Five Days with the Nexus 6

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The new Moto made Google Nexus 6 is not my first phablet. I owned the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 a while back. I enjoyed its size but eventually went back to my HTC comfort zone after months with the giant pen-toting Note 2. I don’t know if it is eye sight going at age 30 or if it’s just my needs for something new, but my HTC One m8 Google Play Edition was just seeming too small once the Nexus 6 was announced. It is not my first Nexus either. I have purchased every Nexus phone except the 4 and 5 made by LG.

Ordering

I pre-ordered through AT&T on the Next plan on 11/14 and received my Nexus 6 on 11/21. Beside the slow updates on my order from AT&T and rumors of backorders, ordering and receiving my Nexus 6 was no problem. I am also a fan of the AT&T Next plans.

First Impressions

Yes, it’s big. You could even say huge. I have large hands so this not a problem. I immediately adapted to handling the large device one handed, even texting one handed. I try not to get caught up on the internet comparisons or even spec wars. When I powered on the beast and saw the screen, I was in love. The screen looks great and is impressive. Judge it for yourself because there will always be someone on the web comparing it to another phone and giving their opinions on it. Device feels solid and premium. It does not feel too heavy.

Lollipop

This is my first experience using Android 5.0 Lollipop and it has been great. Visually it is very pleasing. It feels refined and complete where often in past pure Android experiences did not. I prefer the pure Android experience. Material design looks great. Every day I find another little tweak in Lollipop that I enjoy.

Camera

My opinion on the camera is the same as the screen. You will find countless camera comparisons on the web. To the Note 4, the iPhone 6, etc etc. The only way for you to know if the Nexus 6 camera is good enough for you is to use it in real life situations. Judge the pictures based on what you would actually do with them. The camera has been impressive. Way better than you need for posting pics to social networks or emailing. Do you print your smartphone pics out on 8”x10” prints? The pictures are sharp and the color looks great. Low light pics do suffer some so beware.

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Battery

I have had no problem getting through every full day. Every single day with at least 3.5 hours screen on time. This acceptable. Would I like a phablet with a 6” screen that will last 2 days? Sure. Half the time on WiFi, half on LTE. Bluetooth streaming to my car and to my headphones as the gym. Tracking my steps with Google Fit. No problems.

AT&T Branding

AT&T has been the only carrier to carrier lock, brand, and add software to the Nexus 6. While it’s annoying, the splash screen and AT&T ringtones should not affect the quick updates from Google. This is still a Nexus. The apps installed at start up is a Lollipop feature and you can easily uninstall the unwanted AT&T apps. The AT&T logo on the back of the device is easily removed. See my Youtube video here. You can root, unlock your bootloader, and remove all AT&T additions to the device (see our post here). This is still a Nexus. Oddly, I did have my very first hiccup this morning. A random reset where I did not see the AT&T startup screen, but did hear the AT&T sound. It hung on a black screen long enough to make me worry, but then it started up like normal.

5 Day Conclusion

I am keeping it. I love the size, the screen, Lollipop, the camera, and the overall experience. I urge you to try the Nexus 6

Craig has been an Android user since the G1, perhaps that is why he tends to favor the HTC flavor when it comes to his Android devices. With 7+ years of mobile phone retail management experience, Craig is in touch with both the techie and the everyday consumer. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigP17

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