Here’s our Nexus 6 wish list

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Each year, the Nexus rumors tend to get the Android community all worked up.

There’s more to the Nexus mystery than other device rumors. For instance, there is always speculation about which manufacturer will be the chosen partner on a given year. And, right out of the gate, the Nexus smartphone will inevitably have a different course than its competition. It’s reference hardware, often with topnotch specifications; it’s typically sold at roughly half the cost of a normal smartphone; it gets first dibs on future firmware updates; and it gets tons of attention from development communities.

This year is no different. Motorola is the rumored partner OEM and speculation about the actual device size has been all over the place, claiming one Nexus 6 might come with a massive 5.9-inch display. More recent (and somewhat more reliable) information this week tells us the Moto-made Nexus will instead be 5.2-inches.

The fact of the matter is, right now, no one knows for sure what the upcoming Nexus will entail. However, being a long-time Nexus fanatic, some changes have been made to Nexus smartphones in the last two years that I’m not exactly fond of. Several other editors here at Pocketnow feel the same. Below, you will find our Nexus 6 wish list!

 

Improved hardware

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one-m8-face-downFew will argue that the Nexus One was a fantastic smartphone. Even to this day, it’s one of my favorite smartphone designs. It was compact, elegant, and built exceptionally well.

The two following Nexus smartphones from Samsung, the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, were definite steps down in the quality department. The Nexus 4, made by LG, was a step in the right direction again, even if its glass backside was extra fragile. Yet the Nexus 5, also by LG, was kind of … meh. It’s pretty from afar, and it’s built pretty well. But it feels extra cheap in the hand, and the ceramic power and volume buttons don’t help it feel any nicer.

After using devices like the Sony GPe Z Ultra, Xiaomi Mi4, LG G3, and HTC One M8, I can’t help but feel the Nexus 5 hardware is underwhelming.

It’d be nice to see another Nexus feature extra nice hardware. Of course, keeping costs down is essential. After using the Moto X for so long, I have faith Motorola – which has long been renowned for using excellent industrial designs – is capable of pulling it off with a Nexus.

 

More storage options

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Do you remember what storage options the Nexus 4 originally came in? I do – 8GB or 16GB, with no option for expansion. That was later remedied when the 8GB Nexus 4 was killed off and Google replaced it with a 32GB option. The Nexus 5 also came in 16GB or 32GB options. Those, for now, are fine for most people.

That said, we here at Pocketnow aren’t most people, nor are most of our readers. We’re mostly power users who push our phones to the limit.

The new minimum storage option in smartphones should have been bumped to 32GB with 1080p displays, but that wasn’t the case.

Either way, it’d be nice to see the Nexus 6 launch in at least a 64GB variant. And Google, for the love of all things that are good in this world, bring back the microSD card support. Having options is what Android is all about, and instilling that in the reference hardware is vital.

 

Front-facing speakers

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Since swapping my SIM card to the Z Ultra, there is one thing I’ve sorely missed from the One M8: BoomSound. The speaker on the Z Ultra is a joke, just like the speakers found on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. At best, they’re afterthoughts.

HTC is one of the few manufacturers to get smartphone speakers – placement, sound, amplification, etc. – right. They’re loud, front-facing, and have a fair amount of thump to them for being so tiny. And for me to ever be fully satisfied with a smartphone like I have been with the M8, it’s going to need some decent speakers on it. Front-firing always helps.

 

A great camera (for a change)

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nexus-5-camera-narrowI don’t recall ever having a Nexus that took great pictures.

Of the Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5, the Nexus S was probably the most memorable camera, at least in comparison to other devices of its time. But the Nexus 5, despite having optical image stabilization, was a letdown. Sure, software updates have gradually improved the image sensing on the current Nexus handset, but it pales in comparison to other flagships.

Part of that, without a doubt, is the fault of the stock Android camera software. It’s terrible. My One M8 often took decent pictures until I converted it to a Google Play edition. I could say the same of just about any device I’ve loaded stock Android on. The Android camera app is just … barebones and comparatively bad.

So, alongside the Nexus 6, which needs at least a 13-megapixel camera with OIS, I’d also like to see improved imaging software for Android as a whole.

 

AMOLED display

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The Nexus 5 display actually caught a lot of unjust flak. It was often described as pale and washed-out. In actuality, AnandTech‘s Brian Klug reviewed the Nexus 5 and found it “has the best calibrated display” of any Android handset he’s seen to date.

Consumers just tend to gravitate towards the over-saturated look of other types of displays, like Samsung’s AMOLED panels.

Frankly, I don’t care about color accuracy all that much. It’s nice, but I’d rather a display be too saturated than look dull. But that’s not the reason I want the next Nexus to have an AMOLED display. Motorola’s Moto X proved why AMOLED panels are nice to have around. Active Display, as Motorola called it, allowed the Moto X to display incoming notifications in a constant pulse throughout the day without noticeably affecting battery life.

With AMOLED, you’re going to get power savings, vivid saturation, and deeper blacks. As long as it isn’t PenTile, I’d love the Nexus 6 to have an AMOLED display again.

 

Keep Smart Cover abilities and Qi

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I’ve been using the Z Ultra in a folio-style case for the last few days. I’ve come to really like these cases over the years for their style, protection, and accessibility. However, it’s been driving me nuts that the Z Ultra doesn’t come on when I flop the case open. I have to open the case and press the power button. (Sigh, what a hard live.) Smart case functionality should come standard in all smartphones. Period.

And Qi has become a staple of Nexus smartphones in the last two years. Getting rid of Qi would be counterproductive. Qi is also something every smartphone should have. 

 

What say you, readers? What’s on your Nexus 6 wish list? An even larger display? Front-facing speakers? Or something we didn’t cover on this list? Sound off in the comments below!

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition.| Google+