With the Nexus 6 we see a WiFi solution that hasn't been seen before in a mobile device, Broadcom's BCM4356. Announced at CES earlier this year, BCM4356 is a 2x2 802.11ac part with Bluetooth 4.1 support allowing for improved co-existence between Bluetooth and LTE. For reference, the Nexus 5 shipped with BCM4339 which is a 1x1 802.11ac part. To test WiFi performance on the Nexus 6 we used Iperf and Apple's AirPort Extreme router to try and achieve maximum performance.

WiFi Performance - UDP

The WiFi performance in the Nexus 6 falls into line for what we expect from a 2x2 802.11ac device. While it's slightly slower than Samsung's Galaxy Note 4, it's still much faster than many other devices that are on the market today, and over 3x faster than the WiFi performance of the Nexus 5.


Most devices now use the GNSS solution built into Qualcomm's modem. I was someone who suffered the broken GNSS on the original Galaxy S, and I'm thankful that we've come to a point where every smartphone is now able to competently achieve a quick and accurate GNSS lock. In Airplane mode with no assistance information the Nexus 6 was able to achieve a lock in just under 35 seconds with an additional 5 seconds to bring the accuracy to within 10 feet, although both these times will vary greatly depending on the surrounding environment and weather conditions. With assistance info locks take only a matter of seconds.


To test NAND performance on the Nexus 6 we attempted to use Androbench and Andebench, but both gave results that could not have been accurate and so we are unfortunately unable to test this aspect of the Nexus 6 at this time. Like the new Moto X, the Nexus 6 has Cypress Semiconductor’s CapSense controller. Given that the Nexus 6 has no capacitive buttons, this is likely performing the same impedance-matching antenna tuning as on the Moto X which uses the same type of antenna design. It also has two TFA9890 speaker amplifiers which allows both speakers to be driven at the same time as stereo speakers.

Software: Android Lollipop Final Words
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  • synaesthetic - Thursday, November 27, 2014 - link

    I'm still deeply in love with my Nexus 4 despite it being two years old, but the 16GB storage is starting to chafe a bit. I'll be looking at trading up, selling the N4 to fund a 32GB Nexus 5. It's a better phone in practically every way and I really think LG did a fantastic job on both the N4 and the N5.

    The N6 is just... really, it's confusing. I don't get it. How could they fuck this up?
  • EleGenius - Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - link

    I felt the same way about my Nexus 4 but after water damage I purchased the Nexus 6 as the N5 was no longer available from the Play Store. I rooted the N6 for the notification light and Titanium Backup, turned off ambient display, installed brightness pro (quick manual control from any screen with one touch), and I'm loving the device. I get about two days worth of battery without playing games. I'll admit It's taken me about a week to get use to it but now it's easily my right hand and going back to the N4 in a way seems silly.

    My wifi connections and cellular signal with T-Mobile has been solid. I’ve noticed only one issue and that’s within the first 10 seconds after the phone has restarted there's a slight delay (I think it's the encryption being initialized) but after that I think the update 5.0.1 has resolved the encryption speed as the phone is as fast if not quicker then I am.

    If you're happy with your N4, keep it it’s a good device. My N4 ran Loliopop very well except for the random daily reboots which I haven’t experienced on the N6. If you upgrade to the N6, I think you'll find it's a great device too even if it first comes off as confusing. My only caveat would be smaller hands and if you wear tight pants with small pockets. I'm 6'3" - 6'4" with above average fingers and can use this device one handed. I can see where people with smaller hands may run into handling issues. This device fits very well in my front pockets too. A little snug when wearing jeans but still completely manageable.

    I was bothered by the N6 at first but now after owning it it’s easily my favorite Nexus to date. I use my N6 more then my N7 and with it rooted for the notification light (Light Flow) it’s like having by N4 back but better, much better. Don’t throw the N6 out yet, it’s turning out to be a solid device that’s now become my digital right hand. If you give it a chance I think you may find the same to be true.
  • jimv1983 - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    How anyone could ever go from a Nexus device with stock Android to a Samsung phone running that TouchWiz garbage amazes me.
  • grayson_carr - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    Same. Samsung owners are always going around talking about how fast their phones are... no lag, no slowdowns, perfectly smooth, etc, but every time I go into a store to play with a new Samsung phone on launch day, it feels slow as hell, dropping frames left and right, compared to my Nexus devices. The GS5 and Note 4 are no exception. Maybe Samsung phones feel fast compared to older phones, especially older Samsung phones, and maybe that's why so many people think they are fast, but they just don't perform at the same level as modern Nexus, Motorola, and HTC phones. If they did, I would have a Note 4 in my pocket right now, because I love the camera, screen, and build, and I can live with the cluttered and slightly garish software.
  • akdj - Friday, November 14, 2014 - link

    Change the launcher
    The Note 3 SMOKED the Nexus 5
    The Note 4 SMOKES the Nexus 6
    And it's NOTHING to do with the 'hardware' as it's essentially the same. That said, something in the software isn't allowing the Nexus 6 to run ANYwhere nearly as quickly, efficiently and smoothly as ANY other Android flagships. Period.
    That was the same issue with the Nexus 5 ( that and the shitty camera )
  • akdj - Friday, November 14, 2014 - link

    Wish there was an edit ...
    Because you're essentially admitting TouchWiz is superior to 'stock' Android. TouchWiz @ release was trash. Through the release of the G3--->& everything but the kitchen sink.
    Since then with the S4 & 5, Note 2, 3, & now 4---> Samsung's spent MORE time developing the compelling features of TouchWiz while elimating the 'duff'
    The carriers and their bloat ass to the crap. I've owmed them all, and when it comes to 'large phones' or phablets, there's not an equal to the Note 4
  • theduckofdeath - Friday, November 14, 2014 - link

    You'd have to go really far back in history to find trash TouchWiz. TouchWiz had a hardware accelerated UI on the GS2. Yeah, that was with Android 2.x. I agree the TouchWiz Samsung used on the original Galaxy S needed a lot of tweaking, thanks to horrible choices of file systems and really sloppy colour and sound calibration. But since the GS2, I've never felt the need to root a Samsung phone.
  • mlambert890 - Saturday, December 20, 2014 - link

    Far back? TouchWiz has noticeable user experience impact ON THE NOTE 4

    Samsung zealots simply don't notice or are in denial, but anyone objective IMMEDIATELY sees it.

    When you go to swipe to the left and your 8 core desktop level phone pauses? That's not normal just FYI. Benchmarks don't tell that tale.

    TouchWiz has REAL WORLD performance impact in exchange for zero benefit

    Yes you can change launchers, root the phone, install hacked ROMs, and get a PhD in phone. Or you can just avoid Samsung
  • nafhan - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Eh, I've gotta' say I feel extremely satisfied with buying a Nexus 5 (yes, 5) last week.
  • grayson_carr - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    If Google put a slightly larger battery and the camera from the Nexus 6 in a revamped Nexus 5, I would buy it in a heartbeat. The processor, RAM, and screen are shockingly all still great, even a year in. It's still as fast, if not faster in day to day tasks than the Nexus 6 (and pretty much every other phone), and the sub pixel density of the screen is actually higher than the Nexus 6, not to mention much better brightness and color calibration!

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