History of Nexus devices by Google

By | November 26, 2014
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Nexus family of smartphones and tablets are the pure Google Android phones as they are developed by Google in partnership with a hardware OEMs viz. Motorola, LG, Samsung, Asus and HTC . Nexus are generally first devices to get any updates from Google and their release is accompanied by a new flavor of Android almost every year. These devices tend to get longer support than the usual Android devices so are more popular among developer community. The latest devices in the lineup are Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 tablet manufactured in partnership with Motorola and HTC respectively. Here is a list of Nexus devices from Google till now:

1. Nexus One:

Nexus One

It was the first smartphone to be officially branded as a Nexus devices and is manufactured by Google. Launch of this device is accompanied by Android 2.1 Eclair and is further upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.3 but Google ceased its production after mid July 2010 because of limited battery capacity and poor GPU for rendering graphics on new Android Ice Cream Sandwich. It sports a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and a 5 Megapixel rear shooter and is succeeded by Nexus S.

2. Nexus S:

Nexus S

Nexus S was launched in December 2010 with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and became the first Nexus to be manufactured by Samsung. It has updated specs to support future versions of Android like Power VR SGX 540 GPU and Cortex A8 processor coupled with 512 MB of RAM with WiMAX and NFC capabilities but still lacks 4G and HSPA+ support. This devices was updated till Android 4.1 Jellybean and then Google ended its support in July 2012.

3. Motorola Xoom:


Though not being branded as a Nexus device Xoom is the first device to offer Android 3.0 Honeycomb which was natively designed for tablets and received continuous support from Google till Android 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. Xoom was well acclaimed for its display which offer 300 ppi which is greater than iPad retina display but there are still issues with the software and device’s video rendering capabilities which led to its discontinuation.

4. Galaxy Nexus:

Galaxy Nexus

Second in line by Samsung, Galaxy Nexus features a major upgrade which is a full Gigabyte of RAM and a dual core CPU bu Texas Instruments, still remains the most recommended device by AOSP developer for development purposes. It was launched alongside Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich and continued to get support till Android 4.3 Jellybean but Google ceased further updates due to revoked support by SoC manufacturer Texas Instruments.


5. Nexus 7:

Nexus 7

It was the first tablet to be introduced as a Nexus device featuring a 7 inch display in a market dominated by Samsung Galaxy Tab. Partnering with Asus Google manufactured this powerful tablet driven by a 1.2 GHz Quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor bundled with 1 GB of RAM, it is also the first device to introduce Android 4.1 Jellybean and is available in 8 GB and 16 GB versions. Again next year Google introduces 2nd generation of this tablet with Android 4.3 Jellybean with upgraded specifications( 1.5 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM ) and 32 GB option.

6. Nexus 4:

nexus 4

Dubbed as most popular Nexus phone is co-developed by Google with hardware partner LG. This device boasts of a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC backed by 2 GB RAM with Adreno 320 graphics and Android 4.2 out of the box. Its whole front part was covered in Gorilla Glass 2 which makes it susceptable to scratches. Google recently announced that even being out of the 18 month support windoe this device is going to get Android’s latest offering i.e. Lollipop. It has a 8 Megepixel rear and 1.3 front camera with a non-removable battery.

7. Nexus 5:


First device to be launched with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box featuring a 4.95 inch IPS LCD display  with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution and 441 ppi. It is powered by 2.2 GHz quad core processor on Snapdragon 800 SoC and is currently running on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Nexus 5 was the last Nexus device developed by Google in partnership with LG and is available in 16 GB and 32 GB options in play store and retail market.

8. Nexus 6 and 9:

Nexus 6

Nexus 9

Launched by Google in October 2014 with latest Android offering 5.0 Lollipop manufactured by hardware partners Motorola and HTC. Nexus 6 sports a 5.96 inch Quad HD AMOLED display with 2.7 GHz Quad core snapdragon 805 SoC, 3220 mAh non-removable battery, 13 Megapixel rear shooter with ring flash, 3 gigs of RAM and Adreno 420 GPU having a close resemblance to Moto X 2nd Generation. While Nexus 9 is a 8.9 inch tablet bridging the gap between Nexus 7 and 10 with 64 bit Nvidia 2.2 GHz Denver CPU coupled with 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM, 192 Kepler graphics and HTC Boomsound stereo speakers. Both devices are available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions.

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