Google had a busy Tuesday, dropping two new phones, a pair of Chromecasts, a new tablet and a release date for the new Android software. Here’s what you missed.
New Nexus Phones
First, there’s the higher-end Nexus 6P. It’s a 5.7-inch device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and made by China’s Huawei. The 6P has an all-metal body, a 12.3 megapixel rear camera that shoots 4K video, and fast-charging technology using the new USB-C. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the back (unlike many other smartphones, where it’s on the front) for security features. The 6P starts at $499 for a 32GB unlocked unit which can run on any major carrier or Google’s own Project Fi. Pre-orders start today, expect the first shipments in October.
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Then there’s the more affordable Nexus 5X, which starts at $379 for the 16GB version and is a generally less powerful phone than the 6P. Made by LG, the Nexus 5X is a 5.2-inch smartphone also running Marshmallow. It has a 12-megapixel camera, also charges with USB-C and also has a rear fingerprint sensor. Pre-orders also start today.
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Buyers of either phone can also choose to purchase Nexus Protect for their devices, which is Google’s answer to AppleCare. The replacement and repair program starts at $69 for the Nexus 5X and costs $89 for the Nexus 6P.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow, meanwhile, will arrive on Google’s existing Nexus devices starting next week.
Chromecast fans, rejoice: You get not one but two new models of Google’s popular streaming stick.
The first is an upgrade to the existing video-focused Chromecast, which now looks less like a stick and more like a puck (there must be hockey fans at Google). The design is meant to make it easier to fit behind a television. Google also says the Chromecast itself as well as the Chromecast app have gotten upgrades meant to make streaming faster and a better overall experience.
The brand new Chromecast, meanwhile, is called Chromecast Audio. It’s designed to turn dumb speakers smart: Plug it into an analog audio system, and suddenly it’ll be able to play music from the cloud.
Both Chromecasts are on sale immediately for $35.
The Pixel C
Is it a laptop? Is it a tablet? Is it a laptablet? Who knows. But the Pixel C is Google’s tablet-laptop hybrid answer to Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s new iPad Pro. It starts as a $499 tablet running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, while an optional $149 Bluetooth keyboard opens up a new laptop mode. Google says the Pixel C will be on sale before the holiday season.