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A 32-bit Nexus in a 64-bit world: Why Google's new phone isn't already obsolete

A 32-bit phone released in the 64-bit age rouses some questions — let's answer them

New Nexus time, baby! It's the time of the year when hardcore fans of Google's version of Android get excited. We see new hardware, new OS versions with sweet features, and we start to think about how we're going to fund our new purchases and the things we're going to do with them. It's #420ROOTIT all day for some, enjoying "pure" Android as-is for others.

With every launch of new Nexus hardware comes a little controversy, though. This year it's mostly the size — the Nexus 6 is a big beast of a phone — and the price — the Nexus 6 is priced like a big beast of a phone. (Or like every other phone. Just unlike previous Nexus phones is all.) Division exists on both counts, but in the end the people who really want the new Nexus will buy one in spite of, or because of, both issues.

But there's one not-so-little thing that has more than a few scratching their heads and a little worried. Lollipop is built for 64-bit processors, and the Nexus 9 tablet is a 64-bit device. But the Nexus 6 uses a 32-bit processor. Does that mean it's obsolete before it even gets released?

Let's rap.

What does 32 or 64-bit even mean for smartphones?

64-bits

The switch to 64-bit architecture (or not) both means a lot, and not that much. Forget the whole "64-bit only means you can have more RAM" noise you're hearing. While it's true — 64-bit computing allows for more than 4GB of RAM — it's one tiny bullet point on a list of features, and one that doesn't much matter for a smartphone. There are two important things 64-bit processors can bring to a smartphone:

  • Faster computation of even more data at once
  • The new ARM v8 specification

There is no need for something like a Twitter app to be running multiple cores for all they are worth.

The first is for the future of Android. Right now, most applications on your phone — Nexus or otherwise — aren't even taking advantage of the multi-core and multi-thread per core abilities of the chip inside it. Often, they don't need to — there is no need for something like a Twitter app to be running multiple cores for all they are worth. That eats battery, and basically just wastes resources that aren't needed to operate smoothly. Some games love that quad-core CPU in your phone, and they need the horsepower. But generally, apps and the system overhead from Android don't need to crank ALL THE CORES to their melting point.

Yet.

The second entry in my shortlist is important to a smartphone. The new ARM v8 specification used for building those CPUs for your smartphone will bring better battery life and more computing power to any device they are used in — 32-bit or 64-bit. No matter which company built the CPU, if it licensed the ARM v8 specs it will make a difference in the daily operation of any smartphone. Of course, all the chips that use the new ARM v8 spec will end up being 64-bit capable ...

In short, right now, as in today, 64-bit computing doesn't make a lot of difference in the way you would use your phone or a significant increase in performance. But it might in the future.

So answer the question — is the Nexus 6 obsolete because of the processor?

Nope.

When you can buy the Nexus 6 and hold it in your paws, it won't make much difference at all. We won't see the "dramatic" battery life improvements that we expect to see from ARM v8 chips, but the things you run and the way you run them won't change because Lollipop offers 64-bit support.

It's just not totally future-proof.

When you can buy a Nexus 6, the processor won't make much difference.

One day, Google will stand on stage somewhere to show off some amazing new feature in an upcoming version of Android that will only work "if the hardware supports it." That will be code for "We're leveraging the extra computational power of a 64-bit processor and it would lag like hell on a 32-bit processor so we won't offer it to those."

Chances are, the Nexus 6 will be long in the tooth at that point and everyone who bought one will be ready to buy new hardware already. But there has to be a cut-off point if Google ever hopes to use some of the features of the 64-bit architecture to write more intensive and power-hungry software. We assume Google is smart and will make that cut-off point happen once all the OEMs (and themselves) have had devices that can support new features available for a while. But we can't be 100-percent sure.

Phones from Samsung, LG and HTC with 64-bit processors are coming. Others will follow. Chances are we'll see some announced right around the time we're at CES in January 2015. Those devices will be more future-proof, but who knows when these companies will actually update and adopt any new features. Your Nexus 6 will be promptly updated in the meantime, though. And it will keep getting updated until it's just too damn old to run the new versions, or too old for Google to waste time and money developing for it.

If Google were to announce that a 64-bit Nexus phone was coming early next year, I would hesitate to buy a Nexus 6 today. But for now, the answer is no — the Nexus 6 is not obsolete, and won't be in the immediate future.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

224 Comments
  • This wait for the 6... Want Posted via the Android Central App
  • I am sure the Nexus 6 was "supposed" to have the 64 bit chip... But like anything now a days, time constraints on hardware are usually the limiting factor when it comes to this stuff.... If the chip is not ready, why toss it into a phone they have a deadline to release right??
  • iPhone 5S is 64 bit. That was last year's phone. How the hell can the chip not be ready ???
  • And the Snapdragon 805 is still much faster than the A7 in the 5s regardless!
  • That's true but it also means the battery life sucks. The latter is more important to me.
  • Multi core yes, faster than A7. Single core no, not as fast as A7. No krait core snapdragon will be as fast as the 64bit A7-A8 core for core. The sd805 is still plenty fast though single or multi core and I don't have a problem with it being a 32bit chip. Would have been nice to have it usher android into 64bit on phones but I guess a chip for that just wasn't available yet.
  • Not to defend Apple's A7 here but then again are current benchmarks even equipped as an exact science? I think not.
  • Apple custom built it like they do all their processors. They still haven't even come close to taking advantage of it and probably won't for at least another couple of years.
  • This is besides the point.... last time the lot of us ragged on A7 because the "pointlessness" in their 64 bit yapping was that they didn't even address the basic iOS complains until now, rendering it somewhat down to just marketing fluff. The usual artificial multitasking, shitty pnp file transfer and the same end user customization rigidity. Someone gotta do it if not "couple of years" could easily mean 5-6 years more. It's a shift. Kinda like how x86-64 was. Sure for PCs it's taking long enough at apps too but you gotta start somewhere and last time for that it was AMD. If it was up to Intel IA64 would have been still stuck on servers.
  • I'd like to have a 64Bit Nexus 6 but I also rather have 3GB of RAM in a 32Bit CPU than 1GB of RAM on a 64Bit CPU... in future apps will require more RAM and that's what may limit multitasking performance and functionality...
  • I wish that people complaining about things just because a device doesn't match up with the new buzzwords they just learned was obsolete. Posted from the Avengers: Age of Droid Ultra
  • exactly how i feel. WTF has iphone done with 64bit thats so much better?
    only cool buzzword Im interested in is "battery life" or "camera" And this Nexus fails in both and still cost like $650.
  • I really hope this one lives up to being a 'Google Flagship' unlike every other one. I know nexus has its diehards, but so far they have not been close to the hype. Unless you count price which seems to be the case since so many are jumping off the bandwagon and looking at sketchy alternatives (looking squarely at you Mr. 1+). Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Still any day better than Samsung phones.
  • Yeahok. Jpg Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Did you stroke out?
  • Nope, I am a realist. Any nexus has been no where near either the S-flagships or the note series. It isn't even close when you exclude price Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • What is this gibberish then: "Yeahok. Jpg"?
  • You and Richiard Yarnell ought to hook up and tag team! I was thinking about bashing some Samsung . . . . nahh . .to easy! Posted via Android Central App
  • He's not nearly as bad but when it comes to Nexus, yeah Posted via Android Central App
  • When they put a good one out, it will stop. The 6 looks good so far Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I don't blindly follow and tout any one device. I can find something lacking on all of them Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Is this richard under a different name? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Guess reading comprehension is beyond you Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Samsung hater-get a life!
  • The Nexus 5 was definitely a flagship...faster and smoother UI than other flagships at the time, and faster CPU as well. 1080p display, awesome camera, and wireless charging. The Nexus scored the same as all the other flagships in benchmarks. It was not just the price. The Nexus 5 really was the equal of any other flagship contemporary. The only reason it didn't sell as well is because it was not aggressively advertised, and not available on all carriers.
  • By all accounts the camera was subpar and battery was bad. It was on three out of 4 carriers and a lot of the rest of the world. It was weak Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • The Photo thread demonstrates the lie that the camera was sub-par. It was probably the best camera of 2013 outside of the G2/1020 and maybe the iPhone. Awesome macro and lowlight. http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
  • I'm sure a skilled photographer could get good results even with a $30 barbie cam. The real question is... how well does it do in the hands of someone who knows next to nothing about photography?
  • All the pictures I posted were using only default settings. I tweaked nothing except turning HDR mode on or off. The Nexus 5 had the most underrated camera of 2014. People greatly exaggerated it's flaws. It demonstrated why OIS is such a big deal. Now all the high end cameras have OIS. OIS is exactly what you would want on a phone for people who know nothing about photography.
  • Your just about the only one that thinks that. The best I have heard is that is OK. And that is high praise. It sacked by most standards Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I agree. I could only take the Nexus 5 for about 2 weeks. I wanted to love it so much however it paled in comparison to the LG G2 which the Nexus 5 was modeled after. The camera was atrocious, however, with that being said it was capable at times of taking great shots. It was hit or miss, something the new Moto X has issues with. A camera is no good if you have to take 20 shots and only 2 or 3 are good. That does not make the camera great. The nexus 5 screen also was washed out and the battery life and speakers were a joke. If Google would have had LG add another $50 to $100 on the Nexus 5 price and improved the speaker and camera and a slightly better screen it could have been the best Android phone when it came it out. I returned my Nexus 5 for the G2 and it was a million times better. With that said, i'm ordering the Nexus 6 next week and can't wait to get it and I hope it's a phone I might actually keep longer than 6 months.
  • No they didn't, it just had plenty of bugs which updates have fixed over time ;-)
  • True. I took a dozen of pictures with N5 and Note 3 (night time, living room with lights on) and N5 so much better (with or without flash). via AC App on VZW Moto X/N7
  • The photos you took... did you ever try to adjust/change anything in the settings or did you just use the default settings? That could explain why you felt the camera in the Note 3 was worse than on the N5.
  • want more why N5 is better in lowlight than samsung Note3 (i own one) and s5, read on here... http://www.androidcentral.com/comparing-cameras-galaxy-s5-versus-nexus-5
  • N5 is better in lowlight than Galaxy s5 and Note3!
  • I tweaked nothing on any of these pictures...these were taken using default settings, without filters or photoshopping. http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
    http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-... Even Android Central was guilty of poo-pooing this camera. It was annoying. Reviewers did not give it a fair shake. I'm not a skilled photographer...I technically don't even qualify as an armature. I've never owned a DSLR or even a point and shoot.
  • Get the Nexus 6. You know you want a real phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • If you are speaking to me, I have one and getting its better replacement Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • 'Get the Nexus 6. You know you want a real phone.' The Nexus 6 isn't a phone. It's a whale. There's a reason why they named it Shamu ...
  • THE NEXUS 5 HAS A 2300mah BATTERY, AND THE PROBLEM IS SIZE. If the Nexus 5 had a bigger battery it would do extremely well. However, even with a smaller size battery I can make it through a full day listening to music and making phone calls. Surfing the web is a whole new story, but what would you expect from a small battery compared to the likes of a galaxy S#, or a Note series phone.
  • Nexus 5 battery lasts all day.. How much more does one need?
  • The forum is littered with exactly the opposite statement. It doesn't last all day which is the problem Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Your posts are weak. Go away.
  • Although it was available on ALMOST all carriers (*cough* Verizon *cough*) that mattered. T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. That probably covers a good 2/3 of potential customers right there.
  • The Nexus 5's camera is not awesome. It's not quite as shitty as a lot of people have complained, and the inclusion of OIS definitely mitigates stock Android's crappy image processing software to a degree, but it is absolutely way behind its contemporary flagships. I don't really care that much about the camera, though. In my opinion, the sub-par battery is a much more significant negative than the camera.
  • I invite people to see for themselves. The supposed crappiness of the nexus 5 camera was simply wrong. http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-5/328731-share-your-nexus-...
  • Then show them pictures from the s5, g2 or the note 3.then see the difference Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • whatsup with "posted by" your soon to be retired Note 3!?
  • It didn't focus well until the first update occurred. But yes the Nexus 5 camera has been solid from that point on. It is far from perfect but it is better than all the general critics say. Most haven't even used the phone for long enough. And yes I have multiple DSLR's but still mostly shoot in HDR+. And I wouldn't use any mobile phone camera for real work. So I could care less if one is slightly better than another. For what a mobile camera is for, the Nexus 5 does fine. People make too big of a deal out of things they hear about and don't own. Posted via Android Central App
  • Could not said it better!
  • Still wish the Nexus 6 (or another one this year) would be as affordable as the Nexus 5 .
    I really hoped for a 2015 version of Nexus 5 .
  • Although google is cont.. N5, it seems like they will be / are updating hardware! I read it in one of these Android sites yesterday..
  • You could use it on 3 out of 4 carriers but it wasn't sold by any but Sprint online and T-Mobile
  • Not true. It was Live and in person at the two sprint stores near my house. Posted via Android Central App
  • I agree with you, except with the camera. I own a Nexus 5 and I have to admit the camera sucks; at least when I use it in dim lights room, which is most of the time. Posted via Android Central App
  • Why is one plus sketchy? Its a hell of a phone that flys around compared to others out there. And the price can't be beat.
  • I guess you are of the belief that it is a company on its own(a start up), and that they have followed through on the promises they made? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I wouldn't call the OnePlus sketchy...different yes. Having to wait for an invite or a contest...annoying as hell. But sketchy, not in the least. I gave them my $363, they shipped me a phone expeditiously. As far as past Nexus phones and the hype surrounding them, that can be said about most any other phone. No phone that has been released in the past 3 years has been perfect, (looking at you Note 3). The Nexus 4 and 5 were excused because of their being subsidized by Google. Now the 6 isn't going to be, the expectations are way higher, as they should be. A premium price tag means a premium phone with a premium camera is expected.
  • Nothing at all wrong with the note 3 unless you wasn't to complain about build, which is invisible with a case. Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I don't do cases. The phones are too nice looking to have a case on it. And the Note 3 had plenty of issues(battery drain, GPS, Region locking, email not syncing)
  • Never saw a one of the 'problems' you mentioned and I have had two. Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I never had any of the problems that others had with the OnePlus or the Nexus 5(yellow tint, battery drain etc) but that doesn't mean those problems don't exist
  • There are imperfections in ever phone on initial run without a doubt. Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • And.. Yeah it is sketchy. How many lies did that company tell? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Do tell, what lies did the company tell? The one thing that they said they would do but couldn't is the swappable back. Considering their production process, I was fine with them not taking the chance with breaking someones phone. Other than that I don't recall a promise they haven't kept.
  • So you think the end of the second quarter came late this year? How about them being a fake start up? How about CM? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • What about the end of the second quarter? And what about CM? Be specific so I can either agree or offer a rebuttal
  • They have a post in their forum that the invite stuff was going to stop by end of q2. Cm didn't make it on the device at initial launch but a month or so later Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • You use the term lie...to me a lie is something that's intentionally misleading. CM being a month late isn't a lie. The invite system being extended maybe a lie, I can't say. I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt.
  • How about the initial lie that it was a startup company? That was blatant Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I know nothing about that. Please share some information or a link or a source that I can research. Even then, I have a OnePlus, I have a Nexus 5, I've had a Note2 and a Note 3. All good phones, none perfect.
  • Nexus devices have been a small step down from "flagship" but at half the price. It always added a lot of value to the phone. If you want the best you're going to pay for it, In my opinion the 6 has missed the mark entirely. 64 bit will be a big deal this time next year and worth the wait. Transition years are hard to guess, but I don't think the value is here at all right now on the Nexus 6 and will be a forgotten phone quicker then the norm. Posted via my Nexus 5
  • I'm pretty sure that the point of this article is that 64bit will, in fact, not be a big deal anytime soon regardless of phones that will begin to get 64bit chips early next year. Which is true. The Nexus 6, like all other Nexus devices, will be supported for for at least two years and will receive Android updates quickly. 64bit will probably not start mattering for about two years and probably won't be essential for three years.
  • The thing is that 64bit won't be a real issue until 2-3 years after it's been widely accepted. The longer they put off releasing 64bit phones, the longer it will take to catch on. Lack of supply equals lack of acceptance.
  • Damn, it's 2014 and people still can't tell a troll when they see one... Posted via Android Central App
  • Its definitely not obsolete, but buying a phone that you KNOW has a specific shelf life is worrying. We know 64bit is the future, that its coming. That does influence me. My HTC One M7 isn't going to last forever of course, but when I bought it there was nothing that was blatantly going to leave it behind within in 2yrs. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Every phone has a shelf life. How many phones have ever been released that weren't blatantly left behind in 2 years?
    No phone will ever be released that will work with everything that becomes available 2 years later, and no phone will become totally useless 2 years later either. The whole "obsolete" argument is just plain absurd Posted from the Avengers: Age of Droid Ultra
  • We always know things will move on. I knew that my M7 would have apps and updates that perhaps wouldn't be compatible. This is different. We are talking about a specific technology that WILL arrive and be the standard. I think its quite a separate issue. I look at it like 4K. If you were going to buy a TV or whatever now, you know there's always going to be a better one released as some point, but there's also the specific issue of 4K. It IS the future. So you buy a TV that is 4K proof, because its the future technology. Same with 32/64bit in my opinion. No point in risking Google (or anybody) saying something is 64bit only before you are ready to upgrade again. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Except that the 4k standard is still in flux so your "future proofed" TV might be outdated by the time it officially catches on.
  • The HTC one x would like to talk to you about that statement Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • There is nothing that will blatantly leave the Nexus 6 behind in a couple years either, specially with Google seemingly more committed than ever to Nexus updates (e.g. N4 & N7 2012 getting Lollipop). I suspect the 64-bit cutoff as Jerry calls it is a lot further down the road than a lot of people would suspect. I mean, shoot, Windows STILL has x86 & x64 variants and Intel STILL made 32-bit only CPUs until a year or so ago; over a decade after 64-bit CPUs debuted on PCs. Now Google has less legacy to deal with, sure, but legacy isn't the only reason 32-bit CPU still exist within some PCs, cost is. 64-bit SoC aren't gonna be common within a Moto G or an Android One device even two years from now, so Google will have to keep supporting 32-bit unless they wanna give up on the low end market or induce real fragmentation.
  • A two year old phone should get an update. Samsung did it. Nothing special Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • What 2 year old phone did Samsung update? Posted via Android Central App
  • The s3 Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • +1 I'm the kind of guy that stops a microwave at 1 second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Didn't say it was anything special did I? Just said Google was seemingly more committed to updates and the 32/64 bit deal would probably not rear it's head in two year's time (as far as updates go). They could've easily thrown in the towel and not updated the N4 (let alone the N7 2012) for the same reasons that other past Nexus were left behind (outdated chipsets that no one else was gonna write updated drivers for etc).
  • But my point is that other oems have been on the two year upgrade cycle, that is not special at all. I agree about the 32/64 thing Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Completely agree. But my point is this. If you were buying a PC now, you wouldn't bother buying 32bit would you? It'll last for years sure, but youd buy best available. If the N6 was *normal* Nexus price it'd be less of a sticking point for me. But this is a £500+ phone. Its going to be amazing, I just wouldn't want to risk this particular tech shift happening during my ownership. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Looks like this was wrong :-x
    New 2015 moto E has a 64 bit processor.
  • Realistically 64bit won't catch on and you won't see any real improvement from support of it for another 2-3 years, the time you'd be upgrading your phone anyways.
  • I'm a little peeved they didn't jam a 64-bit processor in there, but I think it has a lot to do with the vendor situation. I don't think the Nexus 6 that we're getting is the same as the one they had planned. The price, features, and overall feel of the phone do not (in my opinion) line up well with what the last two Nexus phones have been. I think Moto became a stand-in, and was going to be one of the first Silver phones to come out. Instead, when the Silver program idea was (apparently) quietly dropped, they had to pick a phone to be the next Nexus, and this is what they went with. I'm not saying the Nexus 6 is bad, just that it's atypical of a Nexus device. I'm very nearly certain that the next Nexus will be 64-bit. In the meantime, I'll probably buy this one because I'm on T-Mobile Jump, and can get 2 new phones every 12 months. :-) If there's a new Nexus phone launched sooner than planned, it's no problem for me! If something even more compelling than this beast of a phone comes out, then I can just switch.
  • There isn't really a 64-bit SoC for a smartphone that would have been ready for mass production in time for a November 2014 release. Currently, the only 64-bit chips available are:
    NVidia Tegra K1 "Denver" (the quad-core is 32-bit) - this is the chip in the HTC Nexus 9. At this time, it looks like its TDP is too high to be used in anything smaller than a tablet. I'll assume underclocked versions are possible, but they won't match the performance or longevity of a SD 805, so there's no reason to use them. Intel Atom Z37xx - Intel has had a tough time making it into smartphones. Again, that is primarily due to thermal design and battery life concerns. Alternatively, like the Tegra K1, underclocked parts are not as high performance as the SD805. Qualcom Snapdragon 615 - This is a decidedly mid-range part. It clocks in well behind the SD 800 series in terms of performance, and if Google had included it in a flagship-level device at the Nexus 6 prices, they would have been in deeper trouble than they are currently. Samsung/LG custom chips - With a lack of support for the US (Exynos) and absolutely zero track record (LG), these were both a non-starter for a Nexus device. Simply put, the Snapdragon 805 is the absolute best SoC currently available for a smartphone. That will definitely change int he next six months (SD 810/815 are launching in devices 1H15), but that doesn't help the Nexus 6 in the slightest. As for the next Nexus, it will absolutely be 64-bit, because there will be plenty of chips to choose from at that point from a plethora of companies (MediaTek, Intel, Qualcom, Nvidia, at the very least) with smartphone-level 64-bit components readily available. I'd also be willing to be that they will only refresh the Nexus 5 at that time, starting a rolling 2-year cycle for their large and "small" devices.
  • I'm kinda hoping they don't do that and actually update both devices next year, it makes more sense IMO... Specially if they really wanna push the line into the mass market. The Nexus 5 (and even 7) was still current enough this year to leave it be, but it'd certainly be nice to have an array of Nexus device sizes and price points to choose from going forward without having to opt for one year old models. I'm sticking with my 5 &7 so I certainly wouldn't mind if only those are updated next year, but those these want a budget phone (if they go upmarket with the next 5) or those that want a current phablet would be understandably disappointed. Basically, I still hope they move forward with something like Silver/Google Play Editions rather than just releasing random devices on a whim.
  • "Qualcom Snapdragon 615 - This is a decidedly mid-range part. It clocks in well behind the SD 800 series in terms of performance, and if Google had included it in a flagship-level device at the Nexus 6 prices, they would have been in deeper trouble than they are currently." What trouble are they in currently?
  • Great summary, thanks Posted via Android Central App
  • Good points all, really. I still think that, if Google had been pushing development on a Nexus device from the beginning, that they'd have been able to work with hardware partners (like Qualcomm) to get chips launched sooner. You're right about the heat problems in the K1--a phone would have a rough go of it for managing heat. Also agree that the 805 is a great SoC. Like I said, I'm likely buying one, but without being on the JUMP program, I'd be a little less likely to pull the trigger just because I know the next round of flagships (6 months out or less) will have 64-bit architecture. Thankfully, I'll just be able to swap my phone out when one of those bad boys lands (if it's compelling enough to pull me away from the Nexus line, and it's pure, vanilla Android goodness).
  • Ehh, Google can push as much as they want, ultimately it's not up to them or even up to Qualcomm when a new SoC goes into mass production tho... It falls unto Qualcomm's production partner(s) in Taiwan and very often they miss expected timelines on new processes etc, or they put some other client ahead of them. That kinda thing is on an even longer development cycle than any one phone too, so phones are timed around that and not the other way around.
  • yes! belatukadro, you said all the correct things. Much like the 'y u need so much ram' ppl, TDP is right over their heads... the 805 is the best soc available for phones launching now in these markets. Soon 64bit soc's appropriate for phones will be available at sufficient yields & usage, but not yet. shoehorning in the wrong soc, just so you can check the box, would lead to much suffering.
  • "If Google were to announce that a 64-bit Nexus phone was coming early next year"
    excellent point. who wants to bet that google will have a 64 bit replacement for nexus 5 in Spring, hopefully in a 5.2" moto x body?
  • How much would you like to bet? I guarantee it won't happen Posted from the Avengers: Age of Droid Ultra
  • I can see Project Ara with a 64 bit chip...
  • I'll take that bet ;)
  • ;) let's keep in mind that the Nexus line is primarily a developer device and is supposed to carry a message to OEMs. I suppose that google won't chose not to present a role model for a whole year in mobile and confine only to tablet and N9, especially that L is their introduction to 64 bit.
  • That stopped being true quite some time ago. It has not really been a developer device since about the gnex Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I can definitely see a Nexus 5 (and possibly a 7) refresh at Google I/O with both having 64 bit.
  • It's simple, there is no 64bit chip in the nexus phone because it's not ready. The only company whose been shipping 64bit chips and OS is Apple, and that's because they design their own chip and own part of ARM and talks are they had a hand In the design of the ARM V8 and therefore had a jump on everyone else. Qualcomm 64bit high end chips are not ready won't be ready till 2015.
  • Apple's also not really utilizing the 64-bit capabilities. Not fully. And no, I'm not just talking about RAM.
  • You are right about that, Apple seems to be using it for now for the security features (ex. encryption) and the likes and the boost in speed you get by using ARM v8. They are also pushing their platform all at once to take advantage of it (you can do that when you control the whole stack like they do. The move to 64bit on android will take years.
  • Also, Apple devices see updates for considerably longer than Android devices tend to. If they want to keep that trend up, they have more of a vested interest in ensuring that their devices are future-proof than Android OEMs do.
  • I'm with Jerry here--they may get the next version of iOS for years, but they don't get all of the features that go along with it because the devices simply can't handle it. iOS 8 on an iPad 2 is not so great either. *shrug* There may not be fragmentation in version numbers, but there is fragmentation in features. To be fair, I don't really blame Apple for it--it's just the nature of ever-improving hardware, but to say that they get full updates all the time is just wrong, in my book.
  • Nonsense. I know everyone wants to hate on Apple, but load Garageband on a 32-bit and 64-bit iPad. The difference is astounding.
  • Was the SOC, RAM and flash performance the same in every other way? How can you be sure the performance boost had anything to do with the 64-bit architecture?
  • Nice. Still, doesn't look too me like you controlled for all other variables besides number of bits (and ARM architecture, as you clarify later in the article where the real difference lies). 64 bits registers and operations consume more power than 32 bits registers and operations. There's nothing like a free lunch. And to clarify another point, probably none of the apps use more than one core, but I can assure you, that I always run more than 8 jobs in my phone. If a job hangs a core, other core will handle the other tasks. Multi-cores is a shared resource. In contrast, 64 bits registers cannot be shared by two 32 bits jobs. 99.999‰ of the time the upper half of those 64 bits registers will be idle, burning power, without addig value.
    If I need to do high precision or high performance computing I would prefer to use the GPU instead. But that approach would not follow the Apple marketing hype machine.
  • There are 64-bit ARMv8 chips but the TK1-64 is too hot to put in a phone, Samsung isn't or can't produce the Exynos in volume, and the A53's that everyone is using in quad and octa configurations are much slower than the 32-bit Kraits. The Nexus 6 is using the 805 because it's best phone SOC with the highest performance this year. The only thing on the horizon that's faster is the Snapdragon 810, and we don't know if that will work as well in a phone.
  • The A8 and A8X both outperform the 805 in benchmarks (CPU wise)
  • no other phone manufacturers can source those chips, and the platforms are different enough where many comparisons are moot.
  • Listening to you guys makes me think of all the Apple apologists out there. Sorry this thing should have a 64 bit processor and to hear fanboys talk otherwise is criminal.
  • Which 64 bit processor should they have used? Posted from the Avengers: Age of Droid Ultra
  • The A8+ from the iPad. ;)
  • LMFAO!
  • Don't bring criticism, bring solutions... I'd like to hear what SoC you would have designed into the N6.
  • I would have not released the Nexus 6 yet and waited for the SD 810. This year's new device should have been just the Nexus 9.
  • I am not getting nexus 6, oneplus one is great phone for $300 less Posted via Android Central App on 1+1
  • Which contest did you win that you tout that fraud in every thread? Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • What about waiting for Project Ara, due to release early 2015..?
  • Do you have any idea how long it will be before 64 bit is actually implemented to any degree? It's going to at least be late 2016 before it makes a difference. You know how long desktop CPUs were 64 bit before they were actually used for 64 bit instructions.? Even if they fastrack it, it won't be a reason not to get a nexus 6. Posted via Android Central App
  • This. What good is that hardware if apps won't fully make good use of it until the next couple nexus phones come out? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Because the hardware has to come first.
  • I think this is really true. Hardware has to come first to allow for other things to happen. We already know things are moving in the 64bit direction otherwise it wouldn't make much sense building a new OS version to set the foundations structurally. Personally, I think the its a bit of a missed opportunity that Lollipop will be released by Android but the exemplar model will not demonstrate these qualities in the Nexus 6. I totally agree that the device itself is not obsolete and will run most if not all the major applications and services needed by it. However, the Nexus being what it is and representing what it does to Android and the showcase for Google in general, it's a missed opportunity. I can't help but feel this device was rushed out and could have taken their time to release it once more suitable 64bit chips were ready (I'm assuming they are releasing Lollipop because they know ither OEMs are on the cusp of releasing 64bit devices). I'm sure they had deadlines but I always felt that the Nexus has a more patient and experimental aura - it's not yet bound by the cycles that the likes of Samsung, Apple etc have under ridiculous expectation and spotlight. Google should have taken their time and released the Nexus 6 fully 64bit enabled if nothing else but to tie in with Lollipop. I am personally an iPhone user (not here to flame or argue, I am also someone who engages with Android devices through friends and family and generally like many of the devices and think Android itself is very good in the way that someone who owns one car can also like a car someone else drives), but I always like to see the Nexus devices and the 6 does look excellent. The size is definitely beyond what my hands and usage style can cope with but for those that like bigger phones (many it seems) then the device is perfect. Just that 64 bit lacking that I think more than anything sends out a message making it less compelling than similar priced but sure to be 64bit premium competitors like HTC, Sony, LG and Samsung etc. Thanks for reading