Google Nexus 6 review

Google's bigger Nexus compares to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

Google Nexus 6 review
Moto X's bigger brother

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Nexus 6 is obviously a multimedia powerhouse given its phablet-sized display, but there's speakers that backs up those good looks.

That has a significant impact on the 6-inch movie-watching, game-playing and music-listening experience, one area in which the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 doesn't quite compare.


I actually prefer watching movies on my Nexus 6 over the Nexus 9 tablet due to the fact that Google's new flagship smartphone boasts a more video-friendly screen.

It's in the proper 16:9 aspect ratio, so all of the widescreen movies I watch are formatted sans letterboxing or at least kept at a minimum. The black void is strong with the Nexus 9, sadly.

When streaming movies via Netflix I found that the Nexus 9 has slightly darker tones, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was slightly brighter for the full 107 minutes.

The same was true when I watched Gravity, which I downloaded from the redesigned Google Play Movies & TV section, with the sci-fi flick demoing Nexus 6's excellent contrast ratio.

There's hardly a winner in this side-by-side quad HD movie comparison. Samsung's amped up screen made is easy to see darker objects, while Google's didn't blow out sunlight scenes.

It's the front-facing dual speakers that hand the Nexus 6 a victory among phablets.


Songs, of course, play well through these stereo speakers that rest at the top and bottom of the Nexus 6. It's a big step up from Motorola's mono-speaker Moto X from two months ago.

Running through my Google Music playlist, I could not only hear all of the music, I could see what was playing on the screen without having to face my phone in an awkward direction.

That's just not the case with some phablets like the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus in which the speaker grill is facing the back or the bottom.

It didn't quite match the larger sound produced by the HTC One M9 and its patented BoomSound speaker tech, but the Nexus 6 makes the most sense and noise among phablets.


The Nexus 6 didn't flinch when it came to game apps, typically the most intensive media form for a jack-of-all-trade phone like this, and it handled everything with flying, fluidly animated colors.

The free-to-play Asphalt 8: Airborne proved that Google's current Nexus is no slouch in 3D gaming performance. Simpler apps like the isometric Game of War did the same for 2D.

In fact, the Game of War overworld was easier to navigate thanks to 6-inch display and 2560 x 1440 resolution. It didn't feel stretched from my days playing it on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

This is important for mobile gamers to take into consideration when thinking about purchasing a phabet. Touchscreen size matters just as much as internal specs sometimes.


Nexus 6 takes the phablet crown when it comes to multimedia, but with one caveat. It doesn't have expandable storage.

This Android Lollipop trailblazer comes in 32GB or 64GB flavors. That's the internal storage size you're stuck with for about two years if you don't upgrade soon.

Also keep in mind that my review unit had a smaller-than-advertised 25.98GB of user-storage onboard when it's really the 32GB model. Nearly 7GB is taken up by the OS.

Matt Swider