Updated: New Nexus 2016 release date, news and rumors

[ad_1]

Update: Google’s confirmed it will leave the manufacturing on new Nexus devices to third parties, but it’s going to be even more involved in design and software.

Google’s Nexus line is still going strong. There was a time when things looked to be on the rocks for the search giant’s own-brand handsets, but it’s navigated through the treacherous waters, and come out stronger on the other side.

2015 gave us the excellent Nexus 6P, plus the more affordable (and palm-friendly) Nexus 5X, but with the recent arrivals of the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10, LG G5 and Huawei P9, both those phones are suddenly looking a little long in the tooth.

It’s time then, to look at what Google has up its sleeve for its next Nexus smartphones. Bigger screens? New Android? More power? Some actual innovation?

One thing we know for sure is Google will continue to leave Nexus manufacturing to established names in the market. CEO, Sundar Pichai has said Google will instead focus on the design and software, hinting that the search giant will be more involved than ever in future Nexus devices.

Could these be the most ‘Googly’ Nexus devices to date? Quite possibly. Let’s see what the rumor mill has churned up so far for the new Nexus handsets…

Cut to the chase

  • What are they? Google’s next own-brand smartphones
  • When are they out? September/October 2016
  • What will they cost? Traditionally the Nexus line is slightly cheaper than flagship rivals

Say my name(s)!

Singular or plural? That’s the first question we need to tackle when talking about new Nexus phones.

2015 was the first time Google launched two Nexus smartphones side by side, the 5X and 6P. Arguably the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 were also a pair, but there was a year between their releases and they were rarely marketed together.

A duo of handsets felt right, and we expect Google to repeat the trick this time around. Two new Nexus phones have already supposedly been spotted online – dubbed the Nexus M1 and Nexus S1 – adding more fuel to this particular fire. ‘M’ apparently stands for Marlin, while ‘S’ is allegedly Sailfish.

They’ve also been touted as T50 and T55, with those numbers relating to the screen sizes: 5-inch and 5.5-inch. Those are all said to just be development codenames – so what will Google opt for in the end?

The simplest answer would be the Nexus 6X and Nexus 7P, but those make even less sense than the phones they’re set to replace.

There’s always the chance Google just sticks with the code names M1 and S1, but how about something a little more straightforward? Nexus 7 and Nexus 7 Plus would be nice – but the former has already been used for the firm’s 7-inch slate.

Who’s the daddy?

While Nexus devices are routinely referred to as Google’s handsets, the search giant doesn’t actually make the hardware. That task is shipped out to established handset manufacturers, and in the past HTC, Samsung, LG, Asus, Motorola and Huawei have all been called upon to do the honors.

LG is the company behind the 5X and Nexus 5, while Huawei’s first ever Nexus device came in the form of the 6P.

Several rumors, however, suggest it’ll be HTC that gets the nod for both handsets in 2016 – which could see the HTC 10 and One A9 as strong foundations for whatever Google has up its sleeve.

That said, Google is apparently also pretty pleased with the job Huawei did on the 6P, and alternative rumors point towards the Chinese manufacturer getting a second shot at making the higher-end Nexus.

New Nexus release date

Google launched the Nexus 6P and 5X in September 2015, with both devices going on sale the following month, so it stands to reason that it’ll follow a similar release schedule with the new Nexus phones.

That’s also the time of year we see Google’s next Android iteration begin to roll out, and the new Nexus devices tend to be the standard-bearers for the shiny new software.

Android N

Android N

Google’s next iteration of Android has already been announced, and those rocking current Nexus devices can download a beta version of Android N now. Google’s Nexus launches tend to coincide with the official rollout of the next version of its mobile platform, with the new handset(s) championing the new software.

That means you’re basically guaranteed to see Android on whatever Google decides to launch, whether that’s the Nexus 7P, Nexus 6X or both.

Android N doesn’t exactly reinvent the operating system, but new Nexus owners will benefit from a more accessible (and editable) quick settings toolbar, side-by-side app display, fast app switching, an improved Doze mode and a ‘Clear All’ button in the ‘Recents’ menu.

Check out what Android N has to offer in our beta walkthrough