Google has revealed the Nexus 6, their sixth iteration in the Nexus line up. Being the newest baby in the series, the Nexus 6 is definitely better than its predecessors. However, the baby is not small at all, literally. Sporting a 6″2K display, it is first phablet in the Nexus line up and the biggest Nexus ever. The internal hardware powering the device is also top of the line too.
The Nexus Brand
A lot of people might be unfamiliar with the Nexus brand. While the Nexus series is not overly popular among common consumers, partially due to the half-hearted marketing effort from Google, the series is the phone to get for a lot of power users and developers. For your information, it is a set of devices that are designed under Google and the Nexus phones showcases how Google defines Android and the direction the company wants to grow the platform. It will be some sort of “reference” for other OEMs in the coming year.
The main attraction of the series for me is that the devices will get the Android version update earlier than other brands. The Nexus series has a good reputation of software support as typically all devices will get at least 18 to 24 months of software updates. The only problem we have is that Google never pays enough attention on marketing it, especially out of the US. For example, the Nexus 5 was not launched in Malaysia official despite the fact that a lot of people wanted it badly.
The Nexus 6
At first look the Nexus 6 looks a lot like a blown-up Moto X (2014 Edition). This is not surprising as Motorola is the company who make the Nexus 6 for Google. There is aluminium wrapping around the edge of the phone and the back of the phone is curved to make it friendlier to hands. Under the rear camera, there is a dimple with the Motorola logo.
Google decided to increase the screen size to 6″, pushing the Nexus 6 into the phablet category. Instead of the 1080p display found in Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 has a 2k Quad HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560×1440, protected by Gorilla Glass 3. This brings the pixel density to a whopping 493 pixel per inch. The display is one of the few most dense displays in the phone market and there should not be any complaints about this. You can definitely see a lot of content via the display.
As there are more pixels to push, the processor has more work to be done. A quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.7GHz along with 3GB of RAM is powering the device. This is the best silicon on the market at this very moment, so performance should not be a problem at all. Google also packed in a generous 3220mAh battery with fast charging. With the right charger, you can get 6 hours battery life with 15 minutes of charging time.
The Nexus 6 has a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). There is a ring-shaped dual LED flash which wraps around the rear camera. There is also a 2MP shooter in front for selfies and video calls. I have no idea how well the optics will perform here. The camera sounds fine on paper but given the Nexus line up and Motorola are not well known of good cameras, we will have to wait for actual reviews to learn more about the performance of the camera on Nexus 6.
Software is probably the major selling point for every Nexus device. The Nexus 6 is running the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. It will be one of the earliest devices to get Android 5.0. You can learn more about the Android 5.0 Lollipop here.
For connectivity, 4G LTE and WiFi 802.11 ac with MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) antenna are present. NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS are all here. For storage, the Nexus 6 will come in either 32GB or 64GB but microSD expansion is not supported. There is a pair of speakers in front for a better listening experience.
Price & Availability
For the past few years, the Nexus phone were having the top of the line hardware and an affordable price tag. It showed that we do not need to spend a fortune for a phone with flagship specifications. However, Google seems to change its mind this year. The 32GB Nexus 6 is priced at USD649 (around RM2150) off contract which costs USD300 more than the Nexus 5 which is priced at USD 349 (around RM1150) at launch.
Sounds expensive? It depends on how you see it. The Nexus 6 has the best specifications you can get and it has the similar price with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6, HTC One M8 and other flagships. In comparison the price is not totally insane. However, the high price will make the Nexus phones no longer the affordable flagship we knew.
Speaking of availability, pre-orders for Nexus 6 will be starting on 29th of October in the US and it will be available in retail stores later in November. They will be available in Cloud White or Midnight Blue. As usual, there is no word on when will it come to Malaysia. However, the thing we should worry is not when will it come, it’s whether it will reach here officially or not.
Is the Nexus 6 appealing enough? Definitely yes. It has an above-average look, the best internals to power it, the cleanest and the newest Android software. It is hard to ask more from it. There are a lot of people who like the large display and the best specifications. The Nexus 6 is a great phone, arguably the best phone in the market right now for some people. The Nexus 6 will be a great contender against the other phones and it is always a good thing to see more choices in the market.
However, there are a few things that push me away from it. The first one will be the size. While some people might like the large display size with the super high resolution, I am not a fan of the huge size as my hands are not large. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, there are no features to make full use of the large display. The increased price is not helping too. I understand that my opinion will not be applicable for everyone but if I am getting a Nexus, I would prefer the Nexus 5 for the size and the price as it suits me better.