The Nexus class of devices gets a new flagship in the large Huawei-made Nexus 6P, which is already considered by many as being the best Android device one can buy right now. Surprisingly thin and light, the bright and powerful Nexus 6P sets the bar quite high since it is an all-metal-and-glass affair and one that’s designed reasonably well if you like larger phones.
Out of the box, the Nexus 6P looks and feels like the most luxurious Nexus handset ever made. It is surprisingly thin, swathed in smooth aluminum and glass, and the fit and finish is top notch. After using the device for over a week, I was amazed that it exhibited none of the niggling fit and finish roughness of Nexus devices from three or four years ago. It is unfortunate that the Nexus 6P’s availability at launch was so limited, and it had to suffer its own ‘bendgate’ scandal very early on. The Nexus 6P is a completely gapless and precision-built handset, and one that looks and feels like how much it costs. Nexus 6P reminds me of an HTC product, which is a good thing, at least when HTC led the charge in making truly original (not derivative) and innovative smartphone designs and used the best materials around. Some might find the Nexus 6P a bit generic-looking. I’m not a big fan of the flat back with the protruding camera bar, and wished the Nexus 6P were more curvaceous and ergonomic. I understand, however, that Nexus devices strive for plain looks and utilitarian features, but even the lowly Nexus 5X seems to have a bit more personality. The display is quite stunning and is up there with the best smartphone displays in terms of quality and readability. Not all Quad HD displays are created equal, and while the 6P isn’t as ultra-vibrant as some of Samsung’s phones, it has accurate color reproduction and good detail. You really can’t ask for anything more. The Nexus 6P has a superb camera. The 6P’s camera—which uses an identical 12-megapixel sensor to what is available on the cheaper, smaller, plastickier 5X—has the added benefit of Optical Image Stabilization. In contrast, the camera that shipped with previous Nexus devices (I’ve owned all of them, except the Nexus 5) never got me excited. Android Marshmallow has some visible differences from Lollipop: the new Google logo and fonts as well as a revamped app drawer. The Now on Tap feature, which appears when you hold press the Nexus 6P’s home button, scans whatever screen you’re looking at and pushes more info on people, movies, song names, and restaurant ratings. This feature may have potential but seems a little undercooked right now. I have no doubt we’ll all be using it in a matter of months.
Review by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla First published in Speed January 2016