Your Android Marshmallow Fix
Google reveals the new Nexus 5X as well as the Nexus 6P phablet
It’s fair to say that while plenty of people fully embraced Google’s jump to a larger, more powerful, but more expensive, 6in Nexus handset with the Nexus 6 inside 2014, others – and in particular long-time Nexus fans – did grumble a bit about the dramatic change of direction. You see, for a good long while the Nexus series had been about relatively low cost, value for money, and walking a moderate, middle-ground between optimised, decent hardware, affordability, and avoiding excessive features such as massive, high-res displays or very powerful cameras. The idea was balance, or at least that’s how it seemed. The Nexus 4 personified this and started the trend, then the Nexus 5 built upon it handsomely. Then the Nexus 6 happened under Motorola instead of LG, and all that good stuff sort of got thrown out the window. Replaced with other good stuff, sure, but in a large 6in form factor that wasn’t popular with everyone, and, as importantly, by pushing to high-end desireable tech the price surged alongside.
So people have been waiting for a smaller Nexus 5 reboot for a long time, and that’s where 2015’s Nexus 5X comes in, apparently aimed to satisfy just those people who didn’t like the Nexus 6’s big, pricey ways. But in keeping with the fashion for dual-launches and in catering for different tastes, Google also rebooted the Nexus 6 for 2015 as the Nexus 6P.
Android Marshmallow is set to begin rolling out very soon. It’ll be hitting Nexus handsets first and then begin rolling out to other, non-Nexus handsets from Sony, HTC, Samsung and LG. In order to keep you updated about when your handset will get Android Marshmallow, we’ve put together a hub where we’ll post all our news on updates for Android 6.0 from Google’s hardware partners —Where’s My Marshmallow?
As is usually the case when new hardware arrives, Google has now stopped selling last year’sNexus 6 inside its Google Play store, meaning the Nexus 6 has now officially reached its end of life. Unlike Apple, who continues to sell older models at cut rates, Google prefers focus on the future and always removes older hardware from the Devices section of Play and this means that if you’re looking to pick up a Nexus 6 you will have to do so outside official channels — Amazon, eBay and Craigslist.
If you’re interested in how the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P compare, well, you might want to check out our Nexus 5X vs Nexus 6P comparison, where we look at all the major differences between the handsets, including design, specs and hardware. A lot has been said about the two devices already and, unlike last year, it appears Google really hit the nail on the head this time around. Choice is the word of the day here; choice and value for money. Google, with the Nexus 5X, has brought its Nexus line of handsets back into touch with what they initially stood for: great specs, great performance, low cost.
Need A Tablet To Go With That Smartphone? The Pixel C May Be Just The Ticket!
So Google announced the Pixel C (stands for Convertible) tablet-come-laptop alongside the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, but didn’t reveal much more about prices and availability…until now. Seems if you’ve been missing the Nexus tablet love and want a bigger device to pair with your brand new Nexus smartphone you can now get your mitts on the Pixel C.
Google took to its official blog to confirm the availability of the tablet on Google Play and the starting price of £399 for the 32GB storage model. There’s also a 64GB edition for £479, but if you want the Convertible keyboard they cost extra at £119 for either a standard keyboard or a folio type – both feature a neat magentised attachment point which is very robust and allows the tablet to sit like a laptop.
What else do you need to know about the Pixel C? Well it’s made from high-end premium materials, including an aluminium metal chassis, and packs a bright 500nit, 10in display at 308ppi. Despite being Pixel branded it runs Android Marshmallow rather than Chrome OS so you get full access to all your content and applications. The tablet features a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 64-bit quad-core Nvidia X1 processor with 3GB of RAM and a 256-core Maxwell GPU.
Nexus 2015 Release Date: Handsets Shipping NOW
The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are now officially available via Google Play in the US and UK and other key markets. The handsets launched last month and are now available to buy, with prices starting at £339 and £449 respectively. The Nexus 6P is the new flagship and is priced accordingly, while the Nexus 5X fills the void left by Google’s awesome Nexus 5.
As the third successful collaboration between LG and Google, the Nexus 5X delivers the best of Google and LG know-how in a superb package. With a snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, advanced camera features and fingerprint sensor, the Nexus 5X boasts powerful performance, impressive multimedia capabilities and enhanced security. As the first smartphone to market to feature Google’s newest mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Nexus 5X will be the benchmark device by which all other smartphones will be measured.
“Nexus devices are about having the newest, purest Android experience possible in an advanced package that doesn’t break the bank,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications. “The Nexus 5X was designed from the ground up to live up to the expectations of the millions of Android purists worldwide who won’t accept second best. After two successful collaborations, we think customers will agree that this is our best Nexus to date.”
Nexus 6P Technical Problems Abound – Oh Dear Huawei, Oh Dear
The Nexus 6P is the first time that Google has paired up with Chinese manufacturer Huawei, and it might be the last. Why’s that, well the handset, good as it is in many respects, appears to be hampered by a number of technical problems, design flaws and perhaps even quality control issues which enough users have encountered to ensure these things have been noticed.
Strike One occured when YouTube channel JerryRigEverything posted a video of a durability test carried out on the Nexus 6P, including a bend test, which it rather spectacularly failed in an iPhone 6-like fashion; bending clean in half and popping out the display. Now, we have to admit we understand the thinking behind the backlash that occured – people questioned the legitimacy of the bend test, after all, it does seem as if there are always some people trying their darndest to demonstrate how crap a new phone is for one reason or another. However, JRE responded by making a second, more in-depth bend test video to prove that it wasn’t up to anything sneaky, and that the Nexus 6P legitimately did bend with very little effort.
According to the report, the suspected reason for this flimsiness is due to the use of dovetail joints in the phone’s bodywork construction – which are used to join plastic to aluminium; not entirely sensible! It seems these joints break easily under pressure, the display pops out, and then without the dispay holding things together, the aluminium frame caves in on itself.
It’s worth mentioning that this sort of thing is unlikely to occur with normal use of the phone by most owners, the stress tests are just that – very stressful, moreso than normal conditions. But all the same, it does highlight some structural flaws not necessarily present in other devices which could, in the perfect storm of wrong corcumstances, mangle your Nexus 6P.
Following this, Strike Two saw a number of Nexus 6P owners posting on Reddit that the glass back panels of their handsets had shattered seemingly without any intervention or cause whatsoever – the devices were simply resting on their back on a surface and the glass just cracked spontaneously. On closer inspection this problem apparently mirrors an issue found on the Nexus 4, where in cold climates, on cold surfaces, the glass back meets warmth from the processor and cracking ensues. Apparently this may have something to do with the metal frame contracting and expanding with the temperature change and, with no wiggle room for the glass, it smashes under the pressure of the frame’s movement.
Strike Three is the latest one. This comes via multiple user sources on Reddit, Google’s support pages, and posters on XDA Developer forums, all of which say the Nexus 6P is having microphone issues impacting on call quality. Users claim that those on the other end of their calls cannot hear them properly, and it’s apparent that this is happening on regular calls as well as VOIP services including Skype, Hangouts and others. It seems to differ from case-to-case whether the issue occurs with just the speakerphone or in normal call modes, or both.
Google and Huawei are understood to be aware of all these issues and are helping to solve problems with affected customers where possible.
Huawei To Produce 2016 Nexus Handset?
While many of us are enjoying 2015’s LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P, Google, it seems, is already looking ahead and planning the 2016 line-up. And Huawei’s making a return, according to the whispers. The word comes via industry analyst Pan Jiutang who revealed the info on Chinese social network Weibo. According to his information, the new Huawei Nexus phone will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. There aren’t any other details at the moment though, and what we don’t know is whether this will be another Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X. Alternatively, Huawei has already been rumoured to be working on a Nexus 7 for 2016, so maybe it’s just a reiteration of that rumour? Unless Huawei is making both a phone and a tablet!
The Nexus 5X & Nexus 6P Specs & Hardware Detailed
Google has officially announced the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. The handsets represent a big shift in how Google does phones. For starters, there’s two handsets — something that has never happened before. Second, because there are two handsets users now have a choice over which option they go for — do you want the big one or the smaller, Nexus 5-style handset?
“We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android’s diversity is why it’s become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version, Marshmallow, takes Android to a new level of performance,” said Google in a blog post. “While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build Nexus devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?).”
The Nexus 5X: The Nexus 5 Redesigned
The Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch LCD display with full HD resolution, just like the original Nexus 5. The Nexus 5X has a pixel density of 424 ppi. Under the hood you’ll find a 2GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor alongside 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. With storage you have two options: 16GB and 32GB. As usual, there is ZERO SD-support.
Google has also updated the camera too. It is now a 12.3MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and laser-assisted focus. On the front you have a 5MP unit for selfies and Hangouts. The Nexus 5X also has a fingerprint scanner for security and Android Pay, a Micro USB Type-C port and a 2,700 mAh battery. The handset will ship with Android Marshmallow as well, obviously.
Nexus 5X Specs In FULL
- Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Display: 5.2 inches, FHD (1920 x 1080) LCD at 423 ppi, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, Fingerprint and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating
- Rear Camera: 12.3 MP¹, 1.55 µm pixels, f/2.0 aperture, IR laser-assisted autofocus, 4K (30 fps) video capture, Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash
- Front Camera: 5 MP, 1.4 µm pixels, f/2.0 aperture
- Processors: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 808 processor, 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64-bit, Adreno 418 GPU
- Memory & Storage: RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3, Internal storage: 16 GB or 32 GB
- Dimensions³: 147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm
- Weight: 136 g
- Colour Options: Carbon, Quartz, Ice
The Nexus 6P: A New Dawn For Nexus Flagships
The Nexus 6P is Google’s flagship, the handset designed to do battle with the iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4. Like the Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P features a 5.7in AMOLED WQHD display, meaning you’re looking at a rather awesome 2560 x 1440 pixel panel with a pixel density of 518ppi.
“Huawei is very excited to collaborate with Google and deliver a premium Nexus experience for the global market,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group. “We value the way consumers embrace mobile technology in all parts of their lives and have created a smartphone with great design, performance and seamless integration of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the latest Android release.”
“We’re excited to partner with Huawei to introduce customers to Nexus 6P, our most premium phone yet and Android 6.0, Marshmallow, our most polished and highest-performing OS ever.” Said Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS at Google.
Unlike the Nexus 5X, the Nexus 6P uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 CPU. This is 64-bit chipset and has it has proven time and time again its pedigree inside some of Android’s best handsets so far this year. The Nexus 6P also features 3GB of RAM, dual front-facing stereo speakers, a Micro USB Type-C port, a 12.3MP main camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, a massive 3,450 battery and either 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage.
Nexus 6P Specs In FULL
- Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Display: 5.7 inches; WQHD (2560 x 1440) AMOLED display at 518 ppi; 16:9 aspect ratio; Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4; Fingerprint and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating
- Rear Camera: 12.3 MP¹; 1.55 µm pixels; f/2.0 aperture; IR Laser assisted autofocus; 4K (30 fps) video capture; Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash
- Front Camera: 8MP camera; 1.4 µm pixels; f/2.4 aperture; HD video capture (30 fps)
- Processors: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 v2.1, 2.0 GHz Octa-core 64-bit; Adreno 430 GPU
- Memory & Storage: RAM: 3 GB LPDDR4; Internal storage: 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB
- Dimensions: 159.3 X 77.8 X 7.3 mm
- Weight: 178 g
- Color: Aluminium; Graphite; Frost
- Media: Dual front-facing stereo speakers; 3 microphones (2 front, 1 rear) with noise cancellation
- Battery: 3,450 mAh battery; Fast charging: up to 7 hours of use from only 10 minutes of charging
- Wireless & Location: LTE cat. 6; Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz); Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; GPS, GLONASS; Digital compass; Wi-Fi use requires 802.11a/b/g/n/ac access point (router). Syncing services, such as backup, require a Google Account.
- Ports: USB Type-C; Single Nano SIM slot: 3.5 mm audio jack
- Material: Anodized aluminum