Nexus 6P unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours

by: Joshua VergaraOctober 19, 2015
2.3K

Google unveiled two new Nexus smartphones last month, in what can be considered the next generation of the two devices released over the last couple of years.

Apart from being of a far more comfortable size, the Nexus 5X is Google’s return to what was expected from the Nexus line prior to the Nexus 6 – quality at an affordable price. On the other hand is the Nexus 6P, which, like the Nexus 6 last year, is a premium smartphone created to effectively compete with other current generation flagships.

LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-3See also: Nexus 5X unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours28

Before diving into the full review, here is a quick look at the unboxing and the first 48 hours that we got to spend with the Nexus 6P!

In the box

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Starting with the unboxing, opening the lid reveals the device in all its glory, as well as the other essentials you’ll need, including the USB Type-C cord. This cable has the same plug on both ends, making it reversible, but the wall plug adapter that you have to use in order to take advantage of the device’s fast charging capabilities takes the USB Type-C as well. This unfortunately does mean that if you’re looking for some fast charging on the go, you will have to carry these particular peripherals with you.nexus 6p first 48 (4 of 36)

Luckily, there is a version of the USB Type-C cable in the box where one end of it is of the regular USB plug, included in order to let you plug the device into your laptop, and that also means that you will be able to charge the device with any other charger you may have laying around. Apart from the usual legal, warranty, and Quick Start documentation, there are a few extras available with the device, including a 90-day free trial of Google Play Music. As long as you are a new customer that is.

Impressions after the first 48 hours

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Moving on to the device itself, the Nexus 6P features a full metal unibody construction, and it does make for a very nice feel while holding on to it. Returning is the Nexus logo in landscape orientation on the back, but there are a few new additions here, including the fingerprint scanner, which uses a software feature called Nexus Imprint, that was introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Finally, there is the black bar up top, housing the primary camera, the flash, and the laser auto focus, that are all covered by a glass panel. There were some initial concerns with this new design element, but once we got our hands on the device, we realized that it actually looked really good and unique.

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On the right side is the full button layout, and the sides are also pretty flat, which makes this undeniably large smartphone that much easier to grip. The front is dominated by the large 5.7-inch display, as well as the dual front-facing speaker setup. While the handling can take some getting used to, depending on which device you are making the switch from, the flat aesthetics do help a lot.

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All said and done, the Nexus 6P is a very attractive smartphone, and we are certainly very happy with the way it looks and feels. Huawei was given the responsibility of creating the premium Nexus smartphone this year, and given their penchant for great designs and solid build quality, it’s no surprise that Huawei did come through.

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The Nexus 6P comes with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display of Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 518 ppi. Given the fact that this display is of an AMOLED construction, it’s not surprising to see some high saturation, especially when going through all of the icons. The background wallpaper also does a great job of showcasing the quality of the display, and with its large size, this screen will be fantastic for media-consumption, gaming, and anything else that you will do on this phone.

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Under the hood, the Nexus 6P features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. The general day-to-day performance has been great, and it was only when trying to download a lot of applications en masse during the first couple of hours that there were any signs of a stutter.

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Even with very heavy usage, which included using the camera a lot and launching the camera app by using the double tap of the power button shortcut multiple times within a short span, there were no signs of the device slowing down. Only once did the camera app crash while opening and closing it continuously, and that was the only instance thus far of any applications crashing on the Nexus 6P.

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In hardware, some features of the Nexus 6 return here, including the dual front-facing speakers, which do sound really nice. They may not be the best speakers available on a smartphone, at least in our initial impressions, but more extensive testing will be done with various forms of media in the upcoming comprehensive review. The experience has been enjoyable so far though, and it is certainly better than any bottom or rear mounted speakers out there.

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A new addition is the fingerprint scanner on the back, placed comfortably within reach of your index finger. Adding a fingerprint to the phone is a very easy experience, just requiring multiple taps on the back until the fingerprint is registered. After that, putting your finger on the scanner wakes up and unlocks the device, and makes for a easy and straightforward way of getting into the phone.

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When it comes to charging the device, carrying around a USB Type-C cable is something you will just have to remember and get used to, as that is the only way you will be able to charge this phone on the go. Of course, you will also need the included wall plug if you are hoping to take advantage of its fast charging capabilities. Given the large capacity of the battery, at 3,450 mAh, the device does still require at least 2 hours to get to a full charge, even with fast charging.

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With very heavy usage over the last couple of days, which included setting up the phone properly and taking lots of pictures, the Nexus 6P managed around 3 hours of screen on time, which isn’t great, but this is without activating options like auto brightness, app optimizations, and Doze mode. Battery life is another aspect that will require more testing, and will be revisited in the full review.

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When it comes to the camera, Google is claiming that the new sensor in the Nexus 6P will provide better light capturing capabilities, resulting in a higher quality of shots overall, and we are quite impressed by what we’ve seen so far. It also very easy to launch the camera app, requiring just a double tap of the power button, which lets you quickly take a shot.

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Looking at the camera interface, HDR+ is set to Auto by default, but you do have the option to turn it on or off. What is nice is that HDR+ is also available for use with the front-facing camera. With the rear camera, you get 12.3 MP shots with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which goes down to 8.3 MP with a switch to 16:9. The camera also allows for video recording at 4K. As far as the extra modes go, you get Photo Sphere, Panorama, and Lens Blur, and that is about it.

Camera samples

Going through the camera samples, you will see that the camera provides for a little more saturation in the colors, and there is a lot of detail as well. So far, I’ve had a great experience with the camera, with both picture taking and recording videos, and when it came to video, you also have the option for slow motion capture at 120 fps or 240 fps. There will be a camera shootout and comparisons with the best cameras that the smartphone world has to offer, but so far, we are pretty happy with what we’ve been getting out of the camera of the Nexus 6P.

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In software, we get a stock version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, that brings a few very useful additions into the mix. Starting with the aesthetics, there isn’t a major departure from the previous Android iteration, and the biggest change you will see is in the application drawer, which now scrolls vertically, which can take some getting used to if you are already comfortable with the paginated view from before. What is nice is that there is now a line of applications at the top that includes your most used applications, and there is also a search bar, for you to quickly find what you’re looking for.

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Individual app permissions is a big feature that has been introduced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and this feature has shown up quite a few times over the last couple of days already. Installing new applications from the Google Play Store comes with the same prompts that tell you what permissions that app requires, but when you are in the application and want to access a particular part of the phone, it will ask you first. For example, when you are using Instagram and need to get into the camera, you will first be asked whether you want to access the camera.

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Finally, there is Now on Tap, which has been kind of useful over the last couple of days. It’s not something that I’ve used all the time though, and I will need more testing before I make up my mind on it. Worth mentioning is the fact that using Now on Tap eliminates the swipe up from the home button shortcut to access Google Now, and while Google Now is still easy to get to, it does require a few additional steps this time. Now on Tap has been providing a pretty good experience thus far, whenever it was able to pull some information from the screen.

Gallery

So, there you have it for this quick look at the unboxing and our impressions of the first 48 hours spent with the Nexus 6P! We are very impressed with everything we’ve seen thus far, from the design to the great camera, as well as the good performance that is helped along by Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Everything about the Nexus 6P does scream premium, including the price point of $499 for the base model, which is still less than plenty of other flagship smartphones out there. Stay tuned for more Nexus coverage!

  • Badelhas

    If it was cheaper here in Europe and a bit smaller I could think about upgrading my One M8. What´s with all this gigantic phones tendency, by the way?!

    • S Dot

      I’m also thinking about which phone to leave for my M8. I’m tempted to take the 6P plunge and just get used to a larger phone. The 5X is tempting but I’d need at least 32GB and the 5X 32GB is only $50 cheaper than the 6P 32GB.

      • Cole Cawtuh

        $70

        • S Dot

          You are correct

        • Btort

          for a 32GB 5x it’s $480 with tax and 2 day shipping

      • Badelhas

        But in my case, to be honest, I’m still very much in love with the m8. The only thing that is worst since I bought it is battery life since the Lollipop update. Did you noticed the same?
        I am hoping that the Marshmallow update fixes that issue.

        • S Dot

          You know I don’t know if that’s because of Lollipop or not…anytime I factory reset my phone I’ll easily get 14+ hrs out of it each day. After a few days to a week it drops significantly. I always immediately download all my apps, so I don’t think it’s just a matter of those draining it extra. I want a new experience and while I’m a bit of an HTC fanboy, I don’t have great hope that they’ll be around much longer.

    • smokebomb

      Not sure about other places, but in America, it’s to compensate. Just like owning a gun (or 30)

  • Mike

    All being well, I should have my N6P this week. It will replace an aging N4 and even older N7, so hoping the size works for me, whilst still (just) pocket friendly.

    • Btort

      my 5x shipped and will be at my door on wednesday, no word on 6P yet

  • MICHI

    Does it quickcharge with 3rd party QC2 wall plugs or the aukey qc2 battery pack?

    • sluflyer06

      Does not support Qualcomm proprietary QC, it uses USB standards. [email protected] So no to both because “QC” is not a standard its proprietary.

      • Brandito

        It’s a qualcom soc, why wouldn’t it support qualcom’s quickcharge? Prety sure there’s some confusion going on here. I’d have to imagine the phone is up on the QC 2.0 standard. I can’t imagine you HAVE to use the stock charger to get quick charging either.

        • Androidean

          It doesn’t support Qualcom’s quickcharge b/c Google decided not to pay for the license to use it. The fast charging the 6P has is the standards of the new USB C.

  • R.G. Etienne

    No dogs, come on, Josh.
    Respect the authorities!

  • Cole Cawtuh

    Really? The phone stutters when downloading multiple apps? That’s just a little disappointing. How is heat dissipation? Does the phone get warm or hot?

    • Merewoodbebox

      dont most phone stutter when downloading multiple apps? unlike before the apps is being compiled while installing and google allowed the play store to take quite a lot of system resources to make this fast as possible

    • Bomdesignz

      Its really disappointing and especially from clean android on a brand new beast nexus device.

      • Btort

        I heard every phone gets bottlenecked every time you install multiple apps, that’s why there’s stutter

    • sluflyer06

      That’s every mobile device, I’ve ever seen.

    • Daggett Beaver

      Yeah, but the stutters are buttery smooth.

    • Btort

      all phones stutter when downloading apps. I’ve had 7 android flagships the past 2 years and can confirm that. thanks to amazon’s return policy =D

  • Boogie79

    Why does the phone have a blue tint? Nothing looks white.

    • trwb

      Yea I notice that too

    • Daggett Beaver

      Blue on blue, heartache on heartache

  • Rick_Deckard

    I just hate where the camera is… Glossy… Horrible design….

    • sluflyer06

      The camera is where it is on every smartphone on the market…your comment does not make sense.

      • Androidean

        I think he meant the glossy plastic that’s covering the camera.

        • Burrdoh

          It’s Gorilla Glass 4 so…

      • Rick_Deckard

        I meant the glossy design… We have different taste… It’s ok.. ;-)

        • sluflyer06

          You realize you said in your post “I just hate WHERE the camera is…” where is defined literally as

          adverb
          adverb: where
          1.
          in or to what place or position.

          Also, you do realize that is glass right, not a glossy material.

          • Rick_Deckard

            Oh really… You don’t say lmao…

  • Bomdesignz

    750eur/850$ in Europe. NO THANKS!

    • For the 128GB model, yeah though you can get it cheaper from certain retailers. The 32GB is 607EUR/669USD

  • Daggett Beaver

    Wow, the camera app only crashed once? That’s a good thing?

    • If you open and close an app or program on any phone or PC a lot of successive times, they are bound to crash since the resources used aren’t prepared for that behavior since it isn’t expected.

  • Marco Túlio

    The phone gets hot when is charging or in general use?

  • Ranjit KR

    So It has bugs!Camera bug?Will wait till Android 6.1.1update

    • What are you talking about? No bug was ever mentioned in the video, as far as I noticed at least.

  • Guru

    Seems to be a good experience of 48 hours. Isn’t the back slippery?

  • ramasipsc

    Did I heard 3 hours screen on time?

    • Phil Nguyen

      Yes you hearded it. ^^

    • aSquard

      “but this is without activating options like auto brightness, app optimizations, and Doze mode”

      With these enabled, I’m sure battery life will be better and SoT will improve…

      • David

        App optimization and Doze mode are things that should be enabled right out of the box, unless it’s different for the 6P for some reason. I don’t know what they’re talking about here

        • You have to activate it for apps that aren’t part of the system, if you want it to take full control over those. You can see the settings for it in the video.

          • David

            This doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s activated automatically for all new apps I’ve installed on my 5X.

          • Hmm weird indeed!

  • Brandito

    Lots of confusions it seems around what kind of quick charging the phone supports. Since it’s a qualcomm soc I’d imagine it’s using QC 2.0 and that any QC 2.0 adapter should give similar charging speed.

    • sluflyer06

      Negative, Google themselves said in a very straightforward answer on a Q&A, the phone does not support QC. Yes it has qualcomm chipset but QC still requires an additional control chip in the phone to work.

    • Androidean

      It’s using Qualcomm’s soc but not QC. QC is a propriety technology, Google or anyone who wants to use Qualcomm’s QC, has to pay license fees.

      Google decided not to use it since USB C is capable of fast charging. It’s sucks for people that have QC chargers though because those will not work with the 6P

    • Brandito

      I stand corrected. It’s still needlessly confusing at this point how the phone will charge with aqc 2.0 adapter. And this review seems to imply you need a USB type c to type c cable in order to fast charge as well. The whole thing is confusing enough that I’m hoping someone does an article on which cables and charger types provide a fast charge.

      So far this is the only negative aspect of the phone for me. I want to be able to fast charge while in my car and now I’m not sure I’ll be able to.

  • Nipples.

    • Btort

      phone boob

  • fitnesspro22

    This is a real winner, not a sinner. As long as it is faster than my NEXUS 5, I will get it.

  • merman1983
  • The Watson

    How did they do with the Fire Breathing Snapdragon? Heat wasn’t mentioned. As far as price, Google has lost its mind, instead alphabetically focusing on profit. This is by no means affordable flagship. The Orig O+O was considered an affordable flagship level device. I would still take it over me S3 (fingers crossed on contest). At most 399$ or promo for $299! I am still uneasy about Huawei. At least its got a Qualcomm chip, but now the trustzone is worthless. I have no doubts the PLA has access to the Qualcomm “NDA” documents regarding security of the chipset. Before Flaming keep in mind Congress had concerns. Chinese government has access to every design spec, code, ip and more, with or without permission. Google about requirements to opening a manufacturing facility in China, if you think I’m tinfoiling. This may well hurt every OEM, especially Sony. (China/Japan relationship is poor)

    OTOH – Guess if I worked at Goog-abet this would be a budget phone! I doubt we will see any upper management sporting one of these! The NSA will just pillage what the PLA has and use it for what…. DSP/BP/TZ firmware hack, that no current company can scan for or even fix if re-encrypted…

    • This isn’t really supposed to be the affordable one, it’s priced in the same range, though a bit cheaper, as the rest of the premium flagships, such as the S6 and Z5. The 5X is supposed to be the affordable one, though it isn’t a flagship really.

      And chill out, the Chinese goverment hasn’t access to your IP or any other information that you have on your phone. While it might have information regarding the phone itself (which is quite useless, unless you have access to the actual phone), no information since it was sold has been transmitted to them. They have no way of doing that unless you install some sort of spyware or alike.