1. ottscay's Avatar
    So I was a happy owner of the Nexus 6 with no plans to do anything until the 2016 Nexus came out. When the 6P launched I was more smitten by the metal construction, beastly-looking camera and fingerprint sensor than I'd expected, but despite the technolust I still planned to sit it out. Then around the holidays I ended up earning a chunk of extra change and there was a sale on the Nexus 6P so I thought I'd try it out. I ordered myself up an Alu-minium 64gb version and though it was somewhat close, I decided to keep it.

    The following is NOT an attempt to make anyone ditch their phone. But as N6 owner (and a big fan of it) I think the tradeoffs and benefits of the 6P are not the same as they are for other phone owners, and I thought I'd share my impressions in the hopes that they might make the decision to buy or skip it easier for anyone on the fence.

    Looks: Totally subjective. I quite liked the N6 in appearance, and I quite like the 6P. I do get more comments and questions about the 6P, so I guess if that's important to you it's a factor. I was also somewhat disappointed in the N6's ability to attract fingerprints (the aluminum doesn't show them at all) but if you use a case it doesn't matter, and it might vary with other color variants of the 6p. I'm not a big fan of the extra bezel size on the top and bottom of the 6P - I know that physics dictates that the battery and electronics have to go somewhere, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. On the other hand I do like the camera visor, but again, that's totally subjective. The phone certainly looks more premium, but again if you put it in a case that's not going to matter much (I always carry my phones au naturale)

    Build quality: I know, this should be a slam dunk for the 6P, right? And I do give the nod to the 6P, but not by as much as many reviews imply. To me the metal on the 6P feels a bit thin. No, not as in "zomg it'll bend when I touch it" thin, but the metal rim on the N6 is really solid, and when it's cool it takes a while to warm up (can't beat mass when it comes to thermal inertia) in a way that the thinner-walled 6P can't match. This is probably subjective since many people like a lighter phone (and even the mighty iPhone6 had its Bendgate TM issues), but I personally would have accepted a bit more weight or fraction of a mm in thickness for a few more microns of metal all the way around. That said, the N6 had its own issues - mine had a very slight warp to it when placed face down since day 1, and the plastic backplate didn't marry up to the metal band perfectly all the way around. So the 6P build quality does seem better, just maybe not by the immense gulf implied by some. I will say that the buttons work perfectly (Engadget's review said the power button was too sensitive, but that must have been an early production issue or unique to their device). And if you've always wanted an all-metal Nexus, obviously th 6P is the only game in town.

    Screen: The screen image quality is objectively better than the N6 (i.e. it's more accurate) but whether you subjectively prefer that is up to you. It is definitely brighter, and therefore it has better contrast (since AMOLED's have effectively perfect black levels). I personally love that it has the RGB calibrated mode hidden in the developer settings, as I'm not as big a fan of oversaturated colors as many are (maybe the best part is that there's a choice to match both preferences). On the downside of course, is that the screen is smaller. Most of the time I don't mind it, but when reading books it makes a noticeable difference to me as the length of my arm keeps the device at a fixed distance when I'm reclined and reading. Gamers, video consumers, etc., you'll have to decide for yourself Speaking of which...

    Size: It's a big phone, but it's very definitely smaller than the N6. I was able to pocket both (no skinny jeans for me!) but it's much easier and less obtrusive to pocket the N6. It's also much thinner in terms of hand-feel. I didn't think this would make a big difference to me since I enjoyed the balanced, one-handed cradling grip on the N6, but now when I try to handle the N6 it feels like a monster, so I perhaps this is closer to my natural hand use. Your mileage may vary, but if you really adore the 5.96" screen of the N6 this is definitely going to feel like a step down. OTOH, if the N6 is a phone you love despite its size, this might be better proportioned for you.

    Speakers and Sound: This is the single most disappointing thing about the 6P for me. There are indeed forward-facing stereo speakers, but man are they noticeably worse than the Nexus 6. They sound like...well like they are trapped in too small of a space, underpowered, and surrounded by metal that adds a nasty twang. It's not unusable, but if you watch a lot of movies or play games without ear buds, be prepared to hear a difference. Phone calls also don't sound as good (audio-quality wise, not connection-wise), but the difference isn't as great and after a month I didn't even really notice anymore.

    Performance: I don't run benchmarks, but the phone is simply the fastest and smoothest device I've ever used. The N6 was the previous champ, especially after the Marshmallow update, and I can't imagine anyone complaining about the N6 in terms of general smoothness, but the 6P is faster in daily use. The CPU isn't much of a step up, but the storage is faster as is the GPU, and I attribute the improved experience to those. Still, it's not night and day, and when I go back to the N6 it doesn't feel like molasses or anything. It wouldn't be a reason to upgrade by itself, but if you do it's nice to get a bit of a speed bump.

    Camera: Lives up to the hype. I've been a long time defender of the N6 camera, and working with HDR+ and some practice I routinely got good shots with it. But the 6P camera has me truly excited to use it, so I do so a lot more often. It's faster to launch, it's more likely to get a good shot with or without HDR+, and HDR+ is faster when you choose to use it. The low-light performance is clearly better, and even the throwaway "snap it in the moment" images with no thought to composition, etc., turn out better. The video I've taken is also an improvement, even without OIS. I'm a big fan (and my 8 year old daughter is an even bigger fan) of the slo-mo video capture, though I find myself using the 120fps capture most often, as the 240fps version introduces noticeable image noise unless you have excellent lighting.

    Fingerprint Sensor: This is the other main reason I decided the phone was a keeper. I have to use a lockscreen for work-related reasons (and it's probably a good idea regardless), but the fingerprint sensor makes that painless. It's really as good as the hype, and now I don't see myself owning a phone without one from here on out.

    In short, the camera and fingerprint sensor made it worth it to me, but it was a harder decision than I'd expected. I can easily see someone with a different set of priorities preferring to stick with the N6. I hope this is of some service to anyone other there considering whether to upgrade, and whatever you decide, have fun!

    Edit: Two other issues have come up so I thought I'd tack them on.

    Cell Coverage: Obviously this will vary depending on your carrier and location, but I was genuinely concerned about moving from Motorola's usually excellent cell radios to Huawei's. I'm happy to say that in central WI on Project FI it's been a complete non-issue, and connectivity has seemed identical.

    Battery Life: As discussed further down the thread, this varies sooooo much between users that I originally wasn't going to include it, but since I use the same apps and haven't altered my usage habits between the N6 and 6P (save for some extra photography on the 6P) it is probably meaningful that I do get better battery life with the 6P. Battery life on the N6 was just fine for me, and got even better with Doze and Android 6.0, but the 6P definitely lasts longer (or rather, has more juice at the end of my day).
    02-05-2016 01:10 AM
  2. jmarkey77's Avatar
    Dude, objective view on battery life is missing. This review is totally unusable lol. Kidding aside, that's what I was looking for as an N6 owner.
    ottscay likes this.
    02-05-2016 06:38 AM
  3. ottscay's Avatar
    Dude, objective view on battery life is missing. This review is totally unusable lol. Kidding aside, that's what I was looking for as an N6 owner.
    Lol! The battery life IS better on the 6P for me, which I suppose means something since I've had the same apps and usage pattern for both, but we all know how variable battery life experience is (the N6 had good battery life for me too, "better battery life" just means having bigger numbers when I charge it again anyhow).

    Anyhow, glad I could help another N6 user, whatever decision you make
    jmarkey77 likes this.
    02-05-2016 03:35 PM
  4. Lepa79's Avatar
    Previous N6 owner here and have been a 6p owner for few months. Phone is fantastic, and agree with assessment above. Camera and finger print scanner are the 2 biggest features for this phone. Without them, it's not worth the upgrade.

    My N6 also used to get hot all the time. 6p never got hot not even warm once.. And always so freaking smooth. Happy with the upgrade.
    02-05-2016 08:34 PM
  5. ShinyTop's Avatar
    I thought of the 6P but ultimately I have used wireless charging for years and will not buy a phone without it.
    TgeekB and aximtreo like this.
    02-05-2016 11:57 PM
  6. rexbitz's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. I'm not to worried about a finger sensor. So I'm pretty much sticking to my n6. Thanks again.
    02-06-2016 12:48 AM
  7. Trophlin's Avatar
    Screen: I personally love that it has the RGB calibrated mode hidden in the developer settings, as I'm not as big a fan of oversaturated colors as many are (maybe the best part is that there's a choice to match both preferences).
    Is this something different than "color correction" under "accessibility"? It seems like Protanomaly gives the most accurate color representation and is what I use.

    I only want calibrated screens and don't understand the want for oversaturation. I don't get it... I don't want human skin tone to look like oompa loompa's.
    02-06-2016 05:14 AM
  8. PublicImageLtd's Avatar
    Don't want a smaller phone. I Iike my N6 screen size, not want to downgrade to a smaller phone.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    02-06-2016 12:50 PM
  9. ottscay's Avatar
    Is this something different than "color correction" under "accessibility"? It seems like Protanomaly gives the most accurate color representation and is what I use.

    I only want calibrated screens and don't understand the want for oversaturation. I don't get it... I don't want human skin tone to look like oompa loompa's.
    Yes, it's different. I think the color correction under accessibility addresses color blindness issues. If you unlock the developer features (by tapping on the build number 7 times under "About Phone" you can choose sRGB mode rather than the default over-saturated version that ships from the factory.

    I like saturated icons well enough, and it took me a couple of days to get used to them being toned down, but for me it's well worth it every time I watch a video or look at a photo I took.
    02-06-2016 03:37 PM
  10. Trophlin's Avatar
    Yes, it's different. I think the color correction under accessibility addresses color blindness issues. If you unlock the developer features (by tapping on the build number 7 times under "About Phone" you can choose sRGB mode rather than the default over-saturated version that ships from the factory.

    I like saturated icons well enough, and it took me a couple of days to get used to them being toned down, but for me it's well worth it every time I watch a video or look at a photo I took.
    I really wish this were an option for the 6. It should be so I don' know why it is left out.
    02-10-2016 05:03 AM
  11. ottscay's Avatar
    I would have loved that option on the N6 as well. I think the semi-hidden option in the 6P to improve color calibration is a response to the reviews of the N6 screen. Anandtech in particular does very in depth testing of screen performance, and they had rated the N5 and the N7 screens very highly, and slammed the N6 for the oversaturated and far less accurate AMOLED screen, which seemed out of step with the major improvements in AMOLED screens that Samsung was seeing.

    So I'm guessing that Google decided that a lot of people still like the over-saturated colors, but they should include an sRGB mode for those who prefer accuracy.
    kct1975 likes this.
    02-10-2016 11:33 AM
  12. ljfong's Avatar
    As a current N6 owner, the lack of wireless charging for both 6P and 5X has been a major turn off to me. After reading that Apple would eventually introduce wireless charging for the iPhone, I felt confident that wireless charging would make a comeback. Again, Apple leads the way, everyone else follows. Sigh.
    02-10-2016 03:30 PM
  13. WeAreAllUnique's Avatar
    I have the Nexus 6 now. Won't be upgrading to the Nexus 6P until the fall.
    04-03-2016 08:00 AM
  14. cybertec69's Avatar
    The review is all subjective.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    04-03-2016 09:19 AM
  15. sectime's Avatar
    So is your response, ironic isn't it.
    ottscay and aximtreo like this.
    04-03-2016 11:44 AM
  16. grover5's Avatar
    Thanks for the review OP. I've had my N6 for about 15 months and I still love it. The big screen and the speakers are important to me. I'm passing on the 6p and waiting to see what the next Nexus brings. But I still appreciate your review. Enjoy your device.
    ottscay likes this.
    04-03-2016 06:09 PM
  17. QWIKSTRIKE's Avatar
    Smaller screen, marginally brighter finger print scanner was not a good reason for "me" to want to update the N6 to the N6p. If they come witha 5.5 inch screem next year I will go with the nee 5.99" alledged Note 6. The lack of consistency is Nexus biggest problem in my opinion. Upgrading every two years will not Make the Note toounappeling update wise. Too bad..... My N5 was updated to the n6 purely for screen size and dual speakers.
    04-03-2016 06:22 PM

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