Nexus 6P review roundup: At last, a Nexus phone with amazing hardware


When Google unveiled their new phones at the launch event, there were a number of firsts. For the first time, the company was boasting about the camera and seemed to have the evidence to back up the hype. Another was the introduction of USB Type-C. It ditched Qualcomm’s Quick-Charge tech in favor of a new universal standard. It also released two phones at the same time. This morning, the Nexus 5X finally became available to order, which also means that review embargoes have lifted on both the new Nexus phones.

Several tech publications and personalities have had their say on the two new Nexus phones and — for the most part — the opinions are very positive…

Although it’s not a full review, Marques Brownlee’s early impressions set the tone for the majority of reviews to follow. In his video, he notes that in his first few days with the device, he’s been impressed so far. The battery life and camera have both been good, which is a huge improvement on previous generations of Nexus. In the past, it was almost as if Google only cared about how the stock Android software performed and looked, and how it could integrate its latest services. Battery life and camera performance have been neglected historically. Not this time:


In a more in-depth, three-page review, ArsTechnica supports some of those thoughts and states that the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P aren’t just the best Nexus phones ever made, but also, some of the best phones on the market.

The Nexus 5X and 6P are two of the best Nexus devices ever produced. It’s a common line that people say every year, but these are the first Nexus devices that don’t have a huge deal breaker attached to them. Google and its partners have finally nailed two of the things Nexus devices have traditionally been poor at. The camera is actually good—great, even—and can hold its own against the best mobile shooters out there. And the battery life is just as good as any other flagship as well.

Although feelings towards both phones’ hardware design is favorable, Ars writer Ron Amadeo does concede that he’d love to see what a Nexus 5P would look like. A phone released alongside the 6P, with the same all-metal design, but with a smaller screen. What’s more, having run some benchmarking tests, the Nexus 6P was found to perform as well as the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5.

Despite not being as convinced by the design as Ars and MKBHD, Engadget was still impressed by the large pure Android phablet overall, giving it a score of 87.

The bigger of this year’s two Nexus handsets seems like a dream on paper, with premium build quality, top-tier specs and access to the latest software updates straight from Google. Most importantly, Google finally has made a big phone that’s comfortable to use with one hand. It’s great for die-hard Android enthusiasts, but we’re all spoiled for choice this year and the Nexus 6P doesn’t do much to outshine the competition.

It was among several publications to laud the speed and accuracy of the fingerprint sensor. Dubbed ‘Nexus Imprint’, the sensor detects and scans fingertips super-fast and will make protecting your phone much more hassle free.

Android Central wants to wait a little while before giving us its full review, but that didn’t stop the site from taking the new phones out for a camera test. If early reviews of it being a decent camera didn’t sway you, some of these shots might. In lowlight, in both handheld and on tripods, the phone can deliver great results. It delivered one bad shot in a series of tests. Who needs OIS?

While we still need to see how this camera stands up against the other Android cameras right now, it’s clear this camera is by far the most capable we’ve seen on a Nexus before. There’s not much to criticize here, and it’s going to make owning a Nexus this year a whole lot more enjoyable for a lot of people.

PocketNow chose to compare both new Nexus phones, while Wired opted to give us a quick bullet-point list of things it likes about the new Android flagship after spending 48 hours with it. In short: Like everyone else, Wired thinks this is the best-designed Nexus phone ever made, with a fantastic camera and fast fingerprint sensor.


Interestingly, while many praised the new design and all-metal finish, the form factor and material choice weren’t loved by everyone. TechCrunch called the design “cumbersome”, and even complained that Google had opted to ditch the soft, comfortable feel given by the plastic of last year’s Nexus in favor of a cold metal.

What I’m missing is the softer back that the Nexus 6 introduced last year. It was handy when I was on a plane or train ride and would use my phone for upwards of an hour at a time. I have no idea why they’d take something like that away, but perhaps Google didn’t get the same feedback that I have. I always heard that the soft back was a plus from friends and colleagues. Oh well, a case can easily fix that. For short spurts of regular use, I ditch the case and show off the pretty phone anyways.

VentureBeat noted that the battery performed well, getting through two days with light usage:

I was impressed with the 6P’s battery life. The phone was fully charged at noon on Friday, and while I watched very little video and played games for only 15 minutes or so over the weekend, the thing finally ran completely out of gas about 8:30 on Sunday night. I have no doubt that the battery would last well more than a day of heavy usage.

Using the USB-C cable plugged into the AC adapter, the phone reached full charge in just over 100 minutes. So Google’s claim that the phone can charge in 97 minutes seems legit. The phone needed only about an hour to reach 80 percent charge, and the last 10 percent of charge seemed to take a relatively long time.

This sentiment was echoed by PhoneArena who performed some battery tests. In these tests, it still wasn’t quite up to the standards set by the Galaxy Note 5 or iPhone 6s Plus, but the speed at which it charges should make up for that, at least a little.

One of the most glowing reports, from ZDNet notes that the only real weaknesses are the lack of OIS in the camera hardware and the decision not to include wireless charging support.

The Nexus 6P is an awesome device and earns a near perfect 10. It has great specifications, provides you with the latest version of Android and the promise of first updates in the future, and is priced less than other flagship phones.

I usually expect to be let down in some area with a Nexus phone, but that is not the case this year with the Nexus 6P and I struggled to find any cons. If you want to save some money over the current Samsung and Apple products, you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 6P. It’s a rather large phone, but if size isn’t an issue then the Nexus 6P is tough to beat.

Likewise, Slash Gear suggests the Nexus phone is no longer just a device for nerds and developers. It’s a genuinely fantastic smartphone:

With this generation, the Nexus smartphone is no longer just a baseline piece of hardware made for developers to run apps for the masses. With this release – not least of all because of Google Fi – Google just created a set of devices that are ready to bat with the top-tier smartphones on the market. For real.

Overall then, it’s clear that most agree on the improvements made in the latest Nexus phablet. It’s a great device that competes with the highest tier smartphones, but costs considerably less. It’s fast, has an amazing display, great camera and a battery that lasts all day.

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