Let's talk about the Nexus 6

It's high time we talk about the Nexus 6 some more. Major device releases have everyone talking about the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9 or even what's in store from LG with the G4, but we can't forget what many feel is the best Android ever. The S6 and the M9 (and probably the G4) are very nice phones all around — though nothing is perfect — but for many, they're just not a Nexus. That doesn't mean they aren't great. But this is going to be all about the Nexus 6 and the things we love about it. And the things we hate about it.

People like the Nexus 6 for different reasons. There's also just as many different reasons to not like the Nexus 6. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship going on with it, but it's one of the phones I keep a SIM card in and carry with me everywhere. That's saying something, right?

It's big.

The Nexus 6 is big. A lot of people think that makes it great, while a lot of people think that's a drawback. I think it's a good size when I'm using it, but when carrying it around I wish it were smaller. I want my phone to sit in my pocket and be somthing I don't even notice is there until I need it. I've long given up carrying my phone in my shirt pocket (and I've noticed I stopped buying shirts with a front pocket, so that's a good thing) but even in the pocket of my pants it's a bit on the extra-grande side. (In before someone claims I wear hipster skinny jeans.) It's not that it's too big to carry around, just that it's too big to carry around without knowing it's there. Some of you will get what I mean. Some won't. We're all different.

I can say when I need to use the Nexus 6 for important things like talking to Phil or playing a game or watching a "Best Fails" video on YouTube, I love the size. Big screen means easy typing and big fun. I'm all about big fun. In fact, I'm nicknaming myself Big Fun.

Another thing the big size means is a big battery. The Nexus 6 probably doesn't go easy on the battery, but having a 3220 mAh battery, Quick Charging and Qi charging makes things easy to manage. My Nexus 6 never goes dead, because I have figured out how to keep it going.

Nexus 6 camera

The camera — something that's become pretty important to smartphone users as of late — isn't near as bad as some people make it out to be. It's probably not the best smartphone camera on the planet, but it can take pictures that I, as well as the people I share them with, think are just fine. Any modern smartphone can take good pictures, and the Nexus 6 camera is better than average by a good bit. I've found it perfectly acceptable to use whenever I need to use a smartphone instead of a "real" camera.

Protip: Buy Manual Camera (opens in new tab). Do it.

Then there's Lollipop. Lollipop — at least version 5.1 on the Nexus 6 — is almost there. We've seen the bugs we expect to see with any major version release, but things have been ironed out well and for most people the Lollipop experience (there's the name for your new band) on the Nexus 6 is pretty darn good. Sure, we want Google to give us familiar options like a silent mode, but chances are you'll be able to iron out any dislikes with the software through apps in Google Play. I hate change as much as anyone, but I've been able to manage. You probably can, too.


With rumors that an all-new super-improved version of Lollipop (5.1.1 maybe?) is floating around in the ether we expect things to be even better. Having a Nexus — even a consumer-oriented Nexus 6 — is a learning experience and a beta test. Even if it's not supposed to be. That's part of getting everything first. Embrace it. Past Nexus phones have needed a few version bumps to smooth things out, but they ended up becoming some of the smoothest and best Android phones available. The Nexus 6 should follow this path.

I can't speak for everyone with a Nexus 6, nor do I want to. I can say I've come to terms with the size (which was my biggest complaint and still is) and really like this phone. Especially since the 5.1 update. The Internet may tell me that it's laggy because of encryption, or that the screen is terrible, or that it's not worth the price Google is charging, but I just ignore it all. I really like this phone.

What about you? Digging your Nexus 6, or wishing you made a different choice? Hash it out in the comments or in the Nexus 6 forums.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Fanboy fanboy fanboy. Now nobody else needs to say it :) And FIRST.
  • It's a great phone, just too big for my pocket. My loss is somebody's gain on Swappa. http://swappa.com/listing/SZI840/view
  • Trade you a black 32 gig Droid turbo. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why would he trade an unlocked phone for a locked phone? He's better off selling his Nexus 6 on Swappa. He'll get closed to what he paid, no problem.
  • Turbo is a better phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • 1) Better is subjective, but you knew that lol.
    2) If you're not on Verizon, the Turbo isn't even an option.
  • There is only one thing that the n6 entices people with... Big screen. How many people want a 6" screen?? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why don't you survey all of the people that have smartphones and ask them what screen size they prefer? You seem to be more knowledgeable on the subject. Personally, I don't understand all of the hatred toward big devices or the people that use them. It's a damn phone; live and let live.
  • Funny, you sound more upset. I made a one liner: "turbo is a better phone". Why can't you let me live?? Polls have been conducted. I can tell you for a fact, 6" phones are 3 deviations away on the bell curve. Class dismissed Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ok lol. We'll just accept your opinion as fact.
  • And, I'm pretty sure, many people bought the Nexus 6 because they wanted an unlocked, stock Android phone that received fast updates. Nothing wrong with preferring the Nexus 6 to other devices, whether it be due to it being a Nexus or its size.
  • Never said it was. I'll stand by what I did say. The turbo is better Posted via the Android Central App
  • In your opinion :)
  • Do you read what people say in here as gospel? I squabble from time to time, but never do I assume someone's comment is the end all, be all. #sleeponit Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol
  • I'll give you The other point you made: updates are much faster on the n6. There! I'm in no rush for lollipop on my droid turbo I have it on my note 4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha thanks man.
  • Better is subjective, even if the majority agrees with you that doesn't make it a fact.
    Everyone has different needs and wants from a smartphone, people should stop trying to say once and for all that x is a better smartphone than y because its usually not true for a lot of people. If you say the turbo is better because you can use it with one hand and has longer battery life , that is a useful statement as other people can look at the claim and say that matters to me I agree or I don't agree as long as you state it in a way that shows you know its a subjective opinion. For instance x is better than y for me because .... Trying to just say one phone is better with no reasons why you hold that subjective opinion is worthless. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I thought this issue was laid to rest. Guess not I've used both. The turbo is better. Find your own reasons through your own research. Im not your bible guide to cell phones. My opinion is as valid as the next guy. Any more questions from the peanut gallery?? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't have any more questions lol.
  • Actually if your not on Verizon it is an option on GSM carriers. All of Verizon's phones now are factory unlocked. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, I know that it is unlocked. But, you may not get LTE, and you have to buy the phone from Amazon or some other third-party, because Verizon rarely, if ever, sells phones full-price to those without an account.
  • Turbo is unlocked.
  • Sim or boot, big difference. Yeah I know the answer, do you? Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Lol, have you gotten into it with "pappy53" before?? I'm trying to think of a way to describe the guy without calling him an idiot......hmmmm Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • A teenager behind a keyboard is a dangerous thing, and that describes you. Name-calling is so childish.
  • Perhaps that isn't the most important thing factor for him. He stated that he liked the nexus, likely software, specs and design, but didn't like the size. The turbo is pretty much the same specs in a smaller form factor. I don't want the nexus 6 because it is locked, I want it for the size and design. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Because the droid turbo IS unlocked.
  • I'm so glad I know what I'm looking for in a phone. Features(a lot & useful), customizability(dev support, accessories, normal theme'ing), screen(1080p or higher). Updates are not at the top of my list. I need the ability to process the different feature sets with each update. The Nexus represents Google's version of Android. I like having access to everyone's version of Android. I have to say that Samsung's version is more to my liking than most. So in closing, it feels kinda good to be a "Samsung Knight". Rooted LG G2.
    Rooted GS3, Stock Galaxy Note 4
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right!
  • Lol, I just got a Note 4. So, that makes us both Samsung Knights. Samsung Knights, UNITE!!!
  • Boooo.
  • Haha I earned that "boooo."
  • Well deserved. Sent via carrier duck. They were out of pigeons
  • Yarrell would be proud, lol. There's a name I haven't seen mentioned on here in forever, thank god!! Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Oh no, you might have just summoned him. No shit, there was this one comment that mentioned his name; and, minutes later, there he was, spewing God's wrath from the touch screen of his mighty Samsung phone of justice lol.
  • I think that may have been me (cowers in shame)... If I remember right, it was Yarrell1 (maybe that was a version number?). Oh, memories... Dang straight this was "Posted via the Android Central App"
  • Haha "oh, the memories" and "what could have been" lol Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Richard Yarrell,
    Richard Yarrell,
    Richard Yarrell! Posted via the Android Central App
  • No!!!!! Lol Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Noooooooooooooooo!!!! I take it back!!! Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • He loves watching you guys obbsessing over his undying love of Samsung and Tmobile.
    But he a pretty cool guy once he was able to accept the fact that Samsung isn't for everybody. He even asks about my non-Samsung devices. Rooted Galaxy S III Stock Galaxy Note 4
    Rooted LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right!
  • That doesn't surprise me, to be honest. From some of his comments, he was purely just trolling people, because they made it WAY too easy haha. He's left a few really good comments, though.
  • lol Samsung Samurais would have that alliteration thing going for it....though it would be a conflict of culture.....hmmm
  • I think its the best phone I've ever had. I went from the Galaxy S2 to the Nexus 4 then 5. I had both my nexus 6th and 5 for about a week to see if I didn't want to return the 6. After 24 hours every time I picked up the 5 I missed the big and vibrant screen on the nexus 6. The nexus 6 just feels awesome to use. The battery life is great, quick charge is awesome, and now that I have the Aukey quick charge battery pack it makes day as a student running around campus completely wall free. I think it has an overall great experience, but it will never be the very best in one area. It seems like that is the trade-off that google chose for the nexus 6 and I'm happy they did.
  • I have to agree as I have had the exact same upgrade path as you (S2,N4,N5,N6). My friend has the nexus 5 and it now too small IMO. Running rooted stock and wouldn't change. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Fanboy ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Great article. Google+ All Day Everyday
  • If it wasn't for the size I'd have one, currently on the lg g3 which is a much more manageable size that I can use with one hand when needed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree completely with your review. Love/hate also with the Nexus 6.
    Now that the "novelty" of having the unicorn Motorola Nexus has worn off I like the phone. I don't love it. Not like my Moto X (2013).
    The Nexus 6 is just to big. As you said doesn't feel comfortable in jeans and it doesn't fit in my cup holder.
  • I really wanted this to be a bigger, better, Moto X, with many of the features from the Moto. Unfortunately, it's missing some of those nicer Moto X features. I was going to trade my Note 3 for this, but have held off. Then, I was going to trade for the Note 4, and haven't done that, either. At this point, I still love my Note 3 and love how I have it rooted, modded, and tweaked to the moon and back. At this point, I feel like I'll just wait for the Note 5 later on this year. Perhaps I'll get the new USB standard along with a host of other excellent improvements.
  • On XDA they have almost ported the MotoX pro features to the Nexus 6. So, soon you may be able to have Moto Display, etc on your N6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love my phone, but haven't been too sure about the camera (which is the most important feature for me) - until yesterday. After all the hoopla about the Samsung Galaxy S6 (camera) I went to the shop to test for myself, even having money with me to purchase one if I was blown away by it. I snapped several pictures at the same time with both phones next to each other and focusing on the same objects. When darkly lit, the SGS6 was noticeably faster and with superior result, but when well lit, I hardly noticed any difference at all in speed. Furthermore, the SGS6 images had a very noticeable warm/yellow hue, while the N6 captured the correct white / cool hues. All images from both phones were clear and sharp - with a slight blurriness in the low-light N6 ones (as expected). Considering the N6 bigger (and for me better) screen size, splash resistance, stock android and NO glass back (which I have extremely bad (Sony Z3) experiences with), I feel happy about my N6, and will not replace it anytime soon.
  • Make sure for low light on the n6 you have HDR+ on. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You think your Steve Jobs with that avatar lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ooops, never considered that I might have a slight resemblance to someone from the othe camp. Nice of you to notice, though, For my part, I've always been a 100% android faithful geek, starting with a HTC Hero back in the days, enjoying every step up the ladder to the Nexus 6. I'm actually looking forward to see what Sony might have up their sleeve with the Xperia Z4. If they update the camera to be something like the one on the SgS6, but keep 1080 screen, waterproofing and long battery life, it will be a no-brainer or me.
  • +1 Shamu to you too *splash*
  • I love this phone...best I've ever owned. It also fits in my pockets.
  • It really is a great device and I am perfectly happy with it and all of the things that stock Android bring.
  • I absolutely love my Nexus 6. I'm a small person and I am not bothered by the large size of the phone.
  • Exactly! That's why I laugh when I read grown men complaining about large phones.
  • Well, you know what they say about large phones... Lol Dang straight this was "Posted via the Android Central App"
  • I see the smallest women ever lugging around notes and apple 6+s lol. If they can do it, I can do it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I feel big phones are easier for women because they often carry purses and bags. For men, like myself, it's a burden, especially during the warm season when you don't wear jackets. I love looking at a big phone's screen, but having this phone with its big size and weight in my pants pocket is not comfortable. I hate having to take it out of my pants pocket whenever I sit down. I'm also a thin person and I don't wear baggy pants. I had a Note 2 and was looking forward to N6 until I learned that it's even bigger than the Note. I took a 180 degree turn and decided to get the smallest flagship phone available, Sony Z3 compact. While I miss the big screen, overall I'm now a happier person. I don't feel enslaved by my phone. :-)
  • LOL I also laugh at people who like different thing than me! SO FUNNY! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just want to know the source for the Macho Man wallpaper.
  • Great wallpaper choice in the header image. OOOOH YEAH!
  • Uploaded it here: http://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/article_images/2015/04/Oooo-yeah.jpg No idea of the original source, sorry!
  • Thanks, came here just for that. Posted via Android Central App
  • Most important post up here. Thanks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can't click on the link Posted via the Android Central App
  • I googled macho man randy savage wallpaper and found it quite easily... Posted via Android Central App
  • I get what you mean by noticing your phone in your pocket all the time. I, by no means, wear any type of skinny jeans but it's noticeable. Not really annoying but not really comfortable. I have a Note 4 and I came down to a science. Wallet back right pocket. Phone in tight pocket. Inhaler, lighter, and cigarettes in left pocket. (Ew. I smoke. I know.) but if for some reason I'm in a hurry and I put my inhaler in my right pocket with my phone. Oh my damn how I notice. Like when I'm driving my phone is pushing against my leg. Forget about trying to dig around for change in your pocket with a phone that big. You have to take your phone out first then look for change. But it is what it is. Like you said nothing is perfect. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You, sir, are wrong. Phone in the left pocket, smokes and lighter in the right. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hahaha I tried that out but I dropped my phone a few times. I'm a klutz with my left hand. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wallet and keys in the left pocket, phone in the right pocket, smokes in the trash.
  • What is this madness?? You don't keep your wallet in a back pocket????
  • Wallets are much easier to pickpocket from a back pocket. I carry a slim All-ett in a front picket. It's less bulky than even a small phone... unnoticeable by me when carrying it, there is no silhouette for someone else to see and target, and it would be much harder to pickpocket since front pockets are generally narrower and deeper. If you're still carrying a fat wallet in a back pocket, please abandon your anitiquated ways. FYI: https://www.all-ett.com/
  • Nope, phone in right pocket, smokes (with lighter in pack) in left pocket Posted via the Android Central App
  • cash and a rubber go in the right! Posted via the Android Central App
  • you're right about the phone but the lighter goes in the box and the smokes in your back left pocket... geez Posted via the Android Central App
  • you need a man purse
  • That's what my chiropractor told me when he was treating me for my chronic backaches; "Don't sit on your wallet. Don't have ANYTHING in your back pocket other than a comb." It isn't a "man purse"; it's a Bianchi concealed-carry fanny pack, but it holds everything that I need. My Nexus 6 phone is in a belt clip. Yes, it's big, but at my age, I NEED a big screen phone.
  • Inhaler and cigarettes, what a combination. Posted via Android Central App
  • Lol I've been doing phone left pocket, keys right pocket and wallet in back right pocket for years now. It's to the point now that if any of them at empty (for whatever reason) I almost feel physically off balance. [add signature here]