Android handsets are in a numbers race as far as specs go, going so far as to push beyond what anyone would appreciably notice. Case in point: The LG G3 with its 1440p, making for 534 PPI. What, exactly, is the point of this ridiculous PPI? You certainly aren't going to notice a difference between a 1080p screen and that one at these screen sizes unless you're used to using your phone under a magnifying glass or an inch away from your face. And yet it's a big feature, proudly displayed as the first bullet point on the website. It's a numbers game.
Then there's the dual core vs quad core (and beyond) and maximum clock speed bit, which is absurd when you consider that different implementations (Qualcomm vs Apple for instance) even within the same architecture will have different levels of efficiency. In the PC world, for instance, Intel's processors absolutely dominate AMD's per-core and per-clock, and both are x86-64. For some perspective on that, Anandtech wrote that a single Haswell core has double the floating point performance of two AMD modules - four "cores". For Android's part, the trend seems to be, similarly to AMD, pushing for higher and higher clocks (Snapdragon 80x), and not efficiency. This can be seen in the preliminary benchmark results that show Apple's supposedly underpowered CPU topping the charts.
And then, coming back to the story's example of the Nexus 5 vs the iPhone 6, comparing Android to iOS as far as RAM requirements go couldn't possibly be more misguided. iOS is far more restrictive as to what an app can do in the background than Android is, and much more aggressive with reclaiming memory for the app in the foreground. Android keeps apps running for as long as possible (until memory is needed, basically), and apps can do essentially whatever they want to do in the background. This also factors in to battery life, where power consumption on Android is likely to be much higher and therefore much larger batteries are being used there for what is basically similar battery life.
It's for those reasons that it's tough to actually compare the two ecosystems, and it's tough to say whether the specs really make that much of a difference to the overall experience. I think the ultimate answer is that regardless of performance numbers on paper, we've hit the wall for what we're expecting our devices to do. For my part, I say that, for now at least, specs are irrelevant. As long as the device is able to handle the tasks thrown at it without choking and has the features I'm looking for, it's a device worth considering. I think the Nexus series in particular has always embodied that point of view.