Google has finally put the official name on Android L, which will come to be known as Android Lollipop. It also announced the first two devices to run Android L: the HTC Nexus 9 tablet and the Motorola Nexus 6. Google also unveiled its first Android TV: the Nexus Player. Built by Asus, the hockey puck-shaped device is a ” first-of-its-kind Android gaming device,” Google says.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android and Chrome, announced the new software and hardware in a blog post. Android 5.0 “Lollipop” is the first version to employ a new design paradigm, which Google calls “Material,” first announced at the Google I/O developer conference in the summer.
The Nexus 6, made by Motorola, is the first smartphone to run Android Lollipop. It has a 6-inch display with Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a robust 3,220 battery that can charge quickly (15 minutes gets you 6 hours of battery life) with the included Turbo Charger. Available in “midnight” blue or “cloud” white, the Nexus 6 will be up for pre-order in late October from the Google Play Store for $649. All the major carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular — will offer it for a lower price with a contract or an installment plan.
The Nexus 9 tablet, as rumored, is built by HTC. It has and 8.9-inch IPS LCD screen, protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Similar to the Nexus 7, which was made by Asus, the Nexus 9 has a soft-touch backside, but it also has a brushed-metal edge.
The tablet packs a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor, and its GPU is a Kepler DX1. It has 2GB of RAM and buyers can choose between 16GB or 32GB of storage. Both Wi-Fi and LTE versions will be available.
At 0.31 inch thick and 15 ounces, the overall size of the Nexus 9 is lighter than the iPad Air and almost as thin. Like the HTC One, it’ll have dual front-facing stereo speakers.
The Nexus 9 will be available Oct. 17, starting at $399. Google will also offer a keyboard case, which looks like a combination of an iPad Smart Cover and a Surface Type Keyboard.
The Nexus Player is the first Android TV device and the successor of Google TV. Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor, the Nexus Player will also be available Oct. 17 for $99. Google will also offer an optional game controller for $39.