September 29, 2015
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While the Motorola Nexus 6 certainly had its fans, the new phablet-sized device was a pretty massive departure from the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, not just in size, but also when it came to the price tag. With its latest Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones, Google looks to bridge the best of both worlds, offering premium specs, two different screen sizes, and relatively affordable price tags.

The Huawei Nexus 6p is the successor to Motorola’s Nexus 6 and marks the first time that the Nexus-making gauntlet has been passed to a China-based company. Although the Nexus 6 was easily the most ‘premium’ Nexus to date, the Nexus 6P takes things a step further with an all-metal design that features a somewhat unique looking bulge where the camera package can be found. The Nexus 6P is not only the first all-metal Nexus phone, it and the Nexus 5X are also the first to offer fingerprint scanners and Type-C USB ports.

As for the size compared to its predecessor? The Nexus 6P actually slims things down a bit from the Nexus 6, with a 5.7-inch QHD display and a body that is thinner and lighter, at 159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm and 178g, versus the Nexus 6’s dimensions of 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm and weight of 184g.

Nexus 6P Specs

  
Display5.7-inch AMOLED WQHD 518ppi
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon processor 810 v2.1
GPUAdreno 430
RAM3GB
Storage32/64/128GB storage
MicroSDNo
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, rear-mounted
Camera 12.3-megapixel rear cam, 8MP front cam
Battery3450mAh non-removable battery
Wireless chargingNo
Dimensions159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm and 178g
ColorsAluminum, Frost, Graphite

As you can see, the Nexus 6P offers all the latest specs you’d want to see from a high-end flagship. Not only do you get QHD display quality and front-firing speakers, Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 processing package is also onboard, alongside 3GB RAM. While the Snapdragon 810 has received a lot of bad press over its life, revisions to the chip, as well as measures like throttling and heat-conscientious design choices mean that heat probably won’t be the issue that 810 critics will claim it to be. Of course, we really can’t say for sure until we have time to conduct a full review.

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The Nexus 6 also offers a small jump in battery life over the Nexus 6, going from 3200 mAh to 3450 mAh. Huawei has a reputation for big batteries and equally great battery life with its Mate series, and while you might not get the 2+ day life you’d get out of something like a Mate 7 or Mate S, we imagine the battery life should, at the very least, easily make it through a full day’s use — or longer. This should be especially true with Android 6.0’s power-saving integrations that greatly improve standby time and more. And of course, you can also expect quick charging tech to be fully baked in as well.

When it comes to storage, the Nexus line tends to forgo things like microSD, and this remains true for the Huawei Nexus 6P, though thankfully there are options ranging from in-built 32GB, all the way up to 128GB.

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The camera package is an area that Nexus phones tend to be weak on, and although the original Nexus 6 saw big improvements here over the Nexus 5, the camera was still arguably one of the phone’s biggest weaknesses. It is way too early to say if the Nexus 6p improves on the camera experience in a meaningful way. On paper at least, things don’t seem a lot different, with the Nexus 6p still rocking a 13MP rear cam, with the front cam going from 2MP to 8MP.

Of course, megapixel count only tells a small part of the story. For what it is worth, Google claims that the camera package will offer great low-light performance, and the front 8MP camera should provide a great selfie experience. Google actually spent a good deal of its conference talking about the camera experience, and while we don’t know for sure how it will compare to other high-end cameras like found on the Note 5, GS6, G4, and Moto X Pure, it certainly sounds like Google has put a lot of focus into the camera this time around.

We look forward to spending more time with the phone’s camera in our future full review.

Software

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The Nexus 6P runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which many of us have already played around with through the Android M Developer Previews. Aesthetically speaking, Marshmallow doesn’t offer much different than Lollipop, aside from some minor changes to the app drawer and launcher.

Where Marshmallow really shines is through improved battery management, bug fixes, Google’s Now on Tap improved search technology, and the introduction of numerous new APIs offering support for fingerprint scanners and more. Android 6.0 Marshmallow also adds greatly improved permissions, allowing you much more granular control over what parts of your phone experience your apps have access to.During the press event, Google also talked a lot about the fingerprint scanner, which it referred to as Nexus Imprint, making it easy to unlock your phone and offering compatibility with Android Pay.

Bottom-line, all the things that stock Android fans love will be found here, alongside a bevy of enhancements and bug fixes.

Pricing and availability

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Unlike in past years, Google doesn’t plan to offer its phones directly via carriers in the US, in a model similar to what we are seeing from Motorola with the Moto X Pure Edition. In fact, while select international retailers will still offer the Nexus family, in the US the Nexus phones will be available only through the Google Store.

As for how much the phones will set you back? The Nexus 5X will start at $379 for the base 16GB model, with the 32GB variant priced at $429.99. The Nexus 6P is obviously a bit more expensive, thanks to its beefier specs and more premium design, with a starting price of just $500 for the 32GB variant. The 64GB model is $549, and the 128GB model with price at $649. Those who buy either model will also get 90 days of free Google Play Music, and those who pre-order will get a $50 Google Play card as an added perk.

In addition to announcing the new phones, Google also took the wraps off its new Nexus Protect program. You can learn more about it here.

More coverage

Be sure to check out more of our coverage from today’s Nexus event (we’ll update this list as we add more):

What do you think of the latest member of the Nexus family? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Andrew Grush
Andrew is dedicated to reporting on the latest developments in the world of Android, and is very passionate about mobile technology and technological innovation in general. While he appreciates Android in all of its forms, he prefers a clean stock experience when possible and currently rocks a Nexus 5. Andrew also loves to engage with his readers, and welcomes well-thought-out conversations and responses in the comments section!
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