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Next Google Nexus handset could be phablet

New phone codenamed "Shamu" will feature a 5.9-inch screen, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

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Is Google ready to go big with next Nexus? CNET

Google's upcoming Nexus device may well be a phablet, according to a report.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, multiple sources said the Android maker is developing a 5.9-inch "phablet," designed to fit squarely between the size of a typical smartphone and a tablet.

The report said the new phone, codenamed "Shamu," will have a higher-resolution display and will be developed by Lenovo, which this year bought Motorola Mobility from Google at a cut-down price.

However, there's a twist. Nexus devices typically fall into different sizes, with their numerical order based on their diagonal screen size. Struggling phone maker HTC was previously slated to be building the next-generation Nexus tablet. That's in spite of the fact the company has very little experience in developing larger devices.

It's not clear whether or not Google is gunning for two manufacturers to design the phone and the tablet as part of its upcoming line-up.

The next Nexus device will land at a time where even slow-to-the-game Apple finally pulled out its phablet cards to develop a larger 4.7-inch iPhone 6, and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. That's despite falling behind the rest of the smartphone world, which had for the past year spent its time developing larger devices.

Although Apple has now caught up, Google's own home-brew devices have yet to offer anything for the larger smartphone market.

According to Strategy Analytics, phablets will account for just over one-fifth of all smartphones.

We'll likely see more in the coming weeks. Android L, slated to be released later this year in time for the lucrative December holiday quarter, will have to land with a flagship phone, as per earlier years.

Will that be a Nexus? We'll be patiently waiting.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline "Google set to enter the phablet market with new Nexus phone."