It looks like the Nexus name is dying a death. Reports are suggesting that Google is going to be hosting an event on October 4th, at which we will see the new HTC-built Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL announced. Those phones are currently under their code names of Marlin and Sailfish respectively. The new naming convention will mean that across all hardware types – phones, tablets and Chromebooks – there is one name to remember and will likely have some sort of suffix designation for the model.
What is interesting is that the name “Pixel” has been associated with Google as being the designer of the product. Take the Pixel C or the Pixel Chromebook as an example. While Google may not have built those devices, they had a very heavy hand in their design. Is that the case for the Pixel and Pixel XL phones? leaked mock-ups suggest no. The Marlin (Pixel) device looks strikingly like the HTC built One A9. While it may have different innards, outward appearances don’t suggest Google did the design.
The question is does the design matter? A little yes but this wouldn’t be the first time that a Nexus-now-Pixel phone looked like a device from the manufacture. Take a look at the Nexus 6, built by
Motorola, and the Motorola Moto X (and several other phones for that matter). There are a lot of similarities. But Google has always wanted the Android experience on their devices to be the best. That, for them, is critical and should not be a problem on these two new devices. I can’t help but think that they had a huge amount of influence over HTC on these devices, especially in light of their lackluster sales with the HTC 10 and One A9.
At the end of the day, these two new Pixel phones are going to come with Android Nougat and Daydream out-of-the-box. That will be enough for any Android fan to pay attention the the event about a month from now.