10 Takeaways From Google's Latest Nexus Announcements

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-09-30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Takeaways From Google's Latest Nexus Announcements
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    10 Takeaways From Google's Latest Nexus Announcements

    Can Google's latest Nexus smartphones, the 5X and 6P, compete not only against other Android devices, but against the iPhone 6s? Here's what they have to offer.
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    Nexus 5X: Let's Look at the Display
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    Nexus 5X: Let's Look at the Display

    The first thing anyone notices about a new smartphone is its screen, so let's start there. The Nexus 5X comes with a 5.2-inch display that's protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. Not much of a fuss was made about the display, since it caps out at just 1080p resolution, but it's a solid option for what amounts to a midrange handset.
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    Nexus 6P: A Different Screen to Check Out
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    Nexus 6P: A Different Screen to Check Out

    The Nexus 6P designed by Huawei comes with a 5.7-inch screen that Google calls a "cinematic display." The device's display is protected by next-generation Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and has a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution at 518 pixels per inch. One other interesting feature: Its screen has a coating that limits fingerprint and smudge marks.
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    Nexus 5X: The Cameras Are Solid Options
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    Nexus 5X: The Cameras Are Solid Options

    The Nexus 5X comes with solid cameras for anyone hoping to quickly capture a shot of the kids or friends. The rear-facing camera has 12.3 megapixels and an f/2.0 aperture. It's capable of recording 4K video in 30 frames per second. On the front end is a 5-megapixel camera that appears perfect for selfies and video calls. Like everything else in the Nexus 5X, the cameras are in line with competing handsets and not necessarily standouts.
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    Nexus 6P: The Specs Are Higher End on All Fronts
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    Nexus 6P: The Specs Are Higher End on All Fronts

    Compared with the Nexus 5X, the 6P is a higher-end device on just about every count. The handset comes with the latest version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor, featuring a 2GHz clock speed over eight cores. On the GPU side, the device has an Adreno 430. The 6P is far more powerful than anything Google—including its Nexus 5X—and its vendor partners have offered to this point and is among the most powerful options on the market today.
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    Nexus 5X: The Processing Power Should Be Fine
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    Nexus 5X: The Processing Power Should Be Fine

    Although not as powerful as the 6P, the Nexus 5X's processing power should be sufficient for just about every need. Google says that the device will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, boasting a 1.8GHz clock speed across eight cores. The phone also has an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics handling. All in all, the Nexus 5X promises solid functionality across all apps.
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    Nexus 5X and 6P: Bring On the Marshmallow
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    Nexus 5X and 6P: Bring On the Marshmallow

    Both the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P ship with a standard version of Google's latest operating system, called Marshmallow. Thanks to that, users will be able to see the full Android operating system the way Google means for it to be showcased, without the frills added by third-party vendors. The operating system includes some design enhancements, better support for fingerprint sensors and security updates. It's nice to see the real deal in Google's latest devices.
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    Nexus 5X: A Solid but Standard Design
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    Nexus 5X: A Solid but Standard Design

    The Nexus 5X won't stand out to consumers or enterprise users when it comes to its design. Quite the contrary, the device has a relatively standard design, complete with rounded corners and a somewhat large bezel. That doesn't mean that the Nexus 5X is an ugly device, but it's competing against products that are certainly better looking.
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    Nexus 6P: A More Luxurious Design
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    Nexus 6P: A More Luxurious Design

    The Nexus 6P comes with a far more luxurious design than the 5X. The 6P still has the rounded corners so often found in the Android ecosystem, but boasts an aluminum finish and a thin profile that makes it easy to pop into a pocket or purse. The one odd thing about its design is the camera area, which juts out from the back and creates a bit more thickness. Still, it's a nice option all around.
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    Nexus 5X: Is That a Fingerprint Sensor on the Back?
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    Nexus 5X: Is That a Fingerprint Sensor on the Back?

    To enhance the security of the handset, the Nexus 5X comes with a fingerprint sensor on the back. By placing a finger over the sensor on the backplate, users will be able to unlock their device, unlock apps and make payments with Google's own Android Pay. To let users know that the feature, called Nexus Imprint, worked, a slight vibration is felt after it registers a fingerprint.
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    Nexus 6P: As Expected, USB-C Is Included
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    Nexus 6P: As Expected, USB-C Is Included

    USB-C is widely viewed as the next frontier for ports in mobile products, so it's perhaps no surprise to see it in the Nexus 6P. The port is fully reversible and does a much better job of handling charging. In fact, Google says that the 6P will get 7 hours of additional battery life after just 10 minutes of charging. And since it's an industry standard, finding a suitable charger to boost the device's battery life isn't difficult. Image 10: Please use this image:
 

Google held a special press event on Sept. 29, and as expected, the company showed off two new smartphones, the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P. Not only will the two devices be the standard-bearers by which all other high-end handsets from Google are judged, but, perhaps most importantly, thanks to their solid specs, they may also prove to be the standard-bearers by which all other Android-based devices are judged. Indeed, as the market heads toward the busy holiday shopping season, the Nexus 5X, designed by LG, and the Nexus 6P, from China-based Huawei, are readying for battle. And along with competing with all those Android-based handsets on the market, the devices will compete with the iPhone 6s line, which has proved to be Apple's most popular smartphone yet. The market, in other words, is keeping a close eye on the new Nexus smartphones to see whether they can be successful. In the following slides, we'll examine both the Nexus 5X and 6P, looking at some of the key takeaways from each new handset.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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