There was a time when Google’s own devices were designed to bring in new customers not terribly familiar with Android, employing sub-$500 prices to get people on board. Not so anymore.
These days, Google isn’t working with the $399 price tags Australians used to see on the Nexus 5 smartphone, and with the company telling us that over 1.4 billion Android activations have been made, it’s probably a safe assumption that most people know what Android is.
As such, it may not need to grab attention with those sorts of budget devices, and given that our Aussie dollar has taken a bit of a beating in recent months, that may be another factor.
Regardless, two new Nexus devices are now on their way to Australians, arriving not just through Google’s online store, but via Aussie telcos and retailers, and based on what we’re seeing, the move isn’t just designed to bring people to Android, but make the operating system indispensable in their daily lives.
The new Nexus phones start with a follow-up to that original $399 phone, the Nexus 5, with its successor arriving in the form of the Nexus 5X.
It’s been nearly two years since Google really updated things between these devices, but the search and smartphone giant is sticking with LG for crafting the phone, and in many ways, what you’re getting in the 5X is a 2015-centric edition of the 2013 Nexus 5.
As such, you’ll find a newly updated processor, with the six-core Snapdragon 808 appearing just like it did in LG’s G4 earlier in the year, accompanied by 2GB RAM, either 16 or 32GB storage, and enough connection options to keep you happy for the next few years, with 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Near-Field Communication, GPS with GLONASS, Category 6 4G rated all the way up to 300Mbps downloads, and something new at the bottom of the handset: USB Type C.
Yes, you can forget about that microUSB port smartphones have had for yonks, because the next generation of smartphones, tablets, and even laptop computers will get their power and high-speed data transfers on via USB Type C, a reversible port format that even Apple is using for Thunderbolt 3.
One port design is what “standards” are about, and with Type C at the bottom of a new phone, you’ll be able to get USB 3.1 speeds when plugged into compatible ports, not to mention faster mobile phone charging, which is no doubt part of the move to Type C.
Cameras are also a big deal here, and as such you’ll find a 12.3 megapixel sensor on the back employing a sensor with larger pixels to bring in more light, handy when there isn’t much to deal with. Up front, the selfie camera can deal with 5 megapixel versions of yourself, and there will be some added bonuses like being able to capture animated GIFs from either camera easily.
A Full HD 5.2 inch screen finishes this design, protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3, while plastic makes up the body, which also features a fingerprint sensor on the back.