Google's latest flagship smartphone is a whopper. The 5.9-inch Nexus 6 sports a massive display, killer specs and a premium design. And the phone will be the first smartphone with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, which is packed with new productivity-boosting features. That's good news for business users who want a beastly device for on-the-go-productivity. The Nexus 6, which is the follow-up to last year's 5-inch Nexus 5, is manufactured by Motorola and closely resembles a supersized version of the new Moto X smartphone. It will become available to preorder at the end of October, though no official launch date has been announced. While we wait, read on for 10 features that could make it good for work.
The Nexus 6 is a real handful, with a display that measures 5.9 inches when measured diagonally. That's significantly bigger than the 5.5-inch screen on Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, and it's even bigger than the 5.5-inch display on Samsung's Galaxy Note 4. If you can handle the extra bulk, a screen like this is great for business users, since it gives you tons of room for screen-intensive work tasks like editing a document or spreadsheet. And Google has upped the display resolution to a stunning 2560 x 1440 pixels, or quad HD. That puts it on par with the best Android displays, and makes it quite a bit sharper than the iPhone 6 Plus's screen.
Great software features won't do you much good if your smartphone is always running out of juice. The Nexus 6 boasts a seriously beefy 3,220-mAh battery that Google says is rated to last 24 hours on a charge. We haven't had a chance to put the Nexus 6 through its paces, but with a battery this big, we expect it to easily last through the end of the workday and beyond.
If your Nexus 6 is about to die, Motorola has incorporated a handy feature that can give you a quick battery boost. The smartphone is compatible with Motorola's Turbo Charger Accessory, which can give you an extra 6 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.
It's a feature that's easy to overlook, but the Nexus 6's dual front-facing speakers could be a boon for business users — especially if you use your phone to take conference calls. That's because the external speaker is used for speakerphone functionality, and many smartphone makers place the speaker on the back of the device, forcing you to flip it over if you want to hear clearly. We expect the Nexus 6 to deliver extremely loud, clear audio, since the new Moto X's single front-facing speaker is already one of the better speakers on any smartphone.
Android 5.0 Lollipop
The Nexus 6 is set to become the very first smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Formerly known simply as Android L, it's a huge update for the Android operating system that adds a bunch of great features for business users. In addition to a visual overhaul, Lollipop also introduces a new way for you to act on incoming alerts right from the lock screen. When a new message, email or alert arrives, you can view it as soon as you wake your phone, then dismiss or respond without launching a single app.
Lollipop also adds new ways to multitask. When you tap the recent apps button in the bottom corner of the screen, tabs from your Web browser are now listed alongside recently used applications, making it easier to jump back and forth between multiple Web pages and apps. There are also some new features to help you manage your smartphone's battery life, including Battery Historian, which gives you a detailed look at which apps are draining your battery; and Battery Saver, which reduces background updates when your phone is low on power.
The Nexus 6 is a premium smartphone with premium hardware. Its powerful Snapdragon 805 processor puts it on par with the speediest Android phones such as the Galaxy Note 4. And with 3GB of RAM, it's sure to deliver extremely snappy multitasking. The phone comes with either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage, but it lacks a microSD Card slot.
Always-listening voice commands
Always-listening voice commands, one of the best features of the Moto X, are coming to the Nexus 6. The feature lets you perform all sorts of actions totally hands-free. Just say "OK, Google" — you'll train your phone to only recognize your voice — to activate the Android voice-command prompt, even when your screen is turned off. From there, you can issue all sorts of commands. For example, say "Take a note," then dictate your note to quickly save it; or say "Remind me to call John at 3 p.m. tomorrow" to receive a reminder when the time comes.
The simple, plastic builds of previous Nexus smartphones helped keep them affordable. Now Motorola is adding a bit of premium appeal to the Nexus 6. The handset sports a metal frame that gives it the look of a true flagship phone. Compared with previous Nexus phones, the Nexus 6 is a smartphone that business users can take seriously.
A durable work phone is a dependable work phone. Google says the Nexus 6 is water-resistant, to help it avoid sustaining damage when it gets wet. We don't yet know how much moisture the Nexus 6 can withstand, but we're guessing that it's splash-proof like the Moto X, thanks to a water-resistant coating. It's unlikely that the phone is submersible in water, like waterproof phones such as Sony's Xperia Z3.
Since the release of the Nexus 4 in 2012, the inability to purchase a Nexus phone through a major carrier like AT&T or Verizon has been a hallmark of the brand. Instead, Google has opted to launch the phones unlocked, for relatively affordable prices compared with other off-contract flagship phones. Still, the Nexus 5 cost $300 when it launched last year. That's why it's so noteworthy that the Nexus 6 will be sold at subsidized prices through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. That's good news for budget-minded business users, since the unlocked version of the phone costs a whopping $650.
The centerpiece of the Nexus 6 is its huge 5.9-inch display.