Google’s New Nexus Smartphones: What We Know From Yesterday’s Launch

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So the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X are official. They were announced at the Google event last evening (East African time) and they look every bot desirable. Android Marshmallow is also official and set to arrive on current Nexus devices next week. Android Marshmallow as per the presentation last evening and the early hands-on is everything we were told it would be. Of course we’ll have to wait till we spend some time with it before we can pass along our thoughts.

The Nexus 6P, made by Huawei, is the bigger of the two devices and differs from the LG-made Nexus 5X not just in design (the 6P is all Aluminium while the 5X is all plastic) and pricing but also several key features. For instance, the 6P has dual-front-facing speakers while the 5X has just one. Further differences can be seen from the specifications table below.

For some strange reason (maybe to keep the pricing of the base mode down?), Google is going with 16 GB as the minimum for anyone desiring a 2015 Nexus smartphone. That may not be an issue normally but with no support for expandable storage, it may be an issue.

The new Nexus smartphones also lack image stabilization as Google opted to go the HTC way. The main cameras on the two devices. The 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor uses 1.55 μm pixels meaning more light gets in resulting in sharper images.

Google also seems to have taken note from the customizations its Android partners have been doing. Like double tapping the home button to launch the camera. Double-tapping the power button on the Nexus phones will result in the camera app firing up.

Nexus 5X Nexus 6P
Size & weight 147.0 x 72.6 mm X 7.9 mm; 136g 159.3 X 77.8 mm X 7.3 mm; 178g
Display 5.2 inch Full HD (423 ppi) LCD protected by Gorilla Glass 3 5.7 inch (518 ppi) WQHD Super AMOLED protected by Gorilla Glass 4
Processor Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 clocked at 1.8 GHz Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (v2.1) clocked at 2.0 GHz
Camera 12.3 megapixels at the back with f/2.0 aperture and laser autofocus, can shoot 240 fps slow motion video; 5 megapixel shooter on the front with f/2.2 aperture 12.3 megapixels at the back with f/2.0 aperture; 8 megapixel shooter on the front with HDR+
Memory 2 GB RAM; 16 GB/32 GB; No microSD 3 GB RAM; 32 GB/64 GB/128 GB; No microSD
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Battery 2,700 mAh 3,450 mAh
Connectivity Wi-FI, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
Network Support Google’s prepaid carrier, Project Fi, 3G, 4G LTE Support Google’s prepaid carrier, Project Fi, 3G, 4G LTE
Others Reversible USB Type C port, Quick Charge, Nano SIM, Fingerprint scanner Reversible USB Type C port, Quick Charge, Nano SIM, Dual-front-facing stereo speakers, Fingerprint scanner

Both devices feature what Google is calling Nexus Imprint, a fingerprint sensor. With Android Marshmallow, fingerprint sensors are now officially supported. This will come in handy when authorizing mobile payments (via Android Pay) as well as for unlocking the screen.

Another hardware feature that the software has been updated to support is USB Type-C which both devices feature and supports Quick Charge. According to Google, Nexus 6P users will get an additional 7 hours of battery life from just a 10 minute charge. Nexus 5X users will get up to 3.8 hours if they plug in their device over the same duration.

While we’d heard from the very comprehensive leaks that were obviously spot on that the Nexus 6P would be available in white, black, aluminium and gold colours, the gold was missing when official photos of the Nexus 6P were shown on stage at the event. It later emerged that the gold Nexus 6P is a Japan exclusive so unless you’re in the Far East nation, you have no choice but to go with the remaining options: Aluminium, Graphite (black), and Frost (white).

The Nexus 5X goes for $379 and $429 for the 16 GB base model and the 32 GB version respectively while the bigger Nexus 6P is going for $499, $549 and $649 for the 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB models respectively.

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