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Review: Google Nexus 6

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Motorola and Google went all out with the Nexus 6 display. It measures 6 inches across the diagonal and stuffs 2560 x 1440 pixels into the 16:9 panel. Only a handful of smartphones have stepped up to this quad-HD resolution, and the Nexus 6 competes with the best of them. I compared the N6 directly to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. which is a similar size and resolution. The Note 4's screen is brighter, but the N6's screen looks sharper to my eyes. The N6 also has slightly better viewing angles and more accurate color representation. The Note 4 is definitely easier to use outdoors under direct sunlight, but the Nexus 6 holds its own. The N6 easily bests the excellent screen of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus in absolute performance. You're going to love watching video on the Nexus 6.


We tested an unlocked version of the Nexus 6 that's compatible with networks such as those operated by AT&T and T-Mobile. I used it on both networks and came away impressed.

On AT&T's network, the Nexus 6 almost always remained attached to LTE and only rarely dipped down to HSPA+. LTE data speeds were excellent, and HSPA performance was solid, too. I didn't have any trouble connecting calls in New York City and the surrounding tri-state area, but I did miss a couple that somehow went straight to voicemail despite solid coverage. The Nexus 6 didn't drop any calls on AT&T's network.

As for T-Mobile, when its LTE network was available, the Nexus 6 connected and blasted data back and forth at incredible speeds. The N6 performed above average when compared to other phones I've tested on T-Mobile's network in the NYC area. It didn't miss any calls, nor did it drop any.

I was pleased with the Nexus 6's overall performance on both AT&T and T-Mobile's networks.


The Nexus 6 sounded fantastic on both AT&T and T-Mobile's networks. I have no complaints whatsoever about how phone calls sounded. The quality of voices resonating through the earpiece speaker was excellent no matter the network. I had no trouble hearing callers in loud spaces, such as coffee shops, crowded shopping malls, and busy city streets. The speakerphone is able to deliver a significant amount of sound thanks to the stereo speakers, and the quality of such calls was quite good. The N6 will easily provide enough volume for your office. Ringers and alert tones can be set to ear-grabbing volumes, but the vibrate alert could be much stronger.


The Nexus 6 has a 3,220 mAh battery. I found it consistently got me through an entire day — from 8AM to Midnight — with intense usage. I pushed the N6's battery as hard as I could over the course of two weeks. I never had a problem with it giving out before I was ready to call it quits for the day. Keep in mind, I tested it with a consistent LTE connection, and had the WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS radios on at all times. I often used the Nexus 6 for tracking workouts and listening to music, as well as messaging, watching YouTube, tweeting, and updating apps. The Droid Turbo has a larger battery and lasts longer, but a full day is respectable.

Thanks to the Android 5.0 operating system, the N6 also has a rudimentary battery saver function. The battery saver ramps down processor speeds, turns off background data syncing, and dims the screen. It can be set to come on automatically when the battery reaches 15% or 5%. You can also turn it on manually. Motorola doesn't make any usage claims about how much extra time you'll buy with the battery saver mode enabled. Honestly, I doubt you'll have much need for it.

Last, the Nexus 6 ships with what Motorola is calling a "Turbo Charger." With the supplied power adapter, 15 minutes of charging time nets Nexus 6 owners about six hours of additional battery life. The feature is based on Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology.


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