The super-sized smartphone market is getting more competitive than ever with devices like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Now Google seems ready to stake its own claim with the Nexus 6. This purported phablet is rumored to sport a massive quad HD display and a more premium design than previous Nexus phones, and has showcased some killer performance in early benchmarks. Here's what we know so far about what could be Google's next big thing.
Stunning Quad HD Display
Looking to join the ranks of the LG G3 and Galaxy Note 4, the Nexus 6 is expected to jump on the quad HD train with a 5.9-inch, 2560 x 1440 display. The Nexus 5 packed a 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen, so Google's new phablet could mark a major step up in terms of both size and resolution.
Sleek, Simple Design
Based on a rendering from Android Police, the Motorola-designed Nexus 6 could sport a barebones black design akin to its Nexus 5 predecessor, though with curvier edges and a Moto X-style metal frame. Based on the sketch, the 6-incher may feature dual front-facing speakers, with a selfie camera on the top right of the bezel and power and volume control on the right edge.
A leaked image discovered by TechRadar reaffirms the Nexus 6's Moto X-inspired design, with a large, centered camera lens at the top of the back panel and a Motorola logo underneath. A separate Android Police report notes that this back panel could pack a fingerprint reader to bring the Nexus up to speed with the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6.
Some early benchmarks for a device called the Motorola Shamu -- largely believed to be the Nexus 6 -- have popped up on Geekbench, and the results are stunning. The Shamu phone racked up a whopping 3,199 on multi-core performance, beating out the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, LG G3 and HTC One M8. Google's potential phablet scored 1,040 on single-core tests, besting its Android competitors and falling only to the iPhone 6 (1,630) and iPhone 5s (1,323).
Aside from its possible 2.6-GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the Nexus 6 is expected to pack a 3,200+ mAh battery for extra-long endurance. On the photography end, the phablet is rumored to feature a 13-MP rear camera with optical image stabilization.
A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Google could release the new version of its operating system, Android L, at the same time it announces the new Nexus phablet. Google released the developer preview of Android L back at its I/O conference earlier this year, so developers had time to experiment with its new Material Design language and app functionality with 64-bit ART runtime.
We recently caught a glimpse of what Android L could look like on Samsung's Galaxy S5, but since I/O, news of its official release date have been scarce. If Google does release Android L alongside the Nexus 6, its possible that the new phablet could ship with the updated operating system.
While Google has yet to officially announce the Nexus 6, the wealth of leaked specs suggest the phone is coming sooner rather than later. A recent FCC filing describes a phone that sounds very similar to the Nexus 6, design-wise, and notes that the device touts support for AT&T and T-Mobile wireless networks.
Last year's Nexus 5 saw a late October release, and, according to TechRadar, the Nexus 6 could potentially arrive on Oct. 15 or 16. With the Galaxy Note 4 hitting shelves on Oct. 17, we wouldn't be surprised to see Google's rival arrive not long after.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.