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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Google Nexus 6p by Huawei - A User Experience

Finally in Singapore, Huawei decide to bring in the Nexus 6P in Graphite and Aluminum.  I finally got my hand on it on 24th Nov 2015.

Some might ask me why not Samsung, Sony, LG, etc?
  • I was very keen with LG but G4 has been out for awhile.  The only impressive thing LG did was their camera at F1.8 which is very decent.
  • Samsung TouchWiz UI is just too heavy, it can come with 4GB memory like Note 5, but it will still slow down due to the demand of the UI.  
  • Sony, almost vanilla Android, my previous phone is a SOny Xperia Z3.  It was decent but lots of Sony own apps like Music Play, Camera, etc. not that is not good but the inbuild storage was too little for me.  Yes Z5 might be a good choice, but I want a bigger phone and shortlisted Z5 Premium but drop the idea completely after see that the volume button is at the bottom half of the phone makes it hard to use when in a call.
Eventually I chose Huawei Google Nexus 6P been first it's stock Android and it's tuned on the hardware so it will be as good as a iPhone in terms of smoothness.

The case more of environmental material not very hardy or very premium.  The outer wrapper is the one that tie the box together.  However the IMEI tag is on it so after opening this wrapper need to be kept for warranty for sure since it doesn't stick after opening.

In Singapore, the phone does not comes with any $50 Play Store credit instead Huawei just throw in their own phone case (which I find it poor in quality as it has sharp edges) and ear phones (which I prefer using my own).  You can find accessories in Qoo10, Amazon or even Taobao easily.

Why Aluminum vs Graphite?
I got the the Aluminium one instead of the Graphite.  As Singapore only release these 2 colours to choose from reason for this was Graphite is a fingerprint magnet it's just like your glossy screen protector which make me switch to Aluminum after a hands on the real thing.

Free case and ear piece


In the box, is one power adapter, one USB-C to USB-C cable for use with the power adapter to charge the phone, a USB-C to USB-A cable to connect to a laptop or use with other power adapter using USB-A, Nexus 6p and the SIM card tray removal pin.  The instruction sheet is nicely done in diagram and pictures as you can see.


A few things you might want to take note that many reviews just mention the great features but left out some stuff.
  1. Most mobile phone charger is using 2A output however in Nexus 6p, it is a 3A.  You might use the old mobile phone power adapter with the USB-C to USB-A cable however do not the fast charging timing will not be the same since the current output is different.
  2. Buying a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable online or from anywhere else, might not be able to leverage on the fast charge feature or it might damage your USB port if it does not meet the USB-C specification.  You can refer to Benson Leung from Google who has reviewed and explained which cable works to avoid this.  He also added almost every USB-C to USB-A cable in Amazon.  You can also download the CheckR, and connect the cable to your PC and your phone and switch your "Use USB for" to Photo transfer (PTP), if it turns green been the cable is USB-C compliant.
  3. USB-A to USB-C adapter that convert your micro USB cable, might not be able to use as a data cable anymore but end up been a charging cable (I have bought some and it turn my data cable to a charging cable).
  4. Buying a screen protector that covers the proximity sensor lying just under the bottom right of the upper speaker will cause black screen when in a call.
  5. Buying a case that covers the mic at the back below the finger scanner might cause your call quality to drop.
Option to choose which to use with the USB


CheckR showing green indicating cable to USB-C compliance


How do you know how much is fully charge and how long more?  There is an indicator on the time remaining only on the locked screen below.

If you are charging from a source that output too little power you will see the message below.


How do you enable the percentage shown on the battery and also change the quick settings icons and layout?  Just pull down your notification window and pull down one more time to have quick settings in sight, press and hold the setting icon (gear logo) for a few seconds and release.  Go into your settings and the last item of the list will be System UI.  You will see a percentage on you battery.  While charging, you can only see the percentage on the notification screen by pulling down twice.


If you want to save some battery power, you can turn on Battery saver from the Settings>Battery, click on the top right hand corner where the 3 dots are and choose Battery saver.  You will be directed to the below section.  Turning on the Battery saver switch your theme to orange.  Don't ask me why Google choose this colour.  Do note that Battery saver is automatically turn off when you charge your phone.  Do note that when Battery saver is turned on, the phone animation will be turn off which I find it rather appearing very fast as there is not transition animation.


Inbuild in the Settings menu also contain a Explorer.  I would recommend you to download one e.g. ES Explorer instead.  However if you want to use the internal one, you can go to Settings>Storage. You will see the section as below, click the last line Explore.


You will be brought to the below section.  This is an internal explorer where you can browse and copy and even delete files here.


While there are no major bugs or issue that I came across, there are some cosmetic interface bug I discovered so far:
  • Finger mark on the Google search bar left behind if you press and hold and slide off which is also found once left on the Google Now page on the extreme left of your dashboard.
  • Words correction prompt come out below the word covered by your keyboard which can be resolved by hiding your keyboard.

Screenshot
Taking screenshot can be done pressing the Volume Down button with Power button at the same time.  You will have to use the native Google Photo to view or share the photos.  I used it quite often and turn on the auto backup when charging.  Alternative photo app I used is QuickPic Gallery from Cheetah mobile (the one who also make Clean Master used by Samsung) where you get free online storage.

A new method introduced in the new Google Now, is to hold the Home button and Google Now will give you share icon, choosing that will allow you to share to your friends without saving a copy in your storage.  You need to be using Google Now as your default home button.  This needs to be turn on at the server side so you might not received it yet.  At time of writing (14th Dec 2015), you can join the beta release to use it join here.  I joined and after awhile I got the Share icon.



Display
For those who find the colour of the display too high a contrast, you can switch the screen colour display to a sRGB scheme via the developer menu.  You will need to press a few times on Build Number in Settings>About Phone till it says Developer Options unlock.

One thing to note if you use the adaptive screen, often I find the sensor does not sense accurate either too bright or too dark.  I end up doing my own adjustment and turn off that adaptive function.


Camera
So far the camera is decent.  However you cannot shake too much of your hand else the picture will appear blurred.  Also the flash when taking people do have Red Eye which many reviews did not test this out.  Nothing can't be fixed with some photo editing apps.  (I will show some of the camera picture at later as to make sure I know how to use it completely and with other apps.)  You can enable quick camera launch in the Settings to Press Power Button twice to go to camera mode.

Something which I find most manufacturer camera app is focusing the right focus.  What do I mean, trying focusing on a lightup signboard with lights, likelihood it will be blur out.  But for Google Camera, it knows its too bright and will dim it down!


Battery
The battery life for me wasn't ideal for now it manage to last me about 10 hours from the time I left the charger till I am home.  Will update the battery further on this.  The main reason for this might be due to the use of my Moto360 which requires a constant connection over Bluetooth.

One thing to note, if you are using any Android Wear Smart watch, make sure you turn off "auto connect" if you are not wearing else Android Wear will constantly try to search and connect and this will run off some power.

You can now auto backup your photos using Google Photos.  Be Careful of what you choose for the setting especially only do when it is charging else you might end up wasting power trying to backup via Wifi or wasting data using your mobile.


Updating in progress...  While I am still using it, I will constant put up what I discover the good and bad of it.  Do check back.

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