Google Nexus 6 review: No longer in production following Pixel launch
Google Nexus 6 review: Core hardware and performance
Nexus products are usually cutting-edge when it comes to core performance, and the Nexus 6 is no different. Inside is one of the fastest mobile SoCs that Qualcomm produces – a quad-core Snapdragon 805, running at 2.7GHz with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 420 GPU – which is the same getup as found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
As expected, the Nexus 6 swatted aside all the benchmarks I was able to throw at it, matching the Note 4 blow-for-blow. It’s reasonably competitive with the iPhone 6 Plus, as well, until you get to the GFXBench gaming tests – that’s because, with a 1080p screen, the 6 Plus has a far lighter workload than the Nexus 6.
Still, 27fps in the latter test is perfectly respectable, and in real world gaming the Nexus 6 put in a decent showing. It’s amazingly slick and responsive in every other situation, too, whether browsing heavy web pages or Googe Maps, and asking it to multitask doesn’t faze it either.
It does, however, get rather hot when used intensively. The top portion of the screen hit 41 degrees Celcius at times and the rear 39 degrees, which becomes uncomfortable after a while.
|SunSpider (ms)||349 (Safari)||745 (Chrome)||806 (Chrome)|
|Geekbench 3 sc||1,628||1,095||1,054|
|Geekbench 3 mc||2,922||3,268||3,279|
Google Nexus 6 review: battery life
Battery life is a more mixed picture. For light- and moderate-use scenarios, it’s excellent. In a 720p video-playback test, where the phone is put in flight mode and set the screen as close to 120cd/m2 as possible, the capacity of the Nexus 6’s 3,220mAh battery fell at a rate of 6.8% per hour.
It’s in good company here, nearly matching the Note 4’s result of 5.9%, although it falls some way behind the iPhone 6 Plus’ 4.9%.
The audio-streaming test, which gives an indication of a phone’s standby performance, resulted in a depletion rate of 2.3% per hour, slightly better than the Note 4 and on a par with the 6 Plus.
In other good news, the Nexus 6 has wireless charging built in, and comes with a “Turbo” AC charger supplied in the box, which I found was capable of ramping up the charge very quickly indeed: 17% in 15 minutes is enough of an emergency boost to be really useful. And the improvements wrought through Android 5’s “Project Volta” mean that standby stamina is exceptional: I left the Nexus 6 on a bedside table overnight at 3% capacity, forgetting to plug it in, and it still had 1% remaining eight hours later.
Push the CPU, however, and stamina takes a dramatic turn for the worse. In the GFXBench battery test, despite the fact that the frame rate is capped at 22.4fps (lower than the maximum the phone is capable of), a result of 144mins is pretty poor, and well short of the iPhone 6 Plus’ time of 206mins, which is rendering more than twice the number of frames.
In all, though, it’s a thumbs-up for the battery life – just don’t expect it to last long when you’re gaming hard.
|iPhone 6 Plus||Samsung Galaxy Note 4||Nexus 6|
|720p video playback||-4.9%/hr||-6.2%/hr||-6.8%/hr|
|GFXBench battery test (projected runtime)||206mins (52fps)||206mins (12.3fps)||144mins (22.4fps)|
Nexus 6 specifications
|Processor||Quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805|
|Screen resolution||1,440 x 2,560|
|Memory card slot (supplied)||No|
|Wireless data||4G (Cat6 up to 300Mbits/sec download)|
|Size||83 x 10.1 x 159mm (WDH)|
|Operating system||Android 5 (Lollipop)|
|Price SIM-free (inc VAT)||£400, 32GB; £479, 64GB|
|Price on contract (inc VAT)||Free, £30/mth, 24mths|
|Prepay price (inc VAT)||None available at time of writing|