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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
tech review

The Nexus 6P is the device Google needed to show off Android's strengths

The Nexus range isn’t exactly associated with premium range, but the 6P changes all of that.

Score: 9/10

Verdict: The best premium Android phone you can get in the market. Expensive but worth it.

IN CASE YOU didn’t realise, releasing two phones in different sizes is the in thing to do. Phablets (those with screens bigger than 5 inches) have become the norm now and since our smartphones are everything but in Google’s case, it’s learnt from the Nexus 6 large size and decided to go for two devices.

The smaller Nexus 5X was a great, if not exactly inspiring, device but its bigger brother, the 6P is going for the premium end of the market. With Huawei designing it, Google’s latest attempt at a high-end device not only banishes memories of the Nexus 6, but gives rivals a serious run for their money.

Going all out

It’s probably fair to say as far as the range is concerned, it’s the classiest smartphone under the Nexus brand. The 6P follows the same designs ideas Huawei uses for its current phones: aluminium build, two plastic covers for the top and bottom, and a Gorilla Glass 4 screen.

The camera and flash are built into the top part, blending in without much effort, while the fingerprint scanner is located at the top-centre, leaving room for a large Nexus logo (and a smaller Huawei logo underneath). Like the 5X, the fingerprint scanner is quick and easy to activate when you’re using it one-handed.

Nexus 6P first gif

It’s the exact same size as the iPhone 6 Plus and which one feels better is really a matter of preference. The iPhone’s rounded corners makes it feel that bit more elegant while the 6P’s flat sides allows for a more solid grip.

As for button and port placement, it’s practical with headphones jack at the top and USB-C port at the bottom. It’s simple and to the point, something that’s apparent with this smartphone.

IMG_0761 The Nexus 5X (left) and 6P side by side.

Working to its strengths

Since this is a Nexus device, it means you’re running the latest version of Android. While Marshmallow has a number of useful features like Doze and Now on Tap, you know what you’re getting at this point.

What was mentioned about the Nexus 5X still applies here. When Android is stripped down to its core, it’s usually a fast and clutter free experience but the 6P’s speed means navigation is lightning fast.

Just swipe through the home screens, to Google Now, or any other app and it will open and load without delay. It’s rather impressive just how fast it can navigate through tasks, even when you feel like you’re pushing it with games.

The visuals are helped with the sharper screen, one that has 1440 x 2560 resolution and a high pixel density (~518). It gives added clarity and the larger size provides apps on your home screen with a bit of breathing space. 



In terms of specs, it’s exactly what you would expect from a high-end device and considering the price you’re paying for it, it’s the least you can expect.

As mentioned earlier, Huawei has a habit of bringing out cheaper mid- and high-end devices with higher end specs, and this is no exception. 3GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 810 chip, two quad-core chips (1.55 GHz and 2.0 GHz) , and a 3,450 mAh battery are great additions.

It has more than enough to get you through the day, even if you’re using it quite regularly. A day and a half is a decent estimate for normal use, two days tops if you’re relying on Doze heavily.

The camera quality is relatively the same as it is on the Nexus 5X. A larger screen is nicer to look at but as a rule, there’s little difference between the two.

Nexus 6P camera

The colours are more vibrant on both cameras meaning it’s great for landscape shots but the limitations of Google Camera – one designed for casual use – means you’ll likely move to a more advanced app if you want better shots.

The front-facing camera is better quality which is handy for high quality video calls or selfies.

The Nexus 6P is the device Google needed to show off Android's strengths
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  • Nexus 6P photos

  • Nexus 6P photos

  • Nexus 6P photos

  • Nexus 6P photos

  • Nexus 6P photos

  • Nexus 6P photos

Should you buy one?

Yes, you’re paying more for a device since it’s unlocked but what you’re getting is one of the best Android experiences out there.

There will be some who will prefer the likes of Samsung or HTC’s version but with 32GB being the minimum space requirement, you’re already getting a fantastic phone.

This is the standard Google has set itself for its devices and if it continues it, it’s really going to show the world what Android can do.

- Fantastic hardware
- Premium design and easy to hold.
- Stock Android is simple and to the point.

- No real change in camera quality compared to 5X.
- Expensive entry point.

The Nexus 6P costs €649 (32GB unlocked) and is available on Google Store.

Read: Is the Nexus 5X Google’s return to form in the smartphone market? >

Read: You might not think it but Wikipedia is 15 years old now >

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