Google launches the Nexus 6P and 5X, its new flagship phones

The Nexus line marches on.

Feb 29, 2020, 6:47 pm*

Tech

Taylor Hatmaker 

Taylor Hatmaker

The new Google phones are here. 

Today, the company announced the launch of two new smartphones, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X. Gone are the days of Google’s simple Nexus naming scheme (you know, counting up numerically without adding letters at random), but the devices still hold plenty of appeal for anyone who wants the purest, freshest version of Android around.

The Nexus 6P is Google’s new proper Nexus flagship phone, crafted by Huawei this time around. 

The Nexus 6P (can’t call it the Nexus 7—that’s a tablet) is a fully redesigned Nexus device, featuring a 5.7″ WQHD AMOLED display on a body that’s 7.3mm thick—just like the iPhone 6S Plus. Google’s Nexus line has struggled to keep up with the image quality on Apple’s offerings for years, but the company claims its new shooter shines in low-light shooting conditions with a 12-megapixel Sony sensor and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for high-def selfies, of course. The Nexus 6P will also move to the USB-C charging standard. 

Shrink the Nexus 6P down a little and you’ll get the Nexus 5X, a flagship in its own right, though a bit smaller and cheaper. Like the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5, Google’s 5.2″ Nexus 5X will be made by LG, not Huawei. The Nexus 5X will feature a 12-megapixel camera like the Nexus 6P, but since mobile photography is all about the sensor and internal image processing, we’ll have to see how either of these cameras actually stacks up. Like many other smartphones, the Nexus 5X adds a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device (this feature, called Nexus Imprint, is also featured on the larger 6P). 

The Nexus 6P goes on pre-order today for $499 (32GB) or $549 (64GB) and will ship in late October. The Nexus 5X starts at a more affordable $379, also on pre-order today to ship “later in October.”

All models are unlocked and ship straight from Google. 

Both the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X will be offered on Google’s Project Fi mobile plan, meant to provide a healthy, competitive alternative to traditional carrier plans through companies like Verizon and AT&T. 

All told, Google’s Nexus line still offers a few major advantages over competitors, though the devices haven’t historically offered a competitive edge in some aspects of hardware, namely battery life and camera quality.

That said, we’ll be watching this pair of new phones to see if either one is the Nexus of our dreams. 

Screengrab via Google

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2015, 3:24 pm