Android 5.1 is finally here! Released initially only for the Nexus 5 by LG, Nexus 10 by Samsung, and the 2012 Nexus 7 by ASUS, it is now starting to make its appearance on even more devices. OTAs have been cropping up for a few more devices, including the Nexus 6 by Motorola, although most factory images still aren’t posted (as of publication, Google has only made factory images available for the Nexus 5, 10, and 2012 Nexus 7).
In any case, I was able to download the OTA zip, courtesy of the awesome folks over at xda-developers, and install it for myself in recovery on my Nexus 6. (See, there’s still a use for XDA, even when you’re unrooted, like me!) I’ve been running it just since last night, but so far here are my impressions of Android 5.1 on the Nexus 6:
- It’s a lot smoother than before. Even though I have chosen to keep encryption enabled, and that does take a toll on overall device performance, the Nexus 6 remains speedy. I’ve only run into a few stutters when doing some intensive memory-hogging activities, like playing certain games.
- I can confirm that VoLTE is included and active on the Nexus 6! It is grand. I love it that my phone now stays on LTE when in a call, whereas before it would drop down to HSPA+ and sometimes take quite a while to jump back to LTE.
- Speaking of LTE, band 12 is now active in this update, as well. I don’t live in a band 12 area, but people who do are reporting fantastic LTE coverage now.
- Even though my area is still served with just band 4 LTE, I have noticed a huge increase in signal quality. My LTE signal in my basement is much stronger, and no longer drops down to HSPA+ or even EDGE in certain places, like it did before. Overall, I’m really impressed with the radio updates.
- Even though the Nexus 6 was already compatible with T-Mobile’s HD voice, a cool HD icon appears when you’re actually in an HD call. This way, you can tell for sure that HD is active.
There are a few other nifty features, like the ability to join WiFi networks or connect to Bluetooth devices from the Quick Settings menu. And there is still more, I’m sure, that I will discover in subsequent digging.
So far, it’s a great update. Thanks, Google!