For the second time in three weeks, Google has dropped the price of the Nexus 5X. Back on January 12th the company dropped their entry level Nexus phone by $30 and now have lopped off another $50 which brings the 16GB model to just $299. The 32GB model has also dropped by $50 and is now $349. For the specifications of the device, that is an excellent price and you will have Android Marshmallow already on the device. Plus, as we all know, Nexus devices get Marshmallow updates first and faster than anyone else.
Google has dropped the price of the Nexus 5X by $30 at the Google Store, bringing the mid-market phone down to $349 for the 16GB model. The 32GB model also dropped by $30 to $399. The price change is a permanent change.
When the 5X was released back in September, many question the price point of the device for the specs it offered. Google, it would seem, has heard this and had introduced this price reduction. At this new price point, the Nexus 5X is really hard to beat and it comes with Android Marshmallow already installed so there are no upgrade challenges for this device.
As a Nexus owner, I know every month that Google is going to release a security and bug fix update for Android Marshmallow my Nexus 6 and Nexus 7. The challenge of course is when that update will actually hit my device after it has been released. Google, like other manufactures, stage these updates and it can sometimes take weeks for it to hit your device.
Don’t get me started on carrier locked versions. -.-
While you can always manually check to see if the latest version of Marshmallow on your device (Settings>About Phone (or Tablet)>System Update), the reality is that really doesn’t get you moved up in the queue any faster and some have suggested it makes no difference at all.
There is however a way to force an update to your device by manipulating the Google Services Framework on your device. Indeed it is quite possible that this method will work on non-Nexus devices but I have not tested it. The key thing for you to keep in mind as you try this is that it may take you several attempts to get this to work – and it may not work at all. In my case, it took me 1 try to get my Nexus 7 (2013) to update to the January build of Marshmallow but it took me no less than 6 tries to get my Nexus 6 to update to the same release. Patience is important but this could be a way to get an update a bit quicker other than a full-on flashing of the device. Also, do this at your own risk as you are manipulating how Android operates on your device. You may have to restart your device and worst case reset it.
It was widely expected that today would be the day that Google dropped the January security update for Nexus devices and that appears to be the case. Google has updated the Factory Images page on their developer site, bringing the latest build of Android Marshmallow to a range of devices. With the release of the images, users can expect the OTA updates to being shortly to the latest build of 6.0.1 while manufactures and carriers can start doing their testing to get updates out quickly. It is likely we will see an update from HTC and T-Mobile drop for the One A9 and Nexus 6 respectively in the next two weeks.
The updated images are for all of the devices that were upgraded or released with Android Marshmallow. Here is the list and the newest build number for each Nexus device.
- Pixel C: 6.0.1 (MXB48K)
- Nexus 6P: 6.0.1 (MMB29P)
- Nexus 5X: 6.0.1 (MMB29P)
- Nexus 6: 6.0.1 (MMB29S)
- Nexus Player: 6.0.1 (MMB29T)
- Nexus 9 LTE: 6.0.1 (MMB29S)
- Nexus 9 Wi-Fi: 6.0.1 (MMB29S)
- Nexus 5: 6.0.1 (MMB29S)
- Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi: 6.0.1 (MMB29O)
- Nexus 7 (2013) LTE: 6.0.1 (MMB29O)
If you are comfortable with flashing your devices then you can download the files today and update immediately. Otherwise you will need to wait for the OTA update.
With Android Marshmallow being available now for a couple of months, there has been plenty written on its impressive list of highlight features. My review of the release covered most of those and I have also posted that I think Doze and App Sleep are the true killer features of the release.
But there is another feature that Android users have long wanted out of the platform that has come with Marshmallow: Native USB On-the-go (OTG) support. For those who aren’t familiar with OTG, it allows you to plug in a small adapter to your device and then read things like USB memory sticks, run a USB based keyboard or mouse as if your phone or tablet were a PC. It gives you the ability for example to transfer files from your Android tablet to a USB key to share with others. In previous released of Android, OTG support was not inherently supported and effectively required that you have your device rooted even if your hardware technically supported it. That, it seems for Nexus devices, has gone away.
That last phrase is key as I explore this with you. Right now it appears that the only devices that this works on with Marshmallow are Nexus devices: Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 7 (2013), Nexus 9 and Pixel C. I can confirm that I was able to connect a USB drive and a mouse successfully to my Nexus 6 and Nexus 7 while I was equally able to connect both to a colleague who as the Nexus 6P and Nexus 9. Based on information available, the Pixel C should have no problem supporting it either. Technically the Nexus 5 does support it but there have been reports of challenges getting it to work. At the end of the day, your mileage may vary so keep that in mind. Importantly, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to try this out on your devices – especially if you have a non-Nexus device – to see if it work.
Google has kicked off the holiday shopping season with a great deal on the new Nexus 5X. For a limited time you can get $80 off of the latest Nexus in any color and any storage amount when you buy it through the Google Store. There are no coupon codes required. Just configure yours, add it to your cart and the discount is applied automatically. With this discount, the 16GB version of the Nexus 5X drops down to $299 while the 32GB version drops to $349.
With the shipment of 1st day orders of the Nexus 5X starting today, Google has made a few interesting posts on their various sites today. First, as you saw earlier, you can now get a zero wait Project Fi invite to try the service out. Second came the posting of the factory image for the Nexus 5X, codename “bullhead”. Interesting, Google posted three images for the 5X, all based on Android Marshmallow. The latest update is MDB08I.
For those who are unfamiliar, the factory images are the full Android images for Nexus devices that you can install on your device instead of waiting for the OTA update. Generally speaking only developers should need to load these images but Google explains on the site how to install these on your Nexus devices if you chose to do so.