB
$1029
iPhone 6s 128GB
$1159
Nexus 5X 16GB
$499
Nexus 5X 32GB
$559
NA

The Nexus 5X doesn't come subsidized; you buy it outright from the Google Play store and then go for a no-Tab monthly plan with no lock-in contract. To keep things fair, let's look at the total cost of each device over two years on call plans, focusing on the cheapest plan options for each.

That means subdidized on a contract with the iPhone 6s, and unsubsidized on a no-contract plan for the Nexus 5X. Remember: should you get frustrated on one of these 5X plans, you can always up and leave for another carrier. Not so when you're on a 2-year contract.


iPhone 6s
16GB
Nexus 5X
16GB
Price difference
Over 24 months



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$85 per month
+ $398.99 upfront
$20 connection fee


$2458.99
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $499 purchase
$20 connection fee


$2079
Over 24 months
$379.99



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$85 per month
+ $400 upfront
$10 connection fee


$2450
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $499 purchase
$10 connection fee


$2069
Over 24 months
$381



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$75 per month
+ $398.99 upfront
$24.95 connection fees


$2223.94
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $499 purchase
$24.95 connection fees


$2083.95
Over 24 months
$139.99



5GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$110 per month
+ $398.99 upfront
$20 connection fee


$3058.99
Over 24 months
$90 per month
+ $499 purchase
$20 connection fee


$2679
Over 24 months
$379.99



4GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$105 per month
+ $400 upfront
$10 connection fee


$2930
Over 24 months
$85 per month
+ $499 purchase
$10 connection fee


$2549
Over 24 months
$381



5GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$100 per month
+ $398.99 upfront
$24.95 connection fee


$2823.94
Over 24 months
$90 per month
+ $499 purchase
$24.95 connection fees


$2683.95
Over 24 months
$139.99

As you can see, the price difference on each carrier remains standard across different plans. On Rogers and Telus, the difference is substantial: around $380 on each.

Bell, on the other hand, has more-similar prices thanks to its cheaper monthly plans for subsidized 2-year contracts, and more-expensive (than Telus) options for no-contract BYO phone plans.

Also notice that Telus' larger plan here is 4GB, as opposed to 5GB.

iPhone 6 Plus vs Nexus 6P

This comparison is a little closer in terms of hardware. Both the 5.7 inch Nexus 6P and the 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus are designed to be fully-fledged flagships. Actually, when you look at pure hardware, the 6P has the advantage.

Its 2560x1440 Nexus display gives it 515 pixels per inch (ppi) – quite a bit more than the 401ppi the 6s Plus’ 1080p display. Despite the difference in screen size, the two phones are very similar in dimensions, with the 6P coming in a mere 1.2mm taller, while remaining 0.2mm thinner horizontally and 0.1mm more-slender in profile.

The 6s Plus is available in three model variants: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. Like-wise, the 6P also comes in three options, but ditches the 16GB tier at: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. The cheapest option of the Nexus 6P will run you significantly less than the lowest-tier 6s Plus, but also features twice the storage.

Unfortunately, directly comparing the hardware between an Android and an iPhone won't get you too much further than this. Any disparity in CPU, RAM or graphics card are offset by the way each device's ecosystem operates. Only one more real comparison remains:

Camera

Both cameras are roughly 12MP. Once again the iPhone 6s Plus is the more-likely to have the superior shooter, but for this one we’ll really have to wait and see real-world comparisons to make a final judgement.

Huawei (the makers of the Nexus 6P) is a bit of a left-field candidate. In the past its made great phones and definitely has the potential to contend with the biggest players out there in terms of image capture. Then again, there's no way to tell if that potential has been reached, and we already know for sure that the 6s Plus has the best camera around.

Pricing

These two are much closer in terms of hardware than the earlier comparison. Despite this, the Nexus is still significantly cheaper when purchased outright.

iPhone 6s Plus 16GB
$1029
iPhone 6s Plus 64GB
$1159
iPhone 6s Plus 128GB
$1289
Nexus 6P 32GB
$699
Nexus 6P 64GB
$749
Nexus 6P 128GB
$849

On plans we once again compared the two cheapest storage options. For the 6s Plus this means the 16GB; for the Nexus 6P it's a 32GB model (double the capacity).


iPhone 6s
16GB
Nexus 5X
16GB
Price difference
Over 24 months



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$85 per month
+ $528.99 upfront
$20 connection fee


$2588.99
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $699 purchase
$20 connection fee


$2279
Over 24 months
$309.99



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$85 per month
+ $530 upfront
$10 connection fee


$2580
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $699 purchase
$10 connection fee


$2269
Over 24 months
$311



1GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$75 per month
+ $528.99 upfront
$24.95 connection fees


$2353.94
Over 24 months
$65 per month
+ $699 purchase
$24.95 connection fees


$2283.95
Over 24 months
$69.99



5GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$110 per month
+ $528.99 upfront
$20 connection fee


$3188.99
Over 24 months
$90 per month
+ $699 purchase
$20 connection fee


$2879
Over 24 months
$309.99



4GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$105 per month
+ $530 upfront
$10 connection fee


$3060
Over 24 months
$85 per month
+ $699 purchase
$10 connection fee


$2749
Over 24 months
$311



5GB + Unlimited
Canada-wide calls

$100 per month
+ $528.99 upfront
$24.95 connection fee


$2953.94
Over 24 months
$90 per month
+ $699 purchase
$24.95 connection fees


$2883.95
Over 24 months
$69.99

This time the price gap is about $70 less than it was in the first comparison.

On both Telus and Rogers the Nexus 6P is still substantially cheaper than the iPhone 6s Plus over two years - around $310.

On Bell, this time the price is almost not worth comment. Just a $70 difference over 2 years is pretty slim. If you're considering Bell as your carrier, it's probably not worth factoring price as part of your decision.


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