Google is gearing up for the release of their latest flagship smartphone – the Nexus 6P, and it is set to give Apple and Samsung a very serious run for their money. With the 6P, Google and manufacturing partner Huawei are hoping, nee expecting, to capture a bigger share of the ‘phablet’ market, wresting it away from their more established competitors. From design and build to features and performance the Nexus 6P boasts some dramatic improvements over past models, Promising to make it Google’s most impressive Android powered handset to date. But is all the hype justified, and does the Nexus 6P deliver a truly ‘Premium’ smartphone experience?
Design and Build
Last year’s Nexus 6 followed the ongoing trend of BIG smartphones, resulting in a phablet that was frankly unwieldy and difficult to use. With the Nexus 6P Google has scaled back, if only just a bit. While still nearly as tall as last year’s model, the 6P has been slimmed down so that it fits better in the hand. In fact, the new Nexus is probably the largest smartphone you can comfortably use without having to perform any delicate balancing acts. The all metal build is a definite step up from the plastic of past models, giving the new handset a heft that belies its light weight (a mere 178g), and the overall design is sleek and modern as befits a smartphone that is looking to the future.
Under the hood we have a Snapdragon 810 processor (still top of the line for the industry), and a 3,450 mAh battery that easily delivers a full day’s charge. The Nexus 6P comes standard with 3 GB of RAM, and customers can choose between 32, 64, and 128 GB of internal storage. As with most higher end smartphones, the 6P features a fingerprint ID scanner called the ‘Nexus Imprint”. This is located on the back of the handset, and in tests has proven to be one of the fastest scanners ever included with an Android device. In a welcome move, speakers have been relocated to the front of the smartphone delivering greater clarity to calls and audio playback. All in all, the Nexus 6P boasts an impressive build that easily lives up to its ‘Premium’ marketing promises.
Display and Cameras
While the Nexus 6P is somewhat smaller than its predecessors, it still features a larger display than its major competitor the iPhone 6S. The 5.7 inch high resolution Amoled display delivers a sharp picture with rich colours, and its integration into the operating system allows users to toggle back and forth between tasks with little to no screen lag time. In short, its one of the most highly responsive 2K displays on the market.
Of course, no smartphone would be complete without a camera or two, and the Nexus 6P is no slouch in that department either. The handset comes stock with a rear-facing 12.3 Mp camera with 1.55 ultra pixels and a laser auto focus feature. The primary camera supports slow motion and 4K hi-def video recording, putting it on a par with top of the line iPhone models. The front-facing selfie camera boasts 8Mp and an HDR+ feature that delivers high definition selfies at the press of a button.
Android Marshmallow 6.0
Google’s Nexus 6P will ship with Android Marshmallow 6.0 pre-installed. This latest iteration of the Android operating system offers some choice upgrades over past versions, including the new power saving Doze feature which minimizes battery consumption by preventing background apps from cycling and updating when the phone is in sleep mode. Android 6.0 also supports USB-C connections which will allow users to recharge their smartphones three to five times faster than before. Additional features include Now on Tap (essentially an upgrade of Google Now), split-screen support for multitasking, Track Memory to monitor app performance, and full support for the new Android Pay. The Android operating system has also been given a visual overhaul, making it more attractive and delivering a more intuitive user interface.
Google’s Nexus 6P is already being called the smartphone of the future. It’s currently available for pre-order, though manufacturing delays have pushed back the planned release data. Starting at around £450 the Nexus 6P will never be mistaken for a budget phone, but it does make it a strong competitor for Apple and Samsung’s flagship models and could earn Google and Huawei a bigger piece of the premium smartphone pie. If the Nexus 6P can truly live up to the hype, it will be the smartphone to beat in 2016.