Meet the New Nexus Family

Yesterday, in a style that's completely their own, Google officially dropped the Nexus 6 and Necus 9 devices for pre-order online, with Android 5.0 Lollipop shipping on both devices and coming to the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and Nexus 7 (2013) in the coming weeks. So, how do the look, and how do they stack up against the other flagship contenders from 2014?

Nexus 6:

  • Manufacturer: Motorola
  • 5.96" QHD (2560x1440) AMOLED
  • 2.7Ghz Snapdragon 805
  • Adreno 420 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32/64 GB storage
  • 13MP/2MP (4k 30fps)
  • 3220mAH battery
  • $749/$799 unlocked
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Nexus 9:

  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • 8.9" 4:3 (2048x1536) display
  • 2.3 Ghz NVIDIA Tegra K1 64 bit processor
  • Boomsound
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32 (WiFi) & 32 (LTE) GB storage
  • 8/1.6MP camera
  • 6700mAh battery
  • $399
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

The long rumoured and finally confirmed HTC Nexus 9 marks the company's return to the Nexus brand, and their return to making tablets after three years away from the field. For a struggling OEM like HTC, this just may be their saving grace as it's a beautifully designed piece of hardware that's packed with future-proofed internals. A prime example of this is it's NVIDIA Tegra K1 blasting through the GeekBench benchmark tests, beating out the latest and greatest A8 chip from Apple's iPhone 6/6+ devices.

After 2 generations of Nexus devices with super cheap prices/mid-range hardware it's surprising to see Google go ultra premium with the Nexus 6. While it looks like a blown up Moto X (2014), it's important to note that it's footprint is roughly the size of the 5.5" iPhone 6+, and is only slightly larger than the new Galaxy Note 4That being said, the large size of the phone puts it into the same mental territory for me as the Galaxy Mega, Xperia Z Ultra, and the Huawei Ascend Mate (and lives up to it's internal code name, "Shamu"). While it may not physically be so large, I've often said that the 4.7" to 5.2" range is the perfect screen dimension for optimal one-handed use. As soon as you have to implement features like a one handed keyboard off to the size or iOS 8's reachability, you know that it's starting to become a problem.

One thing I'm concerned with, however, is the supposed re-splitting of Google's core messaging services. In Android 4.4 KitKat, Hangouts became the default messenger for both Hangouts based IMs and SMS/MMS. We all know how well that was received, partly due to the fact that OEMs like Samsung, HTC, and LG, insisted on adding their own stock AOSP based SMS messengers as the default apps, relegating Hangouts to another app drawer icon never to be touched. And that's one thing that Google is absolutely awful at; figuring out how to do messaging right, and it's something they won't figure out unless they stick to their guns and stop doing nonsensical things like this. Hell, it took them over a year to implement SMS into Hangouts, and even then it was a half-baked clusterfuck that all iMessage users could point towards, laugh, and feel superior about. /rant

The Nexus 6 marks the end of the "subsidized" phones sold directly from Google, and I can see more people buying the Nexus 6 on contract now rather then off because it's immediately cheaper in the short term. Google is apparently still going to sell last year's model, the Nexus 5, probably with a reduced price point, for those that don't want to scale up to such a large phone in the Nexus 6. Personally, I'm not sure if I want to buy such a large phone, especially when there are smaller offerings that pack equally as big a punch, such as the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. The name might be a mouthful, but damn if it isn't a really nice device.

The Nexus family just got a whole lot better, and I can't wait for the initial reviews to start rolling in. It's an exciting time to be a smart phone enthusiast, that's for sure.

Nexus 6 + Nexus 9 = 15

Today is the 15th of October
15-10 = Android 5.0 Lollipop

Google DEFINITELY had this planned all along.

When Moto X (2014) users see the Nexus 6.