Every year Google unveils a new Nexus handset and this year will not be any different. The search engine giant, together with Taiwanese tech giant HTC, is believed to be readying itself for a major event that will see the Google Nexus 2016 phones come into play.
The two handsets, which are supposedly being developed under the codenames Marlin and Sailfish, with the former being the flagship and the latter the mid-range variant, are coming to succeed last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, respectively.
Even though both Google and HTC have managed to keep hold of some of the details of these Nexus 2016 phones, most of the information is already out in the streets, including the design language, specs, features and even the possible pricing of the phones. But be warned that this Google Nexus 2016 news roundup is based on the many rumors and speculations doing rounds, in addition to some notable leaks that recently showed up from the FCC.
Design and display
From the leaked materials, it is now pretty clear that the two Google Nexus 2016 phones will come with the same design language. Even though it has been touted that the two will both feature metallic unibody designs, this is likely to hold for the Nexus 2016 Marlin. As for the Nexus 2016 Sailfish, expect a metallic frame that is sandwiched between a polished plastic body. In fact, there might be little to differentiate these two handsets other than their build material and sheer size.
Speaking of size, the Google Nexus 2016 handsets may ring some changes to the screen sizes when compared to last year’s Nexus models. As opposed to the 5.7-inch AMOLED panel that was used on the Nexus 6P, the Nexus 2016 Marlin will reportedly come with a slightly smaller 5.5-inch AMOLED panel, but it will keep the same QHD resolution as its predecessor. As for the smaller Sailfish, rumors are stuck between a 5-inch and 5.2-inch Full HD panel with 1080p resolution, with the latter being the same size as last year’s Nexus 5X.
Google Nexus phones have found a way to do away with the home button appearing below the screen. This is expected to go on with the Nexus 2016 handsets, where the fingerprint scanner will still reside on the back. It is also believed that this year’s models will do away with the “Nexus” logo on the back of the phone and instead replace it with a “G” logo.
Hardware and software
It is now known that the Google Nexus 2016 Marlin and Sailfish will share the same hardware specs, but still, Google should find a way to further differentiate the two in terms of software. For starters, it has been leaked that both handsets will pack the same Snapdragon 820 SoC, an Adreno 530 graphics unit and a RAM of 4GB. But still, don’t be surprised if you see a Nexus Marlin that is powered by the newer Snapdragon 821.
As for the storage, the two handsets will also pack the same 32GB, but as usual, expect nothing to do with microSD card support. Nothing has surfaced regarding any other storage options, but Google is expected to follow in last year’s footsteps and provide the flagship variant in one or two more storage options. HTC will probably keep the same battery unit used on the Nexus 6P – 3450mAh, with the Sailfish receiving a small bump to 2770mAh.
Software-wise, both handsets will come preinstalled with Android 7.0 Nougat, which is rumored to be coming on August 22. It is also thought Google will introduce its own version of Apple’s Night Shift dubbed Night Light. The Google Nexus 2016 phones could also come with a double-tap-to-wake capability, but none of these has been confirmed so far.
Camera, pricing and release date
According to a number of leaked benchmarks from well-known benchmarking site AnTuTu, the two Nexus 2016 phones will come with the same camera setup, but with very insignificant differences.
Apparently, leaked details reveal a 13MP rear snapper and 8MP front camera for both Nexus 2016 Marlin and Sailfish. Whether HTC will include OIS on the Nexus Marlin or not is still unknown. As for the pricing, the phones should carry almost the same price tags as last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, or even cheaper, according to some rumors. At launch, the 6P was priced at $499 for the base model while the 5X came in at $379 for the base model.
As noted earlier, there is word that Google could start rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X handsets as from August 22. Even though this has not been confirmed, it should set the stage rolling for the release of more Android N handsets. While LG seems to be holding the upper hand with its September 6 launch date for the LG V20, Google could still beat last year’s September 29th launch date, with some reports claiming that the phones will be here as from September 23. Only time will tell, but we’ll also be here to follow up the matter for you.