If you’re a long time Android user and proudly consider yourself a member of #TeamAndroid, you well aware of the Nexus brand. If your new to Android, the Nexus brand consist of devices made in partnership with Google and a manufacturer of Google’s choosing. Together the device they produce stands as the example of what Android has to offer. This year Google served up two device the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. The Nexus 6P is this year’s premium device of the two (literally as the P in the 6P stands for Premium) and I’ve spent the last week plus using it as my primary device (a concerning trend for HTC if you also read my Moto X Pure Edition review). Here is how I feel since then?
A Nexus With Style
Not to say Nexus devices haven’t had style before, but the biggest perk of owning a Nexus device was that pure stock Android OS and access to new OS updates as soon as Google released them. On the looks side Nexus device were plain unassuming phones. Which isn’t to say they were ugly, but they wasn’t going to win any style awards. However with the Nexus 6P, Google and manufacturing partner Huawei really cooked up a beauty. Metal is all the rave now so Google wasn’t about to not show up to the party as well. The Nexus 6P had some fancy process done, it is CNC machined from aeronautical-grade aluminum and sculpted with precision engineering. Really that is just fancy talk for cool aluminum metal body, makes Nexus 6P look good!
This was especially good for me since my last phone was the HTC One series. I before had the M7, M8, and M9. Going back to plastic wasn’t an options if I wanted to keep that premium feeling. The Nexus 6P doesn’t feel cheap. It also comes in three color options Aluminium (Sliver-ish), Graphite (Black), and Frost (white). My favorite color of the three is the Graphite. It looks cool and does the double duty of making that long back panel along the top not stand out so much. Speaking of that panel, pictures make it look as if it sticks out way more than it actually does. In person it really isn’t an issue and if you go with Graphite, it isn’t even worth thinking about. Overall the Nexus 6P is a great looking device, looks and feels premium. I haven’t thought about my HTC One M9 since ( really sad on HTC’s end)
That Marshmallow & More
Again the best thing about a Nexus device is first dips on the latest and greatest OS Google’s ships out. The Nexus 6P (and 5X as well) is one of the first devices to launch with Android M or Marshmallow to the masses. As such if you pick up one, you’ll be one of the first people with the latest Android OS. Some of the best features of Android M in my opinion are Android Pay which is more baked into the OS, Google’s Doze feature, Google on Tap, and the enhanced permission settings. Some of the other features has really changed how I used a phone, not life changing but this has been fundamental in my use.
When the iPhone first came out with Touch ID and all the Apple heads were raving about it I kind of just Kanye Shrugged. I didn’t care. Even when Samsung introduced one on their device, I had no real interest. To be honest hearing about it on the new Nexus devices didn’t promote any excitement either, as I figured it would just be some feature I didn’t use on the phone. Boy was I wrong! This is probably one of the features I use the most on the phone. Actually this IS the number one feature I use on the phone! When I set up the Nexus 6P it popped up during the setup process and I just figured why not. Little did I know that I will love this thing. One of the main reasons is unlocking the phone. With the placement of the sensor on the center back of the phone it is positioned perfectly for my index finger when picking it up. This makes unlocking the phone super easy, and it is done by time I pull the phone out of my pocket.
This is also handy when you use Android Pay, provided you have a card that is currently supported by it, otherwise you’ll still have to enter in a pin number. The positioning of the sensor on the back of the phone can present some challenges though if you have it placed on a desk face up. I’ve seen a few reviewers mentioning this fact, but I think they are forgetting about smart lock. If you use this as well you’ll normal won’t even need to unlock if it is by you on a desk. With smart lock you can have it unlocked by connected device, have it based on location, even trusted voice or face. So while it can be a minor challenge, it is by no means a major issue.
Don’t Forget Your Cable
The Nexus 6P and 5X are the first Nexus device to come with a Type-C USB port. With this port and cable, your devices can transfer data faster, charge faster, and is reversible so it doesn’t matter what side it is on it will plug-in. That last part is especially wonderful, gone are the days of the microUSB dance of trying to plug-in your phone and figuring out which is the correct way. However with any new move forward in technology there is going to be a downside or side effect. With the Type-C port that side effect is simple. Over the years we all probably have built up a healthy collection of microUSB cables. Those are useless now. Type-C is new so this will probably be the only one you have (unless you decide to buy a few spare cables and adapters), and if you forget that cable you’ll find yourself in a jam if you need to charge or transfer some data. You won’t be borrowing a friend’s cable as they will unlikely have Type-C yet.
During my first week with the Nexus 6P I found myself forgetting my cable. The Nexus 6P comes with a Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A cable. The “to Type-A” cable is the one I could use to connect to my laptop or an external power pack. During that first week in found myself nervous about running out of power while on the go. Fortunately I would always make it back home before the phone died. But until Type-C becomes as ubiquitous as microUSB is now you better not forget your cable. Or buy a few spares!
What Has Been My Nexus Experience
The Nexus 6P is a great phone, I might even call it one of if not thee best right now. You have a premium Android phone, with pure Android M and access to the next latest version without waiting for the manufacturer to get it going. Wrapped up in a premium look and feel, with a great camera. Starting at a price that is pretty decent.
My last week has been great with the Nexus 6P, I love using it. There have been some weird issues here and there but it hasn’t dulled my experience. I have to keep it real and mentioned some of these issues. These could be related to just the device I have, but they should be mentioned. One thing I noticed was weird connection issues. It could show that I have full LTE signal but doing something in an app with data would stall. It would just hang or not load, I’d then close and reopen the app and all was fine. Also it seems to have a slight issue holding on to LTE signal. Again I’d be at full signal and then it just drop down to 4G instead of LTE. I’m using the phone with T-Mobile and I’d have another T-Mobile device the LG G4, this would be fine while the Nexus 6P would be on 4G. It has happened a few times, it regained LTE shortly but it was a little of an annoyance. They was throat negative I’ve experienced. Everything else has been on point.
When it came to battery and camera use, again the Nexus 6P did well. On most days I can get just about 7.5-8 hours out of the 6P before I’d be down to under 10%. I also tested out Google’s claim that with a 10 minute charge it could get up to 7 hours of more time. When I hit 10% one day I connected and waited. I actually forgot and it was actually 12 minutes. This took me from 10% to 26%. The battery bot app in use said I now had 5 hours and 34 mins of power. I out this to the test and really that extra time is going to be based on what you are doing. If it is just sitting on your desk not being used I believe it. But if your going to be actively using it you’ll maybe get another hour or two. If you leave it on the charger for longer than 10 minutes you’ll be able to top it back up in about an hour. Which isn’t bad at all.
With the camera, Google and Huawei did themselves justice. Nexus phones aren’t known for great cameras, but this one is not bad at all. I won’t say it is the best, but it will definitely hold its own with all the other top-tier phones on the market now. I’m not a bit picture person myself, but it handled everything I through at it with class. Sunlight, low light, some shaky hand action, and it did well. Google really has an Android to put its name behind.
This time around Google has produced a phone that not only can serve as an example of Android can offer, but truly a phone that should be considered for purchased whether you are a developer or someone who just wants a great phone. With the Nexus 6P I see no down side to owning one. Only reasons why I would wonder why you haven’t order one yet!
The Nexus 6P starts off at $499 and can be purchased from the Google Store today.