Saturday, July 2, 2016

Specs revealed for HTC’s Nexus devices, codenamed Marlin and Sailfish

Android N

This time around around, HTC is the lucky one to make the Nexus devices – there’s nothing new. Everyone has been familiar with the rumors that Google has planned to release 2 Nexus devices this year, both developed by HTC. Just like last year, one of the devices will be of smaller stature while the other one being on the bigger end of the spectrum.
Recently, Android Police leaked the specs for the bigger one of the two devices, Marlin, and gave it a confidence level of 9/10 which is pretty darn high. According to the Android Police, Marlin will have following specs:

  • Manufactured by HTC
  • Quad-core Qualcomm processor
  • 5.5" QHD (2560x1440) AMOLED display
  • USB-C port
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 4GB RAM
  • 3450mAh battery
  • Bottom-firing speakers
  • 32/128GB of storage
  • Bluetooth 4.2
As it can be seen, the specs are in line with all other flagships of 2016, like the HTC 10, LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7. It is somewhat surprising that Google decided to go with 4GB of RAM, since the OnePlus already has a ginormous 6GB RAM, and with the Galaxy Note 7 to be rumored to be released with 6GB of RAM too. However, personally I believe that much of RAM to be not of much significance. All the devices that currently run on 4GB are already buttery smooth, and I do not see how the 6GB of RAM could improve something that does not need any improvement. Sure, the Galaxy Note series could POSSIBLY use such huge amount of RAM primarily due to added S-Pen functionality and all the TouchWiz gimmicks, but Samsung has already toned down TouchWiz that it works magically on 4GB of RAM on the Galaxy S7. For Nexus devices, 4GB of RAM should more than sufficient, given how smooth the Nexus 6P and even the aged Nexus 6 run on mere 3GB of RAM. Nonetheless, I can’t change the mind of spec hungry users, and they are certainly going to be disappointed with only 4GB of RAM on the new Nexus devices.

Another difference we see here compared to the last year is the storage option. Last year with the Nexus 6P, the storage options were 32GB and 64GB. However, this year Google has decided to skip the 64GB option and offer the higher 128GB option for power users. This seems like a step in the right direction, since the Nexus line-up does not have an option for SD card and some power users could really use some extra storage. I would have appreciated it more if Google had change the base storage option to 64GB, though. To add to the list of difference is the bottom firing speakers. People enjoyed the front facing speakers with the Nexus 6 and the 6P, but with that feature gone, it is surely going to disappoint many. Besides these, there’s really nothing to it. It still features a 12MP rear shooter, and a 8MP front facing selfie camera, providing the same specs as the 6P. However, there is still no word on which sensor HTC is going to use, and if it is going to better aperture and pixel size than Nexus 6P’s camera. And just like all other flagships, Marlin is going to feature a Snapdragon processor, although we do not have input on the specific model. Most likely it will be SD 820, or possibility the improved SD 821 or SD 823.

Android Police has also weighed in on the specs of the smaller Nexus, codenamed Sailfish. This time around, it is going to feature the same specs as its bigger brother Marlin, except the display size and resolution and battery size. It is rumored to have a 5 inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution, and obviously a smaller battery since it has to feed power to less pixels on a smaller screen. This setting is quite resembling to the iPhone / iPhone Plus settings, with both devices being almost the same except the display. This makes more sense since people who prefer smaller display won’t have to compromise on power, like they had to for the Nexus 5X. Nexus 5X was much less powerful and was inferior to the Nexus 6P, and there was significant difference in performance and user experience. But this also implies that the price gap between the two models, the Sailfish and the Marlin, won’t be too high. I guess we'll just have to wait until Google officially announces the devices to get accurate details on pricing.