Google Nexus 6P Review: I was wrong, it is fantastic and you should buy one.

Long story short, this is just another smartphone when it could’ve been much, much more.

That's how I ended things back in September after watching the release of Google's new Nexus phones - the Nexus 5x and the Nexus 6P. I was disappointed and felt that this was just another smartphone in a crop of excellent smartphones in 2015. It was just conjecture.

After using the Nexus 6P for the past two weeks, I have a slightly different take and that's okay. This is the best Android phone to date. I think it's the best smartphone to date. There are no compromises. If ever a time for you to switch to Android, look no further than the Nexus 6P. It's fantastic.

What you should know about the Nexus 6p:

  1. It feels great in the hand. It's extremely well-crafted. Gaps are tight, aluminum and glass
  2. The screen is high res, big, crisp, bright, and blacks are deep. It's Samsung's latest OLED 4K panel and though the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge still has the best screen on any device out there, this is right up there. Downright beautiful. Big, but not too big, it requires an adjustment if you're used to 5-inch devices, but then after a week, holding a smaller device feels weird. 
  3. It's fast. Android absolutely screams. Its more fluid than anything I've ever used. The animations are instant, yet silky smooth. Zero lag, no stutter, everything is instantaneous.
  4. The finger print scanner rocks. Nexus Imprint works better than touch ID on Apple devices and Samsung's reader, too. Why? Speed, accuracy, and implementation. When you pick up your device, your finger naturally rests exactly where the reader is on the back and there's no button to push...placing finger over it unlocks the phone and the reader itself is faster and more accurate than anything out there.
  5. The dual front-facing speakers are loud and crisp. Stereo sound while watching a movie is actually quite enjoyable. Seriously. Music played on the Nexus can actually fill the room. Because the speakers are so amp'd, you don't need to place the phone in a cup or create homemade amplifiers to hear it. The speakers are front-facing so they don't get muffled when the phone is resting on a bed or sofa.
  6. Fast charging is a whole new world. Just 15 minutes of charging yields 6 hours of use. I use the phone all day long and still end up with 25-30% battery at the end of the night, so battery life is solid. More casual users could easily get two days out of it. Doze feature allows the phone to lose practically nothing overnight. I went to bed last night with 30% and woke up with 29% this morning. USB 3.0 brings a reversible plug.
  7. The rear camera optics are excellent. The selfie camera is great. Tap the power button twice to quickly load the camera. Camera UI get's flack for being too simple, but I had no problems with it and never missed a shot.

It's truly no-compromise, but if I HAD to complain:

  1. I wouldn't. But if you paid me... fine:

  2. Looks are subjective, but the Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge plus are definitely the best looking and feeling smartphones out there. Curved screens may not be that useful just yet, but I've yet to pick up something that feels so svelte. The Nexus isn't quite as sexy as those devices, but it's still good looking. With a body that's the same size and same thickness as an iPhone 6 plus, you're getting a larger screen - 5.7 vs 5.5 inches and you're getting front-facing stereo speakers. 

  3. Too bad we lost wireless charging from the old Nexus 5.

Initial setup tips if you just bought the phone:

  1. During initial setup, record your finger prints TWICE. The first time around, record your pointer finger in the ideal place - pointing straight up on the sensor. Record it again with your finger on an angle. You'll be thankful later. It improves an already painless procedure.
  2. Turn off the keyboard vibrations. Vibrate on keypress is annoying, less accurate, and wastes battery. Settings --> Language & Input --> Google Keyboard --> Preferences --> Turn off Vibrate on Keypress.
  3. Turn on "Always on" Okay Google detection and turn on "Trusted Voice." This will allow you to truly use your device hands-free in the car using only your voice - even while your screen is off or while music is playing. Swipe left for Google Now --> Swipe left to see settings --> Voice -- "Okay Google Detection" --> Turn on Always on and Trusted Voice.

 

Need more? Smartphone Awards for 2015

For more thoughts on the smartphone race, I highly recommend the YouTuber known as MKBHD. He's extremely well known in both the YouTube community - over 3 million subscribers - AND the greater tech community because of he has a pulse on the tech world at large. He recently released a video recap of the best smartphones from 2015...across multiple categories like: best overall, best camera, best small phone, best budget device, most improved, etc. Check that video out below.