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Google Nexus 6 Review

Google Nexus 6 9
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Google Nexus 6 Review

Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Google Nexus 6 Review
Introduction


This year’s announcement of Nexus devices has been nothing short of exciting, seeing that Google has announced not just one brand new product in the series, but two, in order to continue diversifying its portfolio. We’ve already taken a deep look at the Google Nexus 9 - a modestly designed tablet that’s oozing with delicious hardware under the hood, and a decent price tag.When it comes to its phones, Google has a history of offering them at super-aggressive prices. However, with this year’s new product, the aptly named Google Nexus 6, not only do we see a reversal in its price point direction, but also a new name in charge of manufacturing the device.

This time around, Google has commissioned Motorola to take up the task of making the Nexus 6, which interestingly enough, looks very similar to the new Moto X – released not very long ago to the delight and disappointment of some. Attached with a starting cost of $649.00, the Nexus 6 is undoubtedly a stark reversal to what we’ve been accustomed to, but there’s no denying that it’s shaping up to be a formidable smartphone that’s bubbling at the seams with an impressive specs sheet. Add to that Google’s brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop experience, which is the biggest overhaul to the platform in a long time, and it’s solidifying itself to be a strong candidate in the ever expanding, competitive smartphone space.

The package contains:

  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Brochure
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable

Design

Say bye-bye to the humble designs of past Nexus smartphones, and hello to premium construction! Seriously, though, it looks like a larger, stretched out version of the Moto X (2014).

Remembering Nexus’ past, it’s intriguing to see the design direction that each manufacturer has chosen to take with its product. From premium designed ones like the iconic Nexus One, to the humble design language of the Nexus 5, it’s quite obvious that there’s no consistency with the line. With Motorola taking the helm with the Nexus 6, rather than delivering a new design, they’ve instead opted to copy an existing one – their very own smartphone in the Moto X (2014).

The resemblance between the two is profound, seeing that the Nexus 6 employs the same exact design language as the Moto X, which includes things like its metal trim accent, arched form factor, and plastic casing. The result is a Nexus smartphone that exudes a stronger premium presence than the last two models in the series – a stark reversal no doubt, but one that assures to us that there’s a high-quality, sturdy emphasis with its construction this time around. We’ve even dropped the phone by accident from a height of 4 feet, right onto the metal flooring at the bottom of an escalator, only to see just some minor dents around its metal trim.

What’s noticeably different, though, is that the Nexus 6 takes things to a grander scale when it comes to size! In fact, it looks more like a stretched out version of the Moto X – one that pushes it very well into the phablet category. Immense, that’s a word that best describes the phone, since it’s wider and taller than the majority of other prized phablets in the space right now. Add to the fact that its plastic body feels very slippery, you’ll want to make sure to have a firm grip on it to prevent it from slipping.

Our particular review unit is the midnight blue option, which employs a two-toned color scheme to give the phone a pleasant contrast. As an alternative, though, the cloud white model consists of a mostly white body – with a silver metal trim bezel. Clearly, the design isn’t particularly new, nor is it as unique factoring in the Moto X’s unique customization, but given the humbler design of last year’s Nexus 5, we’re really glad to see that the Nexus line once again favors a sturdier build quality.

Following the Moto X’s design to the teeth, the Nexus 6 features the same set of buttons and ports throughout its body – and they’re even in the same placements as before. With its power button and volume controls on the right side, they’re in convenient spots that are easily accessed by our fingers. On the bottom edge, we have its microUSB 2.0 port for charging/data connectivity, with the 3.5mm headset jack and nanoSIM slot on the top.

Lucky for all of us, the Nexus 6 is able to emit music through both of the speakers on its facade – whereas the Moto X was only able to do it through its bottom speaker. Going with this setup, it’s blessed with true stereo support that ideally projects audio towards us.

Flipping it around to the rear, instead of featuring the same number crushing 21-megapixel camera of the Motorola DROID Turbo, the Nexus 6 opts to employ a 13-megapixel auto-focus camera – one that’s accompanied with a dual-LED flash ring and an f/2.0 aperture lens. One can presume it’s the same thing used by the Moto X, which proved to deliver underwhelming results, so we’re crossing our fingers hoping for improvements.


Google Nexus 6
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches
159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm
6.49 oz (184 g)

Google Nexus 6

Motorola Moto X (2014)
5.54 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches
140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm
5.08 oz (144 g)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

With quad-HD goodness in tow, the screen is remarkably detailed and sharp, but it lacks the same high-quality characteristics evident in Sammy’s AMOLED screens.

A surprising treat, one that catapults it into an elite club that has few members at the moment, the Nexus 6 is adorned with a ginormous sized 5.96-inch 1440 x 2560 quad-HD AMOLED display. That’s a whole lot of screen to work with, as our fingers strain to reach the corners of the display – so two-handed operation should be enforced using it. Despite that, we can’t deny that its pixel density count can’t be overlooked, mainly because it chimes in at a higher-than-normal mark of 493 ppi. It all boils down to a super detailed screen that makes it nearly indistinguishable to detect individual pixels with the naked eye – even looking at it very closely.

Certainly, it’s a significant departure over the Moto X’s display, one that employs 1080p resolution, but the Nexus 6 actually exhibits many of the same characteristics we’ve seen with the Moto X already. For example, its screen’s brightness output, a lowly 270 nits, is marginally better than that of the Moto X, but it’s still rather weak when compared to most of the other prized stallions floating around. When it comes to the actual quality of its color reproduction, we're mostly pleased with the color balance and overall temperature of 6550 K. Overall, it's a rather oversaturated display, which is typical for AMOLED tech, but we still have to acknowledge the fact that there's a nice balance between the primary colors, meaning that whites appear truly white, and all other colors don't deviate too much from their reference hues, except for the fact that they are more intensive than normal.

As far as contrast goes, Motorola has chosen to boost things up a bit, so expect a somewhat pumped up display with the Nexus 6. The average gamma reading may seem a bit low at 1.94, but this has to do with the added contrast boost to the display, which has the highlights increased in brightness, while the shadows stay close to their normal levels.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 574
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:1376
(Excellent)
7318
(Good)
2.18
3.05
(Good)
3.82
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
1.56
(Excellent)
3.1
(Good)
Motorola Moto X (2014) 385
(Average)
23
(Poor)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7056
(Good)
1.93
6.83
(Average)
4.27
(Average)
Google Nexus 6 270
(Poor)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6551
(Excellent)
1.94
5.61
(Average)
2.32
(Good)
View all

74 Comments
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posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:08 36

1. Rydsmith (Posts: 532; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Where's the "Not waterproof" con?

(Yes, I'm still going to give you crap that you knocked on the HTC One for that but no other phone)

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 14:06 12

20. xperian (Posts: 326; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


It's water resistant

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:42 2

25. milesboy5 (Posts: 178; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


Technically they have labeled it as splash-resistant but thats only if youre into technicalities..

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 17:34 1

33. Siapaya (Posts: 17; Member since: 24 Jul 2014)


humm, 9 for Nexus 6; 9,2 for Dorid Turbo..

posted on 10 Mar 2015, 18:53

78. javy108 (Posts: 1004; Member since: 27 Jul 2014)


Ill choose Droid Turbo actually.

posted on 26 Dec 2014, 06:03

63. Tracy1988 (banned) (Posts: 208; Member since: 18 Dec 2014)


Not having water-proof doesn't bother me. What bothers me is those stupid engineers can't even put the display in the center. Funny that the N5 display is off toward the top and the N6 display is toward the bottom. Are they that clumsy or they're just trying to mess with our heads?
However they've corrected 2 things on the N5: The protruding camera and the speaker on the back. Idiots took a whole year to do that but what's with the gigantic size? Guess they didn't want to design this phone for female users.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:09 8

2. tury694 (Posts: 167; Member since: 25 Aug 2014)


My beastly Lumia 1520 runs circles around this toy, but Google made a good effort nonetheless.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:12 31

3. Manti (Posts: 7; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)


Keep Dreaming!

Sure the 1520 a nice phone but THIS review is about the NEXUS 6 and it's better in pretty much every way.

Keep up the great work Moto.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 12:48

74. regbs (Posts: 8; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


By "in every way" you mean "in no way whatsoever"?

Name one. You can't. Lumia's so bogged down with crapware that its devices slow to crawls and bleed memory like fiends.

Fail, troll.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:14 21

4. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1430; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


The only thing that 1520 has over the N6 is a better camera and NOTHING else. Not to mention 1520 runs on OS with much inferior app store which is a big deal breaker.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 14:47 7

23. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


And the display.

This is fecking 2014, you can't have a display running at max 270 nits.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:21 3

24. Furbal (Posts: 984; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


I'd say battery life as well, the 1520 is a beast in that department.

Outdoor visibility is likely better too.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:15 3

5. Vidas989898 (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Oct 2014)


You are funny bro...

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 22:13 2

36. cnour (Posts: 764; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)


Lumia? What is that? For what we use it?

posted on 19 Jan 2015, 21:46

69. alexcordogan (Posts: 15; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


It kinda does- way better camera and battery life but bad app store

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:18 5

6. KashunatoR (Posts: 28; Member since: 21 Jul 2014)


They dropped the ball with the screen brightness. Note 4 it is...

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:23 1

9. DnB925Art (Posts: 1011; Member since: 23 May 2013)


But I wonder if it has, as with Samsung, if you put it on Auto brightness that will can actually go higher than the highest manual brightness setting.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:29 1

10. KashunatoR (Posts: 28; Member since: 21 Jul 2014)


It's alreaday confirmed from other reviews that the Nexus 6 doesn't have such brightness boost.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:43 1

26. milesboy5 (Posts: 178; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


My moto x (2014) did this...just curious as to why the Nexus 6 doesnt

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 10:10 1

40. silver (Posts: 22; Member since: 02 Aug 2012)


you can see what gsmareana write on nexus 6 screen on their review

"The display's brightness is impressive too, as is its contrast. Viewing angles are great you will be able to easily share your content with other people Sunlight legibility is excellent. Users will be able to view their content even in places with bright light."

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 13:06

14. roldefol (Posts: 4253; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


It's easy to drop the ball when it's slippery to begin with. Motorola's AMOLEDs have always been inferior to Samsung's latest in either brightness or sharpness. They simply cannot get their hands on the best and brightest, so they take what they can get.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 02:25

39. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


They also dropped the ball with display calibration as well.

posted on 03 Feb 2015, 12:49 1

75. regbs (Posts: 8; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


Why would you write "also" and "as well" in the same sentence? Moron.

posted on 15 Dec 2014, 04:48

57. deanylev (Posts: 213; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


It's due to the fact that Samsung always give other OEMs the old s**tty AMOLED displays and keeps the new ones for themselves (eg. Note 4). That's why the Droid Turbo and Moto X 2014 are also so dim and way off with their colours. It's actually a really smart move, because if I needed a new phone, I'd consider the Note 4 over the N6 just for its display. Google should've gone with a 5.5" IPS display, this display sucks.

posted on 19 Jan 2015, 21:47

70. alexcordogan (Posts: 15; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


The g3 display is rly dim too though

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:20 1

7. Vinayakn73 (Posts: 191; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Why your Display measurements and quality chart is showing no data iPA. I am damn sure there must be something wrong with brightness.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:23 1

8. Phonedingo (Posts: 392; Member since: 16 Aug 2014)


The embargo has lifted!

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:38

11. Micah007 (Posts: 254; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


The only thing keeping me fron getting this, is the non 64bit chip. I'm worried about future proofing.

posted on 27 Jan 2015, 11:42

73. newsman (Posts: 21; Member since: 12 Jan 2015)


New technologies hit their splendor. How can you quickly create something new-tech? If you look, all principle the fine - it's even better. And check it out another interesting technology that I found on the internet favewallpapers.com/18396-stream-plane-technology.h​tml

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:46 2

12. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


What is with the brightness???

Too many trade offs compared to the competition. Since we can no longer say "bang for the buck" like we used to, its just second place to the Note4 in many key areas.

Guess I'll be spending my time removing apps from the Note4 instead of adding them to the N6.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 13:49

16. roldefol (Posts: 4253; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I wonder if it has something to do with colour balance. Motorola's screens both this year and last have low brightness but good RGB balance. I know the red, green, and blue pixels on an AMOLED screen have different brightness, so perhaps they tune down one or more colors for better balance. This reduces the overall brightness.

Compare this to older Samsung screens that were bright but very cool (tinted blue/green). The Note 4 is the first AMOLED I've seen that's both very bright and has excellent balance.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 13:59 1

18. Metropolis75 (Posts: 107; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


Maybe I just don't like the screen glowing in low light situations, but I keep my phone on auto brightness. And my Turbo seems just as bright outdoors compared to my wife's Note 4. Normally I don't look at my phone outdoors, but it did just fine at the football game sunday. If I could get her off of Hey Day maybe I could compare the two to see what the big deal is.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 14:32 1

21. Tritinum (Posts: 471; Member since: 06 May 2014)


this issue will probably be fixed with a software update or maybe you can root the n6 and use xposed installer to add some brightness tweaks.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 23:04

38. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2185; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


I canceled my preorder after the reviews dropped today. So many compromises have spoiled this.

posted on 19 Dec 2014, 16:00

61. RagingPhoner (Posts: 5; Member since: 02 Oct 2014)


For me the N6 is even if not in a better place than the Note 4. I used an n7000 for quite a while and used a Note 2 for a few months. I have to say any phone that does not have the ugly, tasteless and buggy TouchWiz and gets updated fast and not months after the stable release is in a better spot than any Samsung phone in my view. IMO the only phone that can rival the N6 is the M8 Google Play Edition.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 12:50 1

13. AlvinKane (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 May 2013)


The screen brightness might be a deal breaker for me. Had the G3 and I had to crank that screen all the way up which drained the battery. Maybe I will just get the Z3.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 13:45 1

15. gagakiller (banned) (Posts: 176; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


iPhone 6 plus is better than this crap. Wake up people ! Buy the king of smartphones !

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 14:03 5

19. Tritinum (Posts: 471; Member since: 06 May 2014)


lol k

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 14:35 4

22. bigmaster (Posts: 198; Member since: 05 Sep 2014)


You're joking right?! If not then you're a clear example of the iSheeps world wide! !!LOL I hope that was a sarcasm!

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:50 2

28. Fazz1977 (Posts: 153; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)


Bahaha, with an android as an avatar... typical iPhag fail!

posted on 19 Jan 2015, 22:02

72. alexcordogan (Posts: 15; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


Close 2nd to note but way better than motorola phones- build quality, camera, display, etc....

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 13:51

17. Metropolis75 (Posts: 107; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


There is a very little detail in those photos from Olive Garden. j/k

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:48 1

27. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I'm disappointed that they didn't wait for the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 to future-proof the phone...

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 17:18

32. roldefol (Posts: 4253; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Maybe we'll see an 810-toting N5 replacement next year. That chip is going to be in everything, just like the 600 last year and the 801 this year.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 15:52

29. Fazz1977 (Posts: 153; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)


I waited for the N6, tossing up between that, the G3 and the OPO (the latter being ruled out due to CM11 being a truck of fail), saw the price on the N6 and opted for the G3... couldn't be happier.

posted on 23 Nov 2014, 05:00

47. Furbal (Posts: 984; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


g3 is pretty nice. Battery life is much better when rooted for some reason.

posted on 19 Jan 2015, 21:52

71. alexcordogan (Posts: 15; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


G3 would have been good if not for useless qhd. In performance the OPO, nexus 6, and note 4 run circles around it

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 18:48

34. Schuler2828 (Posts: 59; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


After a week of waiting for the review ever since there unboxing I've been checking every day waiting for the review, and it's finally here great Review John!

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 20:41

35. DeusExCellula (Posts: 1112; Member since: 05 Oct 2014)


lol wtf Motorola.. Droid Turbo and Nexus 6 both retardedly dark screens. If my phone costs over $200 I better be able to see the godamn screen outside.

posted on 12 Nov 2014, 22:54

37. Youraveragejoe (Posts: 124; Member since: 31 Oct 2014)


Quadrant score is lol

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 16:17 1

44. baldilocks (Posts: 746; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


Quadrant hasn't been updated in 3 years. Vanilla Android is not optimized for the Quadrant tests. The Nexus 5 runs very low scores on Quadrant until rooted and binaries from other Android devices are added.

Did you notice the AnTuTu scores? That's where you get a better idea of comparative performance.
Please, educate yourself before you make asinine comments.

posted on 13 Nov 2014, 10:44

41. isprobi (Posts: 656; Member since: 30 May 2011)


Why is it that only Sony put a landscape dock port on their phatlet Z Ultra? These large screen devices are great for watching video but a bit heavy to hold for a long time. And many people complain about Z Ultra having large top and bottom bezels but in landscape the give you a comfortable place to put your fingers without blocking the screen.

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 16:15 1

43. baldilocks (Posts: 746; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


Now why are other review sites saying it has a VERY bright screen and that it is very easy to see outdoors??
I am beginning to think PhoneArena is losing it's mojo...

posted on 15 Nov 2014, 06:20

46. RoboBonobo (Posts: 61; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


Well it says on the chart here that my iPhone 5 goes up to 535 nits, and I only need to have it set to about 25% brightness to be able to see it in direct sunlight... So I'm going to guess that 270 nits should be fine.

posted on 14 Nov 2014, 16:19

45. baldilocks (Posts: 746; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


Also, it does not have a plastic body. It is an aluminum body/frame, with a soft touch plastic back. Please get facts correct.

posted on 23 Nov 2014, 14:53

48. theo14461 (unregistered)


What good is this, if it's not available, because it's out of stock. I'll stick with my Note 4.

posted on 04 Dec 2014, 16:03

53. TMach (Posts: 457; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


In truth, I am beginning to believe it has never been in stock, the stock disappeared allegedly in the US Play Store in less than a nano second (I was in Florida on holiday and was following its release with interest as it would not have worked over here in the UK). Landed back home on 17 Nov and ordered from Carphone, supposedly the main outlet for N6 over here, and kept an eye on Play Store, one minute the 32gb in Blue was coming soon, and in less than a second, was out of stock! see post below re the moving ship date which according to Carphone is due to Motorola moving the goal posts! No reason for them to lie as they just want to sell the damn thing! Think I'll may be give this a miss which would be a shame as I have owned every Nexus to date! We shall see!!

posted on 27 Dec 2014, 19:27

64. theo14461 (unregistered)


I walked in my local T Mobile store and purchased a Nexus 6 no problem. I'm very happy with this phone.

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 10:00

49. Mabbox (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Nov 2014)


Can you tell me wich camera was used to take the shots of the Nexus 6?
These images look amazingly sharp.

posted on 25 Nov 2014, 15:05

50. darkkjedii (Posts: 21353; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


The white and silver one is oh so beautiful. Craigslist deal coming soon.

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Google Nexus 6

Google Nexus 6

OS: Android 7.0 6.0 5.1 5.0
view full specs
Display6.0 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (493 ppi) AMOLED
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz, Krait 450 processor
3 GB RAM
Size6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 inches
(159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm)
6.49 oz  (184 g)
Battery3220 mAh, 24 hours talk time

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