Google (GOOG) isn’t always first on the scene when it comes to high-tech trends. In fact, it’s rather infamous for following Apple’s (AAPL) lead in many cases. Like Apple, Google was late to add a “phablet” (a smartphone that is between a tablet and a cell phone in size) to its line-up. But when the iPhone 6 Plus was announced in September, it was only a matter of time before Google followed suit.
The Google Nexus 6 was available for pre-orders on Google Play on October 29, but almost immediately sold out of inventory in the U.S. But, once you can get your hands on one, you’ll see the Nexus 6, which had a pre-launch code name of “Shamu,” makes a statement.
Made by the company’s Motorola division, the Nexus 6 is one of the biggest phablets out there at just one inch smaller than the Nexus 7 tablet. It’s also powerful, stylish and the ultimate showcase for Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android Lollipop.
Should the Google Nexus 6 be your next smartphone purchase? Page through this gallery to see our thoughts on the defining characteristics of this phone.
Nexus 6 Review: This Thing is Huge, Even by Phablet Standards
Samsung (SSNLF) is the company that kicked off this whole phablet craze, and it’s newest entry — the Galaxy Note 4 — has grown to a 5.7-inch display. Meanwhile Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus comes in at 5.5 inches. Both phablets are big phones. The Samsung version even includes a stylus for easier operation.
The Nexus 6 sports a 5.96-inch (let’s stop splitting hairs and just call it 6-inch) display.
Those with small hands or anyone with ambitions of casually slipping this thing in a pocket may want to think twice. With the Google Nexus 6, you’re coming perilously close to carrying around a 7-inch tablet.
Gargantuan size aside, the Nexus 6 is beauty of a smartphone, at least compared to past Google efforts. It sports a metal frame and sculpted look reminiscent of Motorola’s Moto X. That 6-inch display uses a technology known as “AMOLED,” which stands for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode and has 493 pixels per inch. The Nexus 6 packs Qualcomm’s (QCOM) high performance Snapdragon 805 processor and the 13 megapixel (MP) primary camera features optical image stabilization.
Nexus 6 Review: Best Showcase Yet for Android Lollipop
Google first publicly demonstrated Lollipop back in June, when it was still known as Android L.
The latest version of Android makes the move to 64-bit processing. It also adds lots of graphical goodies like animations and 3D elements as part of its new Material Design, plus a host of functional improvements.
The Nexus 6 is the perfect device to show off Lollipop.
That big, Quad-HD display and powerful CPU/GPU combo make the Nexus 6 a showcase for Android’s slick new look. The Nexus 6 is also able to take advantage of Lollipop and AMOLED technology for Ambient Display, a mode that displays white notifications on a black screen without having to unlock the device.
As a Nexus device, owners of this phablet can count on continuing to get the latest Android updates.
Nexus 6 Review: Here are the Specs
The Nexus 6 includes:
- 5.96-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display at 493 ppi
- Corning (GLW) Gorilla Glass 3
- Quad-core Snapdragon 805 CPU @ 2.7GHz, 3GB RAM
- 32 gigabyte (GB) or 64GB storage
- 13MP primary camera with optical image stabilization, dual LED ring flash and 4K video
- 802.11ac with MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) wireless communication
- Micro USB, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
- A 3220mAh battery rated at up to 10 hours of Internet use, 24 hours of talk time
- Qi wireless charging, option fast charger for 6 hours use on a 15-minute charge
- Size is 3.3 x 6.3 x 0.39-inches, weight is 6.49 ounces
- Runs Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
- Midnight Blue or Cloud White
- $649 and $699 off contract
Nexus 6 Review: Conclusion
For Android fans who want a phablet, the Google Nexus 6 is tough to beat.
You get a one of the biggest smartphones out there with a bright and razor-sharp display. Plus, you get the pure Android Lollipop experience — no third party UI nonsense cluttering things up.
And while the base $649 price is a hefty hike from that of the previous Nexus phone (last year’s Nexus 5 was a bargain at $349), it’s still less than the primary competition. A new Galaxy Note 4 will set you back at least $699 and the iPhone 6 Plus starts at $749.
The Nexus 6 may disappoint those who were hoping for another cheap offering from Google and the massive size will turn some people off.
But as a phablet that embraces the form factor and runs with it, our Nexus 6 review shows the latest entry from Google has the pixels, the power and the camera to compete with the best. And for a pure Android Lollipop experience on a phablet, there’s no other game in town.
The Nexus 6 was made available on Google Play for pre-orders on October 29, but the company quickly sold out of inventory and was asking customers to “please check back soon” when this post was first published.
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.