Today Google has officially announced the newest devices in the Nexus line, just one day before Apple's October event. Both devices have been rumored for some time now, and this is the first time in a while that we've seen Google introduce a new smartphone and tablet at the same time. The first device in the announcement is the Nexus 6, made by Motorola. The second is the Nexus 9 tablet made by HTC. To give an overview of how both devices look on paper, I've put together their specifications in a chart below.

  Nexus 6 Nexus 9
SoC 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084) with 4 x Krait 450 + Adreno 420 at 600MHz 2.3GHz 64-bit dual core Tegra K1 Denver SoC
RAM/NAND 3GB LPDDR3 + 32/64GB NAND 2GB LPDDR3 + 16/32GB NAND
Display 5.96" 2560x1440 AMOLED 8.9" 2048x1536 IPS LCD
Network 2G / 3G / 4G LTE WiFi only or 2G / 3G / 4G LTE SKU
Dimensions 82.98 x 159.26 x 10.06mm, 184g 153.68 x 228.25 x 7.95mm, 425g WiFi, 436g LTE
Camera 13MP Rear Facing with F/2.0 aperture and OIS, 2MP FFC
4K video recording
8MP Rear Facing with F/2.4 aperture, 1.6MP FFC
Battery 3220 mAh (12.236 Whr) 6700 mAh (25.46 Whr)
OS Android 5.0 Lollipop Android 5.0 Lollipop
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.1, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC
SIM Size NanoSIM NanoSIM on LTE SKU

The Nexus 6 features a similar appearance to Motorola's other devices like the Moto X and Moto G. The plastic back is surrounded by a contoured aluminum frame that curves downward at the top where the 3.5mm headphone jack is located. On the back is Google's traditional Nexus logo, accompanied by an indented motorola logo and a centered rear-facing camera. The front is dominated by a large 5.96" display with a pixel density of 493ppi, and stereo speakers on the top and bottom bezels.

In terms of its specifications, the Nexus 6 is competitive with all the current Android flagship devices. It packs Qualcomm's latest silicon, a hefty battery, and a high resolution display. However, those premium specs are accompanied by a premium price of $649 outright which is significantly more than the $349 that the Nexus 5 is priced at. The Nexus 5 has been given a new web page along with the other Nexus devices which suggests it isn't going disappear with the launch of this newer, more expensive smartphone.

The next announcement was the Nexus 9 made by HTC. This is the first tablet from HTC since the days of Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb where HTC announced they were exiting the tablet market. With its soft touch back, the Nexus 9 is similar in its design to the Nexus 5. Unlike the Nexus 5 which was an entirely plastic construction, the sides of the Nexus 9 are made of brushed metal.

The front of the device is similar to the Nexus 7 with its asymmetrical bezels. The shape of the device is a departure from any tablet Google has produced before, with a 2048x1536 4:3 display like Apple's iPad. Both the 8.9" display size and 4:3 aspect ratio make the Nexus 9 a significantly larger device than the Nexus 7.

The SoC is the biggest point of interest with the Nexus 9. It will be the first device to ship with Nvidia's Project Denver architecture. This is a custom 64-bit ARMv8 architecture designed by Nvidia, a significant departure from the standard ARM cores used in previous Tegra chips. We covered the details about Tegra K1 Denver previously and you can read that over to get a more in-depth look at NVIDIA's new chip.

Along with the new device announcements comes the official name for the next version of Android. Android L is now Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it will ship on the new Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. Lollipop comes with Google's new Material Design and Google's new ART runtime, and will be rolling out to existing compatible Nexus and Google Play Edition devices in the coming weeks.

The Nexus 9 will be available for pre-order on October 17th starting at $399 for 16GB, while the Nexus 6 will be available sometime in late October at $649 for 32GB.

Source: Google Blog

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  • adityarjun - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Incorrect title. Should be "Google Announces the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 WITH Android Lollipop" or "Google Announces the Android Lollipop Running Nexus 6 and Nexus 9" Reply
  • pjcamp - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Jeez! That's more expensive than a Sony! Has Google lost their minds? Reply
  • kron123456789 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    No, it's just Motorola. Reply
  • f0d - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    urgh 4:3 is silly
    i mostly use my tablet to watch videos and youtube and for me 16:9 is a must
    16:9 also works great in portrait mode for viewing webpages
    4:3 it seem you are wasting space no matter what you do

    no thanks ill keep my surface which i dumped an ipad for because of the silly aspect ratio
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Nexus 6 is meh. Too big, and loses the appeal of Nexus pricing. I guess if people want a smaller Nexus though, it's pretty much the Moto X, and the software features Motorola adds are actually decent and not bloatware.

    Android L I'm excited for, I've been using ART full time for weeks and it really is better, on my Moto G it's noticable faster, scrolling is better and more connected feeling, battery life is even slightly up.

    Nexus 9, my biggest excitement is finding out about the Nvidia Denver cores, finally someone other than Apple going for two big high IPC cores rather than four smaller ones.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    I guess I'm in agreement with everyone else. The Nexus 6 is going to be competing with the Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus. I'm thinking I'd rather have the Note 4 or iPhone unless this thing has a killer camera or amazing battery life. I'm guessing the battery life will be same(ish) as the other two, and the camera probably worse. At $500 maybe, but I think it'll end up too expensive. Reply
  • jiffylube1024 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Outlandish price on the Nexus 6, especially when the 5 and 4 were so much less. That better be the best phone camera on the market, bar none, or else I don't see the value in upgrading from the N5 for almost twice the price. Reply
  • Kepe - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    In short:
    Nexus 6: too expensive, too big, not 64-bit, no microSD slot.
    Nexus 9: not enough RAM, not enough internal storage/no microSD slot.

    Not going to buy either of these =(
    I was really hoping for a 64-bit, 5,2-inch phone with an agreeable price and a super-cool tablet to replace my HP TouchPad. These things will not sell in great quantities.
    I'll just wait for someone else to make a better tablet with those delicious Denver cores.
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Thursday, October 16, 2014 - link

    It was known the phone would be 32-bit, because the only available 64-bit ARM SoC (Denver K1) has too high a power draw. I agree with your other points.

    Really disappointed by these devices. I am interested in how Denver performs from a technical standpoint, but have no desire to own the tablet it is inside at the price they want for it.

    I suppose this is what happens when you use high-cost producers in the phone and tablet spaces, and is also why Motorola (as a US-based manufacturer) and HTC are doomed.
    Reply
  • testbug00 - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    you can always limit the max clock... in theory... I would guess most SD800s don't operate over 1.5Ghz for extended usage. Theoretically a ~1.5Ghz K1 (with GPU at 400-500Mhz (still faster than (almost?) every other mobile GPU)) should fit into a phone...

    But, Nvidia burned the bridges to getting Tegra into phones a while back =[
    Reply

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