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HTC-built Google Nexus 'Marlin' and 'Sailfish' may launch on Verizon

Last year, Google chose LG and Huawei to make the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, respectively, moving away from only having one new Nexus phone in the range. This year, it may repeat the same strategy, but HTC might be in charge of the entire production. We now have leaked specs for both devices, and here’s what we think we know about the 2016 Nexus smartphones.

It’s all well and good to speculate about the specifications of the new devices, but we won’t know for sure what those specs are until the release of the phone. So when is that release? Great question.

According to the most recent leaks, both new Nexus models should arrive at some point in October. Of course, it’s not that hard to speculate about the launch date of Nexus phones — previous launches have been in September or October. However, one source is pegging the exact release date as October 4. It’s expected that we’ll hear more about that date in the coming days and weeks, especially if Google plans on a launch event for the new devices.

Somewhat surprisingly, Verizon may carry the upcoming Nexus phones. There’s precedent for this: although the mobile provider passed on last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, it sold the preceding Nexus, Motorola’s Nexus 6, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

Famed leaker Evan Blass dished the details in early August. Reportedly, Verizon’s variants of the Nexus devices may be marketed under a different brand name — very possibly Verizon’s Droid series — and they could bear some of Big Red’s aesthetic flourishes. And the phones, like the Nexus 6 before them, may be subject to the carrier’s stringent testing processes — the Nexus 6 hit Verizon’s airwaves in February, months after the launch of the unlocked version, and generally lagged behind its counterparts in recency of software.

We’re still months away from the official announcement of this year’s Nexus devices from Google, but Android Police has put together an image of what the two devices, code-named Marlin and Sailfish, will look like based on a source. Before you take a look, keep in mind that this is not an official image, or even a leaked press render — it’s something Android Police put together and we cannot verify this information.

Android Police does say the final designs of the Marlin and Sailfish might change, a point Nexus Blog certainly agrees with. According to the latter, the two phones will not look alike, with the Marlin reportedly clad in metal akin to the HTC 10. Meanwhile, the Sailfish allegedly features a metal border and plastic body, with the plastic similar to what is utilized in HTC’s Desire line of phones.

But based on the image, the biggest visual difference from previous Nexus devices is the extension of the glossy back — which we first saw on the Nexus 6P. More specifically, the extension reaches to the middle of the back, with a camera housed on the top left and three dots, which could be a microphone and other sensors, to its right.

On that note, the Nexus logo is gone and in comes a G that represents the Google logo. We are not sure if there will be an HTC logo somewhere on the final design, though previous Nexus manufacturers did leave their logos on the devices. Either way, an antenna band can be found on the bottom, with the front not having much to talk about except some rather large bezels. Furthermore, there are the all-white navigation buttons on the screen, which might be a design change found in Android Nougat.

We can expect to see more leaked images in the coming months, however, until we finally get a glimpse of the devices from Google.

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