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Nexus 6 review: The best Nexus yet, if you can tolerate its gargantuan size

Jason Cross | Nov. 13, 2014
The biggest, most expensive, and best Nexus phone Google has ever produced. All it needs is decent camera software.

There are a few camera apps that deliver some of these things today, but so far none have been updated to use the new Android 5.0 camera API, so they're sort of limited. Until we see some new or updated camera apps in the Play Store, or Google improves its awful Camera app, the Nexus 6's fine hardware remains hamstrung.

Break away from the charger
The Nexus 6 supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology, meaning that it can charge a nearly-dead phone very quickly if you have a compatible charger. Charging speed tapers off as the battery gets full, it's still immensely useful. I went from 27 percent charged to 52 percent in 15 minutes.

Many other phone makers incorporate this same technology, sometimes giving it their own brand name. They almost always sell the turbo charger separately--Google packs it in the box.

You can bring the Nexus 6 back from the brink of death very quickly, but this may not be necessary all that often, as the battery lasts quite long. Unfortunately, many of the apps we rely on to perform battery benchmarks do not yet work properly under Android Lollipop, so a proper battery benchmark score will be added here in the future.

That said, in over a week of use, I never had to charge the phone twice in a single day. It easily lasted over 24 hours with about 3.5 hours of screen-on time in moderate use. That's with the brightness set above average, and adaptive brightness, Ambient Display, and always-listening features enabled. Even if you're a fairly heavy user, you probably won't have to plug in before you go to bed.

Go big or go home
This is the finest Nexus device Google has ever produced. It has the fastest phone SoC money can buy. It's got an enormous, extremely hi-res display. Stereo speakers, Ambient Display and always-listening technologies, turbo charging... all in a very solid, classy body with an appealing design.

It's also the most expensive Nexus phone yet. At $649, it costs hundreds more than the Nexus 5. The price isn't half bad, actually. Consider that other huge phones like Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus cost $100 more, and for that price the iPhone gives you half the storage. You get what you pay for.

Your biggest fear about the Nexus 6 is probably its size. Frankly, it doesn't need to be so big. But you'll get used to it, and in time, you'll look at "little" 5-inch phones like they're toys. Your concern should be the camera. The hardware is there, but Google does not provide camera software worthy of it, and other developers have not yet stepped up to the plate.

 

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