Today, Google announced three new Nexus devices: the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. The Nexus 6 is a Motorola-made 5.9 inch device with a Quad HD display. It’s essentially a blown up Moto X (second generation). The Nexus 9 is a HTC made tablet with an 8.9 inch display and comes in black, white and gold/champagne. The final device is an ASUS-made, tiny disk shaped Android TV.
The Nexus 6 is essentially the Moto X with stock Android and a 5.9 inch quad HD display. It’s also the first Nexus device made by Motorola. Unfortunately it’s without Moto Maker, as well as Motorola’s other cool extras such as the IR sensors for touchless screen on, and the touchless control voice features. It has the same camera module and ring flash, the same dimpled stylised ‘M’ and the same metal rim. Not that any of these things are a bad thing, the Moto X is a beautifully designed phone. The more of the design language it takes from the Moto X the better in my opinion. It comes in two colours, white and a kind of navy blue.
The big thing that makes the Nexus 6 different to the Moto X is probably the most obvious one, the size. It has a pin-sharp 5.9 inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That’s a pixel density of 493 ppi. The display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which should help it survive quite a few knocks and bumps.
The camera on the back is the same 13 megapixel camera found in the Moto X, with the dual flash and built in ring to diffuse the light, which should in theory give a more balanced and softer light when taking images requiring a flash. Reviews of the Moto X have said the camera was disappointing, however, in Android Lollipop, Google rebuilt the camera API from the ground up. At their I/O conference they went into detail about how the new API massively increases camera performance. We wont know for sure how well this works until L starts to roll out to the Nexus 5. Hopefully then we’ll have something to compare, and we’ll see if it really is making that much of a difference. Other features include being able to record 4K video at 30FPS. The rear camera is the usual 2MP camera which is really only useful for video conferencing- don’t expect anything like what you’d expect with the HTC Eye for selfies.
The Nexus 6 has a Qualcomm SoC (System on Chip), the snapdragon 805 to be precise, at 2.7 Ghz. As usual it comes with WiFi (MIMO), and 4G LTE, as well as Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC. It has the usual slew of sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, an ambient light sensor and barometer. It has a 3220mAh battery promising an impressive 250 hours of standby time with ambient display on, and 330 with ambient display off. As well as 10 hours video playback, and 24 hours of talk time.
Another first in the Nexus programme, a Nexus device made by HTC, a company that hasn’t made a tablet in a long time is making the Nexus 9. It features an 8.9 inch, 4:3 IPS LCD display at a resolution of 2048 x 1536.. It’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and has tap to wake functionality. It also has an 8 megapixel rear camera (I wish they would stop putting rear cameras on tablets!) and a 2 megapixel front camera. It’s available, as you can see in white, black and a champagne colour.
It’s powered by a NVIDIA K1 64 bit processor, and an NVIDIA Kepler GPU. Comes with the usual sensors: GPS, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer and a magnetometer. It also has NFC, bluetooth 4.1 and MIMO WiFi. It has a 6700mAh battery. Interestingly the Nexus 9 also comes with HTC Boom Sound dual stereo front speakers. Usually Nexus devices don’t contain any brand names from the OEM in there.
The Nexus 9 will also have a keyboard cover available with it’s own built in battery. It will connect over bluetooth instead of a wired connection. It would seem Google wants the Nexus 9 to take on the Surface in being a productivity powerhouse with it’s powerful processor and high res 4:3 display making it perfect for writing.
The Nexus Player makes a return for ASUS, to the Nexus programme. ASUS were responsible for making the hugely popular Nexus 7, both the 2012 and 2013 versions. It’s another first in the Nexus programme however, as it’s the first Android TV device. I’d say it’s the first Nexus device made for TV, but we all know what happened to the ill fated Nexus Q. It could however be the first Nexus device made for TV that actually ships.
The Nexus Player is a tiny disk shaped Android TV device. It’s powered by a 1.8Ghz quad core Intel Atom chip, and comes with Power VR 6 graphics. It’s WiFi only, has 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage and comes with a bluetooth remote and gamepad. This is the first android TV device, but we’ll also be seeing TV’s powered by Android TV from Sony and other OEMs in the coming months. There’s not much to say about the device itself, the main thing is that it will come with Android TV and Google Play. For those that don’t know, Android TV comes with Google Cast built in so it will also work like a Chromecast.
This also kicks off Androids new advertising campaign: Be together. Not the Same.
Images courtesy of Google Nexus.