Nexus 6P sunlight screen legibility

I'm surprised it wasn't highlighted in every review that the Nexus 6P sunlight legibility is poor, for 4 main reasons:

– The automatic brightness at its default settings doesn't adjust to ambient lighting conditions enough.
You have to slam the auto brightness offset slider manually to the maximum so it reaches the maximum brightness allowed.
It is either a defect of the light sensor of my unit or a bug that may need to be filed.

– The amount of internal reflections in the panel is high in today's standards, in no way comparable to an LPTS LCD of the two years old Nexus 5 and its polarized lens generation.

– The maximum brightness allowed by the AMOLED panel driver (measured at 366 cd/m² on my unit) is below average nowadays. Most mid-range smartphones reach higher brightness levels.

– The gamma curve is nearing a 2.4 average at higher brightness levels (it is rarely constant on AMOLEDs)
It makes every color but white itself darker than it should, which only reduces legibility further in challenging environmental conditions.


Bugs, limited hardware characteristics and inadequate calibration together make up one of the poorest sunlight legibility in today's smartphones on the Nexus 6P.

Concretely, it means that if you're used to walk out, exchange message, read articles, you will struggle doing so on the Nexus 6P despite the larger screen.

Some of the shortcomings could be addressed to improve the situation.

#supercurioBlog #display #Nexus #Nexus6P #analysis

Source post on Google+

Published by

François Simond

Mobile engineer & analyst specialized in, display, camera color calibration, audio tuning

20 thoughts on “Nexus 6P sunlight screen legibility”

  1. The first sentence says it all man!
    Trusty reviews and reviewers are actuwlly very rare nowadays! They go with the flow! "Wow excellent great looking new device with great cam and stock android! Yayyy That's the device of the year! ".
    Nearly no one keep the phone for like 2 months and use it everyday like any casual user and end up doing a real honest real-user review these day!
    In my note 4 for example, autobrightness works like shit! Going from stock rom on kitkat, stock lollipop and now a note 5 port! Autobrightness never worked like it should! Very slow and usually goes up and never goes down even if i go into a complete dark room!
    No review ever mentioned this as far as i remember!
    Sad but true.

  2. Nexus arent perfect never have been.. I've learned the hard way that most on-line reviews are bs that mostly try to pass personal opinions instead of doing realty reviews. And nexus is way over hyped in most reviewers. Said that I've had most nexus…
    There are only a few online reviews that I trust, mostly anadtech and a few others

  3. +Georges Geagea​​​​​ yeah I am perplex as well about reviews.
    Checking now, I found this in +Engadget​​​​​​'s:

    "The adaptive brightness option in settings might throw you off. The maximum brightness can fluctuate pretty dramatically depending on how bright your surroundings are, and I was utterly disappointed in the 6P's display until I remembered this feature and turned it off."

    So he agrees on the faulty behavior, but.. it doesn't appear in cons in the end.

    About spending two months: see for yourself what I posted since… yesterday 😊

    +Joaquim Santos​​​​​​ yep, the Nexus hype is still insane.
    I can't believe how gullible many reporters are every year. Like once again as Google announced proudly they fixed the camera, which is actually so far from a much cheaper Moto G 3rd gen image quality aside from low-light.

    Well you all are now to what happens when I get my hands on a new device: reporting flaws everywhere 😂

  4. +Doug Lynch​​ that's correct, it also lacks the Note 5 / S6 brightness boost feature (which also tunes the response curve)

    The dimness of the panel plus it's low sunlight contrast compared to the competition is the reason why the automatic brightness can't afford to be as conservative as it is today by default.

  5. +Paul Clark Anandtech's review measurements as well as Engadget comment on the automatic brightness confirm that my unit is nothing special in this regard.

    I suppose however that you've been used to devices of similar sunlight legibility performance so you don't mind.
    Also, your profile image is "Nexus" which indicates that your evaluation is possibly biased 😉

  6. +François Simond did you try turning off ambiant screen.. when i had 6p the ambient display was way over agressive when i turned it off screen brightness was much better.. also is your device running newest build i read somewhere the new build addressed some the screen stuff.. but yes i agree i wasn't that impressed with 6p when i had it

  7. +François Simond​​ sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to your comment on your last post. But is there a particular reason why you don't report these issues to the Google bug reporting process? As a 6p owner I'm not under any illusions that this device is perfect but since you've done the hard work to find out wouldn't we all benefit if Google knew about these issues? Software issues of course, hardware at this point is a lost cause. Appreciate your thoughts.

  8. +Vik Arya​ I report to you guys my finding first.
    If I find some time later I'll look into how to report that to Google as well, but I know it would take me many hours to make a very good case, while I'm more relaxed regarding what I share here. Hours I don't have at the moment.

    That's why I encourage others to report themselves so we can all participate 😉

  9. +François Simond I just wanted to state that I agree with your last comment. I have been using Nexus 6 for last three months. Since it recieved 6.0.1 after 2 days ago, the auto brightness is really too dim. I am just satisfied to hear that this is not only related to my device but it is a general issue. I think it can be fixed with next update if people send them enough amount of feedbacks.

    Actually I have an experience about feedback issue that it is working. I mean I had sent a feedback to Google when I first bought my Nexus 6 related to that there was no option in phone (call) application for blocking the caller/number that is not saved in your people. Then they fixed this issue with an update of phone application and now there is an option for blocking the number which is not saved in your people. Lastly, I really think that this feedback issue to Google does work…

  10. Thanks for comment François. Truly I do not know much about software or of course about AOSP source code. But truly I am a good daily-user even lets say a heavy user of smart phones and I just shared my observation and experience. I am sure that you are write with your prediction and I would like to state that I really rely on your thoughts, reviews and experiences that you share with us here. Thanks man 👍

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