In the latest Google scheduled event for Android, which took place at the end of September, a lot was announced when it comes to both hardware and software. While everyone was expecting some more news about the latest version of Android, Marshmallow, the real stars of the show were the announcement of two brand new Nexus devices, something that the fans have been looking forward to for a while now. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the new devices, and seeing what the future holds for the Nexus line.
The flagship Nexus device up to this point has been the Nexus 6, a particularly well-built Motorola-made phone that came with all of the goodies that Nexus fans could have hoped for. Besides the amazing hardware specifications, added features like fingerprint recognition, a powerful camera and a huge screen made it a device to be reckoned with. However, as it seems, the device didn’t get quite the following that Google was hoping for. Even if it has all of the right specs, it’s a pretty big device, and the price tag makes it a commitment, placing it on the same league as some of Samsung’s offerings. Because of that, a lot of fans hoped for a redesign of the cheap but powerful Nexus 5 instead, by far the most popular device of the whole line.
Well, those fans got what they asked for, because the two brand new Nexus devices are, respectively, a new version of the Nexus 5, and a new version of the Nexus 6. Let’s start with the Nexus 5 – now called the Nexus 5X. This device is Google’s lower-end bet, but it’s far from being a slouch. It comes with a Snapdragon 808 SoC clocked at 1.8GHz, 2GB of RAM and a 5.2″ 1080p display. With the display being slightly larger than the original, the overall device dimensions remain almost the same, making for a Nexus 5 that is a bit taller than you’re used to, but not by a huge margin. It comes with a fingerprint sensor, 12.3MP back-facing camera, and 16 or 32GB storage options. Not too shabby, and with extra features like the USB Type-C port, it makes for a modern refresh of an old classic:
On the other hand, you have the Nexus 6P. This new edition of the Nexus 6 offers an overall design that is familiar to those that have used the original, but it now comes with a hardware refresh and a new focus on the materials and build construction. Powered by a Snapdragon 810 SoC, replacing the previous 805, and 3GB of RAM, this device remains a beast when it comes to specs, and doesn’t have to do a lot to prove its a flagship. Instead, the bet is in the materials and extra features – and Google is making sure you know why. The body of the device is built on an aluminium frame, polished to a smooth finish and with a curve that makes it stand out from the competition, all housing a 5.7″ AMOLED display. In the back, the camera module is housed in a black glass strip that adds an extra touch, enough to make this device not look like every other slab of aluminium out there. It apparently comes with the same camera module as the Nexus 5X, which according to early benchmarks, is a top-of-the-line shooter:
Of course, both devices will ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow pre-installed, being the first to market with the latest version of the Android OS, and all of the usual Google software goodies that you expect and guaranteed software updates for at least 2 years. Overall, this Nexus hardware refresh comes as more than the usual upgraded specs, and Google is really going for it, by making these devices fingerprint-ready, compatible with Android Pay, with a focus on great cameras and image capturing, and ready for Wear integration. It’s as close as you can get to a device that takes advantage of all of the built-in features of the OS – in a way that manufacturers like Samsung and HTC just can’t compete with.