Time to throw everything you thought you knew about Nexus phones out the window. With the Nexus 6P, Google and Huawei have finally made a flagship-level device with top-notch build quality; its all-aluminium body is in the same league as Samsung’s latest Galaxy line of phones.
The screen is an AMOLED display with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution (518 ppi), and on paper, it is identical to the Samsung Galaxy Note5. In fact, the team behind the Nexus 6P confirms using the latest generation panels from Samsung, so it might very well be the same as the Note5. As is typical of AMOLED screens though, colors can appear a tad bit oversaturated. You can enable sRGB color mode for a more muted and also more accurate screen.
One of the standout features on the Nexus 6P is its excellent fingerprint sensor, dubbed Nexus Imprint, which is located as a nifty little depression on the back of the phone. You may need some time getting used to it if you’re used to a home-button sensor, but you’ll eventually find that the new placement is a cinch. The sensor’s performance was also just about flawless. It read and registered our prints in a heartbeat, regardless of the orientation.
The 6P is also one of the first phones to utilize a USB Type-C port. The reversible design is a welcome improvement over Micro-USB for sure, and USB Type-C offers 15W of output that can get the phone from zero to a full charge in about an hour and 40 minutes. However, USB Type-C isn’t that common yet, so cables are still something of a rarity.
The 12.3MP rear camera captures lots of detail with accurate colors, comes with laser autofocus and a large 1.55μm pixels sensor to capture more light. It also proved fairly adept at capturing close-up shots. One complaint we have is with HDR+ mode – pictures turned out better without it, as its ability to properly balance light and shadow was wonky and inconsistent. Unfortunately, it has no OIS, a feature found on most of the other smartphones in this shootout (the only other exception is the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Dual).
The Nexus 6P is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 64-bit, octa-core processor with 3GB RAM. This is an updated version of the controversial SoC previously dogged by reports of overheating and battery drain. Qualcomm has taken steps to rectify these issues in the latest version of the chip. Compared to the older v2.0 SoC, the Adreno 430 GPU also sees a slight increase in GPU clock speeds from 600MHz to 630MHz.