• The new Nexus 6P phone is displayed during a Google media event on Sept. 29, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

The new Nexus 6P phone is displayed during a Google media event on Sept. 29, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo : Getty Images/ Justin Sullivan )

Google's flagship smartphone this year, rumored as the Nexus 2016, will be worthy of tussling with Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy high-end handsets, new reports said. The design, specifications and features to unbox with the next Nexus will all come from the Android maker although the device release date will not happen until December. 

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UK-based The Telegraph has reported that Google intends to compete directly against Apple and other Android device makers, chief among them Samsung, with a flagship smartphone that "will be released by the end of the year," or December 2016.

"The technology giant is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company's move into hardware," The Telegraph said. The upcoming hardware effort from Google will mark the Nexus maker "take more control over design, manufacturing and software."

The publication cited an unnamed industry insider as source of its information

The news is in line with the recent statement from Google CEO Sundar Pichai that the next Nexus will see a build and design that reflect the company's signatures on the matter. It also syncs with the persistent rumors that like Apple, Google is taking end to end control of its upcoming Stock Android flagship.

However, Pichai has made clear that the Nexus devices will maintain its hardware partnership model. As noted by 9to5Google in a related report, the Google chief has highlighted that his company would be "more opinionated" about the Nexus smartphones and tablets that will come out but OEMs will remain part of the equation.

In light of the reports that HTC is building a sequel to the LG Nexus 5X that is internally labelled as Nexus Sailfish, 9to5Google suggested that the device could debut minus the HTC branding, in keeping with the plan by Google to take full charge of the Nexus line.

And as the leaked Nexus Sailfish specs paint a mid-range device, the possibility remains that a second Nexus is in the works. It is likely is the rumored device codenamed Nexus Marlin but with more premium build, design and specifications. Rumors said the handset is also made by HTC.

Or a third Nexus is also touching down soon, possibly coming from Huawei. The Chinese device manufacturer was long-rumored to provide an upgraded Nexus 6P that likely will end up as the more high-end Nexus 2016 flavor.

With the Nexus 2016 release scenario redefined by The Telegraph report, it's highly likely that the first Nexus debut of the year will be that of the HTC Sailfish device, which will be provided alongside the official Android N or Nutella rollout. Next would be any of the HTC Marlin or the Huawei Nexus 6P 2016 or both and the unboxing is set "end of the year," or December 2016, per the same report from The Telegraph.