Jul 28th, 2014

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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.

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