Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nexus 6P - The First Date


First Impressions
Setting up the Nexus 6P proved to be as simple as Google promises everything will be. Plug in the phone, turn it on, select your preferred language, log into your Google account, confirm on your previous device’s Google Settings that everything can be transferred and let Google work its magic on getting all of your apps and contacts on your Nexus 6P. It was seamless, flawless and relatively quick. (I say “relatively” because I was basically like a kid on Christmas morning, too excited to wait to play with my new toy.) I finally set down the phone to let everything sync properly without me flipping through apps and such.


Setting up the wallpaper was a tad disappointing. On one hand, the image you select retains its true size. On the other, I only had two visible home screens, meaning the image was actually too big to show the entire photo. What would I prefer? The option to use the image as a smaller size on a plain black canvas. That way, the entire image is visible. Now, so far, that is my only complaint about the Nexus 6P, and it is rendered completely inconsequential by the messenger app, which I have called “The Multi-Tasker's Best Friend.” The notification bar on the Galaxy S5 will show you a text message (one that scrolls to fit all of my mother’s verbose text messages), and the introduction of this feature was fantastic. It lets you read the message in full, allowing you to decide if an immediate response is necessary. However, I believe the 6P has taken it a step further. 


If you are reading an article on your Chrome browser, for example, and a message comes in, a small, translucent window opens showing you the message, but also offers a line to respond and send your message. Once you send, the the window disappears. It’s quick, simple, and the transition from Messenger pop-up back to your previous app is seamless. 

Processor & Performance
Speed is a huge determining factor when picking a phone, and the 6P does not disappoint. The 6P has a Snapdragon 810 processor, which at the time of the 6P’s release was the most recent, and most powerful, processor by Qualcomm. (But because tech never slows down, while I was drafting this article, Qualcomm announced a newer processor, the SnapDragon 820 which will debut in phones in 2016). I was a little apprehensive, thinking that the most recent would surely be better than whatever this turns out to be, but it runs fast and supports 4K on the display, which isn’t too shabby, either. Going from the lock screen, to any app, message or phone call has no wait time. Switching between apps is just as quick with no lag, further confirming my impression of the 6P’s multi-tasking abilities. 

Software 
One of the coolest options on Android 6.0 Marshmallow is Google Now on tap. No matter what app or page you’re in, you can long press the home key and Google Now brings up relevant information to the page’s topic.  

Display  
The display for the 6P is likewise impressive It’s 5.7 inches with a WQHD AMOLED at 518 ppi. What does this mean? Your images will look gorgeous. The rear camera features a 12.3 MP, 8 MP for the front facing, but the front facing camera also captures HD video. So, if you’re constantly posting monologues (or whatever you do with Instagram and Vine these days), this is the camera for you. 


Size 
Now, with the 5.7 inch screen, I was immediately worried about the size of the phone. I like being able to text while holding my phone, all with one hand. My dainty hands are no match for the width of the phone to text with one hand, but it is surprisingly slim and light. I’ll need to practice extending my reach (that’s a thing, right?), which is probably character building or some other nonsense. 


Memory & Storage 
With 3 GB RAM, I also opted for the 128 GB storage option. An issue that I ran into with my Galaxy S5 was that I was running out of space for all of my apps. I used an SD card, but of course, not all apps are SD card compatible. I also found that some of my apps moving back onto my phone (after transferring to the SD card), so any time I wanted to update my apps, I would have to make sure all of the apps were in their appropriate places and clear my cached data - frequently. 


I haven’t run into any space issues yet, but I am comfortable knowing that I can safely download an ungodly number of apps if that’s what I want to do with my life now. 

Battery 
The specs page boasts “up to 7 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging.” Once my phone was fully charged, I left it unplugged overnight. After some use, it was at 97 percent available. When I woke, it was at 90 percent. After using Google Maps for Navigation twice, plus general usage checking my email, Facebook, Hootsuite, etc., I’m looking at about 60 percent after a total of 15 hours since the charge. 


The 6P also features Doze, something you can’t turn on or off, which allows your phone to realize when it’s not being used. It can decipher between important updates (when you’re getting a call or message) and less important ones (requests from irritating relatives on Facebook to play their new game, which you’ve denied approximately 17,862 times before) to let the important ones through immediately and save the not-so-important ones for later. The benefit? A smart, extended battery life. 

Media 
Audio is crucial in my household, so the 6P’s speakers are pretty impressive. Dual, front-facing stereo speakers make listening to music awesome, especially for phone speakers. It’s also got a total of 3 microphones: two in the front, one in the rear. No matter where you are, you will be heard easily whether on the phone or Hangouts (or if you need to place your phone facedown for some reason and stay on speaker). The mics have noise cancellation, so tuning out unnecessary sounds is available on all three speakers as well. 



Fingerprint Sensor 
I typically just use a pattern to secure my screen, and this is my first test run with the fingerprint sensor. I was initially impressed because the sensor is placed exactly where my finger would rest naturally, implying that, theoretically, I could unlock the phone in the process of picking it up. Guess what? That’s exactly how it works, too. The sensor works quickly, so you’re not waiting for it to register and load your fingerprint to unlock the phone. You can also use this feature to authorize payments and you have the option to authorize multiple fingerprints. 


The Bottom Line Is this a good phone? Yes. What’s best about it is that the features aren’t hidden. By learning the Nexus 6P and using it everyday, each of these features becomes apparent and usable. You’ll be pleasantly surprised while using the phone, but you won’t have to “figure out” how to use it. It’s intuitive, and I’ll definitely be keeping mine.



What are your initial impressions on the Nexus 6P? Is it just right for you or do you have buyer's remorse? Let us know in the comments. And if you have any specific questions you want to be answered in the full review, leave those in the comments as well.


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