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Android Phone Fans

Unlocked Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (AT&T and T-Mobile) finally gets a ship date

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 06:15 PM PDT

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact angle

After becoming officially available for purchase only 2 days ago, it seems Sony has finally gotten their house in order and are ready to give ship dates for the unlocked Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. According to the Sony Store, if you pre-order the unlocked Z3 Compact today — which supports both AT&T and T-Mobile networks (no band 12 LTE, however) — you can expect the phone to arrive on your doorstep as early as November 3rd.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact ship date

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is retailing for $530 direct from Sony and offers the highest-end hardware specs you can find on a sub-5-inch smartphone. Sony also offers 2 years of accidental damage protection for an additional $80 in the event the phone is ever dropped and damaged ($0 deductible).

Don’t forget, student and faculty also get a bonus 10% (about $53) off the price of a new Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (or any Sony device for that matter) just by signing up at Sony’s Student Store here. Not a student or faculty? You can still sign up and nab the discount if you’re “buying for a student,” so there’s always that route as well.

P.S. Yes, I just purchased one for myself in black. Can’t wait to finally get my hands on a full capable Android device I don’t have to use with 2 hands.

[Sony Store]

New details behind Android 5.0 Lollipop’s upcoming kill switch security feature

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 05:01 PM PDT

Smartphone Theft

Smartphone security is one of those hot topics in mobile and ever since Apple introduced their “kill switch” solution to help prevent unauthorized iPhone theft, we’ve been curious to see how Android would follow suit.

Back in August, California’s “kill switch” bill was signed into law, requiring any smartphone manufactured after July 2015 to have a security feature that will allow users to disable a handset if lost of stolen. Google hasn’t been quiet on the issue, stating back in June their plans to implementing a kill switch feature in the next version of Android, now known today as Android 5.0 Lollipop.

We haven’t heard much about it since then, but today the folks at Recode got word from Google on exactly how this security measure will work. More of a pseudo kill switch, the feature — known as “Factory Reset Protection” — doesn’t really kill anything. As the name suggests, all it does is require the user enter in a password before they can perform a full factory reset. It’s still up to users to either have some sort of lock screen security, or lock the phone remotely using the Android Device Manager in the event their phone is ever lost or stolen. This renders the phone useless to the new unauthorized user, but is easily reversible if ever recovered.

It’s still unclear if this method is 100% foolproof, or if a simple factory reset done via recovery or fastboot will bypass the security in Android’s software. In any case, it’s a welcomed addition and one of the many helpful new features arriving inside Android 5.0 Lollipop. We couldn’t be more excited when it begins rolling out early next month.


Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition makes another appearance on official Android page, this time running Android Lollipop

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 03:27 PM PDT

Nexus and Google Play edition devices

Okay, this is getting ridiculous already. After showing up on Google’s official Android page back during Google I/O (where the page received a nice facelift), the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition is showing up yet again on the site. This time it’s joined by the newly announced Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 and the rest of the Google Play edition crew (only the Moto G Google Play edition and HTC One M8 Google Play edition remain).

Did someone forget to tell Google that the phone never actually became available? If you can’t tell by our tone, we’re a little annoyed that someone keeps toying with our emotions like this. While the Samsung Galaxy S5 wasn’t quite the right fit for this blogger (TouchWiz is terrible), a Google Play edition would be a home run as far as 5-inch Androids are concerned. Maybe the phone is still incoming?


Nexus 5’s shiny new homepage suggests it could stick around as a smaller, cheaper Nexus option

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 03:06 PM PDT

Nexus 5 family page

As we lay in the aftermath of today’s big announcements (Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9), I think we can now officially call it in: we aren’t going to see a Nexus 5 refresh for 2014. This may come as the biggest let down for those that felt Google’s new gargantuan-sized Nexus 6 phablet was simply too unwieldy, but as we all saw today, Google didn’t surprise the world with a brand new Nexus 5.

Earlier today we told you guys about the Nexus 5 (along with the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10) showing as “out of inventory” in the Google Play Store, suggesting that the Nexus 6 would soon replace the smaller handset. But is that really the case? Let us now divert your attention to the newly remodeled Google Nexus homepage showcasing — not only the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player — but the Nexus 5 as well. The question you should ask is why would Google go through the trouble of creating a completely new homepage for a device that’s supposed to now be “obsolete?” Simple. Because it’s not.

Although Google hasn’t actually come out and said anything, it seems as if they will continue offering the Nexus 5 in the Google Play Store as a smaller, low priced Nexus option which makes perfect sense. In the event they wanted to refresh some of the device’s specs, offering up a 64GB model or simply dropping the price another $50 would be alright by us given how well the Nexus 5 has aged the past year. What do you guys think?

[Nexus 5 on Google Play]

Watch the Nexus 6 get unboxed in under 6 seconds [VIDEO]

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 01:16 PM PDT

Des Smith T-Mobile Nexus 6

T-Mobile Senior Product Manager Des Smith is back with yet another one of his early unboxings, this time showing off the box that his Nexus 6 test unit arrived in. To be clear, this isn’t the final “retail ready” Nexus 6 box for T-Mobile, but if nothing else, it does give is a hint of what to expect for the unlocked model at least.

It’s interesting to see the box is almost pure white aside from the red stickers on the side to keep everything sealed shut. A big “6” indention can be found on the front but other than that, well… it’s a box. The T-Mobile Nexus 6 will be arriving at T-Mobile on November 12th, so if you’re interested on picking up the soon-to-be best phablet on the market, better mark your calendars.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 01:08 PM PDT


Oversized smartphones, endearingly referred to as phablets, were once seen as outrageous monstrosities procured by only a select few in a niche crowd. The poster boy for the large form factor has long been Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Now in its fourth iteration, it has developed a large and loyal following while Samsung has diligently crafted and honed the product, simultaneously helping define the category.

Competitors have followed, most notably Apple, who have finally arrived on the scene with the iPhone 6 Plus in hopes of stealing Samsung’s thunder. Worse things could happen: they’ve also drawn mainstream consumer attention to larger screened phones as a whole. With a four year head start, does the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 retain it’s rightful place atop the smartphone elite? That’s the question we tackle in this comprehensive review.

Design & Build

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has finally matured, ditching the cheap plastic wrapper from previous Notes and replacing it with a premium aluminum frame that a device of this caliber deserves. Despite growing slightly – it’s millimeters larger and grams heavier – it feels more compact and sturdy than ever, assisted by a more sleek, refined, and polished design than it’s predecessors.


The faux leather back? It’s still there, but it looks much more seamless and realistic, and gone is the leather stitching that formerly bordered the exterior shell. Some may still complain about the plastic back, but Samsung has done a much better job masking the material, and the fact remains that this choice allows for a removable cover providing access to additional memory, a battery, and SIM card.


Rather than a solid colored front face with a slight brushed look, Samsung has opted to embed subtle black stripes across a dark grey face. Better or worse is arbitrary, but it does create a weird effect where it overlaps with the illuminated backlit capacitive buttons.

The Note 4 also trades some of its straighter edges for graceful curves, partly for visual appeal but also to improve structural integrity. The corners of the phone flare slightly on the left and right, providing reinforcement for drops and accidents. Stronger curves around the headset jack, USB port, and S Pen add a nice touch.


Samsung has nudged the volume rocker and power button down a tad, which won’t be noticeable to most, but could make reaching these ever-important assets with one-hand a little easier. They’ve also been given some contour and silver lining to fit Samsung’s new premium theme.

As a Note 3 owner who doesn’t use cases, I found the plastic chrome wrap to be pretty susceptible to scratching, wear, and tear. At least on the surface, the Note 4 seems like a more resilient device, but it’s hard to know how 1 year of use will treat its decor. Scuffing up this beauty would cause much more heartache.


You’ll also find that the speaker has moved from the bottom of the Note 3 to the back of the Note 4. This may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but a tiny bump on the speaker grill creates the smallest of gaps when laid flat, allowing audio to escape and vibrate. The sound on the Note 4 is loud and full enough to make it a non-factor, but I must admit that I’ll miss cupping my hand around the edge of the phone to aim the audio my way when watching videos. The only thing better here would be front facing speakers.

The Galaxy Note 4 is a gorgeous Goliath, taking everything that was right about the Note 3 and graduating it. From the looks of it, the Note 4 is like the teenage boy whose parent’s already loved him, but are now proud to finally see him become a man. Now let’s find out what that man is made of…

Hardware & Specs

Considering the Galaxy Note 3 was already an industry front runner, Samsung had a tall order to impress consumers with spec improvements. Although there are no shocking surprises in the Note 4, the device improves in pretty much every area possible, taking great hardware and making it greater.

The show stopper on the Note 4 is it’s screen- a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display that is an absolute beauty. For those wondering, Quad HD means it can display four 1280 x 720 HD images on the screen at once! That’s possible due to a resolution of 2560 by 1440, an improvement most naked eyes won’t be able to fully appreciate. I’ve often maintained that Samsung makes the most gorgeous displays and the Note 4 is the most gorgeous of the gorgeous.


We’re not the only ones who think so: according to DisplayMate not only does the Note 4 have the highest resolution of any smartphone on the market, it also has the brightest display, incredible scores in power efficiency, great performance at various viewing angles, accurate color profiles, and the list goes on. We can’t say enough good things about the Galaxy Note 4 screen. But if you want to know more, see for yourself.

The Note 4 is powered by a 2.7 GHz QuadCore processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory (expandable by MicroSD), immediately making it one of the most powerful devices on the market. That power is supported by a 3220 mAh battery, giving it the juice necessary to get the typical user through a full day. Not that it matters, but the Note 4 battery is an interestingly skinny shape compared to the typical mobile phone battery.


As expected, the Note 4 also has an upgraded camera, both front and rear. In addition to increasing the rear camera from 13MP to 16MP and front camera from 2MP to 3.7MP, Samsung has added some software features to improve the experience. It’s also got all the connectivity features you’d imagine including 4G, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, MHL3.0, IR Blaster, Accelerometer, Gyroscope and beyond.

Two noticeable additions to the Galaxy Note 4 are a fingerprint scanner and UV sensor, the former of which was introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the latter of which is brand new. Integrated with S Health, you can now read UV levels directly from the sun to determine recommended skin protection.

These bells and whistles are nice additions to the Note 4, but there are also noticeable absences from the spec sheet and other upgrades we’d hoped to see but didn’t, namely the backtracking from USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 and lack of IP67 weatherproofing found on the Galaxy S5.

The only real advantage of USB 3.0 over 2.0 is enhanced data transfer speeds, something approximately twelve people will miss. Although USB 3.0 also offers quicker USB charging when connected via laptop, that benefit is completely overshadowed by other improvements Samsung has made to the Note 4’s battery life (more on that later).

The lack of a water resistant body is the most disappointing non-upgrade of the Note 4, but it’s difficult to be too critical of this decision. The feature itself is relatively new to the Galaxy line, competing devices in the same class don’t have the feature, and let’s not forgot that the Note 4 has one huge difference that would make water proofing it a much more difficult task: the S Pen.

Next: S Pen Stylus

You can now pre-order the Sony Xperia Z3 from T-Mobile, free copy of DRIVECLUB for the PS4 included

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 12:39 PM PDT

T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 Preorder page

By now, it’s no secret the Sony Xperia Z3 is making its way to T-Mobile. Both Sony and T-Mobile revealed their plans to offer up the device on America’s 4th largest network a few weeks ago (along with Verizon’s version of the Sony Xperia Z2, the Sony Xperia Z3v). With it’s amazing build quality and top of the line hardware specs, there’s a good chance this is the Android device many of you are looking to buy/upgrade to and starting today, you can now officially pre-order the device from T-Mobile.

To help make the deal sweeter, T-Mobile is even throwing in a free copy of the PS4 title DRIVECLUB. Why a PS4 title you ask? Simple. The Xperia Z3 will soon offer PS4 Remote Play for streaming all your PS4 games to the smartphone. A $60 value, if you’ve got a PS4 laying around and planned on picking up a Sony Xperia Z3 anyway — you’ve just found one helluva reason to pre-order. Here’s how the deal works:

  • Purchase the new Xperia Z3 during the pre-sale period from October 14 to October 28, 2014.
  • When you receive your Xperia Z3, redeem your offer by entering your information and uploading images of your sales receipt and the IMEI number from your Xperia Z3 box. You must redeem your offer by November 14, 2014.
  • Once your information is verified, you’ll be emailed a promo code to claim your digital copy of DRIVECLUBTM no later than November 21, 2014.

You can find T-Mobile’s Sony Xperia Z3 pre-order page here.

[Sony Xperia Z3 DRIVECLUB offer]

T-Mobile confirms WiFi calling for the Nexus 6

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 12:04 PM PDT

nexus 6 front profile

Google or Motorola didn’t address this aspect of their hot new smartphone when announcing it earlier this morning, but many of you were wondering if WiFi calling would be supported. Thankfully we have that answer by way of T-Mobile as the UNcarrier has announced the Nexus 6 would support WiFi calling on their network. Unfortunately the feature won’t be available immediately after launch as they’ve given an “early 2015″ estimation for its arrival.

They went out of their way to remind us that this is the first Nexus phone with that functionality thanks to new APIs and enhancements in Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’re not sure if the same will ring true for other carriers once the device hits store shelves, but considering American carriers will all be receiving identical SKUs of the Nexus 6 it should technically be possible on other carriers. That’s great news for sure (even if a hefty price tag has put you off on buying one for now).

[via T-Mobile]

Here’s the final, official changelog for Android 5.0 Lollipop

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 11:24 AM PDT

In case you weren’t paying attention to Google I/O back when Android L (now known as Android 5.0 Lollipop) was first introduced, Google’s offered a nice reminder of what’s new in the way of a pretty long changelog. Below you’ll find all the new changes, features and additions to Android 5.0 that Google deems noteworthy. The list doesn’t really throw any surprises our way compared to the update’s first outing earlier this year, but it’s nice to get a refresher.


Obvious highlights are Material Design and the new design language used throughout the operating system, support for Android TV, ART runtime by default, new battery saving features and a lot more. Be sure to read over the changelog below, and have a look at Google’s Lollipop site if you’re interested in seeing more of it illustrated in beautifully crafted renders. Now let’s just hope it doesn’t take long for everyone to receive the goods in update form starting later this month.

Android 5.0 Lollipop changelog:

Material Design

  • A bold, colorful, and responsive UI design for consistent, intuitive experiences across all your devices
  • Responsive, natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and familiar visual elements make it easier to navigate your device
  • Vivid new colors, typography, and edge-to-edge imagery help to focus your attention


  • New ways to control when and how you receive messages – only get interrupted when you want to be
  • View and respond to messages directly from your lock screen. Includes the ability to hide sensitive content for these notifications
  • For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device's volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through
  • With Lollipop, incoming phone calls won't interrupt what you're watching or playing. You can choose to answer the call or just keep doing what you're doing
  • Control the notifications triggered by your apps; hide sensitive content and prioritize or turn off the app's notifications entirely
  • More intelligent ranking of notifications based on who they're from and the type of communication. See all your notifications in one place by tapping the top of the screen


  • Power for the long haul
  • A battery saver feature which extends device use by up to 90 mins
  • Estimated time left to fully charge is displayed when your device is plugged in
  • Estimated time left on your device before you need to charge again can now be found in battery settings


  • Keep your stuff safe and sound
  • New devices come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices
  • SELinux enforcing for all applications means even better protection against vulnerabilities and malware
  • Use Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car

Device Sharing

  • More flexible sharing with family and friends
  • Multiple users for phones. If you forget your phone, you still can call any of your friends (or access any of your messages, photos etc.) by simply logging into another Android phone running Lollipop. Also perfect for families who want to share a phone, but not their stuff
  • Guest user for phones and tablets means you can lend your device and not your stuff
  • Screen pinning: pin your screen so another user can access just that content without messing with your other stuff

New Quick Settings

  • Get to the most frequently used settings with just two swipes down from the top of the screen
  • New handy controls like flashlight, hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls
  • Easier on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location
  • Manually adjust your brightness for certain conditions. Then, adaptive brightness will kick in based on ambient lighting


  • A better internet connection everywhere and more powerful Bluetooth low energy capabilities
  • Improved network handoffs resulting in limited interruption in connectivity. For example, continue your video chat or VoIP calls without interruption as you leave the house and switch from your home Wi-Fi back to cellular
  • Improved network selection logic so that your device connects only if there is a verified internet connection on Wi-Fi
  • Power-efficient scanning for nearby Bluetooth low energy ("BLE") devices like wearables or beacons
  • New BLE peripheral mode

Runtime and Performance

  • A faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience
  • ART, an entirely new Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness
  • Up to 4x performance improvements
  • Smoother UI for complex, visually rich applications
  • Compacting backgrounded apps and services so you can do more at once
  • Support for 64 bit devices, like the Nexus 9, brings desktop class CPUs to Android
  • Support for 64-bit SoCs using ARM, x86, and MIPS-based cores
  • Shipping 64-bit native apps like Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Google Play Music, and more
  • Pure Java language apps run as 64-bit apps automatically


  • Bolder graphics and improved audio, video, and camera capabilities
  • Lower latency audio input ensuring that music and communication applications that have strict delay requirements provide an amazing realtime experience
  • Multi-channel audio stream mixing means professional audio applications can now mix up to eight channels including 5.1 and 7.1 channels
  • USB Audio support means you can plug USB microphones, speakers, and a myriad of other USB audio devices like amplifiers and mixers into your Android device
  • OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android extension pack brings Android to the forefront of mobile graphics putting it on par with desktop and console class performance
  • A range of new professional photography features for Android Lollipop that let you
  • Capture full resolution frames around 30 fps
  • Support raw formats like YUV and Bayer RAW
  • Control capture settings for the sensor, lens, and flash per individual frame
  • Capture metadata like noise models and optical information
  • State of the art video technology with support for HEVC main profile to allow for UHD 4K 10-bit video playback, tunneled hardware video decoding to save power and improved HLS support for streaming

OK Google

  • Easy access to information and performing tasks
  • Even if your screen is off, you can say “OK Google” on devices with digital signal processing support such as Nexus 6 and Nexus 9
  • Talk to Google on the go to get quick answers, send a text, get directions and more

Android TV

  • Support for living room devices
  • User interface adapted for the living room
  • Less browsing, more watching with personalized recommendations for content like movies and TV shows
  • Voice search for Google Play, YouTube and supported apps so you can just say what you want to see
  • Console-style Android gaming on your TV with a gamepad
  • Cast your favorite entertainment apps to your big screen with Google Cast support for Android TV devices


  • Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities
  • Boost text contrast or invert colors to improve legibility
  • Adjust display to improve color differentiation

Now in 68+ languages

  • 15 new additions
  • Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu

Device set up

  • Get up and running in no-time
  • Tap & go: instant set up of your new Android phone or tablet by simply tapping it to your old one (requires NFC)
  • Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can bring over your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old Android devices

And a whole lot more

  • Tap & pay: easily manage multiple payment apps by quickly switching between them
  • Print preview and page range support
  • Revamped display for battery, Bluetooth, data usage, and Wi-Fi settings and new search functionality
  • New device level feedback for Nexus devices in Settings > about phone > send feedback
  • Easier sharing with
  • Improved ranking of your options within the share menu
  • Android Beam: lets you share a file with someone nearby by gently tapping the two devices together
  • Where supported by the hardware, your device will wake up as soon as you pick it up or tap the screen twice
  • Improved hardware keyboard accessory support including support for multilingual, emoji input, search key, and improved app and system key chords

Motorola commits to bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to the Moto X, G, E, and DROIDs

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Motorola Moto X G E Android 5.0 Lollipop

After Google’s big Android 5.0 Lollipop announcement this morning it’s no surprise to find OEMs (and soon, carriers) voicing their support for Google’s latest and greatest update. In a blog post, Motorola is now officially first out the gate, committing to bring Android 5.0 to their vast product portfolio, covering flagship, mid-range, and even their low-end devices.

Here’s the full list of Motorola handsets you can expect to receive Android 5.0 Lollipop in the coming months:

Moto X (1st Gen. & 2nd Gen.)
Moto G (1st Gen. & 2nd Gen.)
Moto G with 4G LTE
Moto E
Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini

Motorola’s strategy of offering a near stock Android interface — as well as unbundled Motorola apps and features — seems to be working in their favor. As we saw with last year’s KitKat release, Motorola wasn’t too far behind Nexus devices in updating many of their handsets, even those on Verizon.

Of course, Google hasn’t publicly made available the Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK (it’s not available until October 17th), so Motorola’s hands are tied at the moment. Stay tuned.


Watch the Android Lollipop statue go up on Google’s lawn [VIDEO]

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 11:09 AM PDT

Lollipop statue

It wouldn’t be the launch of a new version of Android without the unveiling of the corresponding statue. For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, Google has statues for every version of Android on the lawn in front of building 44. Every dessert from cupcake to KitKat has been captured in the form of a statue, and now it’s Android 5.0 Lollipop’s turn.

The statue is simply a green bugdroid holding a lollipop while making a “peace” sign. Google has used the same bugdroid their new “Be Together. Not the same.” campaign videos, and in all of their social media logos. We expected to see something more like a lollipop with eyes and antennas, but this is cool too. Check out the video below to see the unveiling of the statue on Google’s campus.

UPDATE: Post has been updated with the official video below.

[via Alex Ruiz]

Will you buy the Nexus 6? [POLL]

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 11:06 AM PDT


It wasn't the flashiest of unveilings, but the long-awaited Nexus 6 is finally here. We won't be able to get our hands on it for a few more weeks, however, which gives us plenty of time to decide if it's the next must-have Android handset.

The latest Nexus has a lot going for it in that area, the most prominent being its massive 6-inch AMOLED display with its crisp QHD resolution. The phone also includes a powerful Snapdragon 805 SoC with Adreno 420 GPU, a heaping helping of RAM at 3GB, and a 13MP rear camera with such enhancements as optical image stabilization. Throw in Turbo Charge for a quick battery boost and the pièce de résistance, Android Lollipop, and it would appear there is a new king in the Android realm.

Not so fast. The Nexus 6 won't be for everyone. Its phablet form factor could turn away buyers wary about upgrading to a phone with such a large footprint. And for fans of low-cost unlocked devices, the N6 seems ready to buck the trend with Motorola revealing an off-contract price of $650. All major US carriers have plans to host the Nexus 6 on their networks, however. This fact, at least, will give buyers subsidized options to alleviate the high cost of going unlocked.

The handset won't go up for pre-order until later this month (a specific date hasn't been announced), but we want to get your knee-jerk reaction to Google's announcement. Is the Nexus 6 your next Android device?

Motorola states Nexus 6’s off-contract price as $650 [OUCH]

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

nexus 6 portrait lollipop

Well, guys, the Nexus 6 is here. It looks great. And it’s even coming to all United States carriers. So how much will it cost? Well, if Motorola’s blog post is any indication then off-contract folks won’t be too happy — they’re slapping on a minimum suggested retail price of $650.

[Update]: And yes, that is the base Google Play price, so don’t expect to be able to find it cheaper anywhere else.

That price tag is typical of any high-end flagship phablet in this day and age, but the Nexus line was always the exception to the rule. Nexus phones have traditionally been offered for much cheaper than the specs would have you think, and it made off-contract life much easier for those who preferred going the Nexus route.

Of course, this paves the way to more contract-based or finance-based purchases for folks who can’t buy a Nexus full price and we’re sure carriers will certainly be offering reasonable, affordable paths to getting the phone for anyone who can’t spare more than $600 on a whim. For the rest of you? Well, you have a good couple of weeks to make your mind up (and to fill your wallet up) as the Nexus 6 won’t be dropping until early November at the earliest.

Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & other top Android flagships [CHART]

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 09:49 AM PDT

Nexus 6

The long-awaited arrival of the Nexus 6 is finally here. Like previous Nexus devices, the 6th Nexus comes with a lot of hype. It has been leaked and rumored tons of times over the past few months. Today we can finally call it official. Of course, the Nexus 6 is not the only big Android phone in the world. As per usual we’ve put the Nexus up against the best devices on the market right now. Let’s see who wins!

The Phablets

nexus 6 phablets

The Nexus 6 is a very, very big phone. So big that it doesn’t even fall into the “phone” category. With a giant 5.9-inch display it would only be fair to compare the Nexus 6 to the top phablets. Right now there are two other obvious choices for people who require a giant screen: the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and the iPhone 6 Plus.


The Nexus 6 has the biggest display and the highest resolution among the phablet group. Resolution is very important with such a large display. The Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus displays look great, but the Nexus 6 should look truly remarkable.


In terms of horsepower, the Nexus 6 joins the Note 4 as one of the few devices with the Snapdragon 805 processor. This quad-core beast can run up to 2.7GHz. Apple doesn’t like to give specific specs, but you can bet the 805 blows the socks out of the Apple A8. “She’s fast enough for you, old man.”


This is the one area that the other devices may have the Nexus 6 beat. The iPhone 6 Plus only has a 8MP camera, but it’s arguably the best on the market. The Note 4 has a 16MP shooter and equally as impressive photos. The Nexus 6 has a 13MP camera, but Motorola cameras are usually not the cream of the crop.

The Phones

nexus 6 phones

The Nexus 6 may be shaped like a tablet, but it is indeed a phone. We would be remiss if we didn’t put it up against the likes of the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, etc. Though, we do have to wonder, have Google and Motorola sized themselves out of this market? Phablets are cool, but the majority of people still rock the devices in this chart. Let’s see how they compare.


The Nexus 6 mops up in display size, but surprisingly these phones put up more of a fight when it comes to resolution. The LG G3 matches the Nexus 6’s 2560×1440 screen resolution despite having a 5.5-inch display. The displays on all of these devices look great.


The Nexus 6 stands head and shoulders above this crowd when it comes to processor. The S5, One M8, Moto X, and G3 all run the Snapdragon 801, while the Nexus 6 sports the shiny new 805. It packs a mighty punch.


There’s not much else to say about the camera that we didn’t say above. You can expect the Nexus 6 camera to perform on the same playing field as the new Moto X. In this chart that puts it below the Galaxy S5, One M8, and maybe even the LG G3. We’ll have more in-depth analysis of the camera once we get it.


What do you think about the Nexus 6? In terms of specs alone it beats all of these devices in almost every category. However, specs are only part of the story. We’ll have the rest of the story when we put it through its paces in our full review.

Nexus 6 to be made available on all 5 major carriers in the United States

Posted: 15 Oct 2014 09:40 AM PDT


Well, we sure didn’t see this one coming! Google announced the Nexus 6 (alongside the Nexus 9 and the Nexus Player) this morning, and we learned that you won’t need to do any carrier hopping to get your hands on one — it’s being made available at all five major United States carriers! That list includes AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular, in case you’re not in the know.

We were especially worried about seeing the device on CDMA-based carriers such as Verizon and Sprint. Verizon was especially one to be worried about considering their shoddy history with Nexus. It’s nice to know that no one on any of these carriers will have to lose sleep over migration plans in the weeks to come.

We still don’t have solid pricing or availability information just yet, but stick with us as we dig for more info on Google’s biggest phone yet (and we mean that in both the most literal and most figurative way possible). Let us know if you’ll be looking to grab one once it makes its way to your network of choice.