New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

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The bottom line, and the hidden kicker

When it comes to pricing Google is sticking with more of the same; the Nexus 5 line is low cost and you pay for power.

The 5X comes in 16 and 32GB flavors, with prices starting from $379 - a little more than the Nexus 5 but still cheap at the price. In the UK, you're looking at £339 and upwards.

A top-of-the-range 6P, with 128GB of storage, will set you back $649, but if onboard storage isn’t a big deal, a 32GB version will set you back $499 plus tax. At the time of publication, they were out of stock at the Google Store.

Neither of those are a bad price, compared to paying a carrier for the privilege of being locked into a two-year contract in the US. As an added bonus Nexus users get Android updates (and latterly security updates) sooner than anyone else.

But Google has one more trick up its sleeve; it hopes to grow not only as a seller of mobiles, but also as a mobile ISP servicing them too, via Project Fi. In April the Chocolate Factory confirmed that it was buying mobile access from network operators to service the Nexus line.

Project Fi is invitation-only in the US at the moment, but the premise is simple. Pay a flat fee of $20 a month for domestic voice calling and SMS, unlimited international SMS, cheap international calls, and coverage in more than 120 countries, with no annual contract or termination fee.

Data gets charged at $10 a gigabyte but, crucially, any unused data get refunded. It’s a very tempting package for those in the US paying hand-over-fist for crappy cellphone plans, and could prove a major spur for the Nexus line.

Presently only Nexus 6 phones can use Google as a provider, so the 5X and 6P could bring the service more mainstream when they launch later this month. Google’s going to find more competitive markets harder to crack, but Fi could become a major force in the mobile industry if it plays its cards right. We’re testing the service now and will let you know how it turns out. ®

Nexus 5X

New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Steady as she goes at Google: These new Nexus smartphones are more update than upgrade.
Price: From $379 (£339) for the 5X RRP

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