What We Know So Far About The Upcoming Nexus Devices

Here we are at every Nexus fans favorite time of year. The time of year when Android news is dominated by Nexus leaks as the device(s) approach release. Despite this being a happy and joyful time of year, though, all of those leaks containing “reliable information” can be rather difficult to sift through. What I’m trying to say here is that there are a lot of “not so true” leaks out there every single year pertaining to upcoming Nexus devices. So I thought I’d take a little free time to sit down and write up an article containing all of the likely true leaks that have hit the internet about this year’s upcoming Nexus device(s).

Let’s start off by discussing the two Nexus devices that are right around the corner. Yes, I said two Nexus devices, not one. There are supposedly two HTC-made Nexus smartphones that will be announced sometime next month in September. Said two Nexus devices are being referred to internally as “Sailfish” and “Marlin.” We will focus only on these two supposed upcoming Nexus devices despite the fact that there have been more Nexus devices rumored to be released sometime later this year. This is simply because there is not enough reliable information about these other mystery Nexus devices available at the moment if they exist at all (they probably don’t).


The Specs & Design

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Image Credit: Android Police

Sailfish has been deemed the smaller and more inexpensive of the two HTC-made Nexus devices. Here is a list of the device’s supposed specs:

  • HTC-made
  • Metallic design
  • 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 2770 mAh battery
  • 32GB of storage
  • Fingerprint scanner (back of device)
  • USB-C
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • And yes, a headphone jack

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Image Credit: Techconfigurations

Up next we have the Marlin, the big brother of the two devices. This is the device that will supposedly be bigger and more costly. Here is a list of the Marlin’s supposed specs as well:

  • HTC-made
  • Metallic design
  • 5.5-inch 2K AMOLED display
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Quad-core Qualcomm processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 3450 mAh battery
  • 32 or 128GB of storage
  • Fingerprint scanner (back of device)
  • USB-C
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Probably a headphone jack here too

You can clearly see some differences between the two devices, but you can also see a lot of similarities as well. Both devices appear to have the same cameras, 4GB of RAM, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, USB-C ports, Bluetooth 4.2, quad-core processors, and metallic designs. This may mean that even though Sailfish may be the smaller of the two, it may not be all that much cheaper. Not like last year when Google released the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. The Nexus 6P was noticeably more powerful under the hood than the 5X when it came down to it and therefore it ended up costing more. Because of this the 5X became dubbed the “budget” Nexus device. There is a good chance that may not be the case with this year’s upcoming Nexus devices.


Google Assistant 

Google Assistant takes what is great about Google Now and improves upon almost every aspect of it. Right now Google Now can pull in some pretty useful information for its users, such as the weather and sports scores. Google Assistant will be able to pull in even more valuable information. Information about your connected home devices, better news, a daily briefing, and more will now be offered up on top of what Google Now already offers. All of this information will be available via Google Assistant across all users devices, including devices like Google Home.

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Google didn’t stop there, though. What do you think of when you think of the word, assistant? You probably imagine asking someone to do something for you, right? Well, that’s exactly what Google attempted to allow Google Assistant to be capable of for its users. For instance, ask Google Assistant what Micheal Jordan’s jersey number is and it will not only tell you, but also provide you with information about the team that he currently plays for. Questions like this can also be asked in sequence. After asking the above question, users could then ask something like, “What other teams has he played for?” This would provide the user with all of Jordan’s previous teams as well as information about said teams without the user needing to re-mention Jordan’s name in the question.

The last thing you will need to know about Google Assistant is that it will be incorporated into some of Google’s own apps. One app in particular that will take advantage of Google Assistant is Google’s upcoming messaging app, Allo. Within Allo, users will be able to either have their conversations with friends improved by Assistant or they can have a one-on-one conversation with Assistant.

Let’s say that you’re having a conversation with your significant other within Allo about where the two of you should go to dinner later that night. You can simply summon Assistant into the conversation and have it recommend restaurants that are close to where the two of you live. Once you agree on a place to eat you can then book a table at that restaurant with Assistant without ever having to exit Allo. But that’s not all Assistant can do for you when talking to people within Allo. It can also recommend how you should reply to messages or even pictures that are sent to you. This works very similarly to smart replies in Inbox.

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While it’s great and all to have Assistant help you out when talking to your friends and loved ones, sometimes you just want some alone time with Assistant. You can get just that within Allo as well. You can actually start a conversation with Allo itself where you can ask it a slew of questions, make reservations, play mini-games, or even just have an intelligent conversation (yes, really).


The Nexus Launcher

Ever since Google created the Google Now launcher for Nexus devices, the launcher has become a key part of any Nexus device. Now, though, it looks like Google is doing away with the Google Now launcher on Nexus devices that we have all become accustomed to.

A recently leaked .apk along with some other information tells us that this year’s Nexus devices will be running a new launcher called the Nexus launcher. Unfortunately, the .apk that leaked out is likely not a finished product and probably missing some key features. Nonetheless, we can still see some pretty significant changes in the Nexus launcher from the Google Now launcher.

Nexus Launcher Screenshot

First off, Google appears to have done away with the app drawer bottom on the home screen. Instead, you now swipe up from the bottom portion of the screen to gain access to the app drawer. This has the added benefit of the app drawer button being replaced with a fifth app in the app dock. Also different on the home screen is the beloved Google search bar typically located at the top of every home screen on Nexus devices. This is now replaced with the Google “G” surrounded by a white circle, located on the top left of the home screen. Tapping this will bring up the Google search bar. There is also a larger date widget in the top right of the homescreen and you are still able to swipe left to get to Google Now.

Interestingly, there is also a new option to disable Google Now at the far left of the home screen. This was never an option with the Google Now launcher.


Summing Things Up

I would like to begin this section of the article by pointing out that we aren’t quite sure which processors these Nexus devices will contain. Although, through an intelligent guess, both devices will almost certainly contain a Qualcomm processor of the 820 series. Whether that will be an improved Snapdragon 820 or an 821 or 823, we can’t really say, unfortunately. Either way, I’m sure Google and HTC won’t let us down.

So there you have it. That is essentially all of the more reliable information that you need to know about the upcoming Nexus devices. And while we think we know a lot about these devices, there is still a lot that we don’t know. Will either of these devices’ cameras have optical image stabilization? Will the fingerprint scanners be any better than last years Nexus devices? Exactly what processors will they be using? All of this and more is still unanswered and will likely remain that way until an official announcement is made.

Let us know if you are holding out for one of these new Nexus devices in the comments section below.

  • DZRhino

    Will there be wireless charging in the new Nexus phones?