David Burke, VP Engineering (Android) at Google, introduced the new Nexus lineup, saying the range represented the “latest Android software built into the most innovative hardware”, meant to deliver “Android as Google designed it.” They will be available via the Google Store, with the Nexus 5X priced starting from $379 (Rs.31,900) for the 16GB model, and the Nexus 6P priced starting from $499 (Rs.39,000) for the 32GB model. Both devices go up for pre-order on Tuesday in Germany, Ireland, Japan, the UK, and the US. They will start shipping from later in October. India pricing for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P has also been announced, but there’s no word yet on the availability of the phones.
Both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are the platform lead devices for Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and feature specific hardware to power the natively supported features, like the Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor, and USB Type-C ports. Both phones are also compatible with Google’s Project Fi, the company’s MVNO service. The fingerprint sensor is claimed to recognise a print in less than 600 milliseconds.
Also on board the new Nexus smartphones is the Android Sensor Hub, a low-power processor similar to the M9 coprocessor by Apple, which separately powers gesture, activity, and movement tracking using gleaned from specialised hardware including the camera. The hub will also power features such as glance notifications, shown when the user picks up the phone.
Both phones will ship with a 90-day free subscription to Google Play Music All Access, and get $50 of Google Play Credit. The new Nexus smartphones also come with an extended warranty scheme that’s valid for 2 years and covers mechanical breakdown apart from accidental damage. It is priced at $69 and $89 for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P respectively.
The Nexus 6P is the first full-metal Nexus smartphone, built out of aluminium, and features a 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixel) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4; a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with 4K and slow-motion (240fps) video recording, apart from an f/2.0 aperture; 8-megapixel front-facing camera with HDR+ and a f/2.4 aperture; a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 SoC; 3GB of LPDD4 RAM, a 3450mAh battery with Quick Charge support providing up to 7 hours of charge in 10 minutes, and dual front-ported speakers. It will be available in Frost White, Aluminium, and Graphite colour variants. 64GB ($549) and 128GB ($649) inbuilt storage variants will also be available.
The Nexus 5X on the other hand features a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixel) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3; a 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC; 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM; a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with 4K and slow-motion (120fps) video recording, apart from an f/2.0 aperture, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with HDR+ and a f/2.0 aperture. It features a 2700mAh battery, with Quick Charge support providing up to 3.8 hours of charge in 10 minutes. It will be available in Carbon Black, Quartz White, and Ice Blue. A 32GB ($429) inbuilt storage variant will also be available.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also announced Google Play now has 1 billion active users, and Android has 1.4 billion active users over the past 30 days. Other statistics revealed include 20 million Chromecast dongles sold till date; 10,000 companies either using or testing the Android for Work platform, and 30,000 new Chromebooks being shipped everyday. Apart from the Chromecast products, Google also announced an updated Google Photos app with Chromecast support, and Spotify support coming to Chromecast.
The Android 6.0 Marshmallow update will start rolling out to the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Android One devices from next week.
|Specs||Google Nexus 5X||Google Nexus 6P|
|Display||5.2 inches (~423 ppi pixel density)||5.5 inches (~518 ppi pixel density)|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080px||2560 x 1440px|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 808||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810|
|Processor||1.8GHz hexa-core||2.0GHz octa-core|
|Battery||2700 mAh||3450 mAh|
|Operating System||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Network||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Colors||Carbon Black, Frost White, Ice Blue||Frost, Aluminium, Graphite|
|Price||Rs. 31,900||Rs. 39,999|
Like every smartphone on sale today, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P aren’t without some potential deal breakers. To varying degrees no OIS, wireless charging and expandable storage will scare away some potential customers. That aside, the Nexus range is clearly back on form.
The Nexus 5X is once again set to become the best budget Android phone – especially for Android purists, while the Nexus 6P finally gives the line a premium model to compete with the best from Apple and Samsung. As such there should be something for everyone here.
Longer term testing will be required to truly give the new Nexuses a definitive thumbs up, but my initial impressions are highly positive.