Interface and Functionality

There’s more to love with Android 6.0.

If you haven’t done so already, go and check out our full in-depth review about the sweetest and smartest Android version to date – Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You’ll be put up to speed regarding what’s new, different, and exciting about this latest release. In this review, however, we’ll focus on a few things that directly relate to the Nexus 6P’s experience, which is identical to its Nexus 5X sibling.

The Material Design vibe that debuted with Lollipop is here to stay, and it hasn't been changed a bit. This is not a bad thing or an issue in our book, mind you - we still think that this refreshing design language is one of the best things that could have happened to Android. This means that you still get a host of card-based UI elements, paired with colorful icons, and predominantly white menus.

One of the more notable additions to the OS is the revamped app drawer. Gone are the horizontally-scrollable cards that were present in Lollipop! Marshmallow comes with a stock launcher that displays the installed apps in a neat vertical window, which is not comprising separate cards (the same applies to the widgets pane as well). As usual, it sorts the apps in an alphabetical order, yet some of the apps you use the most will appear at the top of the drawer page, providing you with easy access. There's also a nifty search bar at the very top of the app drawer that allows you to manually search for an app.

Another area in which Android 6.0 Marshmallow has received a visual update of sorts is the lock screen. In Lollipop, you had a dialer and camera shortcuts, but the new variation of the OS has ditched the former for a Google Now voice search shortcut. That's pretty understandable considering that Marshmallow puts emphasis on the improved pro-active and contextually-aware Google Now. Still, we miss the dialer shortcut a bit.

This is not everything that's changed within Marshmallow, of course – we have a surplus of minor other changes that aim to make the user experience more coherent. Some of the more notable ones that we will highlight are the revamped Apps menu, a new Do Not Disturb toggle in the quick settings pane (which allows you to easily configure it straight from the notifications panel), as well as a revamped stock Phone app.

Ambient Display


Taking a bite out of Motorola’s playbook, the Nexus 5X, along with Nexus 6 and 6P, provides us with useful information upon picking up the phone – or whenever notifications arrived. The time, date, and any relevant notifications are briefly displayed on the screen, offering us quick access to them without having the need to turn on the phone completely. Not only that, but it’s meant to reduce power consumption as well.

Now on Tap


The changes that Google Now has scored are rather significant. The star of the show is Now on Tap, a proactive and contextually-aware functionality for Google Now. You enable it by holding the home button of your device and once you do so, the feature will "scan" the screen for places, people, movies, song names, others, and provide you with relevant actions. Sounds a bit dull on paper, but it's actually pretty exciting in real life, we promise!

Quick camera access


Indeed, the camera can be accessed through the lock screen, but now there’s an even faster way of launching it. From a standby state (with the screen off), we can simply double press on the power button to launch the camera – ensuring that we’re never too late to capture a moment. While this isn’t a particularly new feature, as many other phones offer something similar, we’re nevertheless grateful to have it on board.

A case for stock Android


Universally acclaimed, there are several reasons why so many enthusiasts prefer stock Android over the handful of custom experiences out there. It’s simple, direct, and offers the latest and greatest core features of the platform – like having support for multiple users, screen pinning, always-on Google Now activation, and much more. And it’s not preloaded with the unbearable set of bloatware that generally accompanies some customized experiences, compounded by carrier models with even more junk added on.

We certainly can see the attraction of stock Android, giving us the control of how we want to use the phone. Redundancy can mitigate an experience’s worth to a user, which is a problem with some of these custom Android skins that throw nearly everything but the kitchen sink at us. Hence why stock Android is so direct, and purposeful with its content. What’s really great about this Nexus phone is that, just like its Nexus brethren, it’s going to get those wonderful and important software updates faster.

Phonebook


The Phone app has seen some small tweaks with the tab indicators — instead of text, those have been reverted to icons. Moving over to the call log section, it looks different as well, coughing up individual borders for each call interaction. And finally, the settings menu of the Phone app has also been re-organized, with more options available at a first glance instead of buried within submenus.

Organizer


Functionally, the core basics are well intact with the Google Calendar app, as it integrates with Google’s ecosystem seamlessly. Visually, there are some subtle changes, but for the most part, it retains the principles of Material Design. In addition, we can choose what view that suits our liking – whether it be a daily, weekly, or monthly one. Enhancing the experience comes from leveraging Marshmallow’s new ‘Now on tap’ feature, whereby it scans an appointment and populates relevant information back to us. For example, it’ll offer useful actions to appointments that are attached with specific destinations or addresses.

As for the rest of the core set of organizer apps, such as the Calculator and Clock, there’s honestly not much that’s different from what we’ve exposed to previously. At the core of it all, they function in the same manor – while sporting very subtle changes to their appearances. The Calculator’s functionality, for example, has been slightly expanded.

Messaging


Gone is the email app that in previous years populated our other accounts, while Google’s own Gmail app handled, well, our Gmail account all by itself. There’s not even a placeholder for an icon as well, where it notified us in the past that the Gmail app is now the only option for checking email.
We have no complaints with that decision, since it’s logically arranged so that accounts can be viewing separately – or in just one universal inbox. Beyond that, it leverages the same set of functionality we get from using Gmail on a traditional desktop PC, so it’s well-endowed to handle even the most demanding of email users.

Jotting down messages using the stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow keyboard is just as effortless as it was before, mainly because it’s responsive, logically arranged, and offers us access to many of the numbers and punctuations from within the main layout by performing long presses on specific buttons. Now, if individual tapping isn’t your forte, then you can always resort to using its gesture typing for a more seamless process. And if you prefer going all voice, there’s the option too by just pressing on the corresponding icon just above the keyboard.

Processor and Memory

Speed and finesse, that’s the way of the Snapdragon 810.

Being the better spec’d between the two new Nexus phones, the Nexus 6P is graced with Qualcomm’s best at the moment – a 2.0 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC based on 64-bit architecture. Essentially, this configuration is comprised out of four Cortex-A53 and four Cortex-A57 cores, all of which are clocked in at 2.0 GHz. Accompanying it, we have 3GB of LPDD4 RAM and the Adreno 430 GPU, a total package that delivers incredible speed and finesse in everything we do. From the trivial, to the complex, the Nexus 6P is in the same category of high-powered phones we’ve come to absorb so much.

The Adreno 430, specifically, is designed to deliver up to 30% faster graphics performance and 100% faster GPU compute performance, while reducing power consumption by up to 20%, as compared to its predecessor, the Adreno 420 GPU. Its benchmark scores solidify its position as being a formidable smartphone for all sorts of operations – including graphics processing, where its Quad-HD resolution doesn’t seem to be too much of a setback for its performance.

Starting off with a base storage capacity of 32GB, it’s a good position considering how 4K video capture can eat up things relatively quickly. However, Google seems cognizant in anticipating the kind of space that power users demand by offering 64GB and 128GB models as well. These two options definitely help considering that there’s no expansion here. Pricing starts at $499 for the 32 GB variant, goes past $549 for 64 GB, and then ends up at $649 for the 128 GB one.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 60007
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 58664
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 67207
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 2361
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 2532
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 4703
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 5476
Sunspider Lower is better
Google Nexus 6P 1079.7
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 218.2
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 677.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 36
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 59
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 37
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 17
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 38.4
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 15
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 1894
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 2032
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 1765
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 1265
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 2526
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 1431
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 4561
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 4404
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 4717

Internet and Connectivity


Even with the introduction of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, there’s no significant changes to the way we experience surfing the web using Google’s Chrome browser – so it works in the same capacity we’re used to on other phones. Generally speaking, there’s not much separating its experience form the Nexus 5X. On the surface, it undoubtedly gets the job accomplished, but it’s only different in the way that we have more real-estate to enjoy web sites in their entirety.

The Nexus 6P supports the following LTE bands: B1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/20/25/26/29. With its Qualcomm modem, the smartphone is compatible with carrier networks worldwide, providing for a hassle-free transition if you’re the global trotter type. Those customers who call Sprint or Verizon home, they’ll be pleased to know that the Nexus 6P has support for CDMA bands 0, 1, and 10 – so they’re not left in the dust with this latest Nexus.

And finally, it’s accompanied with the usual array of connectivity features we’d expect to find in a modern, well-respected smartphone. They consist of aGPS with GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC.

FEATURED VIDEO

138 Comments

1. seblak

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 07, 2015

It looks gorgeous in black.But the huge size killed it for me

2. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yup, time there were more 5"-ish flagship spec phones.

27. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Not that I don't like the size of the 6P, but Google totally should have come out with a 5P for people with smaller hands or that simply want a smaller phone. And at least in the US, there is only about a 120 buck gap. Many will opt for the larger and more premium phone even if they can't appreciate the size.

112. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Last year this complaint was legitimate and it's the reason I didn't get a Nexus 6. Now google comes out with both a 5 and a 6 inch versions of the Nexus and people are still complaining. This goes to show that you can never make everyone happy, just hope you can make most people happy. I'm guessing you don't like the current 5X by LG, you want a 5 inch version of the 6P by Huawei.

117. nohasslecastle

Posts: 7; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

I'd be inclined to agree except that the 5X is a midrange phone where the 6P is a full fledged flagship. We want no compromise in performance for size like the Xperia Compact (which is far tooexpensive)

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5653; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I hope there's a Nexus 5P next year

17. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

They improved the camera and now they forgot to check on the battery and ignored(?) the audio output. It's bad...the output is really bad on both the nexus, for someone who'd like to listen to music on headphones. The only phone that kept me awake in all this review was Moto X PE. That phone is really loud, with respect to the graph given.

92. vincelongman

Posts: 5653; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

They improved: Camera (second only to the S6/Note 5) Screen (Note 5 gen, instead of S4 gen) Fingerprint reader (fastest, only the Mate S has more fingerprint reader features) Battery (most reviewers are reporting far better battery life than the Nexus 6, but not top of the line like the Z5 or Note 5 or 6S Plus) Its probably the most improved smartphone of 2015

126. Dr_Jones_Jr

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 06, 2015

Well after updating to marshmallow, my nexus 6 gives me 4.5 hours of SOT on daily basis, which is quite good compared to 3 hours of SOT on lollipop. Google did fantastic job with the update.

48. BORIS070

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

Nexus 6p has a bad AMOLED displays, and unusable camera for picture taking at night. , Terrible battery life. unusable autofocus .what else you can expect from a Chinese phone. Chinese junk, waste of money

82. bigal77

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 22, 2015

lol u mad bro? Best phone ever. face it PS - Iphones and samungs are made in china.

100. dazed1

Posts: 789; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Do not jump on the screen judgment, they got custom option in the kernel, in the developer options which makes it work in sRGB color mode and based on what Google engineers said on reddit AMA its perfectly calibrated when its running in that mode, something like Samsung's basic mode. Ofc low tech knowledge of Phonearena reviewers, made us miss that part, they had no clue about it.

105. shinywindow unregistered

That's funny troll. By you just described an I turd to the t!!

122. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

It has a top of the line Samsung display, there is an option for more extremely accurate color. Reviews have shown the camera to be absolutely great in low light. Not having OIS doesn't make a camera not usable. That's like saying the iphone6s camera isn't usable. Many people are reporting 5-6 hours of screen on time under heavy usage trying to kill the battery. Not much to complain about. Reviews have said auto focus is very good and accurate. You have Alot of baseless allegations.

9. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

Like my iPhone 6S but still love my iPhone.

13. Acer_Predator unregistered

No phonearena this is better than iphone this should have 9.5 *iphone doesn't have 2k screen *iphone doesnt have nfc *iphone doesnt have better camera *iphone better battery So why on fkin earth tiphone has 9.3???

19. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

PA likes sweet tasty stuff.

38. BlueGoldAce

Posts: 30; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

* iPhone doesn't have a 2k screen, but it's brighter and more accurate. * iPhone does have NFC, limited to Apple Pay. Nfc is under used and overrated. * that is a matter of,preference, iPhone camera is hailed has great by many Don't disagree though, iPhone are always rated a tad Higher than they deserve. I love my 6s plus, but that price tag combined with the overall quality if the 6p....killer device.

41. androidwindows

Posts: 216; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

"..., but it's brighter and more accurate." Wrong! Look at the display measurements above. The iphone's dispay is no more accurate than the 6p's. "..., Nfc is under used and overrated." May not be in the future. "..., iPhone camera is hailed has great by many." DX0Mark says otherwise.

53. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

The color accuracy of the screen can be changed by putting it into sRGB mode, which gives it the color saturation of an LCD display.

80. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The 6s plus display is nothing to write home about and the 6s display is just poor and low res. The iOS icons are nice but that doesn't mean the screen is.

86. jdot104

Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

The 6P is also the exact same size as the 6S Plus, but the iPhone apparently didn't lose points for its dimensions ("taller and wider than some other similarly sized phones"). I think a fairer score for the 6P would have been a 9 or 9.1.

95. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Not to mention the huge bezels.

138. curiousDillan

Posts: 46; Member since: May 26, 2015

Has nothing to do with a Nexus 6P. Useless comment, aba71983.

14. Acer_Predator unregistered

C'mon I'll get use to it.. I have mate 7 and no problems..

44. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Another day, another nexus phone review. 8.8 is the perfect score, and it flaws that it holds will ultimately have to fixed onto next years flagships. The good does outweigh the bad, and its sold out on the google store.

54. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That can be said for any phone out there, otherwise we'd have the perfect phone. I also find it funny that he talks about width and height of the phone as a con compared to similar phones when it is the same footprint as the iPhone 6s Plus, but no mention of that in it's review.

65. Jango

Posts: 372; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Damn right! It has near identical dimensions while housing A) a larger display and B) dual FF speakers!

77. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Same footprint or smaller but with a larger much higher res display and much bigger battery. Don't forget to add that.

102. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

The brand killed it for me.
Nexus 6P
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.