Nexus Open Studio

Wednesday, December 9 Google has organized an event in New York called Nexus Open Studio. This is a series of presentations with many key figures who participated in the creation of the Nexus line devices, in which we analyze in detail the background and the reasons that led to the finished product as we see it. Is an event dedicated to fans from real, with a chance to chat freely with all staff. Of course this time was focused on new smartphone Nexus 6 p and Nexus 5 x.

One of the participants shared their impressions in a long post on Reddit that acts as one of the finest examples of citizen journalism done as it should. You can read the full version in English, or enjoy our summary in Italian. As stated in the original post, we highlight that it ismemories of one person that did not register either audio or video, then there might be some inaccuracy.

Design

The first interesting fact concerns the timing of development of the two terminals. We know that the time between the first concept of a telephone to their presentation is about two years–and sometimes it gets even late. The two Nexus were conceived in just seven months.

Both required however a lot of work and great attention to detail. Typically, Google has a lot of freedom regarding the design of the device; is not simply a matter of choosing the processes that the hardware partners knows best. For example, Google employees have spent a lot of time in China to examine numerous finishes of aluminium before choosing the final chassis of the Nexus 6 p, and curve that connects the camera protruding Nexus 5 x with the back cover follows a precise design rule. The curve that connects the “Viewer” of the Nexus 6 p to the rest of the back cover, even, it was built with a production process that is completely new, never used before.

The hardware manufacturer’s task is to translate into reality the vision of designers Google and PERCOMPUTER on what can and cannot be achieved. Do you think that in order to place theUSB Connector Type-C perfectly in the center of the Nexus 6 p it took around three months.Of course Google can afford bankruptcy margins higher than those of smartphones lives on them in a more or less exclusive, such as Huawei or LG, so the Nexus may have a more sophisticated and expensive (risky) to be played. Looking back at the history of Nexus devices, it’s easy to experience this approach: the display slightly curved to Nexus S andGalaxy Nexus, the back cover in glass with that particular iridescent effect of the Nexus 4.

Things don’t always happen, however: For the Nexus 6, for example, Motorola had decided to exercise tighter control over the design of the device. That’s why we have a style so similar to that of other smartphones motorcycles, and generally too anonymous for Nexus.

Not only that: it seems that Motorola would be a second choice. A Google employee said, without naming names, “that someone has pulled out at the last minute.”

Among other things, several Googlers at the event acknowledged the pitfalls of Nexus 6.Too big, useless with one hand, and unstable when placed on a table. The Nexus Team has however made the experience, deciding to reduce slightly the size of the successor (the Nexus 6 p of course), greatly improving usability in one hand. The team was also very proud to be able to place a 5.7-inch display “in a chassis the same size in which some competitors (iPhone 6S) to 5.5″.

Nexus Imprint

Google has spent a lot of time studying and study the issue fingerprint scanner. The team considered all three major positioning solutions: under the display style Samsung/iPhone, Sony style, or power button on the back. In the end, the back was preferred because it provides the most natural position possible for the finger; According to Google, reach the scanner below the screen requires the hand in a position that is not natural, unbalancing the device and increase the risk of falls. Additionally, the sensor on the back is comfortable for both left-handers than for right, and offers less problematic to adapt to devices of different sizes. Interesting to note that the precise positioning of the scanner, which all reviews have praised, it was considered important enough to sacrifice some battery capacity.

There’s also an amusing anecdote about how Google has tested the Nexus Imprint in the lab: build a “robot hand” was the least, for engineers Nexus, but lacked the feeling of his finger real, organic, in flesh, skin and bone, which is necessary to measure the latency of the scanner; as long as the product manager of Imprint one day has had to eat chicken legs in the cafeteria, and he thought of a link to the robot …

Sony Camera

One of the most interesting aspects and distinctive features of the new Nexus range is the camera; Maybe not the absolute best on the market, but certainly at the top (and which is responsible for all the pictures you see in this article, THIS source). The sensor is Sony, but not part of the catalog of sensors for Smartphones: comes from that of the sensors for digital cameras, a big difference.

The problem is that it is not enough to choose a sensor and connect it to the motherboard as you would (as coarse) with the components of a PC. For each device, Sony must provide an accompanying team able to integrate it at best. Sony initially was worried that sales of the new Nexus would not be sufficient to cover the cost of the entire operation; Google has had to work hard to convince the producer to proceed. In hindsight, Sony was pleased-even if only for the great publicity that has earned us.

Oh, and why the optical image stabilization (OIS) is absent? Simple: because on that particular sensor is not expected, even as an option.

Display of the Nexus 6 p

There has been much talk of the display by Nexus 6 p, a latest generation AMOLED manufactured by Samsung. Nexus engineers have confirmed that This is the same Panel implemented in Galaxy 5 Notes, but that this description, as we pointed out in our in-depthtechnical analysis , it is not enough to guarantee the same performance. The display of Nexus 6 p is a little less bright and less faithful colour reproduction. Matter of refinement of the production process and trade agreements: Samsung has given Google a slightly less refined variant, and a little more energy-intensive.

Bendgate of the Nexus 6 p

As you know, at the time they came out some “bend test” which would indicate an extreme lack of resistance to bending by Nexus 6 p. As soon as the video has begun to circulate the team Nexus said he was immediately rushed to the lab to redo all tests, but showed critical pressure thresholds in line with those of other competitors.

 

In our opinion remains a generic answer that doesn’t really resolve the issue.The problem remains exactly where it is, just like another famous bendgate. Now, it remains to be discussed about what are the odds that someone decides to apply strong pressure exactly nel punto structurally weaker, but there seems to be a case in which lab tests do not account for all the variables involved.

Noise cancellation on Nexus 6 p

The teardown by iFixit revealed the presence of three microphones dedicated to active noise cancellation, two of which were placed inside the front speaker. Not sure, however, why that position has a high risk of interference; Google employees have confirmed this detail, stating that ran several tests to make sure that the distance between speaker and microphone was sufficient to minimize this phenomenon.

Snapdragon 810 on Nexus 6 p

The question of the temperatures of the SoC was well known to Google, which has however received from Qualcomm a team of engineers dedicated to the optimization of heat dissipation. Moreover, we have confirmation that this is the third version of the SoC, the famous v 2.1.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging and alluminium chassis do not go well together, as we already know. This explains the absence of the feature in the Nexus 6 p. For the Nexus 5 x was a logical consequence: the intention not to offer more than the older brother and a search forconsistency of characteristics between the one and the other (for example, the camera is the same, the flash is the same, the autofocus lasers etc). Moreover, as already stated, the USB Connector Type-C, reversible, making it less annoying when connecting to wired power supply.

Battery and storage

Both of these topics are highly debated issues in the world of smartphones, with valid points on both sides of the fence. The advantages and disadvantages of each solution are perfectly known to the Team Nexus, and every choice is inevitably the result of compromises. In particular, according to Google the SD cards have greater sense of classified devices, where you need to save on storage and on a high end device is better to concentrate on quality storage, wide and fast that, among other things, provides a user experience simpler for novice users.

Regarding the battery, instead, Google is convinced that the advantages in terms of design an integrated battery are simply too significant to be ignored in favor of that, notwithstanding the problem of decay and almost impossible to replace (the Nexus 6 p, in particular, gain access to the battery without causing damage is an enterprise even for professionals).

The sale of Motorola to Lenovo

The googlers have confirmed that the other partner had too much fear that, having a company such as Motorola, Google would become a “vertical” such as Apple and Microsoft to a lesser extent nowadays, placing in position of disadvantage partners. This despite internal barriers between the two companies and the many assurances of Google about it. At one point, Google has preferred to cut the proverbial to the chase and just get rid of Motorola.

It is still curious to observe that it is precisely the Nexus product by Motorola to have disappointed more expectations.

Among other things, the same partners more willingly accepted the Nexus program, because they feel that sales are not so large to be seen as a threat.

User feedback

Among fans and insiders there is always the feeling that when speaking with Google will hit the proverbial wall. The team Nexus, however, assured that the feedback from users, even the most passionate and at times intransigent, is held in high regard and consulted very often.Many Google employees have also claimed to follow closely the main online information channels dedicated to Android, including the increasingly important channel of Reddit/r/android (it was published in the beginning this article, by the way). In a sense, they noticed other googlers, employees of a project are the first his critics. Basically these guys have the privilege of making yourself the phone they will use in the next few months, so there are also discussions, animated, often between individuals regarding this or that aspect.

The issue of volume (software)

There has been much talk about volume control Android “smooth”, and how it’s changed with Lollipop and later-famous Interruptions etc, which were not always well received. The head of Google UX noted that it is extremely difficult to make ends meet a seemingly trivial thing as volume management on a complex and multifaceted device like a smartphone. There are thousands of use cases to consider and amount of hours spent just to figure out how to make it all work in the best possible way.

Among other things, the volume control is not an external app upgradeable via the Play Store, but is deeply integrated into the operating system. Then decisions should be taken well before the final release, and in case of problems/errors/second thoughts you cannot make changes before 12 months.

Apple & earphones Lightning?

In recent days circulated quite a rumor that Apple is reportedly planning to remove the jackfrom the headphone, 3.5 “in favor of Lightning. It turns out that according to Google the move makes a lot more sense than it seems, since we are “obliged” to this standard by now vetusto and passed for over twenty years now, and that a fully digital technology would offer many advantages in terms of quality and performance. Among other things, a 3.5 mm jack “takes up space and makes certain choices in terms of construction. Google also notes that “If there is someone who can succeed [in business], is Apple with Beats”: it’s the one with enough traction in the market to force a change like that.

Android N. ..?

Are very few who know what the trick is associated with the next iteration of Android. to the extent that, when the statue was discovered at the Google Campus, is a surprise to most of those who participate. However, it is often known what name will be discarded-the Lemon Meringue Pie famous case that came out last year with Android 5.0. And then of course there is a healthy dose of goliarderia, as when a Google employee has trolled all the press (and the entire community of enthusiasts Android) with its smartwatch “Milkshake” during I/O 2015).

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