The future of Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus line has been up in the air for some time. Though the Mountain View, California-based company has confirmed that it will continue to make Nexus branded smartphones and tablets, there have been few details about upcoming devices.
However, recent benchmarks by the GFXBench database and AnTuTu may reveal some of the first proposed specifications for the next Nexus smartphone. The benchmarks indicate that the new Nexus device may include a 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip, 3GB of RAM and 24GB of internal memory, a 13-megapixel camera and 2.1-megapixel front camera and NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity. Though these features cannot yet be confirmed, they can serve as a potential first look at the elusive device.
The upcoming Nexus smartphone remains so shrouded in mystery that its name isn’t event certain; it may likely be called the Nexus 6, since the Nexus 5 released last fall. One of the few rumors about the Nexus 6 suggested that the device might be a 5.9-inch “phablet,” which Google had codenamed “Shamu.” This rumor contradicts the new benchmark details that suggest a much smaller screen.
The specifications revealed in the benchmarks are fairly standard as Google often opts to include the latest mobile technologies in its new smartphones. In particular, high-resolution Quad HD displays are among the current mobile trends with smartphone makers like LG Electronics Inc. (KRX: 066570) and Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX: 005930) now implementing them onto devices.
However, several tech websites have noted the very off 24GB internal memory capacity proposed for the Nexus 6. Typically, smartphones contain 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. This could be a clue that the benchmark is not authentic.
Rumors have also suggested that Google may be teaming up with its former subsidiary, Motorola (NYSE: MSI) on the Nexus 6. Notably, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo (HKG: 0992) in January after owning the smartphone maker for about a year. The company’s relationship was reportedly a conflict of interest, which prevented them from working together on the Nexus program.
But one certainty about the Nexus 6 is that it would be one the first devices to run Google’s upcoming Android L operating system. Google showcased its new software at its I/O conference in June, introducing new features like its “Material Design” interface, updated notifications and recents sections and battery optimization with Google’s “Project Volta.”
The Nexus line and Android operating system go-hand-in hand and Nexus devices have traditionally are the first devices on the market to run the latest Android operating system. Though prior rumors suggested that Google was planning to get rid of the Nexus line for a new hardware program, Dave Burke, the head of Android engineering told Dan Rowinski of ReadWrite in June that Google’s Nexus hardware is essential to the development of its Android software.
“There is no way you can build the open source code without the phone or tablet or whatever you are building. You have to live and breathe the code you are developing,” he said.