|Style & Handling|
|+ Power packed||- Ugly camera bulge|
|+ Pure Android||- Mediocre battery|
|+ Good camera||- Can get toasty|
Verdict: The Huawei Nexus 6P is a superb, feature packed phone. Its design could use a little work and the battery life is only adequate, but in all other ways it’s great.
Google released two new Nexus phones this year. There’s the massive Huawei Nexus 6P and the smaller LG Nexus 5X. It’s the former that we’ll be looking at here and it’s this one which is clearly the more premium of the two, with its metal shell, top tier specs and blazing fast performance.
First impressions are certainly positive then, but can it stand up to extended scrutiny or does the Huawei Nexus 6P buckle under pressure?
The Nexus 6P has a slim aluminium body, which leaves it looking far more premium than the Nexus 5X or indeed any previous Nexus handset.
However, there’s also a sizeable bump at the top where the camera is housed, which makes a mess of the otherwise sleek lines and leaves it looking substantially less attractive than say the HTC One M9 or Samsung Galaxy S6.
Comparisons aside though this is a very good looking phone. It’s just 7.3mm thick and with a length of 159.3mm and a width of 77.8mm it’s also not as large as you might expect given its 5.7-inch screen.
It’s still definitely a handful, but it’s just about comfortable to use and definitely a better size than last year’s massive Nexus 6.
There’s a big 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 QHD AMOLED display on the Nexus 6P. The sheer size is surely going to be enough to put some buyers off and it’s a shame that Google didn’t release a similarly high-spec phone in a smaller size, as the Nexus 5X is a significant downgrade.
Still, if you want a phablet the Huawei Nexus 6P is a strong choice. Its screen is super sharp, coming in at 518 pixels per inch, and it’s fairly vibrant too, with good contrast.
The Huawei Nexus 6P has an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor with four cores clocked at 2.0GHz and four going at 1.55GHz. That’s the chip of choice for most flagships this year and it’s impressively fast, especially when coupled with stock Android Marshmallow as seen here.
With the help of 3GB of RAM the Nexus 6P sails through every app and task with seemingly no problem at all, other than sometimes getting a little toasty if you push it too hard.
Sadly, that seems to be a problem faced by the Snapdragon 810 in other phones too, but the metal shell makes it more noticeable here than on some.
Nexus phones have rarely been known for their cameras but the Nexus 6P is set to be an exception, as while it’s not quite a match for the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Sony Xperia Z5 in this area it still has a mighty impressive 12.3-megapixel snapper.
Laser autofocus ensures you can fire off photos quickly and with large 1.55nm pixels and a dual-LED flash your shots should look good, even when taken in low light. It sports a respectable though not overly large selection of modes and options too, such as panorama and HDR, while video can be shot in up to 2160p at 30fps.
Round the front you get a similarly impressive selfie camera. It’s an 8-megapixel one which is an unusually large number of pixels and that translates into brilliantly detailed selfies.
The Huawei Nexus 6P runs stock Android, which means you don’t get any of the bloat that manufacturers typically add, leaving you free to tweak it to your liking with apps from Google Play. That’s a good thing as far as we’re concerned.
Better yet it’s Android Marshmallow, which is the latest and greatest version of the software and one which few phones yet run. As a Nexus handset it’s also guaranteed speedy Android updates for the next couple of years.
The Nexus 6P isn’t lacking in features either. For one thing it has a fingerprint scanner, which is fast, accurate and works with the screen on or off. This also leaves the phone well prepared to make the most of Android Pay.
The speakers are worth a mention too, as it has dual-front facing speakers for stereo sound. They’re not quite a match for HTC’s, but they’re not far off.
The Nexus 6P excels in almost every area, but one exception to that is battery life. It’s not awful, in fact it’s got comparable battery life to many other 2015 flagships, such as the HTC One M9, but you’re going to struggle to get much more than a day from its 3450 mAh juice pack, which is a bit of a step back from what we were seeing on flagships last year.
It does however support USB Type-C, which leads to fairly speedy charging and also means you can plug the charger in either way round.
Storage comes in at 32, 64, or 128GB, which is a good selection, but then there’s no microSD card slot, so you’ll want to choose wisely.
For connectivity options you get Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.
The Nexus 6P is easily the best Nexus handset yet, but beyond that it’s also one of the best phablets around. From its premium build to its brilliant screen, good camera, powerful processor, fingerprint scanner and impressive speakers the Nexus 6P ticks almost every box you could ask for.
The only major issue is its battery life, but even then it’s fairly competitive. Beyond that the camera bulge may put some buyers off, as might the large screen size, but if those things don’t bother you the Huawei Nexus 6P is tough to beat.