Google could be scrapping Android Silver in favor of a Motorola-made Nexus phablet [RUMOR]


Nexus 5 front

After being sold to Lenovo back in January for $2.91 billion, it appears the once Google-owned Motorola still has some unfinished business to attend to. According to sources out of The Information, Motorola could be collaborating with Google on an upcoming Nexus phablet.

For those wondering what the hell happened to Android Silver, well, it appears that the recent departure of Google’s Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora — the man spearheading the project — may have caused the Android Silver initiative to be scrapped altogether, defaulting back to what Google does best: Nexus.

Rumors of a new Nexus codenamed Shamu, which makes a lot more sense now given the device’s reported size, have been floating around for weeks and because the device is in AOSP, a Nexus moniker is sure to follow. A 5.9-inch phone-tablet could be big enough to warrant a Nexus 6 title, fitting perfectly with the Nexus program’s yearly upgrade cycle and incremental display size increases.

We’ll continue holding out hope for a more reasonable sized Nexus phone that wont stretch out our expensive denim, but just because a 5.9-inch Nexus is rumored doesn’t mean Google can’t update last year’s Nexus 5 with a new and improved Nexus 5 2014 model (although we’d have a hard time figuring out exactly how to upgrade the current model). Any thoughts?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. for the love of god, update the cameras!

  2. How to upgrade the Nexus 5? Well, a proper battery. A proper camera. An 801 or 805 and maybe even 3gb of ram. All would be great starts. Stick the G3 camera and battery in, release it, reap the rewards.

  3. God dammit. Looks like I’m going to have to babysit.

  4. I was leaning towards a Nexus as my next phone but not if the screen is that big.

  5. Android Silver was never meant to replace the Nexus line……

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. There never was any comment that the Nexus was going away. Guess it makes for good clickbait.

    2. Was Android Silver mentioned in the I/O?

      1. Was Nexus? Sure wasn’t, other than Nexus devices getting the developer preview. Android Silver was rumored for launch in early 2015, not at I/O…

  6. New Nexus 5 should be the : Nexus 5.2. Keep the same Body, just update internals a la iPhone. SD801, 3GB RAM, enhance camera (rear/front) 32GB

    New Nexus 6: 5.9 inch screen, SD805, 2 or 3gb RAM, 32GB

    No need to have the memory storage differentiate between the two devices… Since now the screens size should determine the prices…N5.2- $375 , N6- $450.

    1. New Nexus 5 should be the Nexus 4.7 to 4.95. No bigger.

    2. Sorry, but Nexus 5.2 and 6 should definitely take advantage of Android L’s 64 bit capabilities. So SD 41, 610 or 615 (depending on availability at release) and 4GB of RAM do annoy iPhone users…

  7. If they only offer a 5.9 inch nexus phone…then there goes my idea of owning a Nexus…

  8. How to improve the Nexus 5? How about starting with a camera that is not the equivalent of a digital turd.

  9. I wud just make the battery bigger 3000 mah… F_u_ck a better camera. Just optimize the current one. And make bottom n top bezel smaller.

  10. Besides the obvious spec bumps and 64 bit, I would love to see standard water and dust proofing (IP67) and an overall more durable design.

    1. Yes please. Cause the sides underneath the volume rocker and power button both cracked and I’ve not dropped the phone. And the white one scratches very easily

      1. All you need is a case. I baby my phones with protection so they come out unscathed from my clumsiness.

        1. Shouldn’t need a case for my phone to stay in one piece if I haven’t dropped it. My brother’s nexus 5 brand new from T-Mobile was cracked underneath the volume rocker as well. I love the N5 but its made of very cheap plastic especially the white one

  11. I know there is a lot of hate for the N5 camera, but I loved mine as long as I was shooting in HDR+. Accidentally went swimming with it and now I’m relegated to a Moto X. Now that has a bad camera…..

    1. Don’t feel bad, my g3 screen cracked and I was relegated to my old Nexus 4 camera…

  12. Why 5.9? Can someone explain that please? This is a flagship phone. Also, it doesn’t look good for Google to announce something and then drop it.

    1. What exactly was announced and then dropped? I hope you’re not talking about the rumored phone that was only ever rumored that is now rumored to not be happening.

      1. Android Silver was announced at Google I/O 2014. If evleaks is right (and he likely is since the mastermind of Silver left Google), then like the Phandroid article says, it could be dropping it. I don’t like reiterating what articles say, but if you don’t like rumors, don’t comment on Phandroid articles quoting rumors.

        1. Actually, Google never announced Silver at I/O, it has always been a rumor. So Google never announced it, never cancelled it, but some idiot(that would be you) comes on here talking about how they shouldn’t announce something(which they didn’t) and then drop it(which they also didn’t) And I Never said I didn’t like rumors. I just commented on the idiocy of complaining about devices that were rumored as if you think they were fact and then complaining they were dropped when that is also a rumor.

        2. Actually, Google never
          announced Silver at I/O, it has always been a rumor. So Google never announced it, never cancelled it, but some idiot(that would be you) comes on here talking about how they shouldn’t announce something(which they didn’t) and then drop it(which they also didn’t) And I Never said I didn’t like rumors. I just commented on the idiocy of complaining about devices that were rumored as if you think they were fact and then complaining they were dropped when that is
          also a rumor.

          1. Alright, fine, the article I read was wrong, so I guess anybody who reads an article with bad information is an idiot. You’ll never find that online. Also every article now is talking about Silver like it’s a real thing, with the drama continuing, from multiple sources, but I guess they’re all idiots too cause those will definitely not come true either, and we’re all commenting on rumors like they matter.

          2. no, that’s not what I said. Reading bad information doesn’t make people an idiot. But when something is clearly in the “rumor” category(this article, for example, even says “rumor” right in the title) and someone acts like its a fact and then makes comments like you did criticizing a company based purely and 100% on rumors, then that person(who would be you in this instance) is an idiot. Talking about rumors is part of the fun of being on these sites. Everyone does it. The idiots(like you) are the ones who clearly have no concept of what a rumor is and don’t understand that it doesn’t matter how many people discuss something, until its announced by the company, its still a rumor.

  13. Not sure why everyone insist on using their phone as a

    1. Sometimes I don’t feel like carrying a camera everywhere I go

      1. Me either I only take my actual camera when I know there is something I want photos or video of but most people try to use their phone as there primary camera.

        1. Why are you jumping on everyone’s nuts about their desire to have a good camera on their phone? Just because you don’t need it, doesn’t mean others don’t. It’s great that you are able to plan ahead and have your DSLR with you for every moment that you want a picture. Some of us are a little more spontaneous and have unexpected moments pop up where we want to take some photos. Example, when I go out to a bar and want to take a group photo with friends, it works way better to have a good camera on my phone as opposed to carrying my DSLR around my neck all night.

          Why can’t people use their phone as their primary camera? Not everyone has over $1K to drop on a DSLR and the tech exists for phone cameras to be more than adequate.

          1. The camera on your PHONE is fine. I don’t take my DSLR everywhere. Your telling me you can afford a $600 phone but can’t buy a camera that’s under $200. My point and shoot cost me less than $200. It has a 19x zoom and 14mp. Most people who want to capture those spontaneous moments have an actual camera like the GO PRO. I like how you assume you know me and how you think my life has never been spontaneous. I served 9 years in the military never really knowing what might happen next always having to be ready for anything and most of my buddies wore helmet cams for those spontaneous moments not a phone. I don’t care if you use your phone as your primary camera I just think it’s silly. Just get tired of hearing about how bad everyone’s camera is in their phone. As I have already said before IT’S A PHONE not a camera.If you want a camera buy one.

          2. Oh so you are going to bust out the military thing on me. Guess what, I was in the military too…..big freaking deal. You’re still getting up on my nuts now about this. Why can’t people just want the convenience of having a good camera in their phone when the technology obviously exists? Why should you have to carry a point and shoot even or a Go Pro? Sure they provide better quality than a phone cam, but the point is phone cams can actually be good enough to provide most of the shots people want to take on a daily basis. When you go on vacation and things like that, then sure bring a real camera, but people don’t want to take phone and camera with them all the time.

            I don’t get why you are making such a big deal about it. So you don’t mind carrying multiple devices, good for you. For those of us who don’t want to carry keys, a wallet, a phone, and a camera stuffed in our jeans, then why can’t we prefer a phone with a camera good enough to get us by for most situations? Just because you apparently wear hammer pants or carry a murse/fanny pack for all your stuff, doesn’t mean everyone wants to.

            Seriously though, I do get your point and agree that if you want great pictures then you should get a camera. The issue is that smart phones are becoming more and more capable of serving multiple functions well. The IP5 and IP5S have proven smart phone cameras can actually be good enough to capture most candid shots if desired, so it is possible and most people like to have that convenience.

          3. I only bust out the military thing because you were assuming and you know what they say about assuming ;) lol. Why would I carry an actual camera. You kind of answer your own question because of quality also an actual zoom is nice. I’m not making a big deal I made a simple statement and was attacked. Which usually only reinforces the fact that a person is right. I only responded with appropriate force. I don’t need large pants. lol They make camera cases that slide onto your belt. It’s great that you served but as my buddies would say “If you ain’t combat you ain’t s**t” .lol

          4. Phandroid seems to have deleted my reply.

    2. some people like the ability to record some of the memories of their fantastic lives.

      1. So do I. I own a DSLR and a point and shoot.

        1. I don’t own either of those nor do I plan to. I’d just prefer better cameras on my phones. I don’t like carrying around extra stuff.

          1. Seems like most people are trying to make it a demand. You’re not going to get the same quality from a phone. Here’s something most people don’t seem to realize IT’S A PHONE.

          2. I’m not asking for it to be equal quality to a DSLR I’m asking for the cameras to continue improving and stay competitive with the iPhone camera.

            And its not just a phone its a smart phone and smart phones improve their cameras. That’s like saying you can’t complain about internet speed because your phone isn’t a laptop or you can’t complain about your screen because your phone isn’t a TV.

            Not asking or expecting to best a $3000 with a $600 phone but I want my phones camera to be at least in the same league as other phone cameras.

          3. Some people would beg to differ. This is new technology that we haven’t had long what the hell are you whining for be glad that you are able to do it in the first place. Go about 1:30 in.

          4. Funny segment, but I don’t think its 100% the same thing. People arent asking for new kickass technology. They arent asking the Nexus camera to be the best ever camera created at its size… people are just asking for the nexus 6 camera to be competitive with the cameras in the gs5/iphone5s/g3/z2 etc..

            Sure the signal on your phone is going out of space and the small delay in time isn’t the end of the world…but if EVERY OTHER PHONE doesn’t have the problem, then you have a right to complain.

            That being said, if you are buying a $350 device, you are going to make some concessions generally speaking vs buying a $600 device.

          5. If you want one of those phones then buy them. Stop trying to compare a phone that cost $350 to something that cost $600+. Please show me every other phone that cost $350 outright that doesn’t have this so called problem.

          6. And i Did buy one, i went from a Nexus 4 to a G3…. how ever there was a specific question at the end of the article “How can we improve on the Nexus 5?” And the people here seem to have 2 requests, battery life and camera. There are other factors that could have been said like storage space, SD cards, removable batteries, build, screen rez/quality, weather proofing, design, etc. But the people here seem to think those were two most important areas in which the phone lagged behind its competitors. I do not own a Nexus 5 so i cannot speak on the matter. But you can’t get mad when someone is just answering a question, it isnt like they are spamming a random article.

          7. That’s the request for just about every phone ever. It’s seems like it’s just never going to be enough. The camera and battery life are fine. If I’m not constantly on it I can go more than a day without having to recharge it. I could get on board with your other suggestions. An SD card would be great. My dad lost his pictures and everything from his iphone after the ios7 update locked it up and he had to do a factory reset. I’m always worried about something happening to my phone where I can’t recover what’s on it. I also think a removable battery might be nice. Just in case my battery stops holding a charge I don’t want to constantly change phones. I had an ipod touch that stopped charging. The removable battery might make it a little thicker so I’m not 100% sure I would be for it. Waterproofing would be great since I ride on a motorcycle and worry about it getting wet. See these things are real problems. Not the fact that your PHONE can’t take amazing pictures. They make a device for

          8. all of those things you mentioned are valid and worthy additions. Lol but again its not asking for amazing, its asking for it to hit the status quo if not gradually advance it. You are a pro or semi pro or hobbyist photographer. And that’s great. But remember that puts you in the same bucket as a Pro or Serious PC gamer, or a car enthusiast. Most people don’t buy sports cars but still wouldnt mind their corollas and altimas getting a little extra pick up when they slam the pedal. Most people aren’t gaming on Desktop Gaming rigs but they wouldn’t mind some better graphics on their consoles/tablets. Most people arent professional photographers but they wouldn’t mind having taking a photo on their phone that they could print and frame if they wanted to. You’re right its not a camera, its an all in one smart device. So they want their all in one device to improve upon some of the features it comes with.

          9. I’m a hobbyist at best. My thing is really computers. I currently go to college for networking technology. I could probably call my dad a pro. He does some modeling shots for girls. I think he does it free. He has also recorded video for a company I think it was called dreamgirls it’s like Girls Gone Wild. Which he has been paid for.It would be great to get into photography a bit. You could be right maybe that’s why I have a problem with it. I know my dad uses his iphone to take some pictures but he would never do anything major with it. You make good points but they seem to be a double edged sword. You are never going to get a Corolla to be a Ferrari so stop trying. Be happy with what you have and if you really want the Ferrari then buy it. You aren’t going to get a tablet to preform like a gaming PC. If you want to play actual games on a PC you need to buy the right equipment. Same goes with photos just trying to get people to open their eyes.

          10. Your dad sounds like he has an awesome job. Is he one of those guys on craigslist who asks for nude models? lol.

          11. No, He’s not on craigslist. My dad is really social and lives near New Orleans. He really does it more as a hobby. He was working on oil rigs in the Gulf. Now he works for Haliburton.

        2. I own a DSLR (and film SLRs) but no point and shoots since cameras in phones got good enough and Google automatically backs everything up online.

          The best camera is the one you have with you and I always have my phone with me. For the real stuff, yeah I will whip out the Nikon and the speedlights but for the spontaneous stuff the phone is better.

    3. When you have kids you’ll understand.

      1. I have kids.

    4. Not sure how you can enjoy carrying a camera around whenever you think you might want to take pictures. Don’t know why someone named Keith would reveal a name like that to the public either (worst first name in the English language, after all).

      1. Someone watches TGUK…

      2. As I have already said before I don’t carry it around all the time. I normally use it for special events or when I travel. I guess I can explain to you why my name is revealed since you do not know. Google made everybody use their actual name and I sign in with google. On top that I have no reason to hide my name I’m not someone you want to come looking for. lol

        1. I have no reason or motivation to come looking for you. Your subtle threat/chest thumping may be contemptible but I am hardly bored or vindictive enough to come looking for someone based on what is said/suggested on an online forum.

  14. A lot of people will probably disagree with me but I really wish the nexus phablet would come with a Wacom screen and a stylus. Aka a Nexus Note.

    1. FWIW: most polls show that about 80% of Galaxy Note owners never or very rarely use the SPen (myself included).

      1. I know but I am in the 20% that uses it fairly often. I just hate touchwiz and Samsung is making it near impossible to root and rom these days.

      2. Most polls show that many Americans are ignorant, clueless dicks. Ask many people outside of the US what they think of the US and the response will probably be overwhelmingly negative.

        1. Someone’s perturbed.

        2. And yet we still impact the daily lives of the majority of the world. How does that make you feel?

          1. The fact that you impact the lives of a majority of the world is not at issue. The effect of that impact usually being positive? That would be at issue. Come back when your great country stops bringing civilisation, peace and order to the world by bombing countries to bits, indirectly displacing millions and spreading fear and hatred of yourselves by doing the above.

  15. I was really hoping for the android silver line to come to fruition. The idea of a variety of near stock devices gives me chubb. The only variety, as it stands now, are devices with skins and bloat.

    1. My hesitation was the same thing with the GPEs. They have hardware buttons, still some customization for hardware that delays updates, and are expensive compared to the Nexus.

      The Nexus is/was the true iphone experience but at a really attractive price point. Google controlled it as much as Apple controls the iPhone and the result is the best set of Android devices I have used to date (and they still smoke things that came after).

  16. they could update the n5 with a better camera and battery. I personally welcome a 5.9 inch nexus :)

  17. I was really on the fence with the Nexus 5 because of its size. If this turns out to be true, the N5 will be the last Nexus device I own. Here’s hoping Android Silver has something to do with Project Ara/Phonebloks.

  18. Google starting to look reactive rather than strategic.

  19. The Nexus 5 can still see a refresh when needed like the N7 did. As it is now it is still relevant.

    A Nexus 6 would fill a hole in Google’s offering. I would gladly be in for a Nexus 6. My giant hands (and proportionally wide pockets) can accommodate this size easily.

    Note to Google, I am also looking for a 8.9 tablet that comes with Google Play installed. The Kindle Fire DHX 8.9 is very nice but lacks usability as it is.

    1. I wonder how companies implementing Android devices would feel about Google refreshing the Nexus “line” on the regular.

    2. Google and other manufacturers need to make three sizes. Mini, medium and phablet like. The specs need to be the same for all three devices.

  20. Android silver is to take cheaper phones to parts of the world that can’t afford expensive devices. I don’t see the conflict. 2 different objectives.

    1. I believe that’s Android One

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