Google to Introduce Pixel Smartphones, Replacing Nexus and Project Ara

Alex Spencer


Google's ambitious Project Ara has reportedly been disassembled

Google is reportedly preparing to introduce two Android handsets, forming the foundations of its new in-house smartphone brand: Pixel.

According to Android Police, Google is planning to unveil the 5" Pixel and 5.5" Pixel XL at an event on 4 October.

These won't be the first Pixel devices – there is already a Pixel C tablet on the market – but they are the first smartphones to bear the brand. Most interestingly, the decision looks to mark a end for Nexus, previously Google's flagship smartphone brand.

One of the two sources cited by Android Police claims that these handsets will be marketed as 'the first phones built by Google', despite being manufactured by HTC.

These rumours follow a report from Reuters that Google has scrapped Project Ara, its attempt to build a 'modular' smartphone that can be customised by switching out components like the battery or camera.

The device has been repeatedly delayed: it was initially set for a January 2014 release, before changing plans to a limited launch in Puerto Rico, and then delayed to 2016. Nevertheless, Google certainly seems to have taken the project seriously – over the past few years, it has held a number of Ara-focused developer conferences, and was reportedly targeting a launch this autumn.

There may be a future for the technology through licensing to other companies, but it seems like the future holds just one Google smartphone brand: the Pixel.