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Google’s 2016 Nexus smartphones are probably going to be flagship killers

Published Jul 13th, 2016 6:50AM EDT
Google Nexus 2016 Snapdragon 821

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Google is widely expected to launch two new Nexus smartphones in the coming months, and unlike last year, the 2016 HTC-made devices will be identical when it comes to hardware. What’s more interesting is that both Sailfish and Marlin should be faster than any of the existing flagship Android devices, which isn’t something you could always say about a Nexus-branded smartphone.

This year, however, the new Nexus handsets might be real flagship killers, to paraphrase the former motto of a certain smartphone maker, and could offer a better overall performance than the Galaxy S7, HTC 10, LG G5, and most other 2016 flagships from competing phone makers.

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Qualcomm earlier this week announced the Snapdragon 821 processor, a chip that’s supposed to be faster than the Snapdragon 820 found in most 2016 top Android smartphones, but also more energy efficient. At the time, we speculated that the revamped Snapdragon 820 variation would be used inside the new HTC Nexus handsets, but also in the Galaxy Note 7, just as previous rumors suggested.

Meanwhile, a new report from Android Police says that it’s very likely that both Sailfish and Marlin will be among the first handsets to feature the new chip. The site, which provided details for both upcoming smartphones, has it from multiple reliable sources that both 2016 Nexus handsets will have the Snapdragon 821 inside.

The Android site did not specify the type of processor coming to either phone version in previous reports but says it felt confident they would make use of a new Qualcomm chip – they just didn’t know what it would be called exactly.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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