Google Nexus 6P by Huawei Review: Meet the Best

Introduction

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Google Nexus series is always one of the devices I’m looking forward every year. However, previous Nexus devices were struggling to keep up with those flagships from HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony and more. For the 7th generation Nexus smartphone(s), Google has come out with two devices – Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Sadly, the Nexus 5X isn’t available in Malaysia, but we’re glad that the Nexus 6P is. For the first time, the Nexus 6P is manufactured by Huawei, a Chinese company. It’s review time!

“P” Stands for “Premium”

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The Nexus 6P feels a bit different from the Nexus 6. With the addition letter “P” in its naming, the device is pretty premium. Like most of the Android flagships nowadays, the Nexus 6P features metal unibody design.

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There are two front-facing stereo speakers above and below the screen. The speakers sound decent, it’s loud and clear.

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The power and volume buttons are located at the right side. You won’t actually press the wrong button as the power button has the texture on it for you to feel.

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The bottom of the phone houses an USB Type-C port, which actually supports fast charging. Tell you what? Once you have plugged in the USB Type-C cable, it’s quite hard to unplug because it’s too tight. You can just hang the phone with the USB Type-C cable connected to the phone, but do it at your own risk.

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The back of the phone reminds me of the Nokia 808 PureView because of the bumped black bar, it’s not that thick and narrow though. There’s a fingerprint scanner below the black bar. You’ll see that there are white lines around the phone. Those strips are actually antenna lines which provide a clean escape route for the signal to get through the case. Oh yeah! The black bar covering the camera and other hardware also serves the same purpose as the antenna lines.

One of The Best Displays

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I don’t really talk about smartphone display because most smartphones nowadays have amazing displays. The Nexus 6P sports a 5.7-inch AMOLED display with 2K resolution, that’s 518 ppi!

Like the Galaxy S6, colors are vivid with high level of saturation, and the black is still the deepest among its rivals.

Snapdragon 810 is Under Control

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The Nexus 6P is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 3 GB RAM. Yes, it’s Snapdragon 810, the overheating chipset.

Google did a great job in tuning the hardware with the software, the phone gets warmed sometimes but not overheated.

Performance wise, the Nexus 6P is smooth. Thermal throttling did actually occur if you are using heavy apps or running benchmarks, but you can’t really notice there’s any hiccups.

Vanilla Experience

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Being a Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 6P runs on Google’s latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It is fast, smooth and simple. There’s nothing much to complain about its software experience. Well, if there’s something to complain, it will be the lack of customization. You can solve it by downloading third-party launcher.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes with some changes and new features. The Google Now Launcher looks the same, but the app drawer now show in vertical scrolling list instead of horizontal. You can scroll through the list or use a new scrubber bar on the right to jump to a particular letter of the alphabet.

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Another feature is Nexus Imprint, which takes only 600 ms to recognize your fingerprint and Google says it learns more about your unique fingerprint and gets better over time. Registering your fingerprint is pretty easy and fast to be done.

Doze is a power-saving mode, which lets the system shut down processes when it detects the device hasn’t been moving or used for a period of time. The battery life results are below.

Unfortunately, dark theme was removed from the final version of Marshmallow, despite appearing in versions of the developer preview. Google should take advantage of the AMOLED display and I’m pretty sure the battery life will be even better too.

Finally a Good Camera

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Camera is always the part where Nexus devices struggled a lot. Thankfully, the Nexus 6P actually has a good camera which can be competed against other flagship devices.

The Nexus 6P packs a 12.3 MP camera with 1.55 µm pixels, f/2.0 aperture and laser auto-focus, there’s no OIS however. To be honest, it’s a little disappointing for smartphone at such premium price tag doesn’t have OIS. The camera focus and shuttle speeds are fast and there’s also HDR+ mode.

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Picture quality generally is pretty good with sharp enough detail and shallow DoF for macro shots. Unlike previous Nexus devices, the Nexus 6P is able to capture nice photos even under low-light conditions.

In summary, the Nexus 6P’s camera is quite competitive, but there is still room for improvement.

Doze… Impressive Battery Life

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The Nexus 6P’s 3,450 mAh battery might not enough to juice up such high resolution display and high-end processor. Well, its battery life is pretty good.

The Nexus 6P is able to last through a day easily thanks to the power-saving feature, Doze. It has pretty impressive standby time as well as screen-on-time. I was able to get around 5 hours of screen-on-time, impressive right?

Final Words

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“Pricing at RM 2,698, the Nexus 6P is the best Nexus smartphone that ever made. There’s no compromise in any aspects and it is just simply amazing. Google picked the right manufacturer to manufacture the latest flagship and Huawei made the right decision to use Snapdragon 810 processor.”

Yay

  • Premium build quality
  • Impressive display
  • Stunning performance
  • Camera finally up to par
  • Long battery life

Nay

  • Big device
  • No OIS
  • No dark theme in the final version of Marshmallow