Nexus X (aka Nexus 6) rumor round-up: features, specs, price and release date

A few months ago, it seemed that Google had killed the Nexus line of devices, and the Nexus 5 was to remain the last one in the series. Reports from notable bloggers including @evleaks all agreed that Google was about to not only switch its focus from Nexus to the new Android Silver program for affordable markets, but also kill the Nexus series altogether. Then, we heard that Google’s Chief Business Officer, and the main proponent of Android Silver within the company, Nikesh Arora had left. This turned out to mean one thing: the Nexus was back in business.

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.

It 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.

After all those small fish, it was time for something bigger like a whale. 

The ‘Shamu’ is expected to not disappoint in this regard: it is said to come with a shockingly large, 5.9-inch display, a true ‘phablet’ size that could rival the Galaxy Note series.

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.

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

The Nexus X is expected to be one of the first devices (along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4) to rock the Snapdragon 805 system chip, the grand finale in Qualcomm's high-end 32-bit chips. After nearly three years of polishing the Krait processor, Qualcomm is moving to a 64-bit lineup encompassing devices from the low to the high-end, but before that we have the Snapdragon 805.

Clock speeds on the CPU side are boosted to 2.65GHz (those are turbo frequencies, not nominal), but for all else we're looking at the same 3-wide Krait 400 CPU architecture. We've seen the first benchmarks leak out and they do show some improvements in both single and multi-core performance. Qualcomm claims this performance driven chip manages to deliver great overall power efficiency as well. 

With all this, having a 32-bit chip in a flagship when you know that the next big wave of Android L devices (likely coming in Spring 2015) will all switch to 64-bit architectures, is a bit of a turn-down: after all, a lot of the optimizations in Android L and the ART runtime will apply for devices with 64-bit chips.

Dual speakers, finally

While we don’t know much about the looks and style of the Nexus X, a simple leak of the screen protector for the Moto S, the device that the Nexus X will be based upon, reveals an interesting detail: it has cutout in both the top and bottom parts. The only logical explanation is dual speakers, so we have all reasons to expect front-firing dual speakers a la HTC One in the new Nexus. Great news for lovers of good sound and music junkies.

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!).

Last, but not least: the Nexus X will continue on the noble tradition of being priced very affordably. Leaks show that it will come in a starter, 32GB version going for €419 ($419), and a 64 gig model for €449 ($449). Those are all full retail, off-contract prices. As we mentioned earlier, Verizon Wireless might be the only one of the carriers not to get the Nexus X, but instead have a largely equivalent Moto S. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are likely to all have it in stock, but of course, the first stop for shopping for Nexus would be the Google Play Store.



1. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

5.9" is an over-kill

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It doesn't matter what you think. Didn't you read Michael H.'s article? C'Mon guy!!! Here is the article just in case you missed it: If this phone comes to Verizon Wireless I am SO going to get it. If not the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition will work just fine!

24. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Don't say that....nexuses have always been consumer friendly, it's wrong to think that Google doesn't think about the regular users when they make the nexuses. Nexuses are marketed as consumer oriented devices and there is a reason why developers options are not unlocked by default....and if nexuses are only for the developers and to highlight the latest trends in the android ecosystem, then why aren't all the nexuses updated to the beta version of android L by default? If the rumors are true, then maybe they want to make a nexus phablet this time because we already have nexus phones or maybe they will release two phones this year....there are rumors that a 5.2 inch phone will be released along with the phablet(i hope it's true).

30. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I was responding to the 5.9 inch as being overkill. If Google thinks it's ok to make a 5.9 inch Google Nexus X then who are we to say it's overkill. Google has a LONG history of not listening to the consumer. They don't use MicroSD Card slots they haven't had removable batteries, I mean they make what the deem a Nexus should be. They have NEVER catered to the consumer.

45. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

They do listen to the consumers...there are many phones without removable batteries. I have given enough reasons in my first comment to prove that nexuses are also for the consumers and it's wrong to say that the consumer doesn't matter...


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

That's what people said about the was too big This will be a success, and if this is in fact going to be 420.00 for 32 gigs I will be ready to buy. I never filled my 32g Nexus 5 so I really won't really care to go for the 64g version. I will see when it comes time to buy decisions decisions, this or the Note 4. Fast software updates has me going for this even though I was all geared for the Note and it's software suite. I like the software updates for future features of pure Android without having to wait! I never thought that the software upgrade path would have such an impact on my decision to own a phone outside of screen size, and current CPU specs but it If this is too big for you don't buy niece AND A LOT OF OTHER WOMEN ROCK THE NOTE SERIES PHONES!

64. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Your comment was right. But one BIG question that I want to argue with Google or anybody else which said that Google doesn't really matter with consumer. In my country, when you bought Nexus 5, they 'll give you KitKat gift pack which contains nexus 5 t-shirt, hardcase, KitKat doll, keychain, and of course a KitKat bar :) Is it addressed for developers? I don't think the developer will need that gimmick. It's clear that Google tried to gain end-consumer interests.

66. DocOc

Posts: 143; Member since: Apr 23, 2014

That's why consumers want it so bad. It's sort of the Soup Nazi approach.

27. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Whoa, they make a Note DE? How does that fit into the forced Google doesn't give a crap about what we want in size article?

28. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes they do. there is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Developer Edition on the Samsung website.

29. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I did not know that, thanks. Ok, then where does this developer deficiency fit in as some are bandying. If there is a large screen unbloated DE, that kind of pokes a large hole in Michael's post of that the large screen is for the devs an too bad for users?

31. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Motorola also makes Developer Edition Phones... The Moto X has a Developer Edition. I think the Developer Edition exists for the Hardcore Android Root Community.

33. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I hear you,. though do you see the issue of Michael's post now that Devs needed a big screen to dev for an so what about consumers? The only way I can see Michael's posting holding water now is if the new Nexi has a 64bit chip in it being different from the DE Notes.

38. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Developer Edition Phones are not anything new. The Google Nexus line is the ORIGINAL Developer Edition Phone.

46. michaelny2001

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

it should matter what we think... in fact, without us consumers, it's bankruptcy. Oh well, Google will learn the hard way, unless they have zero bezel and just screen. the LG G3 is big enough to keep in the pocket. Can;t see a 5.9 in my pocket.

65. troutsy

Posts: 382; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Google could produce 100 million Nexus X phones, not sell a single one, and would still be nowhere near bankruptcy... Do you know what they actually sell?

49. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Google Nexus 5 is the best looking Nexus smartphone IMO. Better than those of Nexus smartphone devices manufactured by Motorola and Samsung. *sigh

68. b0wzer

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

I love my Nexus 5, but stereo speakers and a bigger battery would be a welcome upgrade.

72. gg555

Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

@SuperAndroidEvo Did you read the article you've linked to? The premise of it's argument is based on the assumption that the Android Silver program is where Google is targeting consumers, not with the Nexus line targeted at developers. Of course, subsequently it has been confirmed that the Android Silver program has been cancelled, so that basically undermines the premise of the argument in that article. Even at the time the article was written, it did not make sense, because the rumor was that Google was going to cancel the Nexus program and replace it with Android Silver. So it can't have two programs for different markets, if the plan was always to cancel one of them. It may be true that Google cares more about what makes sense for developers than consumers. But the logic of that article does not add up and prove the point at all. What's more, the article argues that the Nexus line tragets features that are popular, so developers can develop for them, hence the need for a phablet Nexus device. But the Nexus X apparently will also have features that aren't popular at all, like active notifiations and OIS (indeed OIS is becoming less common, not more common); these are features, for which developers may not especially need to develop. So the argument also does not make sense along those lines. I think the truth is that the Nexus line is both for developers (as a reference device) and hardcore Android fans, who may not be a big market, but they are the people who most advocate for and create buzz for Android and have an outsized importance. They also experiment most with the world of custom ROMs, creating a proving ground for ideas that often later make their way into stock Android. There is also the obvious answer that despite the outcry by many (including myself) who hate the idea of a 6" screen, there are also a lot of consumers who like phablets and may want a Nexus phablet, so it's not an anti-consumer move at all.

4. Orion78

Posts: 197; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Then don't buy it.

6. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Typical non Helpfull answer. Nexus phones have always been for the majority & this screen size is alot of people but not the majority.

9. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You are so WRONG! READ my post 2. You are taking them crazy pills again huh?

11. Orion78

Posts: 197; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

Just responding to the typical crying about screen size. Get the will be good enough for your girly hands.

40. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

@Surethom WRONG. Nexus phones from the first edition were geared towards the developer or enthusiast - running bare bones Android.

8. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

For you. Id take it. I dont have problems handling large items.

16. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

That's what she said?

20. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

An overkill, yes, but I will probably buy one anyway.

44. rkoforever90

Posts: 442; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

if it has a footprint of note 3 no its not,

50. yahia_malka

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

With QHD and 500+ ppi will be overkill for a battery , except if it was 3500+

3. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

5.2" screen is the main screen size I hope they is a second nexus 6 recent polls shows around 5" is the ideal preferred screen size for the majority. Alot do like pallets but majority want a large but usable sized phone.

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