HTC-built Nexus phones may opt for an understated design, report says

A mockup reveals a rear fingerprint sensor, no camera bump, and new on-screen navigation buttons.

We may have our first peek at what this year’s HTC-built Nexus phones may look like.

Android Police published its own mock-up based on a “reliable source” that gives us a visual of how the upcoming Marlin and Sailfish may look. Note that this is their own image, not a leaked render from the manufacturer.

It’s nothing mind-blowing, as you’ll notice the speaker grills are on the bottom, the fingerprint reader is on the back, you'll see a few antenna lines, and white navigation buttons on the display. It appears Google and HTC are ditching the much-derided camera bump on the Nexus 6P, though it did turn out to look far less weird in person than it did when leaked images first appeared.

This rendering shows a single earpiece speaker, front-facing camera, a small sensor, and of course the back fingerprint reader. There are three holes next to the back camera that have an unknown purpose at this time, though the speculation is that two could be sensors with the other as a secondary microphone.

All of this is subject to change, particularly the on-screen navigation icons. Along with the black color scheme there may be another choice with a white face and blue glossy rear, though that’s also up in the air. The idea behind one render is that this is the basic design language for both phones, just scaled up or down depending on whether it’s the 5.5-inch screen model or the 5-inch version.

Why this matters: Nexus rumor season is heating up, and all indications are we should see two phones built by HTC. The Nexus 6P was by far the best Nexus yet, though some may not have been too keen on its rather hefty size. Google appears to be trying for a more mainstream sweet spot with this pair of devices, and it’s likely we’ll see more details leak out before an official unveiling.

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