Google is expected to sell its new Nexus smartphones, allegedly codenamed Marlin and Sailfish, directly to shoppers, but it turns out the devices might also be available from one major carrier. A new rumor claims Verizon will carry the HTC-made stock Android handsets as well.
Verizon is going to carry the two "Nexus" handsets (note the quotation marks).
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 5, 2016
The leak comes from Evan Blass, who has a good track record when it comes to mobile leaks. Blass doesn’t reveal very much in his latest tip. The quotation marks around “Nexus” seem to suggest Verizon’s version of the rumored smartphones won’t really count as pure Nexus devices, possibly due to carrier bloatware and less reliable software updates. That’s essentially what happened with Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus, and it sounds like history may repeat itself later this year.
Google will likely still offer the Nexus Marlin and Sailfish directly to customers, so it’s unclear what advantages a Verizon variant might offer. The carrier could sell the devices on a payment plan instead of charging the full price upfront like Google typically does. That alone may win some shoppers over.
The new Nexus phones are expected to pack plenty of power, especially the high-end Marlin model. The rumored metal smartphone will allegedly offer a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a 3450mAh battery, a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a rear fingerprint reader and Android Nougat software. The smaller Sailfish could sport similar specs with a 5-inch 1080p display and a 2770mAh battery in a plastic shell.
Both devices are reportedly set to launch later this year, likely sometime this fall when the new Nexus lineup typically hits the scene. If Verizon really is set to offer a carrier variant, we’ll probably see it released at around the same time.