Ever since the likes of Sony Z Ultra, Moto G, HTC One M7 and One M8, there have actually been no Google Play Edition phones on the market out there.
A few years ago, the search engine giant used to sell non-Google devices that came in with stock OS, just like what you find on today’s Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X as well as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones. Other OEMs prefer messing around with the OS in favor of their own apps and customizations, something that has always had an effect on the time taken for software updates to be rolled out.
For instance, the heavily customized Samsung Galaxy S6 has not yet received the update to Android 7.0 Nougat in many regions, but the Nexus 6, which was released a year before the S6, has already been updated to v7.1.1 thanks to the fact that it runs stock Android OS.
At the moment, the only Android phones that are installed with a Google Play Edition version of the Nougat OS are owned by Google. Furthermore, the only Google devices that are currently powered by a 2016 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor are the Pixel and Pixel XL phones. However, benchmarking website GFXBench has two unknown devices that are based on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat Google Play Edition and are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor.
Last year’s Google Pixel and Pixel XL came with a Snapdragon 821 SoC and 4GB RAM, however, the listed Android 7.0 Nougat phones have the SD820 SoC on board paired with either 4GB or 6GB RAM. Where the 4GB RAM variant comes with a 5.2-inch screen with a 1080p resolution and 32GB of storage, the 6GB RAM packs a larger 5.7-inch screen with a QHD resolution and a massive storage of 128GB. These storage options match what is offered on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, but the display specs are similar to 2015’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X.
In terms of cameras, the GFXBench listings confirm that the two phones have the same 21MP on the back and an 8MP shooter on the front, with the main sensor capable of recording up to 4K videos. The phones support single-SIM connectivity.
So far, we can’t tell what these phones represent but given that they are powered by Android 7.0 Nougat Google Play Edition, it pushes them closer to Google. The company had been rumored to be working on bringing Android One phones in the U.S., but the story has remained elusive. Or maybe the Google Play Edition program is back! We’ll find out more details and update you! Stay tuned!