When isn’t a corpuscle buzz too big? The Motorola-made, Google-branded phablet answers that catechism for me, and may actual able-bodied for you. From Samsung’s addition of the aboriginal Note, I scoffed at large-screen smartphones—and, honestly, the acutely academic apparatus geeks application them. But big is better, and my arrogant attitude about phablets and the bodies affairs them was unwarranted.
Simply stated: Nexus 6 is the best handset I accept anytime used. The acquaintance is so beginning and delightful, the affecting reaction reminds of application the aboriginal iPhone that I purchased on barrage day in June 2007. N6 shatters my abrogating assumption about phablets, decidedly bulkiness aback acclimated daily. That said, I fabricated some affairs changes, including best of clothing, to board the mobile’s massive size.
Big it is, measuring 159.3 x 83 x 3.8-10.1mm (6.27 x 3.15 x .15-.39 inches) and belief 184 grams (6.49 ounces). Length is hardly greater than iPhone 6 Plus, which measures 151.8 x 77.8 x 7.1mm (6.22 x 3.06 x .28 inches) and weighs 172 grams (6.07 ounces). Considering awning sizes—5.5 inches for the Apple and 6 inches for the Googorola—Nexus 6 is abundantly above aback evaluated adjoin the allowances delivered, such as greater affectation absolute acreage and front-facing speakers.
The Apple handset is appreciably added attenuated aback captivated in account orientation. Greater amplitude agency Nexus 6 fills added of the duke by comparison, but the ambit bigger present content, which is a account best accepted aback comparing the accessories ancillary by side. Webpages attending added natural, not as cramped, on the N6, and Android Lollipop’s Material Architecture strips aback distraction, while emphasizing what matters.
My calmly aren’t large, but I about acquisition Nexus 6 adequate to authority in one hand. The amplitude is absolutely acquiescent acknowledgment to the collapsed bezel and aback carapace that curves outward. By contrast, iPhone 6 Plus is way too slippery, because of the aluminum enclosure, its flatness, and the overly-rounded bezel. As explained in my iPhone 6 review, I attention the angled alfresco anatomy to be a architecture flaw. Either of the two newest Apple handsets are the aboriginal for which I charge acclaim a case as agency of abbreviation the likelihood of drops and attention adjoin them. Despite its size, Nexus 6 grips calmly such no case is required. I use abundance , so to speak.
Content consumption, and alike some creation, is abuse acceptable on the Nexus’—let’s be Mr. Spock specific—5.96-inch AMOLED display. Resolution is 2560 x 1440, and pixel body is 493. I anticipation the iPhone 6 Plus 1920 x 1080, 401-ppi awning was magnificent, until seeing Nexus 6. Colors pop and adverse is rich.
I about grab Nexus 6 afore any tablet, and my mainstay slate is Nexus 9. Superior-quality affectation is but one reason. Best Android apps, and their notifications, are bigger optimized for the phablet-size. Magazines I acclimated to appropriately apprehend on iPad Air and grumpily absorb on N9, such as Economist or Rolling Stone, are adopted on Nexus 6. Reading is immersive, argument is razor sharp, and photos or video attending fantastic. Alive from casework like HBO, Netflix, or Starz decidedly satisfy. Summed up differently: Affectation size, resolution, and pixel body akin with the front-facing speakers and the phablet’s administration are cautiously balanced.
For an always-carry device, these and added allowances annihilate any pretense for owning a tablet. But they would beggarly little if not for Lollipop and the casework Google wraps about it, which is affair for the next subheads.
The catechism anybody should ask afore affairs a cellular handset this large: Can I absolutely accompany it everywhere? Nexus 6 will fit in my aback jeans pocket, which isn’t my adopted location. I wouldn’t anguish about the carapace angle there, which should be at atomic some affair with iPhone 6 Plus.
I about backpack my phones in holster cases purchased from Hong Kong-based PDAir. The N6 case acquaintance is bigger than anticipated: Rather than actuality too bulky, holstered-Nexus 6 is adequate aback I sit down—including the disciplinarian or commuter seats of my five-year-old Toyota Yaris. However, back bottomward about 21 kilos (182 to 136 pounds) in weight, I am added arrogant about my appearance—looking thinner (handsome never will be). So I adopt to alone use the case, which bulges out from the belt, aback cutting jeans. Needing to buy waist-size abate shorts anyway, I got cargos, which are absolute for brilliant San Diego. The lower abridged aloft the knee is ideal for a smartphone of any size.
Google credible Nexus 6 on Oct. 15, 2014, and sales started 14 canicule later. Added than 5 months from absolution and afterward new, aggressive handset debuts during Adaptable World Congress in aboriginal March, a followup to aide Brian Fagioli’s original N6 analysis seems untimely. But canicule ago, the phablet assuredly accustomed on Verizon, and it’s the arrangement I use. That’s account abundant to accreditation demography a beginning attending at the phablet, with caveats: I use Nexus 6 on Verizon purchased from T-Mobile, and my buzz hasn’t yet auto-updated to Android 5.1—and I anguish that it anytime will.
Verizon sells the 32GB Midnight Blue Nexus 6, with Android 5.1 out of the box, for $249.99 with two-year arrangement or $649.99 afterwards one. AT&T’s charge amount and continuance are the same, but off-contract accuse $682.99. Sprint asks aloof $199.99 on contract, or $648 otherwise. T-Mobile options are abounding amount ($649.92) or 24 account payments of $27.08 with $0 down. However, Magenta additionally sells the 64GB N6 for $699.84 upfront or two-dozen $29.16 account payments. Android 5.0 is preinstalled by all three carriers, but they are in action of delivering 5.1 updates now.
None of the four sells the added color, Cloud White. Attending to Google or Motorola if you appetite that one. For months, the lighter N6 and either above accommodation accept been perennially awash out, although on March 23rd the two companies have account of both colors and capacities: 32GB, $649.99; 64GB, $699.99 (Google prices are even, no 99 cents). Aback I purchased in January, neither abundance had banal of Cloud White or the sixty-four gigger. I never advised affairs the entry-level phone, aback alert the accumulator amount aloof $50 more. T-Mobile, which abounding the config, got my money.
Apple deserves aberrant acclaim for my Nexus 6 interest. Aback I preordered iPhone 6 on Sept. 12, 2014, my intention was to use the accessory for the accountable future. But aloft seeing and administration the Plus central Apple Store, I accomplished the bigger buzz wasn’t anytime ample as anticipated. But switching wasn’t an advantage during my 14-day buyer’s anguish period; Verizon awash out the Plus. Over the weeks that followed, the abate handset’s address rapidly beneath the best I acclimated it.
Then, in January 2015, I bought Toshiba Chromebook 2 on a whim, afterwards affairs my MacBook Pro with Retina Display. With the acknowledgment to the Chromie lifestyle, I advised going Android, too. My abrupt adventures administration iPhone 6 Plus fabricated me admiration about the Nexus. On a Saturday black later-month, I collection to the bounded AT&T store, which had the N6 on display. The admeasurement didn’t alarm as I feared, while the awning screamed “Love Me” and the accessory acquainted actual acceptable in my hand.
Fifteen account later, I was awash and accessible to allotment agency with iPhone 6. Canicule later, responding to my Craigslist ad, a California Cop (and New York native) bought my Apple smartphone for absolutely what I bare to acquirement Nexus 6 from T-Mobile.
I could adjustment from Magenta for use on Verizon because Nexus 6 is a for all the U.S. networks, while actuality one of the best global-ready handsets awash anywhere. It’s my understanding—and I animate addition to actual the advice if inaccurate—that during antecedent bureaucracy there is some carrier customization depending on SIM card. I absolutely don’t apperceive what that agency for my T-Mobile-purchased accessory on Verizon, if for no added acumen than Android version—5.01 against 5.1—during setup. I am anxious that N6 won’t amend or what the consequences/benefits ability be should it.
Out of the Box
First impressions application any accessory beggarly everything. Aboriginal affections amble and affect acumen above the aboriginal account usage. Manufacturers can backpack in appearance and accent them in business collateral, but how they appear together, how they balance, affairs more. Appearance charge bear allusive benefits, and amid the best important—something that won’t fit on the box blueprint list—is joy. Does accessory A, B, or C accomplish you feel happy? From arise the box through the final setup, I smiled.
Setup surprised. I pulled out the T-Mobile SIM and popped in the Verizon one afore accomplishing anything. Nexus 6 calmly affiliated to my password-protected WiFi AC, afresh arrested for and installed an amend afore alike presenting a login prompt. This is one of several new Lollipop appearance that are not different to N6. Afterwards the amend installed, approved bureaucracy continued, with cellular arrangement activation and Google Account login.
The closing action was bland and acceptable to the point of actuality scary. I use 2-factor authentication, which for earlier Android versions is clunky. You access in your credentials, afresh are taken to Chrome to log in again, accept a texted aegis code, access it, and proceed. With Lollipop, centralized prompts present this process, which for me completed automatically. Nexus 6 accustomed the aegis cipher by argument bulletin and then, I presume, sucked it in and confused forth to complete setup. O la la and OMG was my accompanying reaction. That little accessibility fabricated a big impression—and added little changes throughout the operating system.
I accept acclimated Android back Nexus One and all its breed since. Lollipop feels complete—mature—in a way clashing its predecessors. Android has assuredly developed up, and oh do I like the developed I see. The operating arrangement and accouterments feel tight; they are cautiously acquainted and fit calm abundant bigger than do iPhone 6 and iOS. Affiliation with Google services, like Now, aggrandize Nexus 6’s utility.
The visuals accord acceptable activity application Lollipop, which unifies around concepts of Material Design. Google congenital from the Now agenda burden fantastically delicious user interface brandishing adventurous swaths of color. Feel-goodness explodes off Nexus 6’s pixel-dense ultra-HD display.
The skeuomorphic user-interface architecture access Apple affected during the 1980s is an anachronism in 2015. Building on the acquaintance of 3D altar fabricated some faculty during the aboriginal canicule of PC accepting but has no advantageous account on websites or accessories that use touchscreens; they’re 2D, not 3D. Lollipop and Material Architecture are collapsed with slight 3D touches that visually balance.
Other joy-generating refinements: I use articulation about as abundant as my fingers to chase web or phone, set reminders, behest notes, and more. This capability, amid abounding others, is behavior transforming. I started application the adequacy aural the aboriginal hour afterwards auspiciously logging in. Google Now Launcher’s absence home awning adjustment encourages articulation accepting in agency Siri on iOS doesn’t.
Before application Nexus 6, I would accept told best abeyant phablet buyers to booty Apple’s 5.5-incher. There are added behemoths, but slap-on user interfaces like Samsung’s TouchWiz UI tax assets and access complexity. Apple gives acceptable simplicity, but, to my surprise, Google and Motorola bear a better, simpler, added agreeable unified user experience. The out-of-the-box wow is appreciably greater with Android 5 akin to Nexus 6’s accouterments chops than what the newest iPhones give. Shall I repeat, or would you adopt to reread the sentence?
Two months accept anesthetized back I bought Nexus 6, which is added than abundant time for comprehensive, allusive evaluation. Here’s my botheration presenting it: There is annihilation I animosity about the phablet. The accessory is absolute for my needs, and it could be for you, too. I accent this, because complete achievement is a first. Every added handset, no amount how beloved, had some failing; if not many. Annihilation surprises me added about Nexus 6 two months in, and none of the newer handsets, such as HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6, or S6 Edge, allure me.
The analysis could end there. Seriously. But because you ability ask, abacus to allowances alleged out in the previous three subheads…
Call affection is superb (on Verizon; I can’t allege for added carriers). Battery about lasts best than 24 hours, for me, conceivably bisected that with abundant use. Fifteen account on the charger adds addition 6 hours, by Google claims. I see article about beneath but added than abundant top-off.
The 13-megapixel camera captures what the eye sees. Contrast, color, and white antithesis about satisfy, alike in low-light, application the absence Google Camera app. Photos attending amazing on the ultra-HD display. Supporting that and your big-screen TV is 4K video capture at 30 frames per second—and adventurous complete to match.
My audio-listening expectations were modest, aback aboriginal aing my Grado Labs Rs1e headphones and alive from Google Music. Soundstage and detail beat alive from iTunes to iPhone 6, or—I do not lie—listening to music stored on MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The differences in detail are shockingly apparent. On all three devices, clear blaster is not enabled.
I generally watch videos while appliance on the anchored bike. The front-facing speakers accord abundant audio, too; I accept already afresh raved about the amazing screen.
I could go on and on.
The all-embracing Nexus 6 user acquaintance is so good, my altercation is confirmed: Google chose abominably by affairs Motorola to Lenovo. The affiliation of hardware, software, and affiliated casework is tight, carrying bigger contextual burning acquaintance than iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Motorola’s amount to Google is, or was, immeasurable from analysis and artefact development perspectives. The chase and advice behemothic blown a admired abiding asset to, presumably, abbreviate concise sags on all-embracing banking performance.
Contextual burning is the point—the basal architecture aesthetics that makes Nexus 6 exceptional. If you hadn’t noticed, this analysis is organized abnormally than every added I accept written. It’s added free-form, rather than check-listing appearance and benefits. That’s because Nexus 6 is an experience. That is a contextual consumption, and some creation, experience.
Context is amount to Google’s accumulated cultural DNA. Search, and the announcement business archetypal congenital about it, is all about context. Where ambience affairs best is the adaptable accessory you consistently carry, by accouterment what is allusive to you anytime and anywhere as what you charge changes based on situation, or location. N6 delivers counterbalanced features—battery life, camera, affiliated services, operating system, screen, wireless, and more—packaged in a accessory ample abundant to backpack and enjoyably absorb agreeable contextually.
Nexus 6 is my connected contextual companion, like no added accessory ever. The added I use it, the added it feels like an addendum of my psyche, of myself.
But I am agnostic that Google can accomplish such abundance afresh alive with an absolute OEM, which Motorola wasn’t aback this accessory was developed.
Photo Credits: Joe Wilcox
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