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Google takes a jab at iPhone 6s camera as it unveils new Nexus lineup, next-gen Chromecast, Pixel tablet & more


Google is hosting its big fall event today with the company officially taking the wraps off a new lineup of Nexus smartphones from various manufacturing partners, its new second-gen Chromecast that we revealed previously, a revamped Google Photos experience, and much, much more.

For the new Nexus lineup, Google is introducing a new Nexus 6P manufactured by Huawei, a 5.7-inch device with a QHD AMOLED display, a 12.3MP f/2.0 Sony camera sensor, and a Snapdragon 810 processor. That comes alongside the new LG Nexus 5X, a $379 device that sports a 5.2-inch, 1080 x 1920 LCD, a Snapdragon 808 processor, and the same 12.3MP f/2.0 Sony sensor as the 6P. During the announcement, Google took the opportunity to compare the new camera to Apple’s new 12-megapixel shooter on the iPhone 6s:


Google said that in low light the new Nexus 6P outperforms all other phones for a number of metrics. It also announced that both new devices support 4K video (much like the new iPhone 6s lineup) as well as a Smart Burst photos feature that creates short animated gifs not unlike Apple’s new Live Photos feature in iOS 9. 

In addition, Google confirmed an incoming $499, 10.2-inch “Pixel C” Android tablet with a magnetic, detachable keyboard that will surely become its iPad Pro competitor. It also went over some new details for Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and announced new company stats including 1.4B Android actives, 1B active Play users, 30k new Chromebooks/day, and 10k companies using Android for Work.

But perhaps most important for Mac users is the announcement of new Google Photos features. Shared albums, people labeling, Chromecast support and more come to Google Photos with most features coming to iOS and Mac users in addition to Android later this year. And lastly, Google officially announced its next-generation Chromecast devices that comes with Chromecast audio and other new features.

Head below for the quick and easy links to our full coverage of each announcement on 9to5Google:

Watch Google’s Chromecast 2, Nexus 5X/6P event right here [Livestream]

LG Nexus 5X officially announced, $379 gets you full HD display, Snapdragon 808 and fingerprint sensor

Huawei Nexus 6P officially announced, 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 810, more

Google: 1.4B Android actives, 1B active Play users, 30k new Chromebooks/day, 10k companies using Android for Work

Google confirms its ‘Pixel C’ Android tablet w/ detachable keyboard, Android Marshmallow, more

Android 6.0 Marshmallow gets a release date: Rollout starts on next week for Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2013) and Nexus 9

Google launches Google Play Music All Access Family Plan w/ 6 users for $15 per month

New Google Photos features announced: Shared albums, people labeling, Chromecast support

Google unveils the 2nd generation Chromecast w/ better WiFi, Feeds, Fast Play, more

Google’s Chromecast Audio WiFi-enables your speakers, packs multi-room support

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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  1. Anyone else thinks that the iPhone 6s Plus looks significantly better in the first row and makes their own phones look really bad? Second row they all look bad and wouldn’t be a photo to keep on any device.

    • Agreed. I thought the same thing.

    • acslater017 - 7 years ago

      The iPhone is brighter and warmer, but 23 minutes after sunset, that’s probably not accurate colors. The face shadows are also eliminated and the clouds are blown out completely.

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      Seriously! cmon not just because its apple. The colors in the first row is absulte win for the new nexus.

      • I don’t agree. Even without looking at the titles I liked the iPhone’s photo better. It’s fresh, live, amazing. Nexus’ photo on the other hand is boring, dark, dead.

      • *alive (Guys! Edit function! Come on!)

      • myke2241 - 7 years ago

        the thing here is can we really trust promo BS without seeing how they setup devices??? the answer is no. i would go on to say that Apple is usually pretty honest in image test like these but others have not been. it is really pretty sad to even compare your device to another brand. Google shouldn’t have to do that if they stand by their product. BTW all the images look bad to me

      • freerange5 - 7 years ago

        You are clueless! The reason sunset and sunrise are called the golden hour is because of the color the sun casts. The ONLY photo here that is accurate and good is the iPhone one in the first row. As to the clouds, the person is the focus, not the clouds! Duh!

    • Corey (@coreyv87) - 7 years ago

      Not necessarily. This is after sunset, the iPhone shot has a white sky, looks overexposed. Should her skin be that red though? Don’t know.

    • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

      Looks over exposed…..the sky is completely blown out……or she has a huge white cloud behind her where the others have blue sky

      • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

        Update: However, as some have noticed below, Google did not take these pictures from the same angle as observed by the lack of the left side tree meaning they are not valid for 1 to 1 comparison shots

    • Zdenka Mi - 7 years ago

      Google is basically saying the Nexus phones turns your face pink after sunset lol

  2. ibejohnson - 7 years ago

    So Google thinks their photos look better? Maybe it’s just me, but at the 23 min after sunset example, I’d take the iPhone photo all day long. 37 min after sunset — I’ll grab my Nikon or use flash.

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      You probably need to take a course about colors and exposure if you care about accuracy.

      • freerange5 - 7 years ago

        You are the one that needs a photo course. The sky is not the subject, the person is, and the iPhone photo is far superior.

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      Just look at the sky in the iphone photo! Is this how the sky looks 32 min before sunshine!??

  3. Apple has already sold more iPhone 6S and 6S Plus than Google will ever sell of these two new Nexus models. That’s the best metric of all. Animated GIFs? Get f’ing real.

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      So? What’s your point? If the camera is indeed better in the new Nexus, and based on the evidence presented here that would appear to be the case, then Google have a better camera phone. It’s not a difficult concept. This isn’t even anything new, Nokia have made Lumias with cameras light years ahead of anything in an iPhone.

      • The evidence here shows that the iPhone produces better images and that Google in low light situations is boosting their photos. Pixel peep them.

        The point is this is another POS Nexus that won’t make a dent in the mobile landscape at all – not measured by any metric.

      • iAlborz - 7 years ago

        based on the evidence here the iPhone 6 camera is superior. just look at that photo. it’s gorgeous. even when they try to take a bad photo with an iPhone it’s a good photo.
        the only point here is that the pixels in the nexus are larger so they’re slightly better in dark places and for some reason you don’t want to use flash.
        they should just leave the flash on and compare the true tone flash results against the nexus one.

      • samuelsnay - 7 years ago

        “Based on the evidence presented here.” Evidence presented by Google who are touting their phone versus the iPhone. Totally gonna be unbiased, right?

        I haven’t laughed that hard at a post in a long time.

    • cdm283813 - 7 years ago

      If sales was the only thing keeping Nexus devices alive it would have been dead long ago. Huge sales figures are not the biggest point of the Nexus line. There are no payment plans and you must purchase them out right this time around which could lead to even lower numbers than last year. I believe the point of a Nexus device is to offer an “Apple like device” for Android enthusiasts. A device that will receive timely updates without bloat. A device that’s fully unlocked for any carrier at a cheap price. And a device that can be rooted and bootloader unlocked for a wide range of custom roms. It’s a device for Android geeks. The camera and other stuff are just bonuses.
      If you really want a camera phone buy an iPhone, S6 or G4. If you want a pure experience on Android the Nexus is number one. $500 is a damn good price for a 32GB flagship model.

    • gatorguy2 - 7 years ago

      You’re right. The Nexus models are not meant as big sellers. They should be thought of demo/suggested hardware builds for new OS versions and features in the coming months. They are not meant to compete in the consumer market with either iPhone or Android licensee devices. The OEM’s will use the Nexus configurations as the base for their own Lollipop-themed and enhanced models.

    • chrisl84 - 7 years ago

      Are 12FPS Live Photos video clips some how better than GIFs? Cus news flash they aren’t because 12 FPS is a joke no matter the file type

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      Well, the hardware might be nice . . . But they all suffer one fatal flaw – They run Android!

      Next Story — Nothing to see here!

    • tush4r - 7 years ago

      Everybody is after Apple, no one wants to compare with Samsung or a Windows smartphone, Why?

  4. hayesunt - 7 years ago

    It looks like they have HDR off in the iPhone photo.

  5. sardonick - 7 years ago

    In the photos area, I like the iPhone at 23 mins and the 6p at 37 mins. Although the natural look of the 6p at 23 is tolerable too. Either way, it’s not mind blowing in comparison, when you consider the rest of the phone. I’m on a note 5, but the iPhone 6s Plus is pretty damn nice imo.

  6. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 7 years ago

    Just like when Apple demonstrates something, and compares it to a competitor, the tests are always weighted towards your own product. So, these camera comparisons mean nothing right now. Independent tests will show the real difference. Historically, Nexus cameras have not been any better than the iPhone’s, or they have been worse, so I am skeptical anything has changed. Its the software that makes the difference, not the Sony hardware. Lots of phone cameras use similar Sony sensors.

    • gatorguy2 - 7 years ago

      DXOMark has tested it and made some observations. Perhaps you could visit their site and read up. In a nutshell it has the second best mobile phone camera they’ve ever tested. And no it’s not second to the iPhone.

      • joshdoremus - 7 years ago

        They haven’t even tested the 6s.

  7. José F. - 7 years ago

    It is only me or the photos from the Nexus 6P looks like they have been put through several Instagram filters?

  8. I would accept any evidence, except the pictures are not even the same, look at the tree in all the pictures, there were all taken at different angles, and i think its pretty obvious that the exposure would be affected by the position of the light source.

    • samuelsnay - 7 years ago

      Lol you’re right! Look at the tree to the left in each photo in the top row. The iPhone photo is taken with the camera pointed toward the sun, leaving the sky all white because it’s overexposed. The Nexus piece of shit is taken with the sun out of frame, so you get much better lighting.

      Even for Google, that’s pretty low.

    • mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

      You are RIGHT !! LOL !

  9. BDKennedy (@BDKennedy) - 7 years ago

    Google should be embarrassed for posting those photos. The 6P may be better in low light, but it still looks like sh**.

  10. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    I wish Apple had a cheap device like the Chromecast Audio so you could use Airport and Apple Music on your existing stereos. Take the router part out of the Airport Express and use it just for connecting sterols would be nice.

  11. Zadkiel Yeo - 7 years ago

    But if it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone!

  12. epicflyingcat - 7 years ago

    First impression of the 6P: Hey, this looks like a really nice phone! Finally a good Nexus phone!

    *see back*

    Well, sh*t, maybe next yeah eh, Google?

    • acslater017 - 7 years ago

      There is a LOT going I on the back. LG logo, Nexus logo, fingerprint sensor, camera bump, two separate flashes (?)

  13. Even with just looking at the photos I liked iPhone’s photos better. I feel like they were telling ‘Look how much batter iPhone 6s is’.

  14. Jonathan Brusco - 7 years ago

    The older gen Apple TV works great as a music server on a stereo, just set it up on a separate TV, then go plug the optical cable (or HDMI) into your receiver and your good to go for air playing your music. The bummer is that the newer version drops the option input, so unless you have a receiver with HDMI, you’re screwed.

    As far as the phone goes, I love how Apple’s stock is down 2% on this news and Google’s is flat?! WTF. Apple sells 13M phones in 3 days and Google announces a new product and the finance world is impressed by them?

  15. rogifan - 7 years ago

    Remind me, did Apple take any specific jabs at the competition during their September event? I can’t remember. I know they have before but it seems like the competition does it way more often. It’s like Apple is living rent free in their competitors heads.

    • acslater017 - 7 years ago

      I can’t recall any from September, but Apple’s definitely not above taking jabs at competitors. They always compare OS X and iOS adoption rates to Windows and Android. Steve really laid into the nascent Android tablet markets back in the day. For goodness sake, Tim quoted someone calling Android a toxic hell stew.

    • gatorguy2 - 7 years ago

      I don’t think Google is “taking a jab” at Apple in any way. They’re simply noting that the New Nexus camera compares favorably in low light situations with what is widely considered to be the best mobile phone camera, Apple’s. Who else should it be compared to if not the best?

  16. Joe Mecca - 7 years ago

    clouds are different, angles are different – when sky background is present, just the slightest change will impact brightness or darkness.

  17. Joe Mecca - 7 years ago

    Why is each photo so completely different – no tree in the center photo – every angle, clouds are different, the fence is different. The center picture has no tree and there is a pond. This is what you would expect from Google.

  18. Google, which doesn’t make cell phones (or the cameras) shouldn’t take jab at others. I can’t fucking stand listening to tech blogs say “Google’s new Nexus Phone…” Google doesn’t make phones, people. It’s like walking into a Microsoft store and seeing them sell other people’s stuff.

    • x0epyon0x - 7 years ago

      Nexus devices are designed and manufactured in close cooperation between Google and the specific OEM(s), in this case LG and Huawei, and are sold (in this case) exclusively by Google through the Play Store. So it is accurate for Google to claim ownership of Nexus phones. This is in contrast to phones like the LG G4 or the Samsung Galaxy S6, which are designed entirely by those OEMs and utilize the Android operating system with a custom skin.

      To use your analogy, it’s like walking into a Microsoft store and seeing them selling Surface Pros.

  19. michaelcpearson7 - 7 years ago

    I remember there being an article posted on 9to5Mac that talked about “Want realistic photos on the 6s Plus then cut off (or cut on… don’t remember) Live Pictures” or something like that. My only real question, and Google isn’t going to tell us, is exactly what mode was the Android camera in as vs the 6s Plus.

    So I’ll reserve my judgement until an independent website does a test.

  20. standardpull - 7 years ago

    I have my old Nexus in my kitchen’s “junk” drawer. What a disappointing waste of money that was. It still works and boots, but it was an awful phone.

    Maybe the new Nexus has an awesome camera. But hey, it has to be a decent smartphone too. Then again, I’m still very happy with my iPhone 5’s photos. I think the next leap will be some kind of optical zoom, if they can squeeze those lens. Ah, physics.

  21. Is anyone else surprised at the lack of presentation quality from most all the presenters, including their CEO? It became hard to watch and I kept reminding myself that this is Google, not some start up. Google may be committed to excellence in some areas, but presentations are definitely not one of them. I guess I expect more from one of the largest and most sophisticated companies on earth.

  22. iphonery - 7 years ago

    Seriously, someone should find the girl in the picture and ask her which picture she would keep of herself?

  23. Pathetic that Google is trying to compare their privacy and data stealing derivative device to anything from apple.

  24. Patrick Fung - 7 years ago

    I can take both beautiful and not so beautiful pictures with my iPhone 6. At the end of the day, a blurry photo is a blurry photo…an overexposed photo is an overexposed photo…an iPhone or a Nexus phone.

  25. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    23mins after – the iphone one looks better… even the nexus 6 looks better than the nexus 6p…

    as for 34mins after — wow great — you can see a little bit more BUT all 3 are completely useless in low lighting…

    the interesting thing would be using the flash… apple changed how this works to give a more natural look in low lighting – how about the 6p???

    also… apple works best with the HDR function on that combines several shots into one to create a better image — this looks like theyve over exposed it and im sure this isnt a proper shot…

  26. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    Who took the Photos? Google? How about a 3rd unbiased party?

  27. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    Nexus phones typically get sold to Developers and they typically don’t sell that many Nexus phones per year. Last year’s model didn’t have much in the way of sales. At least according to Google.

  28. mikegwest - 7 years ago

    So a 10.2″ $499 tablet will be their iPad Pro competitor? Because it has a detachable keyboard? I don’t think so. Nor do I think that’s even their intention.

  29. Thats a stupid comparison.

  30. rwtd - 7 years ago

    Did Google turn off Live Photos on the iPhones for these tests? We already know it hurts low light performance:

  31. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    I would prefer using my old nokia 3310 rather than buying any of these phones, for what? ONLY to take a photo after 37min of sunset?!! ridiculous comparison, Nobody would keep such a photo, they’re all bad unless you use Flash.

    • tush4r - 7 years ago

      At least you have a battery that last for ages. And it’s INDESTRUCTIBLE.

    • iphonery - 7 years ago

      Speaking of Nokia phones…. my N82 phone was the best camera phone I’ve ever had. If Nokia focused on that model alone and improved it, I probably wouldn’t have an iPhone today.

  32. direttoresabino - 7 years ago

    top row, “23 mins after sunset”. The Nexus 6 and Nexus 6P are shot at the same angle. The tree is present in both, and the wooden fence runs completely across the background of both. The fence is almost parallel to the camera. The iPhone is clearly shot from a different angle – No trea, and the fence is not parallel to the camera but running at a sharp angle away from the camera. This angle appears to be pointing more directly towards the setting sun. The sun has NOT set, those bright sports on her face are not from flash they appear to be in line with the bright light source just off camera. It even looks like that could be water on the right side of the picture, reflecting light.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.