Back in 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. Its mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” By 2004, Google went public with stock offering off the massive success of its search functionality. Today, Google (Alphabet)is the world’s second most valuable brand, and we’re here to give you a little background about the smartphone that Google designed to run pure unadulterated Android.

While Samsung is the world’s number one smartphone maker, its flagships run Android with a skin over top called TouchWiz. LG, HTC, Motorola and Sony all have their own skins on top of pure Android, which is part of the reason why Google decided to design its own flagship. Since the start of the Nexus program, Google has never manufactured its own smartphones, instead it partnered with companies HTC, Samsung, LG, Huawei and Motorola to build the Nexus phones.

Nexus-Evolution-750x421

Devices in the Nexus line are considered Google’s flagship Android products. They contain little to no manufacturer or wireless carrier modifications to Android (such as custom graphical user interfaces), although devices sold through carriers are sometimes SIM locked and may bear some extra branding. Nexus 6 devices sold through AT&T, for example, are SIM locked and feature a custom boot splash screen and a logo on the back of the device, despite having otherwise identical hardware to the unlocked variant. – Wikipedia

The Nexus program has developed some great phones in the last five years, and it gains popularity every year. Nexus phones get the fastest access to Android updates, and are the only approved smartphones that can use Google’s own Project Fi (Nexus 6, 5X, and 6P).

Let’s take a look back at Google’s flagships and hope this year’s Nexus puts them all to shame. It’s a little crazy to think that just five years ago we were running Android 2.1, ran single core processors, and had 512 of RAM and 512MB of Memory.

HTC Nexus One – January 2010

HTC Nexus One
HTC Nexus One
  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250
  • Display – 3.7″ AMOLED 480x800p
  • Memory – 512MB
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Camera – 5MP rear with LED flash
  • Battery – 1400mAh
  • Operating System – Android 2.1 Froyo

Samsung Nexus S – December 2010

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  • Processor – Samsung Exynos 3 single 1Ghz
  • Display – 4″ Super AMOLED 800x480p
  • Memory – 16GB
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Camera – 5MP LED flash
  • Battery – 1500mAh
  • Operating System – Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Samsung Galaxy Nexus – October 2011

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  • Processor -1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 Texas Instruments
  • Display – 4.65″ Super AMOLED 1280x720p
  • Memory – 16GB/32GB
  • RAM – 1GB
  • Camera – 5MP rear with LED flash, 1.3MP front
  • Battery – 1750 – 2100mAh depending on the variant
  • Operating System – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

LG Nexus 4 – November 2012

Nexus-4

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-Core, 1.5 GHz
  • Display – 4.7″ LCD (1,280 x 768 pixels, 320 ppi)
  • Memory – 8.16GB
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Camera – 8 MP (rear), 1.3 MP (front)
  • Battery – 2100mAh
  • Operating System – Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

LG Nexus 5 – October 2013

Google-Nexus-5-review-front-android-home

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, quad-core, 2.3 GHz
  • Display – 4.95″ LCD, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 445 ppi)
  • Memory – 16/32GB
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Camera – 8 MP (rear), OIS, 1.3 MP (front)
  • Battery – 2300mAh
  • Operating System – Android 4.4 KitKat

Motorola Nexus 6 – October 2014

Nexus 6 on Motorola.com

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, quad-core, 2.7 GHz
  • Display – 5.96″ QHD, (2,560 x 1,440 pixels, 493 ppi)
  • Memory – 32/64GB
  • RAM – 3GB
  • Camera – 13 MP (back), 2 MP (front)
  • Battery – 3,220 mAh + Qi wireless charging
  • Operating System – Android 5.0 Lollipop

Nexus 5X – September 2015 (get at Amazon on sale for $265)

LG Nexus 5X 3

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, hexa-core, 1.8 GHz
  • Display – 5.2″ LCD, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 424 ppi)
  • Memory – 16/32GB
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Camera – 12.3 MP (back) 5 MP (front)
  • Battery – 2700mAh
  • Operating System – Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Nexus 6P – September 2015

Google-Nexus-6P

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 V2.1, octa-core
  • Display – 5.7″ QHD, (2,560 x 1,440 pixels)
  • Memory – 32/64/128GB
  • RAM – 3GB
  • Camera – 12 MP (back) 8 MP (front)
  • Battery – 3450mAh
  • Operating System – Android 6.0 Marshmallow

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  • David L

    I really liked my Nexus S, a ripper little phone with a slight curve to the glass. Was very good to hold/use.