HTC is no stranger to the Nexus line of devices from Google. In fact, they were the first partners, to bring a Nexus phone, when they released the Nexus One, an improvement on the existing HTC Desire back in the day when the Nexus line was launched. However, since then, HTC has just worked with Google on the most recent Nexus tablet, called the Nexus 9 and absolutely no other smartphone. The likes of Motorola, LG, Samsung and Huawei have all produced Nexus phones while HTC has concentrated on its Desire and One line of phones.
As expected last month, Google has started rolling out the update to Android 6.0.1 version for the Nexus devices. The update is rolling out for phones like Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5 and tablets like Nexus 7 and Nexus 9. While not a whole lot is known about the update and what new it is bringing, one thing for absolute certainty is that there are new emojis to play with in the latest update.
Nexus 5X, is the true successor to the Nexus 5 and is manufactured by LG. It is the phone that completes the Nexus lineup this year along with the Nexus 6P. While the 6P is aimed towards those who are interested in a phone that is a little more premium and looks the part, the 5X is strictly for those who want the Nexus experience at a budget and do not mind a phone that is made largely out of plastic.
Needless to say that the Nexus 5X is the lesser expensive of the two phones. And if you need to pick up the phone then there is no better time than right now to pick it up. The 16 GB variant of the device is now selling for just a shade over Rs 24,500 while the 32 GB version is available for just over Rs 31,000. In contrast at launch, the 16 GB version of the phone was priced at Rs 31,900 and the 32 GB version was at Rs 35,900.
The price drop clearly shows that LG has realised in the nick of time that for the device to sell well in a price sensitive market like India. We have seen several e-com portals, m0st notably Snapdeal cut down on the price of the Nexus 5X right at the launch but with even Amazon joining in, we are lead to believe that possibly this price drop is permanent.
One of the coolest things about the new Nexus phones: Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are the new fingerprint sensors that come with the device. Not only are they really well placed but electrically fast. In fact, several videos online have compared the performance of Nexus Imprint to the Touch ID and concluded that the Google lead product outperforms the iPhone by a fair bit.
While this is great news for those who are going to pick one of the two Nexus phones, how will the same fair for other OEMs given that Android has official support for fingerprint scanners starting from Marshmellow? If you are pondering on the same, then Google has made things a little easier and laid out a framework wherein they have laid the basic requirements that all OEMs should fulfill before integrating fingerprint scanner. They are as follows:
7.3.10. Fingerprint Sensor
Device implementations with a secure lock screen SHOULD include a fingerprint sensor. If a device implementation includes a fingerprint sensor and has a corresponding API for third-party developers, it:
MUST declare support for the android.hardware.fingerprint feature.
MUST fully implement the corresponding API as described in the Android SDK documentation [Resources, 95].
MUST have a false acceptance rate not higher than 0.002%.
Is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to have a false rejection rate not higher than 10%, and a latency from when the fingerprint sensor is touched until the screen is unlocked below 1 second, for 1 enrolled finger.
MUST rate limit attempts for at least 30 seconds after 5 false trials for fingerprint verification.
MUST have a hardware-backed keystore implementation, and perform the fingerprint matching in a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) or on a chip with a secure channel to the TEE.
MUST have all identifiable fingerprint data encrypted and cryptographically authenticated such that they cannot be acquired, read or altered outside of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) as documented in the implementation guidelines on the Android Open Source Project site [Resources, 96].
MUST prevent adding a fingerprint without first establishing a chain of trust by having the user confirm existing or add a new device credential (PIN/pattern/password) using the TEE as implemented in the Android Open Source project.
MUST NOT enable 3rd-party applications to distinguish between individual fingerprints.
MUST honor the DevicePolicyManager.KEYGUARD_DISABLE_FINGERPRINT flag.
MUST, when upgraded from a version earlier than Android 6.0, have the fingerprint data securely migrated to meet the above requirements or removed.
SHOULD use the Android Fingerprint icon provided in the Android Open Source Project.
The above listed are guidelines that Google has published in its Marshmellow CDD or Compatibility Definition Document. While it is not compulsory to follow these guidelines, it is better for the OEMs to follow them for a better experience of their users.
The Nexus series of smartphones so far have been plagued by the bug of poor camera performance. Other than the Galaxy Nexus at its time, most of the following Nexus smartphones have had sub-par cameras, including the Nexus 5, which thanks to consistent software updates at least was nearly usable after a few months of its launch. This time, Google has announced not one, but two new Nexus smartphones, you have the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, going on sale in the month of October.
What is also new this time is that Google is making no compromises when it comes to camera of the devices. Both the Nexus 5X and 6P have the same 12 MP sensor within them with 1.55 microns pixel size. Both the phones are capable of video recording in 4K, though the Nexus 6P can capture slo-mo videos in 240 FPS while the Nexus 5X will only be able to do so in 120 FPS. The folks at DxOMark put the pre-production unit of a Nexus 6P through paces and concluded that it is the second best camera smartphone in the world, behind the Galaxy S6 Edge.According to the report, the 6S produces great details in low light shots and the autofocus works well across. Details are crisp and the images have good saturation and expoure. The camera struggles when it comes to videos in low light and finer details are lost. While the results are not in for the 5X, given that the two phones have largely the same senors, the results should not be too different.
You can check out the entire report by DxOMark here. However, if you simply want to know the conclusions, then we are quoting them for your reference here, quickly, regarding the pros and cons of the photos:
Impressive detail preservation in low light conditions, by far the best tested to date.
Good detail preservation in outdoor conditions.
Accurate and fast autofocus in all conditions.
Good white balance and color rendering in outdoor conditions.
Flash: Good flash behavior with good detail preservation, white balance and color rendering.
Images are well exposed.
Visible irregularities in exposure, color, texture and noise due to HDR+ mode activation in low light conditions.
In high dynamic scenes, the highlights of the images are occasionally blown out.
When triggered, the shot is taken before the autofocus has converged.
It is absolutely clear from the description, that the Nexus 6P is the best camera phone that at least Google has produced in the Nexus line.
It must be the worst kept secret of the industry that there will be new Nexus devices coming out on September 29th which is tomorrow. The larger of the two Nexus devices is slated to be called the Nexus 6P and will be manufactured by Huawei. Being the larger of the two devices, and most likely to come with a metallic chassis, the Nexus 6P is expected to also be a more expensive of the two phones and pack a heavier punch when it comes to the internal memory of the phone, making it the first Nexus to come with 128 GB of storage.
However, more details of the phone have been revealed as the presentation slide of the keynote apparently has been been caught in to the wild of the internet world. According to the slide, the device will come with a 5.7 inch WQHD resolution and Snapdragon 810 out of the box. The phone will be running Android Marshmellow out of the box, just like the Nexus 8X, making them the first Marshmellow phones.
The battery on the Nexus 9P is expected to be gigantic 3450 mAh and the device will weigh 178 grams, which is due to the metallic unibody design. There is a Dual front speaker on the phone and you will also get the latest USB Type C connector for data syncing and charging.
It is probably the worst kept secret that there will be two Nexus smartphones this year. There will be one Nexus 5 which will be manufactured by LG while the other Nexus will be made by Huawei and will be called the Nexus 6. Both the Nexus devices are expected to bring with them finger print scanners on their back for easy unlocking of the phone. So far pretty much all the important smartphones with finger print scanners have had the sensor in the front so it would be really interesting to see how it would work out with a rear scanner.
The first set of renders of the device have been leaked by @onleaks and @uswitch which show the whole device in an animated video. The screen size of the phone is still being pondered over as both the 5.5 and 5.7 inches are being tested. The device has a USB C Type connector as well as two front facing speakers. The Huawei made Nexus device will have a full metal body construction.
According to the reports, both the Nexus smartphones will be released in October later this year along with Android M global release for the public. It is not beyond the realms of reality that the new Nexus devices will be the first ones to bear Android M out of the box.
Like all things, good or bad must come to an end, the life cycle of the Nexus 5 too has been done away with. In a report published on The Verge it is clear to read that a Google spokesperson told their publication that while some stocks of the Nexus 5 still exists, the main focus of Google and their retail partners would be on the Nexus 6 and that the Nexus 5 will officially be retired. The US Play Store no longer has the Nexus 5 listing either, so the only Nexus device you can pick up as of today in the States is the newly announced Nexus 6.
The story is same for the Indian Play Store too, and the only devices you can pick with the Nexus moniker are the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. You can pick up Android Wear as well as the Chromecast from the Play Store. Surprisingly, there is no more listing of the Nexus 7 either, which means that they too have been taken off the market by Google and the focus will only be on this year’s high end models. With the life of about 16 months, you would not say that the Nexus 5 lived as long as it should have.
Take an example of an Apple for that matter where a few generations older iPhone 4s still continues to sell at a reasonable price, you would be hard pressed to argue that Google could well have kept the Nexus 5 but at a lower price point, just to give the customers enough options. Oh well, to each their own we guess.
After much speculation, Google Nexus 6 is all set to the Indian shores. After listing it on the Google Play Store as coming soon, the leading E-Com portal in India, Flipkart has also listed the phone as coming soon for exactly the same prices. The Nexus 6 would retail for Rs 43,999 for the 32 GB variant and 48,999 for the 64 GB variant. Both of the colors, midnight blue and cloud white variants of the device can be preordered on Flipkart, though the final delivery of the device will not happen until sometime next month beginning.
You can pick the phone alternatively from the Google Play Store too in India, though Flipkart is just as reliable. It would be interesting to see whether the device will remain a Flipkart exclusive given that it is manufactured by Motorola and so far, all the Motorola phones have been exclusive to Flipkart in India. Flipkart has also run an offer, where you can exchange your smartphones for as much as Rs 10,000 for the new Nexus 6, bringing the value down substantially. You also have enough EMI options to sweeten the blow of what is a mindblowing price.
The Nexus 6 brings a 6 inch QuadHD display with Single SIM configuration. It is powered by a Snapdragon 805 SoC with 3 GB of RAM and takes major design cues from the Motorola Moto X second generation. The device has 3220 mAh battery and has a 13 MP rear camera, as the standout configuration.
Google last week had announced the next range of Nexus devices including the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. The Nexus 9 is the first tablet post the Nexus 10, that you can say is in the category of large tablets. It is being manufactured by HTC and looks like, will be the only Nexus tablet this year. Google had also announced that the new Nexus devices will be made available to India in the very first batch set of countries and looks like they are keeping their words as the 16 GB black variant with Wifi of the Nexus 9 has already been listed on the Play Store for Rs 28,990. The 32 GB LTE variant is not available in India yet.
The Nexus 9 Origami cover in three different color choices has been listed at Rs 2,900 and will go on sale with the tablet sometime next month. There is no listing of the Nexus 6 just yet, though the Nexus 5 remains an option for those who want to pick a Nexus smartphone from the Play Store.
The Nexus 9 has an 8.9 inch QXGA display with a 4:3 AR and will run Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box. The device is powered by the Tegra K1 Dual Core chip which is considered to be one of the finest Mobile SoCs out there. The tablet weighs about 425 grams and has an 8 MP rear camera as well as a 6700 mAh battery. There is a metallic frame, which adds to the whole fine look of the device.