HTC-Logo-3

There is a curious situation going on with HTC and water, namely because in the eyes of many, the company’s ship has long since sailed as far as producing any progressively pronounced proportions of profits. Still, the 10 has been the One to get for long-term fans, thanks in no small part to excellent build quality, specs, and all-around fantastic nature. Wading around in the water however, lurks another beep from the deep: a recurring rumor that Taiwan’s foremost mobile maker will be producing not one, but two Nexus smartphones this year.

Today’s leak comes from an exclusive story published by Android Police, based on an unspecified source. While the site does caution that the details may not only change, but are possibly not even accurate to begin with, given that September – when Google usually announces new products – is quickly approaching, the timing seems quite suitable for some concrete details to emerge from the digital depths.

HTC Sailfish

The smaller of the two Nexus devices HTC is supposedly producing has the codename “Sailfish”. While some may first think of the fledgling OS made in part by former Nokia staff members, the name fits in quite well with Google’s typical Nexus naming nomenclature: the GSM Galaxy Nexus was called “Maguro” for example, the Nexus 6, “Shamu”, the Nexus 5X “Bullhead” and the Nexus 6P “Angler”. Heck even the Nexus Player was called “Fugu”.

According to the source, specs and details for the more diminutive device are as follows:

  • It will be manufactured by HTC and feature an unknown 2.0GHz 64-bit Quad Core SoC along with a 5-inch Full HD display (~440PPI) and 4GB of RAM. There will be a 32GB model, with possible other storage variants released. The phone will pack a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front camera, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a USB Type-C port.
  • It is said to have a 2770mAh battery and a speaker (or speakers) located on the bottom of the device. The headphone jack will be on the top, and the phone will support Bluetooth 4.2. Not mentioned, but readily assumed as a de-facto detail, is the idea the Sailfish will run Android N from the get-go.

Adding a bit of extra detail and disclaimer, Android Police specifies that,

The 5″ display has been previously rumored – codenames for the Sailfish and Marlin early on were alleged to be T50 and T55, respectively, and we had an earlier source months back tell us that the smaller of the two phones would use a 5″ display.

But this is what we have for now – at this time, we aren’t able to confirm anything about pricing, release date, different storage/RAM configurations…We don’t even know what it will be called, or if HTC’s brand will be featured on the device or in marketing for the handset.

The above makes reference to the previous codename believed to be associated with the product, T50.

Analysis

nexus 6p vs nexus 5x aa (20 of 25)

At face value, the specs listed are neither surprising nor are they implausible. As the alleged smaller sibling, the Nexus “Sailfish” will not be able to bring the best, less Google ends up having two clones differing only in size. Perhaps what is more important are the two topics not raised by this rumor report, but still hovering around the side: what will the “better” Nexus bring, and what about Huawei?

Musings on the “Marlin”

As nothing about the Sailfish exactly screams amazing, it obviously leads one to believe that the Marlin/T55 will be Google’s main offering and true flagship product. It will likely have a Snapdragon 820 or even 821, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and a QHD display of a larger size. Given that last year’s pair of Nexus devices had decidedly different design details, the question is raised as to if HTC will make two products of a similar nature but with different internals, or if both will have intrinsically different looks.

To be fair, creating two separate Nexus devices – from a design perspective – would mean more work for the design teams than were the Marlin just a larger Sailfish. Such potential creativity might also conflict with a recent report that Google has taken more aggressive management of Nexus product design. Last year’s products were produced by two different companies but this would be the first time two Nexus smartphones were created simultaneously by a single OEM.

HTC 10 Sense Feature Focus-10

Could the Sailfish look anything like the HTC 10?

How about Huawei?

There is also the matter of Huawei to consider. Several weeks ago, the company made it no small secret about currently working on a new Nexus device. Given the pervasive nature of HTC leaks however, it is entirely possible that Huawei is developing a new Nexus tablet, especially since it -unlike HTC – has a number of such products already on the market and thereby would have a considerably easier time making such a device, at least with respect to manufacturing and design. HTC, on the other hand, has only not put out three tablets: the Flyer and Jetstream released back in 2011, and the Nexus 9 released in 2014.  

Still, anything is potentially possible. In theory there is no reason that Huawei could not be producing the larger Nexus device and perhaps HTC’s second one is the tablet. Or maybe the very rumor that HTC is making two Nexus smartphones is, in and of itself, not correct. At the end of the day however, Huawei has made it clear it’s making a Nexus this year while HTC has not, so that is something to consider.

htc 10 vs nexus 6p aa (16 of 16)

Wrap Up

While it’s necessary to remind readers that today’s news is in no way confirmation of an HTC Nexus, it is potentially the first bit of more concrete evidence to support the speculation. We want to hear your reaction: would this be a worthy upgrade from the Nexus 5X? Should it be made of metal or packed in plastic? How excited are you about the idea of HTC’s second “One”? Please take our quick survey and then leave a comment below!