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Google announces two Nexus phones, Android 6.0

Matt Hamblen | Oct. 1, 2015
Android refresh -- called "Marshmallow" -- seen as improvement on container software for business use.

"Nexus gives the market a direct-from-Google option, which I think only keeps the market stronger," Dulaney said.

While the new Nexus cameras may not be the central incentive for business buyers, there are many business users who will take advantage of the 12.3-megapixel rear camera in the Nexus 6P and the 12-megapixel rear camera in the Nexus 5X. Both cameras also feature larger pixel sizes for better photos, larger even than the iPhone 6S Plus, Google announced.

Hundreds of Marshmallow features were first announced at Google I/O in May. Google said its rear fingerprint scanner will support Android Pay authorizations and will unlock the phones in 600 milliseconds, with a very low failure rate. The fingerprint reader will also "learn" each time it is used to improve functionality.

Further, Google said the new phones will reduce the amount of preloaded software, as a response to users' complaints that too many Android phones have too much bloatware. Google didn't say how much preloaded software will be provided.

One feature, called Now on Tap, will combine Google search capabilities with multiple features. In a quick demonstration, Google showed how a long press on the home button from within a search for a restaurant opened up added information, such as directions to the restaurant or Yelp reviews and even the ability to quickly create a calendar event.

Because of Marshmallow, the batteries in both phones will last longer on a charge, with up to 30% more life with the screen off, Google said. The Nexus 6P boasts a big 3,450-mAh battery, while the 5X has a 2,700-mAh battery.

One new feature that business users might find especially valuable is Nexus Protect, which offers a two-year warranty for mechanical breakdown as well as accidental damage. Previously, Nexus had a one-year manufacturer's warranty only. Nexus Protect will cost $65 for the Nexus 5X and $89 for the Nexus 6P, and users can file a claim for a broken phone any time, then receive a replacement device the next day, Google said.

Google also charges $30/month for Project Fi, now expanded to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Launched in April on the Nexus 6 smartphone, Project Fi combines cellular and Wi-Fi network services for its users, and uses the Sprint and T-Mobile cellular networks.

 

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