REPORT: Google's Next Smartphone Could Be Gigantic

Google nexus 5GoogleThe Nexus 5, which comes with a 4.95-inch screen

Google may be working on a gigantic 5.9-inch smartphone to be released in November, according to a new report from Android Police.

The company is reportedly working with Motorola on the phablet, which will supposedly come with a fingerprint sensor and will launch with major US carriers.

It’s unclear what the device will be called, but Google and Motorola are said to be calling it “Shamu” internally.

That size is unusually large for a smartphone. It’s one inch shy from being the same size as most mini tablets, such as the Google Nexus 7. Samsung’s Galaxy Mega, which comes in both 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch screen sizes, is the only other phablet that compares in size. Most phablets fall into the 5.3-5.7-inch range.

An unnamed source reportedly shared this information with Android Police, and a tipster sent the website a screenshot from Google’s issue tracker for developers showing a clear reference to the device. The issue mentioned in the screenshot refers to a bug in Android L, Google’s upcoming version of Android that debuted at Google I/O.

Android L only works with Google’s Nexus devices, which is part of the reason Android Police believes this could be an unannounced Nexus smartphone. The Android news blog also mentions that the so-called “Shamu” phablet is running on a Google-built kernel, which is usually only present in Nexus phones and tablets.

A kernel is the central component of an operating system that manages the way software and hardware components interact with one another. Think of the kernel as a bridge that allows the software and hardware to work together.

There’s been some confusion about what will happen to Google’s line of Nexus devices over the past several months. Rumours have suggested that Google will axe the brand in favour of a new Android Silver program, but Google denied any changes to the Nexus line in an interview with ReadWrite in June.

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