Google Nexus 6 review, a whale of a phone built by Motorola



Since the release of the Nexus One in January 2010, Google has made the Nexus line of devices some of the most important devices across the entire Android community. Nexus devices represent Android as a whole and in theory pack everything that Google has to offer, acting as somewhat as a reference device for the Android ecosystem. With the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop the device set to tackle the daunting task of showcasing Google’s ‘sweetest’ update to date is none other than the Motorola made Nexus 6.

When Google purchased Motorola Mobility for 12.5 billion dollars in 2011, many Android fans became elated as Motorola has often been seen as an industry leader when it comes to design, quality, and performance. The thought was that someday we’d see a Motorola made Nexus phone and we’d see a marriage of hardware and software to the tone of something that only Apple could accomplish. While Google has since sold Motorola to Lenovo, we’re still seeing that dream come true in the form of a Nexus.


In the past, Nexus phones may have lacked or had a subpar feature, such as battery life or camera quality, and it was generally accepted due to the phones extremely wallet friendly pricing. That isn’t the case this time around. Google didn’t focus on aggressive pricing as they did with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, but have accomplished something that’s possibly even more important to the average consumer, launching on every major carrier here in the United States. With top tier hardware and carrier support, Google’s strategy with the Nexus 6 differs from previous devices not only with quality, but with pricing and availability.

Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that I was pretty critical of Motorola’s “Shamu” when rumors started to surface surrounding the Nexus 6. We were flooded with credible reports stating that Google and Motorola were working on a phablet, a term that just makes me shudder. I very publicly stated that a smartphone of this size would not be something on my wishlist, in fact, I stated it would be the first Nexus phone that I didn’t want at all. I’ve never owned a phone that sported the “phablet” (shudder) moniker as my daily driver until now.

How have my thoughts changed over the past 5 months, from rumor, to actually using the massive phone? Let’s get started with the Nexus 6 review below.

Nexus 6 Specifications

  • Price: $649 / $699 from Google Play Store
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.7GHz Krait 450
  • GPU: Adreno 420
  • Display: 1440 x 2560 5.96″, 493PPI
  • Memory: 3GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB / 64GB (no microSD)
  • Cameras: 13MP rear with dual-LED flash / 2MP front
  • Battery: 3220mAh
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • NFC
  • Qi Wireless Charging
  • Ports: MicroUSB, 3.5mm Audio
  • Dimensions: 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm
  • Weight: 184g

Hardware Design and Feel

The overall design of the Nexus 6 is somewhat different than what we’ve seen from previous Nexus phones and tablets over the past couple years, even including the new Nexus 9. The Nexus 6 doesn’t sport a flat back as other Nexus devices. In all honesty, it’s literally a blown up Moto X 2014, from the speaker grills, to the SIM tray, to the back, and to the metal edges that encompass the phone.


There are some differences between these cousin devices though. Unlike the Moto X from this year, the Motorola dimple on the back of the Nexus 6 is more akin to the style of the original Moto X from last year. The power buttons have been slightly moved too from the smaller Moto X design, moving them down more towards the middle of the phone to accommodate the larger size.

The Nexus 6 is a very solid feeling smartphone that just feels great in the hand albeit it’s massive size. The curved backing of the Nexus 6 allows the phone to fit and feel very comfortable in the palm of your hand. That said, not all tasks can be completed one handed all of the time. I find myself attempting to use the Nexus 6 one-handed, which does work for many short termed tasks as I mentioned, but ultimately using the phone two-handed for longer interactions is the way to go as it’s much more comfortable.


The phone does fit in my front pocket without any issue, though I do find myself having to adjust my tighter jeans a little bit before I sit down. It’s nothing that’s out of the ordinary as I’ve had to adjust for a large set of keys from time to time, so that I do no stab myself in the leg. It’s something you get used to and eventually it’s a task that becomes second nature. And sometimes, I’ll just take the phone out of my pocket before I sit down too.


As someone that has never used a phone that’s even close to this size before, I will say that after a week I didn’t mind the large size anymore.


The 5.96 inch display of the Nexus 6 is truly one of the better displays you’ll find around thanks to the AMOLED panel. The 1440 x 2560 resolution with 493 pixels per inch provides an incredible viewing experience and a great amount of detail. On some lesser dense displays I can see the pixels. On this display, I could not. The display on the Nexus 6 is very vibrant with color and provides excellent viewing angles.

Where the glass meets the side of the phone, the minimal bezels and sweeping design allow for easy side swiping navigation gestures as your fingers very naturally glide over the edges. While this does help, no matter how you look at it, the Nexus 6 is a huge phone and navigating the large display will not be for everyone.

WiFi, Bluetooth, Data, and Call Quality

Motorola is known far and wide throughout the Android world as providing some of the best radios in the business. The Nexus 6 backs up those claims with ease. I had great WiFi performance, connecting to my 802.11AC router at home with impeccable speeds. The Bluetooth 4.1 radio connected fine to my Bluetooth speakers, Google Glass, and Moto 360 without hiccups. I live in an area that has very poor cell reception, but the Nexus 6 performed well while on Straight Talk via AT&T’s network. At home my dBm ranged from about -100 to -119 (not the phones fault) and I had much better service around town with a dBm in the -90’s.

Call quality on the Nexus 6 is on par with the rest of the device’s hardware. Voice comes in loud and clear, without the need to strain your ear to hear the person on the other end of the call.

Speakers and Audio

Thankfully, the Nexus 6 sports two front facing speakers and not just two front facing speaker grills like the Moto X 2014. The Nexus 6 has not only great audio quality, but produces sound that is actually quite loud. In fact, I found myself turning the volume down a notch or two during frequent jam sessions with the Nexus 6 around the house.

I have a fairly long commute and often listen to Google Play Music while in the car. With every smartphone I’ve owned, I found myself subconsciously reaching for the volume button on my steering wheel to crank up volume. My car doesn’t haven’t Bluetooth support, so sadly this doesn’t do anything. With the Nexus 6, I found myself not yearning for louder music as often as I had with other smartphones. Simply put, I’m quite pleased with the speaker performance of the Nexus 6 which is a night and day different when being compared to the Nexus 5.


Additionally, the speaker grills on the Nexus 6 aren’t flush with the display surface, jutting out ever so slightly. You’ll either love or hate this. Personally, I like this feature as the speakers ever so slightly lift the display off of the surface if you happen to place the phone face down, helping to prevent minor scratches.


Another pain point for Nexus users has often been the camera. There’s no easy way to say it: Nexus devices generally have subpar camera output, especially in low-light. However the Nexus 6, with it’s focus on hardware quality and design, performs just as well as the rest of the package in the camera department, and I’m quite impressed.

The rear camera on the Nexus 6 sports a 13 megapixel shooter with auto focus, optical image stabilization, and dual-LED “ring” flash, which is powered by the Sony IMX214 CMOS sensor.  The rear camera is able to capture 4K video at 30FPS.

The front facing camera on the Nexus 6 comes in the 2MP HD flavor and is able to capture video at 1080P.

My impressions of the Nexus 6 camera are quite positive as mentioned above, producing great photos in normal mode, eye popping vibrant photos in HDR, and performing quite well in low light scenarios. However, the occasional HDR overprocessing does exist and sometimes normal photos can seem a bit washed out. These very minor issues can most likely be tweaked with software. Overall, the quality and detail of the Nexus 6 camera is a major improvement over previous Nexus offerings.

Everyone has different expectations when choosing a mobile camera. Take a look for yourselves at the images above before you make a decision on the camera. You can also view all of my photos taken with the Nexus 6 here.

Battery Life

The final pain point of Nexus users or Android users as  whole surrounds battery life. The battery life portion of the review is always quite hard and highly subjective as each user has quite the different setup, including usage habits, applications installed, and even signal strength can play a major role in overall longevity.

The Nexus 6 is equipped with a 3220mAh battery, which depending on who you are, might seem a little small seeing as the battery has to push a QHD display and a beefy Snapdragon 805 processor. The battery optimizations done in Android 5.0 Lollipop gives the Nexus 6 respectable battery life, maybe even great battery life depending on your use cases.

As I sit here writing this review, my Nexus 6 is at 17%, has been off the charger for 24 hours, and has a little over 2 hours of screen on time. Based on my usage the past day, the battery meter is telling me that I have about 10 hours left until I’m fully drained.

Throughout the past week I’ve had similar experiences, able to gain 4+ hours of screen on time during 18-20 hours of use or 3 hours of screen on time with about 28-30 hours off the charger more than once. That’s not always the case though. On two occasions I had my battery die in about 14 hours, with only 3 hours of screen on time, however I do believe the severe lack of service was to blame for one of those days and the other was due to an odd Google Play Services bug which kept my phone awake for 3 hours straight.


And speaking of bugs, let’s talk a little bit about the performance of the Nexus 6. I’m not going to read a lot into benchmarks or numbers as I don’t feel they’re worth all that much in the grand scheme of things. I’m much more concerned with real world scenarios. Additionally, some benchmark applications aren’t updated to support the hardware properly or even the latest version of Android properly. For those that like big numbers though, here they are:

The Nexus 6 takes a very long time to start-up, I’m talking a little over a minute. I wouldn’t say this is that big of a deal, because most people don’t reboot their devices all that often. It’s just mildly annoying. That said, once your device is up and running the Nexus 6 is extremely fast and responsive.

Moving around the Google Now Launcher I see no jitteriness or lag moving from home screen to home screen or launching the application drawer and swiping through the pages. The animations on the Nexus 6 don’t hinder performance or slow down the devices hardware unlike other OEM devices. I don’t see any lag while launching the Overview (Recents) or when tapping the Home button.

Sometimes opening the camera can be a little slower than I would prefer, this seems to be a random occurrence though. No matter if the camera opened slow or fast, shooting a photo is always instant, unless doing HDR, which does take an extra second to begin processing, which then takes about 3 seconds itself. You can continue shooting more photos while they’re being processed in the the background.

Shooting video in 4K seems to work quite well, unless you’re moving around. As you move the phone around you’ll notice a slight hiccup from time to time, skipping a frame. This doesn’t always translate to what is recorded when you’re watching the video as you can see in the sample above. My guess is the display is having trouble keeping up with what’s being recorded. Once again this is most likely a software bug that can be fixed in the future.

When it comes to stability, the stock firmware on the Nexus 6 is very stable, with only minor hiccups. I’ve had the Google Camera app on the Nexus 6 crash on me a few times and I’m not quite entirely sure what caused the issue. I believe this happens when switching from HDR to normal and back and forth again over and over while also looking at photos as they’re queued up to be processed. I’ve also had Google Cloud Print crash on me a number of times and I’ve never even attempted to print anything from my Nexus 6. So there’s that. Everything else is very reliable and very fast though.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

The Nexus 6 is the very first phone to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop and will act as a reference device for the entire ecosystem. I won’t go too far into all of the ins and outs of Lollipop nor will I touch on some of the more prominent features as these aspects of the platform have already been covered in Phandroid’s previous articles.

The Nexus 6 comes with encryption enabled out of the box and you won’t be able to turn it off unless you’re into tinkering with your Nexus. This is a new feature of Android 5.0 Lollipop and will be enabled on all future new devices. While this is a great step forward in terms of security and privacy, some will argue that encryption hinders the device’s performance. I haven’t tested this theory, but there’s plenty of supporting evidence out there.

Android 5.0 Lollipop also allows carriers to automatically install their bloatware applications if you activate your phone with their SIM card inserted at the time of activation. These applications are generally for account management and can easily be uninstalled to remove their blemish from your stock Android experience.

Lollipop also has a new feature where a device will verify the subscription status when a user attempts to use the built in WiFi Hotspot functionality. I’m using Straight Talk via AT&T’s network and my Nexus 6 wants me to visit AT&T’s website or call AT&T’s customer support while trying to enable the built-in WiFi Hotspot. Since I’m not an AT&T customer, that warning message that’s display is of little value to me. I do find it slightly annoying that I can no longer tether, which I only used in very rare situations, but it’s technically not supported on Straight Talk, so I’m okay with it.

One of the better features of the Nexus 6 and Lollipop surrounds notifications. Ambient Display on the Nexus 6 or Lollipop in general is Google’s take on what Moto X users have been accustomed to for a while. The screen will pulse in a low power state when the phone has active notifications ready to be seen. Whenever you touch the screen, the display lights up, ready for action. Additionally, when there are no notifications to be seen and you’d like to see the time, picking up the Nexus 6 and bringing it into the upright position displays the time. Then, just a simple upwards flick of your finger across the screen unlocks the phone and you’re ready to go.

There is no Tap to Wake functionality as seen on the Nexus 9, however with Ambient Display and the Nexus 6 waking upon picking up the device, I really see no need for it and did not yearn for that feature at all.

Again, the Nexus 6 is a massive phone. Normally devices in this category have some sort of functionality to help users deal with the extra screen real estate. Apple offers reachability and Samsung offers split screen or windowed mode. While not everyone uses those features on their respective devices, it would have been nice if Google would have implemented a feature or two into Lollipop to take advantage of the extra screen space.


Coming from the Moto X 2013, then the Moto X 2014, and disliking extremely large phones in general, I was quite apprehensive about Google’s Nexus 6. If I haven’t made myself clear, this is an insanely large phone that just will not work for everyone. However, given the chance to use it for over a week, I don’t mind it’s size and every other phone feels extremely tiny now. Even though the Nexus 6 is one of the larger flagship phones currently available, Motorola has done a fine job at maximizing the display, producing a device with minimal bezels, and more importantly, the Nexus 6 feels extremely solid and well put together in your hand.


The only problem right now seems to be actually obtaining the Google’s “Unicorn” device. They’re still back ordered and many are still awaiting shipment details. And to top it all off, the Nexus 6 isn’t available on all carries at this time. Only Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile are selling the Nexus 6, besides the Google Play Store and Motorola’s online store.

At the beginning of my review I mentioned that the Nexus 6 is supported on all major carriers in the US, while that is technically true, it does come with a major asterisk. At the time of writing, you cannot purchase the Nexus 6 from Verizon nor can you activate a new SIM / account with the Nexus 6 in mind. You need to go through a few small hoops, such as buying a new SIM, activating the SIM in another Verizon device, then taking that activated SIM out of that phone, and finally popping it into the Nexus 6. If you’re already a Verizon customer with a nano-SIM all you need to do is transfer the SIM from your current device to the Nexus 6 and you’re all set. This really only causes issues for those looking to move to Big Red and will continue to do so until Verizon officially supports the device.

If the Verizon debacle doesn’t apply to you, I urge you to head into a store and check out the Nexus 6 before purchasing it. It’s a very large device that just won’t work for everyone. If you can handle all that Shamu has to offer, the Motorola built Nexus 6 is probably one of the top designed phones available on the market right now.

As for me, I was wrong. I won’t be going back to the Moto X after all. The Nexus 6 has superior battery life, a superior camera, and will receive the latest bug fixes and enhancements for Android 5.0 Lollipop before the Moto X. And after all, the Nexus 6 is Motorola made. It screams quality from every angle of the device, just as we’ve been hoping for years. We finally have our Motorola made Nexus and I couldn’t be happier.Nexus_6_Midnight_Blue_Cloud_White-2

Be sure to leave us a comment  below and let us know what you think of the latest Nexus phone and don’t forget to drop by our official Nexus 6 forums for additional tips, tricks, and information.


Derek Ross
I'm a passionate Android enthusiast that's on the pulse of the latest Android news, writing about Android as often as possible. I'm also a little addicted to social networking. Hit me up, I'd love to chat.

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  1. I agree 100% with this review.

    Yes, it’s unusable one handed. But there is no way I’m going back to the MotoX, Nexus 5 or any lesser phone.

    1. Great review. I honestly have no issue doing most things one handed including texting/messaging though. Hand size paying off I guess. Love the huge display. Kinda wish I tried Note’s a long time ago now.

      1. It’s too bad you didn’t cause you would understand what industry leading battery life would be for a true phablet not just a big phone with NO PURPOSE or true multitasking/productivity options.

        1. It’s too bad you don’t know the meaning of the words “choice” or “opinion” cause you would understand that the crap you’re spewing is absolute bullsh*t.
          Also, I find it hilarious that you were booted from this site several years ago for your blatant fanboyism, and here you are yet again. And you were booted from several other websites since then for more or less the same thing. Amazing how you can’t seem to understand the big glaring sign that virtually everyone puts up around/about you.

    2. Welcome to 2011.

      1. You made no sense.

        1. Galaxy Note.

          1. Which, uh, came out in 2011 and had a 5.3” screen… not significantly larger than a standard Nexus 5.

          2. I’m talking about the concept, not the actual size of the product. A lot of people made fun about the NOTE 1 and now they have phones just the same size or bigger.

          3. A lot of people still make fun of phablets, what is your point?

            I am not surprised at the increased size of screens, nor have I ever been. Kind of inevitable, really, up to a point.

          4. Steve Jobs also mocked phones with large screens…

          5. Steve Jobs was a salesman and, quite clearly, did not always know what things would become popular.

          6. He didn’t know what would become popular, you’re correct. He was in the business of telling people what they wanted. He was an excellent marketer.

  2. Damn that white Nexus 6 sure is seckzie….

    1. That’s the one I got. I can’t understand how anyone would choose the blue over the white, if giving the choice. It looks so much better IMO.

      1. I chose the blue because I wanted a 64gb from t mobile instead of waiting and jumping thru hoop trying to get one from the GPS and I have no regrets

      2. I chose the blue because I just don’t like white hardware. The white looks nice but… it just isn’t my preference.

      3. Why would you criticize someone’s choice in color? It’s a preference and an opinion. I personally think white phones are bleh and love the blue. Again. My opinion. Not fact

        1. Are you dense?
          I didn’t criticized anyone. I, very clearly, said I didn’t understand it, because IMO the white looked much better.
          Don’t forget most people didn’t have a choice.
          Therefore they have to say they preferred the blue because they’re stuck with it.

          1. I’ve owned a white phone since August 2013. I went with Midnight Blue because I wanted a change :)

      4. Don’t they have it in black? Black Nexus 6 would be crazy sexy.

      5. White is too feminine.

  3. About time. I found that out when the Note 1 came out 3 years ago… just saying. ;P

    1. I hate TouchWiz and would never put myself through that agony though ;)

      1. I hear you… but there’s always root and other launchers that would sooth most of Touchwizz’s agony. Thank god for Android :)

    2. Original Note came out 3 years ago…

      1. Yup you’re right. The point still remains tho.

        1. I never switched to the Note series just because I have no use for a stylus, but I always wanted a bigger screen.

  4. Excellent review Derek. I have both and the Nexus 6 is a big but comprehensive and very functional phone. Thanks for the review.

  5. This a good review seemingly from the standpoint of an average, everyday user. Very plain language. However, myriad grammatical errors were distracting and, at times, made it cumbersome to read.

    1. The pot calling the kettle black

      1. I dont know what that means !

    2. Jeez! Who made you the grammar police?

      It just a review of a mobile phone. Its not a prize winning novel!

      1. Yeah I agree. Your righting had error. Maybe u can go to skool so they can learn u how two right gooder than u do now. That would be more gooder.

        1. (sarcasm intended). I like the review Derek. It’s hard for me to write that way because I’m an English teacher and I’m working on my masters’. Lol. Good review though!

          1. ichuck7, he said “distracting and, at times, made it…” shouldnt it be distracting, and at times, made it….” English is my second language and i had to take ESL classes then 101, but that was years ago, and now im confused lol. Thanks.

      2. Well, I was going to submit this to Random House, but now I guess I won’t :P

  6. The only question I have is, can you change when you swipe and the phone favorites pops up? Its a little annoying.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean?

      1. when your phone is inactive and you swipe it to open, it goes to the phone app for my favorites. I would prefer it to go to my home screen, is there a way to change this?

        1. Sounds like you’re swiping from the bottom left. Swiping from the bottom left opens the phone app, while swiping from the bottom right opens the camera. Swipe up from the middle. Problem solved. :)

          1. Thanks for responding, you’re absolutely right.

          2. You mean to tell me it’s that simple wow

          3. Thank you I appreciate it

  7. That screen on time is disappointing. I pull 3 hours on my N5 over 28 hours or so.

    1. Everyone’s use case is different. I’ve seen people report 5 and even 6 hours. I just didn’t see that with my use cases.

      1. True, my usage is light on the CPU so maybe you were smashing it.

    2. Not sure if I’m special .. but I’ve had 8 hours of screen on time and I’ve used the N6 as I normally would. It’s been unplugged for 29 hours and has 31% battery as of this post. Not sure what to say .. mine is a 32GB model and other than rooted and greenified … I’ve not tweaked much.

      1. Do you have Mobile Data, Wifi, Bluetooth and GPS always on?

  8. Anyone know the SAR value of the EU model of it?

  9. I love my Nexus 6… Since I have large hands and the phone is curved it fits great in my hands.

  10. patiently waiting to get one. i have my sim card cutter and waiting for either GPS or MOTO to make it available. good news is when it finally drops, a decent case will be here too.

    1. What kind of case are you looking to get? I’ve been thinking about a skin, just to change things up a little it.

      1. going to get a good skin asap and an otterbox when they hit the street. little headsup 4 you. OEM XYBOARD car charger is the way to go as they charge both usb charging wires. OEM# SJYN0808 you can find them on ebay for 14 bucks, i own 4 of ’em.

  11. G Watch R please

  12. Can you please answer a question for me? I’m looking for clarification. You said you have to go through some hoops to activate the Nexus 6 on Verizon. OK. What version of the phone should I buy then to ensure it works with all Verizon bands/radios?

    1. If you buy from T-Mobile, Google Play Store, or Motorola, you won’t have any issue using the phone on Verizon. However, the issue is actually activating the phone to use. You need a SIM that’s already been activated in another Verizon phone. If you’re already a Verizon customer you can just take your SIM out of your current phone and slap it into the Nexus 6 and you’ll be fine. If your current phone doesn’t take a Nano-SIM you can always get a SIM cutter. The issue lies with Verizon. They’re not selling the device yet so the N6 IMEI’s are whitelisted in their system yet.

    2. There are only 2 versions of the phone. The North American version contains all bands and radios necessary. Purchased mine from the GPS and am with Verizon. I did have to get a nano Sim as my G3 had a micro. New nano did not work. They had to take one of of another new phone and then it worked. I went to a corporate store. If you are on Verizon with a nano Sim, you’re good to go.

      1. Wow, that’s incredibly helpful, thanks! Next, question, I have a phone through the edge program. Can I sell that phone and buy the Nexus from the GPS as long as I still continue to pay it off?

  13. The 4K video sample rather shows up the autofocus issues, although moving, reflective water is not exactly a nice subject to test with, but you can see the focus constantly seeking as you pan.

    1. I know, your’e right. I knew these comments were coming. I realized last night that the video didn’t give the camera justice. You can clearly see the camera trying to focus on the reflective water. I plan on updating the video with a better one.

  14. Here are a few of my tech observations having used a N6 since Nov 18th.

    The graphics drivers for the new GPU generation / Adreno 420 of the Snapdragon 805 SoC are very beta and incomplete. From a developer angle I can do things that work on the Adreno 330 (and Tegra K1) which break the 420. The device is touted to support the latest OpenGL ES 3.1 standard, but indeed it does not and only supports OpenGL ES 3.0. I bought this device out of the gate to work with the latest graphics standards (just like I bought the Tegra K1!) and all of the marketing literature does not state “coming soon”… It will take a complete firmware update _sometime in the future_ to update the graphics drivers! The N6 may get it sooner than later potentially in the “months” time frame, but this is really lame for other Snapdragon 805 based devices that may not get updated in a timely manner due to carrier holdups.

    As far as video recording goes with my custom video engine (typhonvideo.com) I’m still using the older pre Lollipop camera API, but the N6 performs drastically different for video than any other Android device I’ve used in low to moderate light to the point that it is practically unusable and sticks out like a sore thumb when compared with the Nexus 5 in low light settings and is not great in moderate light settings with changing points of brightness. I’ll be posting a thorough review on my G+ page this Wednesday with comparisons in a real world setting (bar / pool table with lots of stickers on the side / hah, pool match Tuesday night!). With the old Camera API setting the frame rate to 24 or 15 FPS will drastically increase the exposure in low light settings and the exposure is fixed, but the N6 has this locked auto-exposure which makes every frame rate even 15FPS really dark. In fact it can auto-adjust with very bright sources regardless of frame rate and go from bad to much worse when a bright source (light, TV, a point source) is not in the frame. IE the exposure can’t be controlled by selecting frame rate like every other Android device prior. I’ll have comparison shots between the N5 / N6 video in low light settings soon and it’s night and day literally. It will be interesting to see if things can be forced to different exposure settings with the Lollipop / Camera2 API which I’ll be supporting soon.

    Overall given that the above two concerns weigh heavily on my enjoyment of developing for and using the N6 it feels very beta to me… Qualcomm dropped the ball by not shipping OpenGL ES 3.1 / AEP capable GPU drivers with the launch of the Snapdragon 805.

  15. Just got my Nexus 6 on Friday, through AT&T. It is a big phone, but like many have stated, you get used to it rather quickly. I am “running it through he ropes,” but so farm seems to be going well for me. Got about 4 hours screen on time, after full charge, and made it a little more that 24 hours on that first charge, but I have a strong cell signal where I live, so I am sure that helped. Debating on whether to root the device to get rid of the ATT splash screen at start up. I activated the phone over wi-fi before inserting the sim, so no bloatware loaded, but I have heard you can delete it off the device since it downloads from GPS.

  16. i got a defective unicorn… i have a dead pixel and a blown top speaker. called T-mobile and told them i wanted a new one and they put it in my account memo that i called about the problem since it’s none in stock. They told me to do a warranty claim and not an insurance claim. (insurance claims are usually refurbished… who knew) so i’ll call back mid december and see what’s up. loving the phone though… except the stock messaging and photo app. i use textra for my text and haven’t found an photo manager app that i like.

    1. I had the same problem with the top speaker. Luckily I found a T-Mobile store that had it in stock and replaced it with another one.

  17. I bought it from Motorola and returned the next. I’m extremely picky when it comes to displays, brightness in particular. The brightness on the N6 was terrible in comparison to my beat up LG G2. I couldn’t make the jump.

  18. I’m really disappointed with the battery life of this phone. I wouldn’t call it poor but knowing there are other devices with similar specs churning out better battery life like the Note 4 it’s kind of disheartening.

    1. I would imagine things would be closer between the Nexus 6 and the Note 4 if Samsung weren’t jerks about holding back their screen technology for a year or two before allowing other OEM’s to use it so that nobody can ever have an equivalent quality device using an AMOLED screen out at the same time.

      Power efficiency is one of the improvements in their newest SAMOLED screens that Samsung didn’t allow Motorola to use.

      I expect improvements to Project Volta will give the Nexus 6 better battery life over time, though.

      1. So they should spend money researching tech then give it to competitors. Otherwise they are jerks? I don’t expect you to answer the question.

        1. I don’t recall saying give it to them… but licensing it out would be more appropriate behavior.

          Not that I expect decent behavior from a corporation.

    2. Coming from the Nexus 5 the battery life is a big step up.

  19. Good review. Personally zero interest in this massive phone especially now that the new Moto X is getting Android 5.0 so soon it’ll likely be my next.

  20. Only used mine for a day before the low screen brightness, poor battery life, inability to use while laying flat(curved back makes it spin like crazy) and stuttering in chrome and other apps caused me to send back. I find it odd none of these issues were mentioned in this review.

    1. I find it odd that you had all of these problems. i just cranked the brightness up on mine and it actually bothered my eyes. When you turned the brightness up, did you make sure auto bright was turned off? I know the first time I used the brightness slider I turned it all the way up and nothing happened. I had to go into the settings and turn off auto bright so I could manually adjust the brightness. My battery life has been fine getting me through a full day no problem and i havent seen any stuttering in chrome. Not saying those things dont exist but I havent seen them.

    2. I hear you about the curved back not allowing you to use the phone while flat. Haha, if you try to do that, the phone just spins in a circle. I never use my phone that way though, so I didn’t mention it.

      I have great battery life, better than any other device I’ve owned.

      The screen brightness is fine for me…even outside.

      Chrome works great. I have plenty of tabs open and use them in the Overview (Recents) section. I use Chrome Beta though. I never even opened regular Chrome. Maybe that’s the issue, I’ll test.

    3. That’s probably because those issues aren’t evident in every phone. Some of them have issues while others don’t. I haven’t had any problems with mine since I got it.

    4. Nice troll rant brother.

  21. This phone is in no way massive. If I see another review that uses that mindless adjective to describe this phone I am going to scream. Is it bigger then a phone from 2012? Yes. Is it noticeably larger then other phone that people dont start ever sentence with this thing is massive like the Note 4 or the Iphone 6+? Not at all. In fact because of the curve it feels much SMALLER then either of those two flat back devices. In fact the curved edges of the device are thinner then either device….They way they talk about this phone is like its iPad size.

    1. It isn’t even the largest of the phablets. The iPhone 6+ manages to be bigger despite having a smaller screen.

      1. It’s taller, but not as wide as the Nexus 6. Apple’s bezels are huge. For basically the same sized phone you get another half inch of screen real estate. It’s great!

        1. I know, right?

        2. Yeah I’ve got a friend who is envious that he payed way more than me for his 6+ but got a much smaller screen for pretty much the same real estate than my N6. Im in love with it. I came from the S4 and the LG G3 and only for like the first day did i thik it was big but now It honestly doesnt seem too big. Yeah it doesnt have any multitasking stuff like the Note 4 and it doesnt have a stylus but everybody that I know that has a Note, no matter which version of the Note, say that they hardly ever use the stylus and they think that the multi window stuff isnt as usful as they thought. Most people im sure really dont care about having 2 apps running at once. Ive used the Note 4 for an extensive period of time. My brother works for samsung and had it early and since he has an iphone as his daily driver he let me borrow it so I could decide if I wanted it or the N6. I honestly hated how much of a powerhouse the phone was but still felt a little laggy. The ONLY thing I would ask for is for better camera software. As much as I hate Touchwiz, they have some of the best camera software that takes great photos. I love the way my N6 takes photos but it seems like the autofocus works better on the Note4. However, when I manually do the exposure I find that the pictures on the N6 come out better. It just sucks having to spend the time adjusting it before snapping away.

          TLDR: The Nexus 6 is great, both the iPhone 6+ and the Note 4 are great but just werent right for me.

    2. im sorry but it is huge. That isn’t a bad thing, but that’s what it is. Just like a phone with a 4 inch screen would be considered small by today’s standards. Not sure why you are upset about that.

    3. Not saying there arent bigger phones, and Ive owned almost every note samsung has put out there but this phone really is big.

    4. You must have missed the part where I publicly stated I did not want a 6 inch phone and I have never owned a “phablet” sized phone. Anyways, the phone is huge, if you don’t think it is, you’re kidding yourself. Either way, I fell in love with the size, again, as mentioned in the article.

  22. Nexus 6 camera quality is even better than the Note 4 one. Here the comparison between the Nexus 6 and the Note 4 camera.


    1. Meh, too close to call. Note wins in low light and battery life.

      1. Nexus 6 win in true colors and Nano coating water resistant. Video in the water test with camera on.


      2. I would say the mere fact that they are too close to call is a win for the Nexus series in general, which have never been known for their camera.

    2. I thought the note 4 looked better.

    3. So you find a site that is not as reputable as other ones saying and showing the Nexus has a better camera? I would disagree completely. The Note 4 is considered better since it has more editing features and filters. The Note 4 is considered the best on Android whereas the Nexus 6 is the best Nexus camera ever, which isn’t even hard to accomplish.

  23. I just can’t justify having a big phone without any multitasking abilities like my note 4 has. sorry, but this is just like apples failed attempt at a phablet… a gigantic version of another phone. when the note came out, it came out with a stylus and features catered towards having such a big phone, and it still works today. why hasn’t any other manufacturer understood this? this is a giant moto x, and that’s all. there’s nothing that makes this stand out except that it’s huge. whatever, the Google purists will love having a new stock android device… but my note 4 does so much more than this thing will do. for a stock lolipop adventure, I’ll stick to my nexus 7.

    1. Having had both in my hands for a short period, I kept the Nexus and returned the Note 4. I don’t care for the physical/capacitive buttons on the front of the Note 4, the stylus or for Samsung’s… less than stellar history with providing timely updates to devices.

      The Note 4 works better for you and that is great. For others, though, it doesn’t. Which is one of the reasons Android is so popular… there are phones for everyone.

      I guess if I were to say it short and sweet… I prefer the minimalist approach of the Nexus 6.

    2. I really don’t care about a stylus or other multitask option except for split screen apps. I just want a big ass phone with a great battery.

      1. Then the Nexus 6 isn’t for you. The battery just gets enough juice to not complain but it’s not extraordinary.

        1. I am currently not looking for a new device my nexus 5 is still working fine but some extra battery live would be nice. If my phone might stop working in the near future I would probably buy the Huawei ascend mate 7.

          1. Get a power bank if you need extra juice.

        2. The Nexus 6 lasts almost a full day longer than the Nexus 5 in my day to day usage with the phone. It is much better. In fact I am averaging more than 24 hours between charges now. I’m not sure you have the device and can make this comment about the battery.

        3. The Nexus 6 will last me all day, not sure what else I would want? Unless a phone can really last me two days without actually trying because I will be charging overnight anyways.

  24. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a major problem with Lollipop. I’m still waiting for the update on my 2013 wifi Nexus 7. I think I read somewhere that they pulled the update?
    On top of that, very few, if any, of these things are going out. My order for a 64GB T-Mobile version has been backordered for almost two weeks, and they have no idea when they are getting any.

    1. It works fine on my nexus 5 I don’t have any major issues. The only thing that bothers me is that I can’t open the language and keyboard settings of my phone. And I am kinda disappointed in battery life it’s pretty much just as good as it was with kitkat

    2. I have it on my Nexus 5 and I honestly wish I hadn’t bothered to install it. Ye, it has some nice features, but overall it feels like a step backwards with style and presentation taking proirity over functionality. Somethings that were 1 or 2 clicks away on KitKat are 3, 4 or more clicks on Lollipop.

      They’ve also implemented some weird notification stuff as well. For example, it seems you can only have your phone with sound, or without. I can set it up so I’m not disturbed by notifications between say 10pm and 7am but that also silences alarms! I can set it to be quiet, and without vibration but still alert me just with a notification light. Its all or nothing.

      My battery performance has also go noticeably poorer since the install. While the N5 never had the biggest battery out there, I could still get through the day with about a quarter left and then top it up when I get home. Since I updated I can get through 4, maybe 5 hours if I’m lucky.

      So in summary, wait. When the notification for update comes through on my N7 2013 I won’t be installing. In fact, I’m thinking right now about downgrading my N5 to 4.4.4 to get rid of the so called updates Lollipop brings.

      1. You might need to do a factory reset. I have heard of folks having similar issues after upgrading, which were resolved by resetting the device.

        I had updated the Nexus 5 and my battery life improved. Also, the alarm will sound when using priority notifications. It actually states that alarms will always work with priority notifications. But, again, this may be due to my resetting the device before using it.

      2. In response to your alarm issue with silencing, you should be able to mark the applications as priority messages through the settings and those will get through even when going to priority mode. Try that, go to the bottom of the sound and notifications and click on App notifications and then scroll to whatever you use for alarms and then switch the panel to priority messages on. That way the alarm will ring through even though the phone is on priority mode.

        This is a learning curve, Android 5.0 has all the features, you just have to find them.

        With regards to other problems with the upgrade, factory reset your device. With the new setup process in 5.0 you will be back up and running in no time without having to put in most of your settings again. Plus, I found that once I did that the system ran 100x better. I have a Nexus 6 now as well, but the Nexus 5 is still a great phone and runs 5.0 smooth after that factory reset.

        1. I will add, once done with the reset the Nexus 5 was considerably better than when it had 4.4.4. It was faster, lasted long on battery and performed overall much better than before the upgrade. Trust me, do the reset.

      3. As far as notifications go if you put your phone in Priority the alarms will still work, events still work by default. If you keep your phone in All, you can lower the volume all the way down and it will be on vibrate. Then if you set your phone to None, then there will be no notifications at all.

  25. I think Google made a mistake on making such a big phone, many of us here will disagree with me but the regular people out there wont be buying this massive phone, and Google once said the phone were getting too big and that 5″ screen was the sweet spot for cellphones, i hope that i am wrong on this one but it is my opinion that its going to be a disappointment.

    1. if the phone was such a sales dud, there would be ample supplies like the amazon phone.

      1. Google play it safe and made a few at a time just in case, but like i said i am hoping that am wrong!.

    2. Apple said something similar about screen sizes.

    3. I just got my Nexus 6 last week. This is my 5th Android phone, starting with the very first generation Motorola Droid on Verizon. With each device I’ve gotten a bigger screen, and I have never once wished that the screen was smaller, and I’m not saying that about this new one. It is big, but it’s awesome and I can do most of the things I need to do one-handed, with one hand.

  26. Forgot the most important part…. Even if you want one…. Too damn bad…. Can’t get one from Motorola, Google Play Store, and even half the carriers don’t have them…. The biggest flop about this device is the fact you can’t even get ahold of one. Motorola and Google Fail.

    1. patience, i like the fact lenovo is making them now. air freight production is 2 days away and LENOVO can ramp it up easily. supposing half a million boxes are in a container at sea enroute to china? even though the phones are made in china the boxes are made in the USA.

    2. Actually I walked into a tmobile store the day after it came out for TMobile and bought one. They said that I was the first person to ask about it. They had a lot in stock too.

  27. I love mine. Every new Nexus immediately becomes the best to me.

  28. No multitasking features on such a big device… whats the point?

    1. It does have multitasking. It’s even better in Android 5.

      1. I wonder if he means split screen use like in Samsung devices.

        1. I believe that’s what he means.

          1. Or he could be referring to the S-Pen ;).

  29. I chose the Note 4. It’s the better phone because it has the best smartphone screen and camera. There are more features on the Note 4 as well. Google needs to make more multi tasking features to make the Nexus 6 better.

    1. Better is a very subjective term.

      1. Pretty sure that you can put the cameras on a rubric and rate them based on quality. Objectively, most reviewers put the Note 4 over the Nexus 6 in terms of photography. And I am not being subjective. The amount of camera filters and editing tools Samsung has makes it a lot better than the Google Camera App alone.

          1. Good, the Nexus is getting a score that’s more favorable than years past. DxOMark doesn’t even have a Note 4 score yet. I would wait till the Note 4 is reviewed by that source before saying the Nexus 6 is better. I never said the Nexus 6 has a bad camera. I had both phones and returned the Nexus 6 because I liked the Note 4’s camera and software (in general) better.

          2. We kind of went off topic, but my whole point in the original comment was this…

            “I liked the Note 4’s camera and software (in general) better.”

            That is subjective. I was not talking about the quality of the items in question, I was talking about personal preference being put forward as something that wasn’t personal preference.

            The Note 4 is not a better device, it is a better device to you.

          3. It is a better device on an objective standard: can run AOSP for the Android Purist w/ rooting. It has more multi-tasking, a better battery, a finger print scanner, has a SD slot and removable battery, a better display (as per Display Mate), the S-Pen is there, it is not slippery in the hand as much as the Nexus 6, and it is not as wide as the Nexus 6.

          4. Yet I find the Nexus 6 to be a better device, so clearly it is not objective.

            “More multitasking”
            Sure, I guess. I find them unnecessary additions that take away from my usage, personally.

            “Fingerprint scanner”
            Ok? I don’t want one.

            “SD slot”
            I never filled a 16GB Nexus 5, this is not an enticement to me.

            “Removable battery”
            The Nexus 6 battery can be replaced, if one is willing to follow a tutorial. It is not as easy as the Note 4, but if it needs to be done outside of warranty… it is not particularly difficult.

            “Better display”
            Sure, but it is smaller. I prefer the extra size.

            I actively prefer not having it.

            This is a non-issue, the vast majority of users put a case on the phone in the first place so…

            Ok? You get a smaller screen, though.

            Oh look, none of that is objective at all.

          5. You put that in your perspective. There is a reason why the Note line is the most notable phablet on the market since its inception.

          6. Uh, well, of course I did. That is why it is not objective and why what you said was objective was, in fact, not.

            It is also hard not to be the most notable phablet on the market when you created the market and are one of the few common releases in that market.

            Not that it matters, because a majority opinion on something does not change something from subjective to objective.

          7. But I said you can do more, which is pretty obvious since it has more features. If you rate a device on its capabilities on an objective scale, Android is better than iOS. If you breakdown Android further, Samsung can do more than the Nexus out of the box.

          8. More features does not necessarily make something objectively better.

            The usefulness of those features to the person using the device is what would determine whether it is better or not… and that makes it subjective.

            The addition of pointless features to someone who would never use those features renders those “objectively better” (not objectively better) features meaningless.

          9. It’s like you’ve never even heard of an unlocked bootloader before… I’ve had an s4 for two years now and while the actual device is very well made touchwiz+knox are complete garbage. I’ve never felt less like i owned my phone than this one. Nexus 6 is a phone for people who want to make the phone their own instead of accepting whatever the manufacturer/carrier decides is right. If that’s what i wanted i would just get an iPhone.

            On top of that I have a dslr camera, why would i care about a camera I’m only gonna use for selfies? A better camera is just another selling point, and one that only applies to people who intend to use it as their sole means of taking pictures and by no means dictates the better phone as a whole (unless the camera is utterly unusable which isn’t the case here).

            If you can’t see the allure of a Nexus phone over a Samsung then you clearly are not the intended market.

          10. Yes, marketing and time allowed Samsung to make it popular. The Note is fugly and TW is cluttered. Doesn’t matter how much you try and defend it. The Note 4 will also lag because of all of these ‘features’ you speak of. Personally, a slightly better camera and display is not enough for me to buy another Samsung device.

        1. Filters and editing tools does not a better camera make.

        2. Camera filters and editing tools does not make a camera better. Smh

          1. Pretty sure the ability to do dual camera features makes a camera better than others that cannot. It’s both software and hardware working in tandem.

        3. You can download editing tools from the play store.

    2. To you, but TW makes it much worst for me and ALOT of other people, its just too cluttered, jittery(lag) performance and I dont use those “features” that comes included with the S-Pen. So by you saying its the best, that would be your opinion but not the opinion of most.

      1. Most professional reviewers would agree the Note 4 is better. Stop being a hipster by hating on Touchwiz. It’s as good as any UI because Samsung made it useable by disabling what is unneeded while also making it less resource intensive. The Note 4 has zero lag. The Nexus 6 has had more bugs than the Note 4 as well. There is a reason why the Note 4 is the king of phablets. It’s unchartered waters for other companies to release phablets. As good as the LG G3 and iPhone 6+ are, both have enough problems not to overtake the Note 4.

        1. I didn’t know Shamesung had started a 50 cent army of its own. Note 4 is lag city once you used it for a couple months.

        2. I don’t like TouchWiz and I’m not a hipster.

    3. Touchwiz…do you have AOL too?

    4. Why does Samsung insist on pointing the speaker at those behind the phone instead of at me… You know the person actually using the phone?

    5. I’m just curious why anyone would care what phone you chose?

  30. It took me a while to adjust to the big screen coming from the nexus 5. But I love this phone now. The Nexus 5 is still a great phone! Just think of the Nexus 5 as the smaller version of the 6. Too many people hate on the size of the Nexus 6 and that’s because it’s not just for you. This is my first phablet and am enjoying every bit of it. Lollipop is probably a few updates away from being completely efficient( battery longevity).

    1. Disliking does not equal hate ;)

  31. Not sure what to make of it. Part of what I don’t like is Android 5.0. Thus far, I really don’t like that. However, as for the phone itself, apps such as Google Play Store and other “official” apps keep crashing. Cloud Print keeps crashing (I had to disable that one just to make it stop)… I can’t even give “Feedback on this Device” (under settings) because it crashes.
    I am not rooted,
    I am using the device as it came out of the box.
    I am seriously thinking about taking it back and getting the G3.

    1. I would do a hard reset. I purchased mine from the Google play store and I don’t have any lag or app crashing going on. I am not using the cloud print app so I can’t speak on that one. The phone is faster than my friend’s 2014 moto X. Battery life has also been fine getting me through a Full day of use. I thought is was going to be too big but gave it a try. Being a Verizon customer, this is really our first real Nexus! I was wrong as well, after a few days I adjusted to the size and now everything else seems tiny. I know it’s sounds just like the guy who reviewed this phone but it’s soo very true. It is an awesome phone and I love it!

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