It's no secret that Samsung's (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) smartphone profits have come under significant pressure in recent quarters. While the success of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone is often cited as a reason for Samsung's smartphone struggles, the company has noted significant competition in the low-end and midrange of the Android smartphone market.

Although the latest iPhones are likely the biggest threat at the high end of the smartphone market to Samsung's Galaxy S and Note products, credible competition from fellow Android smartphone vendors appears to be increasing. One particularly noteworthy challenger to Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 is the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Nexus 6.

Tech spec showdown
In the Android world, all vendors have access to the same Google operating system (although the user interface is often customized), so one way these companies differentiate themselves is through tech specs. To that end, I've included a table below summarizing the key hardware features of both phones:


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (North America)

Google Nexus 6


Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) Snapdragon 805

Snapdragon 805





MDM9x35 Cat. 6 LTE-Advanced (300Mbps download/50Mbps upload)

MDM9x25 Cat. 4 LTE-Advanced (150Mbps download/50 Mbps upload)





16MP Rear Facing + Optical Image Stabilization, 3.7MP Front Facing

13MP Rear Facing, 2.1MP Front Facing


2560-by-1440 5.7-inch Super AMOLED

2560-by-1440 5.96-inch Super AMOLED

Source: AnandTech.

From the specifications, from a processor performance perspective, the Note 4 and the Nexus 6 should seemingly be identical. However, it appears the Note 4 has the more advanced camera subsystem, as well as a faster cellular modem. They both have 2560-by-1440 Super AMOLED displays, although the AnandTech reviews for both phones suggest the Note 4's display performs better in a variety of tests.

Additionally, the Note 4 has a fingerprint scanner built into the home button, while the Nexus 6 has neither a home button nor a fingerprint scanner.

What about price and value?
The Note 4 with 32GB of flash storage and a microSD slot is priced at $299 with a two-year contract. AT&T (NYSE: T) appears to be selling the Nexus 6 for $249.99 with a two-year contract. While the Nexus 6 is slightly cheaper on a two-year contract, the Note 4 seems to provide a number of additional features. In a nutshell, the Nexus 6 doesn't appear to offer the value that its predecessor, the Nexus 5, was widely praised for.

The Nexus 6 could do better at a lower price point
I think the biggest problem for the Nexus 6 is the price. If this device sold for $99 or even $149 on contract, then the discussion would be significantly different. However, with the Nexus 6 offering a less compelling feature set than the Note 4 at a not-much-lower price, it's hard to see the Nexus 6 as a "problem" for the Note 4 at this time.