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    Posted on Oct 19, 2015

    I'm an iPhone Person And This Is Why I Actually Love The New Android Phone

    'Sup Android.

    Last week, Google lent me a new, big Nexus smartphone for review — and it looked good enough to convince this iPhone user to switch.

    Every year, Google premieres the new version of its Android software on a flagship device called Nexus. The phone is *special* because it gets the new Android operating system before anyone else. A few weeks ago, for the first time, Google announced two Nexii (the 5X and 6P) at once. I jumped at the chance to try the larger of the two, the 6P, which is 6 inches tall (standard phablet size).

    I had just 72 hours to review the thing and did not take that deadline lightly. During dinner with a friend, I rudely whipped out the phone because our ramen hadn't come yet (photographic evidence above). My bad, Will.

    What follows is my weekend in Android-landia.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    I’ve been trapped in an iMessage-blue-bubble bubble for far too long. The last non-iPhone device I owned was a 2013 Moto X, and Android has changed a lot since then.

    The operating system has become more design-centric. The devices themselves have faster processors, bigger screens, and much better cameras. In other words, it's a great time to switch to Android if you're thinking about jumping the iPhone ship.

    Migrating from iPhone to Android is shockingly easy, especially if you use Google products like Gmail.

    Nicole

    The main benefit to Android is that if you use Google products (Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, GCal, etc.), the setup is quick and painless. Syncing my contacts took less than a minute. On my iPhone, I made sure my contacts were synced with iCloud (Settings > Mail > iCloud), went to iCloud.com, exported all of my contacts into one file, uploaded it to contacts.google.com, and — bam — they showed up on the Nexus phone seconds later.

    Setting up Gmail required me to simply log in. Even two-factor authentication was easier on an Android. It detected that the authentication code was sent to that device, and I didn't even have to input it.

    The most time-consuming process was downloading all of my apps, but that was fast, too, since you don't have to input your password every time you want to download an Android app. The only app missing from the Google Play store was my period tracking app, Dot. RIP Dot.

    The Nexus 6P's camera has a b i g sensor.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    It's 1.55 micrometers, for the camera nerds out there. For you non-nerds, that means that each pixel has a side of 1.55 microns, which is a thousandth of a millimeter. It's a sizable sensor (the iPhone 6S has a smaller 1.22 micron sensor) that allows for better color recognition and less noise in your photos.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    It's 1.55 micrometers, for the camera nerds out there. For you non-nerds, that means that each pixel has a side of 1.55 microns, which is a thousandth of a millimeter. It's a sizable sensor (the iPhone 6S has a smaller 1.22 micron sensor) that allows for better color recognition and less noise in your photos.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    It's 1.55 micrometers, for the camera nerds out there. For you non-nerds, that means that each pixel has a side of 1.55 microns, which is a thousandth of a millimeter. It's a sizable sensor (the iPhone 6S has a smaller 1.22 micron sensor) that allows for better color recognition and less noise in your photos.

    From a hardware standpoint, the Nexus camera is better than the iPhone. From a photo standpoint, they both look pretty damn good.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed
    Nicole / BuzzFeed
    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    The biggest difference is that iPhone pictures tend to be warmer (more orange) while Nexus pictures are colder (more blue). It's neither a good nor bad thing, just a matter of preference.

    Nicole
    Nicole
    Nicole

    Where the 6P shines is its low-light performance.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    The lights were subdued in the 6P photo, not overexposed like the iPhone's, which left the photos with a pretty purple haze.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    The lights were subdued in the 6P photo, not overexposed like the iPhone's, which left the photos with a pretty purple haze.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    The lights were subdued in the 6P photo, not overexposed like the iPhone's, which left the photos with a pretty purple haze.

    Unlike the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone, the Nexus 6P's fingerprint unlock is on the back.

    To set it up, you have to touch the sensor a bunch of times. It's called Nexus Imprint.

    Fingerprint recognition is one of my favorite features on the 6P. You can use it to unlock the phone and tap-and-pay securely through Android Pay.

    It's *incredibly* fast — and, depending on the sweatiness of my finger (sorry, lol), faster than Touch ID on the iPhone 6S.

    Using Nexus Imprint on the 6P. It's fast fingerprint recognition, you guys.

    The sweatier the finger, the less likely the 6P is to recognize you. When I first played with the 6P in September, I was impressed. It wasn't until I compared the Nexus 6P and iPhone 6S side-by-side that I realized just how speedy the sensor was. As I noted in my review of the new iPhone, Touch ID was significantly and notably faster than the previous generation, making unlocking the phone with your fingerprint, a gesture that many people maybe dozens of times a day, less annoying and more useful. In my informal testing, the Nexus 6P unlocked faster than the iPhone 7 out of 10 times.

    But because it's on the back, the Nexus Imprint will be more useful for people who keep their phones in their pockets (aka dudes).

    TL;DR — Most men like to carry their phones in pockets, while most women carry their phones in a backpack or purse. The location of the Nexus 6P fingerprint sensor is ideal for pocket carriers and therefore, a win for most men.

    Most pants for women have inexplicably tiny front pockets, which is why I (and many others) stash them elsewhere. Exhibit A:

    The iPhone 6S and Nexus 6P jammed into the front pockets of women's pants / Nicole / BuzzFeed

    In a recent poll with over 100,000 participants, 63% said they keep their phones in their butt pockets. According to the numbers, most people are on team butt pocket, which if you look at the placement of the Nexus 6P, makes sense. Grabbing the phone with your index finger resting on the back feels natural. With the 6P, it's easy to unlock your device while you're pulling it out of your pocket.

    So, it’s safe to assume that Nexus Imprint is extremely useful for people who carry their phones in their pockets. But I'm not one of those people.

    Nicole

    My phone's either in a purse or backpack, where reaching for a device in this particular way (with a finger resting on the back) isn't natural. And because I have the hands of a small child, I was constantly fumbling with the Nexus, which is nearly six inches tall, to unlock it with one hand, after fishing it out of whatever non-pocket I was using.

    This is also true of the iPhone, which is why I always had it resting on a table, so I could simply press my thumb on the front-facing Touch ID home button to lock the phone without lifting it. But it's not as easy with the Nexus 6P, which you're forced to lift off the table or turn over, with your thumb and pinky outstretched to unlock the device. Luckily, Android has a "trusted places" feature which uses GPS to unlock your device when you're in a safe location (like home or work), but I could only get it to work 50% of the time.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    Now on Tap is freaking amazing.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    Hangouts

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    Now on Tap

    New in Android M, the latest operating system, is Now on Tap, a feature that pinpoints keywords in texts, emails, webpages, calendars, and more. From those keywords, Google provides you with what it does best: refined search results.

    So, for example, I started chatting about dinner plans. Then I long-pressed the home button, and Now on Tap provided me with shortcuts to the phone number, location, website, Facebook page, and even the Street View of the front of the restaurants we were discussing.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    It can also create events for you based on email or provide a shortcut to a phone number. The most frustrating aspect of Now on Tap is that you can't tell where it'll be useful. On some articles, it will yield Wikipedia pages and locations, and on others, it won't show anything.

    Holy crap, this phone's charger is QUICK.

    After forgetting to charge it overnight, the Nexus was running on its last legs at 13% on Friday morning. In 30 minutes, the phone's battery increased by 44%. In an hour and 20 minutes, it increased by 84%.

    Google claims that 10 minutes of charging gives the phone seven hours of battery life, which I wasn't able to confirm. But the Nexus 6P's battery does go from 0% to 100% 30 minutes faster than the 6S Plus, which takes three hours with the included charger and about two on airplane mode.

    The not yet widely adopted USB Type C charger cable is annoying, but not a deal-breaker.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    The iPhone lightning cable and Android-friendly micro USB cable have become so ubiquitous that forgetting your charging cable isn't a huge deal. You could probably just bum one off a co-worker if you're really in a pinch. One annoying thing about the Nexus is that it uses a cable almost no one has, so you can't forget to bring it with you wherever you go.

    The Nexus's USB Type C charging cable is partly responsible for the phone's quick charging capabilities. It's an entirely new type of cable that tech companies are just starting to adopt. The new Macbook and Chromebook Pixel use this "USB-C" cable and I'm sure you'll see much more of it in the years to come.

    The Nexus 6P is a very nice phone that's kind of expensive.

    Nicole / BuzzFeed

    And by expensive, I mean not subsidized. The phone costs between $499 and $649 depending on configuration (color and storage size), and you can only buy it from Google. You won't find it at Verizon or AT&T stores and you definitely won't find it at a carrier subsidized price.

    Overall, the Nexus 6P is the perfect starting point for any iPhone user looking to switch to Android. It looks and feels like a high-end phone, and acts like it too. The 6P is a perfectly fine smartphone with perfectly fine software.

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