Google team share the (mis)adventures of making a Nexus

To many of us, except those deeply ingrained in the industry, the process of designing and making a smartphone is pretty much an arcane art, with many parts purposely hidden from the scrutinizing and sometimes judgmental eyes of the public. And many in the public may not care at all, as long as the end product is something they can live with. So it's actually rare and unorthodox for Google actually put some of the people behind its most recent Nexus smartphones on the public hot seat, to fill pages of anecdotes, funny quotes, and revelations on what makes a Nexus 5X or 6P tick.

Many of the questions revolve around the Nexus 6P, and perhaps rightly so. The smartphone is a first on many fronts. The first Chinese-made Nexus, the first metallic Nexus, the first (technically one of two firsts) Nexus to have a fingerprint sensor, and so on. Both design and implementation have been hot topics, to say the least, with camps split across blurry lines of personal taste and expert opinion.

One thing that Google wants to make clear is that no decision, for or against a design of feature, was made merely on a whim. Debates between teams and between personalities were not uncommon. And sometimes, compromises had to be made. The slightly off center camera on the Nexus 6P, for example, was due to a complication in the NFC sensor. Even that contentious visor where both those sensors seat wasn't just something for design but also for technical considerations. Of course, not everyone will agree with some of those decisions, but they probably can't claim that Google wasn't thinking clear.

It is also quite interesting to read between the lines when it came to Google's relationship with Nexus partners, both the OEMs who will make the smartphones as well as component manufacturers. It's not always a perfect and happy relationship and sometimes tension and doubt can be felt. Like when Sony wasn't sure if it was a good idea to provide a digital camera level sensor for a smartphone. Or Motorola's alleged stronger influence on the design of the Nexus 6.

Google's Nexus Open Studio event might be a one off thing that we'll never get to see again, though we certainly hope not. But this singular event could help shed a bit of light on the process involved in making a smartphone. It's definitely not a smooth ride, especially for one that needed to be done in only 7 months as opposed to a saner 2 years, but for some, both within and outside Google, the journey, and the destination, might have well been worth it.

VIA: Reddit