The Nexus 6P and 5X both stand out in the competition for their impressive hardware specifications and builds, both running full Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. At first glance, the handsets easily sport a ton of functions and highlights, but there are a couple of features that might have gone under the radar of most owners.
To get the most out of the pair, here's a list that'll let every Nexus 6P and 5X fans go beyond the basic stuff:
Testing Menu to display Phone, Battery and Wi-Fi information and Usage Statistics.
Google Talk service monitoring.
Manually check for system update.
*#*#1234#*#* or *#*#7873778#*#*
Open Superuser app.
Display IMEI number.
Shows whether the user is in the home network or not (United States and Canada only).
Launching The Camera
Previously, the two smartphones had two ways to launch the camera even when the screen is off or when the device is locked. The first method was by double tapping the power button, and the second was by making a double twist with the wrist thanks to Context Core, much like the feature found in most Motorola devices.
However, the second method was scrapped soon after, according to Qualcomm.
"The feature to launch the camera via double-twist of the device was replaced by double tap of the power key. The name Context Core has been changed to Android Sensor Hub," the chipmaker said.
More to the point, the shortcut can open up a different camera app if the stock Google app is not to the user's liking. Here's how:
Step 1: Install the third-party camera app.
Step 2: Open Settings and tap on Apps.
Step 3: Tap on Camera and select Open by Default.
Step 4: Tap on Clear Defaults.
Step 5: Use the double-tap method and choose the new default camera app.
The two handsets have a built-in "Lucky Shot" feature, which takes the best of three bursts of images. Meanwhile, they use optic-flow-based image stabilization for capturing videos.
However, the Nexus 5X does not have the Smart Burst feature, which selects the best photo from the burst, and electronic-image stabilization. The explanation is simple enough: the 6P has stronger specs.
Despite sharing the same camera, only the 6P offers 240 fps slo-mo videos, but the 5X is capable of 120 fps slo-mo videos, too.
The API components of Android 6.0 Marshmallow don't grant apps access to the fingerprint material, and the fingerprint features stay on the device and are not sent to Google. This means that owners will be able to find, lock and erase the content of the Nexus device via Android Device Manager when it's lost or stolen.
But this design also means that users will have to reenroll fingerprints when a new phone is set up.
In the same vein, the fingerprint sensor can be used to authenticate Google Play purchases. Not only does this make purchases more convenient, but it also makes them more secure. Here's how to use the feature on Play Store:
Step 1: Launch Play Store.
Step 2: Go to Settings under the navigation drawer (the three lines at the top-left corner).
Step 3: Look for Fingerprint Authorization and enable it. The user will then be asked to enter the password.
As an extra feature, users can choose to register one out of five fingerprint inputs of another person so that he or she can also unlock the phone.
Quick Settings Menu Customization
The Quick Settings menu can be customized through the System UI Tuner in Settings.
Step 1: Swipe down to bring up Quick Settings.
Step 2: Tap and hold on the Settings icon for a few seconds.
Step 3: Upon release, the Settings menu will open, and a caption will pop up at the bottom, which reads, "Congrats! System UI Tuner has been added to Settings."
Step 4: Navigate through System UI Tuner and tap on Quick Settings.
Quick Charge With Included Charger
The devices support USB Type-C interfaces, and that means both of them charge up really fast. Needless to say, the chargers that come with the smartphones must be used to take advantage of this feature.
While neither of them supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge standard or wireless charging, each one does perform well when it comes to charge times. A 10-minute charge on the 5X provides 4 hours of juice and on the 6P about 7 hours.
Charge Other Devices With USB Type-C
Using the same universal cable, the Nexus handsets can be set to transfer power to another device. Not really something that everyone will want to do, huh? At any rate, it's a pretty neat innovation.
Both of the devices have notification LED lights, where the 6P has it positioned at the top left corner and the 5X right in the middle below the speaker grille. Here's how to enable them:
Step 1: Go to Settings.
Step 2: Tap on Sound & notification.
Step 3: Toggle Pulse notification light.
Also, the LED lights can be customized using third-party apps such as Light Flow, changing when and how they work.
The 6P and 5X are both compatible with Project Fi, Google's wireless service that automatically shifts between mobile data and Wi-Fi networks to provide the best coverage.
On that note, they support Wi-Fi calling, allowing users to place calls using Wi-Fi or carrier networks. The option can be found under Settings and More. However, this feature is apparently only available depending on the SIM card inserted.
With built-in pedometers, owners of the 6P and 5X can use Google Fit even without an Android Wear smartwatch. In other words, they can track steps and help achieve fitness goals, and they work well with third-party apps too.
Bonus: Samsung Display
Not exactly a feature, but it's quite an interesting fact. According to the Google Nexus team who worked with Huawei on the 6P, the smartphone actually sports a Samsung panel.
"It has a Samsung WQHD AMOLED panel. We have spent a lot of time tuning the white-point and color gamut for these panels — hope you will enjoy the accuracy of the display," Sandeep Waraich, product manager for Nexus 6P, said in a Reddit AMA.
Well, there you have it, some of the "hidden" features for the Nexus 6P and 5X. Hopefully, these will make your experience on either one of the smartphones a lot better.
Photo : TechStage | Flickr