Evolution of the Nexus series (One through 6)


Google’s flagship series, the Nexus line, have been one of the most successful phone lines ever since the original Nexus One was released in 2010. Many users gravitate to the Nexus series due to their unlockable bootloader, no manufacturer or carrier modification to the stock Android OS,  and most-importantly, they’re the first phones to receive Android updates. Since 2010 Google has released 5 devices and the soon to be sixth device, the Nexus 6 is due out next month. We are going to recap all of the Google Nexus devices ahead of the highly-anticipated launch of the Nexus 6. 
Nexus One

The Nexus One was Google’s first Nexus device. The phone was launched in January of 2010 and was manufactured by the Taiwanese company HTC. The device was debuted with Android 2.1 Eclair and was updated up to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. One prominent feature was that it is the only Nexus device to date that contained an SD card slot for expandable storage. 

Screen: size: 3.7″
Resolution: 480 x 800 (252 ppi)
Weight: 130 grams
Camera: (rear) 5 megapixels  – (front) none
Hardware: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250
Battery: 1400 mAh
RAM: 512 MB
Storage: 512 MB (Expandable – 4 GB included)
Released: January 2010

Nexus S

The Nexus S was Google’s successor to HTC’s Nexus One and it was manufactured by Samsung. The device was released in December of 2010 to be the first device to sport Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was the first Android device to support NFC. Support for this device went all the way up to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean when it was laid to rest.


Screen: size: 4″
Resolution: 480 x 800 (233 ppi)
Weight: 129 grams
Camera: (rear) 5 megapixels  – (front) VGA 640 x 480
Hardware: 1 GHz Exynos 3
Battery: 1500 mAh
RAM: 512 MB
Storage: 16 GB
Released: December 2010

Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus was Samsung’s second and last time manufacturing a Nexus device. It was released in November of 2011 and featured a 720p display, which was a first for a Nexus device. The Galaxy Nexus was the first device to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has been since updated to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, where its updates will not continue. This device was also the first Nexus device to feature all on-screen navigation buttons.


Screen: size: 4.65″
Resolution: 720 x 1280 (316 ppi)
Weight: 135 grams
Camera: (rear) 5 megapixels  – (front) 1.3 megapixels
Hardware: 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4460
Battery: 1750 mAh (HSPA+ version) 1850 mAh (LTE version)
Storage: 16/32 GB
Released: November 2011

Nexus 4

The Nexus 4, which was made by LG, was  what really set the Nexus line off. Google’s Nexus 4 was the first Nexus device to support wireless charging, came with the biggest specs of any previous devices, and was released in November of 2012. It was the first device to debut Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is expected to continue to be updated through Android 5.0 Lollipop. The device was a major success due to its lower price-point and performance/stability with stock Android.


Screen: size: 4.7″
Resolution: 768 x 1280 (318 ppi)
Weight: 139 grams
Camera: (rear) 8 megapixels  – (front) 1.3 megapixels
Hardware: 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
Battery: 2100 mAh
Storage: 8/16 GB
Released: November 2011

Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 was LG’s second and so far last iteration of a Nexus device. The Nexus 5 was released in late-October of 2013 and has had the most success of any Nexus device to date. It is the first Nexus device to feature a full 1080p display and it debuted Android 4.4 KitKat. Once again, Google succeeded with making a device with flagship specs without the flagship costs. The Nexus 5, along with the Nexus 7, is first in line to pick up Android 5.0 Lollipop on November 3, 2014. The device currently supports the Android 5.0 developer preview.


Screen: size: 4.95″
Resolution: 1080 x 1920 (445 ppi)
Weight: 130 grams
Camera: (rear) 8 megapixels  – (front) 1.3 megapixels
Hardware: 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Battery: 2300 mAh
Storage: 16/32 GB
Released: October 2013

Nexus 6 

Nexus 6 phones with Monument Valley screenshot

The Nexus 6, which is made by Motorola is Google’s latest phone in the Nexus line. This device separates itself from Nexus devices by sporting the latest specs, including 3 GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 805 processor, 13 megapixel rear shooter, and a QHD display. To tag along with the 6 name, it comes with a near 6 inch display (5.96 inches). This device will be the first Android smartphone to debut with Android 5.0 Lollipop when it is released this November.

The Nexus 6 will be the first Nexus phone with front-facing speakers, Motorola Turbo Charge, a QHD display, 3 GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera, and to feature water-resistance. The device will also come in at the highest price of any Nexus device at $649.99 for 32 GB of ROM and $699.99 for 64 GB of ROM.


Screen: size: 5.96″
Resolution: 1440 x 2560 (493 ppi)
Weight: 184 grams
Camera: (rear) 13 megapixels  – (front) 2 megapixels
Hardware: 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
Battery: 3220 mAh
Storage: 32/64 GB
Released: November 2014

The Nexus 6 may be one of the highest-anticipated devices of the year. Do you plan on picking one up or does the size and price make you think twice? Let us know in the comments!


About Author

I skateboard, listen to metal, write on my website FWNED, autocross, and love messing with new phones. Currently I'm using a Pixel XL running Pure Nexus with ElementalX as my daily driver.