At first, we were talking about a Nexus 6, a placeholder name that did the job done for the time being, but as more evidence started piling up, we started hearing more about a mysterious Motorola ‘Shamu’, a device uncovered in the Android Open Source Project’s code-base by Android Police at the end of July.
The Nexus X is expected to be a big fishIt was time to get excited: after all, Shamu is the name of the killer whale that has survived the most in captivity. Most importantly, it is a name of fish, and that is exactly what Google traditionally uses for its Nexus devices: the Nexus 5 was ‘Hammerhead’, the Nexus 4 carried the ‘Mako’ shark codename, and the Galaxy Nexus was developed under the ‘Tuna’ moniker.
In the meantime, our own inside sources spoke up, confirming that the 5.9-inch Moto-made Nexus is a go. The name? Nexus X.
Nexus X (aka Nexus 6) specs
The Nexus series is designed to be a poster child for the newest Android releases. The Nexus X is therefore here to showcase the best of the new Android L release, and to do so it needs a powerful hardware. Our insiders confirm that it won’t disappoint.
- 5.9-inch display with 1440 x 2560-pixel (Quad HD) resolution
- quad-core Snapdragon 805 system chip with CPU running at up to 2.7GHz
- 13-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization
- 2.1-megapixel front cam
Why the huge 5.9-inch display? Since the Nexus is a device aimed at developers, it’d give a boost to development for phablets, plus it’s a perfect vessel for the new, Quad HD resolution, with benefits that could only be noticed on such a large screen. Since this is a fairly extravagant screen size, as wild as it sounds, we don't exclude the possibility to see a second, ~5.2-inch Nexus as well.
Interestingly, just like the Nexus 5 was a doppelganger of the LG G2, the Nexus X is also said to be ‘inspired’ by another phone: the yet unreleased Moto S. The Moto S is rumored to have the same, 5.9-inch display, and we might see it right before the Nexus X.
So why have two devices? Basically, it seems like the same Nexus 5 story repeats itself all over again: some issues with Verizon Wireless and the Nexus program might result in the Moto S being a Verizon exclusive, while all other carriers get just a regular Nexus X. Not just that, the Nexus X also goes by its Motorola XT1100 codename.
One thing we know practically nothing about the Nexus X, though, is its design. Google has changed the looks of its Nexus smartphones from the ground up practically every year, and this year again, we expect a surprise.
Snapdragon 805: 32-bit's swan song
Nexus X Geekbench results
Dual speakers, finally
Motorola-made, all cool Moto features coming to Nexus
The one crucial turn of events that seems to have made the Motorola-made Nexus X possible is the sale of Google’s Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo. Ever since Google acquired Motorola Mobility for its patents and more for a whopping $12.5 billion, the company seemed to be afraid to go on a full-on offensive with Motorola smartphones in fear of being accused of preferential treatment by other Android vendors. True, it launched, the Moto X flagship last year with some great software features, but purposefully or not, the Moto X seemed inferior when compared to other flagships in pure specs.
This year’s sell-out of Motorola to Lenovo seems to have untied Google’s hands: it is now expected to implement all the cool features from the Moto X, like always-on voice recognition and active notifications, into the Nexus series.
Android 5.0: the L release, or Lemon Meringue Pie?
Google unveiled the new Android L release months ahead of its launch to prepare developers for the huge changes coming in L: 64-bit compiler and the new ART runtime. It unveiled the new version of the operating system so early, it seemed even the company itself was not yet decided on the sweet treat to inspire the L release.
The latest leaks from multiple places reveal that Android L will indeed be a huge release with the following number and name: Android 5.0 Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP). We’ve earlier heard from sources that Google had also been considering names like Lollipop, but LMP seems like the more likely name at the time of this writing (hey, and Lollipop might sound a bit cheesy to some).
Nexus X (Nexus 6) release date, price and carriers
All in all, it’s hard not to be excited about the Nexus X: it’s the first phablet-sized device in the series and it’s immensely powerful, plus it will run Android L right out the box. Google, however, seems committed to its politically-correct ways of not overhyping the Nexus series (trying not to upset other phone makers), and we would not be surprised if it did not even hold an event to officially unveil the Nexus X. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with last year’s Nexus 5 - a press release and a quiet launch on the Google Play Store.
And while the lack of noise won’t do much to popularize the new Nexus, we expect Google to make up with immediate availability. Just like last year, we expect to see the new Nexus arrive right in time for Halloween, on Friday, October 31st (but hey, it’s not set in stone, so Google might surprise us!).