Motorola Nexus 6 review: Setting the tone

Setting the tone

GSMArena team, 12 November 2014.

Unboxing

Motorola Nexus 6 ships in an all-white retail box with a large number 6 on its cover. Inside it, you will find the device, a USB cable, and Motorola's Turbo Charger. A tool to remove the nano-SIM card and a few booklets complete the picture.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6
The retail package

A bundled headset would have been appreciated too - especially considering the device's newly found price category.

We are happy to see the Motorola Turbo Charger inside the box of the Nexus 6. Motorola claims that a 15 minute charge should be able to deliver enough juice for up to 8 hours of mixed usage.

Design and build quality

Have you ever wondered what will happen if you stretch the Moto X (2014) a bit and slap a large Nexus logo on its back? Look no further than the Nexus 6. Save for the larger footprint and the Nexus branding on the back, it is visually identical to the Moto X.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6 Nexus 6
Nexus 6 looks familiar

Just like its smaller Moto sibling, Nexus 6 is a great piece of hardware to look at. Its exposed aluminum frame elevates its appearance drastically over the Nexus 5. Overall, the smartphone looks in line with the expectations its price tag carries.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6

The phablet is available in two color schemes - Cloud White and Midnight Blue like the model we tested. The white version features aluminum frame with natural metal finish, while the blue model has a frame in a color-coordinated hue, a slightly lighter blue than the finish of the back cover.

The build quality of the Nexus 6 is stellar. With a sturdy metal frame, a back cover made of quality plastic with matte finish, and a face that's entirely covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the phablet looks and feels ready for plenty of use and abuse.

Water resistance is also listed as a Nexus 6 quality. The handset does not carry an official IP certification, but is made to handle accidental splashes.

Physical measures of the Motorola Nexus 6 are 159.3 x 83 x 3.8-10.1 mm, while its weight tips the scale at 184 grams. As its 6" display suggests, the latest Nexus is a big fella - right in line with today's trends.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6
Nexus 6 sized up against Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Motorola Nexus 6 has a larger footprint than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - hardly a surprise considering the larger display and the stereo speakers it packs. Apple iPhone 6 on the other hand, is only slightly shorter despite its considerably smaller 5.5" screen.

Handling the phablet is surprisingly easy thanks to its curved body. The latter is designed to follow the natural shape of the human palm, so it is thicker in its middle, but thin around the edges.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6
Handling Motorola Nexus 6

Display

Motorola Nexus 6 packs a 5.96" AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The aforementioned resolution results in the rather impressive pixel density of 493ppi.

Nexus 6 Nexus 6 Nexus 6 Nexus 6
The display of Motorola Nexus 6

The display's brightness is impressive too, as is its contrast. Viewing angles are great you will be able to easily share your content with other people.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Nexus 6 0 149 0 372
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 0 291 0 399
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
LG G3 0.14 109 763 0.72 570 789
Meizu MX4 Pro - - - 0.69 775 1127
Sony Xperia Z Ultra - - - 0.47 467 1001


The 6-inch AMOLED screen makes use a standard Diamond Pentile matrix. Every pixel has four sub-pixels and essentially a RGBG arrangement. Here's how the layout looks under a microscope.

Motorola Nexus 6

One thing to keep in mind is that when viewed from a small angle, the display of Nexus 6 tends to showcase a slightly greenish hue. We don't consider this to be a deal breaker, as the screen is not developed with such usage in mind.

Nexus 6
A closer look at the screen

Like most AMOLED units out there, the one found in the Nexus 6 boasts slightly over saturated colors. The latter are not as accurate as those produced by IPS displays, but are nevertheless enjoyable.

Sunlight legibility is excellent. Users will be able to view their content even in places with bright light.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Reader comments

  • ANJANEYULU

nexus-6 i have received message: battery currently scrambled stop the phone.whether i get repaird and give suggetion to use smart phone.and give me service centre to my nearest place -chennai (india)

  • arrowzy

I want to u teach me how l can use my music to use a ringing tone on my Motorola Nexus 6.

Galaxy s5, Alpha