By Jaime Rivera | October 8, 2012 6:11 PM
It’s common that many of you ask us for information on our daily driver. After all, we get to play with everything that the market has to offer, and ultimately decide if we’re happy with what we reviewed or would prefer to go back to that specific device that we call home. The world may be full of some great Android offerings with quad-core processors, lot’s of RAM and awesome user interfaces, but most of us will agree that not everybody is good at making Android look great no matter how long the spec sheet is. That’s why many readers find it funny when our answer is: Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Why go for a Nexus when it doesn’t have Sense or TouchWiz? Or why get a Nexus when it doesn’t have a quad-core processor? And why get a Nexus if carriers do not subsidize the real Google HSPA+ device? Each answer differs depending on which Pocketnow team member you ask, but even outside our website, you’ll notice that in almost every trade show that we attend, our colleagues are mostly carrying a Galaxy Nexus.
There are lot’s of reasons for that. First of all, nobody understands Android better than Google. All you need to do is use a Galaxy Nexus for five minutes to feel it. When you compare something as underpowered as the Galaxy Nexus with something as powerful as a Galaxy S III, it makes you wonder if the extra horsepower is really necessary. Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus is fast, stable and just perfect. I’m sure HTC Sense is far more elegant than stock-Android’s Tron lines, but if you were to compare the software department that’s in charge of building HTC Sense with all the Android department at Google, you’d understand why one product is simply better than the other. A simple example of that is the fact that those who own Nexus products, don’t have to wait for software upgrades.
The problems with the Galaxy Nexus were mostly hardware related. It does feel great in the hand even though plasticky, but as opposed to how the Nexus One took Android to a whole new level in specs, the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t break any records in design or power. When you add the fact that it has no expandable storage and that it lacks a good camera, and it becomes debatable whether to keep using it or not just a year later. At times it just seems as if Google didn’t focus on the product as a whole and only cared about the software.
So yes, we’re sure that you have a long wish list for Google’s future Nexus device, which should be released next month. We’ll start with our list, and then we’d appreciate if you share your desires in the comments
For the next Nexus, Google has to fix the camera: it’s been way below average on the Galaxy Nexus. I’d expect an 8MP shooter or better. Also, we’re likely to see a quad-core (perhaps Snapdragon S4 Pro) phone accompanied by 1.5-2GB of RAM. Battery life on the Galaxy Nexus was decent, but it’s going to be improved for the next version thanks to a larger capacity and the low-power consumption of the S4 Pro. Then, there are some bonus features we could see with the next Nexus. Perhaps we’ll see a 0.0.x update of Jelly Bean to add features, such as multiple user support.
In terms of availability, I could see the next Nexus being available on all carriers at the same time with LTE (where possible). I’d also expect an attractively low unlocked price of around $349 or $399.
Anton D. Nagy
I personally believe that a Nexus phone should be a super-phone. It is not only the go-to device for developers and power-users but it is also a statement for Android and those who love no OEM intervention within the system. Being so, I wish there were only one Nexus smartphone that’s either made by Samsung or LG. That’s mainly because of the fast Exynos processor, or even better, the new kid on the block, the Snapdragon S4 Pro. It should be accompanied by at least 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (plus microSD card slot) and should have a 720p display (either SuperAMOLED or TrueIPS, depending on the maker).
An eight-megapixel camera should be enough with a 2.1-megapixel front-facer. As far as design is concerned, while it might depend on the maker, I wish it wouldn’t race to win the “thinnest” phone category. Platform-wise, since it’s a Nexus and should coincide with a platform version-bump, it should ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean that should contain further UI and performance tweaks.
What the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have that future Nexii need to include a microSD card slot for in-device expandability — some of us want to take our music and movies with us when we go where “The Cloud” doesn’t reach. With 64GB SD-XC cards now available in the “micro” size and fairly affordable, it’s a crying shame that we don’t have a slot to accept them in Google’s “flagship” phone. Bluetooth has also moved forward, so it stands to reason that we should see Bluetooth 4.0 included in “the next Nexus”.
With the exception of CDMA there is no reason why a single phone can’t be “universal” across any GSM carrier. The Galaxy Nexus showed us that. LTE muddies the water a bit, but we should still be able to have one phone that can connect to any GSM/LTE network. Let’s continue this trend and extend it to LTE as well, shall we?
The first thing people see when they look at any device is its screen. To really “wow” people, we need someone bold to introduce a true edge-to-edge display, and this is Google’s territory. This not only lets us have a larger screen without forcing the phone wider, it also screams of “cool”.
Lastly, accessories. The Galaxy Nexus has a nice suite of accessories. The Car Dock and Desk Dock are extremely useful and well built. The extended battery, contrary to what I said about it previously, is a necessary must-have. The issue with all these was how terribly long they took to arrive after the phone was released. There’s no acceptable reason for that. Official accessories should be available to purchase the same instant you purchase the device.
My wish list always begins with a camera that actually stands out. With low-light support, high res, etc. Another important feature is a massive battery like the one we have on the Droid RAZR MAXX, not the garbage currently offered on the Galaxy Nexus LTE.
Most important, if Google won’t be able to control software upgrades on carriers like Verizon or Sprint, then find another name for those phones and keep the Nexus brand pure. Another important factor is solid build quality, which Motorola handsets dominate – no more Samsung plasticky nonsense. An evolution of the teardrop shape, maybe – a form factor that’s palm friendly like current Galaxy Nexus but even more unique.
The next Nexus should have a quad-core Snapdragon S4, 2GB of RAM, NFC; all the specs that are at the forefront of mobile tech. I’m not too concerned about the screen, so long as it’s not anything awful like PenTile. 1080p might be nice, but it’s too early for me to say if that were something I’d necessarily be looking for in a device. I think, most importantly, I want to see a phone with full AOSP support – no more of these half-measures like we’ve seen with the CDMA Galaxy Nexus. That’s the essence of the Nexus line, and Google needs to keep flexibility and access at the forefront of its concerns.
My first Android device was a Nexus One and it changed my perspective on Android. For me it proved that Google meant business with the operating system as a product. It was the first Android device to run a 1GHz processor, it had an amazingly thin design, it had a great camera, and I just remember it as being a first at so many things back then. The Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus have sadly been just improvements, but not game changers in design. Those who want to slam the curved glass at me, have a look at some older HTC designs before you do.
My dream Nexus device has to return to its roots of innovation. If it’s just another me-too iteration of an already existing phone, people will not care about it once they notice there’s no subsidy. It has to have a unique processor, unique speeds, expandable storage, a unique display, and the best camera. The Nexus One was a wake-up call for everyone, even Apple. The future Nexus smartphone has to be just as great.
Lastly, even though some of us don’t believe in having multiple Nexus devices, I’d love a Nexus signature program. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could buy any smartphone you want, with your carrier subsidies and all, and then have an option to choose it with stock-Android or the custom UI offered? I’d be willing to pay for an option to go stock if Google offered it, and I’m sure many of you would do the same as well. Or it could be the other way around where the phone is shipped with stock Android, and OEMs like HTC sell their widgets at a bundled cost. I’d be willing to pay either way.
The Bottom Line
Whatever the case may be, Google has just shown the world that they can make some dreams come true with the Nexus 7. It’s raised the bar for Google in a way they can’t ignore. The momentum that both the Nexus One and the Nexus 7 have left in the market is something that should continue, and hopefully Google remembers that.
What about you? What would you need on Google’s future Nexus smartphone to decide to buy it? Leave us a comment down bellow.