I Just Ordered a Nexus 6P

Last year I wrote a long-term review of Android phones [1]. I noted that my Galaxy Note 3 only needed to last another 4 months to be the longest I’ve been happily using a phone.

Last month (just over 7 months after writing that) I fell on my Note 3 and cracked the screen. The Amourdillo case is good for protecting the phone [2] so it would have been fine if I had just dropped it. But I fell with the phone in my hand, the phone landed face down and about half my body weight ended up in the middle of the phone which apparently bent it enough to crack the screen. As a result of this the GPS seems to be less reliable than it used to be so there might be some damage to the antenna too.

I was quoted $149 to repair the screen, I could possibly have found a cheaper quote if I had shopped around but it was a good starting point for comparison. The Note 3 originally cost $550 including postage in 2014. A new Note 4 costs $550 + postage now from Shopping Square and a new Note 3 is on ebay with a buy it now price of $380 with free postage.

It seems like bad value to pay 40% of the price of a new Note 3 or 25% the price of a Note 4 to fix my old phone (which is a little worn and has some other minor issues). So I decided to spend a bit more and have a better phone and give my old phone to one of my relatives who doesn’t mind having a cracked screen.

I really like the S-Pen stylus on the Samsung Galaxy Note series of phones and tablets. I also like having a hardware home button and separate screen space reserved for the settings and back buttons. The downsides to the Note series are that they are getting really expensive nowadays and the support for new OS updates (and presumably security fixes) is lacking. So when Kogan offered a good price on a Nexus 6P [3] with 64G of storage I ordered one. I’m going to give the Note 3 to my father, he wants a phone with a bigger screen and a stylus and isn’t worried about cracks in the screen.

I previously wrote about Android device service life [4]. My main conclusion in that post was that storage space is a major factor limiting service life. I hope that 64G in the Nexus 6P will solve that problem, giving me 3 years of use and making it useful to my relatives afterwards. Currently I have 32G of storage of which about 8G is used by my music video collection and about 3G is free, so 64G should last me for a long time. Having only 3G of RAM might be a problem, but I’m thinking of trying CyanogenMod again so maybe with root access I can reduce the amount of RAM use.

4 comments to I Just Ordered a Nexus 6P

  • John Hughes

    Ok, call me a SJW but I couldn’t find a reason not to buy a Fairphone 2. (Ok, maybe I have more money than sense).

    In theory it should be cheaper to replace the screen. One of my biggest disappointments with my previous phone, a Jolla, was that I simply couldn’t replace a cracked screen — they didn’t have any.

    But so far my experience with the LG Nexus 5 is not to impressive either — one was diagnosed with water damage — nothing to do, the other has a dodgy loudspeaker — “motherboard problem, no repair possible”.

  • John: For me at least it isn’t an option since last I checked they didn’t ship to Canada and the Fairphone 2 doesn’t even support the frequencies my carrier uses. (That’s actually true of Jolla as well, although I bought one anyways and got it shipped to me via relatives in France at the time because I so enjoy my Nokia N9 that I wanted to both see and support what so many of the folks behind it were up to now.)

  • John Hughes

    Yes, that’s a reason not to get one :-(

    It seems each generation of mobile network has more and more bizarre frequency allocations.

  • John, my wife has a Nexus 5 and is quite happy with it. From my minimal use of that phone I found no problem with it apart from it being ugly. My wife’s first Nexus 5 suddenly died which was annoying (it’s nice that Google saves photos to the cloud). The warranty service was good so I have no complaints there. I don’t have a large enough sample size to know if there are quality problems with those phones or if you and my wife both got unlucky.

    I agree that the Fairphone is a good project and I support it’s aims. But there’s lots of good causes to contribute to. At this time I think it’s most effective for me to have a phone that works well with minimal effort and use my time for contributing to free software and supporting the Green party.

    My ideal solution to the problem of conflict minerals is to have an extra tax on phones that either have conflict minerals or which can’t be proven to not have them due to an unclear supply chain. If we could get Samsung and Apple to ethically source their parts then that would do much more good than getting people to buy the Fairphone. I think the best first step towards this is to increase the number of Green MPs.