Google Nexus 6 Processor

Rate this post


The Google Nexus 6, launched in November 2014, was a flagship smartphone co-developed by Google and Motorola. Among its many features, the Nexus 6 stood out for its impressive hardware specifications, particularly its processor. This review will delve into the specifics of the Nexus 6 processor, evaluating its performance, efficiency, technological aspects, and overall impact on the device’s functionality and user experience.

Overview of the Google Nexus 6 Processor

The Nexus 6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC (System on Chip). This chipset was one of the most advanced at the time of the device’s release and was known for its robust performance and efficiency.

Key Specifications of Snapdragon 805

  • CPU: Quad-core Krait 450, clocked at 2.7 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 420
  • Architecture: 32-bit
  • Process Technology: 28nm HPm (High Performance mobile)
  • Memory Support: LPDDR3 RAM
  • LTE Modem: Integrated, supporting Category 6 (up to 300 Mbps)

Performance Analysis

The Snapdragon 805 was designed to deliver high performance, especially in terms of CPU and GPU capabilities. Here’s a detailed analysis of its performance:

CPU Performance

The quad-core Krait 450 CPU in the Snapdragon 805 is clocked at 2.7 GHz, making it one of the fastest processors of its time. The Krait 450 cores are based on ARM’s Cortex-A15 architecture but feature several optimizations to enhance performance and power efficiency.

  • Single-Core Performance: The high clock speed and architectural optimizations enable excellent single-core performance, which is crucial for tasks that rely on a single thread, such as browsing and certain applications.
  • Multi-Core Performance: With four cores, the Nexus 6 can handle multi-threaded applications efficiently. Tasks like multitasking, gaming, and multimedia editing benefit from the multi-core setup.

GPU Performance

The Adreno 420 GPU in the Snapdragon 805 provides substantial graphical power, essential for gaming and high-resolution media playback.

  • Graphics Rendering: The Adreno 420 supports OpenGL ES 3.1, DirectX 11, and OpenCL 1.2, enabling high-quality graphics rendering and smooth gaming experiences.
  • Video Playback: The GPU supports 4K video playback and hardware decoding, ensuring smooth performance even with high-definition content.
  • Gaming: Games with high graphical demands run smoothly on the Nexus 6, thanks to the powerful GPU. Frame rates remain consistent, and the device can handle detailed textures and complex scenes without significant lag.

Efficiency and Power Consumption

One of the critical aspects of a mobile processor is its efficiency and power consumption. The Snapdragon 805 is built on a 28nm HPm process, which balances performance and power efficiency.

Battery Life

  • Power Efficiency: The Krait 450 cores and Adreno 420 GPU are designed to be power-efficient, extending battery life during regular use. However, under heavy load, such as gaming or prolonged video playback, the power consumption increases significantly.
  • Thermal Management: The Snapdragon 805 features advanced thermal management techniques to prevent overheating. This is crucial for maintaining performance and protecting the device’s components during intensive tasks.

Real-World Usage

In everyday use, the Nexus 6 provides a balance between performance and battery life. For typical activities such as browsing, social media, and streaming, the device can last a full day on a single charge. However, heavy gaming or continuous use of high-performance applications can drain the battery more quickly.

Technological Aspects

The Snapdragon 805 introduces several technological advancements that enhance the Nexus 6’s capabilities:

LTE Connectivity

  • Integrated LTE Modem: The integrated LTE modem supports Category 6 speeds, providing download speeds up to 300 Mbps. This ensures fast and reliable mobile internet connectivity, crucial for streaming, browsing, and downloading large files.

Image Processing

  • ISP (Image Signal Processor): The Snapdragon 805 features an advanced ISP that enhances the device’s camera capabilities. It supports faster autofocus, better low-light performance, and real-time HDR processing, resulting in improved photo and video quality.

Memory Support

  • LPDDR3 RAM: The Nexus 6 is equipped with 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which works in tandem with the Snapdragon 805 to provide smooth multitasking and efficient memory management. This ensures that multiple apps can run simultaneously without significant slowdowns.

Impact on User Experience

The processor is a critical component that significantly impacts the overall user experience. The Snapdragon 805 in the Nexus 6 ensures a smooth, responsive, and enjoyable experience across various use cases:

General Use

For everyday tasks such as calling, texting, browsing the web, and using social media apps, the Nexus 6 performs exceptionally well. The high clock speed and efficient multitasking capabilities ensure that the device responds quickly and fluidly.

Multimedia Consumption

The powerful GPU and advanced ISP make the Nexus 6 an excellent device for multimedia consumption. Whether streaming videos, listening to music, or viewing photos, users can expect high-quality playback and minimal buffering.


For mobile gamers, the Nexus 6 provides a satisfying experience. The Adreno 420 GPU handles graphically intensive games with ease, maintaining high frame rates and delivering detailed graphics. This makes the Nexus 6 a capable device for gaming enthusiasts.

Photography and Videography

The advanced ISP and support for real-time HDR processing enhance the camera’s performance. Users can capture high-quality photos and videos with accurate colors and good low-light performance. The device’s processing power ensures quick photo processing and smooth video recording.

Comparison with Contemporary Devices

To fully appreciate the Snapdragon 805’s performance in the Nexus 6, it’s useful to compare it with contemporary devices and processors:

Snapdragon 801 vs. Snapdragon 805

The Snapdragon 801, found in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, was the predecessor to the 805. While both processors are quad-core, the 805 offers several improvements:

  • CPU Clock Speed: The 805’s Krait 450 cores are clocked higher at 2.7 GHz compared to the 801’s Krait 400 cores at 2.5 GHz.
  • GPU Performance: The Adreno 420 GPU in the 805 provides better graphics performance than the Adreno 330 in the 801, supporting more advanced graphics APIs and higher resolution gaming.
  • Memory Bandwidth: The 805 has higher memory bandwidth, improving overall system performance and multitasking efficiency.

Snapdragon 810

The Snapdragon 810, which succeeded the 805, introduced an octa-core architecture and 64-bit support. However, it also faced issues with overheating and throttling. Compared to the 810, the 805 in the Nexus 6 provides more consistent performance without thermal throttling issues, despite being limited to 32-bit processing.

Longevity and Relevance

Even several years after its release, the Nexus 6’s Snapdragon 805 remains relevant for several reasons:

Software Support

The Nexus 6 benefits from Google’s robust software support, including timely updates and optimizations. This ensures that the hardware, particularly the processor, continues to perform well with newer software versions.

Community Support

The Nexus 6 enjoys strong community support, with numerous custom ROMs and kernels available. Enthusiasts can optimize the device’s performance further by tweaking the processor’s settings and installing custom firmware.

Performance Today

While newer processors surpass the Snapdragon 805 in raw performance and efficiency, the Nexus 6 remains capable of handling everyday tasks and moderate usage scenarios. For users who don’t require the latest hardware, the Nexus 6 still offers a viable option.


The Google Nexus 6’s Snapdragon 805 processor was a technological marvel at the time of its release and continues to hold up well in many aspects. Its quad-core Krait 450 CPU and Adreno 420 GPU deliver robust performance, making the device suitable for a wide range of activities from everyday tasks to gaming and multimedia consumption.

Key Strengths

  1. High Performance: The powerful CPU and GPU ensure smooth performance across various applications.
  2. Efficient Multitasking: With 3GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 805’s efficient memory management, the Nexus 6 handles multitasking with ease.
  3. Advanced Connectivity: The integrated LTE modem provides fast and reliable mobile internet connectivity.
  4. Enhanced Imaging: The advanced ISP enhances the camera’s capabilities, resulting in better photos and videos.


  1. Power Consumption: While efficient, the Snapdragon 805 can consume significant power under heavy load, impacting battery life.
  2. Heat Management: Intensive tasks can generate heat, though the device manages it effectively to prevent performance throttling.
  3. Longevity: Despite being several years old, the Nexus 6 remains relevant for many users, thanks to continued software and community support.

In conclusion, the Nexus 6’s processor provides a balanced mix of performance, efficiency, and advanced features. Whether for general use, gaming, multimedia consumption, or photography, the Snapdragon 805 ensures that the Nexus 6 delivers a robust and enjoyable user experience. While newer devices offer improved specifications, the Nexus 6 remains a testament to the enduring quality and performance of Google’s flagship smartphones.

Leave a Comment