Google to add new Nexus 6P and 5X to Project Fi MVNO

As expected, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced its new Nexus 6P (built by Huawei) and the Nexus 5X (built by LG). Notably, the company said the phones would be available through its Project Fi MVNO.

The addition of the Nexus 6P and 5X to Google's Project Fi could increase interest in the service. So far, Project Fi users could only use the service through the existing Google Nexus 6, which is built by Motorola.

Although Google plans to sell its new devices through Project Fi, the company didn't give the service much airtime during its media event today to announce the devices. "Notable that Google gives Project Fi no more than a 5 second plug. It's an experiment at this stage, little more," Tweeted CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber of Google's Nexus media event.

Google announced Project Fi earlier this year, and has since opened it to customers. The MVNO dynamically moves customers from Wi-Fi to Sprint to T-Mobile US networks, depending on which provides the best and fastest signal. However, Google has done relatively little to promote the MVNO, leading many in the industry to view the offering as more of a test by Google rather than a major new undertaking. Nonetheless, the addition of Google's new Nexus 6P and 5X to Project Fi reflects Google's intention to broaden the devices available through the service.

Google said the new Nexus 6P and 5X both run Android 6.0 and both sport a 12.3-megapixel camera and a fingerprint reader, which will connect to Google's new Android Pay service. The company also said both devices will offer its new Android Sensor Hub, which will track the movement of users like the M process in Apple's new iPhones. However, the 6P sports an aluminum design and faster processor, and will start at $499. The 5X sports a plastic casing and will start at $379. The company plans to sell the devices unlocked through its online store and potentially through other outlets, though the company did not provide details. Neither phone will be sold by carriers in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal.

During its media event, Google also announced a handful of other services and features:

  • Google announced its Nexus Protect insurance program for the phones, which costs $69 for the Nexus 5X and $89 for the Nexus 6P.
  • Google issued a new version of its Chromecast streaming video product with more search features and additional functions.
  • Google announced a family plan for its Play Music service that costs $14.99 per month.
  • Google announced its new Pixel C 10.2-inch tablet, which sports a keyboard like Microsoft's Surface, that will sell for $499.
  • The company said Android 6.0, dubbed Marshmallow, will be distributed to other Nexus devices starting next week. 

For more:
- see these two WSJ articles
- see this VentureBeat article
- see these two Verge articles
- see these two Phone Scoop articles

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