After months of speculation, the Nexus 6 was finally announced in October. The new phablet is Google’s first and will be featured alongside its Nexus 5 to offer a choice of smartphones in time for the holiday season. Here’s the full scoop on what we know about Google’s upcoming phablet.
Updated on 3-11-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added Verizon availability and pricing information.
How much will it cost and where can you get it?
Price is everything for those who want to buy a Nexus device directly from Google’s Play Store, and the Nexus 6 will cost a pretty penny. The 32GB model costs $650, almost double the current price of the Nexus 5. This high price is certainly consistent with devices featuring similar hardware, but far higher than most Nexus devices. It’s likely this phone will also find its way to carriers, who will help by either bringing the price down or offer financing.
Verizon’s an undoubted latecomer to the Nexus 6 party, as all the other carriers have had it since last year, but Big Red finally announced it will begin carrying the handset online starting March 12 and in stores on March 19. It’ll retail for $250 with a new two-year contract or $27.08 per month for 24 months with Verizon Edge. Purchasing before the month is out will net 6 free months of Google Play Music. You can check out the info and pricing on Verizon’s website.
T-Mobile delayed the Nexus 6 launch, pushing it back to November 19. It was originally supposed to launch one week earlier at the Uncarrier, but limited supplies may have forced T-Mobile to postpone the phone’s release in stores. On the company’s website, the Nexus 6 was listed as “coming soon,” but now it’s available for order. You can get the Nexus 6 for $0 down and payments of $27.08 a month for 24 months. The full retail price is $650 and you can check out all the info on T-Mobile’s site.
AT&T put the Nexus 6 up for pre-order on November 12, with the following prices:
- $0 down, $22.77 per month with AT&T Next 24
- $0 down, $28.46 per month with AT&T Next 18
- $0 down, $34.15 per month with AT&T Next 12
- $250 with a two-year agreement
- $683 with no annual commitment
AT&T is also offering a great promotion to those who pre-order a Nexus 6 for $0 on its Next plans. Those who choose this option get $50 off of a Moto 360, Moto Hint, or Moto Sliver II. You can see all the details on AT&T’s website.
If Sprint is the network for you, then starting Friday, November 14, Easy Pay subscribers can buy a Nexus 6 for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $30.
It’s here, and it’s big
Featuring a 5.96-inch QHD display, the Nexus 6 is Google’s largest smartphone yet and will be even bigger than both the iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Google released a teaser showing just how the Nexus 6 will look from head to toe.
If it looks familiar at all, you’re not mistaken – the Nexus 6 is built by Motorola and borrows a lot of its design from the new Moto X; it’s just bigger. It also has, like the Moto X, rounded edges, what appears to be a metal frame, and front-facing speakers. So far we’ve only seen the Nexus 6 in two colors: Black or white.
Under the screen, the Nexus 6 will be powered by a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, along with 3GB of RAM, meaning plenty of processing power when you need it with this phablet. Users can get either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage in the device, though there’s no sight of a MicroSD slot on the device.
If you like taking photos, the Nexus 6 will come with a 13-megapixel camera on the back an 2-megapixel camera on the front. More importantly, the rear camera also features optical image stablization (OIS) so you won’t get shaky photos trying to hold the huge phone. The Galaxy Note 4 has a slightly bigger camera on the front and back, while the iPhone 6 Plus has only a 8-megapixel camera. All three devices feature OIS.
To power everything, the Nexus 6 will get a 3220mAh battery, which is the same battery size we saw with the Galaxy Note 4. Morotola’s Turbo Charge technology will also be in the Nexus 6, allowing users to quickly pump their battery back to life before heading out. Apparently a 15-minute charge will give users up to 6 hours of additional use, which is impressive. All in all, Google pulled out all the stops for its new flagship smartphone of 2014.
The Nexus 6 will feature Android L (for Lollipop)
Google has been building hype around its next generation of Android, codenamed Android L, since Google I/O in July. Android L is coming to the Nexus 6, and the official name, Lollipop, has also been announced.
For the Nexus 6, Android Lollipop will blend in a new, beautiful, and streamlined Android experience all viewed from its high-resolution display. Google has shown off several highlights from Android Lollipop on the Nexus 6, including its new multitasking, personalization settings, and “material” design style for its apps. Like all Nexus devices, the experience will be focused on providing a minimalist experience, highlighting Android 5.0’s looks and capabilities as opposed to using third-party software. These days, Android on its own is looking better than ever.
The Nexus 5 will still be available
The Nexus 5, released about a year ago, will continue to be sold alongside the new Nexus 5 and Nexus 6. Google has also confirmed support for Android Lollipop for the smartphone, which launched October 2013. A developer preview of Android Lollipop for the Nexus 5 will be available starting Friday, October 17 for those interested in giving it a go.
Despite being a year old, there’s no word yet on if the Nexus 5’s price will change once the Nexus 6 goes live in the coming weeks, though it is already much cheaper than the Nexus 6.
Updated on 11-21-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added AT&T recall news after software bug plagues its Nexus 6 handsets. AT&T was forced to pull its Nexus 6 handsets off the shelves, as users reported severe software bugs. The software problem turns the Nexus 6’s screen black and the phone fails to connect to AT&T’s network. Motorola is working on a fix and plans to ship new Nexus 6 phones to the carrier, but in the meantime, AT&T has no Nexus 6 phones in stock.
Updated on 11-19-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added T-Mobile pricing and availability for online orders.
Updated on 11-12-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added T-Mobile statement on Nexus 6 availability.
Updated on 11-11-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added AT&T and Sprint pricing for the Nexus 6.
Next Page: Our rumor roundup on the Google Nexus 6
For a time, Google’s Nexus lineup was a sure thing. Like clockwork, the company would release a tablet and a smartphone with Nexus branding each year. This year, Google’s plans for the Nexus line have been less clear. However, now it seems that the Nexus 6 smartphone, AKA “Shamu,” really does exist and may be coming soon.
We’ve put together all the latest news on the Nexus 6 in this handy rumor roundup, which we’ll continue to update as more details emerge. Here’s what we know so far.
Updated on 10-15-2014 by Malarie Gokey: New reports hint that the Nexus 6 will cost more than previous Nexus smartphones.
Google to announce the Nexus 6 in October at a higher price
Google traditionally releases its Nexus handsets in late October. If the company follows tradition, the Nexus 6 may arrive in late October or early November. Most expect that the next Nexus will arrive before the end of October.
In late August, TKTechNews reported that Motorola will launch the Nexus 6 Shamu alongside seven other smartphones before the end of December 2014. Shortly thereafter, PhoneArena stated that Google will quietly introduce the next Nexus, which it believes to be the Nexus X, on the Play Store around Halloween, without any major announcement.
In October, anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal that Google plans to release the phone sometime in October, but wouldn’t confirm a date. Most recent speculation hints that Google could release the next Nexus any day now. Google reportedly hopes the new Nexus will prove to be a true iPhone 6 Plus competitor with its huge screen and lower price. Still, several rumors hint Google’s next phone will most likely be more expensive than its previous Nexus handsets.
Recently, prices for the new Nexus leaked from German retailer Saturn, showing a substantial increase in price. based on screenshots obtained by German website Caschy’s Blog, the Nexus 6 is listed at 569 euro. Last year’s Nexus 5 went for 400 euro at the same German store. Of course, Google Play may sell the Nexus 6 for slightly less and certain carriers will offer subsidies, but even so, it’s clear that the days of cheap Nexus handsets are over.
The Nexus will be a whale of a phone with the looks of a Moto X
Initially, there was much confusion surrounding the next Nexus. Earlier reports from PhoneArena and others hinted at two different models, but that the Nexus X could come in two different screen sizes, but a report published by 9to5Google.com in late September squashed the rumor. It’s now clear that the Nexus 6 will look like the second generation Moto X, but feature a considerably larger 5.92-inch screen. There will be a few subtle design alterations, including repositioned volume controls, and a more conveniently placed sleep/wake key.
Android Police later confirmed the large screen size, adding that a second model is unlikely. The publication also believes that the Nexus will borrow a real metal frame, front-facing speakers, and other key design elements from the new Moto X. Based on information from sources, Android Police produced the above render of what it believes will be the design of the next Nexus.
Then, in early October, the 5.9-inch screen size was confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. The report also confirmed the code name Shamu, calling the next Nexus a killer “whale of a phone” in the headline because of its size. Shortly thereafter, noted leaker @evleaks posted a picture of the next Nexus on Twitter, which confirms the large screen size and Moto X-like design elements.
What a depressing few days. I remember 1 thing that used to make me feel better, tho. No mark in deference to Nexus. pic.twitter.com/76zhSfu8rJ
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) October 14, 2014
Our first proper look at the Nexus X, codename Shamu, came at the end of September, when an image was posted to the XDA-developers online forum. It shows a large, Moto X-style smartphone next to an AT&T-branded LG G3. The mysterious phone is identified by a label stuck to the rear panel, which has “Shamu” written on it. Low-tech, but effective!
The picture highlights the overall size of the phone, which may be the Nexus X. The G3 measures 146mm in height and 74mm wide, and Shamu is noticeably taller and wider. For comparison, the Galaxy Note 3 comes in at 151mm tall and 79mm wide, while the 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate 2 measures 161mm by 84mm. From the image, we’d guess Shamu is closer to the latter. Whether the picture is accurate, or even genuine, remains to be seen.
It will have high-end specs
Previous Nexus smartphones haven’t exactly had the most high-end specs. However, based on leaked benchmark results from GFX Bench, the Nexus 6 will have a powerhouse of a processor and other high-end specs. Based on the results, it looks like the Nexus 6 will feature a 5.2-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The device, which is referred to as “Motorola Shamu” with “Google Nexus 6?” in parenthesis, will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, clocking in at 2.65GHz.
The info section also stated that the device has a 13-megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. If this is the Nexus 6, it will come with 3GB of RAM and run Android L upon its release. Unfortunately, no fingerprint sensor was mentioned in the sensor section of the spec list. So far, the only benchmark test result listed on the site is for the Manhattan test. The Nexus 6 allegedly managed 716 frames in the onscreen test. In contrast, the Nexus 5 only managed 600 frames.
In a spec sheet posted by TKTechNews, the Nexus 6 is said to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, 1440p display, 13-megapixel camera, and Android L onboard. The image showing the device’s specs clearly mark it as a Google branded device, which supports earlier rumors that the Motorola Shamu is indeed the Nexus 6.
The September 9to5Google.com report also states the Nexus 6 will have a 2560 x 1440 pixel screen, and puts the overall size at 5.92-inches. Following previous rumors, the same source says a Snapdragon 805 processor with 3GB of RAM should provide the power, and a 13-megapixel camera could be fitted to the rear. Finally, the battery inside could be a 3200mAh cell.
In another report by PhoneArena, there’s further indication the next Nexus will feature a 5.9-inch screen with a 1440p resolution. Android Police later confirmed the above specs, adding that the screen has a pixel density of 496ppi.
The Motorola ‘Shamu’ is the Nexus 6
Initially, many believed that LG would once again manufacture Google’s Nexus smartphone, but in mid-June, LG global communications director Ken Hong stated that the company had not been approached by Google to make the Nexus 6. This report spurred rumors that the Nexus line had come to an early end, in light of Google’s new plans for Android Silver devices.
Then, in late July, Android Police reported that a Nexus 6 is in the works, but it won’t come from LG — it will come from Motorola. The publication hinted that the next Nexus bears the code name “Shamu,” features a 5.9-inch screen, a fingerprint sensor, and will arrive shorty after the iPhone 6 hits shelves.
Although Google did not confirm anything, Dave Burke, who happens to be the head of Android engineering and the Nexus program, dismissed rumors that the Nexus line is dead. In fact, he reassured Nexus fans that the program is alive and well. His statement fueled the fires of speculation, lending credence to the rumors of a Motorola-Google partnership for the Nexus 6. Since then, more evidence supports the claim that Motorola will make Google’s next handset.
In August, TKTechNews reported that the Shamu will actually be called the Moto S, not the Nexus 6, so there is still some confusion on that front. PhoneArena later said that the next Nexus is based on the Moto S, meaning that it has many of the same specs, but will be branded as the Nexus X.
The Wall Street Journal put the rumors to rest in October, when it confirmed that Motorola will make the next Google Phone and it will be branded as a Nexus device.
It may be called the Nexus X
Although Google’s Nexus announcements are typically reliable, this time reports are in conflict. While many expect the next generation Nexus to be called the Nexus 6, new reports hint that it will go by the name of Nexus X instead. PhoneArena says that Google will refrain from calling it the Nexus 6 because of legal concerns. It turns out that author Philip K. Dick, who wrote Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?, called the Androids in his book Nexus-6, so his family has reportedly threatened Google with a lawsuit if it uses that name.
The name change was also independently reported by TKTechNews. The publication cited an unlisted Best Buy page, which shows a Motorola Nexus smartphone with the model number XT1100.
We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.
Updated on 10-14-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Noted leaker @evleaks posted a picture of the new Nexus on Twitter.
Updated on 10-10-2014 by Malarie Gokey: A report from the Wall Street Journal confirms 5.9-inch screen and Shamu code name.
Updated on 09-30-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added specs and concept design image from Android Police.
Updated on 09-26-2014 by Andy Boxall: Added a leaked picture of the Nexus X, codename Shamu.
Updated on 09-25-2014 by Andy Boxall: A new report continues to suggest the Nexus 6 will have a large 5.92-inch screen, with a 1440p resolution. It may also be visually similar to the second generation Motorola Moto X.
Updated on 8-28-2014 by Malarie Gokey: The Nexus X may come in two models: one with a 5.2-inch screen and another with a 5.9-inch screen.
Updated on 08-25-2014 by Malarie Gokey: The Nexus 6 may be called the Nexus X instead and launch around Halloween, new reports claim.
Updated on 08-21-2014 by Malarie Gokey: New reports claim Motorola will launch eight smartphones before December, including the Nexus 6 Shamu. Also added spec rumors.
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