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Nexus 6P review




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Nexus 6P
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Our Score:



  • Looks the business
  • Impressive camera, even in low-light
  • Fast performance
  • Not super expensive


  • USB-C might annoy until more common
  • HDR processing could be quicker

Key Features

  • 5.7-inch, quad-HD display
  • Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB/128GB internal storage
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • USB-C
  • 3,450 mAh battery with rapid charging
  • Gorilla Glass 4
  • Manufacturer: Google
  • Review Price: £449.00

Nexus 6P – Long term review

We're gearing up for the launch of the next Nexus, or are we? Rumours point to the next phone from Google to come with a new moniker. Google could use the Pixel branding this time around, and here's everything you need to know about Pixel and Pixel XL.

The Nexus 6P was the first phone I ever scored a perfect 5/5, and at the time I said it was the best Android phone you could buy. It’s about 7 months later now, and I’m still confident in saying this is one of the best phones out there. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 scored 5/5 and 4.5/5 respectively and are both great phones, but if you’re looking for something with a bigger screen I would still highly recommend Google and Huawei’s 6P.

The Snapdragon 810 and 3GB RAM is still a fine combination and it makes for a fast phone. While the Nexus 5X seems to have suffered some performance issues, the 6P is as smooth and quick as it was on day one.

There have been a couple of updates to the camera – it’s much faster now – and you’ve of course got Android N (which we’ll hear more about at Google I/O) coming at some point towards the end of the year.

My one quibble about the longevity of the Nexus 6P comes with its build. I’ve been using a silver model and it’s fine, but I have seen a couple of black models with much of the back paint coming off. This leaves an ugly finish, and not something you’d expect from a pricey phone.

That aside, everything else still gets the thumbs up. The screen is great, camera reliable and the battery will easily make it through the day. It struggles to go two days though, but then so do most phones of this size.

I noted in my original review that USB-C was something of an annoyance simply because it wasn’t widely adopted but I feel that issue has subsided somewhat. A lot of the 2016 flagships have USB-C – LG G5, Huawei P9 and HTC 10 – and it’s becoming more and more common in laptops too.

Nexus 6P – Long term verdict

I still love the Nexus 6P. It’s easily the best phone Google and Huawei have ever made and it seems to stand the test of time very well. Considering Google often has it on special offer, it can be even more of a bargain.

Read my original review below...

What is the Nexus 6P?

The Nexus 6P is the follow up to the poor Nexus 6 and the second pure Android device we’ve seen from Google this year after the mostly impressive Nexus 5X. It's made by Huawei, and it's fantastic.

It’s the first Nexus that doesn’t make any compromises and offers buyers a stunning metal design, high-end specs and an unadulterated version of Android. It's pricier than the 5X, but it's clear to see where the extra money has gone.

Armed with these perks the Nexus 6P impresses in every area and is, along with the Samsung Galaxy S7, the best high end Android smartphone you can buy right now.

Nexus 6P – Design

Apparently the ‘P’ in the 6P stands for ‘premium’. Premium is a word overused in reviews but, as much as I hate it, it’s the best way to describe the overall design of the Nexus 6P.

And, that shouldn’t really be a surprise. Even though Huawei’s own phones always fall down due to overbearing software, the Chinese firm has been excelling in design for a while now. This year’s Mate S being the best yet.

Related: Best Android phones

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Just like the Mate S, the Nexus 6P has an all metal design, with heavily chamfered edges leading into a Gorilla Glass 4 coated display. The antenna bands are cleverly hidden, while the flat sides and ever so slightly curved back make it a thing of pleasure to hold.

Along the sides you’ve got a well placed standby button just above a nice, clicky volume rocker. That power button is slightly textured, so you can easily jump straight to it. This is a small touch, but the details are important.

Flip the phone over and the Nexus branding is stencilled in vertically with the circular fingerprint scanner sitting just above. Google is calling this Nexus Imprint – I’m not sure why it needs a name – and it’s up there with the iPhone 6S and Xperia Z5 in terms of speed.

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I’m a big fan of the fingerprint reader being on the back. It’s the natural place my finger reaches for when I pick the phone up and it takes just a slight touch to zip past the lockscreen and plonk you right on the homescreen. Pair it with the super fast set-up process – it takes about 20-seconds, whereas the iPhone can take over a minute – and Marshmallow's baked in fingerprint scanner support and you’ve got a fantastic security package.

Now, if there’s one Nexus 6P design choice that’s caused a bit of a stir since the leaked images first hit the interwebs it’s the glass covered hump running across the top.

This houses the camera, flash plus a bevy of sensors. Others might disagree, but I like it. Unlike the smaller humps on the iPhone 6S or Galaxy S6, having it across the whole width means it doesn’t wobble when I use the phone on a table and the periscope-like design is nicely eye-catching.

It’s far from the ugly, eyesore some refer to it as, and if it makes the camera better then I’m even more for it. But, if you’re still against it, I would suggest grabbing the black model as it hides it better than the white or silver versions.

Related: Nexus 5X vs Nexus 6P

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With a 5.7-inch screen, the Nexus 6P is a big phone. But, phones in general are getting bigger and it doesn’t feel anywhere near as cumbersome as the Nexus 6. It’s slimmer and lacks the monstrous width that ruined the 2014 Nexus.

Thanks to the almost non-existent side bezels the whole phone isn’t much bigger than the 5.4-inch screen toting Blackberry Priv and it’s slightly smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus.

It could be smaller too, but Google and Huawei decided to have dual front-facing stereo speakers flank the display. Again, they made the right choice. Proper sounding speakers are always better than a few weedy holes on the back.

My only criticism about the Nexus 6P, and this is ridiculously minor, is I would prefer the headphone jack to be on the bottom, rather than on the top.

This is by far and away the best looking Nexus yet, and its use of metal, glass and eye-catching design choices put it right up there with Samsung’s Note 5 and Apple’s iPhone 6S when it comes to visual allure.

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Nexus 6P – Display

The Nexus 6P's 5.7-inch display features a Samsung AMOLED panel, with a pixel-dense quad-HD resolution and boy, is it good.

While the Nexus 6 suffered with poor viewing angles and whites that almost looked pink, the screen on the 6P is rich in accurate colours and has nicely inky blacks. As it’s AMOLED, whites can look a little muddy but really, come on, that’s a small sacrifice I can live with.

Colours have a vivid punch – blues, reds and oranges pop out, but they’re still accurately shown, while the green shades in Marshmallow’s stock wallpaper look exceptional. Some might say they’re too saturated, but I’d disagree, especially when you compare it to those truly over-saturated panels Samsung used a couple of years ago.

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If you prefer things a little more toned down, Google has sneakily added an sRGB display mode deep inside the Settings menu. It cools the colours down a bit, but I prefer the original mode.

Viewing angles are fantastic, as is outdoor visibility. I’d like a slight hint more brightness though, and the screen's auto setting is a bit dodgy. It judders noticeably as it changes, but i've found this an issue on most Android phones.

Ambient Display is another bonus that comes from the AMOLED panel. Pick the phone up, or wave your hand over it, and a brief black and white view of the time or any current notifications will pop-up. It’s great – handy if the phones on your desk and it doesn’t use as much battery as lighting up the whole panel.


September 29, 2015, 7:47 pm

Re 'Huawei’s Emotion UI Android skin is one of the worst around'
This would seem like an unfair comment; as an owner of honor 6 plus I have nothing but praise for their UI.
I have never missed the app tray and find the UI much more responsive than Samsung TouchWiz which I have used previously. In my experience there is zero lag with Emotion UI, whereas, even on galaxy s6, TouchWiz causes lag and I have checked this in store.

Dead Words

September 29, 2015, 10:25 pm

I'm more excited about this phone than the Nexus 5X as I prefer larger phones and I love Huawei hardware. Also the fact that there's 64GB and 128GB options is way better (still prefer microSD though). However, I think I might actually prefer the 5X design a little bit. This isn't the most attractive Huawei phone I've seen, not by a long way.

Dead Words

September 29, 2015, 10:26 pm

In-store phones are on for days or even weeks at a time without being reset and constantly running a demo mode. That's hard on a device.


October 1, 2015, 1:38 am

Well, the 6P is not a cheap, but comparing to iPhone 6/plus S prices, is cheap! (Of course I'm not a iPhone user, I'm just mentioning the price).

The 128GB version will not be released in Japan, according to the Google Play Store.
But apparently they made up for that by releasing the Japan-exclusive Gold Edition of Nexus 6P.


October 2, 2015, 7:12 am

Without an micro SD card slot and a removable battery this phone is very uninteresting.

Dr Hee

October 5, 2015, 5:44 pm

Maybe should use someone with less shaky hands to hold the phone in the video.


October 22, 2015, 1:20 pm

Then you will become less interested in getting a phone in the future since all OEMS are heading that way.


October 22, 2015, 1:58 pm

Not all are heeding this way and we, the customers have say in the matter.

Naicheervan Abbas

October 31, 2015, 6:56 pm

I'll be buying this phone since it seems to be the most impressive one out of current phones which also interested me (to me personally) (LG G4, HTC One M9), and i'll just wait for Spring when the next set of phones release and sell this towards one of them. Even though this one intrigued me the most none of the current phones from any platform are amazing to me. My two big things are battery and god storage yet each phone has one or the other. Lumia 950XL looks to be the powerhouse for hardware this time yet the app store keeps making me hesitate on such a potentially great phone

mark choletti

November 10, 2015, 10:03 am

The main problem with this obsession with smart-phone devices is that the physical screens are too small. High resolutions are really wasted on them. There you go though. Without the continual 1year/18 month/2year cellular service contract period/merry-go-round, smart-phone sales would fall precipitously.

Dead Words

November 10, 2015, 12:37 pm

Nice review.


November 10, 2015, 1:16 pm

Looks nice, but I'm leaning towards the Moto X Style with Micro SD card, great speakers and excellent Moto software add-ons. That 6P screen is lovely, as is the camera but, for me, the Moto X Style / Pure has something about it that the Nexus just doesn't...and I can't quantify that. Just wish Moto had put their 3760 mAh battery in the Style. Compromises. Two superb phones.


November 10, 2015, 10:19 pm

"Manufacturer: Google"
"Huawei built"
make up your mind


November 11, 2015, 3:34 pm

I got my 6P last week. Love it so far: Great screen and performance. Smaller minuses are: not quite such a looker as HTC One or IPhone 6, battery life is good but not exceptional. Overall a great phone, Marshmallow is smooth and elegant.


November 11, 2015, 9:05 pm

I sent the Moto X pure back and am glad I did. It was a featherweight in the "feel" department and the battery was very avg. Real issue though was a horrible lag when accessing contacts. It was a bug, plain and simple. Camera was also annoying as you accidentally touch the screen and 8 pics fired off. Definitely a few quirks. Doesn't hold a candle to the 6p. Hear you on the SD card, but 64 gb is plenty for me.


November 11, 2015, 9:07 pm

This is the best phone I ever owned, and I have had many solid Android offerings. This is a pure experience all around and very fast. It charges faster than advertised, imo. Just a great device. I have the graphite model and the black camera strip is barely noticeable. That said, it is way less obtrusive in person than in pics. Total non-issue for me, but should be same color imo. Biggest downside for me is it is made by a Chinese company.


November 11, 2015, 9:24 pm

Hi Bobowl, that's an odd issue. I bought the moto x and really like it. I am using it now and access to the contracts is lightening fast, no lag at all. I agree that the native camera app is awful. But I've just replaced it with Google's native camera and the FV-5 app and it's brilliant. And at £150 cheaper than the N6P with more storage and better speakers, it's a hard deal to pass on. The battery is average though; today i only got 7 hours of hard use. But, I actually don't mind because it charges so quickly and with normal to heavy use I got 11 hours. I think marshmallow will give it another 2-3 hours in use and more in light use. They are both excellent handsets. Enjoy the 6PP, wish I had your camera module!


November 12, 2015, 10:57 am

Also checkout the Lenovo ZUK Z1 with a price of aroiund £230. It''s not the highest end spec but probably one of the best upper midtier phone. This thing has a beast of a battery inside 4100mah (at least 2 days battery life) but yet stays reasonablly thin. It is slightly rounded at the back which makes it feel a lot thinner. You get a snapdragon 801 which is plenty fast, 3GB RAM, 64GB as standard, USB C 3.1, fingerprint scanner. It doesn't have marshmallow yet but it's confirmed to be coming. The Cynogen OS is almost stock just a few changes here and there. The camera is decent on daytime shots but in low light it's a poor affair. Selfie camera is very good. Speakers is average to good.

When getting this phone one of the prerequisite was having excellent battery life. I was thinking about the Nexus 6P but I think the only downer is the battery life which is not exceptional which I'm use to on the Galaxy Note Series.

Then I weighed up the cost as well and knew what I was getting into. I think this phone is the best value phone out there. If you don't take too many indoor or low light shots this phone does everything you want.


November 12, 2015, 12:38 pm

To be specific, it was when adding them to a text message. The lag was unbearable. I switched to Textra and it made no difference. I googled it and many other had the same issues. I figured I'd play it safe and try the 6p. Aside from that, loved the Moto X. I have a brand new case if you want it! :)


November 12, 2015, 2:55 pm

Got a few coming today, but thanks :)

Ryland Johnson

November 12, 2015, 5:09 pm

What's not made in China these days? I do understand your point though.
Remember 50 years ago 'made in Japan' meant junk, 30 years ago 'made in South Korea' meant junk....Not today. Soon 'Made in China' will signify good value with great quality and aesthetics.

Ryland Johnson

November 12, 2015, 5:14 pm

Add to that the speed of technical development in every area but BATTERY. All this technology is great but the development of batteries to power these Uber devices lags far behind and renders all such devices, if fully utilised, powerless in a matter of hours!


November 12, 2015, 5:44 pm

My nexus 6p is sitting in Louisiana at my sisters, was told it would be delivery by Nov 19 or 20, so i shipped it there to save on the taxes. Im going to Louisiana for thanksgiving, so i figured that would be find, it would be there hopefully by the time i arrived. Well, I ordered it on nov 2, and my sister got it by the 6!! I'm having to wait now three weeks before I can see my phone!! great job google! As soon As i get my hands on it, I'll make another comment on what i think about it.

Stewards Ajani

November 25, 2015, 11:20 am

Nexus 6P runs on the world's most popular OS i.e Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Its a 4G phone and powered by 2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 64-bit Octa Core Processor, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, 5.7-inch AMOLED Display and many more. Device is more secure as it comes with Fingerprint Sensor for accessing and locking. You can explore more form here http://www.flipkart.com/nex...


November 25, 2015, 10:07 pm

I finally got my hands on the nexus 6P, it is the best android phone out there. Sorry Samsung lovers, but the s6 edge plus won't make a pimple on the N6P's butt! This thing is blazing fast, no lag, takes great pix. The finger print scanner is insanely fast and the location on the back is great. Hard to believe it's a nexus, but folks, is an awesome phone. After just one day, I could never go back to a 5 in phone, it may be 5.7, but it feels great in the hand. If u beam something, at first u will think it doesn't work, but it does, the NFC antenna in in the top of the phone, so u have to lower the top of the phone, and it will work every time. If u are looking for a great phone, there is no Android phone that can compare in quality or price!

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