Remember when the camera on Nexus phones was sort of terrible? Yeah, it looks like that's about to change.
Google is betting big on photography this year. The Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P include significant enhancements to both the front and rear camera modules. On the back of both phones is a 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor with impressively large 1.55 micron pixels, an f/2.0 lens, laser autofocus, and dual LED flash. The front-facing camera module now sports an 8 megapixel sensor with HDR+, "so you can get the world's best selfies" on your Nexus phone.
To match the new hardware, Google has also announced updates to the camera app as well. Read More
The Nexus 6P is a big, good phone with a slightly better than average price. That's what makes it interesting. The display is good. The build quality seems nice. It supposedly has a pretty good camera. It even has true dual front-facing speakers which the Nexus 5X apparently does not. You can choose between 32, 64 and 128GB of internal strorage ($499, $549, and $649, respectively), too, the most available storage ever on a Nexus phone.
It has an aluminum chassis, a 2K super AMOLED screen that looks quite solid, and a Snapdragon 810 chip that appears to fly through most tasks pretty easily. Read More
Taking a look at the spec sheet for the new Nexus phones, you might notice that the LTE section lists band 12. However, this is by no means a guarantee of actual support anymore. T-Mobile has been leaning on unlocked device makers to block access to band 12 unless they get certified for VoLTE, and it looks like the new Nexus phones lack that. According to T-Mobile's Twitter account, neither phone will have band 12 enabled at launch. Read More
The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are packed with a number of cool hardware improvements over previous generations, like a shockingly fast fingerprint reader and a fast-charging USB Type-C connector. During today's presentation, Dave Burke spoke about a brand new piece of hardware dubbed Android Sensor Hub that can significantly extend battery life and allows even more inventive features to these phones. It's a dedicated low-power processor designed to efficiently manage sensor data so the main processor can go to sleep for longer periods of time. Read More
You could say that Google Now on Tab has had an on-again-off-again relationship of sorts with the Android M developer preview. Back when version 5.3 of the Google app rolled out a few weeks ago, it enabled the functionality we saw detailed during Google I/O. If you tried to use Now on Tap a few days after that, it didn't work. Eventually you would see a pop up window saying, "Now on Tap is coming soon! Stay tuned..." Read More
Google is a company well-known for allowing its employees to express their creative sides, and at today's Nexus / Chromecast event in San Francisco, a handful of them did just that. Using around 100 Nexus phones and a bunch of Chromecasts (and a few Wear devices), Google employees constructed a live sculpture of phones and watches displaying various photos. It's pretty awesome. Read More
While going hands-on with the Nexus 5X and 6P a bit earlier, I noticed something interesting in the "about" screen of both devices: a new field. It's called "Android security patch level," and what it appears to do is display the date of your phone's most recent security patch.
We know Google has been taking significant flack for Android security updates post-Stagefright, so it seems this feature may be in response to those criticisms. I didn't learn anything else about it, but it was definitely on the 5X and 6P units I used, and speaking to a Google rep, they suggested this feature would ship on the devices. Read More
So, if you haven't heard, Google announced some stuff today. Some of it was Nexus stuff. Some of it was Pixel stuff. Some of it was Android stuff. And some of it was Chromecast stuff.
Alongside the two new Chromecasts — a second-gen HDMI dongle and audio-only dongle — the company also offered up a ton of new features for the Chromecast app, making it infinitely more useful than ever before. No longer just for setting up your new little dongle or changing the backdrop options, this new updated app brings all sorts of additional functionality like finding new content, more backdrop options, and a lot more. Read More
There has been much speculation about the Nexus 6P's big black glass bar. What does it do? Why is it so big? Why does it kind of look like a Cylon head? Well, the answer is that, unsurprisingly, it's just form following function. You see, because the 6P is predominantly made of aluminum, which acts as a reflector to various radio and other wireless signals in the device, there needs to be a place for antennas to send out their various signals. You can accomplish this with ceramic or plastic inserts like HTC or Apple, or you can construct portions of the phone from different materials (like glass) to help those precious wireless communiques get out. Read More