Saturday, October 25, 2014

Opinions on the Nexus 6

Source: Google Play
After last week's reveal of the next set of Nexus devices for the following year, I've taken some time to gather some thoughts and opinions on the Nexus 6 smartphone. Those close to me (online via IRC and in real life) knew that I would be keeping an eye on this smartphone, because I really am quite due for a device upgrade.

The reasons for why I need a device upgrade are already well known. I have a Android 2.3 device from LG, and I really do need an upgrade. Not only is the CPU very slow, but there's no space on it either. Now more than ever have I been looking keenly on new devices. I narrowed down my choices down to the OnePlus One or Nexus 6.

Quite simply, I'm not going to get this device. It's not about the screen size (I have big hands), or the form factor. It's about the price. This phone is just too expensive for me, or any average consumer (unlocked). The fact that this phone is on every major carrier for a subsidy is a clear indicator that this device won't sell a whole lot.

The Nexus line has been known to a lot of people as the line of devices where you get powerful hardware at a value price. You don't pay extra money for costs of advertising/marketing, research, etc. The past two phones, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, were both priced at $349 on Google Play for the 16 GB version. These devices did sell a lot, because it was a great hardware package at a super-affordable price. On top of that, these devices were both unlocked. That was a big point of attraction for me, except I didn't discover the Nexus 5 back when it first launched. I discovered it back when it was almost "EOL". Notice that I put that in quotation marks.

This new Nexus phone is really a shocker to most. Of course, this phone has very fancy hardware under the hood. Nobody doubts that at all. The shocker is that everyone thought this device was going to start around ~$399. I as silently hoping for this to happen, but instead the Nexus 6 is a whole $300 more than the 2 previous Nexus phones. It's very disappointing for anyone who is a Nexus fan, but is on a budget. Would I love to have this phone? Yeah, of course. But I won't, and it's because Google completely blew this phone out of the ballpark with the price.

I would even go as far as to wish that this device flops. Google really let a lot of people down this device. They let me down. They let my friends down. They let a lot of people juggling around college finances down. Go ahead and take a look at the comment section of Android Police on the first 1-3 Nexus 6 articles. The majority of the comments stuck down this phone because of the price, and I can't blame them, honestly. As one person put it, This is the first time ever that a new Nexus phone has gotten so much backlash.

Moving away from the price discussion, I wanted to discuss a little bit about the phone itself. From the outside looking in, this phone is a giant, blown-up Moto X (2014). Of course, there is other hardware changes under the hood, but the design itself greatly resembles the Moto X. It's kind of like how the Nexus 5 looked pretty plain, but resembled the LG G2 in a few ways.

This phone will come with a Snapdragon 805 CPU. That's the next-generation of CPU from Qualcomm. Again, like going from 800->801 was a small hardware buff, it wasn't noticeable to most end users. I don't suspect the 805 will make a huge difference to the average end user, but of course we all know it will perform the best with stock Android. When you add other trashy UI layers on top of Android (I'm calling you out, Samsung), you rob the SoC of its full potential. This phone will also be complemented by a upgraded GPU. Of course, this is all a part of the SoC.

As for other parts of this phone, I saw that this phone will come with a 3200 mAh battery. It's about time, to be honest. Nexus phones have a notorious history for having either terrible or terribly average battery life. There never was any surprises, at least good ones anyways. Hopefully, the Nexus 6 will change this. Android L has been proven to come with a lot of performance tweaks under the hood (just ask someone with the Nexus 5 running the L developer preview), but at the same time this device will come with a QHD (Quad-HD) AMOLED display. I can't really say much more because the device is not even out to the public yet. The battery life can go either way. It all depends on how efficient the display is on this device, because Android L already uses less battery compared to Android 4.4 KitKat.

Anyways, we'll surely hear more about this device once it is released to the general public. Hope you all enjoyed reading this.