After my extended period of having my Project Fi sim card sitting in a drawer, I decided to order a Nexus 6P to test out both the service as well as the handset -- I'm left with mixed feelings about both.
Project Fi I am still playing with and will make a separate post about how it performs and if it's something I'd consider a viable option in it's virgin state. So far, I wouldn't consider it over a typical carrier, but we'll save that for a future post.
The Nexus 6P is what we're here for and I still don't quite know how I feel about it.
I started off with a sour taste for it when Huawei sent me the wrong device; I ordered a 128gb black 6P, received a 64gb silver -- I don't mind the silver, I actually prefer it, but the smaller storage is something that I still need to call and complain about.
Moving on from that struggle, the device is great but with caveats. The primary caveat is Android. Sure, 6.0 is a refresher, an attempt at making things more stable and cohesive. I see it, but I don't.
There are a four things that Google does well: Lock screen, dialer, notifications, and Google Now.
I love the hardware, the weight is perfect. I don't mind the large display size on the 6P like I do on the 6s Plus -- it isn't unbalanced in your hand so it's comfortable to use. The display is good but not great, it's made by Samsung but doesn't rival that found in the S6 or Note 5.
This is the first Nexus device that the camera is not just tolerable but usable; I've used it in place of my iPhone in several low light situations.
My issue isn't the hardware, that's something that isn't debatable. It's a great device, especially for the money. Huawei couldn't have done much better than they did in creating it, the greater issue is the software that runs atop the hardware.
I love Android's lock screen, it's clean and usable -- everything is presented in uniform and functions very well. Once you unlock the device, you experience the complete opposite. There's no cohesion amongst apps throughout your experience, there's no direction.
I've been an iOS user since the iPhone 3G but I've always had an Android handset laying around. I've always wanted to love the platform, there is a lot that you're able to do with it that caters to my inner geek. Unfortunately each and every time it falls flat on it's face.
The reason I like iOS is the fact that when I pick up my phone and open an application, everything is fluid. Everything feels as if it belongs the way it's being presented, everything just works and looks good while doing it.
Even with Huawei's hardware choices I still have applications force close on my 6P -- Twitter looks like it's from a $50 throw away android phone, not tailored for a premium experience. It just confuses me at how lackluster the platform is after it's amount of user adoption and developer engagement.
Truthfully; I had better experiences on my BlackBerry than I do on some Android applications in 2015, which is sad.
I think one of my favorite parts and final points for the 6P was USB Type-C, I can't wait for micro-usb to be phased out. It as far more convenient to use and no longer do you have to struggle with the cable whenever you go to plug the device in. This was a very welcomed change.
Bottom line is this: if you love Android or hate iOS, or both, or just want change... The 6P is the only Android handset you should be looking at. The hardware is premium and the Android experience will be unparalleled. It'll receive prompt updates and you don't have to tolerate ugly skins that hinder the already improved notification shade and dialer afforded to you in 6.0 Marshmallow.
Keep an eye out for my review of Project Fi -- I'll be posting that after I toss my sim into one of my iPhones just to toy around with how it performs when it isn't on an official partner device.