For the final nexus phones Google decided to try and support two camps. One camp that wanted a larger phone and were willing to pay a little extra for a premium nexus. And another camp that wanted nexus phones to stay at a cheaper price. This resulted in Google seeking out LG to build a true successor to the nexus 5, and a new company to the nexus line, Huawei, to build the nexus 6p.
LG’s relationship with Google would continue as they were called upon to produce for Google yet again. People loved the nexus 5 and wanted a phone that was similar with updated specs. Enter the nexus 5x, with its similar (to the nexus 5) build, 5.2 inch 1920 x 1080p IPS Full HD dispay, Snapdragon 808 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 & 32 GB of internal storage, 2700 mAh battery, rear fingerprint sensor, and one of the first phones to use USB type C.
On the premium end, Huawei was trying to get a larger foot hole in the US phone market, and felt the best way to do this was by gaining exposure with one of the largest American tech company. Being almost reminiscent of the Droid X, the Huawei Nexus 6p would sport the critical camera hump in a metal chassis, a 5.7 inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 810 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 & 64 GB of internal storage, 3450 mAh battery, rear fingerprint sensor, and having a USB type C port.
In terms of software, both phones released with 6.0 Marshmallow. Which included Doze mode, to extend battery life, Google Now on Tap (basically the successor to holding down the home button on your phone to pull up Google Assistant), fingerprint API for unlocking apps and making online purchases, and better control of app permissions.
Google’s last nexus phones ended in controversy as the nexus 6p customers reported battery issues, where the phone would drop to zero, the phone being able to be bent easily, cracking on the rear glass back panel, poor call quality, and the phone switching to landscape mode without command. On the nexus 5x users experienced random bootloops, and screen issues with early phone builds. These complaints eventually led to class action lawsuits where Google has to pay 9.75 million to nexus 6p customers and 7.25 million to nexus 5x customers. Resulting in what I would say is a failure for both phones.
Both the nexus 5x and the nexus 6p launched Google into the Pixel line of products, riding the early momentum of these phones into expanding their customer base. Unlike the Pixel phones in the past, these phones actually pushed forward in providing a vehicle for users to enjoy Google’s much smoother, and up-to-date software experience. Something that appealed to me heavily, resulting in me giving up my more expensive note 5 for the nexus 6p.
Overall I honestly enjoyed the nexus 6p for the most part. My issues came when I started experiencing issues with my phone battery. Going through Huawei to get my phone repaired was a headache. And an experience I swore not to ever do again if I could help it. Though I have been in favor of Google’s customer support, I have been very critical on how they pushed their customers on to Huawei and LG versus handling this issue themselves. This did not keep me from continuing to support Google phones, but I can’t help but wonder how many people may have left Google because of the issues they experienced with their nexus 5x and nexus 6p.