Nexus 6

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Let’s talk about phones!

Over the past two years I’ve been rocking the Samsung Galaxy S4; which is a great all-around high-end smartphone that can do any job fairly fast and consistent – at the time. However, as a fan of clean system UI design I was not a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz skin they apply on top of the Android operating system. It’s ugly, clunky, and ridden with countless bloatware apps that are non-removable and even some non-disable-able (seriously I couldn’t even get rid of Samsung’s terrible calendar app). Because of the nature of Android it always gets system updates very late, or if anything at all. I would waste hours, installing apps that would customise the feel of the operating system such as Nova Launcher and configure them to customise the software aesthetics my phone so that it would look like stock Android, but low-level customisation can only go so far. Rooting my phone and flashing a custom ROM such as Cyanogenmod was another option, but one I always avoided as I am not familiar with that area and didn’t want to risk damaging my phone.

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Due to this frustration I wanted my next phone to be a stock Android experience, with no bloatware and only the core Google apps so I wouldn’t have to waste time customising and managing my phone and then can maximise productivity time. This meant the only possible phones I could get is the popular Nexus line of phones or a mid-range inexpensive Chinese branded phone.

This was also the time when Google was about to release successors to the line, and it was just recently the Nexus 5X and 6P were finally unveiled. As I was about to pre-ordered the Nexus 5X once sales went live, I hesitated after witnessing the rather hefty price tag of £380 (for 32GB) and its mid-tier specifications. Meanwhile the Nexus 6P at £449 was way out of my budget range. I then thought about getting the Nexus 6 that came out last year as I noticed how re-sellers were selling the phone at a discounted rate at around £300. I managed to find a legitimate listing on eBay for £260 and so I got that instead!

Time for photos taken with my Nikon D3300 with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.

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The box itself! In a nifty minimalist blank box with an embossed number six.

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Underneath the box with the product picture and branding, along with the 32GB configuration info.

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And there it is! The first thing you see when you open the box; six inches of black slab.

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Everything that comes with the Nexus 6; the phone itself, a special super fast charging power plug with micro USB cable, a set of earphones as well as a few bits of documentation and a SIM ejection tool; which will go nicely with my growing collection of SIM ejection tools.

Skipping over the usual phone setup screens, here is my phone all set up with the lock screen! Wallpaper is from the hilarious anime Nichijou.

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The home screen! Keeping everything functional with all of my regularly used apps all on one page and core apps in the dock.

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One irk that bugged me once I scrutinised every little corner of this top phone is the little chipped hole around the top right area of the camera lens. I thought this was damaged at first and considered of getting a replacement, but only to find out online that this was intentional because this is where the second microphone is placed.

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The back of the phone with the Nexus branding. Gotta love that Motorola dimple.

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The lock/power button and volume rocker. Great design choice with the textured power/lock button to let you know which button is which by touch.

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The phone came with a screen plastic protector pre-applied, which is a plus because I dread applying screen protectors as dust always find its way to get trapped during the application procedure. I’ll probably leave this on once I find myself a good folio phone case.

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The top edge of the phone with the headphone jack placed in the center. I would have preferred it to be placed at the bottom but you can’t when them all.

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The limited quick action toggle buttons in the notifications bar in stock Android Lollipop. One thing good about Samsung’s Touchwiz skin is that it had all the toggles for everything for the phone, including toggles for mobile data, GPS and syncing.

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Comparison between stock Android’s toggles and Samsung’s Touchwiz, also the physical size.

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Google recently changed their logo to a modern san-serif look in response to recent company reshuffling. I like their new logo but it seems to have lost some of its charm from the classic serif typeface it’s kept since its inception.

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Testing out the Nexus 6’s stock camera app which is absolutely atrocious. Muddy detail once blown up with sub-par colour reproduction. After much researching I decided to give Manual Camera a try which makes full use of the Camera API in Android 5.0; which produces much better looking photos than the stock app. Though irritatingly enough lacks video recording functionality…

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Nexus branding!

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Strangely enough the Micro USB port is placed ‘upside down’ where the flat side of the connector with the ‘teeths’ facing up. Not the end of the world but it does feel a little clunky when I plug in a micro USB cable every time.

 

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The Nexus 6 is definitely a huge phone, luckily I’ve got fairly big hands so I can manage holding it one-handed!

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Lollipop title screen. Waited quite a while for Marshmallow to arrive on my phone due to Google handling the over-the-air updates in waves.

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The three devices stacked up. Was tricky placing the S4 and iPod Touch 5G onto the Nexus 6’s curved back.

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Connection ports at the bottom.

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My three devices laid in front of my Inkling Girl Amiibo!

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