Google took the wraps off of its latest Nexus devices today, putting an end to months of rumors about the two devices.
As expected, Google made its announcements in a blog post, not taking time to have a traditional product unveiling and announcement as top tech giants Samsung and Apple are wont to do. At the same time, however, the company released two products that’re sure to have Google fanboys and fangirls salivating over them in the next several weeks.
First, let’s start with the new Nexus 9 tablet.
HTC Nexus 9
The HTC Nexus 9 features an 8.9-inch, liquid crystal display (LCD screen) with a 2,048 x 1,536p (Quad HD) screen resolution. You’ve likely seen this screen resolution before with Apple’s iPad 3, the first iPad with Retina display, that was released back in 2012. It seems suspect that HTC and Google would match Apple’s iPad display when some of its own manufacturers have released tablets with a Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440p) within the last year or so. HTC, of course, manufactured the Nexus 9 tablet – but Google’s placed its name behind the product as well.
The HTC Nexus 9 comes with Gorilla Glass 3 to make your display tough and durable. There’s also a “double tap to wake” function that is similar to the “KnockCode” feature LG introduced into its G3 and 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch tablet offerings that’ve made the Korean manufacturer famous.
While rumors stated that the Nexus 9 would have an aluminum unibody build, the Nexus 9 only has brushed aluminum sides – retaining the same soft matte plastic build we’ve seen on the Nexus 7 (2013) and the Nexus 5 (2013). The front facing camera stands at 1.6MP, with an 8MP back camera with autofocus and LED flash so that you can take quality pictures with your tablet. Yes, many have made fun of this feature in the past, but some individuals want to take pictures regardless of the device (especially if their smartphone is the first one whose battery dies at any given occasion).
The HTC Nexus 9 also features HTC’s signature BoomSound audio, along with 2GB of RAM, 16/32GB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1 (the latest BLE update), and a 2.3Ghz, 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 Dual Denver processor, and a 6,700mAh battery. You get your choice of White, Indigo Black, and Sand colors, and pricing for the HTC Nexus 9 starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, $499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi Nexus 9, and $599 for the Nexus 9 LTE model.
For those looking for a portable, computer-like experience, HTC offers a type keyboard that docks your Nexus 9 tablet. The keyboard is sold separately, however, though we’ve not yet heard a word about pricing. More details on the keyboard price as it becomes available.
Motorola Nexus 6
While some were awaiting the arrival of the HTC Nexus 9, others cheered the announcement about the Motorola Nexus 6.
The device comes with a 5.96-inch, AMOLED display (that’s right; no LCD this year) with a Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440p; 493ppi). Motorola’s been using AMOLED displays since the arrival of the 2013 Moto X, and we’re not surprised to see Google’s latest Nexus 6 get a bump up in the display department. We’re thrilled to see an AMOLED display on the Nexus 6, and we hope Google keeps this display – no matter who manufactures the new Nexus phone in 2015.
HTC took Apple’s screen resolution for the Nexus 9 (not a surprise, since even HTC’s taking design cues in the past from Apple), but Motorola decided to take a cue from Samsung’s battery, with a battery that has the same exact size (3,220mAh) as Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 4. Of course, the battery life dictates that you’ll get 10 hours of LTE, 9.5 hours of Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback, and 24 hours of talk time. The Motorola Nexus 6 comes with a 2MP front-facing camera, a 13MP back camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), as well as 4K video recording capabilities.
The Nexus 6 features a 2.7Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, dual-audio speakers, micro USB 2.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, comes in Midnight Blue and Cloud White colors, and offers you 32GB and 64GB of memory storage with a starting price tag of $649.
As to be expected, Google also unveiled Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 will be the first devices to have Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Both devices will be available for pre-order on October 17, and available for immediate purchase on November 3. The Nexus 6 will also appear in US retail stores on the top 5 carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. We don’t know the on-contract prices for all the US carriers yet, but AT&T looks to sell the Motorola Nexus 6 for $49.99 with a two-year agreement.