After months of rumours and speculation, Google’s most eagerly anticipated mobile device is finally here.
Made by Motorola, the Google Nexus 6 was released in the United States in November and despite not being due for release in Thailand until early 2015, the team at ThaiTech have managed to get our hands on one well ahead of the official launch of the device in the Land of Smiles.
As is often the way with the release of the latest tech devices, Thailand is normally a couple of months (sometimes longer) behind the official release in say the United States or UK.
Ever since leaked photos started circulating online of the Nexus 6, I was pretty eager to take a closer look at the device for myself and being the impatient farang that I am, didn’t really want to be waiting until next year to do so.
A couple of days after the Nexus 6 was launched in the States, I managed to pick one up on eBay and to my delight, it arrived earlier this week having been on quite a journey which started in California, via Alaska, Amsterdam, Bangkok and Ractchaburi before finding its way to our office in Hua Hin.
At the time of writing, I guess this is probably one of the first Google Nexus 6 devices in Thailand, unless some of you reading this have been lucky enough to pick up a dodgy knock-off ‘deluxe’ version from Laos.
First impressions of the Google Nexus 6
After unboxing the Nexus 6, you can’t fail to be impressed. You can see it’s well built and it’s design is a definite upgrade from the Nexus 5, which I have really enjoyed using for the past year or so.
The first thing that you can’t help but notice on the Nexus 6 is the huge screen, which I’ll talk a little bit more about shortly. On the reverse of the device, the main thing that you notice is that the Nexus 6 has a rounded back, which is a change from the flat back of the previous Nexus devices.
Despite the bigger size compared to the Google Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 sits nicely in the hand and you can feel it’s built to good quality.
The big screen
The AMOLED panel of the Google Nexus 6 means that the 5.96 inch display is one of the best going. When I turned the phone on the for the first time, you can’t be help but be impressed with the clarity and great amount detail the display offers, especially compared to the Nexus 5. This isn’t a criticism of the Nexus 5, it’s just that the Nexus 6 takes it up a level or two.
With 493 pixels per inch and a resolution of 1440 x 2560, the colours are vibrant and videos look great in what is just an all round superb viewing experience.
One thing I will say before I go into overdrive on the superlatives is that the larger display, whilst it looks great, it does take a bit of getting used to in terms of navigation. I’ve never had a phone this big before, although I do own a Nexus 7, and a phone this size may not be for everyone.
The only thing which had disappointed me about my old Nexus 5 was the quality of the camera. The phone itself is great and in terms of performance is probably the best I’ve owned, but the camera is lousy.
Thankfully, no such problem with the Nexus 6. There are no two ways about it, having tested it in a variety of different conditions, the camera is superb.
Getting to the nitty gritty, it’s a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, autofocus and dual LED flash. On the front, the Nexus 6 boasts a 2MP HD camera which captures video at 1080P.
I’ll try and give you some idea on the battery performance of the Nexus 6 the best I can. I say that because battery performance is very subjective. We all use our smartphones different amounts, use different apps and have our phones configure differently, all of which will have an impact on battery life in one form or another.
After implementing these battery saving tips, I easily get a good full days worth of heavy use out of my Nexus 5, before re-charging when I go to bed.
However, with the bigger display I did at first wonder how much this would impact the battery life of the Nexus 6.
After using the phone for a week or so, battery performance has been every bit if not better than the Nexus 5, which is great.
The two front facing speakers on the Nexus 6 don’t just offer great sound quality but they are really quite loud and massively improved from the Nexus 5.
I often use my phone to listen to music in the car and so the extra volume the Nexus 6 offers good for what I need.
The Nexus 6 has the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system, which I’d previously been enjoying on my Nexus 5. So far there’s no issues with lag or anything but then again, it is a brand new phone so there shouldn’t be.
I have the 32GB version and one thing that I have noticed is the Nexus 6 seems to take a good while to start up, much longer than the Nexus 5. In fact after timing the start up, the Nexus 6 took over a minute to boot up but that’s the only minor thing I’ve noticed.
Display: 5.96” 2560×1440 QHD AMOLED display (493 ppi)
Battery: 3220 mAh
Camera: 13MP rear-facing with optical image stabilization, 2MP front-facing
Processor: CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor
GPU: Adreno 420
Memory: 32 GB, 64 GB (no card slot)
Dimensions: 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm (6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40 in)
Weight: 184 g (6.49oz)
Make no mistake, the Google Nexus 6 is an impressive piece of kit and I’d certainly recommend it you’re an Android lover.
Compared to my old Nexus 5, it is a massive upgrade, but then again, it should be, it costs nearly double the price!
Although I love the Nexus 5, there is always this feeling that it was just missing something, and for me it was the substandard camera which prevents it from being considered as a top of the range device.
The lack camera quality was of course offset by the price, with the Nexus 5 costing you around 15,000 THB, it offers really good value for what is still an excellent phone which more than holds its own against any similar Samsung device or the iPhone 5, which was double the cost of the Nexus 5 at the time of launch.
Now this is where the Nexus 6 really raises the bar. This is arguably the first true top of the range device in the Nexus family. It’ll stand up against the iPhone 6, 6 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and this is reflected in the price.
It’ll probably retail for around 30,000 THB when it is launched in Thailand next year.
Ordering my Nexus 6 off eBay, in total, cost me just over $1,000 when you take into account FedEx shipping and an additional 1,300 THB charge from customs in Thailand.
Like I said, I’d certainly recommend the Nexus 6 and if, like me, you can’t wait for it to be released in Thailand, check out eBay where you should have no problems in picking one up.
And to make up for my pictures above, here are some from the Nexus 6 site.
Big, bold and beautiful. Google's first truly high-end phone finally joins the Nexus family.