Google Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Player, and a Lollipop

The Google Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 were announced by Google earlier this morning. It was a major press release by Google as they also unveiled the Nexus Player and the latest Android version, Lollipop. The Nexus 6 is a new mobile phone product line that would be sold alongside the existing Nexus 5 and was co-developed by Motorola, while the Nexus 9 co-developer was HTC.

Here’s a quick overview of the product launch.

Google Nexus 6

Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 were devices that did relatively well, even though Google had never seem to pay too much focus on the hardware market. The Nexus 6 is an oddity. It branches into phablet territory with a 6 inch screen. So while it looks similar to the Motorola X (5.2 inch), it is significantly bigger. It would be interesting to see if it uses the same AMOLED screen as the Moto X. Specifications are at the top of the charts, with a 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, Ardeno 420 GPU and 3GB of RAM. Camera is a standard 13 megapixel with optical image stabilization. And Google has packed a 3220mAh battery to ensure that usage can last a day despite the power drain of the 6 inch screen. The new buzz feature is the fast charge feature or turbo charge, which will charge the Nexus 6 fully in 15 minutes, but would be supplied as an optional accessory.

The Nexus 6 will be offered in 32 GB and 64 GB variants, and would be available in US Markets first. It can be bought direct from Google at US$649 or US$699, depending on version. Wait, that’s no longer the affordable price point of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 models, which were honestly, one of the primary advantage of getting a Nexus device. Nexus device were about value. High-end specs at non-cutthroat price, alongside the promise of OS updates. The Nexus 4 and 5 16gb variants were sold at $349. The Nexus 6 starting price point is 85% higher. A quick comparison with the Moto X 2014 shows that it costs $499 with 32GB of storage and a standard color back casing and ranging to $579 for 32GB of storage and a high-end back like leather. I still think 6″ phones are still too big, and a 5-5.2″ phone would be more suitable. The Moto X with all the Moto notifications would probably be a better buy as compared to the Nexus 6.

The high price of the Nexus 6 removes it’s primary selling advantage.

Nexus 9

The Nexus 9 is Google’s latest tablet, and would replace the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 product lines. It makes sense when you consider their product line up. With phones getting bigger and reaching 6″ territory, the 7″ tablet becomes redundant and the step up to 8.9″ screen would also replace the 10″ category.

But it’s rather different from it’s predecessors. The Nexus 9 comes in a 4:3 format, which means it looks more like an iPad than ever before. The 9.9 inch 4:3 ratio screen comes with a high res 2048 x 1536 resolution, which would be better for books, websites, general reading etc but less for movies and media viewing. The big deal here, of course, is the screen. Three colour options are available – black, white and sand. It has front-mounted stereo speakers, which is great, especially with HTC track record on stereo speaker technology (Boom Sound). There are two versions, one with 16 GB of storage ($399) and one with 32 GB ($499), not sure why the step up to 32GB is such a huge price jump.

The Nexus 9 will be available online and in retail stores on November 3, but you can preorder it online starting on Friday, October 17.

Nexus Player

The Nexus Player was Google’s hidden surprise. It sounds a lot like the Amazon Fire TV and this would be Google’s latest attempt at taking over the smart tv market. It sounds a lot like the Android mini PC sticks that have been coming out from China recently. In summary, it is a multimedia playback device, and also a gaming device that allows you to continue playing on your mobile phone when you are outdoors. Progress is synchronised. That sounds rather useful, and hopefully it would be ported to other devices.

The device hits stores on November 3.

When would Android Lollipop be available?

Nexus device owners are slated to get the upgrade in November, with existing Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 expected to receive the updates first on November 3rd before the phones. This will be followed by the Google Play Edition developer devices.

When would Android Lollipop be available for my Samsung/LG/HTC/Sony Device?

It would likely be 2-3 months after the original release date before new upgrade versions are released by the respective OEMs. HTC had previously committed to release the new Android version upgrade within a 90 day turnaround cycle for their flagship devices (HTC One M8) after receiving the final software from Google. Since HTC were part of the Nexus 9 development, they should already have received the software from Google and it is a good promise from HTC to ensure latest updates to their phone.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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