Nexus 6P – A Student’s Review


The Nexus 6P is the best smartphone on the market because, for the first time, premium hardware and feature-filled, fully integrated, bloat-free Android operating system are wrapped up into the perfect package.


The premium hardware starts with the CNC-machined aluminum unibody construction. There is not a hint of plastic anywhere, which makes the phone feel very premium compared to the plastic and glass competition. The aluminum uni-body feels solid in hand and does not feel like it is going to fall apart. For my personal unit, I chose the black Graphite color, during the first week the back of the 6P was a slippery fingerprint magnet, which was remedied with a skin to keep the back clean. As you move to the side, the power and volume rocker are on the right side. DSCN0105  On the topic of the power button, the placement feels natural in the hand and is textured to help differentiate it from the volume buttons. As we rotate counterclockwise, the top has the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. Rotating counterclockwise again, on the left side we have a single sim tray. DSCN0094   As we rotate the phone again, we are greeted by the reversible USB Type C port and on the topic of USB Type C, the phone is future proofed for the day when Type C connectors replace display ports, charging, and data transfer.


The Nexus 6P does not appear to have any speakers on the back or on the bottom. With these front facing speakers your hands will not accidentally cover it while you watch a video.


The 6P’s speakers are melt into the 5.7, sharp, 518 ppi, AMOLED, 2560 by 1440 pixel display.DSCN0089 DSCN0090   Watching and consuming content is a real treat as the AMOLED display allows colors pop and deep blacks to amp the contrast to eleven.


As we move from the front and on to the back of the phone, you will notice a beveled dimple for the fingerprint. After adjusting to the reader on the back, it will be habitual to pull the Nexus 6P with a finger on the back to unlock the phone. DSCN0107  If the reader is unable to read your finger, the phone will give a gentle vibration to try again. Under most circumcises, the reader is amazing at its recognition.

Weighing in at one hundred seventy eight grams the Nexus 6P is thirty grams heavier than the iPhone 6s, but with the extra thirty grams the 6P packs 3,450mAh almost two times the size of the iPhone 6s and 700 more milliamp compared to the 6s plus. This battery size translates to a longer day of usage. While others may need to charge their phone in the middle of the day, the 6P breezes through the competition. In my daily usage I start using my phone as soon as I wake up. At school my usage is moderate, opening up calculator emulators, responding to texts, and reading articles. By the time I get home, which is around five thirty, I can squeeze a little more than four hours on heavy usage (watching videos nonstop).


Aside from the large battery some may notice the Gorilla Glass visor which houses the the 12.3 Megapixel f/2.0, laser autofocus, dual tone flash. I am no camera guy but people at Dx0Mark created a report on the Nexus 6P. According to the Dx0Mark assessment, the 6P’s performance is below the iPhone 6s plus but above the LG G4. To quote the review, “the DxOMark testers particularly liked the impressive detail preservation in low light and the accurate and fast autofocus.” However, the testers had criticism in, “high-contrast scenes and some exposure and color irregularities introduced by the HDR+ mode in low light.”

On the subject of Android, the Nexus 6P ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow the new os did not introduce any new design refinements to 5.0 Lollipop. To start off, Google has now introduced monthly security updates (especially after stagefright), aside from the already mentioned features, Marshmallow includes the new feature Doze.

With this Doze, standby time has been improved. The OS cuts and regulates background tasks to the bare minimum, which in turn allows the battery to last longer. To give an example, if I leave my phone at 100% on overnight, the phone at most will sip two to three percent.

DSCN0110 DSCN0111

Other than Doze, Marshmallow introduces, for the first time, Google Now On Tap, a holding the home button will toggle the Now on Tap. The new service tries to read everything on the screen and make search suggestions based on everything on the screen.Screenshot_20160129-084222(2)  Screenshot_20160129-084218

In addition to the new features, the Nexus 6P has also refined features from the past. For example, voice commands are now more consistent when compared to the Nexus 6. Ambient display works a bit better when notifications are received.


However, the 6P is not free from some hiccups during day to day usage. The new Google Now on tap is unpredictable at times and does not recognize everything, the ambient display works half the time, and trying to use the OK Google command outside of the lock screen is embarrassing when it fails.


But despite the occasional hiccups on the software side, this is the current flagship of Nexus line, which means this phone will be the first to receive software updates without carrier bloat.  Because the phone is unlocked, carriers are not allowed to tamper with the software (adding non-removable bloatware). Furthermore, Now on tap, Voice Commands, and Ambient Display, are relatively new features, which means Google will continue to work on these features on newer versions of Android.

From many reviewers, the 6P has achieved a fairly positive reviews, but not without controversy. For the first few months the 6P was plagued with reports of the phone bending under low force and the camera visor cracking. However, on my personal unit, the Nexus phablet has not experienced any of the reported issues.

Despite the software issues and bending controversy, The Nexus 6P is currently the best Android flagship because of its success in integrating the pure Android Marshmallow into a premium package of hardware. For $500 dollars to start (although $450 during sales), the 6P delivers the package of a feature rich software combined with a premium metal hardware. The price is almost half the cost of the iPhone 6s plus and $200 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S6 plus edge.

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