The Google Nexus 6 is the latest attempt from the software giant to make a serious impression on the mobile marketplace. This latest Android smartphone enters a very competitive marketplace, with the iPhone 6 still selling extensively for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) after its September release, and with Samsung Galaxy phablet releases also on the horizon.
This will be a key mobile release for Google, given that the Nexus range is very much a flagship Android device for the corporation. Considering that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is the author of the Android software, one might expect this particular mobile release to be well optimized to run with the operating system, even though it isn’t strictly manufactured by the Google corporation.
The question of who will build the Nexus 6 would seem to be answered by the name of Motorola at this point in time. This could be considered something of a surprise, as Google made the decision to sell off Motorola Mobility to Chinese electronics firm Lenovo in January of this year. Many predicted that HTC would be involved in the manufacture of this Nexus device, but it would appear instead that Google will enlist its services for the next range of Nexus tablets.
Aside from this issue, we also know, or at least suspect, a fair few other details about how the Nexus 6 will turn out. Here is a rundown of what consumers can expect from this next generation Google handset.
Although the working title of this mobile is the Google Nexus 6, and most publications and analysts are assuming that Google will use this name, such an assumption cannot be considered to be 100 percent solid. Other suggested names have been Shamu and Moto S, although it seems far more likely that these are merely codenames for the device.
An interesting subplot is that Google may be inclined to alter the naming of this device owing to the movie Blade Runner. This classic science-fiction picture features intelligent robots referred to as Nexus-6, and regardless of whether or not this has positive or negative connotations, there could be obvious issues related to search engines. Additionally, the estate of Philip K. Dick – the writer of the novel on which Blade Runner is based – was apparently not particularly keen on Google using the term Nexus in the first place.
So this may yet not be the Google Nexus 6, and certainly Google has some issues to consider before finally naming the device.
The most notable aspect of the design of the Google Nexus 6 is its sheer size. This is in accordance with the recent trend for phablet releases, with even Apple putting out its first phablet in the shape of the iPhone 6 Plus. However, Google should probably pay heed to the fact that Samsung is in fact struggling financially of late, with recent figures pretty damning for the Korean corporation. Samsung has built its reputation on phablets to a certain degree, at least in the mobile sphere, and this sales malaise may be indicative of the fact that the public appetite for phablets is waning.
Nonetheless, The Wall Street Journal has already confirmed that the 5.9-inch display in the Nexus 6 is a certainty, so Google apparently considers this to be a sensible commercial move. Aside from this, the device has been observed to have not diverged from previous designs particularly, if at all. Android Police has reported that the Nexus 6 will continue many of the design elements from Motorola’s Moto X handset, including its aluminum frame and front-facing speaker configuration.
Two Separate Devices
In a rumor which is becoming a trend for the industry, speculation is also increasing that Google will release two separate Nexus 6 devices. Solid information about the smaller of these two models has been pretty limited, but analysts suggest that it may feature a 5.2-inch display. This would seem to be a sensible decision given the wide range of Samsung devices already in the public domain, not to mention Apple’s iPhone 6 release which was split into separate models.
We can expect the Nexus 6 to be pretty powerful in spec terms, and certainly to outperform the new Motorola Moto X. Leaks indicate that Nexus 6 will benefit from a Quad HD (496 ppi) display, a 3200+ mAh battery, and a 2.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805. It has also been reported that Google will arm the device with 3 GB of RAM. There haven’t been any firm reports regarding whether it is possible to replace the battery with a generic item, or boost the storage via such technology as micro-SD, but it is worth noting that the current Motorola Moto X doesn’t feature either of these options.
Additionally, the camera has been reputed to be similar to the one featured in the Moto X, which would mean a 13-megapixel snapper. But Google is also expected to include optical image stabilization within the device which enables pictures to be taken more steadily, and helps improve low-light photographs.
Price and Release Date
Speculation is still rife on this topic, but it has been suggested that the Nexus 6 could cost around $450 for a 64 GB model. This was based on a European listing off a Nexus device, but it is thought that Google will convert this price into dollars, even though the exchange rate would in fact make the price $570.
Previous Nexus devices have been released in November, so it is reasonable to assume that the Nexus 6 will hit the stores at around this time.