For the first time in 5 years, I have a latest-generation phone. My trusty Galaxy S3 went through the washing machine and while it still sort of works, it’s not 100%. So I am going ahead and switching to Project Fi and got the Nexus 6P.
The packaging is quite nice. A rounded square, white box with a gray graphic wrap. The SIM came in a separate envelope in the shipping carton. On the back of the warranty manual is a metal tool to open the SIM tray. A very nice touch is that it comes with two USB Type C cables, one long and one short. I guess they realize you’ll want to plug it into the car and at home. Good job Google and Huawei.
Battery was about two-thirds full when I turned it on. I was half expecting the fingerprint sensor to be the power button as in LG’s, but there’s a separate power button above the volume buttons on the right edge. No buttons on the left edge, just the SIM tray. When it booted, it prompted first for WiFi and downloaded an update. That process took about 10 minutes. It just finished, so I’ll move onto setup.
As typical with Android, it asks if you want to use an existing account, though it’s worded a little less technically (“Got another device?”, the title bar asks). Oh, this is something I haven’t tried. You can use the Google Settings app on your old phone (in my case the old S3) to set up the new phone. I click “Set up nearby device”, click next, and it sees my new phone. It finds the 6P and gives a verification code that should match on both screens. (Reminds me of the Signal app authentication to ensure against man-in-the-middle attacks). Click next on the old phone, then Copy, and it’s done. Now on to the 6P setup.
For some reason I had to do the steps again, but now it’s asking for my Google password. Now it asks if I want to opt in to Google data collection. Personally, I don’t mind leaving all those checked, but it’s up to you.
The next step is the number setup. I had already told Fi I wanted to transfer my old number, so it’s pre-filled. Click Next, and all my carrier info is pre-filled as well, so I just clicked Next and it’s doing the transfer. It says it will take 1-2 days. Oh well.
Next is optional email account setup. I’ll add my work account so the calendar is synced. I kept hitting the little next arrow on the keyboard, not realizing I need to close the keyboard from the soft key bar to get to the actual button to continue the process. Just a new quirk from recent Android I guess.
I added my unlock pattern and fingerprint, and turned on Google Now. Now it’s on the “Restoring…” screen. Took about 30 seconds and now I’m at the home screen.
The rest of the setup was the typical Android experience.
It’s been a couple of days since I wrote the unboxing above. My one complaint with the form factor of the phone is that the power and volume buttons are a little too easy to accidentally press. I have multiple times put the phone in do not disturb mode by holding volume down while picking it up. And double pressing the power button opens the camera app, which happens in my pocket on occasion.
Other than that, the experience is a huge improvement over my old S3. I used the phone quite a lot the first full day I had it, and it was still at 20% when I went to bed. The dual front-facing speakers sound great; I only need to keep the volume at the first or second notch unless there’s a lot of background noise. The display gets darker than my old phone, too, which I like for reading at night