The Nexus 6 has an AMOLED screen that uses virtually no power to display black pixels. To take advantage of this feature, Google included an Ambient Display notification system that shows a black and white version of your lock screen when you get a new message. As a result, the Nexus 6 doesn't use an LED light to notify you of new incoming messages like most phones.
Desktop users have taken advantage of dual-booting operating systems for decades now. If your core system software is lacking in any regard, dual-booting a secondary OS can give you access to those features that you're missing out on.
CyanogenMod continues to be the most popular custom ROM for a good reason. Their team of developers always stay on top of the latest trends, and ensure that their software is packed with nice tweaks and awesome features. One such feature is an audio equalizer that allows you to fine-tune your device's various sound outputs. It's got a great interface, and works with any app that calls on Android's default audio mixer.
Most custom ROMs are built from the freely-available source code of AOSP, so they share a lot of common ground with stock Android. The difference, though, is the fact that Google adds many minor tweaks and finishing touches to AOSP while creating the version of Android that ultimately comes pre-installed on Nexus devices.
With the Nexus 6, you get a very clean software experience with minimal bloat. While this is generally the main selling point for most Nexus fans, it can be a bit of a detraction for some.
The Nexus 6 came with a hidden kernel module that allowed for double-tap-to-wake functionality, essentially letting you turn your screen on just by tapping it. A simple root app allowed us to activate this feature, which meant we were always two quick taps away from waking our device.
The AMOLED display on the Nexus 6 wastes no power to show black pixels. This is because pixels on such a screen emit their own light, and black can be easily achieved by simply not lighting any given pixel.
One of the main reasons to buy a Nexus device is the fact that they're always the first to get new Android updates. Another great selling point for the Nexus series is that the devices are amongst the easiest to root and mod. Unfortunately, though, these two features are somewhat mutually exclusive.
The front-facing stereo speakers on the Nexus 6 certainly pump out some awesome sound—but it could always be better, right?
The attention to detail and build quality that Motorola put into the new Nexus 6 is amazing. Its curved backplate fits the hand like a glove, and fingers slide effortlessly across the rounded edge of its glass front, making the swipe gesture for side navigation menus feel more natural than ever—even for its huge, nearly six inch display.
The Nexus 6 uses an Ambient Display notification system that was heavily inspired by the Active Display feature on the Moto X. Essentially, the device shows a black-and-white version of the lock screen whenever you receive a new notification or pick the phone up. This is all made possible by the N6's AMOLED display that doesn't have to waste any battery to power black pixels on the screen.
Stock Android is a great experience, and it's probably one of the biggest reasons that people purchase a Nexus device over other Android phones. Without carrier or manufacturer modifications to the core software, the entire user interface feels a lot more clean and snappy, and this also means that developers encounter fewer compatibility issues when creating flashable ZIPs and custom ROMs.
During initial reviews of the Nexus 6, the "double tap to wake" feature was something originally slated to be present on the device, since Motorola built it and it's been a key feature of the Moto X. However, the feature was scrapped for Ambient Display, which wakes up the screen when the device is picked up or a notification arrives. So while having both could be seen as overkill, it doesn't mean we shouldn't have the option.
Google's latest Nexus device is big, bold, and beautiful—and now it's got root. Thanks to some quick work by legendary Android developer Chainfire, the Nexus 6 already had a clear-cut root method before most stores even had it in stock.
One of the more talked-about features of Google's new flagship device is the fact that all of the data on the Nexus 6 is encrypted by default. At face value, this certainly seems like an added bonus for the 6-inch phablet, especially in this day and age with growing security concerns abound. It's definitely something that the FBI is none too pleased about.