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Nexus 6P review: This is the way Android phones should be

Florence Ion | Oct. 23, 2015
Look out Samsung and LG. The best premium Android phone on the market is Google's own.

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The fingerprint reader is super-fast and easy to use.  Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

The fingerprint reader on the back of the Nexus 6P is incredibly responsive. After logging in my fingerprint, it took a mere second to unlock the phone and shoot straight to the Home screen with the touch of my index finger. Not everyone’s a fan of the fingerprint reader's rear location, but it feels more natural to use than if it were placed on the front of the device, like on the Galaxy S6. That will create some issues for those who like to use their phone while it’s laying on the table, however. You’ll have to turn the phone on from the power button on the side and then input your passcode or pattern unlock to get past the Lock screen.

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The Nexus 6P is phablet sized, though not overwhelmingly so like last year’s Nexus 6. Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

There’s also the matter of size. The Nexus 6P isn’t exactly compact. It’s a 5.7-inch device, which puts it into “phablet” territory. It’s not as overwhelming to carry as last year’s Nexus 6, but it’s still pretty big. It doesn’t fit in most of my jacket pockets (women’s clothing manufacturers don’t give us pants pockets anymore) and it’s a bit dense. These weren’t issues for me, however, as I found the Nexus 6P to be comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. If it’s a smaller phone you’re after, that’s what the Nexus 5X is for.

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That backside bulge on the Nexus 6P ain’t no thang. Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

As I mentioned in my hands-on, the backside bulge on the Nexus 6P is not as much of an issue as the mockups and leaked images had previously made it out to be. That little strip that houses the camera hardware makes the backside look more like a thin point-and-shoot than a smartphone. Users do care what the backside looks like because that’s what everyone else will see when they look at your hands, and this backside looks just as polished as any other flagship's.

A Samsung-made display

The screen on the Nexus 6P is a 5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display, which the Nexus team has already confirmed is a Samsung display panel—the same one used in its marquee phones this year.

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The Nexus 6P alongside the Galaxy Note 5. Credit: Adam Patrick Murray

This is simply the best display I’ve ever seen on a Nexus device. It is just as bright and beautiful as the Galaxy Note 5’s, along with the same sort-of saturated color profiles and ability to go totally dim in the dead of night. You can also see the Nexus 6P’s display out in broad daylight with the brightness turned all the way up, but make sure to do that before you leave the house.

 

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