The most dedicated fans in both Apple's and Google's camps know that special time of year when the two companies release the next models in their official smartphone lines.

For Apple, the annual schedule is vastly simpler, with only one release per year -- except for that time in 2011 when the Verizon iPhone got its own special announcement and launch date. For Google, while its official Nexus phones are among the many Android devices released each year, the Nexus line guarantees the purest Google experience an Android phone can offer.

But beyond the allure of the stock Android OS, Nexus phones typically don't blow other phones out of the water. Last year's model, the quad-core Nexus 5, didn't exactly skimp on hardware, but its debut didn't mark a whole new level in specs expectation.

The unsubsidized price, however -- $349 for the 16GB model, $399 for the 32GB model -- definitely drew attention from consumers seeking a speedy phone for an affordable price.

Full story at Minyanville.