Nexus phones are meant to be benchmarks to showcase the true potential of Google’s vision for Android. While the Nexus 5X is largely being considered as more affordable (not so much in India) alternative or evolution of Nexus 5 (the last great Nexus), The no-nonsense, no-compromise Nexus 6P demonstrates what a truly premium stock Android experience feels like. Google relied on Huawei and we have to say the Chinese telecom giant didn’t let them down.
Be it use of premium materials, flagship grade cameras, slim refreshed design… Nexus 6P seems to tick all the right boxes. So is it the best Android phone you can buy? Let’s find out in our full review.
Read Nexus 5X review: The Phone We Love Despite All Its Flaws
Google Nexus 6P Specifications:
|Display||5.7 Inch, QHD 2560 X 1444, 518PPI, AMOLED|
|Processor||Snapdragon 810 Octa-core, Adreno 430 GPU|
|Internal Storage||32, 64 , No MicroSD card slot|
|Software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Primary Camera||12.3MP,1.55 μm pixels, f/2.0 aperture, IR Laser assisted autofocus, 4K video capture, Slow motion videos at 240fps, EIS|
|Secondary Camera||8MP, 1.4 µm pixels, f/2.4 aperture|
|Dimensions and weight||159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm and 178 grams|
|Battery||3450 mAh, Rapid charging supported (Google claims its twice as fast as iPhone 6 Plus)|
|Others||Micro USB Type-C based on USB 3.1, Single SIM, LED notification light|
|Price||39,999 INR/ 42,999 INR|
- Elegant Design
- Stunning performance
- Great Display
- Arguably best camera in a smartphone
- Bit Slippery
- Average battery life
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Premium Design and Built:
Over the years, no two Nexus phones have looked identical to each other. The team behind the development of Nexus phones has made sure that every Nexus device integrates new technology and provides complimentary software to cement it in Google’s Android vision. I got the opportunity to live with both the ‘Nexuses’ and have to say Nexus 6P live up to the ‘Premium-ness’ Nexus fans will be hoping for. For the first time in Nexus history, a device has no plastic or glass exterior. Nexus 6P fully embraces aeronautical-grade aluminum exterior with chamfered edges, and will surely turn heads.
This unibody metal smartphone is poles apart from its predecessor in terms of design and built quality. The images on the advertisements and internet don’t truly do justice to its beauty. This Nexus can give any other premium device a run for its money, on the merit of its looks. Huawei engineers managed to restrict its waistline to 7.3 mm and weight to 178 gram, which to some has truly paid off (at least for us). Only major concern we have with its design, we found our Nexus 6P slipping out of our hands quite a few times.
It might be a bit too tall for your taste, but that wasn’t something that particularly bothered us. We have large hands, and Nexus 6P fits in just fine. And besides, in light of powerful stereo frontal speakers, the trade-off seems worth it.
At a first glance, one will notice a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top, a USB Type-C charging and data transfer port at the bottom. On the right side, a volume rocker and a rigged power button are quite noticeable. An ejectable nano-SIM tray has been placed on the left. The placement of volume rocker and power button sometimes can be annoying for users with small palm.
The most talked about thing in Nexus 6P design has been the black color visor at the back, which shields camera module and some of the sensors and radios. Bulge around the black visor is noticeable however, it’s not as bad as I first felt, when I got a distant look at it during India launch event.
Just below this visor debuts Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor which has charmed us with its performance. We are impressed with it performance so much that we believe it’s the best fingerprint sensor in the market (more on it later).
As mentioned above, Nexus 6P boasts of a magnanimous 5.7-inch AMOLED WQHD display which is far-far better than its predecessor. The display has an astonishing 518 pixel-per-inch which makes all text and images crisp and sharp. Like most AMOLED display, Nexus 6P is also bright but unlike Samsung high end devices, which can literally burn your eyes with their brightness, it is bright enough that you can easily read message or emails even under the direct sunlight. Unlike previous generation Nexus 6, we found display saturation on this ‘Premium’ variant more pleasant to the eyes.
The screen is superimposed with Gorilla Glass 4 and oleophobic finish which in my opinion is the best I have seen in a smartphone. We have extensively used this phone in past 15 day and we hardly had to wipe our phone due to smudges or finger oil marks.
Display in different settings:
Flawless Android Marshmallow Experience:
To experience un-tampered version of Google’s latest Android build, a Nexus phone is your best bet. Nexus 6P comes with latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is a more refined and optimized version of Lollipop. With Marshmallow, Google has tried to plug all the potholes which were existing on Lollipop.
The first major change you will experience is the App permission requests. Over the years, app permissions have been a bit shady. Google with Marshmallow made the entire process more transparent by giving user rights to allow or deny the requested permission to an individual app as they use them.
Another important aspect of Nexus 6P OS is the Google’s new contextually aware tool better known as Now on Tap. By a long press, Google will read the text which is currently on display and will pop up information collecting from its search engine, other relevant sources, and installed apps. Marshmallow also has a Doze feature which puts phone is deep sleep mode to preserve battery. The Doze mode activates itself when the phone doesn’t detect any movement for some time. Now with Marshmallow Google Now also gets a boost. Now, by using voice command users can search and make requests even when screen is off.
One of the constant complaints with Nexus phones has been its camera. Google has quite successfully tried to turn table in its favor with Nexus 5X and 6P. We are mighty impressed with the cameras on both new Nexus devices. Both 2015 Nexuses feature same 12.3MP camera with 1.55-pixel large micron sensor and f/2.0 aperture for brighter pictures. Google at the launch event, pointed out that as per their research smartphone users generally click pictures in dull lighting conditions, to ensure better photography in those conditions, they have roped in a bigger pixel size sensor.
We have been snapping pictures with this Nexus camera and most of the time result we were satisfied with the end result. The camera assembly is also fitted with a laser autofocus which does it job quite efficiently. Camera focus is quite zippy, even in very low light conditions it locks focus pretty well. The camera captured a good amount of details and colors were accurate too.
Another impressive thing about Nexus 6P its video capabilities. The phone is capable is shooting videos in 4k but we were more awestruck by its ultra slow motion recording capabilities. Nexus 6P can shoot videos in 240 frames-per-second and the camera app further makes it very convenient to record slow motion videos. We tried to shoot 240fps slow motion videos while sitting in a moving car, and the end result was still awesome. Experience with panoramas were great, but can’t really say the same thing for 360-dgree shots. We found stitching issues 360-degree images which turned us off.
Let’s be straight forward here. Nexus 6P offers best audio output compared to any other mobile phone in 2015. The phone house dual front facing speaker which are quite loud and offers good listening experience. Listening music on the handset via 3.5 mm audio jack is also a joyful experience.
With this new generation of Nexus devices, running on Marshmallow, came a new feature dubbed as Nexus Imprint. This Imprint feature is Google’s answer to its arch rival Apple’s iTouch. Google calls it “seamless way of authenticating with your fingerprint”. As per the Mountain View giant takes less than 600 milliseconds to recognize a fingerprint, and continues to evolve with each use. Google has been working on a better integration of fingerprint sensor in its Android ecosystem and already announced a fingerprint sensor API for the developers as well.
The Nexus Imprint sensor sits just below the black glass visor at the back. The process of setting it up is a quite simple. It takes just five quick scan of your finger to finish set up process and once done users can unlock their devices by touching the scanner at the back and don’t have to go through the hassle of drawing pattern or entering pin each time.
As we mentioned earlier, the Nexus Imprint worked flawlessly. It impressed us with its speed and 360-degree scanning capabilities. In all modesty, it did acknowledge that sometimes we were too fast for her liking, but 9.5 out of 10 times it caught our finger imprint while swapping across or tapping on it. As more or more developers integrate fingerprint sensor API, we lot more apps allowing fingerprint validation as security authentication.
The Snapdragon 810 is coupled with Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB of RAM which ensure great multitasking experience. Running highly graphic intensive games or shooting 4k video or playing music Nexus 6P handles everything efficiently without showing any stress. At most, phone gets little warm (nothing alarming) while playing high-end games for long duration, which almost every phone does. We have played Asphalt 8, Nova 3 and Modern combat for hours on the phone and never witnessed any lag, freezing issue or excessive heating issue with the phone.
Be it QHD displays or imperfect 64 bit chipsets, mst of the flagship devices in 2015 faced grave challenges in living up to customers expectation in terms of battery life. While testing Nexus 6P, we extensively used it for hours at times and it ran out of steam through middle of the day. We managed to get screen on time of around 5 to 6 hours, which should translate to one day of comfortable usage for basic and moderate users. Compared to other 2015 flagships, Nexus 6P battery life is quite good. Rapid charging is also supported.
Is the Nexus 6P the ultimate flagship phone of 2015? Well, as always, that depends a lot on what you are specifically looking for. Among all the phones I have come across this year, Nexus 6P was the best one for me. Optimized software, great camera performance, sturdy build makes it ideal for my usage. Only reason to not buy a Nexus 6 is, if you feel its way too tall for your taste.