What is a Nexus? When it was originally conceived, the idea of a Nexus device was for Google to work with manufacturers to demonstrate how to deliver the best Android experience for a particular segment, be that high-end devices, mid-range devices or a tablet. With the latest generation, Google has returned to this approach – the Nexus 5X demonstrates how to deliver a great device at a sub-flagship price and the Nexus 6P hopes to demonstrate how to build a premium Android phone. Huawei’s Nexus should be the very best that Android has to offer, bar none. No pressure then.
There are a few things you need to do to make the ultimate Android phone: you need to excel on design and build, raid the parts bin for the best components on offer, provide a perfect software experience and, for extra bonus points, price it competitively.
2014’s big Nexus flagship was the Nexus 6. It had a 6-inch screen, a metal frame and a plastic back; while it wasn’t a bad device, it wasn’t fantastic either. The enlarged Moto X design made it excessively chunky and the 6-inch screen was simply too large for most users. The good news is that Google seems to have learnt its lesson from the release of the Nexus 6, as it has scaled down the size while scaling up both the quality and design. The metal now includes the back of the device, the phone is thinner and easier to hold and the downsized 5.7 inches makes the width of the device more manageable. So far so good then.
With the Nexus 6P you won’t be left wanting for raw power. The Snapdragon 810 features and, once again, it appears the heat issues have been tamed here by the manufacturer coming late to the party. The 3GB RAM keeps things running smoothly (less than the 4GB on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, but certainly ample). There’s no memory expansion, but the device is offered in 32, 64 and 128GB varieties. All the appropriate boxes are ticked on the specification sheet with the exception of the Nexus’ new favourite: wireless charging. Google has decided that the increase in thickness wasn’t worth the benefits. Right or wrong? You decide.
Find out more about what we thought of the Nexus 6P in our review in issue 58 of Android Magazine, available for instant download now.