Reported Nexus 5X, 6P pricing of $379, $499 could shake up the phone market

Do you need to spend $800 or more for a flagship phone? Nope, as proven by the $399 Moto X Pure and reported prices for the newest Nexus handsets debuting later this week.

If nothing else, the new Moto X Pure Edition proves that you can get a flagship-quality handset for as little as $399. And Google may be further proving the point: Android Police reported on Monday that the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will start at $379.99 and $499.99 respectively.

Assuming the costs are correct, I'm willing to bet that both handsets have a limited amount of local storage capacity; perhaps 16 GB for the Nexus 5X built by LG and 32 GB for Nexus 6P made by Huawei.

Even so, when compared to the new iPhone 6s with the same amount of flash storage, that's a significant savings over Apple's $649.99 price. And its far below prices for the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ which start at $700, even though both have more room to save photos, videos and apps.

At sub-$400 and $500 prices for a Nexus, Google could set a precedent that Samsung and others won't want to follow, but may feel forced to.

Even better, I anticipate both Nexus handsets to work with Google's Project Fi network that uses mobile broadband from T-Mobile and Sprint as well as Wi-Fi for calls with seamless cellular handoffs.

The new Moto X Pure Edition already works with Project Fi, although the support isn't official. Technically, only the old Nexus 6 is the only Project Fi handset currently available.

From a hardware perspective, both Nexus handsets appear plenty capable if the leaked specifications are accurate: Snapdragon 808/810 processors, high resolution displays, gobs of memory, integrated fingerprint scanners and camera sensors to capture detailed photos and 4K video.

Google's trick will be to focus on the value of both Nexus phones in order to expand sales and build the Nexus brand as well as the usability of Android 6.0, aka: Marshmallow, and the pay-for-what-you-use Project Fi plan.

If it does that, consumers will begin to understand that while you can get a great phone for $600 to $900, you don't need to pay that much. And that's not a message Samsung and other Google partners who sell flagship phones with flagship price want to hear.