The Nexus line saw a refresh in both the phone and tablet department. That’s actually not an accurate statement. It would be more accurate to say the Nexus line saw a refresh in the tablet and phablet department. I’m a little fuzzy on why Google decided it needed to release a phone the size of a small runway, but that’s neither here nor there. The other significant part of the news was the Nexus 6 price – $650 off contract.

That’s pretty steep, which is to say it’s right on par with other flagships that are out there now – the iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G3. All of them are right in that same dollar neighborhood. But it’s a major step away from the tradition of lower priced Nexus that we’ve grown used to. This year, the Nexus 6 is debuting at 83% of the cost of an off contract Galaxy Note 4. You might be thinking “17% off isn’t bad!” until you realize that a year ago, the Nexus 5 came out at nearly 50% of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s off contract price.

Nexus 5 versus iPhone 5CToo bad, so sad

This is a shame for a number of reasons. We were just starting to get used to great phones for great prices. The Nexus 5 at 350 dollars, the OnePlus One at 300 dollars, and even the original Moto X at 350 dollars were all really great buys that didn’t smack your wallet in the face like a frying pan. It was a shot across the bow to OEMs telling them, “Hey, you’re going to start losing customers if you don’t figure out a way to bring this price down.” OEMs would be forced to respond or watch more Nexus 5’s hit the floor and watch people continue to clamor for OnePlus One invites.

But now with the Nexus 6 reaching the higher pricing margin again, that’s one less competitor to OEMs, and it’s less incentive to get them to price their prices down to compete. That’s bad news for consumers. Less incentive to drive prices down will translate to OEMs asking for more and more and the more budget-minded consumers will have less to choose from. This is a shame.

And yet…

But when you actually take a look at what you’re getting for this price tag, the money is completely justified. These are some really high-end specifications here. Let’s just take a quick look-see for those of you who have been sleeping under a rock for the past week. Let’s take the puppy head to head with the Galaxy Note 4 shall we? The Nexus 6 meets or even exceed the Samsung Note 4 – arguably the flagship of phablets (say that five times real fast) – on almost every part of the spec sheet. Plus is comes sans TouchWiz (which is a good thing) and multi-window (which isn’t) and it comes at the previously mentioned 17% price reduction. One might argue that that’s a pretty sweet deal.

moneyCannot stop the battery!

Plus, let’s not forget the battery claims of this super-device. According to Google, you will get more than 24 hours of life out of this battery. If you’re pulling an all-nighter and 24 hours isn’t enough, then plug the phone in for 15 minutes and get an extra 6 hours of battery life out of it. We’re talking some pretty awesome specs here from the face to the back plate. Plus, it’s made by Motorola who already has a great track record for quality products.

By all accounts this new Nexus phone is a gorgeous device that will be a monster in almost every way. Who are we to ask that Google or Motorola sell this device as a reduced cost just because history has dictated it should. Previous phones from the Nexus line have always cut corners. The Nexus 4 has no LTE. The Nexus 5 had a less-than-desirable camera which may have been outdone by a phone a 1/3 of it’s price.

Let the debate begin

Taking all that into consideration, it’s hard to argue that the price of the Nexus 6 is too high. It’s high for sure, but too high? That’s up for some debate, which is of course why we’re all here.

Honestly, I came into the article thinking the price was too high. I, much like my colleague Stephen, prefer phones that are more budget friendly. When some companies can offer really high end specifications for mid-range prices, that’s when we stand up and take notice. That being said, after really reasoning it out, I don’t really blame Google for putting such a high number of this device. It beats the Note 4, for Pete’s sake! I really could go either way on this one.

How about you? Do you think the price of this small surfboard is worth it? Or do you think Google should have upheld the “legacy” of the Nexus line and figured out a way to bring the price down? Sound off below with your thoughts and let’s see if we can figure this out.

Leader Image courtesy of CBS (and Photoshop)

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