Nexus 6 is Fantastic, but it’s Not the Smartphone I Want or Need

Google launched the Android 5.0 (Lollypop) powered Nexus 6 yesterday. The new Google flagship is manufactured by Motorola and boasts of top of the line specs. Yet, for more than one reason, it’s not quite the device I was expecting from Google. In fact, it’s the most anti-Nexus device yet from Google.

Nexus 6
Nexus 6

The Nexus line started with the Nexus One released in Jan 2010. Google hoped to revolutionize the US smartphone market with the One. Its ambitious goal of ditching carrier lock-ins and getting people to buy phones online at full price didn’t find many takers. Nexus One was a commercial flop. The price tag of $529 dissuaded most buyers. However, it was well received by Android enthusiasts and critics. Google scaled back its ambition and partnered with carriers for the following devices. The Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung fared better. However, the first major success in the Nexus line-up was Nexus 4. With Nexus 4 Google managed to deliver flagship quality hardware in a mid-range price bucket. Nexus 5 kept up the same tradition and delivered a comfortable and beautifully designed phone with great hardware at just $349 (16 GB). However, the Nexus 6 marks a stark departure from the LG Nexus phones.

To begin with, the Nexus 6 has a six inch display. This firmly puts it in the phablet category, and it’s technically incorrect to even call it a phone. In fact, it’s about half a centimetre taller and wider than the Galaxy Note 4. Have a look at the comparison below. The Nexus 6 is appreciably taller and wider than all the devices in the list, and two of the devices in the comparison are phablets, and the other two are phones that are already too big to be comfortable. It’s worth noting that in response to the user feedback, One Plus is considering reducing the size of its next flagship. Forget about single handed operation, the Nexus 6 might even be too wide to grip comfortably while talking.

Nexus 6 Size Comparison
Nexus 6 Size Comparison

The next major issue that I have with the Nexus 6 is the price. At $649, it’s almost twice as expensive as the previous Nexus devices. I wouldn’t call it overpriced – not when Apple is charging upwards of $749 for the iPhone 6 Plus. The Nexus 6 boasts of top of the line specs including a 2K display and Snapdragon 805. However, the question that needs to be asked is do we really need the 2K display? I haven’t used the Note 4 or the new Nexus, but I did review the LG G3. While the increased resolution was noticeable, its impact was limited. You won’t feel the difference during most of your day to day activities.

For the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5, Google took flagship devices from LG, found areas of compromise (like the display size and camera), and produced a top performing device with enough restraint to be affordable. For the Nexus 6, Google took Motorola’s sensibly priced Moto X (2nd gen), and amped up the specs to give us a Nexus that beats every other device in the market in terms of specs, but quite possibly not in terms of the overall experience. May be Google has decided that Android is now popular enough that it doesn’t need to sell low-margin devices. May be it wants to make Android smartphones an object of desire like the iPhone. Or maybe, Google feels that current gen smartphones are mature enough to have a two year shelf life. It has not discontinued the Nexus 5. Future Nexus phones might alternate between a smartphone and a phablet. Whatever be the case, Nexus 6 isn’t the smartphone that I want or need.

New Nexus 7 with Android 4.3 Officially Announced

As expected, Google has officially announced the new Nexus 7 in its summer event. However, the newest tablet from Google’s stable had very little surprise to offer thanks to retailers jumping the gun and putting it up for pre-order well ahead of the official event.


The new Nexus 7, which is again being made by ASUS, has received a comprehensive specs bump. The Tegra 3 has been replaced by a Snapgradon S4 Pro chipset that includes an 1.5GHz quad-core Krait processor and Adreno 320 GPU. RAM has been doubled to two gigabytes. The screen display is still a 7-inch LCD, but the device itself has been slimmed down fairly significantly (1.8 mm thinner and 2.8 mm narrower and shorter). The new display boosts the pixel density to 323 ppi with a resolution of 1900 x 1200. The super high resolution display is accompanied by dual stereo speakers with Fraunhofer virtual surround sound for an all around improved multimedia experience. The final significant enhancement is the inclusion of a 5 mega-pixel rear camera capable of snapping HD videos to go along with the 1.2 mega-pixel rear camera.

The Nexus 7 will also be the first device to ship with the new Jelly Bean (Android 4.3) which introduces multi-user account with limited profiles, and Bluetooth Low Energy support along with better graphics capabilities and new DRM for hardware powered encryption for multimedia content.

While the new Nexus 7 isn’t revolutionary, it’s definitely better in almost every way. The best part is that all of these enhancements will cost you only a little bit extra. The 16 GB Wi-Fi model will cost $229 while the 32 GB variant will cost $269. Google will also be selling unlocked 4G LTE compatible models, which will cost $349 (64 GB).

Verizon May Be Pushing Android 4.2 To Galaxy Nexus Users Soon

Galaxy Nexus Update

Verizon Wireless is reportedly readying an update for Galaxy Nexus devices on its network. Last night, the company’s Twitter support handle sent a tweet to a concerned Galaxy Nexus user as response to a question regarding the possibility of a software update. While the company didn’t tweet an actual release date, it did say that the update is coming “soon” and that it will be pushed to users from Samsung over-the-air. We’ve embedded the tweet below.

Even though Verizon support didn’t say exactly what was down the pipeline, we’re pretty sure that the company was referring to an Android 4.2 update for the LTE Galaxy Nexus in its tweet. Galaxy Nexus users on Verizon have been awaiting this update for quite sometime.

The LTE Galaxy Nexus and the unlocked Galaxy Nexus devices have been weird when it comes to software updates. While the unlocked, GSM Galaxy Nexus has been updated to new software as its released, the LTE model has been lagging behind. The LTE Galaxy Nexus hasn’t been updated to Android 4.2 even though the update has been available for other Nexus devices since November of 2012.

Source: Phandroid

Image Source: [email protected]

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Build For Nexus Devices Now Available

As promised the Canonical Team has released the Developer preview builds of Ubuntu Touch for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. The developer preview builds are exactly that, developer preview, and are nowhere near good enough to be used as a daily driver.

Before you jump the gun and flash the Ubuntu Developer Preview build on your Nexus device, make sure that your device is supported. At the moment, the CDMA variants of the Galaxy Nexus are not supported and so is the 3G variant of the Nexus 7. If you are running Ubuntu, you can follow the installation instructions written here. If you are on Windows or Mac and/or are looking for the Fastboot flashable images, head over to this link and download all the image files for your Nexus device.

Since this a developer preview, not all features and functionality are working at the moment. Here is a list of what works according to Canonical -:

  1. Shell and core applications
  2. Connection to the GSM network (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  3. Phone calls and SMS (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  4. Networking via Wifi
  5. Functional camera (front and back)
  6. Device accessible through the Android Developer Bridge tool (adb)

You can also check out the list of device specific issues here.

Android 4.2.2 Update Rolling Out For Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 And Nexus 10

Google has finally started rolling out the Android 4.2.2 update for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. The .1 bump in the Android OS version denotes some under the hood bug-fixes from Google, mainly related to the broken Bluetooth stack that was introduced in Android 4.1.1.

The update also bumps the Android build number to JDQ39. As of now, only Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners have got the OTA update. There is no confirmation from Google whether the Nexus 4 will get the OTA update or not.

Early report suggests that the Bluetooth streaming works better now, but it is still not perfect. The OTA update also includes a new radio/modem for the Galaxy Nexus that may or may not bring about an improvement in network reception and power consumption.

Via – Reddit

Sprint Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean Update Now Available

Sprint has started rolling out the Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean update to the CDMA Galaxy Nexus in the United States. The update comes nearly two-and-half months after Google rolled out the Android 4.2. update for the carrier-free variant of the Galaxy Nexus.

The Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean update will bring with it minor usability enhancements including a new camera app, the ability to click a Photosphere, lock screen widgets, Daydream and more.

On the bright side, Sprint managed to roll out the Android 4.2.1 update to the Galaxy Nexus before Verizon. The Big Red is yet to update its variant of the Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.1.2, forget Android 4.2.

Along with the update, Samsung also released the updated kernel source code for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, for custom ROM/kernels developers to tweak around with.

Via – AP

Open WebOS Ported To The Nexus 7

WebOS never really met with the success it deserved. While Palm’s handsets consistently failed to provide a decent webOS experience, HP killed the mobile OS soon after it acquired Palm. The company did, however, open-source the OS as “Open webOS” for the developer community to tinker with it.

Due to this, “Open WebOS” has been ported to some devices including the Galaxy Nexus albeit in barely working condition. Today, joining that list is the $199 tablet from Google and Asus — the Nexus 7.

Below is a video of the Open WebOS in action on the Nexus 7 -:

It took the developer – Simon – around a week to port Open WebOS to the Nexus 7. Most of the work has been borrowed heavily from the Galaxy Nexus port, which made his job slightly easier. The port is by no means complete with the web browser and Wi-Fi being the only features that barely work. There is also a slight UI lag here and there, but this is a given considering the port is still in alpha stages.

Head over to the source link for more information and the download link.


Official CM10.1 Nightlies Rolling Out For Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Transformer Infinity

The CyanogenMod team has been hard at work on merging Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean with its sources. The team has been slowly adding all the features from CM10 to CM10.1, making sure they don’t cause any stability issues.

While unofficial CM10.1 builds for quite a few Android devices are available on XDA forums of the respective devices, the CyanogenMod team is going to make things easier for some of us. Beginning from today, the CyanogenMod team has started rolling out the official CM10.1 nightly builds for the Galaxy Nexus (GSM), Nexus 7 and the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity. The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 have already been enjoying official CM10.1 nightlies for sometime now.

Apart from adding more devices to their stable, the CM team is also working on adding more features to CM10.1. The team, recently, added the ability to customize the Quick Settings notification pane in CM10.1, making the feature much more useful.

Looking at the way the CM team is working, most of the devices that would be supported by CM10.1, should get official nightlies by Christmas.

Android 4.2.1 Pushed To AOSP; OTA Update Available To Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus

Yesterday, Google rolled out the Android 4.2.1 update for the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10. The minor bump in the Android OS version does not bring any major changes except for fixing the missing December month in the People’s app.

Today, Google has pushed Android 4.2.1 to AOSP for developers to base their ROMs on the latest version of Android. While its nice to see Google fixing the December update so soon, the company should have tried to fix other issues present in Android 4.2. as well.

Android 4.2 is one of the most buggiest release ever from Google. The update is plagued with lots of bugs and stability issues including random reboots, poor performance on Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus and much more.

Google has now also started rolling out the Android 4.2.1 update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7. The update was initially only available for the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10.

Google Rolls Out Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Update For Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7

Earlier today, Google started rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Nexus 7 and the takju variant of the Galaxy Nexus i.e. the handsets that were purchased directly from Google via the Play Store. .

The Android 4.2 update will bring with it quite a lot of minor yet much-appreciated changes including quick settings in the notification bar, multiple user profiles for tablets, an updated Clock app, Gesture typing for the keyboard, pinch-to-zoom in GMail and much more.

Google is rolling out the OTA update only in certain regions of the world and to limited number of Nexus 7s and Galaxy Nexus out there, so don’t expect the OTA update to be available immediately for you. The final OTA update also includes lock screen widgets that was missing in all the Nexus 4 review unit.

Google usually keeps a new version of Android exclusive to the Nexus handset for a couple of weeks before it pushes the update to other devices and the code to AOSP. However, this time Google has decided otherwise, and pushed the Android 4.2 OTA update on the same day it released the Nexus 4 in a bunch of countries.