The next set of Google Nexus phones is expected to come out later this year – and we can’t wait. As always, they’ll be the first devices to feature the latest version of Android, which was recently revealed to be named Nougat and will be packed with brand new exciting features.
For now, there’s not much else we know about the upcoming handsets, rumoured to have the codenames Sailfish and Marlin. We take a look at the latest rumours to round up all the specs and features we can hope to see on the new Google phones.
First things first: the rumours surrounding this year’s Nexus manufacturer all seem to be pointing to a collaboration between Google and HTC. The Taiwanese company is said to be working on the two handsets, and a leak confirmed the internal codenames at HTC were M1 and S1 – which seems to align with the codenames Marlin and Sailfish.
However, Huawei was also said to be working on a new Nexus device for 2016, as the company’s general manager for South Africa let out that they were “doing the Nexus again this year”. However, these rumours aren’t too likely to be true, as Huawei since made an official comment to PC Advisor which declined to comment on upcoming devices and referred to their collaboration with Google in the past tense, suggesting they weren’t to be involved this year. But only time will tell.
One thing’s for sure: LG will not be manufacturing the new Nexus phones. A spokesman for the company revealed at MWC 2016 in Barcelona that LG was going to focus on its own brand rather than on collaborations with other companies – which they’ve started doing with the release of the LG G5.
Google is also rumoured to have taken a much more hands-on approach to the creation of its 2016 smartphones, from the hardware design to the software inside. Which means that no matter which company is making the phones, they’re set to look and feel more ‘Google’ than other Nexus handsets before them.
At the moment, we have no idea what the new Nexus handsets are going to look like, but we’d say it’s safe to assume they’ll look at least a little bit like the HTC 10 – that is, if HTC is indeed going to be manufacturing the phones this year.
The new smartphones are expected to be slightly smaller than last year’s Nexus 5X and 6P, with 5 and 5.5-inch displays instead of the current 5.2 and 5.7-inch. The larger of the two, codenamed Marlin, is said to be based on the HTC 10, and a (non-official) render has surfaced on Android Police showing what it could potentially look like: a glossy, plastic phone with a camera flush to the body and a fingerprint scanner on the rear – have a look here, but remember it’s only a concept and no official pictures of the next Nexus phones have been released so far:
Both phones are expected to come in white and black, with rumours that Google is also working on an electric blue version of the handsets, with a white front and a shiny blue back.
When it comes to the bigger, more powerful (and probably also more expensive) Marlin, there has already been some major leaks – which seem pretty believable if you ask us. Android Police published a full list of specs, and here’s what we can expect.
The Marlin will feature a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, as well as one of the most recent Qualcomm Snapdragon processor – but for now, no one know for sure if the chipset will be the Snapdragon 820, 823, or 821. For storage, it will offer two options, at 32GB and 128GB, as well as 4GB of RAM. The handset will also feature two cameras: a 12-megapixel one at the back of the phone, and a front-facing selfie snapper of 8 megapixels, and the battery will be a pretty impressive 3,450 mAh.
There has also been a significant amount of specs leaked concerning the Sailfish handset: it’s expected to have a 5-inch AMOLED screen with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, and will also feature a 2GHz quad-core chipset by Qualcomm – most likely the Snapdragon 820. Only one storage option will be available at 32GB, with 4GB of RAM on top, and we can expect the front and back cameras to be the same as on the Marlin. Finally, the Sailfish will boast a less powerful battery, at 2,770 mAh.
Both phones will feature fingerprint scanners on the back, USB-C ports at the bottom, bottom speakers and a headphone jack at the top, as well as Bluetooth 4.2. They’ll also both be running Android Nougat when they’re released, and will be the first smartphones to do so.
Keep in mind these spec sheets are not official, and they might still change before the handsets are released!
Nexus handsets are typically announced around the same time as new updates to the Android operating system start rolling out, usually around September – so we should expect the phones to hit the shelves around early October 2016. Even though Android Nougat is already almost complete, we can still expect Google to keep a consistent schedule. We’ll update this page as soon as we have an official release date, so keep checking back!
As for price, we can expect the phones to cost around £300 for the smaller model and £450 for the larger, based on the prices of last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P prices. For a phone on contract, expect to shell out around £15-£25 per month for the Sailfish and £25-£35 per month for the Marlin.