Three Months In: Nexus 6


The Nexus 6 has been on the market since November. Though it has been impossibly hard to get ahold of, I had the opportunity to hit refresh at the right time and order one. This is the Nexus device that is set to change everything. The Motorola Nexus 6 is the first Nexus device that is truly premium in every way, including the price tag.

After three months, how has the Nexus 6 held up? Was the high price point justified, or is Google blowing hot air out of Shamu’s blow hole.

For more on the Nexus 6, here is all of my other work with the device:

Hardware

The Nexus 6 hardware is still top notch. The 2560x1440 AMOLED panel is still gorgeous to use day to day. It is one of the main selling points of the phone in my opinion. Colors, details, and text are crisp and vivid. If you have yet to use a QHD display, your eyes are probably upset with you.

The front facing speakers still continue to impress me with their volume and sound. Though, because the speaker grills are recessed slightly, dust and grime buildup is an issue. A minor gripe, but one nonetheless.

As for the rest of the build, I could not be more pleased. As time has gone on in my usage, I have grown more fond of the ergonomic build that Motorola has implemented in all their devices. I love how the subtle curve on the back of the device rests in my hand or hands as I use the Nexus 6. I love the industrial metal frame that feels like it could be thrown like a through a wall(do not try that).

One thing that has grown increasingly annoying is the back of the device itself. The back of the Nexus 6 is a soft touch plastic that is immensely slippery. I have been using the phone on multiple occasions, only to have the Nexus 6 slip or readjust itself while I hold the device. It is beginning to seem as though my Nexus 6 has a death wish. It constantly tries to slip out of my hands and onto the ground. Luckily, it has not succeeded yet. But I have added a dbrand skin for extra security. The back of the device is also a massive fingerprint magnet. I find myself constantly cleaning off the back of the device to make it look more appealing. After just moments of use, the device accumulates massive amounts of fingerprints and oil. Making the Nexus 6 quite unseemly. The dbrand skin addresses this issue as well.

Battery has changed very little since my initial review of the Nexus 6. I am still averaging roughly three to three and a half hours of screen on time per charge. Which is quite good, but it is not the best out there. This is due to the incredibly high resolution screen requiring a tad more juice than your run of the mill 1080p panel. It is surely a fair trade off, though.

Software

Lollipop is one of the main allures of the Nexus 6 at this point. Lollipop has rolled out to a whopping 1.6% of devices at this point in time. The adoption of Lollipop is partially the Android update process being horrendously mangled by OEMs and Carriers. Another reason for possible apprehension to update could be the various bugs many users have encountered. The same Lollipop bugs as day one still persist. Encryption still causes moderate storage slowdown and there are some general performance hiccups.

Another bug that has risen to the surface in my usage is quite the annoying one. When I am switching between apps in a hurry. Every so often the device will freeze and restart itself. It’s frustrating to switch from an app to another quickly, only to have the device freeze and completely crash.

Luckily, Android 5.1 is on the horizon. While the details of what will change from 5.0 to 5.1 are still being ironed out. One can presume that the minor bump in version number will fix some of these bugs. Hopefully the update finds it’s way to the 1.6% of Android devices running Lollipop soon.

Camera

I love this camera. I love the sensor that Google chose to put into the Nexus 6. It is the same sensor found in the OnePlus One(a camera I whole-heartedly love). The only issue I had with the camera was Google’s own software. While the Google Camera gets the basic photo taking job done. As a photographer I was left wanting more. Luckily, a fantastic camera app has scratched my itch for camera control on the Nexus 6. The app in question is called Manual Camera.

The app currently runs $2.99 on the Play Store, but it is well worth the cost if you want control over your camera on the Nexus 6. The app is immensely intuitive and uses virtual dials similar to traditional camera controls. The only drawback to Manual is that is currently only compatible with devices using the Camera2 API. The Nexus 5 and 6 both utilize this, so it is definitely worth the purchase if you have either of those devices.

I have captured some stunning photos with the Nexus 6. I am continually impressed with how well the camera performs in a variety of different situations.

Conclusion

The Nexus 6 is definitely not for everyone. It is a premium device with a premium price tag. It is also a very large device. The Nexus 6 does not shrink as you use it, but you do get used to the size as time goes on. But Google has still created a fantastic phone with the Nexus 6. I still thoroughly enjoy using my Motorola behemoth every day. The hardware is built to last, Lollipop is an incredible new chapter for Android, and the camera is fantastic with the right software.


The Nexus 6 is one of the premier Android handsets as we continue into 2015. Three months later, the Nexus 6 is still my go to Android experience.


Remember to follow me on Twitter & Google+ for all of my Tech Reviews, Features, and more!

And I’m on Instagram! I post tech, coffee, and my photography there. If that’s your gig, hit that follow button there, too!