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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.

Yes, it’s powerful

I know what you’re thinking: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 again? But you needn’t groan here. The Nexus 6P did not throttle or get insanely hot during benchmark tests, though the results were a bit inconsistent. Some of the Nexus 6P’s scores were oddly lower than we’d expected from a second-generation Snapdragon 810, while others were right on point. Thankfully, that didn’t translate into shoddy performance while actually using the device. The Nexus 6P is a speedy device and you shouldn’t let the Snapdragon 810 scare you off.

nexus 6p benchmarks pcmark
PCMark tests for general smartphone use, like browsing the web and editing docs. Weirdly, the same Snapdragon 810 performed considerably better on the OnePlus 2.

nexus 6p benchmarks vellamo
Vellamo tests the CPU. The Galaxy S6 still eclipses the Nexus 6P’s Qualcomm-made SoC here.

nexus 6p benchmarks gfxbench
GFXBench 3.1 tests the 3D graphics capabilities of the device. Again, the Nexus 6P is trailing behind the OnePlus 2 and the Galaxy S6. LG’s G4 performed as we expected, since it runs on a lower-powered Snapdragon 808.

If it’s a powerhouse you’re looking for, Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and its related family members are still the devices to beat. The Nexus 6P trailed behind Samsung's top-tier phones in most benchmarks.

Of course, benchmarks are still just numbers, and the true test of a smartphone is how well is holds up over time, and in regular everyday use. From my anecdotal experience, the Galaxy S6 Edge has had quite a few meltdowns during the six months I’ve been using it. I’m curious to see how Android 6.0 performs on the new Nexus devices throughout the next few months, though it’ll likely fare better just because there isn’t bloatware and a heavily modified interface to contend with like on Samsung and LG’s devices.

nexus 6p benchmarks battery
Fortunately, the Nexus 6P’s 3450mAh battery pack can get you through a day of heavy usage.

The Nexus 6P’s battery benchmarks show it beating most other flagships, particularly those in the same price range. In our PCMark battery tests, the 6P’s 3450 mAh battery lasted six hours and 22 minutes—about an hour less than the Note 5’s 3000 mAh battery pack. I figured battery life benchmarks would be better, because the Nexus 6P lasted through a day of heavy usage, but Samsung's latest phones are outliers in those tests. In real-world use, the situation favors the 6P more, and I was able to get through a day of pretty heavy use without recharging. You can also feel comforted by the fact that it comes with a fast-charging USB Type-C charger in the box, so you can cart that around to give the phone quick energy boosts throughout the day. I managed to rack up 80-percent battery life in just an hour.

 

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