Now that the Google Pixel is here, you may be on the fence about getting one as it’s a lot of money to pay for a phone. I would suggest that you possibly consider the Huawei designed Google Nexus 6P. Software wise there is a lot of similarities between the two, both run stock Android, however the Pixel will receive updates slightly earlier than the Nexus. Although, if this is a problem for you, you can sign your Nexus up to the Android Beta Program and this will give you the updates even earlier, however be careful when doing this as you do run some slight risks.
Nexus 6P Specs:
- Display: 5.7 inches; WQHD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display at 518 ppi
- Dimensions: 6.27 X 3.06 X 0.29 inches
- Weight: 178 grams
- Storage: 32GB, 64 GB, or 128GB
- Memory: 3GB LPDDR4
- Processors: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 2.0 GHz Octa-core 64-bit; Adreno 430 GPU
- Front camera: 8MP camera; 1.4 µm pixels; f/2.4 aperture
- Rear camera: 12.3 MP; 1.55 µm pixels; f/2.0 aperture, 4K video
Compared to this years flagships, the specs may be slightly out dated but the phone still runs very well.
Read: Google Pixel Review
The Nexus 6P has an all metal body, like most flagship phones. Also, like a lot of flagship phones it has a camera hump. This glass camera hump goes all the way across the top of the phone at the back. I have seen quite a few reviews saying this is an ugly feature of the design, but I like it. Also, due to the fact that the hump goes all the way across the phone, it means that the phone does not rock if you type with it on a desk. The finger print sensor is placed on the back of the phone, which is great! It has been positioned so that when you reach into your pocket to grab it, it is where your finger naturally falls so the phone is unlocked once have it out and facing you. The lock and volume buttons are well placed and are nice and clicky. There’s not much more to say about that, they are good. One of the best hardware features about the phone is the front facing stereo speakers, they make great use of the big bezels. For a phone, these can get really loud and are probably some of the best quality speakers that you can get on a phone. This is a big phone, which I personally like, but if you have small hands this is probably not for you. I have pretty average sized hands and I definitely feel more comfortable using two hands when operating the Nexus 6P.
On the inside, the Nexus 6P has a 3550mah battery. I have found that with moderate usage (browsing social media and some light gaming), I can usually get up to about a day and a half of usage. However if you are using your phone heavily, it should still get you to the end of the day but you are going to want to charge that night. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get the phone fully charged, which may not stand up to some current phones, but it’s still pretty quick. There is no wireless charging with the Nexus 6P so if that is something that is important to you then you may want to look elsewhere.
The Qualcomm 810 processor may not be as up to date as the 821 that the Pixel sports, but it is still a good processor. Apps open quickly and run smoothly, and the 3GB of RAM allows you to quickly flick between apps. I did however find that if you game on this phone for prolonged times it would occasionally begin to lag. This problem doesn’t seem to occur regularly but it is something to note.
The 12.3 MP camera on this phone is nice. It does not however stand up to a 2016 flagship smartphone camera, but then again phones like the iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel have pretty amazing cameras. Like most smartphones it has a digital zoom so that is nothing special. I also sometimes found it hard to get the camera to focus on the subject if it was close, it would usually focus after a few try’s but it wasn’t as quick as I would have liked it. I would recommend turning the HDR+ feature on with this camera and never turning it off, it just takes much better quality pictures. The rear camera on the Nexus 6P is not the best but it is far from the worst, under the right conditions you will be able to take some really good pictures.
I’m not a selfie expert but to me the front facing 8MP camera is great. The picture quality is good and takes very clean detailed images. So no problems there.
Software (Android 7.1.1)
I have my Nexus signed up to the Android Beta Program which means that I have been using Android 7.1.1 for a few weeks now and have had the previous versions of Android 7 since about July. Every new version of Android so far has ran perfectly on my Nexus 6P. I don’t think that Android 7 is a big leap from Android 6 but it does have a few cool new features. If you bought the Google Pixel, you would also get the Google Assistant, which so far is exclusive to the Pixel. The Google Assistant is basically a more conversational version of Google Now. It would be nice to have the Google Assistant running on my Nexus 6P but really it’s something that I can live without. One of my favourite things about Android 7 is the 3D Touch, which is basically the same as Apple’s force touch. However, it doesn’t require the same level of technology. 3D touch means that if you long press on an app a list of possible actions will appear, such as with Twitter you get options for; new message, new tweet and search. Not many apps take advantage of this feature yet and I don’t use it very often but I still think it is cool. Split-screen is another new feature of Android 7 which you could really take advantage of with the Nexus 6P’s big screen. With split-screen you can have two apps open at once. For example, I could have Twitter open on one half of my screen and my email open on the other half. However, like the 3D touch, not many apps are taking advantage of this.
The Nexus 6P came out in 2015 and was considered to be one of the best phones on the market. Now as 2016 draws to an end, the Nexus 6P may not stand quite as high as it did last year, but I would still say this is a brilliant phone. Even if it doesn’t stand up to the Pixel and the iPhone 7, it is still a fraction of the price so it really won’t hurt your wallet half as much. I would still recommend the Nexus 6P, it runs the new Android software great and although it’s specs may not be as high as current flagship phones, it is still a fast phone that can stand up to a lot of phones from this year. There is a reason that the new flagships still get compared to the Nexus 6P.