28 Mar Nexus 6 – the End of an Era
The initial release of the Android operating system by Google was in September 2008 and the first phone to come out featuring the new system was HTC. Google always wanted to release a mobile phone that will feature a pristine version of the operating system, showing the public how the whole idea was meant to be, thus the Nexus project was conceived. Nexus is from the movie “Blade Runner” which was made from a book by Phillip K. Dick, named “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. Nexus were the Androids, called Replicants, which were incidentally also Nexus-6 models. The parallel is obvious and the probability that the Nexus series by Google will end with the Nexus 6 series, just like it ended in the book and movie, is high. Yet, this is not the reason why this article is predicting the end of an era.
All Nexus models were top of the line models with incredibly good hardware and a pristine version of Google, very often the next generation version, in this case Android 5.0 or Lollipop. The Nexus 6 is actually a phablet, being 6 inches in size, with a 493 ppi pixel density on an AMOLED 1440 x 2560 screen. The chipset is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450 with the Adreno 420 GPU, with internal storage of 32GB or 64GB and 3GB of RAM. These specs are truly top of the line now and would be expected in a Nexus device. The difference with all previous models comes with the manufacturer, for the first time Motorola, and with the price, which is around 450 quid.
Yes, it is the price that will sink the Nexus 6, because it is not low enough to push aside the best of the competing devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which costs approximately the same. Furthermore, right after the release of Nexus 6 Samsung came out with the Note Edge, which features incredible new technology where you have a display bar on the edge of the phone, something as of yet unseen, but incredibly cool, sinking the novelty interest in the Nexus 6 below the freezing point. The Edge is more expensive, but seriously considering, if you have 450 quid to shell out on a phone, you also have 700 quid to shell out on a phone.
There is only one thing Google can do right now – slash the price. Either lower the price immediately to 350 quid or less, or see the interest wane into the oblivion. Mind you, there is still the Note 3 available, which is pretty close to the Nexus 6 specs and which is now available at exactly that price, 350 quid, without contract. With a contract, it is generally offered for zero pounds upfront. Additionally, there is the Gear by Samsung, plenty of Android wear, but no Nexus watch, despite the buzz.
At the end of the day, it seems obvious that the Nexus era may be at least at a turning point. It is possible that Google will reboot the franchise and start from the very beginning, abandoning the numbering and start with the Nexus moniker anew. On the other hand, Google might just surprise all of us with something utterly new and unexpected. All we can do is wait and see.