Nexus 6 officially unveiled: Google’s first phablet

The Nexus 6 has finally broken cover. Google unveiled the Nexus 6, its sixth generation in the Nexus smartphone series, today, and it would be the official launch vehicle for the company’s new Android 5.0 Lollipop platform.

The official Nexus 6 announcement puts an end to leaks and rumors that initially claimed Google has killed the Nexus program entirely early this year, only to switch opinion later on and bring us official renders of the device just before its official unveiling. So did the rumors come true? Let’s take a look.

Design: a true 5.9” giant with Quad HD resolution

The Nexus 6 is the first phablet in the Nexus series, and it is large. Google knows that this size might not be right for everybody, but seems to embrace this diversity with a new ‘be together, not the same’ campaign.

The Nexus 6 design is almost identical to that of the 2014 Motorola Moto X, except for size, of course - the 5.9-inch Nexus dwarfs Motorola’s flagship. For all else, though, there is little difference between the two, and it’s clear that the Moto X served as the base for designing the Nexus 6. Last year, Google used LG to make the Nexus 5, and it based it on the LG G2, but the two looked vastly different, while this year that is not the case. Still, there are slight differences: the Nexus 6 has beveled rather than curved screen edges, for instance. The Nexus 6 is also a fairly heavy phone, with a weight of 6.5 ounces, and its curved back goes from a fairly thin 4mm at the edge to around 10mm at its thickest point.

One thing we're particularly happy to see in it is dual front-firing speakers 6 that Google claims deliver 'high-fidelity sound'. It's also listed as being water resistant, which means that it should be able to resist splashes, but is not supposed to get submerged in water.

The highlight of the Nexus 6, a device codenamed ‘Shamu’ after the big orca whale, is the equally large 5.9-inch display. The screen features a 1440 x 2560-pixel, Quad HD resolution that translates into very sharp-looking images.

Welcome to Android 5.0 Lollipop

Each year, Google launches a new Nexus to debut the newest version of its Android operating system. With the Nexus 6, this is Android Lollipop, probably the biggest redesign to the platform since its inception.

Android Lollipop features a new ‘Material design’ language based on flat shapes and realistic shadows to subtly convey structure. It comes with a redesign of the icons, and a refresh of the looks of Android with neat, snappy animations.

What happens under the hood, however, might be even more important as Lollipop sets the foundation for a future of 64-bit Android phones. It introduces the new ART runtime that replaces Dalvik, and this 64-bit-compatible environment is ready to transform existing Java apps into 64-bit without any effort from the developer.

Powered by Snapdragon 805

The Nexus 6 is powered by the Snapdragon 805 system chip, the jewel in Qualcomm’s 32-bit crown. This is the last iteration of Qualcomm’s Krait CPU core architecture, with four cores running at up to 2.65GHz, along with 3GB of RAM, and Adreno 420 graphics.

The GPU in particular is an impressive step forward, as it is capable of delivering top-notch graphics performance, and handling the most intense games at fairly smooth framerates. We do expect Adreno 420 on a Quad HD display to actually be able to match the performance of the ealier Adreno 330 on a much less demanding 1080p screen. Having a 32-bit chip in the Nexus 6, however, also means that the phone won’t make full use of the 64-bit optimizations coming with Android L.

The Nexus 6 is also the first in the series to ship with 32GB of internal storage for the basic version.

13-megapixel camera with OIS

After introducing optical image stabilization in the Nexus 5, Google keeps that feature while bumping the camera resolution to 13-megapixels on the Nexus 6. Google is nice enough to tell us all the details about the camera right away: it uses a Sony IMX 214 image sensor, the newest from Sony, and the lens has a wide, f/2.0 aperture. The camera is capable of recording 4K video at 30 frames per second, as well as 1080p.

The phone also features a 2.1-megapixel front camera for selfies or the occasional video chat.

The big question: battery life

The Nexus 6 features a large, 3220mAh battery, and that capacity alone is promising. We’re yet to see how it performs under real-life usage as that has long been a weak side for Nexus smartphones, but we do expect to see a marked improvement in longevity. The new phablet also comes with a Turbo Charger, that you can use to get up to six hours of use with just a 15-minute charge.

Nexus 6 price, release date and carriers

The Nexus 6 will be go up for pre-order on October 29th, and will be available in stores in the beginning of November (we've heard rumors circling November 3rd as the date). It will also be offered unlocked and off-contract for a full retail price of $649, practically a flagship grade price with none of the 'Nexus' discount we've seen in earlier years.

The Nexus 6 will be available on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, and Sprint. Google will also continue to sell the Nexus 5 along with the new Nexus.

source: Google

Related phones

Nexus 6
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3220 mAh(24h talk time)



1. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Please Google, I have the money but it's not available in my country!!!

9. Busyboy unregistered

Forget it, 5.9inch is just too big. Please make a Mini version without reduced specs!

13. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Maybe they'll keep the Nexus 5 around as a smaller option.

20. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

They did. It now comes with Android 5.0 pre-installed, no specs change (doesn't really need one anyway).

59. nottolate

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 01, 2014

I know. I'd possibly cough up the $650 after feeling like I stole something with the low cost of my N4. But I will not spend $650 for a phone this huge.

62. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The only thing that the Nexus 5 needs to make it perfect is a 64MB version!!!

39. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

There it goes, I said stereo front speakers & I was NOT disappointed. Google here is my payment in FULL, for BOTH the Nexus 6 & Nexus 9. It will be a great holiday this year at my house!

50. sipha

Posts: 440; Member since: May 12, 2012

& i remember when you said that ey!! +1 for you..

14. proto

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

i agree i hoped for max 5.3 inch screen ... this is just too big without any compensation with features good for screen this big. :/ 5,96 inches... this is more 6 inch than 5.9.

21. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

They retained the nexus 5, but the pictures on the site is just white. Does that mean that the red one is gone? They did not Upgraded the specs. Nexus 5 will live for another year.

72. kcombs

Posts: 275; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

It's hard to say, they show the nexus 5 as out of stock right now. Maybe it will get a refresh.

36. DRO_ID

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 20, 2014

That would kill the Moto X, they would never do that.

55. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

At this price, note 4 is the smarter choice.! Nexus had 2 shining points : latest android and low price Both quite doesn't stand upto note 4 as samsung also updates its flagship for 2 years and has better features as per se.

58. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Still cheaper than the Note 4, & will constantly be updated. That means a better user experience. That has to mean something.

64. chaosnightmare

Posts: 182; Member since: May 20, 2010

Nexus 6 Is a great device, if I weren't getting the note 4 this would be my next phone, I like the almost bezel less dressing and front speakers.

2. LeBrownJames

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 17, 2014


3. Sakeem

Posts: 862; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

It looks great. Maybe i can deal with a 5.9 screen!! Wow!!! VZW too!!! Amazing. The tablet is nice too. Dual front boom sound speakers?!!! Sheesh!!

4. somad

Posts: 169; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Strong and like beast

5. eman99

Posts: 410; Member since: Aug 03, 2010

a must have

6. Derekjeter

Posts: 1529; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Is it coming to Verizon? I'm so excited!!

7. Lokulan

Posts: 6; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

that price tag is really shamu tho. $650 nexus. Can't beliieve this

12. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

If the AT&T leaked pre-order is true, then the $49 on contract price is nice. That is if people don't mind signing a two year deal.

8. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If it was slightly smaller..

10. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

3200 would be enoug

11. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Specs are nice and everything, but kinda disappointed. Looks just like a phablet version of the Moto X, like they gave no original thought or effort into it at all. I'm hoping one day Google will create a phone from the ground up, instead of going to third parties and taking their seconds and just putting the Nexus brand on it, they certainly have the resources to construct a beautiful, original smartphone.

15. chrisaran

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

5.9 inch screen 184g pass

16. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

the tablet behind it is the Nexus 9 (HTC logo on the back)

17. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Who do I have to pray to to ensure this thing comes to Verizon?

26. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Per DroidLife, "It will be sold on-contract through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. Seriously, that says Verizon."

32. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Yo, I had the Galaxy Nexus, S3, Note 2, and I have the Note 3 right now. I have been dying for another Nexus device on Verizon. If this rings true I will flip my sh*t. Thank you for this bit of information. We're all in this thing together. Lol.

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