My experience with the Samsung S6 has been a shaky one. I went through 3 different ones before nearly switching back to iOS. I tried out the S6 Edge for a few weeks then I returned it. It took great photos but battery life and the device got a bit warm for my taste. Not to mention the very unstable OS. One of the features that made me try Samsung again was the ability to disable and/or uninstall unwanted apps – I really don’t like TouchWiz. I guess by disabling many of the apps, it created a very unstable experience… what’s the point? Next, I decided to get a regular Samsung S6. The OS felt lighter because it didn’t have apps for the “edge” screen. It was great for a few months then it kept crashing. I was able to replace it for another one but in a different color. Sadly, the lack of Android updates and timely patches put me over the edge again. Luckily, the new Nexus was announced and I pre-ordered it.
If the 5X only had a 5P version I would’ve ordered that one. I was mainly after the build quality and resolution. I guess my phablet phase is gone but no choice on this one, I had to get the larger of the two.
Being that it’s a Nexus, Android is pretty much stock. Maybe this is a big reason why the OS is responsive and fast compared to skinned Android. There are times that the OS is a bit “boring” but if the trade off is a timely update to security and features, I feel it’s worth it. Another advantage is that the Nexus is unlocked with no carrier bloatware. This also means the carrier doesn’t have to approve patches. If you noticed with the Samsung S6, there are different release schedules depending on your carrier. Those that are using the international and unlocked versions tend to get updates first. I even tested it on my Samsung S6. I haven’t used my S6 for a few weeks now and I know there’s an update. I power it on and connect it to the wifi. No updates can be found. As soon as I put my Verizon sim card in, a few minutes later, updates were found. This doesn’t happen on iOS devices. Apple has so much influence over carriers – good for them.
The previous Nexus models have had a sub par camera. I’m actually content with the camera on this phone. It’s an improvement from the Nexus 6. I am able to take better photos in low light conditions compared to the iPhone 6 Plus. Now of course this is subjective but from experience, I prefer the results on the Nexus 6P. However, it does not compete with the Samsung S6 camera. The S6 is one of the best cameras I’ve used on a smart phone. Along with the Google Photos app, it makes the experience even better.
Doze is a great feature in Marshmallow. It really does help save battery life. I can go on a full day without worrying to charge my phone. The difference between the Samsung S6 and the Nexus 6P is night and day – though keep in mind the Nexus 6P does have a larger battery. But I feel it does a better job at conserving and using battery. I wake up in the morning to find on average 1-2% battery consumption on the Nexus 6P versus on the Samsung S6 at an average of 12%. I would say the Nexus 6P, when left unused overnight, is comparable to my iPhone 6 Plus on battery consumption.
The one feature I was very excited about the Google Now On Tap. But ironically, it’s the least used feature from Marshmallow for me. I thought it would be something I used daily based on the demos I’ve seen but I can’t seem to integrate it with my day to day use. I usually forget it’s there. By the time I remember, I already have the information I needed using the usual method.
There isn’t really much to say on the hardware except it’s the latest, fast performing, hardware to match a clean and great experience with Android.
- Being a Verizon subscriber I’m very happy with the Nexus supporting the service once again. Unfortunately, there is no app for voice mail, at least not one that is free. I have to do it the old-fashion way where you hold down the 1 on the dial pad and listen for the audio instructions. I don’t get voice mail much but enough that it makes me want to change the default greeting and say “Please don’t leave a voice mail. Either text me or email me”. I don’t believe this is the phone’s fault.
- The fingerprint scanner isn’t as accurate or fast with a case on. I am using the Spigen Rugged case. Great case by the way. Again, not the phone’s fault but I wanted to mention it for those who considered getting a case.
- The default keyboard isn’t that great. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert or fast typist on smart phones but I tend to press the B or V keys rather than pressing the spacebar. It’s a bit annoying and I have yet to find a keyboard that doesn’t want access to my contacts, camera, microphone, etc. I may try Swiftkey again. I had it on previous Android phones. Actually, the Samsung keyboard on the S6 wasn’t bad. Wonder if I can use that as well as the emojis.
- According to Phone Arena, the Nexus 6P uses Bluetooth 4.2. I am having a lot of issues with it. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the version on the phone – that it’s the latest, or if it has something to do with my 2011 vehicle which uses an older version. They really need to add flashing of firmware for bluetooth in vehicles during maintenance. You can replace phones and have the latest bluetooth version but it’s not practical to buy a new car every time a new bluetooth version comes out.
- Still no way to restart. You have to shutdown the phone then turn it back on. Is it really that difficult to implement?
I really do like the phone. I just wish it came in a smaller form factor. The Nexus 5X would’ve been the choice for me had it been the “Nexus 5P”. Later this year, Apple will announce and release the iPhone 7. I’ll probably switch back to iOS unless there’s something compelling with Android N or a smaller form factor of the high-end Nexus phone.