Can the Essential Phone replace the aging Google Nexus 6P?

Essential Phone, Android Rubin

In a month’s time, Google Nexus 6P will officially be out of the company’s list of supported devices for major OS upgrades, leaving users of the phone with monthly security patches as the only supported software updates program.

There’s no doubt that the Nexus 6P has proven over time and again that it’s one of the best phones in the Nexus family, but everything – good or bad – must eventually come to an end. And this is where the Google Nexus 6P currently rests – the end of an era.

Many of those who still rock the 6P have it because they still haven’t met a phone they believe is a worthy alternative or rather replacement to this great creation from China’s Huawei. However, thanks to the father of Android, Andy Rubin, the answer to this problem might just have been found. The creator of Android OS has a new phone in the marked known as Essential Phone. You’ve probably heard something about it and while it’s past the initial date of shipping, expectations are high that it will be available for purchase this August.

Given that the Essential Phone comes from someone who built Android the way he would want it to be, it’s allowed to assume that this phone will work the way an Android phone is supposed to work. Perhaps there’s a small twist to this statement, but the point here is that having tweaks to the original Android OS like Samsung, LG, and other OEMs do is basically messing around with how Android is supposed to work.

The success of Google Nexus 6P is partly because the device runs Android OS the way it is and without any tweaks. As it is, the Essential Phone will take this path by not tweaking the OS experience into something else. With this in mind, the phone might just find a soft place for current Nexus 6P users who are looking to buy a new phone with top-notch hardware and the latest design language yet without any weird software tweaks.

Another aspect of the Google Nexus 6P that made it such a darling for many is the price tag. The phone came in three different variants with 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of internal storage. Perhaps this is where the Essential Phone might miss out on some potential buyers since it only comes with the latter variant. Where the 128GB variant of the Nexus 6P had a price tag of $649, you need an extra $50 to get your hands on the same package of the Essential Phone.

Considering that the Essential Phone has a few other features that the Nexus 6P lacks, this $50 price difference might well be worth it. The two have the same 5.7-inch QHD display screen, but the former has no bezels at all, meaning the overall size of the phone is also smaller at 141.5 mm tall compared to the massive 159.3mm height of the Nexus 6P. Both display screens have Gorilla Glass protection.

With close to two years apart, the Essential Phone has the latest and more advanced hardware compared to the Nexus 6P. The new phone has a Snapdragon 835 SoC mated with 4GB RAM while the aging 6P has a Snapdragon 810 SoC mated with 3GB RAM. This means that you’ll definitely get much better performance from the Essential Phone compared to the Nexus 6P.

Google Nexus 6P

The cameras are also not the same, where Andy Rubin’s creation has a 13MP dual camera on the back while the Google Nexus 6P has a 12.3MP lens on the back. Both phones have the same 8MP shooter on the front, although the Essential Phone should perform better in low-light conditions thanks to its bigger f/2.2 aperture compared to the f/2.4 aperture of the 6P. The camera capabilities of the Essential Phone can also be amped using Snap-on accessories, something you won’t find on the 6P.

You won’t feel any change when it comes to using the fingerprint scanner, where both phones have it mounted on the back panel. Also, the pair makes use of the latest USB-C port for data transfer and battery charging. Speaking of batteries, you might be a little disappointed leaving behind a 3450mAh unit on the Google Nexus 6P since the Essential Phone has a slightly smaller 3040mAh unit, although both phones support fast charging technology.

The upcoming Android O will be the first real test of how Andy Rubin plans to position the Essential Phone in the market. As you all know, the Google Nexus 6P will be part of the first set of devices to receive the stable OTA to the new OS. We’ve seen Nokia phones seemingly positioning themselves as the new Nexuses, but the company has yet to handle a major OS upgrade. So far, the Essential Phone runs Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and the time it takes to receive the OTA update to O will be a major factor in determining whether the phone is indeed a worthy Google Nexus 6P replacement.

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2 thoughts on “Can the Essential Phone replace the aging Google Nexus 6P?”

  1. Aside from the Essential phone not being available yet (its a month overdue from its announced availability date, and no official updates on how much longer delay is expected), there’s no reason to replace my Nexus 6P with ANY phone. There’s another year left in the 6P. It will get the Android O operating system upgrade, and will receive monthly security updates for another year, still. Replacing it now would be premature–especially since there is STILL no other phone I would rather have. And I’m definitely not replacing it with a phone that doesn’t have an audio jack. Even though I usually use Bluetooth headphones, there are times when you need the corded version. Airlines generally don’t let you use Bluetooth devices, yet. And sometimes, the BT devices you have with you are out of battery. It is just stupid to not include a jack. I buy a bunch of 3.5mm headphones (for $1-$2 apiece on eBay) and put them everywhere-office, home-office, nightstand, backpack, car, gym bag, etc. And I’m probably not going to replace my 6P with a phone that doesn’t come with monthly security updates and annual OS upgrades for 3 years. Is the Essential Phone promising that?

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