Saturday , October 21 2017

Meet Google’s new Nexus family: Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player

Nexus-Family

Google has just announced the latest members of its Nexus family, the Nexus 6 smartphone made by Motorola, Nexus 9 tablet made by HTC and surprised us all with the first Android TV device – the Nexus Player made by Asus. Each of the new devices runs Google’s new Android 5.0, finally officially christened “Lollipop”.

Click here check out our Android Lollipop coverage.

Google is embracing colour choice options from the beginning this year, with the Nexus 6 available in blue and white, and the Nexus 9 available in black, white or gold (sand). Each device has a black bezel on the front, regardless of your choice. The Nexus Player is a little different, though – it’s only available in black, but that should be fine as it hides amongst your A/V equipment.

Each of the new Nexus devices goes up for pre-order in the USA in a couple of days’ time – October 17 – and will be available in November. Actual final release varies by device, with retail availability also figuring into Google’s launch plans this year.

Pricing is only starting to make itself known, but it looks like the days of super cheap Nexus devices are coming to an end, with Motorola’s official blog naming a US$649 price for the Nexus 6.

As usual, there’s not yet any specific information on an Australian launch available but when we find any information we’ll let you know.

Nexus 6

Nexus-6-moreeverything-1600

The Nexus 6 presented few surprises to what we already knew – or at least, suspected – from the last few weeks’ leaks.

Powered by a Snapdragon 805 quad-core 2.7GHz processor and an Adreno 420 GPU, the phone is effectively a big Moto X. There’s a 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display with an impressive 493ppi housed inside a body that measures 159 x 83 mm across the face and up to 10mm thick in the middle and only 3.8mm at the sides. It all weighs 184 grams.

The rear camera is a 13MP camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and the same ring flash as the Moto X accompanied. Google’s HDR+ makes a return, with the Nexus 6 supporting “automatic HDR+” according to Motorola’s product page. This is accompanied by a 2MP front-facing camera, enough to handle HD video conferencing.

As with current Motorola devices, the phone features dual front-facing stereo speakers and the ability to use voice commands such as “OK Google” with the screen off.

On the connectivity side, the phone will support the LTE bands 1/3/5/7/8/9/19/20/28/41, which covers all the Australian bands except for the band 40 that Optus use for parts of Canberra. To access these networks you’ll use a Nano SIM, just like the Moto X. There is wifi 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO) support as well as Bluetooth 4.1, and NFC.

The battery is 3220 mAh and boasts up to 24 hours talk time and 10 hours of internet use time while on LTE. It will have the possibility of charging with Motorola’s Turbo Charger promising up to 6 hours of use on only 15 min charging time.

There’s been some confusion regarding the presence of Qi charging, with Google not mentioning it at all on the official Nexus 6 page (leading to some disappointed and angry messages in the Ausdroid team hangouts), but Motorola on the other hand says there is Qi charging support on their own product page.

The Nexus 6 will come in 32GB and 64GB varieties in Midnight Blue or Cloud White.

As expected the phone will run Android 5.0, version Lollipop.

  • 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display – 2560×1440, 493 ppi)
  • Quad core Krait 450 CPU @ 2.7GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SOC), Adreno 420 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB and 64GB storage, no Micro SD
  • 13MP rear camera with OIS, dual LED ring flash, f/2.0, 4K at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi ac MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
  • Radios:
    • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19
    • 4G LTE: Bands 1/3/5/7/8/9/19/20/28/41
  • Dual front-facing speakers
  • Qi wireless charging, Motorola TurboCharge
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 3220 mAh battery
  • 82.98 x 159.26 x 10.06 mm, 184g

Nexus 9

Nexus-9-hero-1600

After the leaks of the last few weeks, the Nexus 9 held few surprises for us, but it’s great to be able to see the device properly.

The HTC-built Nexus 9 is a gorgeous 8.9-inch tablet carrying an IPS LCD display at 2048×1536 in the rumoured 4:3 aspect ratio protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It’s just under 8mm thick (or thin, if you like) and weighs just 425 grams (a fraction more if you buy the LTE version).

The Nexus 9 is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor, making it the first 64-bit Android device. It’ll be available in 16GB and 32GB configurations. An LTE option will be available, and as with the Nexus 7 before it, we suspect this will be only be available on the 32GB model. LTE band support is not yet known.

As we’d hope for a tablet built by HTC, the company’s excellent Double Tap To Wake technology, first spotted on the One (M8) this year – makes an appearance. You won’t need to find the power button on the edge of this tablet to turn its screen on, answering a criticism of the Nexus tablet range going back two generations. Android Lollipop will also be able to wake the tablet when you say “OK Google”, or just pick it up.

Happily, HTC has also brought its BoomSound technology to the Nexus 9 in the form of front-facing stereo speakers. This marks the technology’s first appearance in tablet form, and is a welcome inclusion for anyone who’s ever tried to listen to music or watch a video on a Nexus 7.

Cameras don’t sound like anything to write home about at this stage. There’s an 8MP camera around back with an f/2.4 aperture and an LED flash while a 1.6MP camera with the same f/2.4 aperture graces the front of the tablet. They’ll see you through in a pinch, but Google’s still not embracing the tablet photography thing. The world will probably thank them for it.

As we’ve also seen rumoured, the Nexus 9 will have an official keyboard case. It’ll be attached to the back of the tablet magnetically, and can be positioned at different angles to suit your preference. It’ll be sold separately, and we don’t have

Finally, the Nexus 9 will come with a large 6,700 mAh battery. Google says that’s good for up to 9.5 hours of Wi-Fi video playback or browsing (8.5 hours browsing on LTE).

The Nexus 9 will be available in Indigo Black, Lunar White and the rather more pedestrian-sounding Sand colour, which seems from the product shots to be a muted gold.

  • 8.9″ IPS LCD – QXGA (2048×1536), 4:3 aspect ratio
  • 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, Kepler GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB storage
  • 8MP rear camera with auto-focus, f/2.4
  • 1.6MP front camera, f/2.4
  • Wi-Fi ac MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
  • Cellular radios not yet known (quad band GSM, penta band HSPA, LTE)
  • HTC BoomSound dual front-facing speakers
  • GPS, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 6,700 mAh battery
  • 153.68 x 228.25 x 7.95mm, 425g (Wi-Fi) / 436g (LTE)

Nexus Player

nexus-player-puck-1600

Last month, we reported on a mysterious Nexus player made by Asus that had popped up on the GFXBench website. Today, it made its first public appearance.

The Nexus Player is a puck-shaped device that is designed to sit alongside your current entertainment equipment and is accompanied by a voice-activated remote control and a gamepad that can be purchased separately.

The Nexus player is Google Cast ready, and can be used in much the same way as a Chromecast. Content is synced across all of your devices so you can start watching content on one device and finish it later on a different device. The apps that are supported are already extensive, considering the quick uptake we have seen with Chromecast.

The game controller is pretty much the same as the one we’ve seen packed in with the ADT-1 dev kit:

The device itself has a DC power port along with HDMI-out and a micro-USB 2.0 port. It has support for 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO) and Bluetooth 4.1 and is only 120mm x 120mm wide and 20mm thick. With 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM and powered by 1.8GHz Quad Core, Intel® Atom™ the Nexus Player is a welcome addition to the Nexus family – maybe Dan can finally retire his Nexus Q.

  • 1.8GHz Quad Core, Intel® Atom™
  • Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Storage
  • 18W DC power
  • HDMI out (1920×[email protected])
  • Micro-USB 2.0
  • Wifi 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 235g
  • 120mm x 120mm x 20mm
  • Remote- “Bluetooth Smart”, 37mm x 140mm x 16mm, 40gm

Which new Nexus device will you make your own? Tell us in the comments!

 
Source: Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, and Google Announcement.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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27 Comments on "Meet Google’s new Nexus family: Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player"

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Rich
Valued Guest
Rich

The “band 40 that Optus use for parts of Canberra” statement in the article is way off the mark.: Band 40 is used by Optus across several of Australia’s largest cities, covering approximately half their Band 3 network in those cities.

The Band is important to Optus (users) because they have more Band 40 spectrum than all the other bands combined, meaning it enables them to offer faster speeds. The importance to Canberra is that there is no Band 3 there, making Band 40 the only 4G in the city.

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Manager

Not really off the mark – it IS used for Canberra. The majority of customers are purely wanting to know about the possibility of connecting to LTE. Which was covered – essentially if you’re an Optus 4G customer in Canberra, you’re SOOL.

Getting into a technical discussion of the pros and cons of the 2300Mhz Optus 4G Plus wasn’t relevant for this post, and has been gone into at length on other posts.

Signed:
A Canberra Optus customer.

Damien Xenos
Valued Guest
Damien Xenos

The Nexus payer is disappointing. No Ethernet. No SPDIF. Dolby digital? No internal storage for movies and games. I hope that manufacturers will address this

Kris Wok
Valued Guest
Kris Wok

No Silver line up, but Silverish price tags! Or should I say iOS device prices. I can’t imagine Toyota to sell more Lexus if they are not marginally cheaper. Meanwhile new Nexus devices are no better Lexus cars.

GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo

Not even close to iOS pricing though…unless I am missing something. Can you provide examples? Can you justify your statement as to why Nexus devices are “no better”?

David Anderton
Valued Guest
David Anderton

no deal google. Looks like i’m skipping a generation

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think these are ‘Android Silver’ devices. Remember what the rumour was as to what those devices would be? “premium Android experience”, “higher prices”, etc. ? I think they just continued to use the known brand name for the ‘new’ programme. These don’t look like Nexus devices (the N6 doesn’t even come in black, and looks like a MotoX) and they are certainly not ‘no margin’ devices. Rather the are more like “Play editions” with more minimal input from google. I’m thinking the announcement that “the Nexus programme will continue”… Read more »
GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo
I missed the part where you referenced Google stating that Nexus devices: – have to come in black – can’t look like anything like existing devices (Nexus 9 doesnt, there is no Moto 6″?) – cannot turn a profit – that the new devices DO turn a profit Nexus Player costs $99… I can’t say I agree. I just feel that the N5 covers all the 5″ bases at a base price, where the N6 brings more to the table, and people will need to pay for that. N10 costs $570 for 32GB WiFi, the N9 will likely cost ~$550.… Read more »
Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

Everyone is entitled to their opinion; even if it’s wrong.

GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo

You are right, and I definitely came across too heavily, for that I apologise…I sort of mis-interpreted your post. But at the same time, I do struggle to understand why people think that the Nexus line is a rigid model. The Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and now the Nexus 6 have all been comparably priced. Really, the N4 and N5 and N7 are the exception…I don’t even consider them developer or reference devices…they are really whatever Google needs them to be, yeah?

Matt
Valued Guest
Matt

I used to be a new phone every 12 months kind of guy. But I really think my Xperia Z (1st gen) is going to last me beyond my contract when it’s up in March. My first 3 year phone – it better, as there is really nothing out now or seemingly in the future to make me upgrade…

GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo

It’s like there is a party in my hand, and everyone is invited. AMOLED AND water resistant? This is literally my perfect phone.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
A bunch of missteps by google. As many have pointed out, the N6 is too big for most people, and the price is frankly silly. The excuse for the higher cost of a phone over a tablet always used to be the effort needed to miniaturise the electronics – well it’s nearly the size of an N7, but the price shoots *up* instead. The N9 is again too expensive, and again too big. The N5 was a back pocket phone (just), but the N6 will need an inside coat pocket. Well the N7 used to be an inside coat pocket,… Read more »
leetrevor81
Valued Guest
leetrevor81

Each to their own, I don’t feel comfortable putting a phone in a back pocket, I think I’m paranoid I could sit on it or someone could pick pocket me without me knowing. I don’t know the size of your pockets but I can fit a galaxy mega 6.3 in all my front pants pockets, so 6″ will be fine

GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo

Thank God you aren’t in charge of Google’s hardware division. I am buying two phones and one of each other device. I wonder whether these end up being the most popular devices so far in nexus history…. And I am pretty sure Google would have done the numbers on this…. Have you?

Stephen Murray
Valued Guest
Stephen Murray
Out of all of those, the Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player really stand out as devices I’d go for. I really like my Chromecast, but having something that is able to do things without the need of another device as a remote control for me is handy. And while the 4:3 aspect ratio display on the Nexus 9 isn’t great for videos, in my opinion it’s fantastic for general web usage and productivity. On that alone, I’d sooner put up with black bars to have that better general display experience As for what I’ll end up buying, I reckon… Read more »
motox
Valued Guest
motox

None unfortunately. The 6 is to big and the 9 aspect ratio kills it. Very sad!

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

N9, no 64GB and no microSD, no sale.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Valued Guest
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Legit sick of your comments, you should start designing your own products if none of these phones are ever good enough for you.

Montalbert_Scott
Valued Guest
Montalbert_Scott

never will you see an sd card in a nexus Jeni. It’s a terrible way to solve storage issues IMO but manufacturers need to come to the party- seriously- only 32GB for a tablet? damn, that’s going to fill up very quickly. They should have gone 64 and 128gb for the N9 but i’m happy with 64GB for the N6

GregAndo
Valued Guest
GregAndo

Yeah, there is no need. I added a 64GB SD card to my Xperia Z Ultra the day I got it. It has been pretty much empty for the entire life of the phone thus far. 16GB is at 75% utilisation. I will go 64GB, but that will be absolutely craploads for me. Apart from pinning media, I won’t use the space.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

Scott, my media content loadout is over 32GB now.
So a 64GB on-board with no microSD support device is lineball for me.

Joshua Hill
Valued Guest
Joshua Hill

Front facing stereo speakers on the N9 is great but with that 4:3 aspect ratio it’s not really a video watching device. I doubt the screen is much bigger for 16:9 material than the N7 so your paying twice as much for front facing speakers.

Joshua Hill
Valued Guest
Joshua Hill

I’ll still probably get a N9 but I am a little disappointed. For the money I would have liked 3 or 4GB of internal memory and 32GB storage on the base model. Throw in the keyboard cover and its an absolute bargain.

Montalbert_Scott
Valued Guest
Montalbert_Scott

i agree wrt the storage and RAM. definitely yes to the keyboard cover. I am going to buy an n6 but might wait on the N9 until i can get both cover and it at same time… i can imagine dual booting Ubuntu onto it… now that would make a useful device

Joshua Hill
Valued Guest
Joshua Hill

I’m a small phone type of guy but was keen to pick up a Nexus 6. Based on US pricing it looks like I’ll be hoping to pick up a cheap N5 instead.

phill360
Valued Guest
phill360

The device all look great but the only one I’ll be buying is the Nexus Player.
I love the look of the Nexus 9 but don’t need a tablet right now.
The Nexus 6 for me is wrong on so many levels with the biggest problem being the size.

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