Google’s Nexus 6P: What to Know Before You Buy 

Google’s Nexus 6P is the latest Nexus smartphone to hit the shelves. Manufactured by Huawei, the P stands for premium and this phone is rivaling other premium models and receiving a great deal of positive press. If you’ve been looking at the Nexus 6P as your next smartphone purchase, check out what reviewers have to say.

Hardware and Specs

nexus-6pThe basic specifications of the Nexus 6P shows how it stacks up in comparison to its competitors:

  • Metal body available in three colors: Frost, Aluminum and Graphite
  • 7.3mm thick, 178 grams
  • Qualcomm 2.0GHz octa-core Snapragon 810 chipset
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage space
  • 5.7-inch, 1440 by 2560 pixel WQHD AMOLED display
  • Li-Po 3450 mAh battery
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • 12-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” OS

The power and volume buttons are located on the left side of the device, making them easy to reach with your thumb. Some reviewers found that this setup resulted in pressing the wrong buttons at times. In contrast, the fingerprint reader located on the back of the device is being praised for its speed.

Bells and Whistles

The Nexus 6P is packed full of attractive hardware and software features. The 501 pixels per inch screen density creates a vivid experience, although some reviewers found the colors to be a little oversaturated. The scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass resists damage, and a built-in ambient light sensor allows the display to adjust according to surrounding light conditions.

The phone comes with a variety of standard features, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a compass, a barometer and access to both 3G and 4G/LTE networks. Nexus users also enjoy the ability to switch from one carrier to another without changing SIM cards.

Google’s new device uses a USB Type-C cable to charge, meaning that you can’t swap cables from other devices in a pinch. However, you can use this up-and-coming USB standard to output to HDMI, VGA, TV-Out and other common connections without investing in a collection of different cables.

How Does it Perform?

Reviewers love the Marshmallow operating system, citing positive user experience and little or no lag. Gamers appreciate that the device stays fairly cool, and most reviews agree that the phone doesn’t feel heavy in hand.

DxOMark has already rated the Nexus 6P camera as the second best in a mobile device. Tests reveal that it takes crisp, clear photos in all lighting conditions, but it can take a while to focus and may over- or under-expose photos until users get the hang of it. Both cameras are also capable of shooting high-resolution videos. Audio is equally impressive with The Guardian remarking that the “front-facing speakers are some of the best [they] have heard on a phone.”

Google’s “Now on Tap” feature, an update of Google Now that’s activated by pressing and holding the Home button, scans what’s on the screen and delivers “cards” with relevant information, but it doesn’t always hit the nail on the head. Some reviewers were directed to generic searches rather than the answers they were seeking.

The ability to do all of this without winding up with a dead battery is important if you’re on the go a lot. Google claims that the Nexus 6P can run for seven hours after a ten-minute charge or go for two days on a full battery. Reviewers found the reality to be somewhere between one and two days depending on usage.

The Verdict from Reviewers

Although reviewers have mostly positive things to say about the Nexus 6P, several drawbacks stand out:

  • Internal memory can’t be expanded with microSD
  • No wireless charging capabilities
  • Rear camera protrudes in an awkward manner
  • No bio sensors or temperature sensors

The phone must also be purchased outright since it’s only available unlocked. However, the starting price of $499 for the 32GB model is lower than many of its competitors. The 64GB and 128GB models retail for $549 and $649, respectively. Some carriers may offer a discount to Nexus owners who bring their phones in looking for a new wireless plan.

Despite the potential drawbacks of the device, Android Widget Center has dubbed the Nexus 6P “the best Nexus device to date” in their review, and other outlets are raining positive accolades on Google’s latest “phablet.” Generally, reviewers enjoy taking advantage of the power that the device has to offer and agree that the pros outweigh the cons.

With the combined functionality of both a phone and a tablet, the Nexus 6P is able to bring together a multitude of popular features in one device. Overall, reviewers love its premium-quality build, the smooth operation and the power of the Marshmallow OS. For an Android phone that delivers, it’s looking like you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice for the price.