6 months on with the Nexus 6

A confession right at the top of this article, it has been closer to 7 months with the Nexus 6. However ‘6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days on with the Nexus 6‘ didn’t feel quite as snappy. Near the start of December last year, right as it released in the UK, I picked myself up this mammoth Android. Here’s how the last 6 months have gone.

Size matters

First and foremost, the Nexus 6 is a big phone. There’s no getting away from that. The screen is a shade under 6″ (hence the name) and while the chassis has been pared down as much as possible to accommodate it, it’s still large. It’s about the same size as an iPhone 6+, albeit slightly shorter and fatter with a bigger screen. This was part of the reason I bought it.

I consume a lot of media on my phone so, for me, screen size is important. The physical size of the phone has, at no point, been any sort of burden to me. It fits in my pocket, it’s easily handled and I’ve not dropped it – with one major exception which I’ll come to.

When the phone is on the table, people notice it. There is only one comment which is made every time: “wow that’s big!” Initially, I had a bank of penis jokes to accompany such a comment – all of which were naturally hilarious. Six months on with the Nexus 6, I think I’d struggle to go back to a phone which was any smaller and there’s one big reason for that.

Dat screen tho

The screen is beautiful. It’s massive, clear and bright and manages to make even shit apps look very shiny. It’s actually a 2K screen and high definition content is suitably dreamy. It’s as much a fingerprint magnet as any other device but when polished up, this thing shines. Any sort of permanent mark or blemish on the screen itself would see me return it immediately, because it’s the most prominent and stand out feature of the phone.

IMG_0002

How has the Nexus 6 held up?

I’m going to say it’s something of a mixed bag. As mentioned, despite the size, I’ve not really dropped the phone. There was big one exception to this where during a wedding-induced-dirty-dancing move gone wrong, the phone came flying out of my jacket pocket and landed on hard concrete. There is now a large-ish crack in the top left of the phone, outside of the bounds of the active screen.

I was somewhat devastated and it certainly goes a long way to making the phone look worn.

Outside of that, the back of the phone is starting to show some scratching. I’m not sure if this is normal wear and tear or as a result of the aforementioned ‘incident’ – I suspect it’s the former. Again, this does make the phone look worn but only if you look a little too closely.

All in all, the Nexus 6 is not blessed with overly inspiring design choices anyway: it’s mostly about being as solid a vessel as possible for the screen.

Other considerations

I’ve not used the camera too much but when I do the results are pretty good. The shutter is a little slow to take, an issue not uncommon from certain Android manufacturers. If it’s a posed photograph, especially in a well lit area, it’s as good as any other phone camera.

The battery is pretty atrocious. Given that it’s enormous, I had hoped for a little more. I know there are a fair few pixels to push around but it’s still more than possible for me to knock 45-50% out of the battery before 10am, which is not ideal. That is on pretty heavy use, but it’s still discouraging.

The inclusion of Quick Charge does mitigate this somewhat. Plugging it into the wall for 20 minutes is enough to give you back anywhere between 25-40% battery, depending on how depleted it is.

I’ve found the OS to be snappy, but not buttery smooth. Some time ago Android Police showed just how much the device encryption was impacting performance. It’s not overly noticeable but I do sometimes wish I had some of that performance back.

Overall

I’m certainly happy with the Nexus 6 but it’s not enough to stop me looking at new devices. I like to upgrade every 9-12 months and this isn’t going to stop that. What it has changed is my requirement list for new devices. I don’t know the spec list for the Nexus 6, nor do I know the spec list for the Moto X which I had before it. I’ve hit a stage where I no longer care…

All I care about is that the screen is big and colourful, and makes the most of the content which I’m going to be viewing. It’s also important that the handset be running stock, or as near to stock as possible – the rest is just noise.

Would I buy it again? Yes, for sure. However there are a few leather backed lovelies which are catching my eye so perhaps I’d give more consideration to a handset such as the LG G4.

James Oliver

I have a keen interest in anything from the original Star Wars trilogy through to the Star Wars Expanded Universe – as well as everything that encompasses. Mostly interested in things which fly or make noise (ideally both), I like playing with new gadgets and buying phones on a whim.

  • SonyXperiaUltraZFTW!!!!!!!!!! Dropped it over a million nut loads of time, 6.3 incher (bigger than average size..) and runs 4k videos!!! Get this Sony Phablet instead fools!!!!

  • ReSiS

    I like the look of the LG G4 as well, in a few months the price will be about right. Also, the next Nexus should be out…..

    • Yeah I’m a fan of the G4. I’m leaning towards a leather backed device again I think.

      • Udimion

        I ain’t never going to be happy with another phone unless it’s leather.
        It just feels so nice in the hand – nothing feels quite as good as the feel of your fingers on warm, soft, pliable leather while your other fingers/thumb work the screen!

    • Darrell Jones

      One of the 2 alleged Nexus Models we may be getting this year will be from LG, so will probably be largely based on the G4. Definitely worth waiting.