Leaked photos show a glass and metal body for the 2016 Nexus 'Sailfish'

Google and HTC are teaming up for a pair of Nexus phones with an industrial look bound together with metal and glass, if the latest round of leaked photos are to be believed.

Android Police offered a set of images that are reportedly from the Sailfish model, which is the smaller of two Nexus phones that Google is said to be working on with HTC. According to the report, both phones will share a similar design aesthetic, with the “Marlin” phone offering a bigger screen (5.5 inches instead of 5.0) and battery, but otherwise identical specs. 

A recent tweet offers another hint, with a phone that looks very much like an HTC 10 crossed with a Nexus 4. There’s a distinctly glass back on the upper portion, but unlike the Nexus 4, which had a weird rubber material on the side, look for HTC to go with its signature metallic build.

The report also includes a tweet from a user going by “nexus” who had what’s supposed to be a shot of the phone in use, though the image isn’t of the greatest quality.

At the rate these are leaking, we wouldn’t be surprised if the phones strut out onto the middle of Fifth Avenue before Google gets a chance to show them off at an official launch event.

Why this matters: This year’s Nexus phones should have Google going in a couple of directions. First, there should be a few more exclusive software features, like a Nexus Launcher with deep ties to the Google Assistant to showcase the company’s deep learning powers. Google also seems angling for two high-end phones instead of one expensive model and another that’s cheaper and smaller, as it did with last year’s Nexus 6P and 5X. Unlike last year's model, the cheaper one won't be plastic and "low budget" like the Nexus 5X.

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