Android Central Android Central

That 'Sony Nexus X' was an elaborate hoax, but not of the kind we expected

Remember those Sony Nexus X images doing the rounds a few days back? Remember how we pointed how that things looked a bit fishy? Well, the person who created the photos has come forward today, and it turns out they were indeed fake, as we reported at the time.

But that's not the interesting part. What's astonishing is the amount of effort that went into creating a couple of low-quality images. Turns out the images weren't the result of Photoshop trickery alone, but hours of painstaking 3D model work based on earlier Sony and Nexus designs. It was fake, all right, but not in the way we thought.

The entire process of creating the Nexus X images was laid out for all to see in an infographic entitled "The Anatomy of a Hoax." Using phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Xperia T as a starting point, the creator first fashioned a 3D model, then placed it in a virtual background, and added a reflection from the back of a Galaxy Nexus for good measure. After that, it was put through Photoshop to, well, make it look crappy enough to have come from a Galaxy Nexus camera. In total, he estimates it took a total of over seven hours work to create the images.

The reason for the hoax, apparently, was to demonstrate consumer interest in a Sony Nexus to Google, and show how the tech news echo chamber can throw basic caution and fact-checking to the wind.

This is something we're all too familiar with -- we deal with shit like this on a daily basis, especially in the pre-Nexus silly season. We weren't caught out this time, though like everyone else, we have been in the past.

In any case, we encourage you to go take a look at the full infographic, if only to appreciate the effort that went into producing those tiny, blurred (and yes, fully faked) JPEGs.

Source: Anatomy of a Hoax

There are 39 comments

Ziptied says:

herp derp.

Too bad Sony couldn't put as much effort into building a real Nexus.

bobbob1016 says:

No, Sony would make this. The real reason it won't happen, google's "vanilla" requirement. Sony wouldn't make a device they couldn't bloat the **** out of with their garbage customization software/DRM non-sense.

mwara244 says:

Earlier this summer their were Rumors of Sony making an Xperia design that would be a PlayStation Nexus and would be apart of the new playstion devices that are authorized

I hope that happens,especially if Google's going to have multi-manufacturer Nexus devices.

Well he sure has a lot of time on his hands......I'll take a real Nexus please. ASAP. Thank you Google.

nickacs says:

LOL, what a loser douchebag! Really? I bet it's 7hrs of his life he'd like to take back.. All for nothing you idiot...
HAHAHAHA... glad he's exposed for the low life he really is. Maricon!

brendilon says:

Pretty sure you're not 'exposed' when you come forward and announce it was you. As for a waste of time... that's subjective. I think a lot of folks would call the amount of time some folks here spend on the forums and commenting on articles an even bigger waste of time.

nickacs says:

True, some people do LIVE on here commenting on others, so glad you like it here. LOL.. As for exposed, yes, he exposed himself, but still a big dbag just wasting time all for what? NOTHING! Read deesh!

brendilon says:

It may be a waste of time to you or I, but that doesn't make it a waste of time for him. it sounds like it did what he intended, which was to highlight a desire for a Sony Nexus device.

mwara244 says:

Or he could of started a new forum post to explain and also ask who would be interested in a sony nexus and what would you like in it, or like one at all. I do think people from google and manufacturers read these blogs from time to time.

I've been reading people bitching about Gplay updates and that they need a way to delete old app uploads from history and add save for later apps all summer over at droid life, and voila all the sudden these updates come in the past few weeks.

Jaredshoes says:

How's he a low life though lol, or a douchebag?
You're so mad that somebody made some fake images, what's really going on?
Bad experiences with Photoshop and 3D modeling in the past?

brendilon says:

Must be. This is the sort of thing my classmates and I would do when we were taking classes in product design or rendering. Precentral even had a contest for future Palm Pre designs a year and a half or so back (before it was clear the line was doomed).
We didn't pass them off as actual products, but if this guy is looking to do product design in the future, this is the sort of thing you would do as practice (though it wasn't a terribly appealing design).

squiddy20 says:

A loser douchebag? I'd like to see you create a hoax as elaborate as this was just to highlight a point. This is ingenious.

return_0 says:

You, sir, are the idiot here. Next time read the article before commenting. If you did, you would know that the person created the images to prove a point; to show Google the interest in a Sony Nexus device. And "the low life he really is"? Fail.

I bet you'd like the 7 minutes it took you to reply back too, huh?

piizzadude says:

Next year maybe, none this year

ether813 says:

All that work on a hoax that still looked shitty in the end

Waar, cant bloody believe this.

deltatux says:

It would have been sadder, and funnier if the whole LG Nexus thing turned up to be a hoax as well lol.

etnpnys says:

What's strange is that his intentional "scuff marks" on the back to make it look more like a manhandled prototype are the very reason I never even cared about this. They made the phone look super crappy and even if it was real I wouldn't touch this phone with a 10 foot pole.

I mean, it made look like this phone was being used in between tossing pizza dough.

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Of course it was fake. The only Nexus phone coming out is the LG POS that has already been leaked.

BruhMan says:

They're probably collecting unemployment, take showers every other day, and are on a steady diet of frosted flakes.

TenshiNo says:

Wow. Quite a bit of hate for this guy. He made an excellent point in his tumblr post about how something like this spreads. I like the fact that AC approaches things like this with so much skepticism. They're like "well, it's probably fake, but we can't be the only Android site not showing the photos..." :)

I do have to agree, thought, that he made it look *too* abused and made me think it was some kind of fake from the beginning.

That said, great 3D work, man. I know exactly how difficult it is to get real photo-realistic results. You did a great job on that front. Honestly, my first thought was that it was some kind of "Frankenstein" phone.

crxssi says:

>"weren't the result of Photoshop trickery alone"

"Photo editing". Come on, you can say it. Not all bleach is Clorox. Not all tissues are Kleenex. Not all gelatin is Jell-O....

swyost says:

Photoshopping is part of common cultural understanding and is a perfectly reasonable way to attribute. If you don't like it, you can always complain to the internet police.

crxssi says:

It is no more reasonable than saying you are "Cloroxing" your floor or "Kleenexing" your nose. It is stupid, and technical/professional writers should be held to a higher standard of writing.

And not all tablets are ipads, either.

schrack3000 says:

So if you ask someone for a kleenex and they hand you another brand of tissue paper you throw a fit? "I said KLEENEX you idiot. This is Scott brand!!! How stupid can one person be?!?"

You must be a real blast to have at parties.

swyost says:

1) Fake Nexus is fake is just a bit redundant.
2) Someone has too much time on their hands and is evidently starved for attention as well....

PJMAN2952 says:

Oh well. This looks better than the stupid LG Nexus. LG makes the worst phones. They better not ruin the Nexus.

lightyear420 says:

"The reason for the hoax, apparently, was to demonstrate consumer interest in a Sony Nexus to Google"

Damn right!!! I want an Xperia Nexus!! :D

Oh Yea! Besides horrific marketing in NA the one thing Sony really fails on is upgrading their devices.You remove that responsibility from them and let them focus on the Xperia Nexus hardware and you'll have one of the best Androids out there.

Gearu says:

No no no, it's time to cremate the Xperia name.


taarkan says:

He lost me at "The Verge" would expect from a quality news source.

Hand_O_Death says:

So he made some images and uploaded them to a new Picasa account and did not hing else. Didn't email them ad a tip, Didn't write his own article about it for "First" points. Just uploaded them in his own new account and let speculation begin, the only difference is that he well documented his efforts and came forward later so others could learn about how a shadier part of the internet works.

Since I personally never put much interest into any speculated images, I do not take these things for more than the grain of salt they are worth, but for those of you that do, just use this as a learning experience the next time you see something that is not official.

I have no artistic abilities but found it interesting how someone of his skill set could do the whole thing in seven hours.

obi5683 says:

Obvious headline was obvious.

badkitties says:

I'm confused.

So, the news about the fake Sony Nexus was fake, but was it a fake news
or was it a news about a fake Nexus, or was it a fake news about a fake
Nexus? It doesn't seem so fake to me because a fake Nexus will obviously
not make it to the market, so there is not need to use a fake Nexus to fake
a fake news article. Or is there? If it was really a fake Nexus, why was
there a fake news article about it? Shouldn't it be a non-fake news article
describing a fake Nexus that was not real?

Still very much confused.

"Google Now" has the answer.. just ask it "When is the end of the world?"

dman977#AC says:

I like this guy. He not only achieved his goal of creating awareness for the demand for a Sony Nexus (which I could actually care less about), but also exposed those news outlets for what they are, gossip columnists. That is what you call those who post stories without actually following up on the validity of the information they are posting. They just see something and re-post so their site is not left out. He was actually never contacted about the validity of his photos.