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HTC Will Build Google's Nexus 2016 Phones: Android N & Daydream VR As Standard?


    Will HTC produce both Nexus 2016 smartphones? Rumours suggest maybe
Following on from 2015's launch of two smartphones under the Nexus brand, Google is reportedly poised to do the same again this year. When this will happen remains up-in-the-air, however, as many expected the firm to go with its usual device announcement at the Google I/O developer conference, which took place in late May this year with no sight or sound of new Nexus hardware. For 2016 Google is allegedly handing over development and production of BOTH smartphone handsets (and possibly a tablet, if some rumours are true) to Taiwanese Android manufacturer HTC.
According to reports from GizmoChina, the HTC-made Nexus handsets are currently being tested running Android N, and what's more they have a full implementation of the previously rumoured pressure-sensitive touch display. There have been multiple reports that Google has incorporated support for pressure-sensitive touch directly into Android N's code; according to comments from Google devs, this was a feature requested by Android OEMs following Apple's reveal of its own equivalent tech aboard the iPhone 6s series, what Apple calls "3D Touch". Several Chinese manufacturers, including Xiaomi and Oppo, have confirmed they will develop pressure-sensitive touch display handsets inside 2016.
It is also worth noting that a few Android phone makers have already implemented proprietary pressure-sensitive touch inside their handsets. Huawei, for instance. However, with Google's 3D Touch -- or whatever it is called when it lands -- hardwired inside Android the performance and scalability will be much greater, as Google will be able to open it up to its legion of developers.
Nevertheless, anyone that has already committed to a H1 Android flagship will miss out on the new display technology. Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5 users are all out of luck. Google’s 2016 Nexus phones will likely be the first phones to feature Android N’s new 3D Touch display technology, but we can expect ALL Android phones to pack it during Q1 2017.
Whether phones launching later on in the year, phones like the Galaxy Note 6 and OnePlus 3, will feature Android N’s 3D Touch is also up for debate and likely depend on how far in advance Google briefs its hardware partners on developments within Android. We'd expect all major phone makers to know what’s coming at least 6-12 months in advance, so perhaps Google’s Nexus phones will be joined by some other Android phones with 3D Touch in late-2016.
What is odd, though, is Huawei not returning in 2016. The Nexus 6P still remains one of our favourite Android handsets currently available and was, easily, the most accomplished release of its kind in 2015. Usually, when Google has a very successful Nexus handset on its hands it keeps the OEM around for a couple of generations. Case in point: Samsung and LG.
But, no. This year's Nexus handsets will apparently be 100% HTC. Source were picked up via Chinese social network Weibo which say that HTC will make both a 5in and 5.5in Nexus phone inside 2016. It's a little odd to see such a minor variation in display size with these two members of the Nexus range. On the one hand it also seems odd that Huawei is not making a return considering how well the Nexus 6P was received, and the fact that Google tends to offer OEMs another go if things do go well (LG, Samsung etc.). That actually highlights another reason why it's strange for HTC to be front and centre on the Nexus project, as the firm made the Nexus 9 tablet that was a bit of a flop. Still, being part of the Nexus project can only be a good thing for HTC has it may help raise its profile just like LG's push into prominence via the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 5X - HTC certainly needs the help given its poor market performance in the last few years.

HTC Partnered On Google Nexus Program For Next Three Years?

HTC may actually be working on more than two device for Google's Nexus project, just not in the immediate future - the rumours say we're looking at a couple of Nexus phones in 2016 and possible a tablet, some, or possibly all of which may be made by HTC. BUT, allegedly HTC may be making more devices in subsequent years, as it's claimed the firm has partnered with Google for a three-year deal to make Nexus hardware.
The info is contradictory to earlier reports which indicated Google was effectively wrapping up the Nexus project as an external partnership program and bringing everything in house - Apple style. But it seems this is perhaps not the case, and instead we'll see continued deals between Google and OEMs over Nexus development and manufacturing.
What Does The HTC 10 Tell Us About Google’s Nexus 2016 Phones?
The HTC 10 is here and it is very impressive. The handset, while familiar looking, is a big step forward for the company with vastly improved imaging technology, awesome audio performance and brilliant software. The battery life on the HTC 10 is also exceptional -- easily on a par with the biggest and best phones around right now.
But how much of this will come across to the Nexus 2016 phone? Is it going to be based around the HTC 10 or feature a brand new design? Because it is HTC it will likely feature an all-metal chassis alongside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 CPU and between 4 and 6GB of RAM.
Where things will get interesting is the imaging technology. Will Google allow HTC to use the same setup present on its HTC 10, or will the search giant push for something more refined? A dual-lens setup, perhaps? This is tough to call. Imaging is very important these days and while the HTC 10’s camera is vastly improved it is no way near as good as what’s available on the LG G5 and Galaxy S7, for example.
I’d like to see HTC’s audio technology make the transition, though. Having HD audio on a phone, with the ability to upscale sound, is immense for music lovers -- or those with expensive headphones. Why this hasn’t happened sooner is beyond me. But I am super pleased that HTC included such a comprehensive audio package inside the HTC 10. I just hope it comes to the Nexus in 2016 as well.

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