Nexus 6 (2016) said to be renamed Pixel XL

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How much will the Nexus 6 (2016) reflect the Nexus 6P (above)?/ © ANDROIDPIT

Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin / Pixel XL name

There have been a plethora of rumors recently that Google is keen to drop the Nexus name. Now it seems that the change will begin with the Nexus 5 and 6 (2016). Android Police reported that the pair of devices will not be HTC-branded and will not go out under the Nexus banner, instead bearing the Pixel moniker. As the Nexus 6 (2016) is the larger of the two new devices, it will go under the name Pixel XL.

Find out more in our dedicated story.

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin price and release date

Information about the release date of the Nexus 6 (2016) – what we currently believe is codenamed the Nexus Marlin – hasn’t been announced yet, but we can already predict that it won’t land until the fourth quarter (of this year), like the previous Nexus devices in the series. 

Concerning the Nexus 6 (2016) price, given that the original Nexus 6 and Nexus 6 (2015) both launched for around $649, we expect a similar price range for the upcoming handset also.

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin design 

Though Huawei has been named as the possible developer of the Nexus 6 (2016), most rumors point towards HTC. A message posted on the Chinese networking site Weibo stated that HTC is building not just one, but two Nexus devices: a 5-inch and a 5.5-inch phone, marking a 0.2-inch decrease in size from last year’s Nexus 5X and 6P.

It had previously been reported that Google was planning to take more control over the Nexus line, or even shut it down entirely, but a separate report lends credence to the HTC rumor, suggesting that HTC has signed a deal with Google to manufacture the Nexus devices for the next three years. 

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If the Nexus 6 (2016) is produced by Huawei once again, a few signature features are almost guaranteed. / © ANDROIDPIT

On April 27, Android Police and renowned leakster Evan Blass both pointed to two new HTC Nexus devices coming out this year. Blass gave their codenames as M1 and S1, which Android Police expanded to Marlin and Sailfish, citing evidence from a code review tool in which a Qualcomm engineer refers to a device as Marlin. It’s coincidental that Sailfish is also the name of another mobile OS.

Android Police added further weight to the HTC Marlin rumor on June 30 with information it said it was “extremely confident” about, which reaffirmed the codename and HTC’s involvement.

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin display

The original Nexus 6, developed by Motorola, had a 6-inch QHD display. Many found this phone a little too big and its successor was agreeably smaller, with a 5.7-inch screen.

So far, current speculation suggests the Nexus Marlin will come with a 5.5-inch, and once again, QHD display.

A QHD display, along with previously rumored specs, received solid confirmation through an AnTuTu listing. Take a look at the screenshot below for a more detailed rundown of the specs.

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The Antutu listing, showing a QHD display. / © AnTuTu

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin software

The upcoming Nexus phones will have a software trick built into the fingerprint sensor, a new report suggests. Android Police wrote that a swipe-down gesture over the sensor will allow a user to pull down the notification shade. It’s unknown at this stage if this will be coming to older Nexus devices. While this could be a nice addition to the Nougat Nexus package, this feature is already available in Huawei devices like the P9. It doesn’t break any new ground but there’s a good chance that this feature will make its way into upcoming Android devices.

The Nexus 6 (2016) is, of course, sure to arrive with the next version of Android, Android 7.0 Nougat. We’ve already seen most of the new features which will be included in the upcoming software, which you can read more about at the link, but among them are lock screen quick replies, new folder icons, multitasking improvements and a better Doze feature. 

Cracked Nexus 6P rear visors have been a disappointingly frequent occurrence. / © Reddit

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin camera

Neither Google nor HTC are famed for camera quality in their devices, but the Nexus 6P really delivered in the camera stakes when Huawei was in control (check out our Nexus 6P gallery for examples).

It’s said that the Nexus Marlin will come with a 12 MP rear camera and 8 MP front-facing camera but we don’t have any further details yet. 

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A shot captured with the Nexus 6P. / © ANDROIDPIT

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin performance

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 is the processor rumored to appear in the Nexus 6 (2016). This next-gen processor brings a new architecture (ARM Cortex-A57 / 53) which could help it achieve faster speeds than the Snapdragon 810 and hopefully do so without overheating problems. If it’s packing this chip, performance and graphics should be at the very high end.

The possibility of the Snapdragon 820 appearing in the device received further corroboration in late April, with a model named the Nexus 6P being spotted on Geekbench’s database by WinFuture. The device was seen running Android Nougat, sporting a Snapdragon 820 and with the Motherboard taking the famous Marlin name. 

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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is expected to achieve great things. / © Qualcomm

Google Nexus 6 (2016) / Nexus Marlin battery 

The Nexus 6P is the Nexus device with the largest battery capacity to date, at 3,450 mAh. Though battery capacity doesn’t tell us everything about battery performance, with improvements afforded by Android Marshmallow, this large cell helped the 6P achieve good battery life numbers overall. 

The Nexus Marlin is rumored to have a 3,450 mAh battery, but we don’t know if it will support wireless charging (which the 6P lacked). Quick-charging capabilities should be in effect, however.

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