Google’s annual Nexus unveiling usually consists of one phone and a tablet if you’re lucky. This year the word around the internet is that Google is planning to release two new phones that cater to a wider range of Android fans. A new report from CNet now points to September 29th as the release date. This date has been rumored before and matches with some things we’ve heard, so it sounds pretty legit.
As for the hardware, Google is expected to announce a modestly sized 5.2-inch smartphone from LG, the maker of the fan favorite 2013 Nexus 5. The screen will be 1080p rather than the now-standard 1440p for flagship phones. That’s probably more than sufficient for a 5.2-inch phone, though. Inside the new Nexus 5 is expected to have a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 (like the G4), 3GB of RAM, and a 2700mAh battery. Again, 3000mAh and higher battery capacities are becoming standard, but this cell should be great for a mere 1080p screen.
The larger of the two phones expected to be announced will be made by the popular Chinese OEM Huawei. There have only been a few devices from Huawei sold in the US, so the Nexus will be its first introduction to many users. This handset will have a 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440) screen, 3GB of RAM, and a more powerful Snapdragon 810. This chip has been known to run warm in other phones thanks to the eight ARM cores. It has four high-power Cortex-A57 cores and four efficient Cortex-A53 cores. The 808 only has two of the high-power ones to save power and lower heat. Google and Huawei have reportedly been working closely with Qualcomm on the hardware to keep the 810’s heat in check. We’ll have to wait and see if that works out.
Both phones are going to have fingerprint readers on the back, which was intended to be a feature of Motorola phones going back several years. That’s why phones like the Nexus 6 have the dimple below the camera. However, Apple famously bought the supplier of the best touch fingerprint sensors on the market to lock down Touch ID, so these will be the first Nexus devices with fingerprint sensors. This is also notable because Android 6.0 Marshmallow will be the first version of Android that has native support for fingerprint reader hardware.
Google is also reportedly taking a step into the future with this year’s Nexus phones when it comes to charging. The Huawei and LG Nexus phones will both have the new reversible USB Type-C port that will become standard on all devices in the next year or two. Both devices will be unlocked and should operate on all major US carriers, meaning they’ll have support for Google’s Project Fi wireless service too.
The rumored late September date is supposed to be the announcement of the phones, but they might go on sale the same day via the Google Store. Carriers could offer one or both in stores later, but supplies are always limited when a new Nexus is released. Nexus launches have never gone very smoothly, so make sure you’re ready to go on the 29th if you want the latest and greatest as soon as possible.