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Dublin: -1°C Monday 25 January 2021
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Google just unveiled its own tempting answer to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

And it took inspiration from rivals in a few different ways.

Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google, speaking about the new Google Nexus 6P.
Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google, speaking about the new Google Nexus 6P.
Image: Tony Avelar/Associated Press

GOOGLE HAD A VERY busy afternoon as it announced a number of new products and updates to its services.

In a packed one hour presentation, the company announced a number of new hardware updates like Chromecast as well as upgrades to existing software services like Google Photos.

“Nexus is Android as we designed it”, said VP engineer at Android Dave Burke before he revealed two new phones, the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P.

The Nexus 6P, designed by Huawei, is a 5.7-inch phone but is roughly the same size of 5.5-inch devices.

The screen covers 74% of the overall device and is roughly the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus. It comes with a 64-bit processor as well as with a 12.3-megapixel camera.

Source: Google Nexus/YouTube

The Nexus 5X, designed by LG, is a 5.2-inch display which “offers top of the range performance at an affordable price.” It also comes with a 12.3-megapixel camera and Type-C USB port.

Source: Google Nexus/YouTube

The camera for both devices has a 1.55 um pixel image sensor and is optimised for indoor and low-light photography.

It uses laser detect autofocus technology to help capture shots and also supports slow-motion videos – the 5X can capture 120fps while the 6P captures 240fps – while smart burst creates GIFs by taking burst photos at 30fps.

Both devices run Android Marshmallow, the latest version of Google’s OS, and include fingerprint sensors for unlocking your device. They have fewer preloaded apps, apps will now ask users permission to use a specific feature when needed, much like iOS, and a feature called Now on Tap, which allows you to search Google automatically from any app.

Marshmallow will begin rolling out to Nexus devices next week while the Nexus 5X and 6P will begin shipping later this month. Ireland will be one of the first countries to get both Nexus devices alongside the US, UK and Japan and will be unlocked.

The 5X starting at €479 for 16GB, with a 32GB version also available, while the 6P starts at €649 for 32GB, with 64GB and 128GB versions also available.

Other inspirations

The inspiration from Apple didn’t end there as it announced other features like a family plan for Google Play Music, which costs €14.99 for up to six people, similar to Apple Music’s own Family Plan. It also announced a warranty programme called Nexus Support, which is similar to Apple Care and provides two years of coverage for breakdown as well as two years of coverage for accidental damage.

The company also announced a new Android tablet called the Pixel C, an Android tablet that bears a number of similarities to Microsoft’s Surface series and the recently announced iPad Pro.

It comes with a keyboard that connects magnetically without a docking mechanism, and allows users to switch between typing and using the touch screen. It’s adjustable from 100 to 135 degrees and doesn’t require a kickstand to stand up.

Only the US prices for the Pixel C were revealed. Over there, it will cost $499 for 32GB ($599 for 64GB) while the keyboard comes separately and costs $149.

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hero-image_2x The Pixel C tablet from Google. Source: Google

Chromecasts and Photos

Chromecast received a more colourful upgrade as well as going for a more inconspicuous size so it fits in TVs with crowded ports. It also receives an upgrade in hardware allowing it to adapt to changing WiFi conditions in your home, as well as higher quality streaming.

It also announced Chromecast Audio, a similar device that plugs into your existing speakers and allows you to stream audio from any Cast-enabled apps, which will now include Spotify.

Chromecast Audio will cost €35 while the upgraded Chromecast costs €39.

Source: Google Cast/YouTube

Google Photos gets three new features including Chromecast support, shared albums and labelling people on photos, a private feature to help you find specific people in your photo collections.

At the beginning of the presentation, the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, revealed some other new stats before the presentation started. More than 1.4 billion active Android devices are now activated while Google Play has one billion active users.

“The reason we build hardware is so we can work together as we build the next version of the operating system… [and] guide the ecosystem,” said Pichai.

Read: Microsoft insists it’s not scanning users’ emails so it can serve up better ads >

Read: This is your regular reminder that those Facebook copyright posts you’re seeing are rubbish >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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