Was the Nexus 6 a failure?

androidpit nexus6 wallpapers 1
© NextPit

I appreciate that the Nexus 6 wasn’t a commercial flop. We had it on our best Android phones list for a time, so we were clearly impressed when it first appeared. But looking at it now, I think this phone failed in more ways than it succeeded. Here’s why.

Nexus6 Lollipop
I am no longer happy with the Nexus 6. / © ANDROIDPIT

The design is awful

The Nexus 6 is uncomfortably big. It’s wide and thick and carrying it in a pocket just looks weird. The dimensions are 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm. That's basically the same size as your average aircraft carrier. 

I have tried to convince myself that Motorola and Google didn't pursue a 6-inch phone just because 'Nexus 6' was a convenient name... I have. But I really can't see another reason why they would think a phone this big was a good idea. Did anybody think this is an appropriate size for a smartphone? Imagine it with a case! It would be like carrying an early 90s PC monitor in your pocket.

androidpit android phone pocket
Hey thieves, take my massive phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

The camera is terrible

Why was that camera so bad? Nexus devices have a history of bad camera tech, and Motorola’s phones have never been particularly strong in this area either. Put them together, and you get one of the worst camera experiences possible. See the pictures below and see if you can guess which was taken with the Nexus 6.

androidpit nexus 6 elevator selfie 2
androidpit lg g4 elevator selfie 15
These photos were taken seconds apart in the same elevator, on different phones. / © ANDROIDPIT

The top photo is the one taken on a Nexus 6. Why is it green? Why does it look like it has been put through a film grain filter? I know it is unfair to compare any device's photos with the LG G4's excellent camera (which the second photo was taken on) but these devices were only released a few months apart. There's no reasonable excuse for the Nexus 6 camera to look quite as bad as it does. 

It lacked focus

The Nexus 6 was a wireless charging, stereo speaker wielding, US$649 phablet, and it was all wrong. Stereo speakers are overrated and Google later ditched wireless charging on the Nexus 6P because we are stupid and/or it realized it had a disastrous cost-benefit-ratio. After the smaller, well-regarded US$349 Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 looked like a confused product. It's little surprise that it had sluggish sales; nobody asked for a phone like this.  

androidpit Nexus 6 vs Nexus 6P 7
The Nexus 6P (bottom) is the Nexus 6 done right. / © ANDROIDPIT

When I look at the Nexus 6P sitting next to me, I realize I wouldn't recommend the original Nexus 6 to anyone now, for any reason.

Well, unless you need something to weigh down your hot-air balloon. 

That's my thoughts on the Nexus 6, but now I want to know yours. Hit me up in the comments.

Go to comment (52)
Scott Adam Gordon

Scott Adam Gordon

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes much of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. His current aim is to write cool things about Android. And he loves it.

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  • Crystal Sheffler Nov 8, 2015

    I totally disagree with all points in this article. I've had my Nexus 6 almost three months now and I love every part of this mongo phone. Yes, it's large but I knew that before I bought it and I'm guessing you did, too! My camera has been terrific, thank you very much, so maybe your Nexus 6's camera was faulty..? One of my favorite things about this phone is the super fast charging. After leaving my beloved HTC battery hog phones behind, the fact that this phone will almost completely charge in an hour just staggers my mind. Oh, and did I mention this wonderful, big phone is FAST FAST FAST? It puts others to shame, and I've had a bunch of phones to compare it to. Another major plus, for me at least, is vanilla Android! It's so very nice to not have a bunch of stupid apps on my phone that I will never even open, let alone use. What a waste. If I had to pick out one thing that I would change on my Nexus 6, I would have to say that the stereo speakers aren't up to HTC boomsound quality BUT they're loud and they sound good, just not fantastic. And I knew that before i bought it. BTW, my husband saw how fast and nice and easy to see my Nexus was and he bought one, too! Neither one of us would trade our phones for any other phone out there. They may be last year's model but they're still the best, IMHO. Rant over. :)

  • RonW Nov 8, 2015

    I too must disagree. I was a die hard iOS fan. I had 2 iphones, an iPad, a Mac, even Apple TV. I was under constant bombardment from my Android toting friends to leave " the dark side" and come try a real phone. Well after much research I decided to go big or go home. I chose the Nexus 6 over everything else out there. I have not regretted it at all. Yes it's huge but so am I. With hands like a catchers mitt the N6 just fits. My wife has since acquired the IPhone 6 plus. I'm not
    impressed with it at all. I love Android and the freedom it affords. I know the N6 is not for everyone but for me, it just plain works.

  • Raymundo Ochoa Nov 8, 2015

    Im 6'4'' so the size is perfect to me. I love the stereo speakers and couldn't live without wireless charging. I also have had no issues whatsoever with the camera. I could not be happier. The Nexus 6 is perfect to me. The screen is glorious, updated Android is superb, materials and hardware are top notch. Just great. I don't say it has to be perfect for everybody but your "nobody asked for this" take is uncalled for.

  • Dan B Nov 8, 2015

    It's all opinion (obvs) but I too disagree.

    I'm very happy with mine - I get great performance, battery life and the camera certainly isn't that bad (not claiming it's a strong point either because its not).
    Stereo speakers and QI charging will be missed if my next phone doesn't have them (although i've no plans to upgrade for the foreseeable).

    It mystifies me a little when reviewers list size as a positive or a negative. Size just *is*.
    For the record mine fits easily in my pocket and I'm fairly sure that I have normal sized pockets :\

  • Cmarz Nov 8, 2015

    I disagree with this article completely. I love the N6 and wont go back to any other brand or size. I have large hands so "small" phones look goofy in my hands. There is so much NOT wrong with this phone that I really cant justify wanting the 6P. Why because of a fingerprint scanner and a little better camera? Big deal. I use Last Pass so I dont need a fingerprint scanner and I feel the camera software is more the problem with any phone. Sometimes it just sucks. Download Open Camera and give it a whirl. Way better results overall.


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  • Edgardo A. Soto-Rodriguez Jan 14, 2016 Link to comment

    With all that had been said we can co e to a conclusion that the Nexus 6 is not for everyone and that is a phone that came out with a very high price when it came out. But we also can see how thisrticle is not accurate. The Nexus 6 is an awesome e phone and it would be around getting updates from Android and Google is the best phone at the moment $300.00 more or less can buy you. I actually had one from day one when they came out and now using the Nexus 6P, I can tell you that I'm going G to buy a few more Nexus 6's as back up phones and to use in years to come.With the Nexus 6 you don't need no ther phone and know with Motorola no more in existence these is the phone to buy ,5 years from now the Nexus 6 will still be a good to use and own.

  • konsta Pot Dec 15, 2015 Link to comment

    my nexus 6 had to be replaced twice because the backcover was coming off...The screen has two flaws: color is total incorrect with too much red/magenta and the brightness is too low so i can hardly see the screen outdoor in sunny day (adaptive off @ full brightness).
    On the other hand performance and sound are really good.
    Camera is ok as long as there is enough light...battery could be larger too in such a big & heavy phone..i can hardly get 12-14h with medium use...the turbo charge is good tho (i get fully charged in 80-90mins).
    For me color accuracy is very important and nexus 6 is very bad at that..

  •   31
    Deactivated Account Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Mr Gordon you can and should do better than articles like this...... there's a lot of love for moto,s Nexus for good reason...myself I paid under 50% rrp for an amazing android experience...that's a lot more than the sum of its sizable parts.

  • Joshua Moffett Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Hasn't anyone compared the nexus 6 size to any other big phone? The size is unnoticeable, it just has a much more massive screen size. The nexus utilized the whole front of the phone as a screen rather than putting physical buttons on it. There is no size argument that is really arguable when comparing to phones like note 5 and iPhone 6+.

    • Christopher James Nov 10, 2015 Link to comment

      I compared it to my Note 4 and it was basically identical. And actually the Nexus 6 was easier to handle and more comfortable in my hand even with my Nillkin Bumper Case on it!

      • Joshua Moffett Nov 10, 2015 Link to comment

        Exactly, everyone complains about the size. The only real difference is the screen being quite a bit larger, which is a huge plus!

  • Cormac Maher Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Like a lot of others here, I have to disagree, this Nexus 6 is my fourth Nexus device and I love it. While it's a small but too big ( I'd have preferred about 5.75") it's definitely not too big, and I find the camera fantastic. But I'm 6'3" with proportional sized hands, so I could imagine how it would be awkward for people with smaller hands. I bought it after the launch of the 6P, at a reduced rate ( refused to buy the 6P as Google had increased the sale price by 25% here in Ireland) so it was a pretty great price for a well built device with still-reasonable specs.

  • ino Vapor Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Nexus 6 Was too big but made very well for the few that likes it that big; The Failure is the Nexus 5X & 6P that are going backward with primitive USB 2 or 3 charging cords. Juts as twe got addicted to dock& charge since the Nexus-1 and started Qi since 2012 after that; I promised NEVER to use cable clutter when this beautiful, practical alternative is available at a cost of pennies...Coil thin copper & install software already implemented..

  • Robert Johnson Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    A poorly written article with a one track mind. When you write articles you have to be neutral and consider all sides of an argument. The Nexus 6 was big but there are people who want big phones. Sure there are also people who want smaller phones but the same argument could also be said for the iphone 6s plus and those phones sell very well. Now I'll admit that the camera software could have been much better and Motorola still needs improvement on that even on their newer phones his year. Battery life on the Nexus 6 was fairly good and the 2K screen was also very good. Right now you can get the Nexus 6 32GB and 64GB phones for a very good price. Introductory prices for the Nexus devices seem a bit high especially the newer Nexus 6P but if you're willing to wait just a few months the price should begin to fall to a reasonable level.

  • Nisha Sampath Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    I have the Nexus 6 since 3 months. Thanks to a great exchsnge offer on Flipkart in India, I got this phone at 460 USD. Not only is it fabulous money at tbis price point but it also is a great phone. It is my first phablet and I had my reservations about whether the size would make it unuseable. In just a week I changed my mind. It has a fabulous keyboard and typing is a joy. I can read on it without reaching for my reading glasses. It runs one of the best Android versions I have seen. Oddly despite the size it does not feel awkward in the hand. It is easy to grip and I can say this is the first phone I have not dropped. :) my only complaint is how easily the Gorilla Glass screen has picked up scratches. Moto knows how to make a good phone for sure :)

  • Wilmark Johnatty Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    I think this article was a failure. I got the nexus 6 when the price dropped to 350 a few weeks ago. While I have not seen the 6p next to the 6 in real, I wouldn't trade the looks on my 6 for the clumsy looking humpy 6p. Wanting that machined look is so old that was iPhone. Anyone buying the 6 knows upfront that it's big. I'm not making calls on my phone all the time. The only time the size is a problem and I really appreciate the functionality of having a large screen. The nexus 6 biggest plus is it's charging abilities and current price that makes it superior value to the 6p. I wouldn't mind having a better camera but I have a professional DSLR. But I love the shape of the 6 over the ugly 6p. And I think the 6 is water resistant and the 6p is not.

  • Ted Varias Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    The only thing this guy got right is the part about wireless charging. On a phone with a rounded back, wireless charging is a bit of a chore. The phone spins around on the charging pad making it difficult to center on the charger.

    Other than that the Nexus 6 has been the best phone I've ever owned and I've owned cellphones since the early 90's

  • sasha more Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    I disagree with the article . I have used IPhone for years then Samsung & now Nexus 6. I loved Nexus 6 more than the others . The size is one of the reasons why I bought it . And sure the Camera is not the best in market but it's OK not that bad , I used it while traveling & took alot of good shots ; so no complaining about it . & ya it's expensive !! But I like if so far . ( It's not a failure)

  • Franklin Jimenez Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    I completely disagree with this article I have had the nexus 6 for 1 month and it is amazinly fast and camera obviously is not the best compare with other new phones currently on the market ...but it is way much better that other phones released on the same date ..this article is wrong at all levels

  • StrikerXL Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    The Nexus 6 is one of the best pure Android devices on the market and set the barrier high for other smartphone manufacturer's in It's overall experience.

  • Yousef Saber Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    And of course don't forgot the high price

  • Hussain Ahmadi Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    The writer is missing something important here that without Nexus 6 Nexus 6P would never existed. The 6P is an enhanced version of Nexus 6. The front stereo speakers (definitely not overrated) but a must nowadays and I'm very glad that Google sticked to it with some other features. I have seen many nexus phones in the past but none of them encouraged me to go and purchase. Nexus 6 did it for me and now I don't think I can go back. That phone which you said you would not recommend to anyone made me a Nexus fan! I have been using mine for a year now and I like it a lot. I'm very much interested in the 6P too but a bit hesitated due to the camera black glass, not because I don't like it but because I feel it will be prone to scratch. Nexus 6 has a fully plastic back but it is a very solid one and resistant to scratch.
    Nexus 6 was not a failure but the step stone towards the right direction.

  • Aditya Narayan Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    Haters will be haters.....enough said.Period

  • Christopher McAlley Nov 8, 2015 Link to comment

    This article is the failure, perhaps you should stick to your field of study and continue playing music with you beloved locked down Samsung devices. OH the joy of ugly UI's, locked down security and untimely updates. Maybe if you understood technology, you would see "the camera" which was so bad has a 13mp camera, with a default "software" that could to better emulating deeper colors, and depth of field. For this Android has what is called "The Play Store" where you can download applications that may have been written with more features. The phone does not bend, nor does it have a Q Fuse to trip. But then again Scott Adrian Gordon is probably just an end user who likes trendy new devices no knowing how to manipulate whats under the hood, and to be frank I think an IPhone would suit someone like this. A tiny, trendy boring locked down device that devs, or programmers cant do a thing with!

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