We've been seeing quite a lot of word about the Motorola 'Shamu' or the Nexus 6 over the last couple of months. The rumor mill had a slow start, with a device codenamed Motorola Shamu spotted in Google's Issue tracker platform. We've come far since then, so let's take a recap and see what we know so far about the Motorola Shamu or the Motorola Nexus 6 so far.
For discussion purposes, Motorola Shamu and Nexus 6 refer to the same device. Initial word about the Nexus 6 was not much, as can be seen from the image above courtesy of Android Police. The source for the Nexus 6 information was the same and the device was to come running on Android L.
A month later, another source, courtesy of tipster TKTech claimed that Motorola is looking to go big before Christmas, with a roster of 8 devices under it's hood. A 5.9 inch screen for the Nexus 6 was also said to be a part of Motorola's complicated pre-Christmas launches.
This was the last ambiguous piece of information about the Nexus 6 that we would see however. 2 months back we saw a major Nexus 6 leak which appeared to cover almost every aspect of the device apart from the final form factor and the design itself. Alleged specifications of Motorola's Nexus 6 appeared on GFXBench and they provided us with detailed specifications of the device as well as it's performance benchmarks.
According to the information on the benchmark site, the device would come powered by a 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 supplemented by 3 GB of RAM and 24 GB of internal storage. The screen size would be 5.2 inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Multimedia details provided the Nexus 6 with a 12 MP rear camera with 4K video recording. As for how this device stacked up against other devices, take a look at the benchmark results below.
Things started to heat up after the benchmark leak when the price of a device codenamed Motorola XT1112 was spotted at a cargo manifest in Banglore, India. The device, listed as 'Shamu Phones' (Prototype) had a per unit price of $580. Given the specs of the device anticipated so far, this price tag was natural.
The launch period for the Motorola Nexus 6 was next, with word appearing about two Nexus devices, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9. The Nexus 9 is HTC's Volantis tablet which is expected to come with Nvidia's Tegra K1 SoC on board. Both the devices were said to hit the shelves by mid-October.
Things heated up considerably after the cargo manifest leak, with more specifications getting leaked of the device. These were followed by the first ever leaked image of the Nexus 6 to surface. The specifications of the device saw the screen size increase to 5.9 inches from the 5.2" seen previously in benchmark specifications. Rest of the details remained the same, with a 12 MP rear camera and the Snapdragon 805 on board. As for the image, take a look below.
After getting a look at the rear of the device (picture above with LG's G3). we were then treated to it's front end. The image showed a large device, running what appeared to be Android L. As you can see in the image below, at the bottom of the screen, the build number of the device is listed as Shamu-user-debug. In addition, the alleged Nexus 6 is shown here running on Android L's AOSP build.
Screen size yet remained one of the confusing issues on the Nexus 6. With the vote split between a 5.2" screen like on the Moto X, or a bump in size to 5.9 inches, we saw a French retailer list a device by the name of 'Nexus X'. The Nexus X had similar specifications to the Nexus 6 or Motorola Shamu, but came with a screen size of 5.9 inches and a camera of 13.1 MP. The device also came with a price tag of $567, very close to the earlier spotting in the cargo manifest.
To end things, we finally saw a major Nexus 6 leak yesterday. Or to put it better, it was more of a confirmation of specifications learned so far about the device and it even managed to combine two different alleged versions of the device into one. Android Police staying true to their name, confirmed that the next device in the Nexus lineup will indeed be called the Nexus 6.
It will have a 5.9 inch screen and will be powered by the Snapdragon 805 which is capable of frequencies of up to 2.7 GHz. These will come alongside a 13 MP rear camera, 3 GB of RAm and a 3200 mAh battery. Resolution of the device follows the previous leaks and stays at QHD or 2560 x 1440. Running on Android L as speculated earlier, a render of the device expects it to look like this:
Just a little while after we saw almost every Nexus 6 specification (allegedly) pop up online, images of the actual device also surfaced. The source of the images still remains sketchy so don't put all your faith in these images. Nevertheless, they do end up showing us quite a big device and with it's 5.9 inch screen, the Nexus 9 can't be expected to be a lightweight either.
Soon after the images, we came across a video of the renders of the device being compared to the Samsung Galaxy S5, Apple iPhone 6, LG's G3 and Google's Nexus 5. The comparison helps us understand how different the Nexus 6 might feel during use and the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the devices.
Soon after the renders we were in for a major treat though. Just a week back we saw benchmarks of the Nexus 6 appear online for the first time. The performance that the device exhibits in the benchmarks ends up lending credibility to it's rumored specifications. The Snapdragon 805 takes no shame in leaving almost all of the current flagships out there behind. For complete benchmarks, click here. Things have continued to go strong in Nexus 6 territory, with the device also (possibly) having passed through FCC regulations. A couple of days back there was a report which claimed that a device codenamed XT1254 with a 6 inch screen has gone through the FCC. Given the heat surrounding Nexus 6 these days, and the fact that the device supports frequencies generally operated on by T-Mobile and AT&T, things might just be moving forward quickly.
But things seem to have no sign of slowing down. After the GeekBench benchmarks, which concerned primarily with the performance of the device and how it compares to the other flagships out there, we were also fortunate enough to stumble across CPU-Z benchmarks of the device. As expected, Nexus 6, or Motorola Shamu is shown running on the Snapdragon 805 with 3 GB of RAM and a QHD display. Android L also makes an appearance in the benchmark and gets mentioned as Android 5.0.
So starting from a mere reference in Google's issue tracker, the Nexus 6 legend has transformed into an impressive device with impressive specifications. By the looks of things so far, the device appears to be in it's final stages of development. And it doesn't fail to impress either. While some might find a 5.9 inch screen size to be disagreeable, the truth still remains that market trends have started to shift towards larger screened devices. And if the specifications hold true, then we will have our hands on a remarkable device indeed.
So you should now know everything that there is to know about the Nexus 6 so far. Let's hope the report of the device coming in mid October is true so that we can finally get our hands on the next Nexus device and judge for ourselves on where it stands.