Google unleashes Android 5.0 Lollipop, new Nexus devices

Today's the day, folks. The new Nexus devices are here—as is Android 5.0, which has gotten its final, dessert-themed nickname: Lollipop.

The star of the show is probably the Nexus 6, Google's new phablet. Designed in collaboration with Motorola, the device features a 5.96" 1440x2560 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.7GHz, a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of storage, 13-megapixel front and two-megapixel rear cameras, and a 3220-mAh battery backed by a Turbo Charger. Google says the Turbo Charger allows users to get "up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge."

At 6.5 ounces and 0.4", the Nexus 6 is both heavier and thicker than the iPhone 6 Plus—though not by very much. (The Apple handset, which has a smaller, lower-resolution display, weighs 6.07 oz and is 0.28" thick.)

Then there's the Nexus 9, a full-fledged tablet with an 8.9" 2048x1536 IPS screen. That device is made by HTC and features a "keyboard folio" that latches on magnetically and can allow the Nexus 9 to be used like a laptop. Other key specs include a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 16-32GB of storage, eight-megapixel front and 1.6-megapixel rear cameras, and a 6700-mAh battery. Thickness and weight: 0.31" and 0.94 lbs.

Google is also introducing the Nexus Player, an Asus-built contraption that resembles Amazon's Fire TV. Like the Fire TV, the Nexus Player can both stream video content to an HDTV and play Android games. Google also offers it with a dedicated gamepad. Unlike the Fire TV, though, the Nexus Player is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor.

Powering these three devices is Android 5.0 Lollipop, which we've already covered in some detail. Lollipop features a new, flatter, and more colorful visual style dubbed Material Design. It also adds some neat new features, such as the ability to use multiple user accounts and a new "battery saver" feature that can prolong a device's unplugged time by "up to 90 minutes." You can find out more on this page.

Pre-orders are scheduled to start on October 17 for both the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, with in-store availability to follow on November 3. The Nexus 6 will go up for pre-order in "late October" and find its way into stores some time next month. Google also plans to release Android 5.0 Lollipop for the last batch of Nexus devices—the Nexus 5, 7, and 10—as well as Google Play edition devices "in the coming weeks."

According to The Verge, pricing for the Nexus 6 will start at $649 without a contract, while the Nexus 9 will sell for $399 in its cheapest incarnation. Re/code reports that the Nexus Player will cost $99, with its gamepad accessory to sell separately for $39.

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