Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Google and Android Continue to Grow and Grow and...


It's October! And while alot of the nation associates October with Fall or even Halloween, Android lovers also know it as "Nexus Month". Nexus is the name of the mobile line that is overseen by Google, but hardware built by other manufacturers that Google will partner with. In this year's case, they partnered with Motorola to make the Nexus 6 smartphone.

It's also the month of the announcement of the new version of Android operating system. This years iteration is version 5.0 and will be better known as Android Lollipop. Quick history, since Android version 1.5 Google has alphabetically nicknamed Android after sweet treats, starting with C for Cupcake. This first commercial phone released with Android OS was the HTC G1 on T-Mobile and it was running version 1.6 or Android Donut. Fast forward to 2014. Six years and nine iterations later, just last week, Google announced version 5.0 Lollipop.

The reason why Google partners with hardware manufactures is so that they can work together to build hardware that will showcase Android in it's purest form. This year on the Nexus 6, Google has asked Motorola to build the largest Nexus yet. With a 5.96 inch screen, the Nexus 6 is the largest Nexus phone ever released. Emphasis on the word "phone", because Google also releases tablets, but we'll talk about those in another post.

So just how far has the Nexus line of phones grown over the years? Here is a chart that outlines the major differences between the first Android phone and the latest Android phone.


HTC G1
Nexus 6
Released
September 2008
October 2014
Dimensions
HxWxD
4.61 x 2.19 x 0.67
6.27 x 3.27 x 0.40
Weight
158 grams
184 grams
Display
3.2 inches
5.96 inches
Resolution
320x480
1440x2560
Memory
256 MB
32/64 GB
RAM
192 MB
3 GB
Camera
3.15 MP (back only)
13 MP (back) 2 MP (front)
Android OS
1.6 Donut
5.0 Lollipop
Battery
1150 mAh
3220 mAh

How about that? It's still a bit overwhelming how Android phones have changed in 6 years. My son is six years old, and he's still my baby. Android isn't a baby anymore. To get "dog" years, we multiply the dog's age by 7. If there was such a thing as "tech" years, what would you multiply by to get the true age of Android? There is no doubt about one thing though, in 2010, I heard people say 4.3 inches was way too big for a phone. Now, this year, just 4 years later, both Apple and Google have come to realize that the vast majority of buyers like bigger screens.

As a general consumer, the Nexus line hasn't been that prevalent to you. That's because for the most part Google sold it directly from their Play Store, off contract, and at a low end price. It's focus was to developer to use as a reference device for building new applications. Google switched gears this year. The Nexus 6 is not considered simply as a developer reference device. In fact, it will be available on on four major US carriers, on contract, and assumed at a lower subsidized price. This is merely speculation, but compared to other large screened high end devices, I'd expect $249 - $299 on contract.

The Google/Motorola Nexus 6 is expected to go up for pre-order on Wednesday October 29th with shipping expected to take place the first half of November. T-Mobile already confirmed November 12 for theirs, so it's safe to expect something similar from the other three.

What do you think? Does a 6 inch Quad HD display wet your taste buds or is it just too stinkin' big? Sound off in the comments. Personally, I'm on the fence. It's bound to be a beautiful phone.

Thanks to gsmarena.com for the great info used to build the chart above.

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