Google Announces Nexus 6 Phablet, Nexus 9 Tablet & Nexus Player Streaming Media Device
New hardware injects excitement into Android lineup for holidays.
Google has just announced three hotly anticipated devices: the Nexus 6 smartphone (or “phablet,” if you prefer), Nexus 9 tablet and streaming media device. All are running the new Android 5.0: Lollipop.
Rumored under the name “Motorola Shamu” for months, the Nexus 6 features an almost-6 inch screen and is built by the former Google subsidiary now owned by Lenovo. It is likely to become the most coveted Android smartphone/phablet by virtue of its sleek design and specs, which include a 13 megapixel camera.
Also long rumored, the Nexus 9 tablet is built by HTC. While HTC has not had success with its own branded tablets, the size and design of this device will likely make it a success. It looks, from the images, remarkably like the original iPad.
As the name suggests, it has a nearly 9-inch screen, and is positioned between the current 7-inches for small tablets and the larger, nearly 10-inch tablets. The iPad Air is 9.7 inches.
This size puts the new Nexus tablet almost in a category of its own, although Amazon has a comparably sized Fire tablet. Borrowing from Microsoft Surface, it also has a magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard.
Then there’s Nexus Player, which Google says is the first device running Android TV. Built by ASUS, it will stream video and music and doubles as a set-top gaming console. It substitutes for the Google Chromecast dongle, which Google will presumably continue to sell, and can receive transmissions from any Chromecast-enabled device.
The trio of new Nexus devices will be available to pre-order this Friday and will appear in stores on November 3. The Nexus 9 will reportedly cost $399 to start. The Nexus Player will come in at $99. And the Nexus 6 will start at $649 unlocked.
The timing of this announcement is probably intended to steal some of Apple’s thunder from its iPad event tomorrow. And the Nexus 6 will undoubtedly keep some would-be Android defectors from buying the iPhone 6.
Android 5 (“Lollipop”) will come pre-loaded on the new hardware. It will be available for the immediate preceding generation of Nexus-branded devices “in the coming weeks.” For owners of non-Nexus Android devices, it’s anybody’s guess when Lollipop will be made available, if at all.