Rumor: Motorola, Google working on 5.9-inch Nexus


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Lots of breakups tend to go pretty bad, but Google and Motorola’s relationship has stayed strong following their brief period of engagement. Ties could become even tighter if this latest rumor is to be believed: the pair are working on a Nexus phone that could come clocked in at 5.9 inches, with the target month for launching it being November.

There’s no real concrete information to be had outside of that, though murmurings of a fingerprint scanner being featured on the device raises ears. The device is said to be codenamed “shamu,” the name of SeaWorld’s charming killer whale show that brings people from all over to their water park. Fitting name, that, considering a 5.9-inch phone is quite the “whale” of a form factor compared to previous Nexus phones, a line that has yet to extend beyond the 5-inch mark (excluding tablets, obviously).

The device’s codename has shown up in Google Code bug reports before, with this particular report from three days ago referencing the device in the build number. For what it’s worth, the bug report comes from a testing firm that specializes in testing hardware and software in the cellular world — sounds exactly like the type of firm who’d be able to get their hands on a prototype well ahead of it seeing the light of day.


And that’s about the length of all the known information. Without much else to go on, it does give us an opportunity to ponder a few things. Here are just a few thoughts that immediately come to mind (should the rumor turn out to be true):

  • The Nexus line might not be dead after all. If you don’t remember, early rumors suggested Google would be dropping their Nexus program in favor of Android Silver. Android Silver is rumored to be a new device initiative for OEMs and carriers to provide high quality smartphones, but without carrier or OEM customization, and with a commitment to timely updates. We thought we’d be hearing something about Android Silver at Google IO, but alas nothing came of the rumor (and at this point, we’re not sure if anything ever will).
  • Motorola didn’t stick to its guns. Remember when Moto said they didn’t care for big phones? Could be that they’ve had a change of heart, or it could be that Google wants to introduce the first phablet in the Nexus series. Either way, it certainly doesn’t fit Motorola’s original vision.
  • Who better to use a fingerprint scanner than Motorola? Because whether you want to give them credit or not, they were the first company to use a fingerprint scanner in a mainstream smartphone. It’s only fitting that they reclaim their throne and let people know who the true originator is.

But I digress, because it could be just as likely that none of this is true or that the smartphone will never see the light of day. Rumors are always to be taken with grains of salt, so don’t go making major purchase decisions based on this particular one because you could end up waiting for nothing at all. Knowing that, though, let us know in the comments if you’ve been waiting for an oversized Nexus phone like this one.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Android Wallpaper: Low Poly Art

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  1. Before the “too big” comments start – I’d buy this in a heartbeat, as long as it’s slim and the bezels are as small as LG’s G3. I guess they could do a smaller version too to suit everyone (new Nexus 5 and Nexus 6?)

    1. Yup. Variety is a good thing. The only thing that could be negative for come is if they don’t also do a normal size version.

      I would buy it too. I just got a G3… As much as I love it, I do wish the screen was just a bit bigger.

    2. 5.9 screen! too big, hahaha.

    3. Same here, as long is the screen is high quality it may be able to tear me away from my Note 3.

    4. As the user of a Note 3, I’d love a vanilla Android Nexus of the same size. I despise Samsung’s determined use of that home button, but can’t go back to the smaller sized phone.

  2. I really hope this is real…this will probably be my next phone. I’m thinking it will be more along the lines of like a 5.5 or 5.7 inch, probably 5.7 inches. I loved my note 2 when I had it, and I love vanilla android so both of those together would be great for me.

  3. This rumor is just horrible. Google would not build a 5.9 inch phone. If this turns out to be true, I’ll babysit @stevealbright:disqus ‘s kids for a day as punishment.

    1. Hey, stranger things have happened. (Referring to Google building a 5.9-inch phone, not you babysitting @Steve Albright’s basketball team that he’s raising.)

      1. You know me, I love a good rumor. I’m sure a device named shamu is in the works. I just don’t see it being 5.9 inches. This sounds like someone trying to justify a device named Nexus 6 and basing it on screen size. I’m still gunning for a 5-inch or so device to be called Nexus 5. Who knows? :)

        1. YOU MEAN THIS?

  4. So weird, tried to post comments three times but it never made it. Having problems on other websites as well. It might be my proxy so I disabled it for now.

    Anyway, I am so getting this phone if it ever comes out. I currently have a LG G Flex and I love its 6″ screen goodness but I’ve been waiting a long time for a Nexus phablet. Hopefully that dream will be realized and soon!

  5. Its funny to read the same article on other sites then read the same exact article just reworded here. These sites obviously feed off each other and do no real journalism, quite sad and phandroid has been going downhill for the past year with content. Get some real writers phandroid and I might consider coming back. Till then I’m out!

  6. Good, battery should be MUCH larger.

  7. I want 4.5!

  8. Keep going and we’ll be back to the Moto Brick phone, then the bag phone.
    Just install Skype on your tablet and grab a headset and save yourself a few bucks!

  9. No. Just, no.

    1. He might be exaggerating a bit but he has a point. I actually want to be able to fit my phone in my front pants pocket.

      1. Then wear regular jeans that don’t squeeze your balls up into your taint.

  10. 4.7″ or negatron.

    1. Who’s Negatron? Tron’s evil version from an alternate universe or something?

    2. Is Negatron the Hobbit Transformer?

  11. I’ve been waiting a long time for a larger Nexus and also for a Motorola Nexus. This rumor comes a few weeks after purchasing my 1+. Oh well.

  12. Not sure why its so hard for companies to just create a great piece of hardware and keep vanilla android.

  13. Shut up and take my money!

  14. 5″ is my limit. No go for me.

    1. 5″ is about my limit as well.

      It’s funny, these phones keep getting bigger and bigger. Pretty soon a 5″ phone will be considered a “mini” device. Haha

      1. Yeah. People can say what they want, but honestly the N5 was noticeable when I switched to it in comparison to the N4. I don’t think I’ll stop noticing if it gets much bigger.

      2. Manufacturers seem to be competing with one another to make the biggest phone bigger.

    2. Same here. If they don’t make a 5 inch display they will loose money

  15. If this happens no nexus 6 for me

  16. It would be the first Motorola built phone I’ve owned since the Razr. Sign me up.

  17. If this rumor turns out to be true, I’ll definitely be glad I’m not on my Nexus buying year. I buy every other Nexus, and the Nexus 5 was my latest upgrade from the Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully the 7th generation Nexus will be back to a reasonable 5 inches because that’s when I’ll be ready to buy again.

  18. 5″ is on the outer edge of what I consider a usable phone. Being a left handed user, and most buttons placed for right handed people, it becomes awkward for use. I hope there is a sub 5″ nexus device when it’s time for me to get a new nexus.

  19. Too big to be remotely close to being true.

  20. Who knew?!… the death of tablets would come at the hands of stupid large phones.

    …. or do I have that backwards?

  21. First, I must say: I pity all the whining guys who can’t handle a phablet in their hobbit-sized hands, or in their testicle-squeezing skinnyjean’s pockets, because 5.5 to 6″ is really the best all-around display size. :)

    A 5.9″ Nexus sounds perfect for me, and would almost certainly be my next upgrade (from a Note3) as long as the all-important bezels can be minimized enough to keep its overall form factor in the same ballpark as the Note3. It’d also certainly mean no annoying physical home button on the front chin, which is a plus in my book.

    Just needs a thin strip on the top of the phone’s bezel for a speaker, and sensors (integrated behind/in the speaker grill pattern), and, optionally, another speaker on the bottom bezel, for stereo.

    (On a related note: I wish LOSSLESS & LAGLESS bluetooth was a thing, then we could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack for the most part)

    1. I agree on all of your points but the elimination of the 3.5mm jack. It’s ALWAYS good to have a 100% reliable output method, especially when BT is still such a flaky standard and most cars that support BT handsfree don’t support A2DP.
      1080P (or better) 5.9″ screen in a Note 3-size formfactor with a Maxx battery and 64GB of onboard storage would just about be enough for me to leave VZW after 15+ years.

    2. You are a tool.

  22. I would leave my kids in the car for this phone…..to soon?

  23. Dear phone manufacturers,

    Please stop making screen sizes as big as the penis size of your dream. A 4.5″ or 4.7″ screen is perfect for the majority of us.

    1. That’s a small dream.

    2. 5.0 with very small bezel will do the trick.

  24. @SantaClausless:disqus don’t speak for “majority of us”. I have a note 2, and my next phone must be 5.5″+ This is my next phone! I can’t go any small than 5.5″. Sorry

  25. Too big for me. They will lose a lot of sales if this is true and it’s the only size they release. A 5″ and a 5.9″ version should cover most users. Let’s face it, most people can deal with a 5″ phone these days, almost all the flagships are around that size anyway. If you want something smaller but high end then you are in a minority/niche market. Get yourself a Moto X+1 – or maybe not cos the current rumour on that is 5.2″

  26. bring it to verizon, my checkbook is ready. wait a minute, i’ll take 2 as my wife will want one as well.

  27. I guess I’m gonna have to go big or go home.

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