Ahh, the Nexus 6. The device that unlikely to be, yet here we are on this beautiful (depending on where you are - it’s beautiful here) October day figuratively - and some literally - drooling over the beauty that is now the official Motorola Nexus 6. It would seem that the Google deities have graced us with another year of the Nexus program. As it turns out, one of the reasons that the Nexus line became such a good choice over the past years has been abandoned with the release of the 6.
Don’t worry, Nexus still comes with the latest version of Android (in this case, Lollipop). It’s still stock. It will continue to get the first software updates for (likely) another 2-3 years, at least. It’s still a really nice phone with good specs and a friendly design. What makes the Nexus 6 so different from previous Nexus phones, particularly the 4th and 5th generations, is that unlike the design, the price tag is not friendly. $649 is what you’re looking at for the 32GB model, which is the lowest amount of memory offered. You can purchase the 64GB model for $699.
This is clearly a far cry from the $300-$400 range that we had grown accustomed to for the past couple of years. While the Nexus line of smartphones might not be the biggest hit in the market, I can’t help but feel that the reason the phones became so highly praised the past couple of years is because of their low prices and good specs. Without half of that equation being there, I have absolutely no idea how successful the Nexus 6 is going to be in comparison with the Nexus 5 or the Nexus 4. Yeah, it’s big. Yeah, it has comparable specs to other flagships. But the true driving force behind any success of the Nexus was the affordable price tag.
Perhaps this has been a long time coming. I can admit that I was surprised at how affordable the Nexus 5 was when it was released. The Nexus 4 I found a little more understandable, mostly because LTE was already well on its way and the Nexus 4 only offered HSPA+ speeds. Still, it was an acceptable trade-off at the time. The Nexus 5 offered very little compromises at only a small price increase. The Nexus 6, on the other hand, is priced at exactly what you would expect a smartphone of its kind would be priced with - competitively.
So maybe it was just the mere expectation that Google and Motorola would once again please our wallets with a phone of flagship specs at a much lower price that makes it such a surprising aspect of the launch for many. Already you see people denouncing any love for the 6 due to how expensive it is. But again, it’s not because the Nexus 6 doesn’t deserve to be priced at $649; it’s just because we’ve come to expect differently from Google’s Nexus line. Throw in the fact that it’s made by Motorola - the creators of recent notorious (but for good reason) devices such as the Moto G and the Moto E - I guess you could say it would seem like the odds of another cheap flagship were ever in our favor.
But it’s not, and it might not ever be. There might be a price cut here and there, but for the time being this is how things are. The Nexus 6 is real, it’s here, and it’s $649. Is the phone worth the price? Yes. Has Google’s trend with the Nexus over the past couple of years ruined the potential success of the Nexus 6? Only time can tell, but I’m going to guess that it might have some negative effect on the total sales of the new 6-inch phablet.
Image via Forbes