This is a little strange. We’ve been hearing a lot of talk about 2016’s Google Nexus releases, but none of them so far have pointed to a much more straightforward approach of simply re-issuing the Nexus 6P with an upgraded processor; but according to this new set of benchmarks leaking online that could be something on the cards. The Geekbench results clearly show the handset labelled as a “google Nexus 6P”, however, where the original model has a Snapdragon 810 and 3GB of RAM, this version has Android N and a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4GB of RAM. This upgrade, if real, will make last year’s Nexus 6P far more competetive with rivals that have emerged since, such as the HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7, and LG G5.
The chip is a quad-core setup clocked at 1.59GHz and paired with an Adreno 530 GPU, as well as the 1GB of extra RAM on the original build. There’s also a reference to “Marlin” which is a codename already associated with other in-development Nexus phones for 2016 and follows on with Google’s fish-themed codename convention we’ve seen on previous models.
As unexpected as the move is, it may simply represent Google being a little more diverse in its annual Nexus offering; this refresh alone doesn’t rule out some of the other rumours we’ve been hearing about Google partnering with HTC on at least two handsets this year, while also entering into a two-year agreement with the Taiwanese manufacturer for longer-term plans. Google is quite well-established as partnering up with multiple manufacturers at once to get different devices made in the same year, in the past we’ve seen LG and Huawei, and LG and HTC both being employed at the same time by Google to produce Nexus hardware of one form or another.
The re-booted Nexus 6P also does fit with rumours we heard earlier in the year that Huawei would continue to partner with Google inside 2016 on the Nexus brand, it simply means that it’s not making a “new” phone, but re-jigging the existing one.