When I reviewed the Nexus 6P last year, I said it was one of the best ways to experience pure Android. Now, about one year later, I still hold that claim.
If you were to go out and buy the Nexus 6P off-contract, you’re still getting a beautiful display that looks great, an awesome camera and pure Android (and you’ll be getting Android 7.0 before any other Android device).
In this revisit, I will cover the following areas:
- Design & Hardware (hardware and specs)
- Software (all about that Android)
- Camera (a picture is worth a thousand word right?)
Design & Hardware
I can’t stress enough of how great the display on the Nexus 6P looks. It just beautiful to look at. It still looks good from all angles and videos look clear and crisp but like I said in my review, I wouldn’t stare at the screen for more than an hour or so.
The build quality is still great and the metal body feels great in the hands but it can be slippery and you may be prone to dropping it (I would recommend getting a case or even putting a skin on the back).
One thing I found when I was using the Nexus 6P again, is that device seemed to get warm at times and the back was too hot to touch because of the heated metal. I’m not sure if it was just the unit I received but that definitely was an issue at times.
When i would hold the Nexus 6P in two hands, I normally would have the bottom of the phone resting on my pinky finger but for some reason, it wasn’t as comfortable as say when I do the same sort of two-handed position with my Nexus 6.
The Nexus 6P is sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, clocked at 2.0 GHz along with 3GB of RAM. It comes in four colours, Aluminium (aka silver),Graphite (aka black), Matte Gold and Frost (white) and three capacities, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB. Just like other Nexus devices, there is no MicroSD card slot for expandable storage.
The Snapdragon 810 provides plenty of power to help light the 2560×1440 display (which looks great). It also is enough power for everyday tasks as well as playing games. The 6P’s 3GB of RAM is a good amount to help the Snapdragon 810.
To power all of this, is a massive 3450 mAh battery, in my daily usage the Nexus 6P last all day. I would take it off the charger at around 6:30 AM and it would be at around 40-50% at the end of the day. The battery life lasts longer with the help of the Doze feature in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which puts your apps to standby so then they aren’t using your battery when you aren’t using your device.
You won’t need to charge your Nexus 6P as often or in the middle of the day because of the Doze feature.
The Nexus 6P does not support for Qualcomm’s quick charge technology. Instead, Google has put in something called Fast Charge because the Nexus 6P (and the Nexus 5X) have USB Type-C and it is still relatively new technology.
The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is great and it’s the perfect spot because when you take the device out of your pocket your index naturally rests near the sensor’s location. It became more natural and almost second nature and the phone was unlocked as soon as I pulled it out of my pocket.
Since it’s been about a year since the Nexus 6P, you’ll be able to find it for much less than the original asking price of $699 for the 32GB model (in any colour), $749 for the 64GB model or $849 for the 128GB model. You can find it starting at $400-600 but as of this writing, the Nexus 6P is out of stock in all capacities but the 32GB Matte Gold in the Canadian Google Store.
The Nexus 6P that I tried for this post was still running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and the Android 7.0 Nougat update was still rolling out.
The Nexus 6P was the first smartphone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This update is more of a minor one and not as major as 5.0 Lollipop (which had a complete overhaul). The 6.0 update still continues the design language, ‘Material Design’ that was introduced in 5.0.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow seems like a more stable version of Lollipop. Also in 6.0, are custom app permissions, improved microSD support, granular app & memory management and better battery performance.
The Nexus line of the devices have always been a great way if you want the latest version of Android without any skins (like TouchWiz, HTC Sense, LG’s custom skin). You’ll be getting your updates straight from the source (Google) and you can expect updates for at least two years once the device is released.
Each year when Google along with a hardware partner release a Nexus phone, they make improvements to the camera sensors and software. And each year, they seem to fool us.
The cameras on the past Nexus phones were just considered to mediocre to good but not great and people would still consider the camera on the iPhone to be the best of the best.
It’s understandable that when Google said that this year’s Nexus phones has great camera, we all take this in with a grain of salt.
But it turns out that Google actually was telling the truth. The Nexus 6P has a great camera. It has a 12.3 megapixel rear-facing camera with 1.55um pixels (micron pixels), a f2.0 lens and laser-assisted autofocus. It is capable of recording 4K video at 30fps. The front-facing camera is 8 megapixels and as Google puts it, should be “great for selfies”.
The Sony camera sensor was a great choice made by Google and it’s on par or better than the camera on the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 7.
The camera app on the Nexus 6P is fairly straightforward and simple to use. Some have had some issues with the app but in my testing, I didn’t experience any issues.
The camera also has Auto HDR+ which is Google’s version of High Dynamic Range photography. Taking HDR+ photos will take a few seconds longer as compared to taking pictures without it.
If you would like to see more camera samples, check out this link: https://goo.gl/photos/BXD5yA5e8YXAL57eA
If you’re looking for a premium Android smartphone that runs the latest version of Android (without any bloatware or skins), a great camera and can be used anywhere in the world and can be purchased at a lower cost than the Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7, then look no further than the Nexus 6P. It’s a worthy alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, iPhone 7 and OnePlus 3 even if the phone is a year old.
The Nexus 6P may not be perfect but it is best all-round device and a great way to experience pure Android. It pairs great hardware with great software. It offers a great value for an awesome smartphone.