The Nexus 6 is on its way to Vodafone, and it's a true powerhouse. We've been speaking to Motorola find out what makes it tick, and why its big display represents the future of smartphones...
Ready for something big? The Google Nexus 6 by Motorola has some of the most impressive specs ever packed together in one smartphone, with a massive 6-inch screen to boot. It’s coming to Vodafone UK soon, and it’ll be the first phone on the market with Android 5.0 (Lollipop), the brand new operating system from Google.
To find out what makes the Nexus 6 tick, and how Motorola has managed to cram so much into one device, we’ve been chatting to Motorola’s Nick Muir. Read on for a look at what’s coming next…
Making the next Nexus
Nexus devices are how Google unveils a new iteration of Android to the world. Each new Android rollout comes with a shiny new Nexus smartphone to showcase its power, and for the Nexus 6 with Android Lollipop, Google chose Motorola to do that. So how has Motorola taken the winning Moto formula and made it more Nexus? “To understand what makes the Nexus 6 different from our other phones, we have to understand what’s the same,” says Nick.
“There is an obvious family resemblance through all of them – from Moto E, to G, to X and now Nexus as well – in that the design language is very similar.
“However, where the Nexus really differs is the size of the screen. There are also additions like stereo speakers and the camera unit is clearly different from everything else we’ve made because it carries Optical Image Stabilisation. As well as that, there’s our distinctive Motorola curved back to house the larger 3220mAh battery.”
Six inches is a lot of screen, so we were keen to ask Nick why Motorola has opted to make a flagship that goes so deep into ‘phablet’ territory…
“The amount of user interest in larger screens is increasing. Consumers now seem much more comfortable with a flagship phone being at least a 5-inch device. Previously, that was considered to be the maximum in terms of being comfortable to hold, but because of our ability to reduce the size of the phone while maintaining the size of the screen has improved, our design requirements can be stretched further now.
“Consumers now seem much more comfortable with a flagship being at least a 5-inch device.”
“As the real estate of the phone in comparison to the screen size becomes ever more negligible, I think people will also become more comfortable with larger phone size in general. We have people asking us for larger variants of our existing phones all the time, so this time round we’re taking a step forward. It won’t just be us doing this, but we will lead the way.”
Nick’s sure that a big screen device like the Nexus 6 won’t turn people off. To the contrary, he thinks that the Nexus range is ready to find a whole new audience:
“A year ago, I’d have said that a Nexus device is aimed at the tech-savvy early adopter – those that always crave a premium device with no compromise on specs or performance. But I think that the appeal is now broader – as we all become more tech-savvy as consumers, the Nexus range can appeal beyond early adopters. The appeal of the Nexus 6 goes beyond just the Motorola hardware,” he adds, “it’s the Android Lollipop release too. That will allow people to get even more from top Android features – especially now we’re in the age of 4G.”
As we all know, a bigger, crisper, sharper screen needs more power to keep it running all day long. Motorola knows that battery life is a massive priority for all smartphone users, though, and has that side of things well covered in the Nexus 6.
“As users start to enjoy all of the things that Android Lollipop has to offer, battery life becomes a necessity,” Nick explains. “We already know from surveys that battery life is really important. It invariably appears in the top five in any consumer survey about what’s important to them, quite often as the number one point.
“So to provide this enhanced multimedia experience without the battery to back it up would be a big mistake. The ‘all day battery’ proposition should be expected now, so that’s what we’re providing.”
Display and device: ‘one and the same’
Is phone hardware reaching a plateau? It’s something we’ve asked many a manufacturer before, as we’re keen to see where they can innovate next. For Motorola, the answer is twofold, the first part being a strong focus on wearables:
“The wearables market is going to be critical over the next year,” Nick says, “and that will be driven by cool hardware, and by the Android Wear software with the right apps to go with it. However, I don’t think we’ve reached a plateau in terms of hardware design for handsets. I think that new and interesting pieces of technology that are designed specifically to solve consumer issues is where we’ll focus.”
And to that end, there’s Motorola’s second part of the plan, which is maximising the screen size while shrinking the overall size of the device. And that’s something the company wants to take to its ultimate conclusion:
“Over the next 12 months we will concentrate on new forms of innovation around the handset which directly deal with main consumer concerns,” Nick tells us. “And when we do our next roadmap sessions we’ll be pushing some pretty high tech ideas.
“We will reach an optimum when it comes to screen size and the real estate of the handset…”
“Honestly speaking, I think we will reach an optimum when it comes to screen size and the real estate of the handset. They will become one and the same in due course. When we reach that point, then we can concentrate only on the quality of the screen and the things that drive it, such as battery performance.”
But until then, you can rest assured that the Nexus 6 boasts the very best of all of the above:
“It’s the ultimate premium device,” Nick says in closing. “It doesn’t compromise on spec, size or performance. Everything is designed to make the very best of every component in the marketplace at the moment. We’ve pulled together the latest and the greatest – that includes the software and the hardware – into one package. That’s what Nexus 6 represents.”
Watch this space… The Nexus 6 coming to Vodafone UK very soon. We’ll bring you more on Vodafone Social when we can, so stay tuned. Is it your next phone? Let us know what you think of the new Nexus below!