Last week's Google event revealed official confirmation on what we can expect with the latest Nexus phone, including price, pre-order date, and the name: Nexus 6.
Google's flagship Nexus 6 (previously rumored to be called the Nexus X) is considered a premium, high-end device that will feature a 5.9-inch Quad HD screen, 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, and will be the first with the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS standard. The chassis is expected to be built of higher-grade materials than the plastic Nexus 5, which puts it right up there with other premium phones from Apple and Samsung.
But all of this new quality might not be enough to justify the leap from $349 for the Nexus 5 to $649 for the Nexus 6 to regular customers, so carrier-based package deals are still coming down the pipe.
The Nexus 6 will be available to pre-order on October 29th through all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and AT&T. This is an upgrade from the Nexus 5's limitations within the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks, so Google is hoping that the addition of U.S. Cellular and Verizon will mean more sales. Verizon is currently the United States' largest wireless carrier with 123.5 million subscribers, and U.S. Cellular rounds out the top five with 4.65 million.
As tech news site The Verge points out, how these carriers offer the contracted Nexus 6 will be a huge factor in how well it's received.
"The Nexus 6's higher price requires a different approach - Google is smart enough to realize that many people just aren't going to shell out $649 out of pocket for a new smartphone, no matter how cutting edge it might be," The Verge's Dan Seifert points out.
"By partnering with the carriers, Google has given potential customers many more options on how to purchase their phone, in addition to buying it direct at full price from Google itself. After all, a $649 smartphone is a lot easier to sell when you pitch it as '$0 down and $32.50 per month.'"
Only Sprint and T-Mobile currently offer a pre-registration page, although official pre-orders don't start until the 29th. AT&T was the first to "accidentally" slip out a contract price of $49, but the page has since been removed. Retail availability is expected to drop later in November.