When the new Nexus 6 was launched in Malaysia, Android fans were eager to see what the Google and Motorola partnership had to offer with the iconic device.
A lot, it turns out.
It is a gorgeous mobile, for starters — but it was also meant to be as useful as it was beautiful. The buzz surrounding it was because of the partnership between the two companies, which was designed to bring Motorola’s eye for aesthetics and Google’s inherent understanding of intuitive technology together. Fortunately, it lives up to the hype.
In your hand, the Nexus 6 feels sturdy, solid. Not that its predecessor didn’t; in fact, one of the perks of the Nexus 5 was how the phone looked so sleek, yet felt so comfortable in your hand. Still, the Nexus 6 was designed in such a way that it’s somehow even better than the Nexus 5.
It’s bigger and you will need two hand to properly handle the device — still, it feels like it was built to be in your hand. The look takes a lot from the Moto X, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s made with an aluminum chassis with an ergonomic back that gently curves into your hand.
It features an edge to edge display and loses all physical buttons so any argument about the iPhone 6 being smaller and manageable is moot; the bigger Nexus 6 screen more than makes up for it. It’s also heavier, though not by so much that it puts you off from slipping it into your pockets. Instead, the added heft lends itself to the dependable feel of the device.
The Nexus 6’s exterior veers away from the rubberised shell of the Nexus 5, which made it easier to grip, but it does offer a more premium look and feel to the phone.
This is a winner, overall. If there was ever any mobile that could attest to the feasibility of real, intuitive technology, this is it.
Designed to anticipate your needs, the Nexus 6 manages to present the options and information you need even before you tap in your instructions. The operating system has already been primed for this purpose, which means that all attendant apps (Google products, of course) — calendar, Gmail, hangouts, to name a few — function in a way that manages the stream of information that comes through your phone.
As with all Android devices, customisability has always been a plus and an edge over iPhones, and the Nexus 6 takes it to a whole new level. My favorite feature is how it efficiently manages your notifications via drag and drop functions that allow you to either trash it, read a snippet or reply. In a nutshell, the new OS, Lollipop, understands that different people want different levels of interaction from their phone — and it anticipates that, most noticeably through how the device manages its notifications.
The details that have gone into the interface are an added bonus as well, not only for novelty purposes but as a small cue on all the actions that your are about to take on the device.
Does 13 megapixels for a phone camera sound like a lot?
Well, it is and it isn’t.
By and large, the gold standard for mobile cameras can be found on the backs of the iPhone — and the Nexus 6’s 13 megapixel snapper wasn’t able to trump that. It’s not surprising given how the only complaint Nexus users ever really had with their phones was the lousy camera it came with. But it is a great improvement to the Nexus 5.
It is also better than the Sony Xperia cameras, and comes with a few more bells and whistles that maybe could make up for the crisp clarity that iOS cameras have to offer such as a Sony IMX214 CMOS sensor and a wider f/2.0 aperture as well as image stabilisation feature.
The Nexus 5’s battery life was hard to beat, and the Nexus 6’s attempt to do so only ended in the newer model barely reaching the predecessor’s best time. Still, a smart phone running — and lasting — a full day with mobile data switched on, is about as good as we can hope for.
All in all?
I have to say, it’s a great phone. One of the best to come out for the year and while it probably won’t be the Holy Grail of smartphones (read: the iPhone killer) it’s enough to get staunch Nexus fans who were loyal to the Google-LG partnership to follow it up with the Google-Motorola pairing.