It’s spot on with its quality, but shots under low light captured with the flash appear more subdued than those of the Nexus 5X. Besides that, it’s pretty impressive.

The Nexus 6P features an "unprecedented" f/2.0 12.3MP Sony camera sensor on its rear panel. The component in question is, most likely, the Sony IMX377EQH5, which is a sensor originally made for camcorders. It comes with improved optics and super-sized 1.55 micron pixels — not as large as HTC's UltraPixel sensor (2 microns), but certainly larger than the 1.2 micron pixels in some current camera sensors. This should help it capture more light in dark shots, making pictures better exposed and less noisy.

In addition to 12MP (4:3) or 9MP (17:9) still images, the sensor is capable of producing 4K videos, along with impressive 240FPS slow-motion clips. The sensor can actually handle 4K and 2K video resolution recording at 60 frames per second, but Qualcomm's current chipsets, including the Snapdragon 810 used in the Nexus 5X, only go up to 30FPS.

The camera sensor is kept company by a laser autofocus system and dual-LED flash. The former will most certainly make for impressive auto-focus speed, while the latter will help the camera make the most out of situations where light is of insufficient quantity. On the front side, there's an 8MP camera with f/2.2 lens.

Turning our attention to the camera interface, powered by the Google Camera app, its appeal will mainly hinge on whether or not you like Google’s interpretation of what the shooting experience should be like. On a foundational level, it’s a simple and hassle-free experience that centers its focus on quickly snapping a shot on a moment’s notice – without being too distracted by other features. Speaking of features, it’s rather light with its package over what we get in other phones. It comes with Photo sphere, Panorama, Lens Blur, and HDR+, which is nice for casual shooters, but for serious ones, it’s just missing additional modes to adhere to their needs.

In particular, many of today’s high profiled phones offer a diversified manual mode – where shooting parameters such as shutter speed, focus, ISO, and much more, can all be modified to our liking. Like we said, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for the obvious point of capturing a moment you’d like to remember, we suppose it gets the job done effectively – and without distraction too.

Image Quality

We’ll cut right to the chase, the Nexus 6P’s camera performance is nearly identical to that of the Nexus 5X, which should be no surprise considering they both have the same rear camera. The only thing different in our observations, though, relates to its dual-LED flash performance. In particular, it tends to cast a significantly warmer tone, giving colors more of an overblown appearance. At the same time, however, there’s noticeably more noise in the shot when the flash is used – whereas it’s minimized with the Nexus 5X. And that, folks, is basically the only thing different from its quality.

Some people will have reservations regarding its 12.3-megapixel sized snapshots, but in all fairness, there’s nothing to be concerned about – it takes some pretty good looking photos. If the iPhone 6s is an indication already, the Nexus 6P reaffirms the notion that a camera’s quality can’t be individually based on its megapixel count. Time after time, from outdoor scenes to indoor ones, the Nexus 6P establishes several, favorable results that make its camera so versatile to use.

The shots from Times Square in New York, in particular, show us that it’s quite capable at snapping sharp photos. While the overall shots look especially pleasing to the eye, where it’s accompanied with good details and bold colors, meticulously looking into the shots show us that there’s a hint of over-sharpening – causing finer details to become duller, while edges tend to be accentuated more. Under sunny conditions, the camera has a little bit of a tough time handling dynamic range. It’s not bad per se, but the blue sky contrasting the landscape scene tends to come out over-exposed.
Fortunately, the HDR+ mode fixes things quite a bit by adjusting the exposure throughout the scene to offer consistency. Therefore, shadows and highlights receive the proper amount of treatment to paint a picture that’s evenly exposed – without applying too much color saturation in the process, which sometimes gives photos that unworldly, artificial composition.

We’re also quite pleased by its performance indoors under artificial lighting, where conflicting light sources generally pose an issue for some phones. With the Nexus 6P, however, that’s hardly the case, proving that it’s very much adaptable. In the shots inside of a liquor and pet store, the camera does nicely to correct its white balance for the particular lighting condition – so that it casts colors that are on the warmer side. Again, we do see that there’s a challenge when it comes to dynamic range, as some of the labels on the bottles in the background are lost due to the over-exposure.

What’s pretty impressive, though, is how it manages to deliver acceptable results under low light as well! Yes, its favorable results can be attributed to its 1.55 micron pixels, where it’s able to catch in more light – producing images that are exposed properly, and with minimal detection of noise. Generally speaking, we’re very pleased with the outcome, even though fine details are dulled down tremendously. Obviously, it’s mostly noticeable if we’re to either crop an image or just zoom in, but the overall capture is pretty likable. The only area where the camera seems to be lacking is night time photography, where most shots tend to come out blurry.

Another improved thing about the Nexus 6P over the 5X, is that it offers a better front-facing 8-megapixel snapper – one that shines for its detail capture. The Nexus 5X is good in this regard too, but it’s only better here with the 6P. Every nook and cranny on our face is finely detailed, including wrinkles and individual strands of hair.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 2.2
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 1.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 2.1
No data

Video Quality

Likewise, its video capture quality is identical to the Nexus 5X, whereby it takes some better-than-average videos too – aided primarily by its 4K video capture. First and foremost, there’s plenty of detail going with its 4K capture. Secondly, it manages to produce bold colors that favor a slightly warmer tone. Thirdly, audio recording is spot on, resulting in voices that are bold and filled with fidelity.

Being the premium of the two Nexus phones, you’d think they’d fashion OIS into its arsenal, but they don’t. Therefore, it suffers from the same shaky movements that are evident with the Nexus 5X capture (made more profound with digital zooming). Adding to that, its focus adjustment with the 4K recording option is a bit sluggish at times. There are also some jello and rolling shutter effects going on at times, which might prove to be a bit distracting.


The sharp looking AMOLED screen combined with dual front-firing speakers make it suitable for watching videos.

Since we’re dealing with pure Android here, photos and videos are handled by the Google Photos app. If you use this on other Android phones, you’ll fit in quite easily here with the Nexus 6P, considering that it’s the same exact experience. Not only is the Google Photo app the vessel for viewing our stored content, but there are additional features and tools, such as cloud syncing and various editing tools, which extend the app’s usefulness beyond just being a generic hub.

The music player, not surprisingly at all, is handled by the Google Play Music app. By now, anyone using Android should be familiar with this player, seeing that it’s commonly pre-loaded on most Android devices. Knowing that, its layout and operation isn’t a surprise. Superficially, it’s tasked to play locally stored content, but if you happen to be an All-Access subscriber, you can stream songs that are included in Google’s catalog.

Speaking of audio quality out of its speaker, we’re happy to report that it’s better than the Nexus 5X’s output. Those dual front-firing speakers help to propel it to achieve a maximum output of 78.4 dB, besting the paltry 69.2 dB mark of the Nexus 5X, which makes it a substantial improvement. While volume is more than ample to echo in confined spaces, the actual quality is a bit on the lighter side – lacking serious bite when it comes to bass, favoring treble more so than anything. Even though we’re content by the quality of its speaker, it’s sadly lacking with its headphone jack, which achieves a disappointing power output of 0.34 V.

When it comes to watching videos, however, the experience is amplified by the combination of its dual front-firing speakers and generous sized display. The end result, of course, is one that’s ideal to capture our attention, especially when its performance is smooth and skip-free. Still, there’s no multi-tasking element that would enable us to do other things. Essentially, the focus here is just to watch the video, and to that degree, it gets the job done. We just wish it offered more.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 0.34
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 0.986
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 0.609
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Google Nexus 6P 78.4
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 69.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 70.7



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: 5745; 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: 5745; 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: 806; 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: 986; 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: 376; 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 or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.