Some time ago there was talk of Google switching focus away from Nexus devices and launching a premium hardware line called Silver. Although this is a concept that never came to fruition, many new Nexus products have moved away from the budget market to compete at the high-end.
The realignment towards premium hardware was most evidenced by last year’s Nexus 6P, which was widely regarded as a match for any flagship smartphone from 2015.
It is expected that Google will launch two smartphones this year, which have been developed by HTC. And the larger of these two, the HTC Nexus Marlin, has made an appearance on the AnTuTu benchmarking service.
From the AnTuTu details, we can see a list of specs that are as expected: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4 GB RAM, 13 megapixel rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera, a 3450 mAh battery and 32 GB storage.
AnTuTu recorded the HTC Nexus Marlin as having a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 display. This is notable as it is likely to be one of the few significant differences from Google’s other 2016 smartphone.
The HTC Nexus Sailfish, the smaller of the two handsets, will likely offer a 5.0-inch 1080 x 1920 display, as well as a lower-capacity 2770 mAh battery.
With the specs of the the HTC Nexus Sailfish being so similar to those of the HTC Nexus Marlin, there is not likely to be a considerable price difference between the two.
This will be a change from 2015, when the Nexus 5X offered a lower-spec alternative to the Nexus 6P.
The best hope for anyone after a keenly-priced Nexus smartphone this year may be if, as has been speculated, Huawei launch a refreshed edition of the Nexus 6P.
Although Huawei has largely moved away from budget hardware, if there are no big changes from the current Nexus 6P, then the Chinese manufacturer may be able to offer a lower retail price.