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My Verdict – Nexus 6 Strengths, Weaknesses & Passes

Ahmad Imran

I believe in educating and empowering my readers to make better decisions. REASONTOUSE platform is designed to provide you passionate, honest and real-life feedback around personal technology with a view to improve your user experience.

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 ?


2017-03-31T08:03:29+00:00 May 5th, 2015|Categories: Android Smartphones, Phone|Tags: , , , , |
  • Kevin Eldridge

    Thank you for the detailed review. I was considering the Nexus 6 and this greatly helps in my decision.

  • Kevin, thank you for reading the review and finding it useful. If I am honest with you, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction that people are finding value in my writing. Please keep visiting and keep giving your feedback – even a couple of lines.

    I am in a process of replacing the Nexus 6 with my next handset soon but until then, if you have any specific query, fire away and I will be glad to help and assist.

    REASONTOUSE is for its readers :)

  • BD

    Coming from the owner of the N6, Note 4, S6, & Iphone6+ if have to say the N6 is by far my favorite. It has the best overall function.

  • BD thanks for your feedback. It is a very nice phone there is no doubt about it, I just thought that the S-Pen and Multi-Window just tilted it slightly in the favour of its competitor.

    I appreciate that everyone has different requirements and your example is a a perfect evidence. After using the Note 4, S6 and the iPhone 6+, if you are still liking the N6 the most, this proves that it is an excellent package for many Android users.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is still a great phone, as a tech-reviewer, sometimes I have to take a bigger view and put my verdict down which may clash with some people’s opinion. I believe this is the beauty of “personal blogging” – understanding that it is my personal take on a chosen topic which may be different from others.

    Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. I really value this feedback and look forward to have you more on my website and share your thoughts with us. Cheers.

  • Brian

    Great review that, by and large, agrees with my experience. One thing that I have noticed is that network reception on my Nexus is not nearly as good as on my previous phone, which was a Sony Xperia Z1S. In my, um, “meditation room” I consistently got 4G/LTE speed on the Sony, while my Nexus gets 3G/H. That said, I am able to achieve LTE in some locations.

    Great review, Ahmad. I will look you up before my next upgrade.

  • BD

    In all credibility/fairness I’ve used the Original Note->N4, the Nexus 4, 5, 6 and Iphone 4s, 5s, 6+ thoroughly since their earliest release dates and for greater than 6mo. A bit of a gadget freak with sound experience with all these devices. It’s to my own advantage to teach from experience. It seems the Nexus line paves the way for Android as it receives the latest Android and Google software generating the most utilization of anything on the market (that i’m aware of currently). The 6+ & Note4 in my hand are not reaching their full potential for days, weeks, much later when it comes to utilizing the latest software(s). Now.. if you don’t mind being a test dummy at times and inc control of your emotions when you run into a bug, you become part of the leading edge. If you choose to complain and remain negative about the present and future than you’ve already failed. Thanks for the honesty and stay true to what you observe and the facts. The Nexus line has work to do if it wants to maintain a hardware competitor.

  • You are very right. It is a hard place for Google to be on the forefront of the latest stock releases. I can understand that. Thanks for your opinion again and being an Android fan and a thorough user, I value and welcome your feedback on my website any time. Cheers.

  • Brian, interesting that you noticed a slight occasional issue with the 4G reception but I never had any issues. I found it to be very same to the other high end smartphones lately.

    Thank you very much for liking and keep visiting. Do provide your feedback whenever you can and if it is convenient to you. I value my readers and consider therm as an asset to the REASONTOUSE name. Cheers

  • Melinda Hurley

    I have had mine for 1.5 months as well. While it does have some downsides, I LOVE MY GOOGLE PHONE. BTW: I switched from an iPhone to the Nexus 6 after being with Apple for over 2 years. It was a very hard decision, and I’m ever so glad I made it.
    I agree with the points you made, however not only simple apps are an issue, SIMPLE SETTINGS MENU really bothers me. My screen also broke the first WEEK, after reading about Motorola’s sapphire screens. Yeah… That was a major bummer. Luckily it’s a straight line across, 2/3 of the way down, and you can only see it at certain angles. Unlike my iPhone, which had sustained 2+ years of dropping, until I had to change the case, and then my screen shattered like a broken mirror. IPhone’s are known for that, but Motorola is also known for their intense gorilla glass. Not on this phone, however. I paid damn well more than enough, why am I not getting top of the line hardware with $700?????

    I appreciate your articles, keep them coming! Thank you for reading my rant ;) =P

  • Melinda, it is not a rant, it is an honest feel of a Nexus user – Our community at REASONTOUSE values it.

    So we have iPhone user converting to Nexus 6 and while generally it was a good decision for you, you are annoyed with the hardware quality issues – as I understand.

    Melinda, I am an Android fan but let me tell you that except HTC, I dont think any other Android manufacturer at this stage is close to the quality of the Apple products (Sorry Android fans but let us face the reality).

    This is what I have been raising my voice against since day one – quality of build and design / feel. You are right, Motorola has struggled on this front traditionally and they have to up their game if they want to stay on the cutting edge competition.

    Thanks again for commenting, please keep visiting and share your valuable thoughts with us.

  • jw

    Thank you for the review. I’ve had mine since November and overall love it. my biggest concern is with the latest lollipop, I’m finding that I miss about 5% of incoming texts. It is a major downside and happens whether I’m on my home wifi or my phone service. Is anyone else running into this?
    we have tried a variety of fixes and today nothing has stopped this.

  • @jw – thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback.

    Never had this issue of missing the texts. I am sure if anyone else has similar issues and looking at this message, will update us.

    Are you shure it it not your carrier / reception in the house etc ?

  • Richard Sequeira

    Really? It’s all bias towards Apple. Everyone keeps talking about how innovative and how they went through an obstacle in engineering. The reality is it is all a ploy to make it seem that they are innovative and put care in quality.

    A person with common sense knows that a phone needs a case! You have a $600+ phone, you mean to tell me that people can’t spend an additional $30 to buy a decent case?

  • Richard, I never like to use a case with my smartphone. To spend £30 is not a problem, it is the design and feel which is compromised.

    I don’t think that we were trying to defend Apple, we were saying that the Nexus 6 needs to overcome the quality issues in this competitive market.

  • Melinda Hurley

    My mom has the Note 3, I have the Nexus 6, and we are both having issues with missing incoming texts…