We've known for a while that two new Nexus handsets are being developed by HTC, and we got our clearest look at the smaller of the two, codenamed 'Sailfish', in renders that appeared this week. But what if they're not actually Nexus devices after all?
According to Android Central, the new handsets won't be launched under the Nexus brand, and they won't feature HTC branding either. Citing unnamed sources, the report states that the devices will 'put the Google brand front and center'. But a secondary Nexus-style sub-brand may still be used; the report acknowledges: "We have no specific info on which name will be used instead of Nexus".
While the latest Sailfish renders that appeared this week show no branding on the handset at all, an earlier unofficial render - created for Android Police - showed Google's 'G' logo on the rear of the device.
And while the Nexus brand is commonly associated with the idea of a 'vanilla' Android user experience, it looks like Google is preparing to move away from that concept, with interface elements that may be exclusive to its own devices, as further recent leaks have indicated.
Google has already broken with tradition with its recent launch of Android 7.0 Nougat. In previous years, the release of a major new Android version coincided with the arrival of new Nexus hardware - 'showcase' devices for its latest OS updates. But last week, Google began the Nougat rollout with no new hardware to accompany its release, and its new smartphones are still believed to be weeks away from launch.
Source: Android Central