Thursday, October 16, 2014

Google unveils the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player

Here they are - no fuss, no lengthy (nor potentially awkward) presentations - the new Nexus devices were simply unveiled on the web, as well as the new Android 5.0 "Lollipop".
Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is as expected. A giant 6" (5.96" if you want to be exact) 2560x1440 (493ppi) AMOLED screen, a powerful quad-core Snapdragon 805 running at 2.7GHz, 3GB RAM, 32/64GB Flash, 13MP camera with 4K video and optical stabilization (dual LED ring flash), front faced stereo speakers, and a 3220mAh battery with fast charging capability (and Qi wireless charging as well, thankfully). It's biggest problem, besides it's huge size, it's its equally large price. The Nexus 6 starts at $649... which is the biggest let down after the budget-priced Nexus 5.

Nexus 9

While the Nexus 6 comes from Motorola, the Nexus 9 arrives from HTC. It has a 8.9" LCD with 2048x1536 pixels in a 4:3 format (just like the iPad). Inside we get a powerful 64bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor - oddly with just 2GB of RAM. We also get a 8MP and 1.6MP camera, and also front facing stereo speakers. No wireless charging though; but thankfully, prices are a lot nicer, starting at $399.

Nexus Player

Adding up on the Chomecast family we get the Nexus Player. It comes with an Intel Atom quad-core CPU, and it's based on the new Android 5.0. It can act as a cast receiver, but you might also treat as a game console if you shell an extra $39 for the wireless game controller on top of its $99 price (which includes a $40 Play Store credit). The fact that it seems to be limited to Full HD 1080p60 might be a let down for all those hoping to put their UHD 4K screens to good use.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Last but not least: the Android 5.0 Lollipop, which will also be available to the Nexus 5, and - thankfully - to the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 2012  as well (and also Moto G, X, and E).

The Android 5.0 is more beautiful than ever and it comes with lots and lots of enhancements: better notification management; improved security (including a anti-theft, Factory Reset Protection lock), guest account support, pinned lock screens, enhanced performance and the material design animations, 64bit support, more efficient power saving mode, and much more.

Our take...

If you're a phablet fan and don't mind paying $600 for a Nexus, you'll be pleased with the new Nexus 6. However, I think this is getting out of hand. If you thought the iPhone 6 Plus was huge, the Nexus 6 is even bigger, thicker, and heavier. Yes, we're talking about fractions of an inch at a time... but somewhere along the road everyone needs to draw the line - and for me this seems to be it: I'll be sticking with my Nexus 5 for the foreseeable future thank you.

What about you? How do you feel about the Nexus 6 size and, equally important, it's not so friendly price?

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