Rumors surrounding Google’s yet-to-be-announced 2016 Nexus phones have been pretty all over the place. We’ve heard a lot, but not all of it has made sense. One early rumor though was that Google was actually planning to drop the Nexus brand on these devices, instead releasing a Pixel device.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding this name shift but today Android Police has reported confirming with it’s two independent sources that the new should’ve been Nexus devices will be instead called Pixel and Pixel XL. This move could be seen as a unifying strategy of some sort perhaps, maybe Google is foreseeing a future for android on PC too. The Pixel will be the 5″ Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5″ Marlin.
Given what we know about both devices (based on the rumors), it makes sense that they are so closely named.
According to the rumors, both handsets are expected to be largely similar in terms of hardware specs, save for some differences in screen size and possibly resolution, which is why the larger “Marlin” will be known as the Pixel XL. Plus Google has used the Pixel brand for its Pixel C tablet and Chromebooks before, so for them to start adopting it for their smartphones isn’t really that much of a stretch either.
So if Google does end up going with this new Pixel branding, what will it mean for the Nexus program? Well, we don’t know. At this point the future of Google’s Android hardware is confusing, but seeing that these new phones might drop the brand and that the current Google tablet is Pixel-branded, we might be seeing the end of the Nexus brand. We know that Google hired former Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh earlier this year to help unify its hardware efforts, so it’s entirely possible that this change is part of his work. To make matters even more confusing, Evan Blass, a very reputed leakster, is being quite cryptic, so I’ll let you speculate on that one…
Whatever Google has going on behind the scenes, it’s going to be interesting. In any case take it with a grain of salt, but Android Police has a very good track record when it comes to these things so there could be some truth to their claims and they state confidence in these reports, but in the meantime how do you guys feel about the Pixel and Pixel XL names for Google’s upcoming phones?