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Google's Nexus phone successors may be called Pixel and Pixel XL

Google's Nexus phone successors may be called Pixel and Pixel XL

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A couple of days after Android Central reported that Google would be dropping the Nexus brand from its upcoming flagship smartphones, Android Police claims to have the replacement names. The two HTC-built phones will reportedly be called the Pixel and Pixel XL, reusing a brand that Google has also applied to Chromebooks and an Android tablet (above). HTC branding will apparently not appear on the devices.

Rumors about the two phones have circulated for a while; the smaller 5-inch one is said to be codenamed Sailfish, while the larger 5.5-inch model goes by Marlin internally. In June, Android Police suggested that Sailfish and Marlin would both feature quad-core Qualcomm processors, 4GB of RAM, and 12-megapixel cameras, with the only difference between the two being a larger screen and battery on Marlin.

Whether or not the two phones end up being released under the Pixel brand, they're likely to represent an effort from Google to put more of a stamp on its flagship hardware products. "You'll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said at Recode's Code Conference earlier this year, citing an "opinionated" approach to design. "There's a lot of software innovation to be had."