OnePlus One vs Nexus 6 Camera Comparison part 2: Same Hardware, Same Software

OnePlus One vs Nexus 6 Camera Comparison part 2: Same Hardware, Same Software

By Rich W Woods

A week ago, I published the first part of the camera comparison of the Nexus 6 and the OnePlus One. In researching the two devices, I realized that they both use the Sony IMX214 Exmor RS rear camera sensor. Because of that, the only difference between the two rear cameras is software, firmware, and the fact that the Nexus 6 has optical image stabilization (OIS).

In that comparison, I used the stock camera apps. For the Nexus 6, I used Google Camera and for the OnePlus One, I used the stock CyanogenMod Camera app. I promised a part 2 to see what would happen if we used the Google Camera app for each and this is that part 2. It’s important to note that although the same camera hardware and the same software is being used, both devices still have different firmware.

{adinserter 1}

OnePlus One vs Nexus 6: Specs

OnePlus One Nexus 6
Processor 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805
GPU Adreno 330 Adreno 420
Display 5.5″, 1080p, 401 ppi, LCD 5.96″, 1440p, 493 ppi, AMOLED
Body 152.9×75.9×8.9 mm, 162 g 159.3x83x10.1 mm, 184 g
Camera 13 MP, 4128×3096, 5 MP Front 13 MP, 4128×3096, 2 MP Front
Video 4K DCI – 24 fps, 4K UHD – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps 4K UHD – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps
Aperture F/2 F/2
Storage 16/64 GB 32/64 GB
Battery 3100 mAh 3220 mAh
Price $299/$349 $649/$699

I went over the specs in part one of this comparison. It would be tedious to do it again, but feel free to check out the first one!

{adinserter 2}

OnePlus One vs Nexus 6: Rear Camera

Since we’re using the Google Camera app for this comparison, there are a lot of options that we lose on the OnePlus One’s side. With the OnePlus One, there is no option in the Google Camera app for 4K video like there is for the Nexus 6 and there is for the OnePlus One in the stock Cyanogen Camera app.

Another option that is not available in the Google Camera app for either device is RAW support. Of course, RAW can be done by a third party app on the Nexus 6 and by the stock Cyanogen Camera app.

Please note that in order to enlarge the photos, simply click or tap them. To view the full size images, there is a link in the carousel.

{adinserter 3}

OnePlus One Nexus 6

{adinserter 4}

One thing that is clear here is that the OnePlus One is better in low light than the Nexus 6 is; however, the Nexus 6 doesn’t look as washed out as the OnePlus One photos do, although they look better than they do using the Cyanogen Camera app.

I never thought that it could get worse than when the flash is used in the Cyanogen Camera app. If you look at part one of this comparison you’ll see what I’m talking about. When Google Camera is used, there is not as much of a contrast between when the flash is used and when it is not but there is a line drawn down the image. It is terrible.

I really commend the OnePlus One camera because it doesn’t have a glare in bright lights, as many Android smart phone cameras have. You’ll notice that any of these photos taken in bright light look much better from the OnePlus One.

Another thing that is missing in the Google Camera app with the OnePlus One is HDR+. The OnePlus One has HDR but the Nexus 6 has HDR+, and there’s a difference.

{adinserter 5}

{adinserter 6}

I think that it’s clear that the Nexus 6 HDR+ beats the OnePlus One HDR in most cases. There is still the problem with the glare in very bright lights with the Nexus 6; however, I think it’s clear that with both the OnePlus One and the Nexus 6, the best photos come from HDR and HDR+, respectively.

OnePlus One vs Nexus 6: Video

As I mentioned above, the Google Camera app doesn’t allow for the OnePlus One to take 4K UHD video. The Cyanogen Camera app allows for both 4K DCI and 4K UHD, which I showed off in the first part of this comparison. For the purposes of this comparison, I will show the Nexus 6 videos that I showed in the original comparison along with a similar video taken with the OnePlus One in the Google Camera app.

Also, please note that unless you have a monitor that has a resolution of more than 1080p and you expand the video to full screen, you will not be able to tell the difference between 1080p and a higher resolution. I hear a lot of people comment on how sharp the picture looks on a 4K video that’s embedded in a web site on their WXGA monitor.

Nexus 6 4K UHD

Nexus 6 1080p

OnePlus One 1080p

 OnePlus One vs Nexus 6: Benchmarks

Benchmarks mean very little, if anything, when it comes to real world use. For example, a battery test with Geekbench 3 on the iPhone 6 will say that it gets 3 hours and 3 minutes of battery life while the Nexus 6 will get an additional hour; however, in real life, the Nexus 6 won’t make it through the day with moderate use while the iPhone 6 will.

People have been requesting benchmarks so I’m going to show benchmarks. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, check it out. If you’re not, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.

Take what you want from those screenshots. Somehow, the Nexus 6 gets a better battery score while draining faster than the OnePlus One does. The Nexus 6 does have a slightly larger battery, coming in at 3220 mAh while the OnePlus One comes in at 3100 mAh; however, the Nexus 6 uses a more powerful processor, coming in at 2.7 GHz while the OnePlus One comes in at 2.5 GHz. Possibly the most dominant factor thayt drains the battery on the Nexus 6 is the 1440p display. 1440p is 3.7 MP and 1080p is 2.1 MP. That’s a lot more lights on.

GFXBench and AnTuTu provided different results.

As you can see, the Nexus 6 scored better on both battery and CPU with Geekbench 3 but the OnePlus One scored better with GFXBench and AnTuTu. You might be asking yourself what all of this means. The answer is simple: nothing.


All OnePlus One Camera Comparisons

All Nexus 6 Camera Comparisons

OnePlus One vs Nexus 6 Camera Comparison part 1: Same Hardware, Different Software

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

  • Lukas Nielsen

    I would say, the Oneplus One definitely wins. The photos look a lot more alive and colorful than the nexus 6, and the video quality is almost exactly the same, except the Oneplus One has better sound quality.

    • rwoods716

      For the most part, I agree with you. They definitely look better than they look with the CM Camera app. I think the Nexus 6 looks great with HDR+. The problem with that is it takes so long to take the photo.

  • You don’t seem to have low light shots here, the sun set is still too bright for considering low light.. I’d like to see N6 HDR+ compared to OPO in real low light situation…
    BTW you are shooting handheld or with a tripod? that may make a huge diference because N6 has OIS and OPO doesn’t

    • rwoods716

      Well, a sunset is still low light. I think you mean to say nighttime. I went back and checked. There are nighttime shots there. No, I am not shooting with a tripod and no, it wouldn’t have made a difference unless I was in motion while I was taking the shots, which I wasn’t.

  • Curren

    The OneplusOne does show more detail in low light situations but there is way too much noise in the picture to be a clear winner. Also Nexus 6 is superior when using the flash.
    Anyway the OneplusOne does seem better in decent light situation, most Nexus 6 photos look washed.

    • rwoods716

      Oh definitely. The OnePlus One has a terrible flash