Nexus is Back: Editorial Roundup — Are You Getting One?

Nexus is Back: Editorial Roundup — Are You Getting One?

So now that the Google September 2015 Event has come and gone and that we all discussed the devices back and forth, we want hear what you think about them and share with you some of our impressions on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, and the event itself as well.

Join the discussion by commenting below to let us know what you think about these new phones!


Brian YoungBrian Young:

  • Chromecast Audio looks like it has some of the same DNA as the Nexus Q. It isn’t premium hardware, but they emphasize that it’s streaming as high quality of music as it possibly can to your speakers. Others in the room can also connect to the Chromecast Audio and change the song that it’s playing. “Don’t fight” over which song is playing, Google joked–just like they did with the Nexus Q.
  • New Chromecast seems solid. After Google’s work with TP-Link to make the OnHUb (and as-of-yet undisclosed collaboration with ASUS for a second networking device, to be announced “later this year,” it looks like Google engineers have been dabbling in antenna design, again, this time improving the Wi-Fi antennas on the Chromecast. Other than the antenna design and the facade, the main improvements seem to be in the software. Fast Play looks to dramatically improve the user experience of Chromecast by intelligently caching what you’re most likely to want to stream next. One of my own biggest problems with Chromecast is the general sluggishness and glitchiness of the entire user interface. Maybe Fast Play with fix some of that.
  • Nexus 5X and 6P look overall solid. I was disappointed with the lack of detail in the presentation–the leaks about the devices actually told us more about them than the official announcement. Both devices, frankly, look like like what Motorola would have, or should have, released if Google hadn’t dropped them a year after their purchase: the inclusion of a dedicated DSP just for always-on voice processing; the “Android Sensor Hub” which detects what sort of activity you’re engaged in (e.g., sleeping, driving a car, or jogging); and turning on Ambient Display when you pick up the phone–these are all straight out of the Motorola playbook. Motorola had even originally intended to include a fingerprint sensor in the dimple on the back of their phones, but economics prevented that from happening in their past phones. The new Nexus devices aren’t so much of a revolution as they are an evolution, which makes sense if you agree with the notion that the days of exponential improvement in annual flagships are over.

Aamir SiddiquiAamir Siddiqui:

Nexus 5X

  •  The 5X was definitely needed, even if it may not be as big as an upgrade or a flagship level phone as other recent phones are
  •  Having the 5.2″ screen size is very close to the sweet spot for a lot of people I personally know, most of whom are rocking the N5 and do not wish to go further in screen size or overall dimensions
  • SD 808.. ehhh, I don’t know really. It worked for the G4, it may as well for the 5X.
  • Hoping the camera is improved to the levels that the phone can at least try to compete with current high ends. The camera on Nexus was a big sore point, which drove away people in favor of some better snappers in my personal experience. DxO Mark for the 6P looks extra promising, so there’s that.
  • 2GB RAM should have been 3. You need 3GB to make it futureproof to the extent that this phone can make it to mid-2017 without losing relevance. 2GB pushes its luck.
  • NO LED notification light… Am I the only one who likes LED?!
  • Fingerprint sensors. You don’t know you need one till you get one. After using it on the Elephone P8000, I sorely miss it on the OPO. Yay for fingerprint sensors on all new phones!
  • Indian pricing is unknown at this stage, and this often is the make or break point for most phones here. Currently, the 20k-30k INR market is the demand spot for the OPO (20k) and the OPT (25k, it is slightly easier to obtain in India due to various tie-ups, competition etc). The Moto X Play came to make a splash at 20k and this phone could do very well if it remains close to the OPT (which will suffer because of the invite system)
  • Recommending a smaller phone that would get decent support was becoming difficult in 2015 (for the Indian market). The 5X brings hope in this direction, and I’m quite excited for this one, more than for the 6P.

Nexus 6P:

  • Phone looks very solid. Aluminum build materials have their own fans.
  •  Snapdragon 810 is something that could have been skipped.
  • 3GB RAM is still usable and relevant on AOSP based flagships. People would expect 4GB though. I’m not too put off with the 3GB, especially since its DDR4.
  • No OIS?!
  • We have had plenty of high-end phones, so my lack of excitement may be slightly justified. The 6P under-delivers on the spec sheet at plenty of areas IMO. Still have to wait for the consumer market verdict

Eric HulseEric Hulse:

  • The 5X seems quite boring to me, 2GB of RAM is a bummer.
  • It’s interesting that both seem to have identical camera sensors. No OIS is a bummer, hopefully the cameras aren’t typical nexus fare – not great.
  • The 6P looks more attractive than I anticipated, Interesting that the gold color isn’t available in the US.
  • No stereo speakers on the 5X is lame.
  • “Ice” is a fun color option.
  • Marshmallow needs to hurry up and release, now on tap still looks amazing.
  • The new Chromecast looks like a great upgrade, I’m not sure why we needed colors, but why not?
  • It’s awesome to see the Pixel line (or team) taking on new hardware. I look forward to using a Pixel C.
  • The Moto X Style seems like a much better value proposition than the 5X.
  • Nexus Protect is a great option.
  • Preorder process was pretty smooth this year!
  • It’s great to see both new phones support project Fi.
  • Google Photos looks like it will continue to be a focus, it’s already a great app and these new features look genuinely useful and clever.
  • European prices seem super bad…
  • I’ve never seen an event end more abruptly, “K bye”.
  • Same day preorders is how to do it.
  • 16GB of base storage is shameful for Apple and Google, at least Google’s is much cheaper.
  • I really hope we don’t get a last-gen AMOLED panel on the 6P, if it’s anything close to the Note 5 panel I’ll be thrilled, but I’m expecting something closer to the N6.

Mario Tomás SerraferoMario Serrafero

  • The Nexus 5X looks comfortable, solid and “fun”. I am very excited to give it a go, and I have preordered one.
  • Fast fingerprint sensors on the back? This looks like the best fingerprint sensor implementation so far.
  • That being said, I am not too crazy about the specifications packages, particularly the pricepoints… What happened to the subsidies?
  • The camera of the new Nexii is allegedly fantastic, and I am glad to hear that — year after year this is a weak point with these phones, so kudos!
  • The Sensor Hub as another way to help standby battery life is more than welcome, I expect solid battery life out of these devices.
  • The Snapdragon 808 and 2GB of RAM have me a little worried about future-proofing on the 5X.
  • Another worrying and frustrating point is the lack of OIS and wireless charging, but hopefully the sensor and battery life will make up for it.
  • USB Type C proved a difficult transition with the OnePlus 2, but I am happy to get extra USB Type C cables now. Also, this one charges fast.
  • Did I mention the price? Yes, I did, and I’ll point it out again: the Nexus 5X is simply not competitive at its pricepoint. There is better value out there.
  • The Nexus 6P looks to be a very solid device for the price. The black bar at the top is much less protruding than we thought, too.
  • That being said, it’ll be competing against its now-much-cheaper Nexus 6 bigger brother, which remains a solid alternative still.
  • The Pixel C looks phenomenal, and I cannot wait to try this one out. It seems to have everything I need.
  • Leaks absolutely ruined the day for me. We already knew most of what was announced, and it was no fairy tale hype tale like in previous years/events.

Mathew BrackMathew Brack:

The price of the phones in the UK has put me off buying them, it isn’t entirely Google,  LG and Huawei’s fault of course a lot of it is down to Value added tax of 20%, It adds up quickly. The 2 things I’m most excited about are the family Google Play Music Family Account, (6 accounts for $14.99, amazing!) and the Chromecast audio, as I have been looking to buy a Bluetooth adapter for my speakers for a while but none have met my ideal combination of quality and price. So I’ll be ordering one soon. The pixel announcement bemused me,  it was an interesting move and that magnetic keyboard is spectacular! However, I feel that Remix OS would have been a better move for it.

Chris Gilliam   Chris Gilliam:

The event was fast paced, bringing us a lot of incremental details that built on existing projects from I/O. Cameras – larger pixel size is a tangible benefit that will help across the board, from speed to clarity to low-light performance. Couple that with laser auto-focus, and it could be a winning combination. I’m leery of Huawei’s decision not to include OIS. Can’t wait to test out the sensor, Google’s updated camera app, and competing apps like Manual Camera that can output RAW image data. For reference, the Galaxy S6 uses a 16 MP F1.9 sensor with 1.12 μm pixels. Google’s latest weigh in at 12.3 MP F 2.0 with larger 1.55 μm pixels, meaning that while slightly less light will make it through the aperture, a larger percentage of that light will strike each pixel.

I’m surprised by the 6P’s size . Although it has a smaller 5.7″ screen than its 5.9″ predecessor, its height is roughly identical. Add in that the screen is shifted up in the chassis, and I worry about how easy it will be to palm. The dedicated low power sensor hub combined with the larger battery and Android Marshmallow’s idle-time Doze feature should make battery life a non-issue for most users. However, I’m still upset about the non-removable aspect given that current Li-Ion packs degrade significantly over the course of two years. Marshmallow is polishing up nicely. We still haven’t heard anything official about split screen, but the obnoxious alphabetical app drawer has been tamed, and Now On Tap looks better than ever. Can’t wait to flash the final release.

 

What do you think about the Nexus 5X & Nexus 6P? Are you getting one? Join the discussion below!

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