Google Nexus 5X & 6P to be Cardboard-ready, Cardboard-packing

Google’s next two Nexus devices have one feature that the benchmarks didn’t leak.

The Nexus 5X and 6P are just a mere 48 hours away from launching. But the bean-spilling isn’t done yet. Both phones feature Qualcomm Snapdragon processors (808 and 810, respectively).

The LG-built Nexus 5X appears to harken back to Google’s days of affordable, unlocked smartphone devices. The Huawei-built Nexus 6P on the other hand, features a high-end CPU – paralleling the Motorola Nexus 6 that it replaces.

But there’s one feature both devices have in common: They will both be the most Cardboard VR-ready phones yet.

Cardboard VR is the practice of using two polarized plastic (or glass) lenses inside a cardboard box. By replicating the same image twice (offset for each eye), the user achieves stereoscopic 3D vision. Cardboard VR certainly does work, but until now has paled in comparison to what expensive, calibrated systems from Oculus and HTC have accomplished. The reason for this is simple – while the components are similar, the pre-packaged result is perfectly calibrated.

Google has stayed out of building its own VR goggles, instead focusing on Cardboard, as well as augmented reality – in the form of Google Glass, a product it is continuing to develop.

The Nexus 5X and 6P will come with NFC tags, and cardboard keyframe mounts in the center (that “second circle” that many have noted on both cases). These are designed to match a cardboard case that is custom-fitted to these two phones.

And that’s what we believe is the logical conclusion to this – Both phones will likely come with their own custom cardboard fitted cases.

What isn’t clear is how far Google can take Cardboard – but it is about to be put to the test. Google is going to use Nexus to experiment with how far Cardboard can be competitive with with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The hope is, it will be as good as the more expensive solutions.

As with all past Nexus devices, it is expected the Nexus 5X and 6P will launch with Android 6.0, Marshmallow. Other devices are slated to begin getting updates in the first week of October. Staff articles are typically in-depth articles. These are articles that involve multiple, and at times, several staff members who each contribute to the hard-hitting coverage that we deliver here.