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What are the differences between the Google Play Edition of the Nexus 6 and the AT&T version? Does it have any AT&T "bloatware"? Will its updates come from AT&T instead of Google? Is it locked to AT&T's network?

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Nexus 6 models sold via AT&T are reported to have these differences (source 1, source 2, source 3):

  • It is SIM locked to AT&T
  • There is an AT&T logo on the back of the phone
  • The phone displays an AT&T branded boot animation/sound on startup
  • It performs a check to ensure your current plan allows tethering before it will allow it to be activated
  • Several AT&T ringtones have been added
  • After the initial setup, if an AT&T SIM is inserted/activated, it will download and install several AT&T apps automatically. These can evidently be removed, without root.

It has been speculated that updates will still be received on-time because the AT&T extras are on a separate partition (mounted at /oem), but this has not been confirmed, to my knowledge. With root, you can remove the ringtones/boot animation from the /oem partition. You would need to obtain an unlock code in order to use it on a different network.

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