Evolution of Google Nexus phones

Google has recently announced and released Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, two brand new phones for its Nexus lineup. Google Nexus phones have always confused me regarding which one is the new and which one was release at what time. The Nexus phone’s naming convention has been poor and confusing making it hard to keep track of its evolution. So, I decided to put out a brief post that can help track the evolution of Google Nexus phones till date.

Google Nexus lineup has been a key driver for the growth and pace for the Android world. Therefore, this evolution can also serve as a guide to reflect upon the overall evolution of phone technologies in Android world from 2010 to 2015.




Android Version

Nexus One

January 2010


2.1 (Éclair)

Nexus S

December 2010


2.3 (Gingerbread)

Galaxy Nexus

November 2011


4.0 (ICS)

Nexus 4

November 2012


4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Nexus 5

October 2013


4.4 (KitKat)

Nexus 6

October 2014


5 (Lollipop)

Nexus 5X

September 2015


6 (Marshmallow)

Nexus 6P

September 2015


6 (Marshmallow)


Looking at the evolution table, my first impression and general belief was wow; the smartphone has been evolving at so much paces. Being critical of common wisdom, I decided to take a closer look for features and updates to see what has been actually evolved? In today’s marketing world, it’s easy to lose track of actual evolution as so much hype has been created for nothing but pure marketing purpose (Blame Apple here). Below is my take on the actual evolution of key features on nexus phone:

  • Storage

It has not been evolved in general. SD cards were available in 2010 and are still there. We still pay a lot for storage updates in Nexus or iPhone series because cheap SD card is unsupported in these so called premium phones for no apparent reasons. I attribute this failure to the arrogant manufacturers.

  • Screen quality

Screen quality and resolution, in particular, has been evolved very significantly. Primarily due to the advances in TV technologies simultaneously. I credit LG for pushing extra high-resolution screen in G3 that created recent resolution race. Regardless, it has been evolving through every upgrade.

  • Battery life

Overall no change. As device gets- bigger display, more features and usage that use more processors and RAM, pure battery capacity needed to be updated. So it was updated accordingly. However, it has not changed too much ultimately for the end-user. We almost had similar or even better battery life on feature phones.

  • Camera

Camera quality and innovations in phones have been outstanding and it has evolved significantly. IT’s probably the most significantly evolved part of today’s smartphones. Use of Phone cameras is increasing every day. I believe that this trend is one of the significant contributors of increasing popularity of DSLRs since regular digital cameras are almost displaced by phone cameras and feel like unnecessary middle size cameras that if any, it has only marginal real advantages over phone camera.

  • Processor, GPU, RAM (Horsepower)

Processors and GPU are evolving and getting more powerful and efficient, every upgrade in the phone. RAM is also increasing every upgrade in terms of capacity and efficiency. Does this mean that every OS update needs more Horse Power? I do not know for sure although manufacturers always claim that new upgrade speeds up the devices. How much for real this benefits user is a question as it may just benefit OS more than the user?

  • Hardware Technologies

Updated hardware – NFC, Wifi speed, Connectivity, Cellular technologies, GPS, Bluetooth updates, etc are all been evolving but not at a significant pace to feel it in my day-to-day life, except for a real hardcore high-speed fans. For me, I see only marginal evolution here. These technologies have not really made much difference in my day-to-day usage or user experience.


In conclusion, there are only a few things that have made a significant difference or improved my day-to-day user experience. The full price of the device is overall similar although it’s lot more powerful today than it was ever before.




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