There are a lot of things to be said about the Nexus 6P. I’m a fanatic about Nexus devices since Galaxy Nexus – the third Nexus device in the entire timeline. Now, it’s time for the latest Nexus – and also the greatest. Check out why we said so.

Packaging

Let’s see… the box isn’t particularly small to begin with, and Huawei had included a little too much than it needed to, and I’m glad that they did. It’s a necessary thing, trust me.

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Nice design, and the image is actually the default wallpaper on the Nexus 6P. Digging further…

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There’s the phone itself! Nicely tucked with the cable and charger.

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Digging even deeper beneath the Nexus 6P, there are some paperwork about the Nexus 6P and 90 days free trial with Google Play Music.

Nexus 6P (8)Digging at the deepest level is where this special little cable is found – the USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable. Don’t lose this cable – it’s the only thing that keeps your powerbank usable with your new Nexus 6P!

I found out that the Nexus 6P packaging has a lot of subtle hints of what it means to be a great packaging. No, not the usual plain design where everything is boring. Huawei did a great job with the packaging and included many of the essential information right at the front of the box itself.

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Design

Let’s begin with the screen itself. It’s a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen, with a full 2K resolution – that’s 1440×2560 pixels right on that screen, making it to have a full 518 pixels per inch!

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Also, take note of the stereo front-facing speakers found on the Nexus 6P. They sound amazing and really makes everything sound great!

That said, look at the beauty of the Nexus 6P’s sexy back. The whole device is covered with metal, and I have to say that the black bar there does way more than just providing a cover for the camera and other hardware. It provides real grip and in some cases for me, differentiating which is the top and bottom portion of the phone.

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That said, the entire Nexus 6P is quite slippery, as there are absolutely no grip on the metal body itself.

Around the sides of the phone are where the magic happens. On the left side, there’s an ejectable nano SIM tray, at the top is a 3.5mm audio jack, at the right is the power and volume button, and the bottom is the brand new USB Type-C port.

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The only thing I’m heavily against about the design is the placement of both power and volume buttons. It’s best if Huawei made the decision to put either one of it at the opposite side. Come on, both volume rocker and power button at the same side? That’s just confusing. Also, they’re easily accidentally pressed!

In Huawei’s defense, the power button does have some sort of mild texture to it, but doesn’t excuse them from committing a design flaw.

Camera

Ohhhohoho!! The camera on this thing is definitely amazing. Since the days of Nexus 4, everyone had been complaining about the camera. It took Google 3 years – yes, THREE YEARS – to solve this issue. I ain’t even mad, because Google and Huawei did the absolutely fantastically amazing job with it. Highest end camera specs, near-complete features, all cramped into the Nexus 6P.

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I’m not joking – the entire camera has a 12.3MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, with laser autofocus! The only thing lacking here is an optical image stabilizer, or OIS, for short. It’s a little disappointing, as OIS is found quite commonly among the battlefield of flagship smartphones today.

However, the Nexus 6P does take some very beautiful pictures. Seriously, look at these. All these pictures are taken in a point-and-shoot YOLO-ish way. Just open the camera app, focus, and capture.

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Look at the details! The other feature that I like on the Nexus 6P’s camera is the HDR+, and I don’t exactly know what the little “+” does or means, but it does take some pretty nice pictures. Look at these differences!

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Sure, the HDR+ mode still has some fundamental problems as the basic HDR modes found in every other smartphone – the exposure is sometimes too equal and the image looks absolutely “doctored” – unnatural, if you will. Take a look at other shots that I took using the Nexus 6P on Flickr.

Click here to check out the full Flickr gallery!

Some of these photos did date all the way back to mid-December, which was my bad since I went Taiwan for nearly 3 full weeks, and I didn’t bring the Nexus 6P with me. It would have been an excellent pocket cam, and I wouldn’t have to bring my humongous and heavy DSLR.

Let’s not forget about selfies here. 8MP front-facing camera here can take some decent selfies – no hiccups at all!

In summary, A+ for camera on the Nexus 6P!

Performance

Ahhh… the ever controversial question on a Nexus device. The Nexus devices are always known for its rawest, greatest performance while sacrificing on other parts of the hardware for a more competitive price. Not in this case however, as the Nexus 6P brings the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor – double-quad-core processors, both running at 1.55GHz and 2.0GHz each, with Adreno 430 graphics, all coupled with 3GB of RAM. I know what all of us are thinking – Snapdragon 810? The overheating chipset?

Yeah, it’s exactly that. I think that no matter how fundamentally flawed the chipset is, I think that Google and Huawei managed to work around this issue flawlessly. Although thermal throttling did occur throughout the entire benchmark process, the performance dip was barely noticeable and still able to perform without any hiccups. Also, thermal throttling can save some battery and hardware lifespan too! I first did my usual test using Epic Citadel, as I’ve always did.

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First result showed fantastic results! 1440p resolution on the highest settings over at Epic Citadel with 51.8FPS? Sign me up! As a scientist by profession however, I had to run the test again until I see consistent results.

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On the second run, the score seems to have dropped quite significantly – a whole 5FPS? Nevertheless, the scores are still not consistent. Redo!

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The third time showed that the FPS dipped a little, but not much. From 46.1 to 43.4FPS showed that the performance was affected – and my brain kept telling me that it’s due to heat, and the Nexus 6P was thermal throttling. The phone was running pretty hot at this time – especially around the fingerprint sensor area.

The same results showed up while using Vellamo too – at first, the phones was cold to the touch and the scores were great, but once the phone gets all warmed up the performance dips.

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On the other hand, CPU-Z reported that the temperatures were well within the safety limit. So what’s the fuss?

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Seriously, if all the temperatures are below 60ºC, I think it’s very decent. To put things in perspective, the ASUS ZenFone 2 on an Intel Atom chip can reach nearly 70ºC. Yes, you read it right. SEVENTY degrees Celsius.

Speakers

The stereo front-facing speakers are something worth adoring on the Nexus 6P. It’s quite rare to see front-facing speakers to begin with, let alone stereo front-facing speakers. Even though this is pretty much Huawei’s first attempt in making a phone with stereo front-facing speakers, they did an amazing job. The speakers sound decent enough for media consumption, and best of all the speaker grills – wait, they’re not even speaker grills – more like just two openings – look amazing.

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Those speaker “openings” are made out of what seems to be matte plastic, but I think it’s still a great choice of design and material. Everything is flushed black here, and sometimes I forgot which side is the top and held the phone upside down without realizing.

Battery

What I can say about the battery in this case? Actually quite a lot.

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First of all, a 3450 mAh battery is quite decent for a day’s use. I did play a lot of Pocket Morty for the past week, and I manage to drain quite a significant amount of the battery after about 2 hours of gameplay. Do note again that the Nexus 6P uses USB Type-C, and that means all of your micro USB cables are completely irrelevant for the Nexus 6P. I do notice two things that Huawei did for the 6P.

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They included two different USB cables here – a thicker 1 meter male-to-male USB Type-C cable got the wall charger, and another 30 cm USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable for charging through power banks and also for ADB purposes on nearly every computer in the planet right now.

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However, that said, the Nexus 6P does support fast charging through USB Type-C only. I think Huawei and Google made a very good compromise by including two USB cables for all the users out there – use whichever you want to use, but keep in mind that Google did point out that only certified USB Type-C cables can support the amount of power that this standard supports, so please keep an eye out and don’t simply buy any cables to use!

One small complaint that I have is the short Type-C to Type-A cable’s length. 30 cm is just… I’d say adequate for most use cases, but would be ideal if it was at least 50 cm or a 1 meter please?

Wrap up

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I have to admit – being disappointed by Google for choosing Motorola to make such a messed up Nexus 6 was a grave mistake, and that made me lost hope on the next great Nexus device. Here we are – the seeing the Nexus 6P right here, right now, right in front of me, right in my hands. I really hope that Google and Huawei didn’t cheap out and gave 4GB of RAM instead, but even for 3GB, it’s quite decent to begin with.

Let’s not forget – Nexus devices has the latest and fastest updates from Google themselves. Let’s also not forget about the custom ROM scene – those developers can keep ancient devices afloat for years! Personally own a Nexus 4 (aged 3 years old now), and it’s running an unofficial version of Marshmallow – yet it’s completely smooth!

Did Google made the right choices for the Nexus 6P? I think it’s absolutely fantastic.