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The Next Nexus Phone, What I Want to See

If today’s rumor is true, and Google does plan to unveil the next Nexus phone in October, then I can’t help but start putting together a list of features I hope to see. To be honest though, my list isn’t huge, however, there are some things I must have in order for me to feel really good about purchasing this phone. Because after all, I will be purchasing this phone, no matter what. Overall, I really just want Google to take pride in hardware for once, along with focusing on the bells and whistles of software. 

Manufacturer

I actually do not care if LG, HTC, or Samsung make the next Nexus. I have to admit that I would be somewhat disappointed if it were to be Sony, as the designs of their phones, in my opinion, have been some of the ugliest in the business for years now. Motorola would be welcomed, but their name hasn’t been included in even one of the Nexus rumors that have come out over the last few months. I’d prefer HTC if they could build anything close to the quality of the One X. They aren’t likely to produce the phone though, so that leaves us with LG and Samsung. While I’m still in love with the overal design of the Galaxy Nexus and wouldn’t be disappointed with a slight re-hash, it feels like it’s time for some new blood to enter the Nexus game, which is why I’d prefer LG at this point. If the design is anything like the Optimus G, I’d be more than happy.

Display

Display tech on smartphones has come a long way, even since the Galaxy Nexus launched with the first ever HD Super AMOLED display last November. It’s crazy to think that as one of the first 720p displays in the business, it is now looked down upon as not being one of the best in less than year. Samsung has now improved the HD Super AMOLED so much, that it is no longer PenTile and is noticeably better than the one on the G-Nex. LG is using True HD IPS+ LCD panels with an impressive pixel density and Sharp is ready to start mass producing 5″ 1080p panels, that are likely first headed to HTC.

For the next Nexus, I don’t necessarily need for it to be 5-inches at a 1080p resolution and with 448ppi. I just want it to look stunning, dump the PenTile arrangement, get incredibly bright, and show colors that pop off the display. LG’s new LCD displays are what I would prefer, since they use an RGB Stripe arrangement, can generate 470 nits of brightness while using less power, and incorporate a new G2 Touch Hybrid Display technology that makes it seem like you are actually touching whatever is on your display.

As far as size goes, the Galaxy Nexus and its 4.65″ display are as big as I would like to see. And to me, that’s only bearable because the navigation buttons are on-screen, giving the display about 4.3″ of usable space. With the Galaxy S3 and One X, which have hardware navigation buttons, their 4.7″ and 4.8″ displays are too big for my liking.

Camera

The 5MP camera on the Galaxy Nexus is one of the worst in recent history. Well, you could also argue that stock Android’s camera software is partially to blame. The reason I bring that up, is because the HTC One X has arguably one of the best smartphone cameras ever, but with stock Android on it, it’s camera immediately turns to garbage.

So for the next Nexus, Google needs to focus on not only putting in a quality sensor, but also fixing camera software. Samsung and HTC are changing the way smartphone cameras function with impressive new feature sets in their custom skins, so I would love nothing more than for Google to adopt some of them. Make it an 8MP camera, fine tune the stock camera settings, give me burst mode, and better sharing capabilities.

Build Materials

Please Google, do not make the next Nexus out of pure plastic. Apple is over there tossing in fine metals, glass, and polish, while each Nexus phone seems to be made of some of the cheapest materials on Earth. And this is why we would love for HTC to produce a Nexus, because they are taking materials seriously with ceramics and fancy “microarc oxidation” processes. Just give me a uni-body design and don’t use flimsy plastic.

Price

Since the phone likely won’t have a carrier partner at launch, we are looking at having to buy it at full retail directly from Google. Hopefully Google sticks to their Nexus 7 approach and makes the phone ultra-affordable. The Galaxy Nexus is still available for $350, which if you haven’t figured out already, is a steal for an unlocked phone. Give me everything above in a sub-$400 package and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Other

Aside from those 5 things, I would of course, love to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 2500+ mAh battery, NFC, LTE, etc. These things are all sort of standard these days (or are about to be), so they aren’t receiving their own section. But please Google, let’s not go OMAP this time around.

In somewhat realistic terms, what would your next Nexus be?

  • http://twitter.com/brianhan4 Above & B-Han

    battery and camera.

  • Roger W Turner

    Larger display (inches & ppi); portrait reversible (newly patented mic & earpiece at both ends); all of your others. As a bonus: induction rechargeable.

  • a.youth.in.Asia

    I like the idea of a nexus from each manufacturer

  • Alan Paone

    I find it hard to believe you know as much about phones as you do and would ever consider buying an LG :-P they’re Samsung’s dumber, uglier little brother. I’ve never seen them not screw up royally, and everything they produce is bland and dull. If lg makes the next nexus, I won’t buy it. I’ll take my chances rooting a better phone. We’re pretty much there on internals, specs really don’t matter anymore on android, all that matters is the display, camera and industrial design. I’d much rather see what HTC or Sony can do.

  • Sqube

    You can’t say that you don’t care who makes the next Nexus and then say you care about build quality, though. Samsung is going to use subpar-feeling plastic compared to the other materials out there.

    If you want something that feels good in the hand, you want HTC, Motorola, or Sony.

    That said, all I really need is a camera that’s worth a damn and a phone that I like to look at. Performance at this point isn’t going to be as much of an issue.

  • cphilano

    It’s amazing that so many people keep harping on the materials that the Nexus is made out of. The iPhone is made of glass and metal and other such materials and still breaks within a single drop so what’s the point of the complaint? I still haven’t seen an iPhone carried without a rubber or plastic case, so again what is the point? Someone please tell me what you guys mean by flimsy plastic? My Nexus isn’t bendable. Nothing breaks off easily. It doesn’t fly out of my hand. I think most of you just want to think of your phone as functional jewelry like a watch.

    There is nothing wrong with the build of the current Nexus. I’m pretty sure the plastic isn’t as cheap as everyone seems to think it is. Look it up. I myself have dropped mine a few times and it just takes a licking and keeps on ticking. That was for those of you who are old enough to remember Timex.

    Also, you keep asking for everything and above while thinking that it’s going to be affordable. Google is practically giving the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus away as it is. These have been quality items whose operating systems had to catch up to them aside from the camera points.

    • Pat Hamilton

      I agree with you 100%. This premium materials nonsense is just that. Plastic is light weight and more durable. I would also go as far to say that the Gnexus is the nicest looking phone on the market.

  • SAMBO

    I love how the picture shows the phone with no signal. Sums up my experience with the Galaxy Nexus, even when rooted.

  • trollmeister

    LG SUCKS

  • greenlatin

    Accessories game needs to be stepped up when it comes to nexus devices. Everything else I agree hope they stick to the multiple nexus plan. Would like to see an Xperia nexus. It should take design ques from the Xperia v and the transparent notification bar but wrapped around the edge of the device.

    • http://twitter.com/sk2609 Seth Kwon

      It’s understandable there are so few accessories available for Galaxy Nexus. If you have been following the suit vs. Apple, you’d know that Samsung’s Nexus sales in the U.S. has been pretty abysmal…

  • jesslymk

    I’d like a dedicated camera button.

  • droidbeat

    My next Nexus? HTC Nexus 5 with 5-inch 1080P screen, Snapdragon S4 Pro, 32 GB, 3100+ mAh removable battery, 8mp camera with large sensor and wide aperture lens, all buttons on-screen, high quality audio and microphone (loud stereo speakers), thin, light, very thin bezel, grippy back and sides, ultra-sensitive data radios, beautiful design.

  • poeddroiduser

    I thought the next Nexus release would be a combination of roughly five DIFFERENT manufacturers producing maybe three different phones and two tablets? Why can’t it be Moto? How much closer to Android can you get than Moto?

  • Trevor

    Everything you said, plus a microSD card slot.

  • http://twitter.com/andril andril

    Nokia needs to revive the N9’s body and needs to dump Windows and make this Google Prime happen – Google to bring Motorola’s RAZR MAXX battery with Android 4.2 – this could be a beautiful baby

  • http://twitter.com/umiwonder CODEMAN

    A phone that can use the gps and charge with out dying

  • JUSTANANGRYJoe22

    Well in Verizon’s case how bought one that actually works period instead of having to play rooulette in hopes of getting one i can actually hold a call on and not worry about my outgoing audip going out every few seconds. on the real though id say build it out of something a little more pratical than pure plastic i mean going green is good and all but felt really bland and cheap, and zero bezel would indeed be a nice touch. camera wise keep it above 5mp is all i got to say .,

  • SWAG

    yo, i just hope this one has navigation and sends me to a burger king located in the middle of the ocean.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    I agree with all the above. 2gb RAM for future proofing and a top-notch camera is what I’d really be looking for. I’m not so concerned about build materials since I normally put a cover on my phone, but I could be convinced not to with a nice durable phone. Dual or quad code S4 at least 1.4ghz would be nice.

  • http://twitter.com/1TallTXn 1TallTXn

    Maybe I’m weird, but I have no problems turning out clear shots with the Gnex. My wife’s (Stock) D4 with it’s 8MP camera takes some nasty shots.

    While I don’t want a glass phone, I would like something tougher than the Gnex.

    Also, give me a BIG battery. I’m okay with integrated if it’s RAZR/HD MAXX levels of big.
    Battery life is my main complaint about the Gnex.

  • root4life

    Manufacturer: samsung
    Updates:GOOGLE.
    Hardware:unibody,ceramic,aluminum,no bezel along with useless chin,curved glass,SOMETHING OTHER THAN PLASTIC.
    Screen:gorilla glass2.
    Camera: BADASSNESS.
    Sound Quality: LOUDER.
    Display:THE BEST.
    Battery:bigger.
    Screen Size:perfect the way it is
    Versions:world phone.
    Nav. Keys: software
    Accessories: AT LAUNCH.

    That or just spec bump the shite out of the current one to match these. please and thank you

  • Frongy

    I normally do whatever I can to get the latest awesome phone. However I just bought my Galaxy Nexus (Sprint) in July and I love it. I’m sure I would love the next Nexus even more, but this year it’s going to take a lot more than some shiny new hardware specs to get my money. I want to see Google rethink their mobile strategy entirely. Google has the money to do whatever they want, and I’m tired of them giving in to the carriers’ demands. They should be able to launch a Nexus across all major carriers, on day one, just like Apple does. The iPhone is nothing compared to many android phones, however it sells like crazy. I know Android dominates in market share, but thats really only because of market saturation. Google needs to actually market their product. Google also needs to find a solution for updates. I believe that it wasn’t until this past month the Sprint and Verizon Nexus’ got Jelly Bean. To my understanding this is because of Verizon and Sprint regulations on OTA updates. Google could easily make the update available through a desktop program or even through the Play Store. All models of the phone should get the same update, on the same day, and have the same great experience.

    • root4life

      thank you.

  • niuguy

    I hate to say it, but maybe we should stop expecting the Nexus phones to be top of the line when they come out. I don’t know if any manufacturer wants to show up their own line of phones with Google’s.

    • root4life

      you do have a point, but wouldnt that push them to go above and beyond as well?

      • niuguy

        I suppose it depends on the profit potential. Which is what concerns me. Nexus lines tend to be really value oriented which usually means small profit margins to go along with their usually lower volumes.

  • Stew

    All that Kellex said, plus support for Verizon’s LTE bands

  • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

    5 inch 1080p screen, 12mp camera, expandable memory, NFC, LTE, Notification LED, stylus support, ginormous battery, minimum 2GB of ram.

  • Adam Metzner

    Android already has more options that the everyday user likes to make it better then the iPhone. But the biggest thing that I hear from users that switch from iPhone is battery life. The Razr Max proved that you can have a thin phone with great battery life, so I think its time to get back to the days of charging phones every other day and not every 8 hours.

    • benb70

      I agree, to an extent. I hate having to buy an extended battery just to get through the day on LTE (on my Bionic). I’d be perfectly happy if a phone could last 12 hours with moderate-heavy usage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/motorolazine Motorola Zine

    Jim Wicks from Motorola Mobility says word Nexus Razr (minutes 3 and seconds 22) in
    Motorola RAZR i London UK Launch (Link http://youtu.be/KszZ73NMNho)

  • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

    no, but seriously. I’d like to see a sub-$400 price range (I jumped the vzw boat and went gsm straight talk) but not only because I don’t want to pay $600+ (because I have plenty of times before), it’ll make it available to more people, thus giving us more of a developer base.

    As long as the battery lasts all day, I really don’t care how big it is. Besides, if they use the anywhere near the latest tech in screen and processing architecture, it’ll easily last all day on the existing ~1900mAh standard.

    Better camera is a given, more RAM is a given, and better build quality would also be nice.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      Be quiet, Wes… Also, why’d you start your post out with “no, but seriously”?! /me looks for what you typed before this

  • poorboy168

    all i want is to see a multi-color notification light

  • paul_cus

    If you don’t want the phone to be all plastic, you might want Sony to make it.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    My must haves:

    No bigger than the Gnex.
    Better (by a lot) camera.
    A removable battery, preferably with the juice described in the article.
    On screen, rather than physical, buttons.
    Processor and RAM that competed with other flagship phones.
    A focus on power saving not just bigger batteries.
    A coherent approach to software updates (if Apple can do it on Verizon so can Google).
    A more resilient glass than what’s on the Gnex.
    Price. $300 – $400 off contract would be ideal, and seems feasible given the Nexus 7.

    Not as concerned about:
    Higher quality display. The GNex is fine in this regard for me. I only need so many pixels on a 4.3 inch screen.
    Overly thin just because it’s flashy on a commercial.
    Video capture.
    Wireless charging.
    Accessories.

    If Google only evolutionizes, I will stay with what I have and be content. If they revolutionize on key shortcomings, I will be tempted.

  • etche

    I’d love some cool new technology that would double bettery life. I’m tired of being so paranoid with how much time my screen is on.

  • ERIC REED

    Better camera and battery life…

    Also for some that may not know I found out some kind of good news from Verizon this weekend. My daughters phone is due for an upgrade and I was dreading paying for a phone. But when going to the store I found out I will not lose unlimited data for my phone, but just hers. She and my wife have never even approached half a gig of data combined in a month. She would go to a 2gb plan for a penny more, so my pricing stays the same. Also I can drop my calling plan to 700 minutes and save twenty dollars, again combined we average just over 200 minutes a month.

    It’s not perfect, but something I didn’t know. So in December when my wife’s upgrade is available I will be getting myself a new phone, hopefully the next Nexus!!!

  • cns2007

    I agree with most of the above (I think Sony makes some good looking devices actually), but would add that they require all carriers (and OEMs possibly) put their branding on the back of the phone only. Branding on the front never bothered me much before, until I bought my GNex. To me, when the screen is off, it’s just a beautiful black slate.

  • SeanBello

    on top of all that, I’d like there to be a massive ad campaign so more people are aware of it.

  • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

    i would like a 16:1 aspect ratio… “the tallest thing to happen to Nexus, since Nexus”

  • Cipher Zero

    What I would REALLY love to see is Google demand that any carrier that chooses to carry the next Nexus has to keep their grubby mitts off of it (I’m looking at you, Verizon), and updates come from Google and are issued by Google. I hate myself for drawing this parallel, but if Apple can do it with their phone, Google can do it with theirs.
    I would also love to see a removable battery and removable SD, but I’m not counting on that one. I’d like to see Motorola have a go, I always liked the physical build quality of their Droid line, but perhaps Google isn’t using Motorola because they don’t want to show favoritism? (Just a guess on my part).
    Oh, and this is often overlooked, but if they want top use non-removable batteries, fine, use a 3500-4000mAh battery and make the phone waterproof.

    • SeanBello

      the problem with that is that Apple has the sales to demand that kind of concession, no Nexus ever has.

      • smwandrie93

        but then google can turn around and say, fine i will not support any google software on any phone you carry anymore… no more of those phones being made and that leaves only windows phone and IOS, possibly BB (for big names at least we all know that there are more out there)… if you think google has more power then apple because its not just putting its software on one phone, but one multiple which gives it a bit more pull if you ask me

        • ERIC REED

          Apple makes their money by you buying their product, google makes their money by you using their products. Taking their products off of millions of phones would not be a very strong bluff!!

        • SeanBello

          I agree in a sense, but the Nexus itself doesn’t have the proven record to demand somebody as anal as verizon to relax on their ridiculous “testing”. on one hand you could say that Google has the power, but an argument could be made that Verizon does because of their stranglehold on CDMA

  • spain003

    If you guys want a nexus for 400 or less then your going to get the same nexus with slight upgrades. I say we quit being cheep and we get a BADASS nexus. we need a giant batter 3200, 13 camera, 2gigs of ram, metal build. I’m willing to pay 600+ for a top Koch nexus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.philip.rogers Jonathan Rogers

    I personally would like to see a Nexus device consisting of the following:
    4.3″ 1080P Screen
    Software Keys
    12MP Rear Camera
    3MP Front Facing Camera
    1.5GHz SnapDragon S4 Quad-Core Processor
    2GB RAM
    32GB Storage
    Removable SD Card
    3,200mAh Battery
    VZW 4G LTE
    NFC
    Jelly Bean OS
    Quality design

    • erod434

      Nice but at 4.3 inches don’t you think 1080p would be an overkill as even 720p is already around 340 ppi so 1080p wouldn’t make that big of a difference and would suck much more battery.

      • Bon K

        I don’t think it’s even possible to put 1080p on 4.3 inch display especially on AMOLED.

  • RazorUnited

    Basically, RAZR MAXX HD with the S4 quad-core APQ8064 and 2 GB RAM. Of course, support for Verizon and global roaming.

    • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ wasteofskin

      ahhh and you can have it!!!….

      next fall that is.

  • Ironclad1313

    I think we can be sure that they won’t be using an OMAP processor this time. TI is getting out of the ARM processor business so I think an S4 snapdragon (hopefully quad, but most likely not) is the most likely candidate :D

  • Paul H

    Please, let us have the option to buy it unlocked. I bought the Galaxy Nexus for $349 unlocked and there isn’t a day where I don’t relish my freedom from a two-year carrier contract.

  • cody

    we need smartphones with 3 gigs of ram!

  • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ wasteofskin

    and please be ON VERIZON!

  • KRS_Won

    One single “World Phone”, not GSM/CDMA variants. If Moto can use dual antennas, the next Nexus should be able to have both standard. Those way it could be a true unlocked phone sold through the Play Store, and I could buy it being on Verizon and not lose my Unlimited. =)

    • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ wasteofskin

      this

  • cb2000a

    I tried the HTC OneX and was not impressed. The phone could not stay connected to the network and I read several accounts of others having the same problem. As for plastic phones…I would rather have the type of plastic that Samsung builds their phones around than the totally breakable glass that Apple used. The super thin battery cover on the Samsung phones is extremely flexable and resistant to breaking. Cameras on phones from now on (at the high end) should all be 12mp or more. Agree on the camera software…get it together Google. I happen to really like large screen phones and I think the Nexus line will have something for everyone in the next year.

    • HTC1

      they say that about EVERY phone. go the any forum and they all say they have “connection” issues. But the Gnex was the worse of them all. Not liking the OneX because of reading things is not a good idea. That phone is sweet. I have read a thousand counters to your argument. please HTC make a nexus.

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Hell, give me a sub $550 price (before tax) and take my money for the next Nexus! And make it on Verizon without all of their influence, somehow.

  • EdsonDJ

    If they’re going to make a GSM version and a CDMA version, at least make them physically identical this time around. This will greatly help with finding parts and accessories.

  • radiohead14

    one thing i disagree with… i would love it if Sony made a Nexus phone. the camera is one of the most important features of a smartphone for me, and Sony makes great camera hardware with a dedicated camera button.

  • http://twitter.com/icanhazdroid Aaron Azimi

    I 100% agree with your opinion on screen size. After having the Gnex and the S3, the S3 felt massive while 4.65 felt just right, especially with on screen navigation.

  • http://gplus.to/boojay boo Jay

    I’d like the next Nexus phone to be a phone, not a phablet.