New Nexus Phones, Chromecast & More: Google Opens The Hardware Chest

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If your a fan of Android and generally a member of Team Google, yesterday was your early Christmas. Yesterday Google held a event in California where they announced a ton of new products. Front and center to these new products where new Nexus phones and new Chromecast devices. Below is a recap of some of these new product releases.

New Nexus Phones

Nexus 5X

nexus_5xThis phone many have been waiting for since the launch of the Nexus 5 back in 2013. The Nexus 5 was one Nexus phones loved by quite a few people. I myself included. When the next Nexus to come out was the Nexus 6, the size was much larger than desired by some. Now Google has released the Nexus 5X, which comes in a 5.2 inch frame and a host of new features. The Nexus 5X packs in some higher end specs into a plastic body with a 1080P display. The Nexus 5X will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, has a 12.3MP camera on the back and the 5MP camera up front. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor and 2GB of RAM, it isn’t at the top of the pack for Android phones but will definitely be a decent pick up for anyone who wants one of the purest Android devices out. The Nexus 5X feature list is rounded out by it’s fingerprint sensor, Micro USB Type-C (with quicker charging ability, 3.8 hours of use from a 10 min charge), a 2,700mAh battery, and comes in either 16GB or 32GB storage configurations. The Nexus 5X will start off at $379.00

Nexus 6P

nexus_6pReplacing last years Nexus 6, the new Nexus 6P is a first time and only real entry by maker Huawei. And this is huge both in news and really in size. The Nexus 6P will come at 5.7 inches in size. Unlike the Nexus 5X, the 6P comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB storage configurations. I really wish the 5X had these storage options as well. However with a higher price point, the Nexus 6P has just a little more to offer, with a starting price of $499.00. The Nexus 6P has aluminum body with dual front facing speakers and a 3450mAh battery. The front camera 8MP with the back having 12.3MP. The 6P also has a fingerprint sensor which Google is calling Nexus Imprint, and uses USB-C for charging/syncing.

New Chromecast Devices

chromecast_2This time around Google has refreshed its very well selling Chromecast. With the original selling some 20 million units, Google has revamped the looked of the Chromecast and now will be releasing the 2nd generation. Still keeping the great price at $35 dollars, the 2nd gen adds in support for 802.11ac Wifi, as well as the 5GHz channel, and 3 antennas making the Chromecast 2 even faster than the original.

The most noticeable change isn’t internally. The Chromecast 2 changes physically as well with a much smaller circular body with an integrated HDMI cable. Not only that, it’s now available in three colors – Black, Coral, and Lemonade. Coral and Lemonade are exclusively sold through Google.

chromecast_audioThe biggest surprise however was the announcement of a second Chromecast, the Chromecast Audio. Instead of connecting to your TV, the Chromecast Audio connects to your existing speaker setup making it entirely wireless. You’ll be able to easily stream music from your Android smartphone or tablet directly to your speakers. You do this via 3.5mm audio out, or with the included RCA and optical outputs. Chromecast Audio also costs $35 but only comes in black (but if you notice, it’s designed to look like a vinyl record, so it makes sense that it only comes in black).

Google Play Music Family Plan

Speaking of music, Google introduced a new family plan for their Google Play Music service at a ridiculously low price. Usually, a single subscriber would have to pay $9.99/month for service, but with the new family plan, you pay $14.99 – for up to 6 users! That’s some crazy talk right there. Google hasn’t announced when the new family plan will be available other than saying “later this year.”

That’s pretty much it for the hardware side of things, aside from a new Pixel C tablet/laptop hybrid from Google. I’m not mentioning the Pixel C though because it all honesty, it’s not a very interesting product. It’s basically just a large tablet that runs Android with an optional docking keyboard.

Like with most companies, some things are a home run, others don’t quite make it to all the bases.