Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, New Chromecast Announced

Google’s latest Nexus devices, 5X and 6P and also the new Chromecasts were announced early this morning. The Nexus line used to be famed for cheap phones with great specs but took a slightly different route in 2014 with the Nexus 6. 2015 sees two devices this time, with the 6P being the clear premium device, with an all metal body. Fans should also be happy with the return of the popular Nexus 5X, but with a few notable caveats.

Here’s the quick summary of the new devices.

Nexus Phones

Nexus 6P (designed by Huawei)

  • WQHD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display at 518 ppi
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4
  • Rear Camera 12.3 MP 1.55 µm pixels f/2.0 aperture
  • IR Laser assisted autofocus
  • 4K (30 fps) video capture
  • Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash
  • Front Camera 8MP camera 1.4 µm pixels f/2.4 aperture
  • Processors Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 v2.1, 2.0 GHz Octa-core 64-bit, Adreno 430 GPU
  • RAM: 3 GB LPDDR4
  • Internal storage: 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB
  • Dimensions 159.3 X 77.8 X 7.3 mm
  • Weight 178 g
  • Color Aluminium, Graphite, Frost
  • Dual front-facing stereo speakers, 3 microphones (2 front, 1 rear) with noise cancellation
  • Battery 3,450 mAh battery
  • Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging
  • LTE cat. 6
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, GLONASS
  • GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • LTE (FDD): B2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/30
  • Price US$499 (32GB), US$549 (64GB), US$649 (128GB)

Nexus 5X (designed by LG)

  • Display 5.2 inches FHD (1920 x 1080) LCD at 423 ppi
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
  • Rear Camera 12.3 MP 1.55 µm pixels f/2.0 aperture
  • IR laser-assisted autofocus
  • 4K (30 fps) video capture
  • Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash
  • Front Camera 5 MP 1.4 µm pixels f/2.0 aperture
  • Processors Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 808 processor, 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64-bit Adreno 418 GPU
  • RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3
  • Internal storage: 16 GB or 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
  • Weight 136 g
  • Color Carbon Quartz Ice
  • Single front-facing speaker
  • 3 microphones (1 front, 1 top, 1 bottom)
    Battery 2,700 mAh Battery
  • Fast charging: up to 3.8 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging
  • LTE cat. 6
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS / GLONASS
  • GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • LTE (FDD): B1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/20/25/26/29
  • Price US$379 (16GB), US$429 (32GB)

Thoughts

Singapore LTE bands of 3 and 7 are fully supported on the Nexus 6P and 5X! Both phones have the same camera, which on paper seems improved but the removal of OIS might affect stability for video recording and night shots. Both phones come with a fingerprint sensor on the rear, which will be useful when Android Pay rolls about.

Both phones will run Marshmallow 6.0 and you can be assured of the latest Android software updates. That’s still the best feature of the Nexus series. Price points are no longer that attractive as in the same category, there are other budget phones with high end specs too. Xiaomi’s latest Mi4C (available in China) has generally on par or better specs, and only costs 1499 RMB (around US$235).

The Nexus 5X sees a return to the more phone-like size of 5.2 inch, but unlike previous Nexus with stellar specs, the Nexus 5X appears as a mid-range phone, with only 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It also uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 instead of 4, and a single front facing speaker instead of stereo.

It’s unlikely that Google will sell the new Nexus in Singapore but it seems like Huawei Singapore will be retailing the Nexus 6P officially here. Their facebook posts suggests that the Nexus 6P will come to Singapore really really soon, but falls short short on revealing timeline or specific dates announced yet.

The same workarounds to ship the Nexus 5X and P6 to Singapore will apply. You can buy the Nexus directly from Google Play store and send it to a forwarder such as ComGateway, 65Daigou etc. Price is less attractive now due to the higher exchange rate and also the requirements to pay GST on all models.

New Chromecast

The new Chromecast eschews the stick design for the hockey puck and is refreshed today with a version 2.0, that has improved wireless connectivity support (5G network dual band support). Dual-band Wi-Fi with an adaptive antenna system keeps video resolution high and buffering low. And because Chromecast streams straight from the cloud, movies and TV shows play without interruption even if you and your phone leave the room.

If you already own an existing Chromecast, there’s no need to ugprade as other than better Wi-Fi support, functions and capabilities remain the same.

The new Chromecast Audio looks useful. If you wanted a wireless home sound system before, you would have to look into brands such as Sonos, or major brands such as LG or Sony, or rely on Bluetooth connection. Chromecast Audio lets you wire up old-school speakers and pull otherwise non-interoperable audio gear under a single Wi-Fi-powered system.

No change in retail pricing at US$35.

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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