A month earlier than in previous years, it's time for new Nexus phones from Google. Details of the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P have been trickling out online for the past few weeks, but tomorrow at its event in San Francisco Google will make things officially official. We'll learn exactly what's lurking inside those oft-leaked plastic and metal shells, and precisely when and where you'll be able to buy them.
So here's what we're expecting to see when the company takes the wraps off its new LG and Huawei-made handsets, and some other odds and ends to look out for. We've gathered all the leaks worth paying attention to into our Nexus event preview. Read on to find out more.
Huawei Nexus 6P
According to multiple online leaks, the largest of the two expected Nexuses will by made by Chinese firm Huawei and go by the name Nexus 6P. It's unclear what the "P" refers to, but it appears we're looking at a metal-bodied Nexus with a 5.7-inch display, front-facing speakers and a unique camera jump around the back.
Spec leaks from Android Police point to a phone capable of rivalling current high-end Android phones, with a Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32, 64 and 128GB storage options and a 12-megapixel rear camera. On paper that's a step down from the 13-megapixel shooter of the Motorola Nexus 6, however the 6P's larger pixels — reportedly 1.55-micron dots — should result in clearer low-light shots despite the purported lack of OIS (optical image stabilization) in this camera.
The site also reports that like last year's Nexus, the 6P will use an AMOLED display — likely at Quad HD resolution — which should mean it'll support the Ambient Display feature from the Nexus 6. Around the bottom, there looks to be a new USB Type-C port, allowing for faster charging and data transfer speeds. And with a 3,450mAh battery reportedly lurking within, that's good to hear.
Unsurprisingly, there's also a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner to take advantage of Marshmallow's biometric capabilities.
With all that bleeding-edge hardware, not to mention premium metal construction, the Nexus 6P is like to sell around the same price point as rival high-end phones. We've seen leaks of four color options — silver, grey, black and gold — though the gold will apparently be limited to the Japanese market at launch.
We've got nothing solid on availability yet, but the 6P will reportedly be sold unlocked directly from Google (no surprises there), and not within the U.S. carrier system. FCC docs suggest it'll work across all major U.S. operators though, just like its predecessor.
LG Nexus 5X
The third LG-built Nexus phone is set to go to market as the Nexus 5X — a smaller, slightly less high-end, plastic-bodied and likely cheaper handset. With soft curves and a protruding camera bump, the 5X doesn't look like any other LG phone to date, nor has it retained any Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 design DNA.
Instead, what we have is a phone with a relatively featureless front, save for two front-facing speakers, and a whole lot going on around the back. As well as the standard Nexus branding, leaked images show the 5X with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, the aforementioned camera bulge, dual-LED flash, as well as what appears to be a laser autofocus or color spectrum sensor. (Both seen previously in the LG G4.
Much of the hardware info leaked to date comes once again from Android Police. On the inside, the 5X is rumored to pack a Snapdragon 808 processor, a chip we've seen perform admirably in the G4 and Moto X Pure Edition, along with 2GB or 3GB of RAM — the rumors can't seem to agree on an exact number. That's paired with storage options starting at 16GB.
Like the Nexus 6P, the 5X should come with a 12-megapixel rear camera, though it's unclear whether this will be the same module used in the larger Nexus. (Indeed, it's unlikely given that they're made by different OEMs.) And like the 6P, there's reportedly no OIS in use this time, which may be disappointing to photography buffs.
It'll reportedly come in black, white and "ice blue" color options, with prices reportedly starting at $379.99, and pre-orders opening in some countries the day of announcement.
In addition to the two new Nexus phones, it seems Google's popular Chromecast streamer will be getting a major update at the Sept. 29 event. 9to5Google reports that the second-gen Chromecast will come in at least three colors, with a new larger form factor and an array of new features.
802.11ac Wifi support will allow for faster, more reliable streaming, while the re-vamped Chromecast home screen will apparently allow streaming of certain feeds directly to your Chromecast when it's not doing anything else. There's also talk of a mystery "fast play" feature that may cut down the time it takes to get your content up and running.
Alongside new Chromecast hardware, the Chromecast app for Android is said to be updated with suggested apps and details of stuff you can stream to the big screen.
In addition, a new audio-centric Chromecast will allow you to stream music (or anything else, for that matter) to any standard speaker connected over a headphone cable. Android Police reports it'll go by the name Chromecast Audio, while giving a $35 price tag for the second-gen version of the regular Chromecast.
9to5 also reports that Chromecast support is coming to Spotify around the same time, so it's possible we'll see related announcements at the same event.
There's always potential for a few surprises whenever Google throws a major event. Specific rumors worth paying attention to include:
- Talk of a Family Plan for Google Play Music, allowing up to six accounts to access the streaming service for up $15 per month.
- An update to Google Photos introducing Chromecast support, people tagging and albums shared between users.
- Android Wear should get some new features in Marshmallow. We'll likely find out what Android 6.0 will bring to our wrists.
- ... And of course official word on when we'll see Marshmallow on other devices. Canadian carrier TELUS has already suggested an Oct 5 launch date for Android 6.0.
What do you want to see from this year's Nexus phones? Shout out down in the comments and let us know!
Follow our Google Nexus event liveblog — Sept 29 at 9 a.m. PT!
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Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.