Android started out as a smartphone operating system and eventually evolved to support tablets, smartwatches, and other devices. Now Google is launching Android 5.0 and in addition to phones and tablets it supports TVs.

So Google is also launching three new Nexus devices that will run Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Nexus 6 is a smartphone, the Nexus 9 is a tablet, and the Nexus Player is an Android TV box.

android 5.0

Nexus 6 

As expected, the Google Nexus 6 is a smartphone built by Motorola. It features a 5.96 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, with 493 pixels per inch, a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, 2MP front camera and front-facing stereo speakers.

The phone has a 3220mAh battery for up to 24 hours of run time, and Google says it supports Motorola’s Turbo Charger which lets you charge the Nexus 6 for 15 minutes to get up to 6 hours of battery life.

It also supports wireless charging.

google nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor with Adreno 420 graphics. It will be available with 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage.

The phone will go up for pre-order starting October 29th and should ship in November.

Like the Motorola Moto X, the Nexus 6 includes a digital signal processor that lets you use the “OK Google” hotword to wake your phone with just your voice. That’s not a Nexus 6-only feature though. It’s built into Android 5.0 and works with any device that supports it… including the Nexus 9 tablet.

Google will offer an unlocked model through the Play Store. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular will also offer models designed to work on their networks.

The unlocked model will sell for $649, which makes the Nexus 6 more expensive than most recent Nexus smartphones, but about par for the course for an unlocked, top tier phone.

Don’t want a phone with a nearly 6 inch screen? Google plans to continue selling the Nexus 5 for now.

Nexus 9 

The latest Google Nexus tablet is made by HTC, features an 8.9 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display, and is designed to work with a keyboard case that can attach to the screen at two different angles, letting you use this Android tablet like an Android notebook.

nexus 9 with keyboard

The Nexus 9 features an NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit processor, making it one of the first devices to feature NVIDIA’s new 2.3 GHz dual-core processor with 192-core graphics.

Other features include an 8MP rear camera, 1.6MP camera, 6700mAh battery, and 16GB to 32GB of built-in storage. The tablet has stereo front-facing HTC BoomSound speakers.

nexus 9_01

Pre-orders for the Nexus 9 open on October 17th and should be available in stores starting November 3rd.

A WiFi-only model with 16GB of storage will sell for $399. Google will offer a 32GB model for $479 and a model with 4G LTE support and 32GB for $599.

Nexus Player

The Nexus Player is the first set-top-box in the Google Nexus family. It’s built by Asus, and it’s designed to connect to your TV, allowing you to play Android games, stream internet video, and more.

nexus player

Google says the box supports Google Cast software, so you can use it like a Chromecast. Fire up a supported app on your phone or tablet and you can cast audio, photos, video, or other content to your TV through the Nexus player.

The Nexus Player comes with a voice-activated remote with a few buttons for basic controls. Google says you can use it to play some simple games, but you can also buy an optional Gamepad for playing Android games optimized for Playstation or Xbox-style game controllers.

nexus player_02

The Nexus Player features a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor, 802.11ac WiFi 2×2 MIMO WiFi and HDMI output.

It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and provides access to the new Android TV user interface Google unveiled earlier this year. You can use it to navigate movies and TV shows from the Google Play Store or from dozens of other apps including Netflix, YouTube. Hulu Plus, Pandora, TuneIn, and Plex.

If the “Nexus Player” name sounds familiar, that’s because we first spotted specs for this device in leaked benchmark results in September.

The optional gampad, meanwhile, looks an awful lot like the model that was included with the Android TV developer kit that shipped this summer.

Like the Nexus 9, the Nexus Player goes up for pre-order October 17th and should be available in stores starting November 3rd.

The Nexus Player should sell for $99, while the gamepad will set you back another $39. If you’re keeping track, that’s exactly the same price Amazon charges for its Fire TV and optional game controller.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

All three of these new devices will ship with the latest version of Android, but Google also plans to release software updates for older devices soon. In the next few weeks you can expect to see Android 5.0 roll out to the Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones, Nexus 7 and 10 tablets, and other Google Play Edition devices.

android l

Among other things, Android 5.0 brings a new design language, fine control over which notifications you see, improved power consumption for longer battery life, and a “pick up where you left off” feature that lets you stop playing music, movies, or other content on one device and pick up from the same point on another.

The Android L SDK will be available to developers starting October 17th.

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31 replies on “Google introduces Android 5.0 Lollipop and Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player”

  1. I would love if Google sold both the 5 and 6 as separate Nexus phones: the Nexus 6 the phablet and the 5 as the more reasonably priced flagship.
    Then, Google could go around to different hardware partners for both.

  2. $650?? The OnePlus is almost the same phone for half the price. I was hoping Google would stick with the previous price models, but I guess they want to be more like Apple and Samsung now.

    My brother just got the OnePlus, guess I’ll wait for him to get me his invite after all.

  3. This is sort of depressing to me. The phone costs a bit too much and the tablet doesn’t have enough storage space.
    Hopefully at least Lollipop will be stable enough on my Nexus 5 now.

  4. One of the main reasons people got Nexus Devices in the past was the substancially lower price compared to similarly specced competitor devices. The direct updates and vanilla android experiance were secondary bonuses for most people i know who own Nexus Devices, not the main reason they got them.

    For the Tech Geek, getting any community supported device with CyanogenMod or similar custom rom now might just be the better option.

    1. I dunno. I spent something like $550 on my Google Nexus One.

      I think Google’s point all along has been to offer a pure Android experience. The low prices of recent models has just been icing on the cake

      These days there are plenty of other options available for folks that want a cheap Android phone or tablet. It’d be tough to compete on price, and I don’t think Google’s interested in doing that anymore — because they don’t have to.

      1. I wonder if Google is leaving the distribution/sales more in the hands of Motorola, and HTC? Google’s point-of-sale process was very bad in the past. They were thinly stocked, understaffed, and their points of customer contact were bad.

        If the manufacturers are handling this now, that may explain the increase in price.

        I’m sure HTC and Motorola don’t want to play along with Google’s ‘race to the bottom’.

        1. Motorola has been very good at having many android price points. I just don’t like Shamu being called the Nexus 6… it should be Moto X 6. Nexus historically has been about seeding the industry with new technologies, and doing it at an aggressive price point… Shamu just has the fast battery charge feature.

          1. I think there is more to the Nexus 6 than just the fast charging feature. The 1440-res screen is a pretty big plus.

    2. Well, the carrier support indicates that there will be a subsidized price from the carriers.
      So it could sell for $99 – $199 on contract.
      Not too shabby.

  5. I was so excited when I saw the Nexus Player… I was thinking “A Tegra K1 TV box!”. Then I saw the specs, the processor, the disappointment…

  6. “2048 x 1536 pixel display”

    This is a big change. They moved to the ipad like 4:3 ratio. I don’t think Brad picked up on this or he would have pointed it out.

    1. We’ve covered that pretty extensively in the rumors leading up to the announcement, and I’m kind of busy putting together an article about the highlights of Android 5.0 right now. 🙂

      1. I think sadly you may be wrong about the Nexus 4 getting 5.0…I wish it where true. Can you confirm?

          1. Thank you for the Quick reply…that is the saving grace from today announcements for me as in my opinion all these new devices are very expensive. I have a very hard time in spending much more than $350 for a phone and more that that for a tablet. At those prices real widows( not r/t) is looking like much better value for a tablet anyways.

    2. With Amazon going to 2560×1600 for their 9inch tablet, it is interesting that Google would move towards the Apple aspect ratio. Additionally, they moved to a dual-core with monster GPU (sound familiar). I have never seen a more blatant copying of a competitor’s product than this… both by Google and Nvidia. At least Qualcomm is “keep-n it real”.

      1. So it’s okay for Apple to copy Samsung (By the way they suck at making software Samsung that is) iPhone 6 Plus is a phablet like the galaxy note. Blatant copying huh… Denver is nothing like any other CPU architecture I have known. GPU well Nvidia’s GPU is another level altogether considering it literally uses the same architecture in its mobile products as its desktop counterpart and supports DX12 and OpenGL 4.4. The only reason any sane person would buy iPhone or iPad was for its app ecosystem not for anything else, but now this lead has altogether disappeared. All thanks to freemium apps which make 95% of app revenue that both ecosystems make.

  7. Why would they price the Nexus 6 so much higher then the Nexus 9?!?!?!?!?

    1. I’ve never heard of a company selling a phone cheaper than a tablet… Nexus phones have always been priced higher than Nexus tablets (Nexus 5 was $349, and the Nexus 7 was $220). iPads air starts at $499, and the iPhone 6 starts at $749.

      1. I find it interesting that Nexus 6 is $100 more than a Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 combined (I bought my Nexus 7 from Newegg for $200). I will be skipping the Nexus 6. It looks to compete very well against iphone 6plus… I hope they sell better than the Amazon phone.

        1. My guess is that Google is hoping to win more friends in the Carrier/retail world. Alot of cellphone carriers didn’t like Google undercutting their device-subsidy business model.

          1. I don’t think that Google needs to worry about the Carrier world. If the carriers didn’t have android (and the whole spectrum of price-points that it brings) they would have to do with blackberry and apple… and that was a very dark time in human history.

          2. It has nothing to do with Android. It has to do with the manufacturers who are bearing the burden of Google’s Nexus products. The Nexus 5 had a very slow start with Carriers, because of the price. Some carriers here in Canada sold it for $499, just because it was too competitive.

            I am assuming the reason for the increase in cost is most likely because of Motorola. My guess is that Motorola didn’t want to participate in Google’s race-to-the-bottom. Motorola is probably in charge of the distribution, sales, and carrier-relations (I’m guessing this on the fact that Google’s past attempts to run this was terrible).

      2. Look at the specs and the price makes sense.

        Phone has quad core CPU clocked at 2.7!!! GHz, a better rear camera by far (image stabilization + just more megapixels) and the display is quad HD. Compare to the tablet’s iPad display, dual core 2.3GHz CPU, inferior camera, etc. And remember the disappointing keyboard is an optional accessory. Disappointing because it has the entire top row missing. Losing the Fn keys is bad, but losing ESC is just fatal for a VI user like me. 🙂

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