Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important aspects of a smartphone, as it effectively determines how long you'll be able to use all of its other features. In order to get a comprehensive understanding of battery life on the Nexus 6 we run a variety of tests that attempt to stress different parts of the device in order to determine the battery performance in different conditions. Most important is that all displays are calibrated to 200 nits to avoid penalizing certain phones for having brighter displays than others.

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

The first test is our WiFi web browsing test which loads a set of web pages in a loop with pauses to avoid penalizing phones with faster SoCs than others. In this test we see that the Nexus 6 does perform somewhat poorly. Compared to Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 which has essentially the same specifications on paper, the Nexus 6 lasts 4.27 hours shorter. It is likely that this can be attributed to the display, which may not be as efficient as the latest and greatest AMOLED panel used in the Note 4.

At this point we would usually post results for web browsing battery life on LTE. However, I've had difficulty locating a place to perform testing with a reliable cellular signal, and I didn't wish to put the Nexus 6 at an unfair disadvantage by performing the test with poor reception. Because of this, I was unable to obtain LTE battery life results for the Nexus 6, but given the platform it's likely that battery life is around 7.25 to 7.5 hours on our LTE web test.

BaseMark OS II Battery Life

BaseMark OS II Battery Score

In our more SoC-bound BaseMark OS II battery test we see that the Nexus 6 doesn't last quite as long as the Note 4. This is again likely due to a higher display power consumption on the Nexus 6, as both devices share the same SoC fabricated on the same process. However, we see that the battery score is a bit higher, likely due to a higher average CPU frequency afforded by a larger heat dissipation area to reduce throttling.

GFXBench 3.0 Battery Life

GFXBench 3.0 Performance Degradation

With GFXBench which is a more GPU focused test, we see similar results to our BaseMark OS II test. The Nexus 6 doesn't last quite as long as the Galaxy Note 4, with slightly more than 3 hours of usage compared to the Note 4 with 3.7 hours of usage. The gap definitely closes between the two here, but unfortunately it seems that the display continues to hurt overall battery life. The fact that the web browsing result is so close here suggests that Motorola is continuing to target "24 hours of mixed usage", so if one does fit their usage model they shouldn't have isssues lasting a day on battery. I can't help but think that a good LCD would get them much more battery life for the same battery size, but it should be usable here even if it's behind the competition.

Charge Time

The charge time of a smartphone is also very important. While having a long battery life means that a device can be used for longer, if it also requires a very long charging time it may be that the device is less frequently able to be fully charged and thus unable to actually reach its potential battery life. Charge time can also be an important factor in time-constrained situations such as topping up your battery before a flight. In order to test battery life we deplete the device's battery charge to 0, and then measure the duration that the device is plugged in until it reaches a power draw that indicates it is completely charged.

Charge Time

The Nexus 6 includes Motorola's Turbo Charger which can output 9V at 1.6A or 12V at 1.2A to Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 compatible devices. As you can see above, this leads to an exceptionally low charge time of 1.89 hours. I'm very glad that Google and Motorola decided to include the Turbo Charger instead of a typical 5W adapter. Something I would like to note is that my Turbo Charger did exhibit very noticeable coil whine, although this may have simply been an issue specific to my unit.

Introduction and Design Display


View All Comments

  • metayoshi - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I wonder if that degradation in color accuracy is due to the phone being closely related to the Moto X (2014). It looks like the Moto X was even worse than what the Nexus 6 is doing right now. Maybe it was a mistake for Google to pick Motorola for this phone, as Samsung's, LG's, and HTC's latest flagships are all decent across the board. I was going to stick with my Nexus 5 either way, but it's kind of sad seeing Google go this route with the Nexus 6. Reply
  • waldoh - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    I REALLY REALLY wanted to like this device and finally move away from Apple crap but in the android world benchmarks and specs are key. This device falls short in almost every category. Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Friday, November 14, 2014 - link

    Funny, I really really wanted to move away from Apple, but after using a LG G3 for 2 weeks I saw how completely clunky, amateurish and unpolished Android is and went back to Apple. Enjoy your half-baked phone you clown. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    They need to let Sony build a Nexus, I'm sure they'd jump at the chance given their limited market penetration stateside... And they've been consistently good lately with battery life, camera, and build quality. Reply
  • pjcamp - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Wait a minnit -- you skipped one. Where is the Z3 review? Reply
  • Cinnabuns - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Agreed. At the moment it looks like the Z3 is the best Android phone out there in terms of battery life and camera but I'd love to see a rigorous review from the likes of AnandTech before getting one. I'm coming from a Nexus 4 and my main beef with it is the abysmal battery life. Reading this review, it's clear that I will not get a Nexus 6 as a replacement, seeing as it's not even a bargain and it's worse than its flagship competition.

    Unfortunately, it seems AT never reviews Sony stuff.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Unfortunately we still don't have a proper channel with Sony to be able to acquire review units. I hope to change this in the future and tried to reach out to them but sadly thing haven't advanced in that regard. Reply
  • skinygeek - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    Why do you need a review unit for Reviewing a Phone. You can just buy it. Is this the excuse for not reviewing lot of other phones ? Reply
  • vshah - Thursday, November 13, 2014 - link

    can't you just buy one? Reply
  • SantaAna12 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    Wow, what a letdown.
    I was going to say my usual: "No SD Card NO Deal!"

    But there is really no need. Still selling the cloud on crap hardware. Disappointing!

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