Things are looking up for HTC. Although HTC was a bit late to the party with the new HTC 10 device by lagging behind the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 release, the end result was worth waiting for. The positivity surrounding the announcement of the HTC 10 is reminiscent of when the HTC One M7 was introduced back in 2013. Here’s hoping that HTC is able to keep the momentum going for more than a year.
We might not need to hope too much, though. If rumors prove to be true, odds are already in HTC’s favor. More rumors are popping up that strongly suggest HTC will indeed be making not one but two Nexus devices later this year. Further information from @evleaks and Android Police also speculates that the new Nexus duo are codenamed Sailfish and Marlin. These codenames follow in line with Google’s trend of codenaming the Nexus after aquatic sealife (Nexus 6 was codenamed “Shamu”; Nexus 5X was codenamed “Bullhead”; Nexus 6P was codenamed “Angler”).
It isn’t surprising that Google wants to launch two Nexus devices again. Releasing two devices of different sizes and/or specs seems to be the new norm for smartphones in general, and that is exactly what the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P brought to the table last year. The LG Nexus 5X heavily borrowed from the beloved LG Nexus 5 that was released in 2013, and the Huawei Nexus 6P featured a more premium design with a larger screen and better internals.
If we had to make an educated guess of what HTC’s Sailfish and Marlin would be like, it would probably be something along those same lines. At the very least, one phone would be smaller than the other. Rumors are already suggesting that unlike the 5X and 6P, these two phones would not differ much in specs and performance. Instead, the new Nexus devices may take an approach closer to how Sony or Apple now treats their smaller flagship counterparts: smaller body, but mostly same internals, give or take a couple of features.
I think that giving HTC to make a Nexus this year comes at an opportune time. Although I think Nexus is still very much a niche line of smartphones that is mostly kept under a watchful eye from the dedicated Android community, Google seems to be doing more marketing for the Nexus lately. This past year I’ve seen more interest in the Nexus (particularly the 6P) from people who had previously known nothing about it. As long as Google markets the devices well enough, HTC could bring significantly more exposure to Nexus this year.
I also think it would be a smart move if HTC were to make both devices. Allowing both LG and Huawei to share the spotlight last year was nice, and seemed to be beneficial for both companies (particularly Huawei, who really hasn’t been given much exposure here in The States before the 6P). However, having one manufacturer make both devices seems more consistent. Given the build quality that HTC is known to give, this year’s Nexus line could stand to be the Android equivalent of the iPhone - but that's getting ahead of myself. Either way, the pieces seem to be in perfect position for it to be a really good year for Nexus. Now all we have to do is wait and see.
Readers, what are your thoughts when it comes to this year’s Nexus line? Do you hope that HTC makes both devices, or do you hope to see a couple of different companies contributing to Nexus this year? Let us know in the comments below!