Google Nexus Player Review


There are smartphones, there are full-blown home consoles, and then there are the hordes of other streaming media products that occupy that hazy middle section. That may be what the new Google Nexus Player might be from a cursory look, a puck shaped media streaming device powered by Google’s brand new Android TV platform (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop), but the company wants it to be just more than that – especially considering that its Chromecast is one formidable media streaming gadget on its own. Specifically, the Nexus Player not only caters to the usual set of functionality akin to every media streamer, but it’s also being pegged as a gaming console as well.

The package contains:
  • Remote with voice search
  • 2 AAA batteries
  • Power adapter
  • Warranty, safety and regulatory booklet
  • Quick start guide


In a way, it’s generic looking, but it’s the kind of the thing that doesn’t need to take precedence amongst the other things in your home entertainment center.

From the looks of it all, Google loves to keep its products simple looking – and that’s exactly what we’re presented with the Nexus Player, which interestingly enough, is made by Asus. This puck shaped, all-plastic body screams minimalism and simplicity to the tooth, which isn’t a bad thing per se, considering that it keeps a discrete figure amongst the other things cluttering up your home entertainment center. With its diminutive diameter of 4.7-inches, it’s undoubtedly a lot more compact than say, your cable box, home gaming console, and cable modems.

Most of the body consists of plastic, one that doesn’t necessarily scream sturdiness with its construction, but it doesn’t have to because it’s something that’s meant to be stationary when it’s finally set up. Around the sides, it’s adorned with a glossy plastic accent, which gives it a pleasant contrast. On its underside, we have Asus’ name brandished across it – with a recessed button that does nothing but place the Nexus Player into its Bluetooth searching mode. Yeah, we don’t get why it functions as that, but it is what it is. Lastly, the cutout on the back accommodates the unit’s power jack, microUSB port, and HDMI port.

Remote with voice search

Included with the purchase is an elongated, pill-shaped Bluetooth enable remote, which is the tool that we use to interact with the Nexus Player. Like the Player itself, the remote is as barebones and generic looking as it can get. Essentially, it features a circular directional pad, and dedicated home, back, and pause/play buttons. Plopped at the top, though, is another button to launch its voice search function – a useful and handy feature that searches media content.


An optional accessory, the gamepad controller will set you back another $39.99 to pick up – on top of the $99.99 cost of the Nexus Player by itself. Visually, it very much looks like the XBOX 360 controller, so it’s pretty nice to have a versatile gamepad that works appropriately for certain gaming titles. Right away, it’s a pretty polished offering, seeing that its layout similarly follows the popular Xbox gamepad. From its dual-analog sticks, to its shoulder bumpers, and analog triggers, gamers will appreciate the easy adjustment in using it.



21. Zylam

Posts: 1827; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Thank you for inviting us to your kitchen John V!!!!!!!! Finally man, a real Android TV device, can't wait for them to land in Aus.

20. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

$100 is costly but apple TV which is more here in the UK is perfectly fine?! I would choose this anyday but still sticking with the chromecast would be the best choice!

22. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Welcome back, posting after sometimes......

9. tclarke90

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

this could be good for playing emulators tbh

12. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

That's exactly what I was thinking.

4. Andrew5190

Posts: 55; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

USB-OTG cable and an external drive/flash drive solves the storage dilemma, per Android Central.

3. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The biggest downside I see is the measley 8GB of storage without being expandable... Dedicated consoles dont really suffer from this when you buy physical DVDs, or Blueray disc... but this device is meant to DOWNLOAD your games, so it should have come with at least 32 GB in my opinion.

5. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It will work with external drives using USB OTG, so who cares?

7. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I didn't see that on the article.... anyway if its true, then it is not a problem anymore...

8. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

It is still a problem: you can't install most of the applications (read 3GB Games) in the USB OTG... So I'm with you: the bigger downsize is the ridiculous amount of internal storage.

13. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Even with the new generation of consoles, games need to be installed on the hard drive. They each come with 500gigs standard, but are both expandable. On the PS4, you can replace the hard drive. On Xbox one, you can add two external hard drives at a time and cycle through them, meaning in theory unlimited storage.

14. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Well yes, but I was making a generalization... more or less like the original Wii behaves... I know many games need to be installed, but in general you could still play games with little storage on consoles... But on this Nexus player you need to download everything... Unless they turn it into a Cloud gaming device, which is very unlikely for now.

16. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Maybe they were trying to meet that $99 price point? I don't know but, 8gb still isn't much. I would have loved to see a micro sdcard slot on this thing. Either way this is still a nexus device. There are more android TV sets coming to the market. Google just showing them where to start.

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

140$ thrown straight into the trashcan.

17. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

That's half of a decent graphic card that I could throw on my PC :D Please don't sit in front of a big screen tv to play mobile games people!! not worth it.

1. toiletcleaner

Posts: 224; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

If this was a apple player. Oh boy ..... 10 out of 10 from Phonearena>>>>>>>

6. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Don't be butthurt.

10. tury694

Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Exactly. This thing is a toy. Once Microsoft creates a TV dongle the end will be near for other companies.

11. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Your company sucks. Get over it. Oh and btw, they already have such a stick. Guess nobody cared about it.

18. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I hope you are not using a Window PC :P MS doesn't suck, just they are trying too hard to tap into the smartphone market.

23. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

They have a TV attachment?

15. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

They already made one. It's called Xbox.

19. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

And it's awesome :D

24. djcody

Posts: 251; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

with 299$ price tag you can forget about the "end' :)

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