Nexus 6P Review

The Nexus 6P is huge. Enormous.

There’s no other way to put it. As someone coming from an HTC One X, a measly 4.7-inch Android device with remarkably similar dimensions to the iPhone 6s, I can’t help but sit in awe at its size.

DESIGN

With a 5.7-inch QHD display and suitably scaled aluminium chassis, it’s presence within my hand is significant. By no means it is heavy, nor does it feel cheap, the Huawei device sits comfortably between the two. I have no complaints with the design other than the small plastic panel towards the bottom of the device. However, Google has told us that it is required (the main mobile data antenna sits under it) so there’s no point arguing about it.

Whilst I’m talking about design, let's discuss durability. So what would happen if you dropped your latest Nexus phone? I don’t know. If you do want a drop test though, here’s a good one. It feels like a solid device and is ladened with Gorilla Glass 4. Yeah, it’ll probably smash when you throw it on the floor; my recommendation would be to just buy a case.

PERFORMANCE

With the octa-core Snapdragon 810 inside, lag is not an issue. Between graphically intensive games and scrolling through Twitter, I have never experienced a crash or significant drop of frames. I’m going to be honest and say I have no idea what any of the processor specifications are, but I don’t think it matters in the slightest. It may if you’re a developer, but I’m talking consumers here.

All you need to know is that it’s fast.

Talking of fast: charging. The entire 3450 mAh battery charges in around an hour and a half. This happens through the supplied USB-C to USB-C cable, enabling the quick charging capabilities of the device. However, due to the specialised nature of the cable, you’re really limited to the wall plug Google gives you. In terms of how long that battery will last, well, that’s dependant. I’m a fairly light user and some days I finished the day with 60% battery or so left. On more busy days, that figure may be closer to 30%. What this means is that the 6P will last you as long as any other flagship phone.

SOFTWARE

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the only operating system (other than iOS) that looks alright. Samsung may have claimed the greatest phone of the year with the Note 5 but TouchWiz is a mess. The OS is where the 6P picks up brownie points. I must admit, in the images below I’m seen to be using Nova Launcher with the Moonshine icon pack, but that’s mainly due to my hate for the Twitter and Instagram logos. Other than that, the Google Now Launcher is what everyone should be using.

Screenshots of the 6P in use

CAMERA

The camera is very good. Not great, but very good. In bright light I can get consistently clear shots with little noise. The photos are of a high resolution with vibrant, if not a little oversaturated, colours and a balance between the highlights and shadows (as long as the incredibly slow HDR+ mode is turned on). In low light, the high ISO means that shadows appear grainy. The photos are passable and certainly superior to most phones — those 1.55 nm pixels coming in handy. The main point to take here is that the camera is good enough for a smartphone. If you want to take photos in the dark, you use a real camera.

Lots of light, HDR+ is on.
Low light, but not dark. HDR+ is on.
The camera is seeing more light than me here, HDR+ is on.
Some depth of field, but even in bright lighting the image is grainy, HDR+ is on.

PRICE

The Huawei device is cheap. For £449 ($499), you’re getting a device with 32 GB of storage which is superior to most others at a fraction of the price. Most other flagships are coming in at the £549 ($649) mark and only giving you a useless 16 GB as a base model.. That’s a significant saving, and when the only complaint is that it’s not quite as good as other phones, I’d say it’s definitely worth it.

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