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Nexus 6P: why it's the ultimate smartphone

When images of the Nexus 6P first surfaced, I was confused. It was unlike what I had come to expect from Google's Nexus devices. With its release alongside the Nexus 5X, a more 'typical' Nexus, I thought the Nexus 6P wasn't really the main event. But I was wrong – the 6P is this year's real Nexus. In fact, it's the ultimate smartphone.

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Nexus 6P...the ultimate smartphone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Lowest price: Google Nexus 6P

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Original design

The Nexus 6P is designed like no other smartphone. Its finely-machined edges and minimal finish give it an understated character. The black glass panel on the back, sitting over the camera lens, looks strange at first. But once you forget what phones should look like and begin to appreciate what Huawei has done here, it all makes sense.

The Nexus 6P looks like the future of smartphones

The Nexus 6P reminds me of a Porsche 911 GT3. It's not just for drivers, it's for racing enthusiasts. It has serious specs and does serious things on a racetrack. You also recognize it as it turns a corner. The 6P is just like this. It has character and a restrained toughness that makes it stand out. The Nexus 6P looks like the future of smartphones.

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The Nexus 6P is designed like no other phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Making Nexus 'premium'

Google's Nexus project has traditionally focused on reasonably-priced devices with great specs. Nexus devices have always been accessible. But last year, the Nexus 6, at US$649, was a lot more expensive than in previous years. The Nexus 6P, at US$499 for the base model, is a high-end phone at a reasonable price. A lot of people are going to buy it.

Unlike older plastic Nexus phones – think the Nexus 5, Nexus 4 and Samsung's Galaxy Nexus – the Nexus 6P is premium. Its simultaneous release with the Nexus 5X also makes sense. The 5X is a great phone, just like the Nexus 5 was, with serious specs and a clean design for US$379. But here's the trick – releasing two models this year has allowed for two phones to target two kinds of customer.

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The Nexus 6P is a premium Android device. / © ANDROIDPIT

Maintaining the Nexus project and its budget price range makes it hard to enter the premium market segment. But while LG was off building the 5X, Huawei was creating a slick, top-spec phablet for a very different customer. This has allowed for a premium Nexus that simply didn't work with last year's bulky, overpriced Nexus 6.

iPhone 6s Plus competitor

The Nexus series has always been a step or two away from the iPhone and its customers. They're plastic, cheap and aimed at modders and power-users. But the Nexus 6P is at a price point that opens it up to customers who might be leaning toward the iPhone 6s Plus and can't see a viable Android alternative.

The Nexus series has always been a step or two away from the iPhone

The 6P is a real competitor in size, performance and design – though significantly cheaper. But does a comparison with the iPhone 6s Plus really matter? Considering that we're talking about a Nexus, I think it does. Let's see how it sells.

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The Nexus 6P could seriously compete with the more expensive iPhone. / © ANDROIDPIT

It's not about Marshmallow

The Nexus program is a marketing tool for Google to unveil new versions of Android. New hardware is linked to its new software, and Google makes a fuss over its close relationships with manufacturers. But this year, it seemed like Android 6.0 Marshmallow wasn't such a big deal. But with relatively minor changes – not the huge visual overhaul Lollipop was last year – the big news was the launch of two new phones when originally we expected only one.

And the choice of Huawei to build the Nexus 6P, with the company's rise to a market-leading position in China, the question of what it wants to achieve in Western markets is clear. Huawei wants to dominate in the US and Europe as well. With premium design and a competitive price, combined with the power behind Google's Nexus project, Huawei has done something no other manufacturer building for Android has done yet. In the Nexus 6P, Huawei has built the ultimate smartphone.

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With the Nexus 6P, Huawei is rising even faster. / © ANDROIDPIT

What do you think the ultimate smartphone is? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Readers' favorite comments

  • Alecks Nov 13, 2015

    I got my 6P earlier in the week. At first I was hesitant and was planning to go with 5X, I had the Nexus 5 for 2 years and for me it was time to upgrade. I have read a lot of reviews and comments (no OIS, weird black strip, no wireless charging) before deciding to go ahead and give 6P a try. My first impression, very nice phone. I have been using a Nexus phone since Galaxy Nexus and it has come a long way. It feels premium. The concern that the other commenter had about worrying about dropping it, I second that but nothing a good phone case can't fix. I'm sure those iPhone users has the same issue. Battery life, it depends how much of a user you are. I am not on the phone most of the time and the place I work at has very crappy signal but I can push the battery to last for almost 4 days (that's light use), I'm guessing I should thank Doze for that plus the battery size. So if you want to stay with vanilla android and have a premium device, definitely worth giving the 6P a chance, it's a top tier device from the Google/Huawei partnership. FYI, I had to replace my SIM card and the guy who works for the phone company I am subscribing to was also impressed with the phone, he had to do a double take.

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  • Battery draining on the online gaming is not really biggest problem. I can just recharging it again.

    1. There any way to add apps or more features into "google now" same as Samsung note 5?

    2. Google voice assistant need more upgrading say "sleep/off screen, return, back main screen, volume up or down insude touching the screen. Google should put Google Web searching and Google assistant in separate. They putting all together to make system more confusing.

    Almost everyday I using "OK google" voice wakup or what time is it and what the weather today the screen jump into my password screen. I been install new app call " lock screen and gestures" gesture is for my double tap off screen insude using the side power button.

    3. Why google photo can not delete my story movie. There is no way to option to delete save my gb space? One more thing, why every time I download a movie or short video clip it automatically uploading into my google photo it will slow my internet and wast photo gb space? There any option can stop uploading from my downloading video not the video camera it really annoying.

    • Yes Jim,

      You can UN-CHECK the permission to 'BACK-UP' your photos/videos.

      Finally,if you select 'high quality' instead of 'original',in the settings,THERE'S NO LIMIT to your uploads at Google Photos !!!

  • 1. Last week I received my new n6p 128 gb. Price is awsume! Better than iPhone OS is terrible. Anyway, n6p everything is good in hardware and os aslo came w/ imprint but every time I used "OK Google" voice to screen off or screen lock app and than "OK google" it doesn't go rite into my main screen it ask me my password and I tried to use imprint it doesn't work that way it need to draw my pattern unlock. I want to use my own voice "OK google " (wakeup, main screen, back main screen, searching web or lock screen) by Google voice no need to press anything side power button. What happen is my n6p laying on my table or laying somewhere else or dock on my car windshield while driving.

    2. Need more "ram" 3 ram is not enough for gaming and whole brunch of apps running.

    3. Ok, for battery life gaming I used 1.5 hrs it drainning to 3/4 quarter battery cus so much power. If for normally using like website searching or checking my message it last me almost 3 days without using orange battery saving mode. That is very huge upgrade I love it Google thx u.

    • 1) if you check the comments from last version of the Google Search app from the Play Store (essentially, since they changed the UI and logo), you'll discover that many have "Ok Google" voice detection issues.
      2) really? Need more than 3Gb? What kind of games do you play? :-)
      3) Nice to know that Doze actually works. About the battery consumption while playing, again, what kind of games do you play?! ^_^

      • Asphalt 8 online 3/4 of battery drained in 1-1.15hrs

        I think the graphic to huge and game online drain up the battery.

      • Wow, it's quite a lot. I'm not an Asphalt player: can you disable antennae and play offline? This is a usually big battery drainer. Otherwise, can you set lower graphic intensive settings in-game, and/or lower the screen brightness, without impact too much the gaming experience?

        Side question, does the device becomes (un)sustainably hot during the performance? Cause I argue that with such a fast draining, it may become quite a torch.

  • Hmm, somehow it was never specified what makes the nexus 6p the ultimate android phone.

  • The Nexus 4 was not plastic. Grouping it with the 5 and GNex isn't accurate.

  • Really it's an awesome device from Google.

  • Steve M Nov 14, 2015 Link to comment

    I have to say this article confused me. The title suggests that the author is going to make the case that the Nexus 6P has the features to be the ultimate smart phone. Instead he makes very few comments about the phones features and instead explains why Google might have made the phone. I guess that's just an example of click bait title's.

    At any rate I would say that the 6P is without a doubt the best Android phone to date. And I've used some of the best including the new Samsung Galaxy S6.

    This is a very durable phone. The aluminum body and gorilla glass make that obvious. It feels less durable because of its light weight, but that is deceiving.

    The lack of wireless charging and OIS are disappointing, but compared to the top of the market iPhone which has only just added OIS at an extreme price, I don't see those things being a real problem. These are nice to have features, but not necessary for the majority of users.

    Ultimate smart phone? No. But it's the first real Android I'd put up against Apple's flagship.

    • Clearly yo, u haven't used it. I've been using it and an iPhone 6S plus, and for me, Apple made shit compared to this. Nx6p is amazing, all around

    • What is OIS? I searched the article and I can't figure out what you're all complaining about.

      • Steve M Nov 18, 2015 Link to comment

        Optical Image Stabilization. Basically it means that they use hardware to stabilize the image as you shoot photos and videos. So your shaking hand doesn't cause problems as much as without OIS. Many phones work quite well without it, but some of the top end phones now have it.

        If taking photos or videos is your primary reason for owning a phone, you want OIS. I don't use my camera all that much, so it's not an issue for me. I also have a Samsung Galaxy S6, which has OIS. The Nexus 6P has larger pixels in the camera sensor, which works better in low light. Between the two I'm happy with the 6P which is superior in many ways.

        As to the statement that Apple makes sh*t, that's obviously a childish rant. Apple makes some tremendous products. Otherwise they wouldn't have such huge profit margins. People can only be fooled so far, and quality is one area that people would sniff out if Apple were making crappy products. If you think the 6P is that much better than the Apple iPhone, fine, but to say the Apple is shite makes you sound like a whining fanboy.

  • Alecks Nov 13, 2015 Link to comment

    I got my 6P earlier in the week. At first I was hesitant and was planning to go with 5X, I had the Nexus 5 for 2 years and for me it was time to upgrade. I have read a lot of reviews and comments (no OIS, weird black strip, no wireless charging) before deciding to go ahead and give 6P a try. My first impression, very nice phone. I have been using a Nexus phone since Galaxy Nexus and it has come a long way. It feels premium. The concern that the other commenter had about worrying about dropping it, I second that but nothing a good phone case can't fix. I'm sure those iPhone users has the same issue. Battery life, it depends how much of a user you are. I am not on the phone most of the time and the place I work at has very crappy signal but I can push the battery to last for almost 4 days (that's light use), I'm guessing I should thank Doze for that plus the battery size. So if you want to stay with vanilla android and have a premium device, definitely worth giving the 6P a chance, it's a top tier device from the Google/Huawei partnership. FYI, I had to replace my SIM card and the guy who works for the phone company I am subscribing to was also impressed with the phone, he had to do a double take.

  • BruinGuy Nov 13, 2015 Link to comment

    No OIS, no buy.

  • Google intelligence, if it was limited to the Nexus, would be the ONLY argument to buy the Huawei Nexus. Thankfully, it's not. As a result, I stick to other sets that really do have what it takes to be a Top smart choice

  • it really does do premium more than any other nexus, but lack of wireless charging seems a strange omission, it's a feature I almost consider essential after using last year's N6.... and probably the one reason I won't upgrade (?) my current Nexus6.

  • I really like the phone but the screen is not as bright as i need it to be outdoors. And after holding it i feel that its something you would have to babysit and be extremely careful with. I'm a photographer, video ographer and makeup artist and i don't have the time to babysit my phone. I have to do touch ups on the fly using my camera as a second eye to see things i may have missed while pulling it in and out of my pocket quickly being afraid to drop it. So maybe if i had a regular job with a desk then it would probably be ok, but i need something that's a little more durable.

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