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Google Nexus 5X and 6P Unveiled: Flagship Specs Starting at $379


The new 5.2-inch Nexus 5X and 5.7-inch 6P pack a ton of new features that catch up to the just-released iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, adding a fingerprint sensor, reversible USB Type-C charging port and improved cameras.

The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are available for preorder today on the Google Store, starting at $379 and $499, respectively. You'll have to be in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan to do that today, and those in other countries can order in the next few weeks. The phones will be compatible with most major carriers.

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Both new smartphones come with a fingerprint sensor on the back that Google calls Nexus Imprint. According to vice president of engineering Dave Burke, the new fingerprint sensors can recognize a single finger in less than 6 milliseconds. Like the OnePlus 2's fingerprint reader, the Nexus Imprint can simultaneously wake and unlock your phone when you place your finger on it.

Imprint will not only make for more convenient and secure unlocking, said Burke, but also let you make payments and secure transactions with Android Pay. The system will also learn your measurements each time you use it to get a better read on your digits over time. I'm not a fan of the rear placement of Imprint, since I feel that putting the reader on the home button like the iPhone and OnePlus 2 is more convenient.

Both new flagships come with 12.3-megapixel rear and 8-MP front cameras that have bigger pixels to let in more light for better pictures. In fact, Burke said the new front cameras will help you shoot "the world's best selfies." While 12.3-MP is lower than the Nexus 6's 13-MP shooter, Burke said the new sensor is a first for smartphones as it puts digital camera-level tech in a mobile phone. The larger pixels will enable better shooting in conditions with poor lighting, according to Google.

The cameras can now shoot slo-mo videos at 120 frames per second (on the Nexus 5X) and 240 fps (Nexus 6P) and record video in 4K. Holding down the shutter button in the camera app lets you take burst shots at 30 fps, which you can export as animated GIFs.

Like Apple's lightning charger, the USB Type-C charging ports and cables for the new Nexus phones will allow for convenient recharging, but Burke said Google's product will fill up your Nexus twice as fast as Apple juices up its iPhone 6. The new Nexus flagships will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which packs a slew of improvements.

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Both phones will be compatible with Google's own wireless service Project Fi that offers a more flexible cell and data plan that pays you back for unused bytes. This brings the lineup of phones that support Project Fi to three -- the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6.