Huawei hits the right notes with the new Nexus device.
The Android operating system (OS) requires no introduction – it’s the No. 1 mobile platform with billions of users. What may not be so obvious is that most Androids feature a custom user interface (UI) that changes the look and feel of the OS.
Samsung, for instance, loads its smartphones with the TouchWiz UI while Huawei with EMUI to offer users a unique experience.
However, some feel the best way to experience Android is as Google intended – without any modifications. And the easiest way to do that is to get a Nexus smartphone which Google builds in partnership with various manufacturers.
The latest device is the Nexus 6P, the result of the first collaboration between Google and Huawei.
The metal finish on the back gives the Nexus 6P a classy feel. The camera protrudes a little which spoils the premium look a little, but gives the device a sense of identity. As it has a 5.7in screen, the phone is on the larger side – we found it a tad hard to operate with one hand.
On the right side of the device is where all the hardware buttons are found. We like how the power button is made from a different texture from the volume buttons, making it easy to differentiate the two.
The Nexus 6P is one of the early devices to get the USB Type C port, which allows the charging cable to be plugged in either way.
The only problem here is that it has yet to be widely adopted so you won’t find too many accessories supporting it. Huawei is kind enough to include two cables in the packaging.
Using the stock version of Android is a refreshing experience as the platform is more responsive as there is no bloatware to slow it down.
That’s not to say that the stock Android is perfect though, as sometimes it can feel a little incomplete. For example, the fingerprint sensor on the Huawei Mate S, which is located in the same as the Nexus 6P, can also function as a trackpad while the one on the 6P doesn’t.
The biggest plus point of having a Nexus device is that it will be one of the first to get OS updates. Case in point – it already runs on Android 6 (Marshmallow) while most other flagship models are still waiting for updates.
The Nexus 6P’s 5.7in Super AMOLED screen with QHD resolution makes it an ideal choice for media consumption on the go. The high resolution makes it almost impossible to notice any pixels, and the screen is bright enough for viewing under direct sunlight.
The phone comes with dual front-facing speakers – they are clear and loud but audio suffers a little at max volume.
The 12.3-megapixel camera may not sound particularly impressive on paper, but it exceeds expectations. It impressed us with excellent low light shots with the HDR+ feature. It was also quick to capture and process HDR images so the wait time was minimal.
The camera can be accessed at any point just by double tapping the power button – this works even when the screen is locked, which is great for snapping photos in a hurry.
The phone records video at up to 2160p, but what is even more exciting is that it can record slow motion videos at 120fps (frames per second) or 240fps.
Videos recorded in this mode can be edited so that only some parts are in slow motion which was really fun. However, we had no luck in exporting it out of the phone, as other players don’t seem to recognise the edits.
The 3,450mAh battery ensures that your phone can last throughout the day. With moderate usage, we even managed to push the phone to last two days.
The Nexus line of devices has always had its fans and it’s not difficult to understand why – the devices get updates promptly, have no bloatware and offer a pure Android experience.
The Nexus 6P is easily one of the best Nexus devices to date, as it excels in almost everything with only a few flaws. Earlier Nexus devices came with an affordable price tag, but this is no longer the case as the Nexus 6P is built to premium standards. The RM2,698 price tag will be the biggest deterrent to those wanting to get it.
Pros: Looks and performs great; excellent camera; runs on Android Marshmallow; no bloatware.
Cons: Pricey; may be too big for some.
Operating system: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor: Quad-core 2GHz Cortex-A57 + quad-core 1.55GHz Cortex-A53
Network: 4G LTE
Camera: 12.3 megapixels with dual-LED flash; 8-megapixel front-facing camera
Display: 5.7in (1,440 x 2,560 pixels)
Memory: 64GB storage, 3GB RAM
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0 Type-C, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; WiFi Direct; DLNA
Battery: 3,450mAh lithium-ion
Size (W x D x H): 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm
Rating: 4.5 stars Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366