For the first time, Google is launching two new Nexus phones at the same time. Let's see how the flagship of the pair, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P, compares to last year's (Motorola-made) Nexus 6.
The two handsets are about the same height, but the Nexus 6P is 6 percent narrower.
Technically the Nexus 6P is 28 percent thinner (and, make no mistake, it will feel much thinner in hand), but remember that last year's Nexus 6 had a more rounded back. Its depth measurement only counts its thickest point, so the discrepancy may not feel quite as wide as it looks on paper.
The Nexus 6P is only 3 percent lighter than its predecessor, despite being a smaller and thinner phone.
Apart from that glass bar up by its rear camera, the Nexus 6P has an all-aluminum body. The Nexus 6 has an aluminum frame, but a plastic back.
Google and Huawei are selling the Nexus 6P in three different color options.
Here's something you don't see often: a new flagship phone with a screen that's smaller than the one it's replacing. The Nexus 6's display is 9 percent bigger than the 6P's.
Did Google decide that it went a step too far with that enormous 6-inch display last year? Was the phone confined to a more limited audience than Google had hoped because of its pocket-busting size? Whatever the reasons, a smaller (but still very big) display is what we get this year.
Though the phones have the same 1440p resolution, the 6P does have a slightly higher pixel density, thanks to that smaller screen.
Both handsets have
For the first time, a Nexus has a fingerprint sensor – a good fit for the new native fingerprint support in Android Marshmallow.
Unlike the sensors we've seen on iPhones and Galaxy handsets, the Nexus 6P's sensor is on its backside.
You get three storage options with the new Nexus 6P, jumping all the way to 128 GB.
The Nexus 6P has a newer, 64-bit Snapdragon processor. For what it's worth, though, we find the Nexus 6 to still be a very fast phone, almost a year after it launched.
RAM stands pat at 3 GB.
The Nexus 6P has the higher-capacity battery, though we'll need to get our hands on a review unit before jumping to any conclusions here.
Both handsets have fast-charging capabilities built-in.
Here's another step backwards, as the 6P loses the Qi wireless charging that we saw in last year's model.
A 0.7 MP resolution "downgrade" in the rear camera doesn't mean the new model won't take much better pictures, as Google is advertising.
That higher-res front shooter, though, will mean sharper selfies.
Camera aperture (rear)
The 6P's rear camera sticks with ƒ/2.0 aperture.
Similar to several
, the Nexus 6P's rear camera has laser-based autofocus.
No Optical Image Stabilization in the new model, though we don't yet know if that will have any noticeable effect on its shots.
Physical camera shortcut
Perhaps taking a cue from
Samsung's 2015 flagships
, Google and Huawei let you launch the Nexus 6P's camera from anywhere by double-tapping its power button.
Until recently, it was a given that any Android phone would have a micro USB port, but Google is adopting the new (reversible!)
USB Type C
standard in the new Nexus.
At the time of publication, the Nexus 6 is still running
, but Google says it will start rolling out the
Pre-orders for the Nexus 6P are already underway, and the first are scheduled to ship by late October.
Starting price (full retail)
Google is still selling last year's model for the same US$499 starting price that the Nexus 6P now rings up for, but head over to Amazon and you can shave $149 off of the 2014 model's price.
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It's too early to say if the 6P is worth that difference (stay tuned for our full review), but, if you don't mind its enormous size, we can say that the year-old Nexus 6 still makes for a pretty good buy at that price.