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

Google Nexus 6

Dimensions

6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches

159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm

Weight

6.49 oz (184 g)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Dimensions

5.54 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Dimensions

6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches

153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

Google Nexus 6

Google Nexus 6

Dimensions

6.27 x 3.27 x 0.4 inches

159.26 x 82.98 x 10.06 mm

Weight

6.49 oz (184 g)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola Moto X (2014)

Dimensions

5.54 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Dimensions

6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches

153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

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.


FEATURED VIDEO

74 Comments

1. Rydsmith unregistered

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)

20. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

It's water resistant

25. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

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

33. Siapaya

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

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

78. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Ill choose Droid Turbo actually.

63. Tracy1988

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 18, 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.

2. tury694

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

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

3. Manti

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 11, 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.

74. regbs

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 29, 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.

4. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 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.

23. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

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

24. Furbal unregistered

I'd say battery life as well, the 1520 is a beast in that department. Outdoor visibility is likely better too.

5. Vidas989898

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

You are funny bro...

36. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

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

69. alexcordogan

Posts: 15; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

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

6. KashunatoR

Posts: 47; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

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

9. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 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.

10. KashunatoR

Posts: 47; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

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

26. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

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

40. silver

Posts: 22; Member since: Aug 02, 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."

14. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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.

39. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

They also dropped the ball with display calibration as well.

75. regbs

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

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

57. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 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.

70. alexcordogan

Posts: 15; Member since: Jan 19, 2015

The g3 display is rly dim too though

7. Vinayakn73

Posts: 207; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

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

8. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

The embargo has lifted!

11. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

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

73. newsman

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 12, 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

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Nexus 6
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3220 mAh(24h talk time)

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