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Google will fight the iPhone 7 with phones of its own, but don’t call them Nexuses

Published Aug 16th, 2016 2:10PM EDT
Google Nexus vs. Google Phone: Release Date

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The iPhone 7 isn’t the only hot new smartphone coming to town this year. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Google has two new HTC-made smartphones in the pipeline and they’re rumored to launch in early October. But a new report says that rather than including them in the Nexus family, Google will do something entirely different: It’ll launch its first ever Google-branded smartphones this year.

DON’T MISS: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

The report comes from Gadgets 360, which has supposedly learned from unnamed sources that Google will launch the devices “later in September” in a handful of countries, including India.

The phones will come in two sizes, including 5 inches and 5.5 inches. They will also run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and feature 32GB and 12GB variants. The source who saw the two handsets confirmed they ran Nougat, featuring the new launcher we’ve seen in leaks. The launcher lacks the iconic Google search box you’re used to on Android handsets, and the phones come with Google Assistant preloaded, which would be a “headline software feature” of the new phones.

If these details sound familiar, that’s because the HTC Sailfish and Marlin are supposed to be high-end Nexus handsets sharing the same specs. Recent leaks have suggested there’s no Nexus branding on these devices. Instead, a “G” for Google might appear on the rear cases, something Android Police reiterated in a recent report.

This design detail seems to support Gadgets 360’s claims. However, official documentation filed with the FCC says that the manuals for the upcoming HTC devices will be found online on Google’s Nexus mini-site.

The report goes on to say that Google is looking to position these devices “as premium smartphones with excellent overall experience,” looking to better take on the iPhone. The phones will even come with a new mechanism to transfer data from an iPhone so that switchers can have a seamless transition to Android.

Interestingly, market experts told the site that Samsung’s high-end sales are most likely to be impacted by the launch of Google’s phones in India. Does that mean the Google-branded phones will be cheaper than Samsung’s top Galaxy devices?

On a related note, we’ll also remind you that a few months ago, a Huawei exec let it slip that the Chinese company will have a new Nexus device in stores this year. However, that device failed to appear in recent rumors. Is it possible that Google will launch both new Nexus and Google phones this year? September can’t come soon enough.

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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