Google refreshes Nexus lineup with TV, smartphone, tablet devices
Google unveiled three new Nexus devices to join its lineup yesterday, including a set-top box for TVs, a smartphone and a tablet. They’re all designed to showcase the upcoming update to its Android 5.0 operating system, codenamed Lollipop.
Nexus 6 Smartphone
First we have the company’s revamped Nexus 6 smartphone. Compared to last year’s mid-range Nexus 5, the new handset receives an upgrade on all aspects and now joins the phablet market and is placed in the high-end price tier rubbing shoulders with the best from Samsung and Apple.
The 5.9-inch device will rival the likes of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, sporting a 2560×1440 pixel Quad HD display, a Snapdragon 805 quad-core CPU clocked at 2.7GHz and paired with 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 420 GPU graphics processor, a 2MP front-facing camera and a 13MP main shooter, dual front-facing speakers and a large 3220mAh battery – from which Google is promising over 24 hours of use from a full charge.
Unlike recent Nexus smartphones, Google has handed the manufacturing duties from LG over to its soon departing Motorola subsidiary, and this is clearly displayed in the aesthetic of the handset. The device looks very similar to Motorola’s recent Moto X and comes with a metal flash ring surrounding the camera and the dimpled logo on the back.
Priced at $649, the Nexus 6 will be available in midnight blue and cloud white colour options, with 32 or 64GB storage sizes. The handset will sport a new Turbo Charger feature that gives the device up to six hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging, and can be pre-ordered from 29 October, and hit store shelves in November.
Nexus 9 Tablet
Next we have Google’s new flagship tablet, the Nexus 9. Made by HTC, the tablet will sport a soft grip back with brushed metal cladding, an 8.9-inch IPS LCD display and powered by a 2.3GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 chip paired with 2GB of RAM. The device will come with an 8MP main shooter and a 1.2 MP front snapper, HTC’s BoomSound speakers, a 6700mAh battery and also the Turbo Charger functionality mentioned above.
The Nexus 9 will be available to pre-order from 17 October and will go on sale on 3 November. It will come in three models, 16GB, 32GB and 32GB LTE, with prices starting at $299. A magnetic keyboard folio is also available for purchase separately for those looking to make the tablet more productive.
Lastly we have the Nexus Player, made by ASUS, the first Android TV device from Google. It features an Intel chip and is bundled with a remote control with built-in microphone for voice commands, whilst an add-on gaming controller is available for purchase separately. The device will allow users to watch movies, videos, listen to music and play games as well as stream content from your Android, iOS or Chrome device using Google Case.
“On Google TV you could get a lot of apps, but a lot of the versions were just big tablet versions on a 50in screen that just didn’t feel right,” Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice-president of Android engineering explained, whilst stating that the company had learned from its past mistakes with previous attempts with set-top boxes, according to the BBC.
“[Now] we’re much more opinionated about what an app should look like on a TV set, so we’ve been working very closely with app developers in the TV and content space over the past months on optimising their applications.” Lockheimer added “You’ll see a much more focused set of applications that are higher quality”.
The Nexus Player set-top box will cost $99 and is set to launch in the US and Canada in early November. UK pricing and availability has yet been confirmed.