News by Luke Jones on Tuesday September 29, 2015.
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Google has just announced what is perhaps the best Nexus flagship the company has ever been involved in, the Huawei made Nexus 6P. The device was launched by Google today and alongside the Nexus 5X is the first product to be rocking Android 6.0 Marshmallow.Design The Nexus range of smartphone has never been lauded for its design, with Google usually opting for a simply approach which is plain but inoffensive. The Motorola Nexus 6 last year was a step in the right direction and Huawei has continued the improvement in aesthetics, even if the Nexus 6P doesn?t match to leading designs like the Galaxy S6, iPhone 6s, and HTC One M9. The real big news here is that Huawei, unlike Motorola, builds its high end smartphones out of metal, so this is the first Nexus smartphone to be made from aluminum, which is air-craft grade. The Chinese company has done a good job in performing an aesthetic juggling act, managing to keep the overall Nexus design following Motorola while putting a Huawei stamp on it. The quirks of the design come from the Nexus 6P's various new features, such as dual front facing stereo speakers, the USB Type-C port, and the round fingerprint scanner on the rear. Speaking of the rear, as always there is a big Nexus logo stretching across the back plate, always one of the nicest touches on Google's smartphones. Specs Nexus smartphones started out as affordable flagship baiting handsets that had low prices but compromised by skimming several specs. The Nexus 6 changed that with its all-out flagship hardware and price point to match, and Huawei and Google have continued that new ethos here. Considering the Nexus flagship is really a reference for what Google would like to see other companies do with Android, it is good to see that the 6P packs market leading innards. In terms of the display, the Nexus 6P comes with a sizeable 5.7-inch AMOLED panel that comes with Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution. That means the device is fairly massive, although Google says the 6P is the size of the iPhone 6s Plus, although we are not sure how much of a boast that is considering how huge the iPhone 6s Plus is. As for the screen, it is what we expect from a spec busting flagship these days and has a pixel density with 518ppi. Google didn't talk about the exact processor that is inside the Nexus 6P, but the spec sheet posted after the event revealed a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. That is of course the go to flagship processor at the moment but has been plagued by issues, such as overheating early in its life. While Qualcomm says these issues are solved the jury is very much still out on the chipset and Google probably did not want to make it a focal point of the specs for the Nexus 6P. Regardless, 3GB of RAM drives the performance on the handset, while there are 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage options, although there is no micro SD card slot to expand the capacity. Software is dealt with by Android 6.0 Marshmallow of course, with Huawei's Nexus the first smartphone to launch with the brand new Android build. The Nexus 6P is a large and powerful device, so Huawei and Google were wise to opt for a large battery, a 3450mAh juicer in fact. The exact figures for battery life have yet to be revealed, although Google says a rapid charging system is aboard the device. Cameras In the past the camera was the worst feature of the Nexus range, the compromise that Google made to keep the overall cost down. We will reserve judgement on primary lens in the Nexus 6P, but Google and Huawei decided to shy away from the more megapixels the better ethos. Instead there is a unique 12.3 megapixel rear shooter that comes with all the goodies we expect at the high end, like an aperture of f/2.0, and IR lasers. There is also a dual LED flash, and considering the wider aperture we are expecting some spectacular low light imagery from this smartphone. The omission of OIS is a little worrying however. Google is finally taking the front facing or selfie camera seriously. For all its blockbuster specifications, the Nexus 6 last year actually featured a rather pathetic 2 megapixel front lens. This time an 8 megapixel snapper has been included for those who like to clip themselves. As for videos, the primary lens can shoot movies in 4K at 30 frames per second, while you can slow it right down for 240fps slow-mo capture. Cost and Availability This is a full flagship smartphone in every way, but Google has decided to keep the price relatively affordable. Not OnePlus 2 of Motorola Moto X Play affordable, but still below other smartphones that the Nexus 6P is competing against. The base 32GB model will cost $499 when the handset launches, with pre-orders in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and Japan starting today. The 64- and 128-gigabyte variants will cost $549 and $649 respectively and all of those variants come with a 90-day trial for Google Play Music.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.