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This May Be Our Moment [Opinion]

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This may just be our moment.

Yesterday Apple held their “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, revealing the iPhone 4S. While most (including myself) were expecting a redesigned iPhone 5, Apple decided to iterate on the internals of the iPhone 4, much like they did with the jump between the iPhone 3G and the 3GS. The improvements made to the device are great, but it left many disappointed. In fact, almost 60% of the people polled at TiPB (an iOS enthusiast blog) said that they were not going to get the iPhone 4S.

So far I’ve been skeptical about what Ice Cream Sandwich will bring. I’ve been worried that ICS will be another iterative improvement, much like Gingerbread was. After watching the above video, however, I’m a lot more excited. The message of the video is cryptic, but it’s exciting to think that we’ll finally be able to see something new from Google.  

The thing that excites me most, however, is the idea that the Nexus Prime (or Galaxy Nexus or whatever) might actually best the iPhone 4S on some specs. I have no idea what the processor or RAM will be, but I’m sure they’ll be competitive. Hopefully Samsung will include an amazing camera and hopefully the ICS camera will show some marked improvements in speed and usability. With a cleaned up UI, ICS may even bring the polish that many of us have been clamoring for to really compete with iOS.

The screen on the Galaxy Nexus may be a big selling point for a lot of us. As we reported earlier this week, GSMArena scored an early shot of the Nexus Prime. The lack of any physical buttons was to be expected, but what I did not expect was a better resolution than the iPhone’s. The iPhone’s screen resolution has been one of the major things that I really liked about the phone and disliked about phones like the Incredible 2 and even the Droid Bionic. Sure, Motorola and others have begun to use qHD screens, but the iPhone still had the best screen available. It looks like that may be about to change with the Nexus Prime.

I can remember when the Nexus One was first announced. I was absolutely ecstatic. I loved the design, the new OS, the Nexus logo, and the potential for me to have the best Android phone on the best U.S. carrier (Verizon). When none of that panned out, I was disappointed, but I hoped that we would one day see a return of the Nexus program in full swing on all carriers.

When the Nexus S came out last year I was very, very disappointed. It was a Samsung Galaxy S with stock Gingerbread. I liked it, but it wasn’t as innovative as the Nexus One before it had been. The Nexus One was a brand new device by HTC with state of the art specs, whereas the Nexus S was really just a celebration of all things 2010. I have a feeling that the Nexus Prime will be a phone that jumps the curve and that outdoes the competition in some meaningful ways. We’ll have to wait until next Tuesday to find out, but my hopes have definitely been raised.

The iPhone 4S is a great product, but it’s essentially the same phone that Apple shipped 15 months ago. The Nexus Prime might be the phone that shows consumers what innovation should look like in this new era of mobile technology. This is a rare moment where Android’s main competition has failed to really do anything that the average consumer will notice. Sure, Siri is a massive improvement in voice recognition software and the camera looks great, but overall it’s the same old device. The Nexus Prime just may be our shot at showing the world that Android can go head to head with the iPhone and come out on top because unlike Apple, Google doesn’t stop innovating.

What do you think? Will the Nexus Prime blow the competition out of the water? Will you be disappointed if it’s just a Galaxy SII with stock Android? Sound off in the comments to let us know.

  • Djstar2k2

    just want a TRUE og droid replacement.  pure and wonderful.  i dont wanna rom cuz i have too just if i want to.  dont want a kid phone with a kb and 3.2 cam on back but i game changer like my og droid.  icant and will never do what the og did!  power and keyboard wow

  • Anonymous

    The Nexus Prime will likely be an OMAP 4430 or 4460 so it won’t be hugely impressive, but I think it will be close to the iPhone spec wise except for the screen which should blow the iPhone 4S away (only took like a year to get something equal to it and 18months to get something better) but that is fairly unimportant. As long as it is a dual core phone with 1GB of RAM it will be good enough spec wise. 

    But the rest question mark is ICS.  I’m hoping that Google really brings the noise when it comes to polish.

  • Robert White

    I’m still trying to get my mind around the market share numbers Tim Cook was dishing to the faithful.

  • JP

    Interesting that the Prime is tagged as a replacement for the Charge.  I would hope it’s not an evolutionary step from the Charge, but a whole new class of its own.  Perhaps this is just for stock purposes because they will now EOL the Charge, and not really about the phones themselves.

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  • The Nexus Prime is promising… but remember, the iPhone when it shipped in 2007 didn’t have MMS, third-party apps, or many other features people thought you needed to have.  Apple did ride on the coattails of having a multi-touch screen, but that happened again with the iPhone 3G, again with the iPhone 3GS, and even with the iPhone 4.  It’s credited with taking down Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, and Palm; Android did too, but that ball wouldn’t have been rolling otherwise.

    Apple’s main issue is that analysts (and leaks) had built up this expectation that it had to *look* like a complete revolution, even though they’d forgotten the iPhone 3GS.  What’s inside doesn’t matter, even though it’s faster than a Galaxy S II, even though its cameras and video should be better, even though its screen resolution is higher.  Apple called it an iPhone 4S and left it looking like an iPhone 4! How dare they?

    The people who are griping (or trying to gloat) are the hardest of the hardcore: the ones who want huge leaps as often as possible.  Many of these are not only Android users but were never going to be iPhone owners for more than a generation, if at all, because they thrive on the Bigger Numbers Are Always Better mentality. It must always have a bigger screen, they must always know what the clock speed is. But they’re not necessarily the ones buying the majority of phones.  Apple has often known that better than others.

    • Anonymous

      Android is primarily responsible for Nokia and RIM’s downfall as the majority of android customers come from either of those platforms (along with users migrating from dumbphones), Microsoft and Palm never really had a large percentage of marketshare.  Microsoft’s Windows Mobile had been floundering for years and WP7 hasn’t done much to change that.  Apple’s sales come from all of Apple’s fans plus a percentage of Nokia and various dumbphones prior to the iPhone.  Crediting the iPhone for Android merely because Android adopted some aspects of it is nothing but speculation.

  • Rob Becker

    It will most certainly be the thinnest LTE phone, best screen, on Verizon and I will get it or I will be sad.
    Here’s to hoping that it is released on ALL carriers, at the same time.. what what hwat?! Impossible you say? Let it rain.

  • Anonymous

    i just had an argument with an apple fanboy at school today and basicly said exactly your last paragraph. i am the tech guy so everyone was asking my opinion on the iphone 4s today. in the past the iphone has always been my benchmark, and i had trouble recommending an android phone over an iphone to people who want that one device that could do everything. looking forward to the prime to change all that.

  • If this is a GS2 with Stock Android it’ll be a GIANT MISS on the part of Samsung and Google and I’ll be supremely disappointed.  If you want a stock GS2, root it – which is think is the sentiment among most users these days (esp. on this blog).  This device needs to set the standard in terms of hardware innovation and OS innovation, this is an opportunity for Google and Sammy to take a leadership position and innovate from this platform.

    That being said, Apple is a supremely savvy company and it wouldn’t surprise me if they announced an i*hone 5 in November, just in time for the holidays with specs commensurate or better than the Prime.  

  • Anonymous

    I wont mind if it is a rehashed SGS2 with ICS. The specs alone on the SGS2 are way better than the *phone anyway. I will say that the build quality on the SGS2 is rather cheap (plastics, etc.) than the *phone. But I’m still hooked!

  • fully fuctional o.s. > app drawer o.s.

  • I never realized people disliked the Nexus S so much. The Hummingbird is still the best single core processor. After playing with my Dad’s Charge, I don’t think I could use something other than a SAMOLED screen. I thought the curved display added enough flair to be extremely different.
    I’m having a hard time imagining myself with anything other than a Samsung device actually. The SGSII is still better than anything on the market, I dislike Sense, and Motorola is just playing catchup at this point. Add the aforementioned SAMOLED HD screen and my only disappointment  is that this device is supposedly using an OMAP, rather than an Exynos.

    • Anonymous

      Motorola’s devices are every bit as good or better than any other manufacturers.  They typically far exceed everything else in build, radio and sound quality.  The pentile whining is overstated hyperbole and Moto has already gone back to RGB stripe at any rate (with rumors of even having a qHD AMOLED).  Having said that they are in the habit of locking their products down, don’t like it don’t buy it but don’t go around making up excuses and nonsense about their stuff being outdated.  Other than the screen (which is hardly bad) the Bionic is every bit as good as the GS2 (they both have their pluses and minuses), the rest is down to opinion.

      No one cared for the Nexus S because it was just a rehashed Galaxy S with stock android and no microSD slot, not bad but nothing particularly special either.

  • Anonymous

    I had an OG Droid and fell in love with Android.  I actually held a iphone 3GS in my hand next to the OG Droid and picked the Droid over it.  Since then, I’ve loved Android; however, my Droid broke (RIP) and I bought a DINC on ebay since I couldn’t upgrade yet.  Not that the DINC is a bad phone, but since then, my love for Android has been diminishing.  Yes the apps have gotten better, but the system itself was getting boring and the Bionic was a bit of a disappointment.  I was actually considering the Iphone 5 if when it was announced, blew me away.  Well after that let down and the new promo for the Nexus, I’m hoping ICS won’t be a let down.  I can now upgrade my phone and I’m hoping the new Nexus phone is everything I’ve been waiting for.  Something that renews my interest in Android, something new and exciting.  I hate Sense, I haven’t used any of the other skins, but plain vanilla Android was the great thing about the OG.  Yes I rooted my OG and probably will root my DINC soon, but I’m hoping for the “next thing” something that creates a new buzz.  Hopefully it’s ICS and the new Nexus phone.

  • Guest

    IF Google can find a way to incorporate the best features of all its partners..  This would be my dream phone:
    -Designed by HTC
    -Built by Moto
    -Display technology by Samsung
    -Camera technology by Sony
    -Processor by???
    -Support by Google
    -Runs on VZW’s LTE network

    Am I missing anyone?

    • Processor by Samsung. Exynos and its successor are absolute monsters.

      • Anonymous

        The OMAP 4470 will be a better performer than either the Exynos or the A5.

  • I still think Apple has a lil sun-sumpn up there sleeve ( or is it down their turtle neck? whatev) with the *phone5. Unfortunately, when it does come out, it will be faced again with major spec fire. If Samsung can step up the beauty/quality factor followed by the new GoogleMoto, we could see a slew of nails in the cardboard coffin for Apple.  All Google needs is a legitimate alternative to iTunes and we could see a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth. Gi’me dat Nexus Prime!!

  • NYCLawyer

    I am stoked!  These videos are being released after the I*hone 4S debacle.  Do you remember Samsung’s response to the i*ad2?  They came out and said, in essence “we’re not ready to compete with that”, so they went back, made their device thinner and lighter.  Today, in coming out with the video and the drop date, Samsung is (i-) SCREAMING: We are ready to dominate!!!! 

    I really hope they do not underwhelm.

  • Anonymous

    It took them 15 months to implement iOS 5 and iCloud.  Neither one was ready in June/July.  Recall the Mobile Me disaster? Apple wasn’t going to relive that with iCloud. Apple never promised anything, the blogs looking for page hits did.

  • Gordol

    If that video exited you, you’re way too easily excitable.  It said absolutely nothing, I’d hesitate to even call it hype.

  • WalCs

    Let me start by saying that I love Android and Google but I also respect iOS and Apple in many ways.

    To be quite honest, at the moment, it seems that Apple has gone patent crazy, lawsuits across the globe to prevent sales one way or another, but they’ve lost something that I really respected – putting revolutionary hardware + software together in one device. After reading about the new iPhone 4S only included camera and a processor upgrade, I was very disappointed because it took them 15 months just to do those few simple things. I do have to admit that Siri looks extremely impressive and iOS 5 is quite an upgrade from 4, but those things didn’t make me go “wow, now that’s something I would want”

    Consequently I read about the potential reveal of the next Nexus device on the same day with some impressive speculative specs on the paper and the next big version of Android coming together, as one device which made me quite happy to be honest because I’m hoping this time our big green robot can take the glory and bump iPhone off the top of the mountain. 

    All and all, I’m very excited for the big reveal on 11th and IMHO that Apple should relax with the patent wars and go back to a company that makes the “next big thing”

    • Anonymous

      If you can’t beat em, sue em.

  • Fattie McDoogles

    I’m scared to get on the Nexus bandwagon. I am excited to see what it has to offer and hope that it comes out soon but after the  anti-climatic iPhone conference and the underwhelming release of Gingerbread. I am hoping for the best but anticipating the worse

  • I just had a big concern…Didn’t samsung have that same slogan when releasing the GS2 out of country?  Ehhh I guess even if it was just a GS2 for verizon I would still be ecstatic