What to Expect From Google’s Upcoming Nexus Phones
Fall is quickly approaching, and with it the typical timeframe when Google refreshes its line of Nexus smartphones. Google’s Nexus phones are sold directly to consumers, unlocked, and are often priced lower than the flagship models from other manufacturers. And this year, rumor has it that Google will break from traditional and release not one, but two, new Nexus phones, each one a collaboration with a different manufacturer.
The strategy could boost Nexus sales by giving consumers a choice of devices — which, critically, are expected to be offered in two different sizes. Rich McCormick reports for The Verge that rumors in May suggested that Google could be working with Huawei and LG to produce the next Nexus phones: a 5.7-inch Huawei device, and a 5.2-inch LG model. More details are beginning to emerge on what we should expect from Google’s new Nexus smartphones.
CNET’s Scott Webster recently noted that if newly reported specifications for those phones turn out to be accurate, a new LG Nexus 5 and Huawei Nexus 6 could share a number of key features, like stereo front-facing speakers, USB Type-C ports, and rear fingerprint scanners. Huawei’s Nexus phone is reported to have a metal body, while it’s said that the LG model is likely to use the same materials. The Nexus 6 is expected to feature a 5.7-inch screen with a 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution, while the Nexus 5 could offer what Webster terms a “more pocketable” 5.2-inch screen size.
Google announced support for USB Type-C chargers and fingerprint scanners in Android M at its annual I/O developer conference in May. USB Type-C is expected to be the “next big thing” in smartphone connections. Unlike recent Samsung and HTC models, the fingerprint scanner on the LG and Huawei Nexus phones is expected to be on the back of the phone. Placing the sensor on the back would enable the Nexus phones to remain free of front-facing buttons.
A leaked photo recently posted to the Nexus Indonesia Google+ community offers what might be the first glimpse of the new Nexus 5. The photograph shows the back of a white Nexus phone, with a sticker that appears to feature LG’s logo — which would indicate that this phone is the LG device instead of the Huawei model. The image shows what looks like a camera lens and a similarly-sized fingerprint scanner. The phone in the image resembles renders of the supposed LG device, which were also recently leaked.
Renders of the supposed Huawei Nexus 6 were also recently leaked. They were reportedly based on blueprints of the phone that were sent to third-party accessory manufacturers ahead of the device’s launch. A Huawei Nexus device could both strengthen Google’s presence in China, and help Huawei build its brand in the United States.
A concrete launch date for either phone doesn’t yet seem to have been set, but a July report from The Information indicated that they’ll likely be released this fall. As Webster pointed out, Nexus phones are often released in conjunction with the latest Android operating system. That means that the phone line is typically refreshed in the fall. In the meantime, Google is expected to continue to refine its Android M operating system ahead of its consumer debut.