The Motorola Google Nexus 6 is, as its name suggests, the sixth iteration in the series. However, over the past three generations, the number suffix has also come to represent each device’s screen size. With a 6-inch screen, the new Nexus 6 is much less of a mainstream product than its predecessors were – outsized phones do have their fans, but this one feature will be the most significant reason for which people will either love or hate it.
This is also our first official look at Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s massive OS overhaul. We’re eager to get started, because there’s a lot to explore.
Google’s Nexus phones have become synonymous with flagship tech combined with great value for money. The Google Nexus 6, however, is something of a curve ball, and a huge one at that.
It’s a phone brimming with high-end hardware – a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, QHD display – but it’s left the mass market to the Nexus 5 and opted for a 6-inch phablet form factor. As the phone’s size has gone up, so too has its price.
As with the phone’s overall look and feel, the Nexus 6’s screen fell slightly short of expectation on first use. While the handset’s 5.96-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD panel is sufficiently sharp and detailed, it lacks the pop and vibrancy of either the Note 4 or 6 Plus.
Unusually for an AMOLED panel, I found the Nexus 6’s colour range to be a little subdued. Hues aren’t exactly muted but neither do they wow. This ran throughout all elements of the Nexus 6 from the new Material OS design to web pages and the image viewer.
Where visuals were slightly off, the screen’s touch capabilities and performance were on point. Screen transitions were smooth, swipe gestures fluid and all multi-finger commands handled with ease. Brightness levels are also hard to fault. The phone’s screen adjusted elegantly to bouts of direct sunlight and periods in a shadowy corner.
We’ll need more time with the Nexus 6 to judge the screen definitively, but it doesn’t wow as much as the raw size and resolution suggest.
We now know officially that Nexus 6 will sell for £499 for the 32GB version and the 64GB version for £549. Obviously this is much more than the Nexus 5 sold for when it was launched, which means the Nexus 6 will now compete against pricier and more accomplished phones.