Nexus 5X vs Nexus 6P AH 1

Huawei Nexus 6P: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

October 4, 2015 - Written By John Anon

This week saw Google take to the stage in their annual Nexus event and announce a bunch of new products and updates. The big headline act was certainly the two Nexus devices, and of the two, the Huawei Nexus 6P is the flagship device. This one comes sporting a 5.7-inch display with a WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. While inside, we are looking at 3GB RAM and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 octa-core processor. On the camera front, there is a 12.3-megapixel rear camera on offer, with an 8-megapixel front facing camera. The rest of the on-paper specs include a fingerprint scanner, Type-C USB and a 3,450 mAh non-removable battery. Not forgetting the Nexus 6P comes running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) out of the box.

The Good…

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Well, this is quite easy to go though as there is a lot of good surrounding the Nexus 6P. As this is the flagship model, it does come boasting some of the better specs and features that would be expected on a major device. First up, the cameras. This is always going to be a temperamental subject when it comes to smartphones, but it is good to see the Nexus 6P is not likely to disappoint in this area. Yes, the MP count is not exactly the highest for the rear camera, but contrary to public belief, it is not all about the MP count. The camera on the 6P is the best camera to date on any Nexus device. It comes sporting a Sony sensor, one which was more designed for camcorders than smartphones. Not to mention, the light on offer with the 6P is significantly greater than any previous Nexus including the Nexus 6. The camera will be a winner.

Then there is the fingerprint scanner. Like it or not, this is going to be a highly useful feature going forward. All manufacturers are adopting fingerprint scanners and Google themselves have now implemented software into Android to make better use of fingerprint features. In terms of the Nexus 6P, the device comes equipped with both the software and the hardware included out of the box.  The design is also another feature which is shaping up to be a good thing. Prior to the unevil, the initial images that came through seemed to show a device which was to be fair, not so attractive. As such, many were instantly against the look of the 6P. Although, once the device was fully on show, it became much clearer that it does sport a premium look and feel. Certainly more so than the Nexus 5X, which is not something many would have counted on prior to the launch.

Then there is Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). This is the latest version of Android and comes pre-installed on the Nexus 6P and brings with it the already mentioned fingerprint features, Android Pay as standard, batter saving features with Doze and all the other tweaks and improvements which come with Marshmallow.

Of course, there is a ton more stuff which will all add to the Nexus 6P experience. The battery is a decently sized 3,250 mAh, Type-C USB seems to be the way forward and offers an ‘any which way’ usage. Not to mention faster data transfer. The display on offer is both big and powerful, coming equipped with a QHS resolution and a Samsung display. So there is a lot going for the Nexus 6P and it does shape up to be an all round good device.

The Bad…

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In truth, there is not a lot bad about the Huawei Nexus 6P. At least, not massively mad. It could be argued that 3GB RAM is not exactly flaship material when heading into 2016. The Galaxy Note 5 for instance comes sporting 4GB RAM and this seems to be the number most manufacturers will be aiming for going forward. So on that note, although not a massive negative point, for some it will still be a negative point. Interestingly, the form factor could also be a bad point. Although, we have discussed this as a good point (and certainly better than initial expectations) some will still not like the black camera bar/bump that is on display. Regardless of whether it does add weight and stabilizes the device, the one thing we have learned from the Moto 360 is that people do like black bars.

Another bad(ish) point is the lack of expandable storage. Yes, there are storage variants so you can choose an option to meet your needs. But that choice is one you have to live with. If you want to spend less and think you are fine with the 32GB model, then that is all well and good until you need more than 32GB storage. Regardless of the additional storage 64GB and 128GB storage levels that are available to buy at the point of purchase, the fact that you cannot expand at all will always be seen as a negative.

Wireless charging. This is an obvious trick that the Google and Huawei team missed. Although wireless charging is not present on the LG Nexus either (which highlights this was likely a decision at the Google level), the Nexus 6P is the flagship device and wireless charging is the ‘in thing’ right now. Fast charging is great, Type-C is great, but a Nexus device without wireless charging feels like a step backwards. In some respects, they led the way in wireless charging and with the industry seeing an influx of wireless chargers now available and users having already invested in the tech, this is an unfortunate feature to be missing.

Cameras. Now again, this is an aspect which appears in both the good and the bad. The cameras on the Nexus 6P do look to be genuinely good cameras and certainly ones to rival any of the major flagship devices. However, the latest is that they lack Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). This is almost a feature taken for granted on a flagship device nowadays and in truth, one that is needed. So the fact that it is not on the Nexus 6P is a bad point. Especially for those who are more camera oriented.

The Ugly…

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While there is nothing massively bad about the Nexus 6P, there certainly is something ugly. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. Regardless of your stance on this processor and whether or not you do believe that it is a problematic processor that overheats, it is one which has now become somewhat cursed. The Snapdragon 810 is just not a good processor to have in a phone right now. Many had hoped the next generation Snapdragon 820 would be included, but it was too early. The only other option was to go with the Snapdragon 808 but that is the processor in use on the Nexus 5X and to use it again in their flagship device would not have been taken well by the Android community, as it would have limited the differences between the two devices. As such, Huawei and Google were somewhat forced into having to use the Snapdragon 810 and this is a shame to be honest. Although, it is not the processor of choice, it is the processor of now and many will take issue with the Nexus 6P using the overheating 810. Yes, it is the v2.1 edition, but this is the same edition as in the OnePlus 2 and that is a device which also received much criticism for using the 810. Not to mention, there are still reports of the v2.1 overheating as well. Whether or not the Nexus 6P will suffer in the same respect, only time will tell but this is likely to be one of the biggest sticking points for those considering picking up a Huawei Nexus 6P.