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Google will hold Nexus event September 29 in San Francisco

The search giant and Android maker will introduce two smartphones, one made by LG and the other by Huawei.

The new Nexus phones will be a showcase for Android 6.0, also known as Marshmallow.


BERLIN -- Google is doubling down on its Nexus smartphones.

The tech giant is set to hold an event September 29 in San Francisco to unveil two new Nexus devices, according to people familiar with the company's plans. One smartphone will be a smaller version of a Nexus phone made by LG, while the second will be a larger version of a device built by Huawei.

The Nexus smartphones are essentially Google's "flagship" devices that show off the latest version of its Android software, which powers the majority of the world's smartphones. In this case, the Nexus devices will be the first to run Android 6.0, dubbed Marshmallow. Over the years, hardcore fans have gravitated toward these flagship phones as the "purest" Android experience, free of tweaks by carriers or handset makers. As a result, each manufacturer associated with a Nexus phone gets to enjoy a bit of extra buzz.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

The move is particularly critical for Huawei, which makes Android phones but is building a Nexus device for the first time. The Chinese vendor has made a push to create more high-end smartphones and better build its brand, but Huawei remains relatively unknown in Western markets such as the US. Having Google partner with the company on a Nexus smartphone gives Huawei additional credibility in the Android community.

It's the third time Google has partnered with LG on a Nexus phone. The Korean vendor previously built the well-regarded Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 phones, notable for their affordability, slick design and decent components.

What's unclear is how much either Nexus smartphone will cost. Both devices are coming out at a time when handset vendors are introducing more competitively priced smartphones. Motorola, for instance, introduced its Moto X Pure Edition for $399. Companies such as ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel OneTouch offer smartphones that are even cheaper. An Apple iPhone 6, in comparison, starts at $650 without a two-year contract. (Apple, by the way, will be hosting an event next week at which it's likely to unveil its next iPhone models.)

But thanks to its deep ties with Google, the Nexus line has never completely been about price.