Google has finally announced the Nexus 6, and we have found you the details. Revealed alongside the Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus Player media streamer in a typically low-key blog post, rather than a major press event, the Nexus 6 is Google’s first phablet handset and will be one of the first devices to get Android Lollipop – the official name for Android L, the next version of Google’s mobile OS.
Nexus 6 release date and price
Google has yet to say exactly when we can expect the Nexus 6 to come out in the UK. Talking to the company, it would only confirm that the “Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order and sale in the UK in November”, but would not elaborate on specific dates. Most likely, the final decision will come based on pre-order volumes in the US, which will get the handset first. US customers can place a pre-order on the 29th of October, with the handset going on sale fully in November – although again there’s no set date yet.
At the moment, the pre-order page on the UK Google Play Store has not yet gone up, so it’s hard to say exactly when the phone will be available. If Google’s hoping to get pre-orders shipped in November, though, we’d assume that the page will become available before the middle on the month, in order to give itself enough time to ship.
SIM-free, unlocked prices have been set at $649 in North America – which equates to roughly £410 before tax and VAT. We’re expecting it to cost roughly £460 here in the UK, seeing as the very similar 2nd generation Moto X costs £420, although that’s only an estimate. Unlike the Nexus 5, which was limited to O2 at launch, the Nexus 6 should end up on a range of different networks here in the UK, which should help if you’re looking to save money up front. So far, none of the networks have confirmed pricing, but we’re expecting either heavy upfront discounts or a free handset, as long as you’re prepared to sign up to a two year contract.
We’ll update this article as soon as we get official UK prices and availability. In the meantime, you can get more information from Google’s official Nexus 6 landing page.
Nexus 6 design
As predicted by a slew of leaks and behind-the-scenes photos, the Nexus 6 was built by Motorola and borrows heavily from the company’s own 2nd generation Moto X smartphone. The two phones look almost identical in terms of shape and design, albeit with less prominent Motorola branding and a large Nexus logo on the back of the Google handset. The power and volume keys have been moved further down the side of the Nexus 6 so they are comfortably in reach – a necessary move given the increased screen size: the Nexus 6 has a mammoth 5.96in display. This makes the handset measure 159.3x83x10.1mm (at the thickest point), while it weighs 184g. That makes it bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus (158.1×77.8×7.1mm) and heavier, too (172g).
Nexus 6 hardware
The 6in screen (which, to be precise, is actually 5.93in) uses a QHD, 2,560×1,440 resolution panel, resulting in a display density of 493 pixels per inch (PPI). It uses AMOLED technology, which should produce vibrant colours and rich, deep blacks, as well as use less power when showing darker images compared to LCD. Motorola has also squeezed in front-facing stereo speakers above and below the screen, so the Nexus 6 should be ideal for sharing video clips with friends or watching YouTube without headphones.
Inside, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor runs at 2.7GHz. It’s the same CPU Samsung has used in the Galaxy Note 4, which is one of the fastest Android devices we’ve ever tested, so with the stock version of Android it’s looking likely the Nexus 6 could be even faster. There’s 3GB of RAM inside, which should help. A 3,220mAh battery should be good for over 24 hours of use from a single charge, but if you’re running low the bundled Motorola Turbo Charger should let you add six hours’ worth of battery life in 15 minutes connected to the mains.
Google will be seeing 32GB and 64GB versions of the Nexus 6, but you’ll have to buy the more expensive model if you need the space; there’s no microSD card slot, meaning there’s no way to add extra capacity at a later date.
Finally, a 13-megapixel camera appears on the back. That might be the same number of pixels as the 2nd generation Moto X, but Motorola has added optical image stabilisation to eliminate camera shake. It also carries across the twin-LED ring flash for clearer photos in low light, meaning it should be a big improvement over the 8-megapixel sensor seen in last year’s Nexus 5.
Nexus 6 Camera
An f2.0 lens and 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation capture great photos in daylight and low light. Using advanced computational photography technology and HDR+, the pre-installed Google Camera does the heavy lifting so that you can effortlessly take great photos.
Nexus 6 Android Lollipop
As predicted, the Nexus 6 will launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop. Previously known as Android L, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS includes a completely overhauled Material Design user interface, performance improvements, selective notifications and a new battery saver mode which extends battery life by up to 90 minutes.
Multiple user accounts and a guest user mode have been added, across tablets and smartphones for the first time, to help you keep your personal data private when sharing your device with others, and there’s now an option to unlock your device based on proximity to a Bluetooth-enabled wearable like the Motorola Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch.