Google’s Nexus phones have grown to make quite the impression in the mobile tech community. Although Android is praised for being an open-sourced software, which is what allows for such variation within the Android family of smartphones, Nexus phones are notoriously the devices that showcase Android as Google sees it - which means little to no bloatware and no custom UI skins. Nexus phones are also typically the first to experience the latest Android software updates, and have been known in the past to be sold at a competitively affordable price.
Last year, however, was a little bit different. In many ways, it felt like Google overshot the mark in a couple of ways. The Motorola-made Nexus 6 was a larger-than-average smartphone with a 6-inch display, and an initial selling price of $650. At the end of the day, the price tag did make sense – it’s just not what people had been expecting after two good years of noteworthy Nexus devices that were considerably more affordable.
This year, the Nexus program we knew and loved seems to be back – with a reboot… to boot.
The Nexus 5X and 6P, as rumored, are officially official. The two new Nexus devices bring back the two things which seemed to steer people away from last year’s Nexus 6. Both the 5X and the 6P are phones that would be considered “average” smartphone sizes, and neither phone surpass the $500 price tag.
The Nexus 5X is an LG-made device that features a 5.2-inch display, which is slightly larger than the original Nexus 5, but Google claims that the phone keeps nearly the same dimensions as the original despite the larger screen. The Nexus 5x runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, has 2GB of RAM, and features a 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera. On the front, the new Nexus features dual-front facing stereo speakers and an 8-megapixel camera. The phone now also supports a fingerprint sensor, dubbed Nexus Imprint. The Nexus 5X’s base storage is 16GB.
The Nexus 6P, made by Huawei, comes in a slightly larger aluminum package with a 5.7-inch display (although again, Google stresses that despite the larger screen size, the actual dimensions of the phone itself wouldn’t measure larger than your average smartphone with a 5.5-inch display). It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v. 2.1 processor, 3GB of RAM, 12.3-megapixel rear-facing shooter and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The 6P also features dual front-facing speakers, and comes in storage amounts of 32, 64, and 128GB.
The Nexus 5X will run you $379 for its base model, and the 6P starts at $499. Both devices will also run on Android Marshmallow, and you can pre-order the devices starting today. There’s also a nice little list of goodies you receive should you decide to pre-order either one of these devices, including a new comprehensive insurance plan from Google, 90 days of free Google Music service, and $50 in Google Play credits (U.S.).
So, if you’ve been keeping up with rumors, there’s really nothing new here.
We will have to wait and see how well the devices actually do regarding battery and camera tests, but overall I'm happy to see that Google is back on track with the Nexus. Both sizes have their markets. Nexus 5 fans would seem like they have a proper, affordable upgrade, and anybody who wants a larger Nexus now has that option with a comparatively affordable price tag (compared to last year, anyway).
My only hang-up is that I think the Nexus 5X could have used a boost for the base internal storage as it feels like 16GB models have run their course at this point. Since the phone is as affordable as it is, though, I don’t feel like I can properly make as big of a deal out of it as I do with the $649 iPhone 6s.
So readers, what are your thoughts on the two new Nexus devices? Let us know in the comments below!