Reviews

Google decided to take their smartphone line in a new direction this year, by introducing not one, but two, new Nexus devices for consumers to choose between. A very smart move was the introduction of the Nexus 5X, giving folks who prefer smaller screens a Nexus option. The spiritual successor of the very popular Nexus 5 retained all that was great about the original, while of course, being updated to keep up with the times.

The availability of a smaller, and more affordable, option allowed Google to also go all out with their high-end Nexus offering, and by not having to cut any corners, what we have in the Nexus 6P, manufactured by Huawei, is a smartphone that is more than well-equipped to comfortably take on its current generation competition. We have already taken an intricate look at this device in the comprehensive review, but here, I would like to share my thoughts on this smartphone as well, in this “second opinion” look at the Nexus 6P!

Design

nexus 6p review 2 aa (3 of 30)

Anyone familiar with Huawei will know the company’s prowess when it comes to the design and build quality of their high-end smartphones, and that is seen with the Nexus 6P as well. The full metal unibody construction feels solid in the hand and looks fantastic. Despite the metal body, the Nexus 6P is also not as slippery as some other devices that feature metal builds, with the chamfered edges and flat sides contributing to the grip.

nexus 6p first 48 (20 of 36)

The Nexus 6P is a tall device, and is even taller than last year’s Nexus 6, but is fortunately not nearly as wide, which makes the former much easier to wrap your hands around. Of course, the Nexus 6P is still a large smartphone, and while the handling experience is a lot more manageable this time around, one-handed use may still not be particularly comfortable for some users.

nexus 6p first 48 (19 of 36)

The black glass visor on the back, that houses the rear camera unit and its peripherals, is also a unique design element that I really like. It is something that definitely looks much better in person than in renders or photos, and doesn’t protrude as much as you might have thought either. Overall, it gives the Nexus 6P a different look from what would otherwise be a standard smartphone design.

Display

nexus 6p review 2 aa (10 of 30)

The Nexus 6P comes with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution, and it is a gorgeous looking screen. I personally prefer AMOLED displays anyway, mainly due to the deeper blacks, vibrant colors, and high contrast ratios. The use of AMOLED displays also work very well with Nexus smartphones, with the screen blending in extremely well with the clean black front, and its great to see Google and Huawei stick to it with their high-end flagship.

nexus 6p first 48 (22 of 36)

In the case of the Nexus 6P, the display is as bright and vivid as expected, and while not everyone may be a fan of the large display size, anyone who uses their smartphones a lot for watching videos or playing games will certainly appreciate the additional screen real estate that is available.

Performance and hardware

nexus 6p review 2 aa (27 of 30)

The Nexus 6P comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, which is the current flagship standard, and as such, performs as expected. The Nexus 6P flies through everything, and handles everything from general everyday tasks to multi-tasking and gaming with ease. There have been no instances of lag or stutter, and it is by far the most fluid experience I’ve had on an Android device this far. As powerful as this processing package may be, also making a significant contribution to the performance aspect is the stock version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow that the device runs.

nexus 6p first 48 (13 of 36)

One of my favorite features of the Nexus 6P has to be its dual front-facing stereo speakers, which do a great job in complementing the beautiful display and further enhancing the media-consumption or gaming experience. These speakers get extremely loud and feature fantastic audio quality, and can easily give something like HTC’s front-facing BoomSound speakers a run for its money. I am a huge fan of front-facing speakers, and still find it extremely surprising that not a whole lot of flagship devices offer them, but it’s great to see Google retain this feature from the Nexus 6.

nexus 6p first 48 (12 of 36)

A new addition to the Nexus line this year is the fingerprint scanner, found on the back of both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Given the great experience I had with the fingerprint reader of the Nexus 5X, it wasn’t surprising to find the one of the Nexus 6P to be just as fast and accurate. Granted, its placement on the rear means that you won’t be able to unlock the device using it when it is kept on a table, but the positioning is ideal for when you are holding the phone up, with your index finger naturally gravitating to that point on the phone. The scanner is fast, accurate, and lets you wake and unlock the device in one shot, and is a great implementation overall.

nexus 6p review 2 aa (18 of 30)

The Nexus 6P comes with a large 3,450 mAh battery, and it is very easy to comfortably get a full day of use out of the device, save for the days with heavy usage that involved a lot of gaming. If you do run out of juice, the fast charging capabilities that are available means that you are also able to be back up and running in a very short amount of time.

galaxy s7 vs htc 10 vs lg g5 aa (8 of 10)See also: Best Android phones (December 2015)460

Camera

nexus 6p review 2 aa (12 of 30)

Both the latest Nexus smartphones feature the same camera setup and image processing, and as I noted during my review of the Nexus 5X, these are excellent cameras. The camera is capable of taking excellent shots in virtually every lighting condition, with the larger pixel size making for the lack of OIS when it comes to low light or night time shots. OIS would have still been a nice feature to have though, with its absence particularly noticeable when recording video.

Camera samples from review

With the camera of smartphones being a big focus this year, and with there already being quite a few fantastic options, Google couldn’t have picked a better time to get things right with this one aspect which has historically been quite lackluster.

Software

nexus 6p review 2 aa (17 of 30)

One of the biggest reasons why I’ve been a fan of the Nexus series is because of the software experience these devices provide. The Nexus 6P runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it is by far the best version of Android yet. Marshmallow feels extremely polished, which makes sense, given that this was what the update was about. Android 5.0 Lollipop may have introduced Material Design, and a lot of the aesthetics have been retained with the current version, but it had a lot of problems that have mostly been addressed with Android 6.0, along with a host of useful additions.

nexus 6p review 2 aa (30 of 30)

New features with Marshmallow include Doze, which allows for better battery life in standby, user defined app permissions, contextual search results with Google Now on Tap, and revamped volume controls. Of course, Marshmallow isn’t absolutely perfect, but is definitely a big step in the right direction, allowing for a smooth and snappy software experience that is practically unmatched.

Specifications

Display5.7-inch AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution, 518ppi
Processor2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
Adreno 430 GPU
RAM3 GB
Storage32/64/128 GB
not expandable
NetworksGSM 850/1900
W-CDMA 2/4/5
CDMA 0/1/10
LTE Band 2/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/41
SoftwareAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Fingerprint scannerYes
Camera12.3MP rear-facing camera
8MP front-facing camera
BatteryNon-removable 3450 mAh
Dimensions159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, 178g

Gallery

Final thoughts

nexus 6p review 2 aa (1 of 30)

So, there you have it for this second look at the Nexus 6P! Google and Huawei have built a phone that can finally compete with the best Android flagships out there with their being no corners cut with the high-end Nexus offering. This smartphone is a great choice for not only fans of the Nexus line, but Android fans in general, and if you are looking for the best Android experience that Google has to offer, look no further than the Nexus 6P!

Buy on Amazon

Next:

  • NexusKoolaid

    Half of this article is a regurge of what was covered in the first review. I would have liked more opinion of why individual features matter and how they impacted your field experience. Case In Point:

    “Of course, the Nexus 6P is still a large smartphone, and while the handling experience is a lot more manageable this time around, one-handed use may still not be particularly comfortable for some users.”

    Rather non-committal for an opinion piece. What size hands do YOU have and how was YOUR one-handed experience. That provides a frame of reference that can benefit your readers.

  • NexusKoolaid

    Half of this article is a regurge of what was covered in the first review. I would have liked more opinion of why individual features matter and how they impacted your field experience. Case In Point:

    “Of course, the Nexus 6P is still a large smartphone, and while the handling experience is a lot more manageable this time around, one-handed use may still not be particularly comfortable for some users.”

    Rather non-committal for an opinion piece. What size hands do YOU have and how was YOUR one-handed experience. That provides a frame of reference that can benefit your readers.

    • DDT

      Exactly what I was thinking. This second review didn’t show what has changed over time since the release and made the phone look as if it’s perfect.

      • Anon

        well, it is pretty close to perfect

    • Arturo Raygoza

      The second opinion of the N5X seemed to be actual day to day use since the release, this seems as though they just rewrote the spec sheet

    • R.G. Etienne

      You’re too kind : it’s not half but the whole article which feels useless.

      I agree with you, if you want to add something, add something new!

    • Theresa

      Nexus 6P, 5X and more is now on sale only on

    • Jaber Oumalik

      i own and it the best Android Phone i ever had

  • Napalm_3nema

    No OIS was the deal breaker for me. Had they included it, I might have tried the 6P. This is the first year I haven’t bought a Nexus.

    • Kamen Minkov

      Oh, noes, another trend sufferer!

  • Daggett Beaver

    “Google and Huawei have built a phone that can finally compete with the best Android flagships out there with their [sic] being no corners cut” — Yeah, they didn’t cut any corners.

    Well, except for leaving out wireless charging. That is, two types of wireless charging. And fast wireless charging. And no way to add your own wireless charging receiver.

    And leaving out OIS, too. And not including the fastest and most reliable internal storage. And not choosing the best SoC available. And no MST to make payments at any magnetic strip reader.

    And the lack of a dark theme. And no split windows. And no multi-windows. And no S Pen or S Pen features. And some clunky way to take screen shots instead of a palm swipe. And no way to capture a page larger than the display. Oh, and a low-quality phone body that folds like a cheap suit instead of using a strong physical design.

    But other than those things, they didn’t cut any corners.

    Of course some people will argue that it’s the best Android phone of the year compared to the Note 5 because the 6P isn’t as expensive. Good point. Excuse me, I’m going to go to McDonalds for the best food of the year because it’s not as expensive as a steak at Ruth’s Chris.

    • slurrpitup

      You do know right that the author’s opinion counts more than yours purely because he owns/used one versus your ‘let’s just poke fun at the specs’ approach?

      • Airyl

        This.

      • Daggett Beaver

        “No corners cut” is not quantified by an opinion. It is quantified by facts. Even Google admitted they cut corners, like leaving out wireless charging in order to make the phone thinner.

        The 6P cut tons of corners. The statement is simply false.

    • Spencer Walker

      And no touch lag

    • Gordon Bombay

      Without the note 5 bias, you pretty much are correct. No wireless charging, no ois, ugly ass back visor, sd 810 blows, but what was available better? Screenshot is another one I disagree with, palm swipe is a bit cumbersome, atleast on my n6 pressing power and vol down is easy as pie for screenshot. Metal body is ok, but not at the expense of wireless charging. And the s pen really is a choice thing, Google handwriting is available on the play store for anyone that wants to write on their screen.
      And price is actually in favor of the note 5 in my book.

      I will never buy a cell phone again, the tech moves so fast, I like switching phones each year or so. In that regard, the damn 6p is not available from carriers while the note 5 is.
      Too bad I don’t want either device. I need a replacement for my n6 post haste!

    • pjtpjt

      ” And no split windows. And no multi-windows. And no S Pen or S Pen features. And some clunky way to take screen shots instead of a palm swipe.”

      So far these are IMHO on the plus side. I had a Note 3 for two years and I used the pen once, since my handwriting is rubbish. I loved the large screen and fast processor, but I never cared for the Samsung gimmicks on it. More so since it came with a rather large price in speed. After warranty was up I’ve installed cyanogenmod and was happy with it for another year. And wasn’t stuck in Lollipop 5.0 either, as it is, because Samsung adandoned it.
      Just as will Samsung abandon the Note 5 while the 6P will still get official updates.

      OTOH I didn’t buy the 6P, because of the metal body is incapable of wireless charging, because of the SD810 issues, and because it was just a little bit better than the N6, but costs twice as much. So I’ve bought the N6, and I’m still waiting for the SD820 based Nexus to arrive.

  • runf

    You show photos comparing………….what?????? Is it a photo of the 6P followed by the 5X? Is it with and without flash? Exactly what are you comparing??????? This is a lame article for other reasons also.

  • Nishad Gurav

    This was just a rehash. Was expecting a more opinionated second look.

  • ichuck7

    It’s too bad there isn’t a premium 5.2 inch nexus device. I know there’s the nexus 5x, but it’s a budget phone at heart with lower specs and a nonmetallic build.

  • Yogendra Patel

    Any comments on the bending issue?

  • Amin

    will this device over heat while watching hd youtube videos??

  • robert fish

    Google now on tap is really good at the moment,sure it fails a few times but google now was originally horrible and now its the most versatile thing ever.

  • Jano

    Nexus 6P vs LG V10 coming up anytime soon?
    Would really be great :)