Google’s Nexus range of devices have become somewhat iconic in the Android world. For most, these are devices which represent how Google intends Android to be. Coming loaded with not just a pure stock Android experience, but also running on the latest version of Android. In fact, within the next two weeks it is largely expected that Google will unveil the latest Nexus incarnations as the Huawei Nexus 6P and the LG Nexus 5X. Both of these will come loaded with the latest version of Android, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and have already been the subject of mass speculation. Before Google does unveil them though, we thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane and look how the Nexus smartphone and tablet ranges have developed and evolved over the years. Starting from the Nexus One and all the way up until the most recent information known about the Huawei and LG 2015 Nexus device.
HTC Nexus One
Aptly, the first Nexus device to be released was the Nexus One and landed back in early 2010. Marking not just the first Nexus device but also the first Google/HTC device, a relationship which would not be reestablished until the Nexus 9 tablet was released in 2014. In terms of the specs, the Nexus One came equipped with a 3.7-inch AMOLED display and a 800 x 480 resolution. Inside, the Nexus One was loaded with 512MB RAM, 512MB internal storage and powered by a Qualcomm Scorpion processor (clocking at 1 GHz), a CPU which would later go on to be included in the Snapdragon processor. In terms of cameras, the Nexus One came equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera, no front facing camera and was the first device to come running on Android 2.1 (Eclair). One of the most notable features on the Nexus One was the trackball which allowed for (at the time) easy scrolling. This one came powered by a 1,400 mAh battery and at the time of launch was sold for the princely sum of $529.
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Samsung Nexus S
Following on from the Nexus One, the next Nexus was the also aptly named Nexus S. Why aptly named? Well, this one was manufactured by Samsung. A naming format we still associate with Samsung today. The Nexus S was another device which landed in 2010, albeit right at the turn of the year. In terms of the specs, the Nexus S came with some notable upgrades. However, RAM was not one of them as the device came sporting 512MB. The display was upgraded in size but not resolution with the Nexus S sporting a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 800 x 480 resolution. The processor was upgraded though to a ARM Cortex A8 processor (clocking at 1 GHz). Not to mention, the Nexus S was the first device to come sporting Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Storage on the Nexus S also saw a massive bump with 16GB on offer (non-expandable) and the device came powered by a 1,500 mAh battery. While the Nexus S came with a 5-megapixel rear camera, this was coupled with a VGA front facing camera. Interestingly, this was the first Nexus device to come sporting NFC. Something which has been hitting the headlines a lot this year thanks to the arrival of Android Pay.
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Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Moving on to the third Nexus device and once again, this was also an aptly named device, dubbed the Galaxy Nexus. This was another Samsung/Google collaboration and again sports a name that we still associate with Samsung today. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus launched in late 2011 and came with some of the most notable improvements so far. The display saw a bump to a massive (at the time) 4.65-inches and was a Super AMOLED display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. Interestingly, the display on the Galaxy Nexus was a curved display. Another Samsung trait we have seen a lot of recently. The RAM saw a boost to 1GB, the processor moved up to a dual-core TI OMAP 440 processor (clocking at 1.2 GHz) and the device came running out of the box on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). This one came with a 5-megapixel rear camera which was coupled with a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera. The battery also saw a bump on the Galaxy Nexus with a 1,750 mAh removable battery on offer. In terms of price, this one became available unlocked at launch for $399
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ASUS Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 marks a new milestone in the Nexus range for many reasons. First and foremost, it was a tablet. Next up, it was also the first Nexus device to come sporting the Nexus branding. Not to mention, this also saw the first time the Nexus range really ran a stock Android experience. This also saw the first time Google collaborated with ASUS on the Nexus line. A relationship which would be renewed twice more with the Nexus 7 (2013) and the Nexus Player in 2014. In terms of the specs, the Nexus 7 2012 came sporting a 7-inch IPS display with a 1280 x 700 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 7 came equipped with 1GB RAM and powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core processor (clocking at 1.2 GHz). While the Nexus 7 did not come with a rear camera, there was a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera on offer. In terms of storage, the Nexus 7 was also the first time that a Nexus device came in more than one storage option, with the two being limited to either 8GB or 16GB, and later to the 16GB or 32GB options with the 8GB model being discontinued. Of course, this one came running on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). In terms of price, the Nexus 7 also saw the first time a Nexus device could be picked up for under $200. literally, as the cost was $199 at launch.
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LG Nexus 4
Up next and in returning to the smartphone form factor, the next Nexus was the Nexus 4. This marked the start of the relationship between Google and LG and is one of the most prevailing of the Nexus/third party manufacturer relationships (along with Samsung and ASUS). The Nexus 4 was one of the more rumored upon devices which highlighted the hype that both the device (and the Nexus brand in general) was beginning to attract and was massively hyped prior to its announcement in late 2012. In terms of the specs, the Nexus 4 came equipped with a 4.7-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 4 saw a jump in RAM to 2GB and the processor being the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad-core processor (clocking at 1.5 GHz). In terms of cameras, the Nexus 4 came touting an 8-megapixel rear camera along with a 1.3-megapixel front facing option. This was also the first device to come sporting the next generation Android operating system, Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). In terms of price at launch, the Nexus 4 was available in different variants and these determined the price. The 8GB storage variant was sold for $299 while the larger 16GB version came in at a reasonable $349.
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Samsung Nexus 10
Moving back to Tablets, the Nexus 10 was the next device to see its arrival and towered over the previous Nexus 7 thanks to the 10.1-inch display on offer (with a 2560 x 1440 resolution). The Nexus 10 was the third time Google collaborated with Samsung on the Nexus range, but the first time in tablet form. In terms of the specs, the Nexus 10 came sporting 2GB RAM and powered by a Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor (clocking at 1.7 GHz). The Nexus 10 came sporting a 5-megapixel rear camera which was coupled with a 1.9-megapixel front facing camera. Everything was powered by a 9,000 mAh battery and like the nexus 4, this one also came running on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) out of the box. The Nexus 10 was available in two size formats, 16GB and 32GB and saw a markedly increased price compared to the Nexus 7, with the 16GB version coming in at $399 and the 32GB variant on sale for $499.
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LG Nexus 5
Marking the confirmation of the relationship between Google and LG, the Nexus 5 was the next smartphone to be offered by the collaboration and for many, set the tone of what is expected from a Nexus device. The Nexus 5 launched back in 2013 and came with a number of spec upgrades. In terms of those specs, the Nexus 5 was equipped with a 4.95-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 5 came touting 2GB RAM and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor (clocked at 2.3 GHz). The Nexus 5 came sporting an 8-megapixel rear camera which was coupled by a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera. Everything was powered by a 2,300 mAh battery and the Nexus 5 came running on Android 4.4 (KitKat). In terms of price, like the Nexus 4, this one came in two storage variants, although both had seen a bump in that department. The smaller 16GB model sold at launch for $349 while the larger 32GB model came in at $399.
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ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
As the name suggests, the Nexus 7 (2013) was a return to form in many ways. This one was a reinvention of the previous 2012 Nexus 7 and as well as adopting the same 7-inch size was also manufactured again by ASUS. In terms of the specs, the Nexus 7 (2013) came sporting a 7-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 7 (2013) came equipped with 2GB RAM and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (clocking at 1.5 GHz). In terms of cameras, the Nexus 7 came with a 5-megapixel rear camera which was coupled with a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera. Storage wise there were two versions of the Nexus 7, one sporting 16GB and the other offering 32GB. The device came powered by a 3,950 mAh battery and came running on Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean). In terms of pricing and consistent with the previous Nexus 7 tablet, this one maintained an affordability feature with the 16GB version on sale for $229 and the 32GB version available for $269.
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HTC Nexus 9
The Nexus 9 brings us right up to date in terms of the tablet market and is the current (and according to the rumors, will continue to be the current) Nexus tablet. This one saw the first time HTC and Google collaborated since the original Nexus One and brought with it a number of spec improvements over the previous tablets. One of the most obvious difference from the Nexus 7 2012, 2013 and Nexus 10 was the employing of an 8.9-inch display. This was an IPS LCD display that offered a 2048 x 1536 resolution. Inside the Nexus 9 came sporting 2GB RAM and powered by an NVIDIA Tegra K1 dual core processor which saw the first Nexus tablet to come with a 64-bit processor inside. Cameras on offer consisted of an 8-megapixel rear camera which was coupled with a 1.6-megapixel front facing camera. Like the previous Nexus tablets, this was available in two variants, 16GB and 32GB and came powered by a 6,700 mAh battery. Not forgetting, this (along with the Nexus 6) were the first devices to come running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) out of the box. In terms of prices, the Nexus 9 was a lot steeper than the Nexus 7’s but was more affordable than the Nexus 10. The Nexus 9 16GB model was available at launch for $399 while the 32GB model came in at $479.
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Motorola Nexus 6
The Nexus 6 will need little introduction as this is the current Nexus flagship smartphone. This one was announced back towards the end of 2014 and marked the first time a Nexus device had been manufactured by Motorola. This was a big Nexus in many respects. Most notable, it is the biggest Nexus smartphone to date, coming with a massive 5.9-inch display. Although, at the time of launch, its big price seemed to attract as much attention as the size with the Nexus 6 going on sale for $649 for the smaller 32GB device and $699 for the larger 64GB model. In terms of the specs, this is the most up to date Nexus device around and its 5.9-inch AMOLED display came sporting a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 6 was equipped with 3GB RAM and powered by A Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor (clocking at 2.7 GHz). In terms of cameras this one came touting a 13-megapixel rear camera which was coupled with a 2-megapixel front facing camera. Another big aspect of the Nexus 6 was the battery which came in at 3,220 mAh. Not forgetting this was the first smartphone to come running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop).
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LG Nexus 5X
2015 saw Google make a change to the way in which they released Nexus devices and instead of releasing one Nexus smartphone and one Nexus tablet, Google opted to release two Nexus smartphones. The first of the Nexus 2015 smartphones saw a return to form with Google partnering back up with LG for the third time with the Nexus 5X. In many ways, the Nexus 5X is a refresh of the popular Nexus 5, although with a number of updates to accommodate the more modern features. These modern features include the employing of a fingerprint scanner and also a Type-C USB port. In terms of the specs, the Nexus 5X is equipped with a 5.2-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 5X is equipped with 2GB RAM and powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. While the cameras on offer include a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, which is coupled with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Nexus 5X is powered by a 2,700 mAh battery and also comes running on the latest version of the Android operating system, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). In terms of availability, the Nexus 5X is offered in two storage variants, a 16GB version which is priced at $379 and a 32GB version which is priced at $429.
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Huawei Nexus 6P
Moving right up to the present and we find ourselves with the second of the two new Nexus devices for 2015. The current flagship of the two is the Nexus 6P, which was manufactured in conjunction with Huawei. This marked not only the first time Google worked with Huawei, but also the first time with a Chinese manufacturer on a Nexus device. In terms of the specs, the Huawei Nexus 6P comes equipped with a 5.7-inch QHD display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the Nexus 6P is loaded with 3GB RAM and powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-core processor. In terms of cameras, the Nexus 6P is equipped with a 12.3-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front facing camera. Additional features on offer with the Huawei Nexus 6P, include a fingerprint scanner, a Type-C USB port and a 3,450 mAh battery. While the Nexus 6P comes running on the latest version of the Android operating system, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). In terms of availability, the Nexus 6P is offered in three storage variants, a 32GB option which is priced at $499, a 64GB option which is priced at $549 and a 128GB option which is priced at $649.
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