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Report: Google’s new phones won’t have stock Android or carry Nexus name

Big changes are afoot for this year’s Google-branded smartphone releases, according to a report on Monday.

AndroidCentral sources say the new HTC-made smartphones will no longer carry the Nexus name, which Google has been utilizing since 2009.

Far more significantly than a name change comes the revelation Google plans to do away with the stock Android experience, which has proved such a draw for the range.

According to the sources, the new phones will feature “tweaked software and a custom interface on top of vanilla Android.”

This would be a huge shift, given Nexus phones have always displayed Google’s vision for the Android OS, away from the skins served up by HTC and Samsung.

Related: Nexus 6P review

The report says this change in tack is behind the decision to drop the Nexus name for these releases and instead go heavily with Google branding.

What that different experience will entail remains to be seen, but it certainly adds plenty of intrigue to the launch of this year’s handsets.

The successors to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X and flagbearers for Android 7.0 Nougat are expected to launch this autumn.

Related: Android 7.0 Nougat features

The devices, codenamed Marlin and Sailfish are expected to follow last year’s model with similar specs and different screen displays and resolutions.

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