Did you know: the Nexus 6P and 5X were designed and developed in a 'grueling', atypically short 7-month period


The 2015 family of Nexus devices represents Google's ideas about what Android smartphones should look and feel like. The new phones not only feature the latest version of the platform, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but they have also been designed by Google engineers.

A recent meeting with those very engineers (recounted by Redditor sylocheed) reveals some interesting behind-the-scenes details about the two phones that might be of interest.

The first thing you should know about the new Nexus phones is that they came to be after a 'grueling' 7-month design period. This is a much shorter time frame than your usual 2-year timeline of development for new phones, and it speaks miles to the level of commitment of the engineers at Google.

Then, the smallest details of the materials used for these phones have been under intense scrutiny: "We spent lots of time over in China pulling samples fresh off the bead blasting manufacturing line, running over to a window, and scrutinizing the way the light played off the surface," a Google engineer said about the intricacies of the Nexus 6P design.

It is also revealed that the relationship Google and the Nexus manufacturing partner are often complicated, as it takes some convincing to ensure certain elements turn out in the way Google mandates them. For instance, it required a 3-month back and forth in order to make a convincing case that the Nexus 6P USB Type-C port should be in the middle and not at the edge of the phone. This is in start contrast with what happened to the design of the Nexus 6, though, where it seemed like Motorola had been given the green card to have a wider influence over its design. 

When asked about thinness and the possibility for a phone that is not so thin, but has a larger battery, an interesting sentiment revealed itself. A Google engineer simply replied that "Apple really sets the bar on thinness here."

The full session also tells about how proud the Nexus team is of being able to convince Sony to provide it with its new sensor and the great quality of the pictures that are achieved with it (it does not have OIS because that particular version is not offered in an OIS module, in case you were curious). The team had also long considered the ideal position for the Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor - and the rear position was chosen after seeing that the side provides too little space for a consistently accurate read, while the front had a cantilevering effect that increased the chance of dropping the phone. Interesting details, aren't they?

source: Reddit

Related phones

Nexus 6P
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(23h talk time)

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44 Comments

1. pmsap

Posts: 105; Member since: May 26, 2015

Come on. It's project management. If you pour enough money (and people) into the project you can make it in (virtually) any desired amount of time.

3. jellmoo

Posts: 2645; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

1)Completed Quickly 2)High Quality 3)Low cost. You only ever get to pick two.

17. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

With how it bent and the weak joints used...1 and 3

22. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

LOL, I guess we can chalk that up to lack of reading comprehension or attention to detail (or both) most likely.

42. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

if you think the device is somehow high cost to build, I have this shiny new bridge outside my window. heard it was for sale.

40. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

This probably led to the bending issues. Then theres that SD 810 oven inside. Hope they take more time on next Nexus and knock it out of the park.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Interesting read, I may take a look at it later on. Surprisingly it doesn't reveal why Google ability to keep stuff in stock is awfully bad.

5. Tziggy14

Posts: 625; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

They're not a hardware company. This shouldn't be a surprise. Any decent manufacturer with experience will know how much demand and supply is needed for each market.

23. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well no, in his world only Apple knows how to do that. I mean he was so on their case when there were shortages for the iPhone 5 or 5s or 6 or.....or wait no he wasn't. OH YEA, hes an iFan....nm.

33. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Are you dense? You're comparing apples to oranges here.

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It also shouldn't be a surprise given that they change their marketing strategy every freaking year. One year it's through carriers at a midrange price, another year it's exclusively through their online store at a premium price, another year they introduce two sizes, still another they only release a large phablet, etc etc... Point is, it would be pretty hard for anyone to gauge sales given how little precedent there is, hardware company or not. Given that even hardware companies screw this up, I'm surprised Google does as well as it does.

25. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

"One year it's through carriers at a midrange price, another year it's exclusively through their online store at a premium price, another year they introduce two sizes, still another they only release a large phablet, etc etc..." They sold the Nexus for 3 years at midrange prices (Nexus 4, 5, & 5x). Which year was that, because the Nexus 6 was sold through carriers as well, in fact it still is. IIRC, the only times they sold exclusively through their store at premium prices was this year with the 6p. Yes they did, a midrange and a premium, which is what the "p" in 6p stands for. They offered them to cover the markets for the last three devices, the midrange 5x to cover the Nexus 4 & 5 owners, and the premium 6p to cover the 6 owners who liked a larger device. Correct, and then this year they offered a smaller device and a phablet.

4. Tziggy14

Posts: 625; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

so in other words, Huawei is more of a dump pipe. What benefit do they get out of this overall?

6. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Their foot in the door of the US market (potentially).

8. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Money.

38. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

US market, and Google will get the Chinese one.

7. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

For this reason it was a failure design.

31. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Well the iPhone 6s was a 0 hours and zero days development cycle. Take the iPhone 6 and change the internals. Not even close to 7 months let alone 2 years. If you want to talk about fail, talk about that. Lol

9. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Pretty good...the 5X can be a refresh so it ain't all that hard. The 6P was where its at, and all the "mistakes" people like Jerryrigeverything pointed out, like the chassis, can be fixed upon next years release.

11. TyrionLannister unregistered

And it bends badly with plastic joints to hold the bottom portion of the phone. https://youtu.be/r3cWVdLqXCg

12. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

So yeah, fix the dovetails, chassis etc.

13. Retro-touch unregistered

Still surprised this clown is taken seriously. Simple, don't bend your phone and problem solved

18. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Things happen, I dotn even have a case on mine. Havent last 5 phones and not a single bad thing. However, I know of situations that I have currently put a phone through that it may have bent with the iphone or 6p. I am the first to say...don't bend it, but its crazy to see how easy some will bend

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

See comment 27.

19. maherk

Posts: 6999; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

This " clown" is known for his unbiased comments, and for being one of the least who is well informed when it comes to tech. Don't get that butthurt because he stated the obvious. Then Nexus 6P had a major flaw, you don't need to put any force into it to bend. Crazy how people mocked Apple for the bendgate, yet they defend this same issue found in the Nexus 6p.

21. Retro-touch unregistered

I don't care about his tests and didn't care about the iPhone bendgate problems either like most people. I don't own either the iPhone 6S or the Nexus 6P but this is an overblown issue and luckily only circulates in tech sites which 99% of the population will never visit. I would gladly buy either device. I've seen many other videos of people attempting to bend it and I will trust that as well as numerous people on XDA that report it doesn't bend over this 'clown'. Under normal circumstances chances of bending are nil

24. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well no, because the only phones that didn't bend or break in his videos (the youtube channel posted by tyrion) were the LG G4, Note 5 and Moto X pure. The S6 bent slightly when twisted only and the iPhone 6s was also bent by this guy. So I think the issue here is that this guy is pretty F'ing strong seeing as how he bent a 6s which is reinforced. Most other people who attempted to bend the 6p didn't get too far and so far the problem hasn't really come up like it did with the iPhone 6 plus.

27. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I have the device and it doesn't bend as easily as you say it does. Have you seen pictures of this guy? He's muscular as hell, and when he was doing the second test his fingers were white while he was bending it, that means you're using a lot of force. So take a strong man, add a lot of force, and yes, it will bend. But don't make it sound like you can accomplish it with no effort.

34. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's another overblown issue. I don't think the phone bends that easily.

36. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Who are you and what did you do with Myx? ;-)

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