It looks like Google's Nexus smartphone/tablet lineup, which usually feature their latest (and least customised) version of Android is about to get two new additions.
Nexus hardware launches are big news. Android fans in the know are attracted to the bang per buck cost/specs of nexus hardware.
Having sent out invitations for an event next week in San Francisco, Google have said that there will be "some new treats" being announced.
That this also coincides with Nexus launches from previous years adds credibility to speculation that new Nexus hardware is to be launched.
According to the rumour mill, there will be two Nexus devices. One made by LG (who had previously crafted the Nexus 4 and 5) that will, reportedly, be officially called 5X.
Chinese networking giant, Huawei, is also said to be in the fray and to be launching a Nexus device called the 6P.
Under their hoods
Little is known about either device aside from what has been able to be gleaned from leaked images and industry gossip. Leaked Images of LG's 5X have surfaced which show a 5.2” display and quirky rear camera assembly design.
If industry scuttlebutt is anything to go by, Huawei's Nexus 6P will have a 5.7” qHD screen and a metal unibody design.
Other reports have both devices using a USB Type-C port for charging and integrated fingerprint scanners on their rear. Putting the fingerprint scanner on the back of both devices will have the added bonus of keeping the front of both devices uncluttered from hardware buttons. It is also probable that both devices will make use of soft keys for navigation.
Under their hoods, the LG 5X will use the same Snapdragon 808 CPU as used in their G4 device along with a 2,700mAh battery. The move to type C connections could be a source of annoyance for many who’ll find the micro USB chargers from existing handsets are unusable with the new Nexus hardware. Here’s hoping both support wireless charging.
Huawei’s Nexus 6Pis said to boast a larger 3,500mAh battery (which will be a good thing given the 6P’s rumoured qHD screen) and more powerful Snapdragon 820.
Both devices are also said to feature a 13MP rear shooter and an 8MP front camera. 3GB of RAM and 32GB though to 128GB storage are also anticipated for both the 5X and 6P.
More confectionary - Android Marshmallow
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of both devices is that they’re supposedly both going to be running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Little is known about Marshmallow at the moment aside from the fact that it’ll include a reworked Google Now and a new feature called Now on Tap.
On Tap will be able to pull up info based on whatever app is currently running. The US Android Pay is also said to be baked into Marshmallow.
Apparnetly it will use NFC for wireless payments along similar lines to pay-wave and for additional security will also use the integrated fingerprint scanner on both Nexus devices.
Going to market with a two-tiered approach makes sense for Google. It’ll give them access to buyers wanting a budget-friendly yet well specc’d smartphone as well as those wanting slightly more costly, but up-market, hardware.
With affordable Chinese smartphone hardware entering the market from the likes of Lenovo, ZTE, OnePlus and Xiaomi, It isn’t terribly hard to get highly specc’d smartphones at a mid-range price point, which is the niche traditionally occupied by Nexus hardware.
Targeting two distinct specification/price points with Nexus gear could give Google the means to meet this competition head on.