Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 — Google's 'pure Android' mobile devices
Google's Nexus devices are sold directly from the Google Play Store, unlocked and running the latest version of Android, 4.4 KitKat. The Nexus line consists of three current devices -- the Nexus 5 smartphone, and two tablets, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
The current Nexus smartphone, launched on Oct. 31, 2013 along with Android 4.4 KitKat and made by LG. Prices start at $349 in the U.S. for a device with a 5-inch 1080p display and a Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2GB of RAM. It's also got an 8-megapixel rear camera with Google's novel "HDR+" camera, and a 2300mAh non-removable battery. The Nexus 5 supports 4G LTE in North America and the rest of the world across two models, the D820 and D821.
Check out our review for more on the Nexus 5.
The second-generation 7-inch Nexus tablet, manufactured by ASUS. Compared to the 2012 original, the 2013 Nexus 7 sports a higher-resolution display at 1920x1200 pixels, a thinner chassis and faster CPU — a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2GB of RAM. The Nexus 7 launched at $220 in the U.S. for the 16GB Wifi model, with more expensive 32GB and LTE-connected models also available.
We've got more on the 2013 Nexus 7 in our full review.
Released in late 2012 alongside the Nexus 4, the Samsung Nexus 10 remains the current 10-inch tablet offering from Google. It comes with 16 or 32GB of storage and a high-resolution 2560x1600-resolution display and a dual-core Samsung Exynos 5 CPU. As of early 2014 it's been updated from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which it shipped with, to the latest version, 4.4 KitKat.
For our take on the Nexus 10 when it launched in November 2012, check out our review.
Legacy Nexus devices
- The Nexus 4, made by LG and released in November 2012 with prices starting at $299 for the 8GB version. It ran Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, and has since been updated to version 4.4. It's got a 4.7-inch 1280x786-resolution display and a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM, and was available globally as a HSPA+ (42Mbps) device until mid-2013.
- The Galaxy Nexus, released in late 2011 with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, was the last Nexus phone made by Samsung. For much of its life it was exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. Elsewhere a HSPA+ version was sold with a slightly smaller battery and slimmer chassis. In mid-2012 this unlocked version was sold through the Google Play Store in the U.S. The Gnex, as it's sometimes called, was updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but not the newer 4.4 KitKat.
- The 2012 Nexus 7, the first Nexus tablet. Manufactured by ASUS, this device made waves due to its low price point — $199 for the 8GB model — and relatively high specs for the time. It included an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 1280x800 display. Later a version with HSPA+ cellular data was made available for an additional markup.
- The Nexus Q, Google's ill-fated streaming orb. The Q was announced at the Google I/O 2012 developer conference, where 5,000 of the spheres were given to attendees. However due to its high price ($300) and limited functionality (it could only stream stuff from Google's ecosystem) the Nexus Q never saw widespread release. Those who pre-ordered were shipped a Q free of charge, and it was eventually replaced by the Chromecast dongle in 2013.
- The Samsung Nexus S, released in late 2010, showcased Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Only the second Nexus handset to launch, its hardware was based upon Samsung's original Galaxy S. It was also the first Android phone with NFC, a new feature in Gingerbread. A Sprint version with Wimax data, the Nexus S 4G, emerged in mid-2011.
- The Nexus One, the original Nexus sold by Google online, made by HTC and released in early 2010. With a 1GHz CPU, a high-res (for the time) display and Android 2.1 Eclair preloaded, the N1 established the combination of vanilla Android, timely updates and high-end hardware for which the Nexus line has become known.
Latest Nexus news:
Posted by Jared DiPane on 10 Jul 2015 11:13 am
Chinese manufacturer's first Nexus phone may coincide with Google Play's arrival in mainland China.
Yet another report is pointing to Huawei as the potential manufacturer of the next Nexus phone, a subject of much speculation as we approach the fall completion window for Android M. And while today's post from The Information isn't the first to suggest the Chinese manufacturer will field a...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 13 Apr 2015 5:31 pm
Now that Android 5.1 (still Lollipop) has been officially announced with a few new features and presumably a bunch of bugfixes, it's time for the updates to begin. As always, that starts with Nexus devices. And that means we can speed the updates along a little bit, if we're so inclined.
If you're the kind of nerd who doesn't mind a little sideloading or factory image action, go ahead and...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 19 Mar 2015 2:52 pm
There's much speculation each year surrounding who Google will pick to manufacture the next Nexus phone or tablet. And while in recent weeks rumors have swirled around the possibility of a Huawei-made Nexus, a report from a Korean publication claims this may be LG's year.
Posted by Alex Dobie on 13 Mar 2015 11:25 am
Android 5.1 Lollipop arrived on Nexus phones and tablets this week, with factory images available for some devices and over-the-air now rolling out too.
While Android 5.1 doesn't make any sweeping changes to the way Android looks and behaves, it's still an important update, especially for Nexus owners. That's because it's a maintenance release — the first major one for Lollipop — in which...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 13 Mar 2015 7:47 am
Pure Android, from Google
Google's Nexus devices are sold directly from the Google Play Store, unlocked and running the latest version of the Android OS — Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Nexus line consists of four current devices — the Motorola Nexus 6 and LG-made Nexus 5 smartphones, and but a single tablet — the Nexus 9.
Nexus 9: The Nexus 9 was announced on Oct. 15, 2014, and represents the first...
Posted by John Callaham on 11 Mar 2015 2:33 pm
Google has just launched a dedicated website, the Google Store, where the company will sell all of its hardware products, including Chromebooks, Nexus smartphones and tablets and more.
The new storefront comes at the same time Google is launching a new version of its high-end Chromebook Pixel. The new Pixel is available from the Google Store, along with Nexus devices, Android Wear smartwatches...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 2 Feb 2015 6:19 pm
Android 5.0.2 factory images started arriving back in December and continued into January, and now we're starting to see the first OTA updates rolling out to Nexus devices as well. As is usually the case with these small point releases there's no major reason to run out and flash the file, but if you're the kind of person that absolutely has to be on the bleeding edge it's easy to take a few...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 21 Jan 2015 11:26 am
Using Smart Lock on Android 5.0 is a great way to balance security and convenience, using a trusted location, Bluetooth device or NFC tag to bypass lock screen security without entering a PIN or lock pattern. However it's possible you might not want your phone completely unlocked all the time, which is why there's a simple way to manually lock your device — requiring your PIN, pattern or...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 15 Dec 2014 10:58 pm
Google released Android 5.0.1 to AOSP and posted factory images for the Nexus 9, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, and now folks have started to receive the actual OTA updates for the incremental bump. While you can always manually update your Nexus device using the full factory image and still retain your data, it's even easier to do if you have the actual OTA file itself.
Head past the break for the...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 11 Dec 2014 4:04 pm
Take a few easy steps to verify that the file you downloaded is the file you wanted
Having a Nexus means you're provided with factory restore images should you want to revert anything you might have done to the system software. It's a failsafe, and the easiest way to return everything to the way it's "supposed" to be. More than a few people with Nexus phones use them — both for their intended...
Posted by John Callaham on 3 Dec 2014 1:39 pm
Google is giving some extra help to some Android 5.0 Lollipop users with the launch today of Device Assist, an app that promises to give "tips and proactive troubleshooting" while using their new OS update.
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 17 Nov 2014 10:38 am
Still waiting on your Android 5.0 update? Here's what's up ...
Android 5.0 Lollipop is available for your Nexus device! Sort of! But definitely! Factory images are available for flashing over fastboot. Over-the-air-update file locations are known, and we can sideload at will. Code has been released to AOSP.
So why hasn't your Nexus device actually seen an Android 5.0 update yet? And is it...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 14 Nov 2014 7:19 pm
Earlier in the week we asked if you thought Google's Nexus program was still relevant. We left the question pretty open-ended, because we are also curious why people think the way they do about a question like this. We have our own thoughts and opinions about what the Nexus program means to us as consumers, and we know you all have the same type of thoughts.
Posted by Justin Duino on 12 Nov 2014 11:30 am
Get the latest version of Android on your Nexus on your own terms
Nexus, the line of Android devices developed in partnership between Google and different hardware manufacturers, is a program that allows developers to get their hands on a stock Android experience. It can help them develop applications for the platform quicker and easier than if they were using a device with a manufacturer skin...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 10 Nov 2014 7:57 pm
Does Google need to stay in the hardware game?
Google's Nexus program has gone through a lot of changes. While never officially assigning a purpose to it, Google has suggested that Nexus devices came about as a way to get hardware with "pure" Android into the hands of developers. Official APIs and documentation, as well as unlockable boot loaders made it the phone to buy for both tinkerers and...
Posted by Chuong H Nguyen on 9 Nov 2014 2:25 pm
With the launch of Lollipop, Google had created some of the biggest visual changes to Android yet. But there's more to the story than what meets the eyes, and Google executive Hiroshi Lockheimer talks about Lollipop and some of the behind the scenes things that went into Lollipop in his latest interview.
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 3 Nov 2014 1:07 pm
As you might have noticed, Nexus 9 reviews started seeing daylight daylight today. Ours is not (yet) among them, and there's good reason for that.
We received our Nexus 9 from Google for review last Wednesday, Oct. 29. Five days is what I'd consider to be the bare minimum amount of time for a normal review. But the Nexus 9, of course, isn't a normal device. It's one of the first running...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 22 Oct 2014 1:05 pm
It's been a fast an furious week or so, with the announcement of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and three new Nexus devices to go with it. And folks have been asking us all about when we can expect updates, and shipping, and so on and so forth.
So, let's round up everything here.
Posted by Alex Dobie on 16 Oct 2014 8:56 am
A new era of Android brings a new strategy for Nexus devices
The announcement of Android 5.0 Lollipop brings us into a new age of Android, with a new design language, important new APIs for developers, and even new categories of device. It's been known for some time what this new Android era — the third, by our calculations — will entail for the platform itself, but it was only yesterday we...