For years, Google's Nexus line of smartphones and tablets has been its vision of what an Android gadget should be. With the release of the new Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google is unveiling some new Nexus gadgets to showcase it.
Kicking things off is the Motorola-made Nexus 6, a phablet with a huge 5.96-inch screen. That might be a bit too large for some folks - if you want something similar in a smaller size, consider the 5.2-inch Moto X.
Naturally, the Nexus 6 features high-end parts - quad-core processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a large battery. It also has "Turbo Charger" which lets you charge for 15 minutes and get six hours of use. Plus, it's a real stylish looker.
Overall, it stacks up well to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus. And, of course, it has the newest version of Android's operating system, which definitely gives iOS 8 a run for its money.
Here's the Nexus 6 in action:
There is one little thing missing, however: It doesn't have a microSD slot. I know this is a deal-breaker for many Android users, but it's typical for Nexus gadgets. Google wants you to buy a model with a lot of storage or use its cloud services to store information.
Price-wise, the Nexus 6 isn't as cheap as previous Nexus smartphones. Without a contract, the base model will set you back $650. With a two-year contract, it will probably be around $200. It's available for pre-order on October 29 and ships in November.
The Nexus 9 is an HTC-made tablet that replaces the Nexus 7 and 10 tablets. It has an 8.9-inch screen with a 2048 x 1536 resolution that matches the existing iPad Air (Apple is unveiling a new iPad today that will probably have a higher resolution).
The screen is a 4:3 ratio like an iPad instead of the typical 16:9 of an Android tablet, which means movies are going to have black bars at the top and bottom. However, for Web surfing and looking at photos, it should be nice to use.
Like the Nexus 6, the internal hardware is high-end with plenty of processing speed, power and connectivity - although details are a bit light at the moment. It does have a 64-bit processor, which puts it on even footing with Apple's new A8 processor in the iPhone 6, although you won't see too much benefit just yet.
Again, like the Nexus 6, there's no microSD slot for expanding storage, and, apparently, no 64 gigabyte version. So, if you're the type who hauls around a library of movies, you need to stream them online or buy something else.
For working, you can get an add-on magnetic keyboard, similar to the one Microsoft makes for the Surface tablet. In other words, the Nexus 9 is taking the best bits of its competitors and trying to do it better. Hands-on testing will say whether or not it succeeds, but for now it looks good.
The Nexus 9 is going to cost $400 for the 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi version, which is again a little more expensive than the typical Nexus tablet, but $100 less than the iPad Air. You can pre-order starting October 17 and pick it up in November.