Google's Marlin and Sailfish will not have Nexus or HTC branding

30 August, 2016

If a new report allegedly coming from "several people familiar with Google's plans" is to be believed, then the Nexus program is dead. The Huawei Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5X from last year have been the last Nexus-branded smartphones ever.

The highly anticipated (and much-leaked) two handsets built by HTC that we thought would be 2016's Nexuses will instead have different branding, the same unnamed sources go on to claim. This isn't detailed any further, so it could just be that they will be called Google phones or something like that.

Furthermore, the Marlin and Sailfish won't have HTC's brand anywhere on them either, despite the fact that the Taiwanese company is producing them. With Nexus handsets, the manufacturer's brand featured alongside the Nexus logo. This won't be the case anymore.

All of this kind of fits with what Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in June, namely that the company would get involved in phone design more than before. The Marlin and Sailfish handsets will ship with "additional software and a tweaked interface atop vanilla Android", differentiating their user experience from the Nexus phones which basically all shipped with 'pure' Android. We've already heard that such alterations to the OS include a new launcher, a new design for the software navigation buttons, and the integration of Google Assistant throughout.

Finally, one source was apparently able to confirm that Google is also working on two smartwatches that will be released before the end of the year, something first uttered in a leak from July.