back to article New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Google’s latest Nexus smartphones, the 5X and the 6P, were announced last month, and while there's a lot to be said for the upgrades, there's some unfortunate omissions. It has been five years since the first Nexus smartphone was unveiled, and since then the Chocolate Factory (and assorted hardware partners) has used the brand …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...

    ...can I put Windows on it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      No, but you can smear it in shit if you like to achieve the same result.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Really?

        Sounds like the shit is preloaded.....

    2. N13L5

      Without MicroSD slot, that's not even a piss in the sand

      Its like who cares what Google makes if its only for people who never travel, but always stay in their little high bandwidth area between work and suburbia...

      I travel, so I can largely only buy Japanese or Chinese phones now: Dual SIM, Micro SD slot. Useful stuff.

      .

      And weren't all the pundits obsessed with metal? The entire retarded hall of mirrors was calling for Samsung to get rid of that "tacky plastic", even though Poly-carbonate kinda beats metal when it comes to your phone surviving a drop. In the process, Samsung lost its trademark features people were buying those things for.

      But not a word of complaint against this tacky plastic Nexus? It does look like something you bought at Target or Walmart. Cheap.

      So its neither technically useful, nor does it make a decent accessory. Sit down, Google, thanks for playing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Without MicroSD slot, that's not even a piss in the sand

        Sorry, but you are an idiot. You don't try and sync every bit of digital stuff you have ever owned onto a SD card. Not only is that increasingly impossible, it's also a REALLY bad idea, lose your phone, give out a copy of everything you have ever owned.

        The smart way, is only sync the stuff you want locally. You put all your stuff in the Google Cloud (using 2 factor authentication of course, so nobody can get their mitts on it), and then SYNC (pin, whenever you want to call it), the bits you want to access offline.

        For me this means I have about 20 music playlists (including the everything rated playlist), and a few documents and gmail flags.

        a 32GB nexus is more than ample for me, I travel all the time with my work, longhaul and shorthaul. I am gold status with both Oneworld and StarAlliance. I have NEVER felt I was disconnected, but then I spent a little bit of effort upfront organizing things to work this way.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along, no SD storage to be seen here.

    1. GregC
      Holmes

      It's a Nexus

      What were you expecting?

      These are devices in the Google Nexus line. They don't have external storage, and haven't done since the Galaxy Nexus at least. If that's a problem for you, then the Nexus line isn't for you.

      Personally I'm more annoyed that they've dropped the wireless charging - if I decide to replace my 5 with a 5X, I end up with a wireless charger with nothing to charge.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a Nexus

        Greg,

        I'm rather mystified as to why you first berate me for bemoaning the lack of a particular feature then proceed moan about the absence of another particular feature ?

        I'd very much like to buy a pure android experience phone that has decent update support (without ROM faffing) however Google's rabid Appelesque stance of not including SD storage prevents that.

        As for lack of wireless charging, why don't you heed your own advice and the Nexus is not for you ?

        Just saying.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: It's a Nexus

          > I'm rather mystified as to why you first berate me for bemoaning the lack of a particular feature then proceed moan about the absence of another particular feature ?

          Presumably because the 5 and 6 actually had wireless charging, as opposed to not a single Nexus having a memory card slot

          1. dotdavid

            Re: It's a Nexus

            "as opposed to not a single Nexus having a memory card slot"

            Not true. The first and last* Nexus I bought was the Nexus One, and that had an SD slot.

            * due to the lack of SD support on subsequent models, admittedly

        2. GregC

          Re: It's a Nexus

          I'd like to think I wasn't berating :) Just observing that lack of an SD slot is pretty much a given with a Nexus - it would almost be more worthy of comment if they were to suddenly introduce one now...

          Wireless charging was a feature on the previous generation of handsets that has now been removed, as opposed to a non-feature continuing to be absent. I may well decide it's not for me on that basis, haven't decided yet.

          Also just saying.

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: It's a Nexus

            I got a Nexus 6 as my newest phone and like it just fine. I looked up the spec on the 6P when I first saw ads for it and realized pretty quickly that it is a new release in the same line and not an upgrade (much as the model number would suggest). The 6P has some features the 6 does not and vice versa, but neither is clearly better than the other. As far as I can see, the choice will come down to which feature set works best for the prospective customer. Providing more choices in the same line of phones seems like a good idea from Google's point of view as they might be able to attract people for whom the 6 would not have been as desirable without having to do a complete product redesign.

          2. Robert Grant

            Re: It's a Nexus

            Sounds like you both Lumia 735.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: It's a Nexus

        "What were you expecting?"

        Google has been taking the Nexus lineup upmarket so most people would be expecting more memory or at least a storage slot. Neither is unreasonable because 16GB is cutting it fine given the size of apps and the space required for photos & videos.

        1. GregC

          Re: Google has been taking the Nexus lineup upmarket

          That's only really true of the 6/6P though, the 5X is still priced in the mid-range.

          I agree that 16GB is cutting it fine (in fact I'd go so far as insufficient), but there is also a 32GB 5X, and the 6P goes up to 128GB - just as a high end phone should.

          Just to clarify something - I'd love it if the Nexus range had card slots, but Google made a very clear statement back in 2012 that they weren't going to, and I haven't heard anything since to suggest that might change. That's one in the "cons" list for every Nexus, and when looking at a new phone that gets weighed up, alongside any others, against the "pros". Personally I can live with no SD on a 32GB phone, and I've never yet come close to running out of space. YMMV.

      3. Bluto Nash

        Re: It's a Nexus

        Absolutely agree. Both my N5 and N7 have wireless charging ability, and I have a couple of wireless pads sitting in strategic places around the house so I can simply drop either of them on it when I'm nearby. It's extremely convenient and ensures that my devices are always topped up. "Charge early and often" as suggested by the article is a fine idea, but without a handy way to do so will be hard to attain. No wireless charging is likely a deal breaker for me. A shame, as I was looking forward to one of the new ones. I may just have to pick up a spare N5.

      4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: It's a Nexus

        So it'll screw up the hardware/firmware design sufficiently that it'll mishandle the flash memory that the entire device will become landfill-worthy slowness in just a couple years? Like they did with the original Nexus 7 tablet.

        Nexus scum!!!! They owe me a new tablet.

        "If you're going for Android, go to the source" <- BS. The Nexus brand is *rubbish*.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For every one person that cries about this non issue (my 32gb Nexus 5 is still really fast and ample free space), I hear way more moaning about having to move stuff between internal storage and external SD card.

      I prefer not having to deal with that nonsense. Nexus is by far the way to go.

  3. Peter 26
    WTF?

    Google draws a line in the sand?

    The title is Google draws a line in the sand, but then in the article you do not mention drawing a line in the sand anywhere. What are you referring to?

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Google draws a line in the sand?

      Something to do with etched silicon? Or is it a cloud computing term: I have trouble keeping up nowadays? :-)

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Google draws a line in the sand?

      A failed Google doodle?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consider the inverted pyramid of journalism, and put most important info first.

    "Google's latest smartphones, which won't have SD card readers, were announced last week..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Consider the inverted pyramid of journalism...

      "A device with a completely and utterly absent SD card reader, for updating social media and optionally speaking to distant people, in the form of a smartphone, was announced last week by Google..."

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      "Google's latest smartphones, which all lack an SD card slot in much the same way most other mobiles don't, were announced last week..."

  5. jaffa99

    Thin & flat isn't better

    "Huawei has managed to chop the thickness down from 10.1 to 7.3 mm, making it much easier to manipulate."

    The Nexus 6 (like other Motorola phones) has a curved back, while it might be 10.1 mm thick in the centre it's much thinner at the edges, the result is a device that's much more comfortable to hold than a thin flat phone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not what I expected from Google

    The only ones that seemed to have nailed the new generation phones so far seem to be Motorola with the new X.

    I will be replacing my phone early next year. Sony has a real statement Phone with the upcoming Z5 premium, but they're Always lagging behind with the latest Android fixes, and now they've decided my Z1 is too old to qualify for the new Droid release.

    Everyone else seems to be decidedly going for a Me-Too approach.

    Let's hope the new year will bring some new models worth looking at. Snap 820 phones look like being at least 9 more months away before general availability.

    The lumia 950 looks like a really good effort, but MS' new privacy politics (or lack thereof) don't inspire confidence. AND would require me to purchase around 100 Euro's worth of new apps.

    Ah yes...and then there's the upcoming Blackberry Priv...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Not what I expected from Google

      The Z5 and Z5 Compact have 20+Mp sensors which are said to be very good, though by default the phones save 8 Mp interpolated images - sensible enough. Some reviews say the Sony camera software is a bit slow, I don't know the effect of using any 3rd-party camera app.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not what I expected from Google

        "The Z5 and Z5 Compact have 20+Mp sensors which are said to be very good, though by default the phones save 8 Mp interpolated images"

        Opposite of interpolated; interpolated means fake upscaling by creating extra false pixels which are the average of the ones on either side. Sony are doing the opposite, i.e. downscaling and using a summation of pixels to reduce noise. The Z1 does this, nothing new.

        DxOMark rates the Z5 camera above the new iPhones, but I wouldn't buy one, due to the 810 SOC and the micro-USB. If there is a Z6, it may be the one to beat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not what I expected from Google

          The z5 is the best phone you can buy. It's got the 810 but with Sony legendary design and build so no thermal issues. DXO rate it 10 places higher up the camera rankings than the more expensive iPhone 6s dickhead edition.

          I also wouldn't trust this review, is stopped reading at the "The original Nexus 5 getting very long in the tooth by modern standards." Horsecrap. Mine is running really well on Android 6 thanks, and getting decent battery life still.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Not what I expected from Google

      I never thought I'd see the day when people thought that Google's privacy policies were more attractive than any other company's. Well done MS.

    3. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      @Peter R. 1 To be honest old chap whilst I hold no brief at all for the default settings.....

      ........in Win 10 (mobile or otherwise, Redmond should be ashamed of themselves).....

      "The lumia 950 looks like a really good effort, but MS' new privacy politics (or lack thereof) don't inspire confidence. AND would require me to purchase around 100 Euro's worth of new apps."

      ........anyone claiming that Mountain View's os respects privacy to a greater degree than the latest iteration of Windows has clearly not been reading their memos. Just look at Android's system apps and what they do if anyone is in any doubt. They define the "ring home" concept.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Peter R. 1 To be honest old chap whilst I hold no brief at all for the default settings.....

        A point very well taken, and compounded by the current google 'drive' tp prevent users from using add-blockers.

        My point, however -admittedly badly made - is that switching to new ecosystem has been made very much more unattractive (to me at least) by removing one of the reasons I would consider the move in the first place.

        Peter

        1. Arctic fox

          @Peter R. 1Re: " by removing one of the reasons"

          Indeed. There I feel Redmond have shot themselves in the foot by following Google's model. My point really is not in conflict with yours since I can well understand people feeling "well, who the hell should I choose then"?! It is not a good situation to be in where one in practice has little choice available in the market regarding something as important as privacy. One is in practice in the position of having to ignore it as a criterium when evaluating a purchase and that is not a healthy situation for the customer.

  7. msknight Silver badge

    QI and unlocked phon

    Does the double-tap require the phone to be unlocked first and, if not, what happens if you take a picture of a QI code with a locked phone?

    (we did notice that the HTC handsets we use for work, could take pictures without requiring being unlocked)

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: QI and unlocked phon

      Almost no phone requires unlocking for taking pictures. The assumption is that people want to take the picture now now now before little Johnny stops making that funny face, and unlocking goes in the way.

      QR codes (that's what you mean, right?) are not decoded by the standard camera app; you just end up with a picture of a QR code and the phone does nothing with it. You need to use a different app for taking pictures of QR codes and having the phone follow the link.

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: QI and unlocked phon

        You're perfectly right ... QR codes. I've just got Sandy Toksvig in my twitter feed. (taking over from Stephen Fry)

        I do find myself wondering how long it will be before someone thinks they'll make life easier for people and build the feature in to the camera application. Hmm.....

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: QI and unlocked phon

          >I do find myself wondering how long it will be before someone thinks they'll make life easier for people and build the feature [QR code recognition] in to the camera application

          With all the superfluous CP/GPU power smartphones pack these days, it can only be a matter of time. Or, more sensibly, the phone's photo gallery app automatically scans photos for QI codes and places any URL into the photo's metadata... as a user option, of course.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Adam 1 Silver badge

    > The original Nexus 5 was the first handset to carry Android 4.4 (KitKat) back in November 2013 and is getting very long in the tooth by modern standards

    In what way is it long in the tooth? It still has a 1080p screen. Still has 32Gb storage. Quad core, 4G, Bluetooth, 5Ghz WiFi, NFC, Qi charging, GPS, barometer. It also has marshmallow. About the only thing "average" thing by today's smart phones would be the camera (8MP and no stabilisation), lack of waterproofing and fingerprint.

    It's contemporaries are iPhone 4s for perspective.

    1. joshimitsu

      It was launched around the same time as the 5s, actually.

      But I agree - the specs are more than enough, unless you are installing start clogging it up with crapps like water jug monitors (my brain doesn't work because I don't drink enough water) or fridge controllers (I ordered 500g of just caught salmon now I need to adjust the thermostat down by 0,1 degrees)

    2. GrumpyOldBloke

      The Nexus 5 main camera has OIS

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      5s, sorry typo.

      Also should have been its. I blame autocarrot for that one.

      1. Joe Harrison Silver badge

        Autocarrot is a menace, keeps making me say things I didn't Nintendo

    4. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Long in the tooth as in no longer available unless you go grey market or Amazon or eBay?

      Or totally unable to function due to Lolipop 5.1 destroying my battery in the case of my Nexus 5. YMMV.

    5. Boothy

      Happy Nexus 5 user here, no plans on replacement any time soon.

      It seems a little snappier since 6.0 came out, not that it was slow to begin with. And I like the new per app permission controls.

    6. DancesWithLice

      True, but poor battery life and the crap camera are two good reasons to upgrade. Imagine getting your one chance to photograph your kids when they're cute and ending up with lousy pictures for a lifetime. Life's too short to have a dreadful camera on your phone.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nexus5 has optical image stabilisation.

  9. Blitheringeejit
    Happy

    If it aint broke

    My Nexus4 is still getting all the Android updates and works fine, even if it is held together with a bit of gaffa tape where I broke the glass back. (Which is actually a neat tip, it's less slippery and drop-able with a fabric layer on the back.)

    1. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: If it aint broke

      Nexus 4 user here - it's not getting the Marshmallow update - not from Google anyway, if we want it - we need to enter custom ROM territory now.

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