The Nexus 6 is the most expensive Google phone to date. However, featuring an unskinned version of Android 5.0 Lollipop, a powerful Qualcomm processor, dazzlingly bright and sharp display and above average camera, the Nexus 6 justifies the hefty upfront cost.
Great screen, robust design, good performance, above average camera, unskinned Android 5.0 Lollipop
No microSD card slot, size will put off some buyers
Processor: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
Display: 6in, 2560x1440, 493 ppi, Amoled capacitive touchscreen
Storage: 32GB, 64GB, microSD
Camera: 3MP, 4128x3096 pixels with autofocus, Optical Image Stabilisation and dual-LED ring flash rear and 2MP front
Connectivity: 4G, 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Operating system: Android 5.0 Lollipop
Battery: Li-Po 3220 mAh
The Nexus 6 is a big mobile launch for Google in more ways than one. Built by Motorola, the Nexus 6 is the first phablet to carry the Google brand and arrives during one of the smartphone industry's most competitive years.
Smartphone makers across the globe have released a steady stream of top-end phablets this year that many, including us at V3, consider the finest ever seen.
The Nexus 6 is still listed as 'coming soon' or 'out of stock' on the Google Play store, despite being unveiled over a month ago.
The crowded phablet space and lack of a firm release date has led many buyers to view the Nexus 6 with interest, wondering whether the handset will make good on its promise and be worth the hefty £500 price.
Design and build
The Nexus 6 features a radically different design to its predecessors. The Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 were entirely polycarbonate affairs, but the Nexus 6 features metal in its design.
Boasting a similar look to Motorola's Moto X handset, the Nexus 6 features metallic sides and a non-removable polycarbonate backplate. Were it not for the unashamed Nexus brand on its back, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was simply a phablet variant of the Moto X.
We found the Nexus 6 fairly ergonomic by phablet standards. Phablet fans will feel right at home with the 159x83x10.1mm dimensions, rounded back and intelligent button placement, but people used to regular smartphones will find it somewhat large to hold.
The rounded back allows the Nexus 6 to fit fairly neatly into the palm of the hand, while the button placement, which puts the power and volume controls on the middle of the handset's right-hand side, ensured that we could reach the controls when holding it one handed.
That said, it's important to note that the increased size means most people will generally have to use two hands to perform even basic tasks like typing. It's also important to mention that the Nexus 6 is noticeably heavier than most smartphones and phablets at 184g.
The Nexus 6 feels reasonably well built. Unlike the Nexus 5, which proved incapable of surviving a 2ft drop onto a carpeted floor, the Nexus 6 left us assured that it could endure the odd accidental bump or scrape.
The Nexus 6 is, on paper, fairly well stacked in the display department with a sizeable 6in, 2560x1440, 493ppi, Amoled capacitive touchscreen. The use of Amoled technology makes the Nexus 6 screen markedly different to its predecessors, which generally use the competing IPS technology.
Amoled improves screen quality by letting displays produce deeper and richer blacks. It does this by electrically charging each individual pixel to generate colours, meaning that all the screen has to do is stop charging them to create black.
While this sounds great, we've had some problems with Amoled screens as many firms, such as Samsung, have a tendency to set them to oversaturate colours.
This seems to have been fixed on the Nexus 6 and colours look natural and balanced. We also found that, like most Motorola-made phones, the Nexus 6 has excellent brightness levels and decent viewing angles.
Text and icons on screen looked sharp thanks to the high pixel per inch density, and, combined with display's large size, we didn't struggle to read web pages or documents on the Nexus 6.
The only slight problem we noticed is that colours, particularly whites, could begin to look slightly distorted when viewed from the side. But this occurred only when viewing the phone from a particularly wide angle.
Next: Operating system and performance