The future of the Nexus family has been up in the air for a while now, and it was once believed that the program would even be canned altogether. Thankfully, this turned out to be nothing more than a rumor, and now after all the gossip and speculation, the latest members of the Nexus family have arrived! The successor to the Nexus 5 sees the manufacturing gauntlet turned over to Motorola, making this not only the first Motorola Nexus but the first Nexus ‘phablet’ as well.

The Nexus 6 retains the overall design of the Moto X (2014) but packs a supersized 5.9-inch display and has a few tweaks to the aesthetics that make it a bit more Nexus-exy (yes, I made that word up..). With a metallic frame, the Nexus 6 is also a bit more ‘premium’ than past generations of the Nexus phone family. Whether the looks are better or worse will largely be a matter of opinion.

As for the specs? The Nexus 6 is a monster in every way imaginable, featuring a beefy processor package, a QHD display and a camera that is much more impressive, at least on paper, than the semi-mediocre shooter found on the Nexus 5.

IT’S THE MOTO X MADE WAY BIGGER

Nexus phones have always been lightly modified versions of existing smartphones — the Nexus 5, for instance, was based off of the LG G2 — and there’s no hiding here that the Nexus 6 is a blown up version of Motorola’s updated Moto X. Just like the Moto X, the Nexus 6 features metal trim around the outside, a circular flash ring, and even a dimpled Motorola logo. That’s by no means a bad thing, though: the Moto X is a very nicely made phone, so the more cues the Nexus 6 takes from it, the better.

The Nexus 6 comes running Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is also being launched today. Lollipop was first demonstrated back in June, when Google showcased a brand new design style for Android that adopted a playful and colorful look based around simple shapes and sheets of paper. Lollipop is also said to include a battery saving feature that can extend a phone’s life by up to 90 minutes. On top of that, the Nexus 6 also includes one of Motorola’s Turbo Chargers, which can charge the phone back up to six hours worth of battery life in 15 minutes — so Google clearly wants you to be able to keep this thing going.

Comes With Waterproofing

When the new Nexus products were announced, Google didn’t push the water resistant technology inside the Nexus 6. None of the marketing material from the big G explained whether it would be water or dust resistant, so we here at KYM assumed it didn’t.

Now we’ve heard directly from Motorola that the device does in fact have water resistant protection. Under the “Water Resistance” section on Motorola’s product page it says “Yes” but doesn’t give us what level of liquid it can handle.

Motorola’s Moto X 2014 comes with water-repellent coating that means it can handle a slight amount of splash damage but not full-on immersion. For now we’ll assume the same is the case for the Nexus 6 until we can test it out.

Software features

The Nexus 6 will be the first handset to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which brings quite a few improvements to the table. While many of us have already played with the developer preview of Android L, the final release brings several coats of polish.

Some of the biggest changes in Android 5.0 include the new Material Design interface changes, improvements to the notifications including lockscreen notifications, improved security and business features, and even battery optimization software. There’s also plenty of small tweaks and improvements such as revised quick settings, searchable settings and the list goes on.

While the Nexus 5 wasn’t a slouch by any means and is still a very capable handset even today, the Nexus 6 offers the latest processor available: a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 805 CPU. There’s also 3GB RAM, a 13MP rear cam, 2MP front cam, 32 or 64GB storage, a 5.9-inch QHD display, and a hefty 3200mAh battery. While the large QHD display and powerful CPU are going to certainly gulp down battery life, the large size means that you will get over 24 hours of use from a full charge — at least according to Google. In addition to improving the battery life, it’s also worth noting that the phone supports turbo charging, letting you get 6 hours of battery use in just 15 minutes.

At least on paper, the Nexus 6 certainly holds its own against or exceeds any existing Android flagship, and the addition of pure Android 5.o Lollipop means that this phone should perform like a dream. While it may be too big for some folks, the Nexus 6 could be the perfect device for those that like big-screen phones and having been wishing for a pure Android experience.

The details:

  • The Nexus 6 has a 6-in. (5.96, if you want to be precise) Quad HD display along with dual front-facing stereo speakers.
  • It measures in at 6.3 x 3.3 x 0.4 in. — which, for comparison, is a good bit bigger than Samsung’s 6-x-3.1-x-0.33-in. Galaxy Note 4. This ain’t no petite device.
  • The phone has a giant 3220mAh battery and also works with Motorola’s Turbo Charger

    accessory, which promises to add an extra six hours of use with just 15 minutes of charging. It has support for wireless charging, too, which the Moto X does not.

  • Like the Moto X, the Nexus 6 has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter (you can see what that setup is capable of here). Unlike the Moto X, the N6 adds optical image stabilization onto the back and will use Google’s own Camera app instead of the Moto-made equivalent.
  • Contrary to some rumors, there is no SD card slot. The phone does, however, come in a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal space.
  • The Moto X is a champ in the realm of performance, so this shouldn’t be of any great concern — but for those interested in parts and numbers, the Nexus 6 has a newer processor (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core chip clocked at 2.7GHz) along with 3GB of RAM.
  • As mentioned above, the Nexus 6 won’t come in leather, wood, or customizable plastic casings like the X; instead, it’ll come in a choice of “Midnight Blue” or “Cloud White” motifs, both of which appear to be soft-touch plastic materials.

The Nexus 6 is going to be sold unlocked for $649, making it far more expensive than any other Nexus model to date. Google has long used the Nexus line as a way to help expose people to stock Android by giving its phones a low price, but that’s also meant that Google likely hasn’t made much — if any — real money on them. With this new pricing, it appears as though Google’s priorities are changing. Or at the very least, it’s no longer willing to stomach the costs associated with pricing a phone so low.

The Nexus 6 will be available to preorder on October 29th and available in stores beginning in November. You’ll also be able to buy it on monthly contract. The unlocked model will work on all four major US carriers, and Google says it’ll also be offered through AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, and Sprint. Google is continuing to sell the Nexus 5 as well.

In addition to the Nexus 6, Google is also releasing the Nexus 9 tablet today. This is the second large tablet to bear the Nexus name, with Google previously trying out large tablets with the Nexus 10 nearly two years ago. You can read our full article on the Nexus 9 for more coverage. Google is also announcing a streaming media box called the Nexus Player, which is the first device to run Android TV.

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