HTC reels in two Nexus phones - here come Marlin and Sailfish

UPDATE: Latest rumour says that the new Nexus phones will be out in October

Move over Huawei and LG - Google’s got a new best pal to built its new Nexus phones.

According to man in the know @EVleaks, HTC has signed up to make two new handsets for Google. That probably means we’re in line for a new Nexus 5 and Nexus 6, with Android N inside.

Known as M1 and S1 internally at HTC, those fancy acronyms almost definitely stand for Marlin and Sailfish. 

Google has a habit of naming its phone projects after big fish: the Nexus 5X and 6P are called Bullhead and Angler, the Nexus 6 was Shamu, and the Nexus 5 was Hammerhead. That pattern looks set to continue for 2016.

We've spotted references to Marlin hiding in Android’s source code, and AndroidPolice says a trusted source confirmed the other phone was called Sailfish.

 

It's still early days, so there's not a lot of concrete information to go on, but there's already been a potential new Nexus sighting on benchmark site Geekbench.

The listing might say Nexus 6P, but the hardware definitely doesn't match Huawei's 5.7in beast; this new phone has a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM running the show. It's running Android N, too.

An even bigger red flag? The motherboard is listed as "Marlin". That could mean Google's sticking with the 6P label, but tweaking the internals for 2016.

With Google I/O dates set for mid-May, there's hopefully not too long to wait until Google reveals all.

UPDATE: According to Droid Life, there's a high possibility the phones will launch 4 October according to what it calls a reliable source. What adds weight to the claim is that the LG V20 is supposed to be the first phone with Android Nougat, and it's launching in September.