Google Nexus 6p, photo review one year after

nexus 6p photo review

Google Nexus 6p, photo review one year after

Posted on Nov 7, 2016

With the presentation of the brand new Google Pixel phone, some of you may think that the previous smartphone model, the Nexus 6p, is outdated. Well, that’s absolutely not true. Especially now that prices for this device are quite lower than last year!
So how this device performs on the camera side? Let’s see in this Nexus 6p photo review!
[I want to thanks for the collaboration, giving this device to the test]

   I suggest you to give a look at the smartphone review page where you can find other articles about smartphone photography :

Construction quality, Nexus 6p photo review

The device follows the trend of the actual smartphone with a unibody steel construction. Honestly, I feel that this device with the 5,7″ inch screen is quite big to let a sort of good usability. Forget to use with one hand, is quite impossible.
The design is nice but not perfect. On the back side of the Nexus 6p (build by Huawei) you can find a black bar that hides the camera and the antenna of the phone. This part is not flat with the rest of the smartphone (in contrast to what you can find on the Huawei P9 that has a similar design) and presents a little bump. It’s not so bad looking but not so clean as the other devices.
Nexus 6p use the USB Type-C for connection and recharge.

Nexus 6p, quality of the Camera

One of the great selling point in my opinion of the all Nexus line, and now the new Pixel line, is the stock Android experience.
With stock Android, you get a full speed device without any third party applications and personalization. On top of this, your device is always up to date on the last Android updates.
Talking about the camera, the Nexus 6p offer a Sony sensor, the IMX377 with a 1/2.3″ size sensor. I know that this number isn’t giving big emotion to of the readers here, but in general, it means that the sensor is a bit bigger than the one we can find in other devices with 1/2.6″. For instance, iPhone uses a 1/3″ size sensor that is quite smaller. If you add on this that the total count is 12 Megapixel we have quite bigger pixel size that allows us to capture more light on the night shoots.
On top of this, you can find the Google own technology called HDR+. The technique is quite advanced and it’s not aimed only to get an HDR image. Trying to explain it in a bit simplified way, we can say that the algorithm blends different exposures giving a great advantage to the shadows/light and noise recorded.

Here’s is a photo gallery I’ve taken with the Nexus 6p shooting only with the Google Camera App using the HDR+ mode.

Nexus 6p, photo review

My opinion on the camera is overall very positive. The shooting is fast and the pictures taken with the HDR+ algorithm are balanced very well.
For this reason, I suggest to let Hdr+ on Google Nexus phones on all the time!
One of the downsides of the Google Camera App is that it doesn’t offer the opportunity to record directly a .raw dng file format.
This is really a pity since to be able to shoot in .raw we have to use a different application as Camera FL5 or Manual camera. I’ve to say that with both the app I had some issues with the Nexus 6p with the phone that quite often froze down. Another annoying issue was that all the time I was getting the smartphone to standby, the next time I was opening the apps they weren’t remembering the last shooting settings so I had to lose extra time to reset everything for the shot.

Here’s a gallery of pictures I’ve shoot in .raw dng using the app Camera Fl5 and Manual Camera. The pictures have been edited with Lightroom.

Nexus 6p, photo quality jpg vs raw

Here’s is a gallery of comparison of the shooting in .jpg using the HDR+ mode with the default Google Camera app and the .raw file format.
As you can see the difference are quite small. So is very positive that Google algorithms work on the jpg file in an excellent way.
I’m very curious to test soon the new Google Pixel to find out the improvement they were able to get in the last smartphone!

google nexus 6p photo review jpg vs raw

Nexus 6p, final judge about the photo quality

Honestly, for about 400€, this device now has a very good value. Considering that the new Google Pixel is quite more expensive at the moment, the idea to buy now the Nexus 6p it can be a nice affair for a lot of the users.

In the comment below you can write your opinion about this Nexus 6p photo review!

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  • Dan
    Posted at 14:37h, 01 November Reply

    Do you find the hdr+ one kinda outweighs the raw’s detail level?

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 10:23h, 15 November Reply

      Ciao Dan, honestly not! 🙂 But could be some algorithmic processing on some photos that create some artifacts?

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