Its metal design is undoubtedly a step up from the plastic Nexus 5X, and every previous Nexus.Although relatively flat around the back with barely tapered edges, it feels comfortable in one hand, yet it still takes two hands to operate it properly. This is, after all, a phone with a 5.7-inch display.Its dimensions are 159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, making it just one tenth of a millimeter taller than the Nexus 6, but notably narrower and thinner than last year’s measurements of 159.3 x 83 x 10.1mm. My overly stretched, phone-wielding hands appreciate this change.It went on a much-needed diet to become palmable, weighing in at 178g compared to 184g a year ago, despite Huawei raising the bar on the Nexus 6P specs.Clearly, it was hard to fit everything in. The 12.3MP camera creates an unsightly-looking rear bulge with a black strip, but this eyesore is a fair trade-off given the better low light photos.There’s a riveted power button with a unique texture, and a smooth volume rocker, on the right side of the frame. There’s little chance of mixing up these buttons in the dark.There’s also no chance that I’ll ever put the charging cable in the wrong way.While a 3.5mm headphone jack rests at the top, I dig the front-facing stereo speakers enough to use them. Too many Androids put the speakers on the back, which makes no sense at all.The Nexus 6P colors keep it simple with Aluminium (gray), Graphite (black) and Frost (white).
The Nexus 6P isn’t fashioned with a 6-inch display, but rather, a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 AMOLED one. Details are no problem with this Quad-HD beast, as its 518 ppi pixel density matches that of the Note5 – so it’s incredibly sharp and detailed, providing our eyes with some visual treats. Well, it should come as no surprise that the Nexus 6P wouldn’t settle for anything less than Quad-HD resolution.Without going into the synthetic benchmarks of the display, we will say that the screen here bears all of the staple qualities of AMOLED – like its wide viewing angles, high contrast, perfect black color tone, and those over-saturated colors that you may love or hate.It clearly shows that it’s far from being very accurate. Reds appear blood red, yellows have a slightly orange tone to them, and blues tend to be deeper in tone than they should. The screen appears vibrant, but in reality, those colors are far from true-to-life.Another thing we have to point out is its poor visibility outdoors when the sun is present – it washes out tremendously to the point that it’s unusable unless we shield it. Achieving a maximum luminance of 356 nits, it’s not as potent as the Nexus 5X mark of 487 nits, and nowhere close to the blinding 593 nits reached by the iPhone 6s Plus.
Audio and speakers
The speakers on the 6P are great, if you’re into listening to music without headphones. I don’t predict the 6P would be loud enough to replace a set of “real” speakers at your party, but they’ll fill up a small or medium-sized room just fine, and sound is very clear all the way up to the top of the volume scale.Audio through the headphone jack is good too. The 6P has a slight edge, but the difference was so marginal that I can’t say with confidence whether it even exists.
Nexus 6P is how fast everything feels. The Nexus 6 with Android 5.0 felt a bit like a step down in gears after the ultra-snappy Android 4.4, but this latest version combines the liquid feel of Lollipop with the responsiveness of KitKat. Whether that’ll be true of bargain basement £50 phones running Android 6.0 or not, the Nexus 6P certainly feels extremely nippy. That’s with it using hardware we’re already very familiar with. Power-wise it doesn’t outdo any of this year’s top flagships.The Nexus 6P has a 2GHz Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU with 3GB of DDR4 RAM. In Geekbench 3 that gets you 4424 points, very similar to the results from the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z5. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and its brothers still significantly outperform the 6P in benchmarks.Under pressure the Nexus 6P does get a bit warm, but I found the Xperia Z5 to be significantly worse. 10 minutes of playing a demanding 3D game like Goat Simulator does cause the back to heat up a bit, and thanks to the aluminium casing this does work its way down the whole back in time. However, it’s only really when pushing the processor and using the mobile internet connection at the same time that the heating-up factor becomes really obvious.Google says the 6P uses the ‘latest’ version 2.1 of the Snapdragon 810, but it’s ultimately still not as efficient as the Exynos chipset of the Galaxy S6 or the Apple A9 of the iPhone 6S.
Movies and music
The 5.7-inch display of the Nexus 6P is a better fit for watching HD movies in a 16:9 aspect ratio when compared to the Nexus 5 from two years ago.The screen size isn’t as big as last year’s 6-inch Nexus 6, but the color is more accurate. I don’t find the hues to be overly saturated, though some people may find this to look washed out.The latter doesn’t have the artificial pop of the Nexus 6P and doesn’t boast that quad HD display, but it’s colors are more true to life. Nexus 6P, however, beats the 5X when it comes to sound quality.Listening to music and movies is a bit one-sided on the Nexus 5X. The speaker for all media is located in the bottom of the phone, whereas the multimedia-friendly Nexus 6P has stereo speakers at the top and bottom.
The Nexus 6P features an “unprecedented” f/2.0 12.3MP Sony camera sensor on its rear panel. The component in question is, most likely, the Sony IMX377EQH5, which is a sensor originally made for camcorders. It comes with improved optics and super-sized 1.55 micron pixels — not as large as HTC’s UltraPixel sensor (2 microns), but certainly larger than the 1.2 micron pixels in some current camera sensors. This should help it capture more light in dark shots, making pictures better exposed and less noisy.In addition to 12MP (4:3) or 9MP (17:9) still images, the sensor is capable of producing 4K videos, along with impressive 240FPS slow-motion clips. The sensor can actually handle 4K and 2K video resolution recording at 60 frames per second, but Qualcomm’s current chipsets, including the Snapdragon 810 used in the Nexus 5X, only go up to 30FPS.The camera sensor is kept company by a laser autofocus system and dual-LED flash. The former will most certainly make for impressive auto-focus speed, while the latter will help the camera make the most out of situations where light is of insufficient quantity. On the front side, there’s an 8MP camera with f/2.2 lens.
The Nexus 6P is a big phone with a big battery. At 3,450mAh, it’s capacity is bigger than most other phones we’ve reviewed, save for a few, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active and Moto X Play.Google’s phablet lasts slightly longer than one day with heavy use, so you’ll have time to get back to that all-important USB-C charger before it’s completely drained. It lasts just long enough.When you go to pick up your phone after waking up, and it wasn’t on the charger, you should see minimal battery drain and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s a handy tool, and beats the pants off of straight battery life tests.Even better, when you do charge the Nexus 6P, it takes just 1 hour and 37 minutes to juice the battery up to 100%. That’s faster than the Nexus 5X and it’s smaller and weaker battery.
The Nexus 6P is one of the finest phones Google has ever made, but it has a few problems that make it ever so slightly less appealing than its competition.The $500 base price is still expensive for a Nexus – There’s no way around the fact that you can get the Moto X Style Pure Edition for $100 less. You’ll be very happy if you buy the 6P – It’s a great phone, and it lives up to the Nexus reputation for building solid Android phones with neat new features.