Google's New Nexus Phones: What You Need To Know

Yesterday, Google announced two new Nexus smartphones, and introduced Android 6.0 Marshmallow, as well a bunch of other new gear. Here's what you need to know.

As well as new Nexus phones and Marshmallow, Google also announced a new flagship tablet in the 10-inch Pixel C, new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio dongles, and a peek at a 4G-enabled Android Wear watch from LG, the W3. We'll detail all those in separate posts.

Google Nexus 5X

Running a 1.8GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage — but no microSD slot — the Nexus 5X is somewhat similar to the LG G4 in its internal hardware; both are built by LG. Unlike the G4, the Nexus 5X has a 5.2-inch display with 1920x1080 pixels. Under the hood you'll get a moderately large 2700mAh battery.

The Nexus 5X is one of the first phones to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the latest significant overhaul to Google's smartphone operating system. The big changes are integrated fingerprint scanning support, Now On Tap — news and contextual information on whatever you're currently viewing when you press the home button — and a raft of performance updates including per-app permissions setting. If you can't wait for a 5X or 6P, Marshmallow is rolling out to other, older Nexus devices next week and other Android phones and tablets in the weeks to come.

The word from Google is that the Nexus 5X has an impressive new camera, a big departure from previous models' mediocre sensors. It's a 12.3-megapixel setup with a f/2.0 rear lens aperture, but it's the size of those pixels that makes the difference — at 1.55um they're bigger than competitors and that helps to snap photos in low light conditions. There's no optical image stabilisation, though, and that may hinder the phone overall. The 5X also has a 5MP f/2.2 front camera.

Google Nexus 6P

If a 5.2-inch phone is too small for you, then you'll want the Galaxy Note-esque 5.7-inch 2560x1440pixel Nexus 6P, built by Huawei in concert with Google. Running a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 v2.1 with 3GB of RAM and 32/64/128GB of storage, it's the true flagship of the two phones announced today in terms of outright power. Its 3450mAh battery is comparatively massive, and that means you'll get a full day of heavy usage out of a Nexus phone for the first time ever.

Like the Nexus 5X, the 6P is running the latest and greatest version of Google's Android operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It also gets that new, larger-1.55um-pixel 12-megapixel f/2.0 camera which should take better low-light and daylight photos and video. The 6P's front camera is an 8-megapixel f/2.4 one. New cases for both smartphone variants, too, are on the Google Play Store and are marked as coming soon. DXOMark says the Nexus 6 is the second best mobile camera it has ever tested.

Both phones will also charge faster than previous Nexus models and the majority of other non-fast-charging smartphones on the market, with USB-C ports on the bottom of each handset. USB-C is a more robust data and power standard, and the chargers included with both the Nexus 5X and 6P are 5V/3A ones — delivering 15 Watts of juice, 50 per cent more than a regular 5V/2A adapter. It's also set to be a widely shared standard, especially if you already have a new Apple MacBook.

Australian Release Dates And Prices

The 5.2-inch Google Nexus 5X has a price tag pegged at $US379 — that's $542 Australian dollars at current exchange rates. The larger 5.7-inch Nexus 6P is $US499 — that's $714 in Australia. No official local prices have been released. If those Australian prices seem higher than you'd expect, you can blame Australia's mediocre exchange rate with the US — but keep in mind the two phones are competing with Samsung, LG and Sony Android handsets that are hundreds of dollars more expensive at RRP.

Here's the problem — at the moment, you can't pre-order either the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X from Google's official online Play Store in Australia. The first devices will be released only in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Japan. We've been told that Australian prices and release dates are on the way "in the weeks to come." When those prices do come, expect them to be similar to the unofficial exchange rates you can see above.

What you can do is join a waitlist to be notified when the new phones are available, for either or both of the Nexus 5X or the Nexus 6P. Both are marked as coming soon, although previous Nexus releases have been more than a little chaotic in the past. Can't wait to buy a Nexus in Australia? You can still buy the existing 6-inch Nexus 6, Google's previous flagship smartphone release, from $669.

Update: local pricing is available in the Aussie version of the Google Play Store. You'll be able to buy a Nexus 5X from $659 and a Nexus 6P from $899. Ouch.



    Actually Australian pricing is on the google play site but it's hidden. When you click on an accessory e.g. a folio case, pricing for the phones is then displayed. Nexus 5X from A$659 and 6P from $899.

      Wow so they're 20-25% more expensive AFTER changing the currency from USD?

      That puts the AUD prices at 70-80% more than USD prices. Crazy.

        You probably need to also add 10% GST after the currency conversion since US prices don't include tax (which most US states will have), which leaves about a 15% hike or so off the top of my head for the 6P. Still not great.

        Last edited 30/09/15 10:28 am

          True, but you have to also consider that sales tax varies from State to State with some, i.e. Georgia and Florida, charging as little as 4% and 6%, respectively and note potential county variations, and others with no set sales tax. Heck, even Cali and NY have cheaper sales tax/GST than Aus sitting at 7.5% [former] and between 4 - 8.8%, [latter].

          The Australia Tax exists but it's also compounded by a higher GST rate than the US. the price difference is non-sense when the fact is that once you submit your order the device is likely shipped directly from China to your door.

            Yeah absolutely, so maybe its better to subtract 10% from the AUD price if you want to compare directly. Either way, I wouldn't compare pre tax US prices to post tax Aus ones as Australia will look worse in every comparison, even if an 'Australia Tax' isn't being applied or in some cases post tax Australia would be cheaper (which can occasionally happen).

            Last edited 30/09/15 3:08 pm

              This is true and I found it to be the case last year in the States when I was looking at an iPad. At that time it was actually $10 cheaper to purchase it in Australia. However, again not always the case. Last month at Darty in Paris I purchased a Nikon DSLR, lenses and a 32gb card for AU$855 and the same camera set-up locally, sans SD card, runs $1090. Apple products on the other hand were more expensive in the EU than in Australia.

          At current exchange rates AU$1 buys US$0.70

          5X US$379 = AU$542 + $54 GST = $596
          6P US$499 = AU$712 + $71 GST = $783

            I just want to add that phone sell in Google play does not actually pay GST. In the tax invoice it is written GST $0.

              It wasn't for me when I bought my Nexus 4. It seemed a bit suss though because the invoice had no ABN (therefore illegal to charge GST), and I got an international purchase fee at my bank because the transaction went through Google Singapore. Pretty sure that "GST" was just pocketed.

          My last tablet (Nexus 9) came from Singapore and had no GST. Ordered from Aus Google Store.

        Also, take into consideration that Australia has a far smaller market size and therefore the costs associated with each phone increases quite significantly.

          The only thing that the smaller market size would impact is the shipping of stock here. Less stock shipped means higher ship price per item. The phones are generic and not a "special" model for Australia so there is zero impact to production runs.

            AU plug requires a special packaging run at minimum

              AU Plug == Chinese plug, so no special run needed.

              I was really looking forward to the 5X, now I've pulled the trigger on an HTC M9 via eBay's 15% 3 day sale at what I was hoping to see these going for, $500.

                I don't know what these phones come with but wouldn't the Chinese packaging have the Chinese language manuals/flyers/etc? You would need an English language package with the AU plug.

                  One manual for all languages... or a CD with all languages etc... Products/companies have been doing that for decades.

            Wrong.... just so wrong.
            Shipping + Warehousing + AU Adaptor (as mentioned below) + Costs of running the Google hardware division in Australia i.e. staff and other operational costs.

              Sorry, but that still doesn't justify a $188 hike on top of the currency conversion.

              My last Nexus, purchased via, shipped from Singapore, not Australia.

              They call come from Hong Kong or Singapore anyway so all of that is moot.
              Also, if there was a warehouse here, it wouldn't suddenly cost more or less to run because of a new release. It's all fixed cost.
              As for Shipping, prices fluctuate, but it's not like shipping 5000 Nexus 5X's is going to be different than shipping 5000 Nexus 5's. It's probably the same size and weight box/pallet. No different than in the past.

    I was looking at the wearable section in the play store and down the bottom in the "Enjoy this with" section. it shows Nexus 6p from 899 and Nexus 5X from 659.

    Prices on Google Store AU are quite pricey, $899 for Nexus 6P and $659 for Nexus 5X (found on bottom of Chromecast page). Damn so pricey, don't you hate the exchange rate at the moment.

      Actually there's a 20-25% price gouge on top of the exchange rate.

    There was an article that mention the 6p would be 899 (32) in AUS.

      I guess they don't actually plan to sell any in Australia then...?
      (i.e. that seems ludicrously expensive considering the other flagship devices available that are cheaper and arguably as good)

      Last edited 30/09/15 8:57 am

        Agreed. You can buy a Xiaomi Note 2 for under $300 Australian.

        An Oppo R7 will cost under $500, but so will a Galaxy S6 now, and a Note 4 is still under 600.

        I got my LG G4 for $600 from Kogan during a sale just a few months ago.

          The LG G4 was exactly what I was thinking of for comparison to the new Nexus devices. The only downside is software updates.

            So far I have to say the updates have been fairly regular. We'll see how long it takes to get Android M.
            It's a pretty stock android. Minor tweaks in usability (which I'm actually really enjoying) like tap to wake, but nothing really drastic that should delay updates too much.

              Yeah, it is mostly just about the duration for which the company chooses to provide updates. On that basis, Motorola, Samsung and HTC are right out. LG I haven't really had much experience. Sony is good, but takes a while (they apparently will probably be releasing Android M for the Xperia Z, which is >2 years old; it is kind of sad that that is considered 'good' by comparison to others though)

                Yeah it's a fair point but at the same time I believe google has stopped Nexus 4 support/updates now too.... So really, if you expect phones to have a 2-3 year life, most companies tend to update during that period.

      I really hope that isn't accurate, if so it's outrageous.

      Ummm... I just saw the Nexus 6P price in the google store going for $899... It appears the google store wont show the price if you're just looking at the phone itself. But if you you go to the new Chromecast webpage and scroll down to the "Enjoy it with" section, there it is!

      Nexus 6P going for $899 and Nexus 5X going for $659

    If you look at one of the Nexus 5X cases, the "Enjoy it with" section lists the 5X, which says the price is "from $659" in the Australian Play store. Similarly, it says the 6P is "from $899". So a bit higher than those exchange rate listed prices above.

    Finally, an Android phone I can replace my 6+ with. 128GB 6P take my money!

    Was waiting for the Nexus to release before making a decision on my next phone at that price I'll sadly be saying goodbye Nexus hello LG G4

    I was so excited about these phones until I realized that neither of them have Qi wireless charging. I will get marshmallow on my Nexus 6 in a week or two anyway, so aside from a general bump up in specs all round, the only major thing I'll really be lacking is that fingerprint sensor. Sorry Google, you lost me at USB-C. I'll see if I can wait until next round, but there is likely to be something non-nexus take my fancy enough to buy before then.

    From the bottom of this page you can see that the 5X will start at $659 and the 6P at $899. Quite the jump up from the 5 and about $100 over the exchange rate which is very dissapointing

    Update: local pricing is available in the Aussie version of the Google Play Store. You’ll be able to buy a Nexus 5X from $659 and a Nexus 6P from $899. Ouch.


    I was interested in these initially, particularly the 5X, but roughly a 40%ish markup over the US pricing is a bit hard to swallow. Yes the exchange rates are partly to blame but they are not to blame for an additional $120 on top of that for the 5X and $185 for the 6P. And that's probably only for the 16GB models too.

    Gone are the days it seems where Nexus devices are cheaper.

    Last edited 30/09/15 9:53 am

    I was really looking forward to this announcement, but the 6P starting at $899?? That's friggin absurd. Can't even express how pissed off I am right now.

    So no SD card slots hey?

      Sadly, most manufacturers seem to be following apple's suit of no SD card. Galaxy had an SD card slot for all of their lines up until the s6 came out, no SD slot. Bummer.

        At least Apple recognises that people want onboard storage and gives you the option to buy a 128GB model though.

        Google has once again alienated a bunch of potential customers by limiting onboard storage to a pathetic 32GB, with no option of expansion. As somebody that is not interested in using cloud services, this becomes a major issue, and that means that the Google Nexus 5 is once again not the phone for me.

        If I could get a Nexus 5X with 128GB of onboard storage I'd definitely jump on that.

    Wonder if the really low Aus Dollar has to do with the price as that gave me a bit of a shock.

      It would I imagine, and I suspect the strong predictions that the AUD is set to continue to slide has played a part in the price gap being about 15% once you account for GST following the currency conversion. Physical products typically don't have real time price adjustments or even relatively rapid ones, so they've probably set a price to account for X amount of time of AUD depreciation where X might be as long as the expected lifespan of the phone.

    Wow, so the nexus 5x only has a max storage of 32gb. I'm pissed

    The 5X looks to be the better of the two. It's a reasonable step up in spec from it's predecessor.

    The 6P is a little disappointing. Despite being much the same size as the existing 6 (albeit thinner) we lose screen real estate for larger bezels. At a time when most manufacturers are trying to get screens that almost entirely fill the front of the device (S6 Edge, i6s, etc) this is not a wise decision.

    But neither particularly appeals on price, at least from the Australian PlayStore. Though I'm sure both will soon be available cheaper from resellers. However, the 5X has mid-level specs with plenty of competition at a lower price point (e.g. the OnePlusTwo). And the 6P pricing may put many off since there are no carrier deals and it has to be paid off in full.

    A tempting option now would be to snap up a 6. They're available from the PlayStore with a recent price drop to $669 (32Gb version). The specs are still reasonable by today's standards and it'll definitely get Marshmallow

    When you consider our dollar is 30% lower than USD and then you add 10% gst I'm not surprised at the price difference at all.
    On the flip side, a 5X $659 that goes head to head with iPhone 6s $1000+ seems like a pretty good deal.

      You sure you're doing your math right? Currency conversion would make the USD$500 Nexus 6P AUD$712. They're charging AUD$899, that's a $188 gap. Nope, not a good deal at all.

        The US price doesn't include tax (which can be different state to state). The Aus price includes our gst. So the US price converted to Aus plus gst is about $780. That means our retail is still over a hundred more but not quite the $180 you mentioned. Say hello Australia tax...

          Yeah, looks like I'll be buying the Moto X Style instead. Buying from the US Motorola site, and using Moto Maker to customise it, I'll get the 16gb model for about $610. That's including shipping charges from a freight forwarding company. Then I'll just buy an sd card locally.

    Ouch. I've never paid more than $500 for a smartphone, after discounts (I got the Nexus 5 32GB for $450 after TRS).

    "Marshmallow is rolling out to other, older Nexus devices next week and other Android phones and tablets in the weeks to come."

    Other Android phones and tablets in the weeks to come. More like months or never.

      It took Samsung 18 months to update my tablet to Kit Kat and it certainly won't get any further updates.

      Go to XDA, you'll get to run 6.0 a lot sooner.

    Depends, can you handle all the Samsumg bloatware?

    Was looking to upgrade from the Nexus 5 to the 6P 128GB, but with that insane pricing, I'll be holding my Nexus 5 a little tighter today.

    If you can’t wait for a 5X or 6P, Marshmallow is rolling out to ... other Android phones and tablets in the weeks to come.

    Haha! That's ambitious. I'd be surprised if any of the current flagships devices from Samsung, HTC, Sony (the major OEMs, etc) received Marshmallow by mid 2016!

    Last edited 30/09/15 3:11 pm

    $659 for the 5X which has the same guts as the LG 4 is way too expensive, I can get the G4 for $619 on Kogan which has a bigger screen than the 5x and with expandable memory.

    I went into the source code of the webpages and found the following prices
    Nexus 5X:
    16GB -$659.00 AUD
    32GB - $739.00 AUD

    Nexus 6P:
    32GB - $899.00 AUD
    64GB - 999.00 AUD
    128GB - $1,099.00 AUD

      I went into the source code of the webpages

      Are you the famous hacker 4chan?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now