Hey everyone, this is Hiroshi Lockheimer here with David Burke, Krishna Kumar & Sandeep Waraich from the team that built Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P (proof!): https://twitter.com/googlenexus/status/649278510520008704

We’re here live from the Googleplex to answer questions about the new devices, how they were built, the Nexus program, and/or anything else you might be curious about. We’ll be answering your questions from 11 a.m. to noon PT (1800-1900 UTC) so...Ask Us Anything!

A bit more about us (we’ll initial our responses):

  • Hiroshi Lockheimer, Theoretically in charge of Android and stuff. When I’m not at work I’m definitely not sky diving.
  • Dave Burke, Engineering lead, graphic T enthusiast
  • Krishna Kumar, Product Manager for Nexus 5X. I love to Ski and drink - usually at the same time!
  • Sandeep Waraich, Product Manager for Nexus 6P. Have owned every major phone launched in the last 3 years.

EDIT: We've gotta get back to work, but thank you ALL for all your great/insightful/knowledgable questions! See you next time Reddit :) - HL/DB/KK/SW

Comments: 4360 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

drunkenAmoeba1034 karma

Was it a conscious decision to leave out Qi wireless charging, or was it a cost or design necessity?

Thanks for doing the AMA! I've been a fan ever since I got my Nexus One years ago :)

google_nexus_team963 karma

HL> Thanks for being a Nexus fan! We added Qi wireless charging starting with N4 because plugging in USB micro B was such a hassle! (Which way is up!?) With this year’s Nexii, we support USB Type-C which has a reversible connector so there’s no more guessing. AND it charges incredibly swiftly: 1% to 100% in 97 mins on the 6P for example (the first ~45 mins of charging is especially fast). Meanwhile, wireless charging adds z (thickness). So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless!

Jordydaman535 karma

Any word on what panel is used for the screen in the Nexus 6P?

google_nexus_team756 karma

SW: It has a Samsung WQHD AMOLED panel. We have spent a lot of time tuning the white-point and color gamut for these panels - hope you will enjoy the accuracy of the display.

jackie89334 karma

Follow up question: What gen is this panel?

Bossman1086278 karma

This is the million dollar question. Would like to know if it's an older or newer one.

google_nexus_team1053 karma

Yep, confirmed: Nexus 6P has the latest generation panels from Samsung. One of things we deeply care for is the quality and accuracy of the display through which all of us connect with the stuff we care about. We created a very tight spec (white-point temperature, delta-E variance, color-space accuracy, etc) for the 6P WQHD AMOLED panel, so it was important that we use the most cutting edge panel technology available.

Peefz506 karma

Hi. What kind of security goes into keeping our finger prints safe when using imprint? Are the prints encrypted and stored on the device?

google_nexus_team744 karma

DB> Fingerprint features are securely encrypted on the device, and processed in the secure Trustzone protected area of memory. The Android 6.0 fingerprint APIs do not provide any access to the fingerprint material to apps. Fingerprint features never leave the device and are not shared with Google (so for example if you setup a new phone, you need to re-enroll your fingers). If your phone is ever lost or stolen you can easily find, lock, and erase your phone using Android Device Manager.

h3ckman479 karma

What does the "X" and the "P" stand for?

google_nexus_team736 karma

HL> X for the core of the Nexus brand (plus it sounds cool!), P for premium.

GinDaHood355 karma

Do you have a timeline for enabling of VoLTE and band 12 support for T-Mobile USA?

google_nexus_team493 karma

We’re hard at work with T-Mo to get Band 12 on Nexus devices by ship date

hikeut345 karma

Is the rear facing camera on the 6P and 5X identical?

google_nexus_team437 karma

KK: Yes. Both devices have the same camera - a 12.3MP camera, with a large 1.55um pixels, which works great in all conditions - especially low light. And both have LDAF for fast auto-focus.

VicRattlehead20258 karma

What made the team decide to partner with Huawei and LG this year for the Nexus devices?

google_nexus_team378 karma

HL> 5X: We wanted to bring the LG-Google band back together. So many N5 fans, we couldn’t possibly disappoint! 6P: Always nice to work with new players -- we have a history of working with a bunch of folks: HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Asus and now Huawei!

Spacemxn244 karma

Does the Nexus 5X have USB 3.1?

google_nexus_team276 karma

Nope! Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P supports USB 2.0

Just8laze220 karma

How do you feel about all the leaks ?

google_nexus_team572 karma

They’re a bummer. It’s like unwrapping a present...sometimes it's best to keep a surprise a surprise.

gustavoar213 karma

DxOMark in its 6P camera review saw a weakness in video stabilization (probably because of the lack of OIS). Do you guys plan to enhance the video stabilization tweaking the algorithm?

google_nexus_team222 karma

DB> Yup :)

kaliforniamike196 karma

What is your favorite new feature about the phone that once I start using I won't understand how I lived my life without it before?

google_nexus_team312 karma

SW: Nexus Imprint. It is fast (it really is!) and highly accurate. You won’t even see the lockscreen anymore. And the location of the sensor is such that you will get right in your homescreen by the time phone is in front of you. Check out some hands-on videos around this.

KK: The camera on these devices is great - the picture quality is awesome - especially for low light pictures. Sloooo-mo on these devices is a lot of fun.

HL: USB Type-C!

DB: I think the “premiumness” of both phones is my fav feature. Particularly loving the all-metal aluminium - I mean alum-in-um - and the diamond cut edges of the 6P :)

bboi1_94170 karma

Is the internal storage on the 6P UFS 2.0?

google_nexus_team321 karma

DB: Both 6P and 5X use eMMC 5.0

rayfin169 karma

Where is the NFC antenna located in the 5X and 6P? I'm asking for ease of use for Android Pay and Nexus Imprint. Hopefully the NFC antenna is at the top. Thanks!

google_nexus_team213 karma

SW/KK: On 6P the NFC coil sits just above the Nexus Imprint fps is exposed behind the camera coverglass (which is GG4 BTW). On Nexus 5X, the coil is wrapped around the back camera. And we have tested it rigorously for payments experience and it works great! And for peer-to-peer and reader mode too BTW.

dalanmiller136 karma

What was the hardest part during the design process of the 6P? What things did you have to compromise on? What things could not be compromised?

For the record, I just preordered mine with Google Fi this morning, I'm already sold.

google_nexus_team160 karma

SW: kind of same as answered for PM_ME_CUTE_PUPPYS’ question re camera visor. But also adding that stuff that we really care about, which we know is lot of stuff that you really care about, is what makes this really challenging and exciting. In no real order these are -- Great design (ergonomic, considered, and comfortable), premium materials, high build quality and polish, excellent all-around camera, solid/reliable all-day battery, accurate displays, convenient charging, intuitive access/auth, reliable antennas, great media experience. So designing around all these aspects - we had big camera sensor this year (along with with flash and LDAF) for you guys to capture amazing life moments, wanted to bring you all-metal premium, compact, light and comfortable design, wanted to provide ergonomic authentication experience, and didn’t want to compromise on this essentials such as antenna reliability and NFC experience, etc. And BTW, the challenge is exponential doing this across 100s of components and vendors at scale, to bring you lots and lots of these devices when you want to buy them.

Someone recently commented that building high-end smartphones is as complex and difficult as making commercial airplanes. Ha, that’s a compliment.

google_nexus_team129 karma

EDIT: We've gotta get back to work, but thank you ALL for all your great/insightful/knowledgable questions! See you next time Reddit :) - HL/DB/KK/SW

jra2k1116 karma

Is there digital/software stabilization for video at 1080p on either the Nexus 6P or 5X??

google_nexus_team131 karma

DB> 6P has EIS.

plee82109 karma

Will these phones support full hardware based encryption? If yes, will these be ported to the Nexus 6?

google_nexus_team98 karma

DB> Encryption is software accelerated. Specifically the ARMv8 as part of 64-bit support has a number of instructions that provides better performance than the AES hardware options on the SoC.

ozzie1p108 karma

Given the fingerprint scanner is on the back of the device is there a workaround to unlock it while it is sitting on a desk without having to pickup the phone?

google_nexus_team161 karma

DB> You can nudge the phone to turn on Ambient Display and then enter pin/pattern. Or you can use SmartLock, e.g. for phone to stay unlocked when paired with an Android Wear watch.

sleepinlight103 karma

Do you guys actually devise the physical design and specs in-house at Google and then ask OEM partners to make it happen, or do LG & Huawei have input in the design process?

google_nexus_team105 karma

KK/SW: Each Nexus product is a collaboration between Google and the OEM - from conception to specs to design to hardware and software development - drawing the best of Google’s and the OEM’s technologies. It essentially starts from clean slate with a vision for what we aspire to bring to you.

BlackMiracle91 karma

Is the rear camera module found in Nexus 5X and 6P exactly the same? Will users get the exact same image quality when shooting from both phones?

google_nexus_team166 karma

DB> Yea, same sensor (IMX377) and F/2.0 optics. But 6P has more CPU/GPU horsepower so has a few additional features like 240fps slomo (vs 120fps on 5X), Smartburst, and EIS.

ejkeebler87 karma

  1. Why no OIS?
  2. Is it possible a new color 6P is released in the coming months, ala red Nexus 5?
  3. Was there discussions about integrating the fingerprint reader into the side power button?
  4. Why no wireless charging?
  5. Can "Fast Charging" benefits be seen with a normal 100w 2.4a charger, or is this Qualcomm "Quick Charge" technology?
  6. Any chance they deliver early :)?

nsnadell36 karma

2nd about no OIS. Or is there some substitute in the 5X/6P for it?

google_nexus_team80 karma

DB > We’ve done a bunch of things to provide image stabilization: 1. The Nexus 6P/5X has a large 1.55um pixel camera and the amount of motion blur due to hand-shake is lower , when you have large pixels. 2. We have a feature we call “lucky shot” internally. When you take a picture, behind the scenes, we select the best of 3 bursts of images. 3. When you use video, we have optic-flow-based image stabilization. 4. When you use SmartBurst, we select the best image from the burst (for example a shot with eyes open).


How did you feel about the false leaks that portrayed the 6P's camera bump as much larger than it really is?

google_nexus_team156 karma

SW: The “bump”? We call it a visor internally :) Nice, respectful name, eh. Jokes aside, the blurry-cam leaks (which always are unfortunate) misrepresented the device as most such leaks do. The visor looked distorted, which was sad given how much effort was put into designing it well. The design was driven by major engineering challenges (putting in a great camera with big sensor for amazing low-light performance, LDAF, flash, antennas, nfc coils, wifi 2x2 mimo antennas) and still keeping the form nice looking, and optimizing for thin/light/comfortable feel in hand. You’ll see the high-res images on our sites and the product videos on YT and also great hands-on videos all suggesting the contrary to how things came across when they got leaked. Engadget captured it well - we had a good discussion with them on this topic yesterday.

EE_technology66 karma

Can you tell us what led to the decision to include the Android Sensor Hub and detail the benefits it'll give the phones?

google_nexus_team124 karma

DB> Android Sensor Hub allows us to do sensor processing in a much more power efficient, always on mode. For example, we use it for sensor fusion (Kalman Filtering to combine accel, gyro, mag). Also activity recognition (walking, running, biking, driving). The pickup gesture is also detected by the Android Sensor Hub to trigger Ambient Display. And we’re using it to detect orientation change and trigger rotation of the display. Android Sensor Hub runs on a Cortex M3 which enables us to run at micro-amps current drain.

rayfin41 karma

Who wins the best shirt award on the Android team? Matias Duarte with his colorful dress shirts or Dave Burke with his graphic Ts?

Edit: word

google_nexus_team55 karma

DB> With a shirt like this, is there any competition? https://twitter.com/lockheimer/status/648935061459353600 Come on!

saxmanatee40 karma

Why use different manufacturers for the 5x vs the 6p?

google_nexus_team120 karma

HL> Always nice to mix things up! Work with different partners, exchange ideas, learn from each other. That sort of thing. That’s what’s cool about Android -- so much choice.

DNAtaurine35 karma

Does the new Chromecast have improved wifi connectivity? I love the one I have now but I am constantly having connection issues with it.

google_nexus_team51 karma

DB> Yup - that’s probably its best new feature (has 3 antennas).

TrencO024 karma

How is the food were you work and what is your favorite part of working there? Thanks!

google_nexus_team63 karma

We take our Android release names from our favorite snacks, so you can tell we may not be eating the most balanced diets.