Sunday Debate: Do Newer Nexus Phones Offer Competitive Bang-Per-Buck?

Sunday Debate: Do Newer Nexus Phones Offer Competitive Bang-Per-Buck?

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on Nexus Value. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!

The Nexus 5 offered one of the best values for its time, and now the first true “affordable flagship” is back with a revision and an update for its bigger brother as well. These devices offer some of the best specifications out there and in their respective form factors, but many were quick to point out that there are still some places where the phones fall behind the rest of 2015. Nevertheless, the new Nexii bring with it extra perks that other phones don’t, such as swift updates, guaranteed support and a promising developer scene.

However, one cannot ignore that the market has fundamentally changed since the Nexus 5 and even the Nexus 6. Chinese manufacturers have broken into the mainstream, to the point where Huawei is building one of these phones. The average price of smartphones has gone down, and one can get flagship specifications for under $400 on a variety of offerings from various OEMs. The new Nexus phones have to compete with companies such as OnePlus, Motorola, and a plethora of smaller OEMs from China that managed to squeeze in plenty of horsepower in stylish chassis’s while keeping the price down as well.

Phone16GB32GB64GB128GB
Nexus 5X$379$429
Nexus 6P$499$549$649

Enthusiast purchasing habits have changed since then, and with the prices shown above, some find it hard to justify going the extra mile despite the glowing camera reviews, nice designs and the Nexus family name. So considering the global smartphone context and everything these new Nexus phones offer,

  • Do you think the new Nexus phones are competitively priced?
  • How good of a value do they offer in comparison to other devices in hardware?
  • Are the software virtues of Nexus phones a big factor in 2015?
  • Which of the Nexus phones offers a better value?
  • If these phones weren’t Nexus devices, would you still buy the hardware?

Global Context

As stated above, the smartphone world has rapidly changed and it now favors affordability over kitchen-sink feature approaches and genuinely premium experiences. Google was smart by bringing two offerings instead of one, but many feel these are inadequately priced when considering that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 kept low prices through a practical “subsidy”, while these new phones don’t seem to have the same backing. The Nexus 5X, in particular, is priced above the Nexus 5’s original price while only bringing a handful of improvements, and not the across-the-board upgrade that one would expect after two years of advancements. When you consider that Chinese OEMs are doing more for much less (for example, the Xiaomi Mi4C), the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P do not live up to the value of previous Nexus phones, particularly the 5X which is the one that was expected to remain affordable. While the Nexus 5 was on impulse-buy territory, the Nexus 5X is not. However, the guaranteed support, amazing camera improvements, and bigger battery should make it an optimal phone.

Nexus vs. Nexus

Interestingly enough, the price-drops that older Nexus devices saw recently, particularly the 5 and 6, put these as some of the most competitive offerings today. While the Nexus 5 grows harder and harder to find and purchase, the Nexus 6 has seen many sales lately that put its price at around $350, with some retailers trying to clear stock by disposing of them at $300. These two price-points mean that one can get an amazing processor (which likely performs better than the Nexus 5X’s), 3GB of RAM, a high-resolution screen (albeit with worse color accuracy), a big battery, a great camera sensor (which will hopefully benefit from new Google Camera software) and more for a fraction of the price of the newer Nexus phones. The older Nexus even remain competitive alternatives to all other flagships, especially when you factor in their brilliant developer scene.

Debating

One one hand, these devices pack improvements in key UX areas, such as the seemingly magnificent cameras and the ultra-fast fingerprint scanner. They also get guaranteed support and longevity, even over older Nexus phones. One gets the privilege of getting Marshmallow out of the box, and the way it was meant to be experienced. That being said, the smartphone context has changed. So, we ask you:

  • Do you think the new Nexus phones are competitively priced?
  • How good of a value do they offer in comparison to other devices in hardware?
  • Are the software virtues of Nexus phones a big factor in 2015?
  • Which of the Nexus phones offers a better value?
  • If these phones weren’t Nexus devices, would you still buy the hardware?

 

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