Google has announced that it will be holding an event on October 4th in San Francisco, where it will likely unveil its latest smartphones (which may or may not be released under the Nexus brand). The company uploaded a short teaser video to YouTube that shows the date, as well as a smartphone-shaped rectangle, and the Google “G” logo. It also launched a new site that refers to the date as well as something “made by” Google. Google has yet to confirm what the phones will be called, but multiple reports have it dropping the Nexus name in favor of its “G” logo on the upcoming devices.
A report from Android Police says we’ll be seeing two new smartphones built by HTC — a 5-inch and 5.5-inch model rumored to be called the Pixel X and Pixel XL — and they may even feature an all-metal design. Last year the Nexus 6P was metal, but the 5.2-inch LG 5X was plastic. A report from Android Central corroborates the dropping of the Nexus branding, and says that Google will ship the devices with a special version of Android Nougat, instead of going with a stock version of the operating system like usual.
Speaking about the Nexus line earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would be “more opinionated about the design of the phones,” and noted that it would “add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones,” which gives added credence to the report.
An invitation received by The Verge confirmed the date and location of the event, but not what will be shown on stage in San Francisco. Nevertheless, the 30-second video clearly indicates it’s a phone, with Google’s familiar search box morphing into the shape of a smartphone: Google, defined by its origins as a search engine, is suggesting that search is at home on a smartphone now. The clip also hints that the company sees its upcoming phone as a hardware version of a Google search, as well as a chance to refocus on its hardware efforts. Its new teaser site states that the phones are “made by” Google — even if they’re to be built by HTC.
We should be seeing two new smartphones built by HTC
It’s still unclear what kind of specs these new Google-branded devices will be pushing, but if Google sticks to the game plan it’s used since it began the Nexus line, they will feature the latest and greatest processors to take full advantage of everything Nougat has to offer. It’s also not clear what these phones will look like, but an image found hidden in the code of Google’s new “made by” site, showing a phone on the floor between two LED ropes may be our first glimpse of the device. Another image shows what may be a picture taken with the phone.
Google also has plenty of other products it needs to release. Allo, its chat app, hasn’t come out yet, nor has Google Home, its Alexa-like home speaker / smart assistant. Meanwhile Daydream, its Android-powered VR platform is due to be released this fall (perfect timing for this event). The company is also going through a dry spell with Android Wear watches at the moment, and it couldn’t hurt for those Nexus watch rumors to come to fruition. And there’s always the possibility of a new Chromebook to replace the second-generation Pixel which was recently discontinued.
Basically Google has a lot of things to talk about, and hopefully on October 4th we’ll hear about most of them. Stay tuned to The Verge for full coverage of Google’s fall event.