Google unveils Nexus 6, Nexus 9 with little fanfare

October 16th, 2014 | by Alfred Siew
Google unveils Nexus 6, Nexus 9 with little fanfare
Cellphones
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Nexus 6

The hype certainly isn’t there this time with Google’s new Nexus 6 “phablet” and Nexus 9 tablet revealed just hours ago by the search giant.

Instead of putting on a show-and-tell at one of its regular developer events, it just went ahead and put out the news online, perhaps recognising that Apple was planning a big do the following day in the United States for its new iPads.

The new Nexus devices are different in one big way – they are not cheap. Plus, they will have the latest Android 5.0 “Lollipop” operating system before anyone else.

The much-rumoured Nexus 6 will sport a 6-inch screen with the top-end quad-HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution.

The first such Nexus “phablet” also has the latest processor – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 – and either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage. As with other Nexus devices, you can expect no external storage here – Google wants you to use the cloud.

Its price? US$649 for a 32GB version and S$699 for a 64GB option. The older Nexus 5 can still be had for just US$349 for a 16GB version and US$399 for the 32GB one.

For this, the new Motorola-made Nexus 6 will split opinion among Nexus fans, who have always sought the phones for the “pure” Android interface, without any of the add-ons from phone makers.

The Nexus 6 is a return to the best of what Android phones can provide, unlike earlier versions of the Nexus 4, which didn’t have 4G built in, or the Nexus 5, which had a modest 5-inch screen.

However, the new Nexus isn’t priced cheaply enough to gain traction among the masses. Perhaps that segment is already well served by low-cost Androids today from the likes of Asus and Xiaomi, so Google thought it’s time to go back to the high-end.

Nexus 9

The same can be said of the Nexus 9 tablet. Finally, HTC is back in the fold with Nexus, after making it all happen years ago with the original Nexus One.

The Nexus 9 actually sports an 8.9-inch screen and has a pretty respectable resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. That’s similar to the current iPad mini, which has a smaller 7.9-inch display.

Instead of a Qualcomm chip, the Nexus 9 uses a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. It’s an upgrade on the wildly successful Nexus 7 from Asus and the high-res Nexus 10 from Samsung, which had a niche following.

You get a 16GB basic model for US$399 and a 32GB option for US$479, which are attractive enough. However, a 4G version with 32GB will cost US$599.

No news, unfortunately, of prices and availability outside of the United States.

Not an issue, of course, if you’re used to buying Nexus devices overseas. You can always use a shipping forwarder to send them over after the devices go on sale.

The Nexus 9 is out for pre-sale tomorrow, while the Nexus 6 goes on sale later in the month.

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