Google's powerhouse Nexus 6 phone runs big, expensive

Starting at $650, the latest member of Google’s Nexus line goes big.

Google's latest Nexus 6 phone is a powerhouse phone for power users, but not without its cost

Google’s newest smart phone, the Nexus 6, will be released Thursday, but pre-orders begin today. 

The Nexus 6 sports a screen that measures 6 inches diagonally and is definitely a “phablet” by that fact alone. Its dimensions exceed Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 4 at 5.7 inches and the iPhone 6 Plus at 5.5 inches.

The phone starts out at $649 for 32 GB models and goes up to $699 for 64 GB models, plus the cost of shipping. It comes in two colors: midnight blue and cloud white.

The price point is a major departure from what the Nexus line used to be: a scrappy budget choice. The previous Nexus 5 phone retailed for $350, but its screen also measured at a more average 4.95 inches.

The phone still holds onto a few things that distinctly make it a Nexus phone.

Like its predecessors, the phone will come unlocked and usable on US and global carriers, and should work for the big four carriers in the United States (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).

Also like its predecessors, it runs an unmodified version of the latest Android update, Lollipop, for which users will be able to receive over-the-air updates directly from Google, which power users tout as a solution to Android’s oft-cited fragmentation problem.

The battery is unremovable, the storage is unexpandable, and the back of the phone features its signature Nexus branding. But this time it’s also sporting a Motorola logo along with a camera in the center, making the phone’s form factor and finishes strikingly similar to the Moto X.

This isn’t to say all of the phone is derivative. Google is including a number of bells and whistles with the phone. New purchases give you six free months of Google Play Music unlimited, Google’s music streaming service. The battery also has a higher capacity to account for the larger size. With 3,220 mAh compared to the Nexus 5’s 2,300 mAh, the bigger battery gives the phone a purported all-day battery life.

The phone also comes with a Motorola Turbo Charger, which Google says gives the phone six hours of battery life after only 15 minutes of charging.

The phone has a 13 megapixel rear camera with 2 megapixel front camera, which is a definite improvement over the Nexus 5’s 8 megapixels. While the larger sensor may make up for some of the Nexus line’s perennial camera quality problems, it likely won’t stand up to the quality that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6 can output.

It’s unclear whether or not Google will continue to upsize its flagship model in response to an international market that’s increasingly for larger phones, but if the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6 are of any indication, flagship phones are quickly marching into phablet territory.

But will users be able to adapt? Dieter Bohn of The Verge says yes, and that it might be impossible to go back after adopting a phablet. But pockets can only be so big, and wallets can only go so deep.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Google's powerhouse Nexus 6 phone runs big, expensive
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today