A new report claims Google will be dropping the Nexus brand off its upcoming flagship Android smartphones built by HTC that are currently codenamed Marlin and Sailfish. The new handsets will be reportedly marketed under a new brand name, and they will be accompanied by a new Android experience, Android Central reports, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of Google plans.
Google’s first Nexus-branded smartphone, the Nexus One, was released back in 2009 and was made by HTC. The Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, which were released last year, are the current handsets under Google’s Nexus line and will possibly be the last ones to carry the brand name.
The upcoming Sailfish and Marlin handsets, which are expected to be announced soon, are said to carry the Google “G” logo, while the HTC name would be entirely absent on both handsets. As of now, there’s no word yet on what brand name would be the replacement for Nexus, according to The Verge.
On top of dropping the Nexus branding on the upcoming smartphones, the “pure” Android experience is expected to have some changes. Android Central didn’t specify what will be added to the software experience, but noted that it will have a “tweaked” interface running on top.
Google’s Nexus smartphones have always run on pure Android, meaning that it doesn’t have additional software running on top of it like the ones found on other manufacturers — say Samsung’s TouchWiz for its Galaxy line. This made the Nexus line favorable to those who want a true Google Android experience.
Since Google is planning to modify the Android software on the Sailfish and Marlin handsets, it does make sense that the company would want to abandon the Nexus brand which is known mostly for providing a pure Android experience. Both handsets are expected to run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
The Marlin and Sailfish handsets are both expected to release this fall. Photos of the handsets have already leaked online showing that they will carry the Google “G” logo on their backs. A lot of rumors about the handsets’ specifications have been spreading online, but the only thing that’s certain is that they will have 5-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes and that the Marlin will be the superior of the two.