In the fall of 2015 I was using the Moto X as my daily driver that was getting long in the tooth. At the time I bought the Moto X, Motorola was part of Google and the X was the first “Google Phone” after that acquisition, but by the fall of 2015 Google had sold Motorola to Lenovo, reinstating the Nexus line of phones as the the defacto Google phone.
I recall being disappointed when I first learned about the six inch screen of the new Nexus 6P. To this point I avoided the large screen phones such as the Samsung Note mostly because I thought they were too large to carry in my pants pocket. The Nexus 6P made me compromise on my stance on large screen phones for the sake of having a phone with a pure Google experience.
I chose the Google experience and over the following two years grew used to the large screen phone, which I protected with a portfolio case. Unlike the Moto X, the Nexus 6P’s performance has held up for two years, making it one of my longest lived smartphones.
Last year Google introduced the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, which are now truly, officially, Google phones, while deciding to drop the Nexus program. I liked Google’s decision to release a 5 inch and 6 inch phone, but I was not thrilled by the higher price.
Nexus phones not only had premium hardware, but they also had prices at or near $500, which I think ought to be the target price for premium smartphones. I find the rationalization for $1000 or near $1000 phones ridiculous as I find it hard to believe the new technology in these phones costs twice the price of what was considered premium phone prices just two years ago.
So, I have been very satisfied with the Nexus 6P and it has been the best phone that I have owned. However, there are now two issues. First, Google has stated the Nexus 6P is near the end of life, meaning that you will not be able to upgrade it to Android P when it is released next year. Second, while Oreo runs well on the Nexus 6P, it is clear that Google is optimizing Android for Pixel. If you want the best Android experience, you need a Pixel.
I decided I would need to buy a new phone in the next six months, the question was, which phone?