Motorola 'Shamu' rumored as the Nexus 6

Newly discovered benchmarks suggest Motorola could be in the running to be the next generation of Nexus smartphone.

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Motorola could be tapped with delivering a successor to the Nexus 5. James Martin/CNET

Editors' note: This story was updated on Wednesday, August 13 with new information.

Motorola has become the latest hardware maker to have its name linked with an upcoming Nexus device. According to details first discovered by TechTastic, a Motorola smartphone code named "Shamu" could ultimately arrive as the Nexus 6.

Aside from the handset's project name, little is known about the Motorola Shamu. Still, the moniker does fit in nicely with previous Nexus products, such as "Flounder" for the Nexus 8.

Alleged benchmark scores indicate that the phone performs in line with others that run a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. More specifically, it could have processing prowess similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8.

The Russian tech site posits that the Nexus 6 should feature a 1080p HD display. Based on previous Nexus smartphones, I am inclined to agree with the assessment.

Google typically dials the specifications down to just below the top-tier for its own Nexus line. Perhaps in an effort to keep costs competitive, we don't often see anything bleeding edge from this family.

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Motorola Shamu has the makings of a killer whale of a device. Screenshot by Scott Webster/CNET

Conflicting report

Newer, conflicting details published August 13 suggest the Nexus 6 could offer users a much more powerful experience. According to the GFXBench listing, the handset could pack a 5.2-inch QHD display, 3GB of RAM, and Qualcomm's latest and greatest processor. With 32GB of internal storage and a 12-megapixel camera capable of recording 4K video, the Motorola Shamu sounds like a killer whale to be sure.

One thing to keep in mind when dealing with Nexus rumors is that they are almost always subject to conflicting reports. In fact, previous reports indicated that Google had turned to LG once again for the Nexus line. Motorola's involvement could be a swan song before future parent Lenovo officially grabs the phone-maker away from Google.

As to when we'll see this Nexus 6, the launch date remains unclear, but there's a good chance we'll see it sometime this fall when Google publicly releases Android L. The last few generations of Nexus handsets each made their debut around October, so we could still be a few months away.

 

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