Review of StilGut Leather Case for The Nexus 6P – Affordable Luxury and Protection

When it comes to protection of your devices, a case can go a long way in getting the job done, but finding one that looks good while it protections can be challenging.  Further, when you do find that nice looking case you wouldn’t mind carrying around, the price gives you pause.  The German company StilGut has solved that with some excellent, well designed leather cases at an affordable price.  Making cases for a wide range of devices, StilGut produces all handmade leather cases that are well designed, provide good protection and just look good on any device.  I recently picked up the cognac brown leather folio case for my Nexus 6P and it is a purchase I do not regret.  Here is my review of the case if you are considering picking one up for your 6P or other devices.

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Nexus 6P Gold Sale Price Available on Amazon

Earlier in the week, along with the Nexus 5X price drop, Google dropped the price of the Nexus 6P in Gold by $50.  That put the 32GB model at $449 while the 64GB model is at $499.  Now you can get that same pricing over at Amazon too.

The price matching at Amazon is not something new and generally after a week or two of exclusivity at Google, they match the price so their customer base can get the same price.  It’s a smart move from Amazon as their customers can use gift cards (or a combination of cards and credit cards) to pay for the device. The Google Store for now is credit card.

Nexus 6P – 32GB – $449 at Amazon

Nexus 6P – 64GB – $499 at Amazon

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How To Force Nexus Device Marshmallow Updates

As a Nexus owner, I know every month that Google is going to release a security and bug fix update for Android Marshmallow my Nexus 6 and Nexus 7.  The challenge of course is when that update will actually hit my device after it has been released.  Google, like other manufactures, stage these updates and it can sometimes take weeks for it to hit your device.

Don’t get me started on carrier locked versions. -.-

While you can always manually check to see if the latest version of Marshmallow on your device (Settings>About Phone (or Tablet)>System Update), the reality is that really doesn’t get you moved up in the queue any faster and some have suggested it makes no difference at all.

There is however a way to force an update to your device by manipulating the Google Services Framework on your device.  Indeed it is quite possible that this method will work on non-Nexus devices but I have not tested it.  The key thing for you to keep in mind as you try this is that it may take you several attempts to get this to work – and it may not work at all.  In my case, it took me 1 try to get my Nexus 7 (2013) to update to the January build of Marshmallow but it took me no less than 6 tries to get my Nexus 6 to update to the same release.  Patience is important but this could be a way to get an update a bit quicker other than a full-on flashing of the device.  Also, do this at your own risk as you are manipulating how Android operates on your device.  You may have to restart your device and worst case reset it.

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Nexus 6P Now Available in Gold

Because really, can we have enough gold phones?  Of course not!  If you have been waiting and hoping that the Japan-only gold Nexus 6P would be coming to America, your wait and hoping is over.  At CES 2016 during the Huawei event, they announced that the 6P would be available starting today from the Google Store and Best Buy in both a 32GB and 64GB variant.  Sorry, there is no 128GB version in gold.

As you probably know, Huawei build the Nexus 6P and based on their event today at CES, it has been a rousing success for them and for Google and many who have it have said it is the best Android phone they have ever used.

So how do you get your gold 6P?  There are two places and I’ve got links to both after the break.

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Updated Factory Images For Nexus Devices Released

It was widely expected that today would be the day that Google dropped the January security update for Nexus devices and that appears to be the case.  Google has updated the Factory Images page on their developer site, bringing the latest build of Android Marshmallow to a range of devices.  With the release of the images, users can expect the OTA updates to being shortly to the latest build of 6.0.1 while manufactures and carriers can start doing their testing to get updates out quickly.  It is likely we will see an update from HTC and T-Mobile drop for the One A9 and Nexus 6 respectively in the next two weeks.

The updated images are for all of the devices that were upgraded or released with Android Marshmallow.  Here is the list and the newest build number for each Nexus device.

  • Pixel C:  6.0.1 (MXB48K)
  • Nexus 6P:  6.0.1 (MMB29P)
  • Nexus 5X:  6.0.1 (MMB29P)
  • Nexus 6:  6.0.1 (MMB29S)
  • Nexus Player: 6.0.1 (MMB29T)
  • Nexus 9 LTE:  6.0.1 (MMB29S)
  • Nexus 9 Wi-Fi:  6.0.1 (MMB29S)
  • Nexus 5:  6.0.1 (MMB29S)
  • Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi: 6.0.1 (MMB29O)
  • Nexus 7 (2013) LTE: 6.0.1 (MMB29O)

If you are comfortable with flashing your devices then you can download the files today and update immediately.  Otherwise you will need to wait for the OTA update.

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Android Marshmallow and USB OTG Support

With Android Marshmallow being available now for a couple of months, there has been plenty written on its impressive list of highlight features. My review of the release covered most of those and I have also posted that I think Doze and App Sleep are the true killer features of the release.

But there is another feature that Android users have long wanted out of the platform that has come with Marshmallow: Native USB On-the-go (OTG) support. For those who aren’t familiar with OTG, it allows you to plug in a small adapter to your device and then read things like USB memory sticks, run a USB based keyboard or mouse as if your phone or tablet were a PC. It gives you the ability for example to transfer files from your Android tablet to a USB key to share with others.  In previous released of Android, OTG support was not inherently supported and effectively required that you have your device rooted even if your hardware technically supported it.  That, it seems for Nexus devices, has gone away.

That last phrase is key as I explore this with you.  Right now it appears that the only devices that this works on with Marshmallow are Nexus devices:  Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Pixel C.  I can confirm that I was able to connect a USB drive and a mouse successfully to my Nexus 6 and Nexus 7 while I was equally able to connect both to a colleague who as the Nexus 6P and Nexus 9.  Based on information available, the Pixel C should have no problem supporting it either.  Technically the Nexus 5 does support it but there have been reports of challenges getting it to work.  At the end of the day, your mileage may vary so keep that in mind.  Importantly, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try this out on your devices – especially if you have a non-Nexus device – to see if it work.

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Best Buy Now Selling The Nexus 6P 64GB for $499

The big box retailer Best Buy is now another option for those of you who are looking to pick up the new Nexus 6P.  This weekend the US retailer started selling the aluminium finished 6P with 64GB of onboard storage for $499.  That is the same price as the Google Store but you can pick it up locally at many of the brick-and-mortar stores and of course order it online for delivery to your home, office or your local Best Buy.

To this point here in the US you have pretty much had to go to the Google Store to get the Nexus 6P although you have been able to find them sporadically on eBay or Amazon.  The rumor was that Best Buy would be picking up the 6P at some point but it was unclear when it would be and, more importantly, if it would be during the holiday season.  It made it – barely – which certainly is a good sign as Google works to get the phone out to other outlets.

Nexus 6P at Best Buy – 64GB $499

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