- 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 display
- Android 5.0
- 13-megapixels camera
- 184 grams
- Wireless charging (3220mAh battery)
- Front-facing speakers
This is a phone review. But just for fun, let's pretend it's a toaster review. If it were, it might go something like this:
The Nexus 6 is a toaster.
It works. It is a working toaster. The knobs are good and twisty. It makes bread all kinds of hot. It does crumpets. It runs a solid toaster OS.
If it didn't toast bread properly, we would tell you.
It might not toast it perfectly every time. Sometimes it might be a bit too burned or not pop properly. But it does toast bread. You won't have to use a knife to get anything other than a really wide muffin out of the rack.
The Nexus 6 is also a large toaster. Do you want a large toaster? How large a toaster do you want? This toaster is really big.
It is also quite an expensive toaster. And that other toaster over there - that one has a laser on it.
So we give it four and a half conditional stars.
Do you see what we're getting at here?
Okay, let's start again.
The simple, honest truth is that pretty much everything about this very, very large phone is just fine.
- The processor? It's good. It ran everything well. It didn't blow up.
- The camera? Very good. It takes good pictures. Low light performance is okay. It has optical image stabilisation, which is good if it's cold and your hands are shaking.
- The screen is great, but a bit green side-on?
- The build quality, battery life, front-facing camera, Android 5.0 OS and 'Ok Googleability' are all just dandy.
It lacks an SD card slot, has the headphone port on the top, and doesn't come with a magic laser, isn't waterproof and can't do dot-matrix covers. It doesn't have a removable battery, if that matters to you. It doesn't come with headphones. It costs £500. It is out of stock.
It is a phone.
And that is the point.
Phones are not, at this specific moment in December 2014, all that interesting.
There are a few main types of smartphones. They are broadly similar. They all have Facebook. That is where we are with this stuff right now. Metaphorically, if you are tired and forcing the point somewhat, phones are toasters. They are functional appliances that most people use, are glad to own, but essentially would rather forget about most of the time.
And the Nexus 6 is the most toaster of all equivalent phones. Its OS is stock. It's features are stock. It's design is unremarkable. It has no unique selling points of which to speak.
So really the only fact that matters here is that the Nexus 6 is a very big 4G high-end Android phone... and that its size sort of makes or breaks the deal for any individual looking to buy one.
Which is odd in a sense, because on the literal face of it, it's not exceptionally massive. It's almost the exact same height as an iPhone 6 Plus, for instance, though with a slightly larger screen and a little bit wider. It's also slightly deeper - it's curved, but at its thickest point it's a 'bigger' phone. Compared to the G3 it's not ridiculous, and the Note 4 is also hilariously large so it matches that blow for blow.
But if you take out the phone and stare at it, all you'll see is the size. (That's partly because it's essentially the same phone as the new Motorola Moto X -- itself a fine device, benefiting from the same stock Android software and hardware strength, but one with the gall to be shaped for reasonably average human hands.)
So how big is it? Well, it's about two fingers taller than a Coke can. At arms's length it about covers up a large glass door from a distance of about ten paces. If you saw someone talking into one in the street, you might think they were either from the past OR the future. It's big.
Fortunately, Google's 5.0 version of Android helps it make a bit more use of that space. It's cleaner, the apps are more helpfully designed, and the OS flows more naturally than before.
You still can't fit enough apps onto the homescreen, and the app tray is still oddly cramped, but it's stock Android and you can change the launcher if you like.
There are also still a lack of apps that make truly great use of the extra screen real estate. In the main though it's decently equipped and you won't miss anything much from other platforms.
And this is where this review comes to a smouldering, charred end.
Why? Because you know why. This is a functional, solid, useful piece of technology with intended, clear physical dimensions which come with built-in limitations and benefits. It runs the most vanilla OS possible. It has the most straightforward features of any phone. It is not shocking in any way.
So imagine once again if this was not a phone review, but a toaster review.
The review would essentially comprise the words "this is a toaster", followed by a picture of that toaster, a brief exclamation at its unique features (if any) and the dimensions so you could check if it fit in your kitchen.
This phone is 82.98 mm x 159.26 mm x 10.06 mm.
Let's just leave it there.