Ahmad Imran

A tech-blogger who likes to wear the common-user's hat. Founder of REASONTOUSE, a platform to empower the common technology-user to make better and informed decisions.

One and a half month with the Google Nexus 6 and here I am ready to give you my verdict about this Phablet. If you are thinking of buying this smartphone by Motorola and want to know a real-life feedback by someone who has used it as a daily driver for over a month, you are in a right place.

It is equally possible that you are not planning to buy it. You are just curious to know more about it. This is fine by me too.

Stay tuned and I will let you know in this article what is my opinion of the Google Nexus 6 smartphone.

I have divided my review into three main segments.

Strengths, weaknesses and passes.

 

1General Specifications – Google teamed up with Motorola to bring us the Nexus 6 in late 2014 and this is going to be the Google’s flagship android smartphone for the first half of the 2015. The beast is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, 2K display, 13MP camera and Adreno 420 GPU. For a late 2014 Android smartphone, these are the top of the range specifications. The software experience is fast, snappy and responsive generally. Nexus 6 will not let you down on the hardware front with your normal day to day working and common use. Nexus 6 is a work-horse.

2Screen Size – I am a fan of huge screens on mobiles and the 5.96 inch 2K AMOLED display (1440 x 2560 pixels @ 493 ppi pixel density) is impressive for me. I enjoy watching videos and pictures on large screen and the Nexus 6 provided me a plenty of that opportunity. The screen is not one of the brightest in the outdoors or under the direct sunlight but this niggle is forgivable. All in all, a rich, vibrant and large screen for immersive multimedia experience.

3Camera Quality – I have written about the macro (close-ups) and the normal photography capabilities of the Nexus 6 in detail recently. The 13 MP primary shooter is well capable of taking quality photographs for a common user. The focus and operation is quick and the results are rich and vibrant generally. The camera experience is slightly hampered by an overly-simple stock camera app but a decent quality 3rd party app can solve this issue easily. If you would like to see some sample images I have taken with the Nexus 6, head over to this article.

4Stock Android Lollipop – No 3rd party overlays and no waiting for the companies to release their own tinkered versions of the Android firmware. It was only my 3rd day with the Nexus 6 that I got a notification to upgrade to 5.1 from the previously installed 5.0 version. Excellent feeling. I have written about the Nexus 6 Lollipop experience in detail in my recent article where I said that there is still room for improvement and it is an un-polished product and appears to be rushed to be released. Having said that, the material design and the overall user experience is still much better than most of the third party Android skins on different devices in the market. In my opinion, to have a pure stock Android which is directly updated by Google is still one of the biggest Nexus 6 strengths.

5Design – It was a difficult one for me. I am not a huge fan of the plastic design in flagship Android smartphones. Metal unibody (like HTC One M8) followed by the glass (Like Sony Xperia Z3) come before the plastic polycarbonate of the Nexus 6. Having said that, I believe that the Nexus 6 body is well designed and feels comfortable in hand. The curves are smooth and the overall dimensions and weight do not feel awkward considering its huge 5.96 inch screen size. Motorola deserves praise for a well-designed phablet and it is one of the Nexus 6 strengths in my opinion. Read my detailed review of the Nexus 6 design, feel and look in this article.

 

Google Nexus 6 Weaknesses

1Price – Nexus 6 is significantly expensive than the previous trend of competitively priced Nexus devices such as Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 from previous years. At the time of writing this article, Nexus 6 is marginally cheaper than the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 – another top end Phablet from late 2014 and early 2015. It is in the league of other high-end flagships and the competitive price edge is no more in existence. For many Nexus fans like me, this was a shock and I still believe that the price of the Nexus 6 is set on the higher side which did not help the overall Nexus brand. Google will need to rethink for the next Nexus in the line.

2Screen Utilisation – For me this is a big one. We all know that phablets are big devices and for anyone to own and use one as their daily driver, there needs to be compelling reasons for that. The big screen size is not enough on its own. The provision of a stylus for note taking and availability of built-in apps for multitasking are two such examples which I missed in the Nexus 6 experience. I believe the gorgeous 5.96-inch screen is under-utilised in the Nexus 6 overall user experience. I have written in detail about the lack of these two options in this article here when I compared it against the Galaxy Note 4.

 

Google Nexus 6 Passes

1Battery Life – Nexus 6 battery life is acceptable but not great. With low usage, I found it to last for almost a day however, with medium use, I found the battery drain to be excessive and I had to charge the device by the evening time. Battery use is subjective and depends on various factors. I personally found the battery to be OK and very similar to its competitor, the Galaxy Note 4 with more or less similar specs.

2No SD Expansion & Removable Battery – Again, I have no personal issues with these two elements. I believe that the 32GB offered as a fixed memory along with the growing “cloud” dependence are the two factors which do not let me miss the SD card slot in the Nexus 6. Similarly, in my whole career with the smartphones, I have never carried a spare battery with me so I don’t think that having a removable battery option is something very important for me either.

3Overall User Experience – The most important factor for me which sits above all the specs and features. I have used the Nexus 6 for about a month and a half and the feelings are a mixed bag. It is a big device to handle which I liked and enjoyed but at the same time the plastic body does not feel premium. On the software side, Lollipop is good but still lacks the smoothness and fluidity to create an overall silky experience. It lags occasionally which does not help either to create an overall stunning experience. Finally, no bloatware is good, but overly simple apps are not helpful either. Google needs to spice up the things a little.

I am happy with the Nexus 6 in general.

It is a very good phablet and will keep many of the Nexus and Android lovers happy. Just make sure that the details that matter to you are covered in the Nexus 6 package.

And yes, if you are keen to buy one, do try it in your hands in your local store to make sure that you are comfortable with the size of this phablet.

Where do you stand ?

Would you buy or own one if given an option ?

Do you already own one ? what are your thoughts ?