The Nexus 6 is going to be a big deal for Huawei Technology Co. The Chinese company becoming partners with Google Inc. for the first time will be seen as a seal of approval for a company that has struggled to gain acceptance in the U.S., but one feature of the new smartphone threatens to scupper its success before it is even launched.
Not many people will have heard of the Snapdragon 810 chipset, but this is the chip from Qualcomm Inc. which powered Sony Corp.’s Xperia Z3+ smartphone, launched in the U.S. as the Verizon-exclusive Xperia Z4v. While the phone was lauded for its slim design, many reviews reported that it was all but unusable, with the Snapdragon 810 chip overheating to the point of the phone shutting down during normal use.
While there have been other phones which have used different versions of the Snapdragon 810 — including the OnePlus 2 and Sony’s most recent Xperia Z5 range — worries remain about the chip’s ability to perform.
Therefore, it will be a worry to some to see that the latest Geekbench benchmarking tests report that the Nexus 6, which is due to be released before the end of September, will be powered by the Qualcomm chip. The benchmark results also reveal the phone will come with 3GB of RAM and, unsurprisingly, will be running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).
Google is expected to launch two new Nexus smartphones at an event on Sept. 29, though there is no confirmation from Google on this date. The other device is set to be the LG-built Nexus 5X, an update on the popular Nexus 5 the South Korean company first built back in 2013.
It is likely that Huawei and Google have been working with Qualcomm to tweak the 810 chipset, but it will be important that the phone performs well if it stands a chance of competing against the likes of the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 5.
Huawei is obviously keen to break into the U.S. market where its compatriot ZTE has been so successful in recent years, and it will feel as if the partnership with Google will be key to that success. Whether it sells a lot of Nexus 6 units isn’t the main goal -- Huawei will be hoping for a halo effect from the partnership which will allow it to sell more of its own smartphones in North America.
On the flip side, Google is currently looking to get back into the Chinese market in some way and will be hoping that a partnership with Huawei could facilitate this. With reports suggesting a Chinese version of the Google Play Store is set to launch soon, we could see Google announce the big move back into China on Sept. 29 too.