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Nexus 6 Review (engadget.com)
47 points by dollaaron on Nov 13, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments



The summary basically is that for about twice the money of the nexus 5 you get worse battery life, much dimmer screen, and generally slower performance than the nexus 5.

Other reviews recently posted: http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/12/7200705/nexus-6-review http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/11/nexus-6-review-the-pr... http://www.anandtech.com/show/8687/the-nexus-6-review

I was pretty shocked how bad the screen is, scored something like #26 of 28 phones in brightness, similarly poor with saturation accuracy. Arstechnia seems to think the slow I/O is the worst offender for the general laggyness. Read bandwidth was 73% of the nexus 5, 37% of a note 4, and 30% of the Moto X 2014 (well regarded for it's responsiveness).

Pretty disappointing. Too bad google didn't pick something like the droid turbo/Moto Maxx for the next nexus device.


Agreed. I hope that's the take home message for Google. They started something good with Nexus and made it better with Moto . But 2014 has been a disappointment so far. Hope the successor of Nexus 6 addresses all these issues (and pray it's not called Nexus 7).


The reason the Disk IO is so slow is due to encryption being the default in Lollipop!

https://plus.google.com/+JeremyCamp1337/posts/iDyPjEuEf51


I also happened to read Anandtech's Nexus 6 review [1] today, and here's how they described the N6's display.

> The Nexus 6 shows significant regression in color accuracy from the Nexus 5, and the maximum brightness is much lower. It should also be noted that despite its higher resolution, its larger size means that compared to the Nexus 5 the pixel density only increases 12% from 441 PPI to 493 PPI. The use of a PenTile RGBG subpixel layout also means that there is actually an overall decrease in subpixel density.

> Overall, the Nexus 6 display is quite poor relative to the displays on other smartphones like the Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6, and HTC One (M7). It's also a definite regression from the display on the Nexus 5, which is concerning given the fact that the Nexus 6 is $300 more expensive. It has been speculated that Motorola is unable to source the latest generation of panels from Samsung Display, which would explain why many of the panel characteristics are similar to previous generation AMOLED panels in the Note 3 and Galaxy S4. Although the efficiency of AMOLED displays when displaying black helps to reduce power usage with features like Ambient Display which wakes up the phone when notifications arrive or it is picked up, I don't believe it's worth the trade-off if it involves such heavy sacrifices in color accuracy and brightness.

[1] - http://www.anandtech.com/show/8687/the-nexus-6-review/3


I'm confused about people carping about brightness. I found the OLED on my Galaxy SII was great and needed much less brightness than an LED.

The thing that's got me irritated is the sub-par camera _again_. I'm really frustrated with the camera on my N5, and I'm now worried that the only place I can go is an iphone 6+. Do not want. :(


> I'm now worried that the only place I can go is an iphone 6+

LG G3 or Xperia Z3. Probably the best photographic phones on the market by a long margin ( assuming you are outside China and can't lay your hands on a Vivo Xshot ).

Edit: the Note 4 camera is said to be pretty decent but not quite in the same class, though the screen has excellent accuracy. I have no experience with Nokia-Microsoft phones.


Would you say the LG G3 and Xperia Z3 have better camera's than the iPhone? Or do you mean in comparison to other Android devices?


> Would you say the LG G3 and Xperia Z3 have better camera's than the iPhone?

Technically, better ( honest-to-the-scene ) cameras and lenses.

But Apple does a lot of magic in software to make their images 'pop'.

I think it's probably comparable to, say, Sigma[0] versus Zeiss SLR lenses. Sigma make some astonishingly good wide-angle SLR lenses but Zeiss give a certain appealing 'look' even if they're actually less competent in some measurements.

[0] yes, they of the mega-zoom infamy. But their new Art series of lenses is amazing.


I haven't tried a G3, but I do think the Xperia Z3 does (and the Z2 perhaps, too). At snapshot size, Xperia pics are indistinguishable from photos taken with a traditional point & shoot -- as long as lighting conditions are reasonable.


I just got the older generation Moto X (developer edition) because my Nexus 5 died (and the Play store is out of them). I really like it. It's a solid build. Not that much crapware, but since I'm rooted I disabled it all anyway.

Highlights: the screen and external speaker. The newest Moto X is a larger than the one I have. I think it's in between the Nexus 5 and 6, in size.

The only issue I have with the new Moto X: can't unlock the bootloader.


I've seen lots of people mentioning they've unlocked the boot loader on their Moto X 2014 Pure Editions (I think the carrier ones don't have unlockable bootloaders), including in this video[0], showing how to side load Lollipop (which doesn't need an unlocked bootloader, but his screen say it's unlocked).

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Zb...


Couldn't agree more wrt the poor camera. My (limited -- from helping friends with their devices which were just doing plain weird/awkward things) experience with early Android devices was that the platform took awhile to catch up. I jumped ship with the Nexus 4 and I couldn't be happier with it. With this one exception. The photos my friends take with their iPhones are fantastic and I'm tired of feeling jealous about it.


I had a Nexus 4 and was quite happy with it, but the (relatively) terrible camera was what made me switch back to an iPhone.


I made that mistake with the N4, I'm going to stubbornly hold onto it until Google gets in gear and makes a phone with a camera worth purchasing.


Camera on the HTC one is really good.


> Pros: Reasonably priced for what it is

A year ago, we had a 5" smartphone (Nexus 5) for 399€ and a 7" tablet (Nexus 7) for 299€. Now, we have a 6" smartphone (Nexus 6) for 699€. Is it reasonably priced?


When the Nexus 5 was released it was one of the cheapest reasonably specced Android phones you could buy. The Nexus 6 on the other hand is one the most expensive Android phones on the market. It's only reasonably priced if you define reasonable as "not more expensive than an iPhone 6"


Yet, the Nexus 5 was already 50€ more expensive than its predecessor, the Nexus 4.


No it was the same price (350€) if you bought it with the same amount of storage (16 GB) than the Nexus 4. For 400€ you had the 32 GB version.


C'mon it's only 1€ more than the two combined and you get the convenience to only have to lug around one ;)


Can you correlate price with size of the phone? What about performance, weight, battery life and many other factors?


The Nexus 6 (Snapdragon 805, 2.7 GHz quad-core) have a slightly faster CPU than the Nexus 5 (Snapdragon 800, 2.26 GHz quad-core), but it only reflect the natural performance improvement over time.

The Nexus 6 (184g, 31g/inch) is heavier than the Nexus 5 (130g, 26g/inch), compared to its screen size.

While the battery capacity of the Nexus 6 (3220 mAh) is significantly larger then the Nexus 5 (2300 mAh), people reported the battery life of the Nexus 6 to be shorter.

I can't find any technical improvement that could explain a 1.75x price increase.


Not for me. It's too big, way too expensive for what it is, the battery isn't removable (a killer!), no SD card, the screen isn't up to its peers, not even AArch64 and the battery life is worse than the Nexus 5.

I was hoping for something good.


Someday in the near future, a noob will see my classic Nexus 7 tablet and exclaim "That's the cutest little phone I've ever seen, where can I get a phone that small?"


One thing that perplexes me is Google's decision. On one hand they've gone with very bright whites and vibrant (almost iOS like) colors and design in the newest Android 5.0 version. On the other hand, they use an OLED panel for their reference+flagship phone.


Do they need to use OLED to do the 'active notifications' thing where it shows notifications by only activating required pixels? That's a pretty big Lollipop feature so maybe the decision was based around that.


No its not "needed" but if you dont have an OLED screen it will have a noticeable impact on your battery life. Depending on which particular device this may or may not be an issue. If you have a device that barely manages to make it through the day as it is, ambient display is not for you.


For all those mentionin the Disk IO being slow, it's due to encryption being the default now! https://plus.google.com/+JeremyCamp1337/posts/iDyPjEuEf51


Websites! Don't automatically play videos when someone visits! Especially don't make the pause button do nothing.

That one article I'm not reading then.


That's one reason why you should set up plugins to be click to play.


Can't believe 64bit is still not supported. Apple did it 1 year ago.


How would 64bit help?

These devices still don't have more than 4 GB of memory, let alone single applications pushing that limit, and it's not x86; the biggest win in moving to amd64 was the increased number of registers.

Which is not to say that there aren't others, but I don't think it's a clear-cut as for x86.

All of which is to say that I don't know. How would it help? Please explain, as I'm not that familiar with ARM hardware.


There are many improvements. To name one, arm 32bit has only 16 32-bit registers, while 64bit has 32 64-bit registers. That means instead of putting variables on stack, now you can put them in registers.


The biggest win in moving to 64-bit on ARM is the new 64-but instruction set (AARCH64) is modern and has improved performance over the previous instruction set. There are often 30-50% ir higher performance improvements. You do need the hardware though, and there's still very little 64-but cpu's out there for Android.


64 bit is supported. The Nexus 9 has a 64 bit chip, and they released an emulator for 64-bit Intel chips about a month ago. Motorola just didn't put one in the Nexus 6.


> The Nexus 9 has a 64 bit chip

Plus there's a raft of Chinese-market 64-bit phones already, waiting for Android 5.0.

I mean, the Oppo R5 is the World's thinnest phone and it has an eight-core 64-bit Snapdragon chipset! We are so far behind in the 'West'...




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