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Christmas Gift Guide

Meet Google's newest Nexus family

Biggest Google flagship yet

Powerful hardware innards

A fast-charging battery

For your photo needs

Fitting right in: Google's Nexus 9

Google Nexus 9 pricing

Thin is in

First to run Android TV

Voice-search supported remote control

Not many apps included

Screen mirroring from the Chrome browser or Chromebook

Additional controller from Asus

Today, Google officially introduced three new Nexus products for 2014. The lineup includes the Nexus 6 smartphone, the  Nexus 9 tablet (both of which run the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS), and the Google Nexus Player. Pre-orders for all devices begin in October and are expected to ship out in early November.

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Equipped with a 6-inch, 1,440p display, the Nexus 6 is Google's biggest flagship phone to date. With its curved backing, flowing aluminum trim and dimpled Motorola branding on the rear, the device borrows heavily from the second-gen Moto X's design book.

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The handset comes in midnight blue and cloud white. It's powered by a quad-core 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor from Qualcomm, an Adreno 420 GPU for smooth gameplay, and a 3,220mAh battery.

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The battery has a reported talk time of up to 24 hours and a standby time of 300 hours. Similar to its Nexus predecessors, it will also have wireless charging capabilities, and can regain six hours of power after 15 minutes of charging with a specialized Turbo charger that features Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology.

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For your camera needs, the Nexus 6 has a 13-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash that encircles the camera lens and a 2-megapixel front shooter. Additional goodies include 3GB of RAM and dual front-facing speaker grilles, similar to the Moto X.

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Completing a tablet trifecta, Google added a midsize tablet to its sparse slate line-up. The Nexus 9 will be the first tablet to run Android Lollipop and will hit stores on November 3, with presale starting October 17.

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The 16GB model of the Nexus 9 starts at $399, with the 32GB going for $479, and the LTE version of the 32GB costing $599. There is no expandable memory option on the Nexus 9 tablet, so if you're not a cloud-centric user, an upgrade in storage is a prudent decision.

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Not to be left out of the sleek-and-slim tablet trend, the Nexus 9 rocks a thin brushed-aluminum body. Its girth measures 0.31-inch (7.95mm) thick and weighs 0.94-pound (425g).

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The Nexus Player is the first device to run Android TV, and it's built on the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android Lollipop. It represents the latest in a long line of Google's living room platforms, including Google TV, Nexus Q and Chromecast.

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Its remote control has a microphone that supports voice search, and there's an optional gaming controller available.

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Judging from Google's preliminary product page, the main weakness of the Nexus Player appears to be a dearth of apps. The list of available apps lacks HBO Go (even more important now that it's going over-the-top), Amazon Instant, and Spotify, to name a few.

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The grid above lists available native apps, as of October 15. In comparison, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV all offer more native apps than the Nexus Player does at launch. Here's our full comparison grid if you're curious.

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The Nexus Player also supports screen mirroring from a Chrome browser or Chromebook, allowing access to even more online video sources. We've had mixed luck with many sites using this feature with a Chromecast, however (below), including Amazon and Hulu (non-Plus). Compared to native or Cast-compatible apps, screen mirroring is a less-desirable way to get video onto the big screen.

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The controller will retail for $40 (which converts to about £25 or AU$45), and it offers better tech specs than the more established boxes, namely a 1.8GHz Quad Core processor.

Caption by / Photo by Google
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