Test data suggests Motorola “Shamu” to be the Nexus 6, but chip choice makes no sense

LG Nexus 5

For the second time in two days, information about a Motorola device dubbed “Shamu” has popped up. A handset with that name appears in the GFXBench online database, which tracks benchmarks of tested mobile devices. Phone Arena spotted the most recent appearance of Shamu¬†— prior Nexus phones have been named after fish — and offers what it thinks are full specs of the upcoming and unannounced Nexus 6. But I’m leery of at least one reported hardware component due to 64-bit compatibility.

motorola shamu benchmarks

Here’s what GFXBench says for now about Shamu, which is likely data from a test device that Motorola is building: A 5.2-inch, 2560 x 1440 display, 2.65 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip with Adreno 420 GPU, 3 GB of memory, 12 megapixel rear camera, and a 2 megapixel front camera. Storage is listed at 24 GB, but I suspect 32 GB is more accurate; it’s possible the benchmark test only showed freely available storage space.

Sounds good so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the test device does have all of those particular hardware components. The final device will likely be different if this is the Nexus 6, however.

The Snapdragon 805 processor is pretty cutting-edge at the moment, but it isn’t 64-bit compatible. The test phone was shown to be running Android L, which Google said in June would be fully 64-bit, complete with the new ART run-time. Assuming this device is the Nexus 6 — a possibility since Google does rotate through hardware partners for the Nexus line — why would it showcase Android L on a phone with a 32-bit processor?

snapdragon 805

I don’t think it would. That doesn’t mean Motorola’s Shamu isn’t going to be the Nexus 6, though. We simply can’t tell yet. What might be happening is early work on a Nexus 6 using currently available hardware. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 and 810 processors do support 64-bit software, but they’re not expected in devices¬†until the first half of 2015, according to the highly reliable AnandTech folks.

If that’s the case — again, assuming Motorola was picked for the next Nexus phone — we probably won’t see the Nexus 6 on sale until after the new year. It could be introduced later this year with Android L, but it wouldn’t be available until later.

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