Nexus’ have always had a soft spot for those pure Android lovers who don’t enjoy their smartphones being cluttered with manufacture branded software and reducing performance. As you would expect the Huawei Google Nexus 6P is shipped with pure Android Marshmallow 6.0 but also has a premium feel and packs a hell of a punch.
It is the first time in Google's Nexus history that Huawei has managed to join the line of Nexus developers, with the 6P being the more premium and more of the two Nexus’ released this year (see Nexus 5x). Having used the phone now for a while, let’s go through some of the features and annoyances of owning a Nexus 6P.
Getting your hands on the Nexus 6P for the first time gives the feeling of high grade, premium build. It is made of “aeronautical-grade aluminium” and comes in three flavours: aluminium, graphite and frost. The plain black buttonless front of the device sticks to the common Nexus feel but comes built in with two front facing speakers, a change from the usual bottom or rear facing speakers. The simple design is followed to the edges of the phone. The top of the device has only a 3.5mm jack and the bottom simply has the USB-Type C double sided port, so no need to worry about getting the charger right way around. The left edge has nothing but a sim tray on the top and the right edge has the power and volume rocket in the middle, conveniently placed due to the size of the phone. The rear has a large Nexus logo in the middle together with the finger-print sensor. On the top rear is a slight protrusion containing the rear facing camera and dual-LED light.
That said there are a number of things that should be mentioned. The power and volume rocker buttons seem to protrude higher than normal, which is fine until you notice that they had a slight wobble to them. Closer inspection of the power button shows that the imprinted bump design isn’t actually straight (see picture).
Another thing to mention would be that the phone never sits flat because of the camera bulge on the rear. Laying it flat on a table would put the highest amount of weight on the lower part of the camera protrusion and could scratch very easily. There is also a slight rattling seeming to come from the camera focus, which was the case with the Nexus 4 though it’s not as loud on the 6P. Having a phone up to your ear isn’t something that should inflict pain, which seems to be the case with the Nexus 6P. The sharp edges of the device seem to be a little too sharp, too much pressure really hurts! And possibly worst of all (if claims are true), one owner has posted the video below on YouTube showing the Nexus 6P bending in half and then snapping with his bare hands! If so it’s definitely not the first to have issues like this and probably won’t be the last. Just be gentle with it.
The Nexus 6P is pretty well equipped with a Snapdragon 810 V2.1 octa-core processor, a range of storage options from 32GB to 128GB, and an Adreno 430 GPU which does wonders with videos, gaming and pictures. It even comes with 3GB of ram, which seems to be common now for flagship Android devices. Together with Android Marshmallow 6.0 the user experience is smooth, fluid and rather exciting.
However many have noticed the device suffering from heat when the device is working hard due to its aluminium body but isn’t a cause for concern, unless it singes your hands in which case be sure to use the 12 month warranty. Although it was mentioned earlier that the experience is smooth and fluid, there were one or two occasions watching 4k YouTube videos that the performance did seem to lag very slightly, perhaps even unnoticeable to the untrained eye. This could be due to the YouTube app which isn’t the greatest at times.
The 1440 x 2560 pixels 5.7 inch AMOLED screen has 16 million colours which looks absolutely stunning. With this high pixel density it is very difficult, if not impossible, to see any pixels with the naked eye. The brightness settings of the screen are perfect for very dark environments as the darkest setting is not too bright unlike other Android devices. Usually that meant downloading screen darkening apps, which isn’t the case with 6P due to the AMOLED screen. Full brightness is incredibly bright and very easily visible in a sunny day. The lowest and highest brightness levels of the 6P cannot be faulted. On top of that the screen is protected with Cornering Gorilla Glass 4.
Unfortunately there are a couple of points to be made about the screen which could be improved. On the highest setting the whites have a tint of warm yellow. This might not be visible straight away but become more obvious when comparing to another screen. This warmth is said to be typical of AMOLED screens so it is nothing to worry about. There is also a slight rainbowing on the screen at 45 degree angles making mainly white colours slightly greeny bluey, again hardly noticeable and not a major issue.
The Nexus 6P features a front facing selfie camera boasting 8 mega pixels with an aperture of f/2.4 aperture and HDR+ resulting in pretty good shots. On the rear is a 12.3 mega pixel camera with 1.55 ultra pixels and laser auto focus, allowing it to focus on close objects really fast. According to Google, the rear camera on the Nexus 6P will outperform any other smartphone camera when comparing colour mapping and brightness. It also includes a slow-mo mode with the ability of 240 frames per second and 4K video recording, much like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
On the Nexus 6P is a fairly large 3450MAh battery. Depending on your usage, the battery together with Marshmallow 6.0’s new Doze feature will quiet easily give you a full days worth of use with plenty left over – averaging about 3 to 4 hours screen time. This might not be the best but its definitely not bad. And thanks to Rapid Charging, the Nexus 6P can soak up a lot of electricity in a short amount of time. According to the product listing on Google Store, you can get, “up to 7 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging”. Unfortunately the Nexus 6P does not have wireless charging which might be a major downside for some.
|Body||Dimensions||159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm (6.27 x 3.06 x 0.29 in)|
|Weight||178 g (6.28 oz)|
|Display||Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.7 inches (~71.4% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 4, oleophobic coating|
|Software||OS||Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|Performance||Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57|
|Storage||32GB, 64GB, 128GB|
|Camera||Front||8 MP, 720p@30fps|
|Rear||12 MP, 4608 x 2592 pixels, laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, 1.55µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama, 2160p@30fps|
|Battery||Size||3450MAh internal with rapid charge|