Note: Due to some technical issues (my PC decided to lose a version of this review), only half of the final review is available below. Check back later today and I should have it back up!
The Nexus 6P is arguably one of the most anticipated mobile phones of 2015. Built by Huawei for Google, this phone was touted as the premium Android phone against its sister, the Nexus 5X.
As a My Optus Community Super User, I’ve had the opportunity to review this phone – and boy, was it a pleasure to!
Let’s start off with the basic specifications:
What's in the box?
And what actually comes in that fancy shmancy box?
Setting up the Nexus 6P was straight forward, and only took a couple of minutes. It was literally a case of pulling the phone out of the box, putting in a few details (ie, Google account) and choosing a few preferences (ie, Nexus Imprint), and you're good to go!
If I were to pick at faults though, it would be the migration of my old phone's data (Samsung Galaxy S6) to this phone - it's simply far too difficult. Google's backup was a few days old and despite attempting to update it manually, I was forced to look at an alternative way to move my SMS messages, contacts and photos across to the Nexus.
Do you know of an easier way to transfer from an old device to a new Nexus 6P? Post a comment!
The Nexus 6P is a great looking phone – which is odd, because there’s nothing that really stands out. The black camera bar complements the overall premium aluminium materials used, together with an incredible looking 5.7” AMOLED screen. I’d liken the design to that very modest smart kid we all knew back in primary school.
One of my biggest hesitations with trialling this device was the size of the phone. But it’s a concern I really didn’t need to have. The phone fits perfectly in the hand and is extremely easy to use, and as many people had told me before getting this device “once you go to a larger screen device, you’ll wonder how you ever coped.” I really, really, struggle when using my work supplied iPhone. I am so much more productive on my Nexus 6P.
The Nexus 6P is powered by a hefty 3450mAh battery which easily gets me through an entire day’s use. I’ve used Google Maps and GPS, viewed videos, played music all day and responded to countless emails, and I’ve still got enough charge to catch up with the latest posts on the My Optus Community when I’m hopping into bed.
Whilst the phone does last me an entire day, it’s almost pointless thanks to Fast Charge. A rapid 10-minute charge will get you up to 7 hours extra, with a full 0 to 100% charge taking me less than 1 ½ hours.
One notable point though is that this is ‘Fast Charge’, and not Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 technology which is very much popular across competitor devices. It does mean you might need to buy new charger accessories if the one in the box isn’t suitable. I’m still yet to find a car charger that will support fast charging for the Nexus 6P. (If you know of one, let me know in the comments below!)
USB-C is another great addition to the 6P – I know there’s all the technical benefits around the new format USB cable, but I’ll be completely honest with you. The biggest impact for me has got to be the ability to insert the cable first go, rather than awkwardly trying to put in the older style cable the wrong way around. Life changer!
USB-C does mean you’ll have to fork out and get some extra cables, and they’re not super easy to come by, but it’s worth the effort. I ended up buying a few cables online at around $5-10 a pop to put in my car, work bag and PC
Marshmallow - Android 6.0
One of the biggest benefits of having a phone straight from Google is that you’re almost guaranteed to be one of first to get Android updates – and, you don’t have to put up with all of the bloatware that can come with some other phones.
Marshmallow is, put simply, just gorgeous. It’s fast. It’s simple. It’s effective.
There are a heap of changes and new functionality that’s included in the latest version of Android, but I’ve called out a few here that I found particularly noteworthy:
Google Now on Tap
This feature simply blew me away – it’s such a small thing that has saved me so much time!
Google Now on Tap will, when requested, provide you with insightful actions and information based on the information on your screen.
Has your friend mentioned the name of a restaurant? Activate Now on Tap to find the opening hours, address and a photo of food options that are available. Has a friend asked to meet you at a location train station, and you need to create a calendar invite? You guessed it – Now on Tap will also help you prefill your calendar.
Phones are becoming more and more powerful, but battery technology is simply not as suitable as it was 20 years ago. Thankfully, Google have introduced ‘Doze’ which greatly extends the life of your battery.
Whenever you pop your phone down, and it isn’t being used, your phone will go into a low-power state. This is perfect for me as my phone is largely inactive throughout the day while it sits on my desk at work!
Okay, this probably not one of the features you’ll be showing off to all your friends, but it’s one of the biggest security improvements made to Marshmallow.
All long-term Android users know the story – you simply want to install an app that does something small. Say, a meme image maker. But for some reason the developer has created an app that requires access to everything – your contacts, messages, browser history and ability to send text messages.
In the past you’d reluctantly give away control of your phone to a little known app on the play store, but now you have full control on what access you give. You have the ability to specifically restrict certain functions at an application level. Awesome!
Fingerprint scanner & Nexus Imprint
Having a fingerprint scanner isn’t new to me – it was on my old Samsung Galaxy S6. What is new to me, though, is that the scanner is on the back rather than the front of the device.
The Nexus 6P fingerprint scanner is touted as being in a more ‘natural’ location. When you pick up your phone, your index finger naturally lands into the scanner. And, they’re right – it’s definitely intuitive, and because the scanner is lightning fast it sometimes feels as though the phone never locked at all.
There’s one small thing that annoys me about having the scanner on the back though – I tend to carry my phone with its screen against my wallet, so that it protects it from scratches. However, it also means that my hand is constantly touching the scanner and I’m locking myself out of my phone. Annoying, but a habit I’m breaking.
This section of the review will be updated later today. Stay tuned!
Yes, yes, yes.
Whilst there are a few nuances in buying a phone with new technology, like it being difficult to find accessories to support all of its functionality, it’s worth the short-term pain.
The Nexus 6P is the perfect example of what all Android devices should be – simple, effective and fast.
Note: The views expressed above are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of Optus or its staff.