Nexus 6 Review - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

May 16, 2023
Justin Ankus

nexus 6 reviews cnet

The Nexus 6 is a premium smartphone, defying its predecessors' trend of low-cost midrange Android phones by coming closer than ever to challenging premium devices such as Apple iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Its hardware is unparalleled, while the camera delivers stunning pictures and its software experience has been tailored specifically for large displays.

Google's Nexus phones have long been its flagship devices, designed to demonstrate what's possible with Android OS. While some have found them somewhat rough around the edges, with the Nexus 6, Google appears intent on challenging premium offerings from Apple and Samsung.

And in many ways it does just that: the Nexus 6 is an impressive smartphone with a stunning, giant screen, fast processor, and ample storage space. Running Android Lollipop without extra layers from carriers or manufacturers, it provides users with access to cutting-edge mobile software.

On the downside, Nexus 6 does have some issues. Its massive size may make it hard to hold comfortably while its height makes it awkwardly large for most pockets. Furthermore, its camera sometimes misses targets while its display lacks color saturation and contrast like those offered by competitors.

Notably, however, is that the Nexus 6 is one of the only phones offering a vanilla version of Android Lollipop - other phones may heavily customize or skin it when getting their updates, such as Samsung's Galaxy Note 4. Therefore if you prefer an unadulterated experience or simply want to test out Lollipop before its arrival on competing products from Samsung such as its Note 4, opting for the Nexus 6 would be wise choice.

The Nexus 6 features a sturdy build with its metal frame and plastic back that feels good in your hands. Power and lock buttons can be found easily on its right side for easy use; its curved backing feels pleasing on touch but needs regular cleaning to stay looking its best.

Web browsing on the Nexus 6 is quick and effortless even with a large amount of content, thanks to its huge display. Movies and TV shows look incredible when watched through its giant display; however, not every third-party app optimized for its resolution works properly; therefore it may be difficult reaching the top of apps tray when using just one hand.

Our gaming tests showed the Nexus 6 to be an impressive gaming device. Fast games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 5 ran without issue, while its bright screen provided enough anti-glare protection when viewing from any angle.

The Nexus 6 comes equipped with 32 and 64 GB of non-expandable flash storage that cannot be expanded, offering less-than-stellar performance when it comes to reading/writing speeds compared with some competitors and slower transfer rates for writing.

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