The questions in the IAmA were answered by Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android “and stuff”; Dave Burke, Engineering lead; Krishna Kumar, Product manager for Nexus 5x; and Sandeep Waraich, Product manager for Nexus 6P.
Q: Why partner with LG and Huawei for the new Nexus devices?
5X: We wanted to bring the LG-Google band back together. So many N5 fans, we couldn’t possibly disappoint! 6P: Always nice to work with new players — we have a history of working with a bunch of folks: HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Asus and now Huawei!
Q: Why does the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P lack Qi wireless charging?
Thanks for being a Nexus fan! We added Qi wireless charging starting with N4 because plugging in USB micro B was such a hassle! (Which way is up!?) With this year’s Nexii, we support USB Type-C which has a reversible connector so there’s no more guessing. AND it charges incredibly swiftly: 1% to 100% in 97 mins on the 6P for example (the first ~45 mins of charging is especially fast). Meanwhile, wireless charging adds z (thickness). So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless!
Q: What does the “X” and “P” in the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P stand for?
X for the core of the Nexus brand (plus it sounds cool!), P for premium.
Q: Which Super AMOLED panel is the Nexus 6P using?
It has a Samsung WQHD AMOLED panel. We have spent a lot of time tuning the white-point and color gamut for these panels – hope you will enjoy the accuracy of the display.
Yep, confirmed: Nexus 6P has the latest generation panels from Samsung. One of things we deeply care for is the quality and accuracy of the display through which all of us connect with the stuff we care about. We created a very tight spec (white-point temperature, delta-E variance, color-space accuracy, etc) for the 6P WQHD AMOLED panel, so it was important that we use the most cutting edge panel technology
Q: How safe is Nexus Imprint?
Fingerprint features are securely encrypted on the device, and processed in the secure Trustzone protected area of memory. The Android 6.0 fingerprint APIs do not provide any access to the fingerprint material to apps. Fingerprint features never leave the device and are not shared with Google (so for example if you setup a new phone, you need to re-enroll your fingers). If your phone is ever lost or stolen you can easily find, lock, and erase your phone using Android Device Manager.
Q: Why does the Nexus 5X come with 16GB of base storage?
It’s a conspiracy! MOVE TO THE CLOUD!
Q: Is there digital/software stabilization for video at 1080p on either the Nexus 6P or 5X??
6P has EIS.
Q: Do the new Nexus handsets make use of UFS 2.0 internal storage?
Both 6P and 5X use eMMC 5.0
Q: Does the Nexus 5X support USB 3.1?
Nope! Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P supports USB 2.0
Q: Where is the NFC antenna located on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P?
On 6P the NFC coil sits just above the Nexus Imprint fps is exposed behind the camera coverglass (which is GG4 BTW). On Nexus 5X, the coil is wrapped around the back camera. And we have tested it rigorously for payments experience and it works great! And for peer-to-peer and reader mode too BTW.
Q: Are the rear camera modules on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P the same?
Yea, same sensor (IMX377) and F/2.0 optics. But 6P has more CPU/GPU horsepower so has a few additional features like 240fps slomo (vs 120fps on 5X), Smartburst, and EIS.
Q: Why no OIS on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P?
We’ve done a bunch of things to provide image stabilization: 1. The Nexus 6P/5X has a large 1.55um pixel camera and the amount of motion blur due to hand-shake is lower , when you have large pixels. 2. We have a feature we call “lucky shot” internally. When you take a picture, behind the scenes, we select the best of 3 bursts of images. 3. When you use video, we have optic-flow-based image stabilization. 4. When you use SmartBurst, we select the best image from the burst (for example a shot with eyes open).
Q: One new favorite new feature that most users will not be able to live without after using it?
SW: Nexus Imprint. It is fast (it really is!) and highly accurate. You won’t even see the lockscreen anymore. And the location of the sensor is such that you will get right in your homescreen by the time phone is in front of you. Check out some hands-on videos around this.
KK: The camera on these devices is great – the picture quality is awesome – especially for low light pictures. Sloooo-mo on these devices is a lot of fun.
HL: USB Type-C!
DB: I think the “premiumness” of both phones is my fav feature. Particularly loving the all-metal aluminium – I mean alum-in-um – and the diamond cut edges of the 6P 🙂
Q: What makes Android Sensor Hub special and what benefits does it offer?
Android Sensor Hub allows us to do sensor processing in a much more power efficient, always on mode. For example, we use it for sensor fusion (Kalman Filtering to combine accel, gyro, mag). Also activity recognition (walking, running, biking, driving). The pickup gesture is also detected by the Android Sensor Hub to trigger Ambient Display. And we’re using it to detect orientation change and trigger rotation of the display. Android Sensor Hub runs on a Cortex M3 which enables us to run at micro-amps current drain.
Q: T-Mobile Band 12 support?
We’re hard at work with T-Mo to get Band 12 on Nexus devices by ship date. In the US, you can buy here (https://store.google.com/). Outside of the US, we’ll sell from a variety of channels, including our store.
Q: Hardware or software based encryption on the new Nexus handsets?
Encryption is software accelerated. Specifically the ARMv8 as part of 64-bit support has a number of instructions that provides better performance than the AES hardware options on the SoC.
Q: What do you think about all the leaks?
They’re a bummer. It’s like unwrapping a present…sometimes it’s best to keep a surprise a surprise.
Previous Nexus attempts from Google have always been half-assed, so it is great to see the company going all out with its new Nexus handsets.