For the past five years, Google has released a Nexus smartphone per year, but this year, there are two Nexus smartphones, the LG Nexus 5X and the Huawei Nexus 6P. The Nexus 6P, the successor of the Motorola Nexus 6, features a sleek metal body and dual front stereo speakers, much like the HTC One. Let’s take a quick look at the features again before diving into the review.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1, Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57, Adreno 430 GPU
- Display: 5.7 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi) AMOLED
- Memory: 3 GB of RAM
- Storage: 32/64/128 GB
- Camera: 12.3 MP; 1.55 μm; f/2.0 rear-facing camera, 5 MP front-facing camera
- Battery: 3,450 mAh battery
- OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Design & Build Quality
The first thing we noticed immediately about the Nexus 6P when we picked it up for the first time was how solid it feels. Measuring at 7.3mm thick, the Nexus 6P shares the same high-end build quality as many of HTC and Huawei’s previous smartphones.
It feels great in the hand, and its sculpted rear sits comfortably in our palm. Admittedly, we were a little skeptical about the protruding camera bar on the back of the device, but it’s actually quite subtle and nowhere near as prominent as we thought it would be. We barely noticed it much when we held it in our hand, and it certainly gives it a very distinct look compared to other top-end smartphones.
Along the right edge of the device, users will find the power button, and the volume rocker. At the bottom of the device is where the USB Type-C charging port is located, with the 3.5mm audio jack located on the top left edge corner of the device. Lastly, users will find the nanoSIM slot alongside the left of the device.
Of course, the Nexus 6P also comes with Google’s brand new Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, which allows users unlock the device.
Overall, we really love the build quality the device. It felt really solid resting on our palm, giving us a sense of the premium feeling of the device.
The Nexus 6P boasts a 5.7″ AMOLED display with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution display (518 ppi) that looks particularly lovely. The QHD resolution means everything is exceptionally sharp on screen, while the AMOLED makes colors bright and vibrant. This is really handy for Marshmallow’s new Ambient Display feature, similar to Motorola’s Moto Display, which shows the user the time as soon as the device is picked up. With an AMOLED display, it will only illuminate the necessary pixels to show the time, saving battery while still being incredibly practical.
The display is also protected by Gorilla Glass 4, which should provide better damage resistance and is thinner than its predecessors.
Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip with 3 GB of RAM, the device comes with 3 storage options of 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB.
Benchmarking with Geekbench 3, the Nexus 6P scored a rating of 4858 for multi-core score, which is among the highest we’ve seen (Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a rating of 4437). We also did not notice any difference in performance, with resource-intensive games such as ShadowGun and Riptide 2 had no noticeable lags.
The Nexus 6P comes with a non-removable 3,450 mAh battery. Launching with the new USB Type-C charger, Google claims that the Nexus 6P charges quickly – 10 minutes of charging gets users up to 7 hours of battery life, which is pretty close to our test. On average, the charging time from 0% to 100% came close to 1.5 hours.
We also ran our usual battery test in which we run continuous video while the device is connected to LTE and Wi-Fi with both the Bluetooth and GPS turned on and connected. We also set the display to 1/2 brightness. We were only able to get ~7 hours out of it. However, we managed to get ~22 hours of mixed usage out of the device, which includes mixed network usage (part 4G, part Wi-Fi).
Overall, we would say that the battery life is a little above average.
Surprisingly, the Nexus 6P uses the same 12.3MP camera as the Nexus 5X. Using the large 1.55μm pixels, its overall picture quality and low light capability should identical, but the 6P’s camera does come with a few extras; 240fps slow-mo video over the Nexus 5X’s 120fps slow-mo video, and Smart Burst mode. This lets the user captures burst images at 30fps, and the user can select the best image from the series or use it to create makeshit GIFs. On the front is an 8MP camera, which has a wide f/2.4 aperture for those all-important selfies. Here are some sample shots and most of these are in low light/sunset conditions.
Overall, we really love the improvements in the overall quality, which is definitely a welcome to the Nexus line smartphones.
Audio & Call Quality
As for the Nexus 6P’s audio, it features dual front stereo speakers, which are the loudest and clearest so far among all the devices with dual front stereo speaker. The device also has a total of three noise-cancelling microphones.
Utilizing Project Fi’s network running on 4G LTE coverage area, calls were crisp and clear while making and receiving calls. We did also notice a very slight static at times during calls but nothing that would disrupt the call quality.
The Nexus 6P comes pre-loaded with the latest version of Google’s mobile platform, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has an improved Google Now functionality, fingerprint scanner support, better battery life (Doze) and Now on Tap.
We’ll have a full review of the Android 6.0 Marshmallow soon so stay tuned to Pocket Insider for it.
The Nexus 6P is a powerful, feature-packed smartphone with a premium design and Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We can say that this is easily the best Nexus smartphone yet, and the high-end chassis, paired with the high-resolution display are stunning. Sadly, there’s no microSD card slot, but the Nexus 6P will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants.
Being an unlocked device, users can use it right out of the box with any cellular network. It is even Project Fi ready! So if you are in the market for a new Android device, be sure to consider the Google Huawei Nexus 6P as we think that this might easily be one of the best Android device of the year if not the best.