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Waking From the Nexus Dream [Opinion]

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Last week on the Droid Life Show I mentioned that I don’t think Nexus devices really matter anymore. With the Nexus 5’s release just around the corner, a lot of readers became very defensive of the Nexus program. Call me self-absorbed or too worried about what people think about me (I’m working on it), but I read through every comment on our site and YouTube regarding my statements. After reading through the comments and listening to our discussion on the show again I’ve decided to try to go into more detail about why I feel this way about the Nexus program. It’s not that I hate Android or Nexus phones, but rather that I believe they could mean so much more than they do today.

Why Nexus Devices Matter

One reason readers insisted that the Nexus program still matters is that Nexus devices are supposed to show manufacturers what Android hardware is capable of. While that was true of the Nexus One, the Nexus program has shifted from a manufacturer providing hardware that they differentiate to the opposite. The Nexus program started with the Nexus One, which featured the first 1 GHz processor and the latest major version of Android, Eclair.1 After the G1 (which was essentially a Nexus) and the Nexus One, the Nexus program shifted from manufacturers repackaging Nexus hardware to Google repackaging flagship devices from OEM partners.2 What this has meant is that Google’s Nexus devices are no longer pushing the envelope in terms of hardware specifications, but instead following closely behind their competitors/partners.

The obvious response to the problem of Nexus devices not excelling in hardware is to argue that devices like the Moto X prove that Android no longer needs top of the line hardware to run well. While it’s true that Android does not need top of the line hardware to run well, it did until very recently. The Nexus 5 appears to finally match current generation hardware (and even exceeds the latest flagships from Samsung and HTC), which is great, but doesn’t make it a spiritual successor to the Nexus One. Google is not showing manufacturers what Android hardware is capable of, but still following its partners’/competitors’ lead for hardware innovation.3

Another reason some readers believe Nexus devices still matter is that Nexus devices offer pure/stock/vanilla Android. While there was a dearth of devices offering vanilla Android following the original Droid,4 Google has changed the game by offering Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android. If you want the latest version of Android faster than the carrier/skinned phones available in stores, GPE phones are a major option. If you’re not on a GSM carrier you could also consider the Moto X, which also runs near stock Android. In short, the Nexus program offers top tier devices with vanilla Android, but it is no longer the only way.

Some readers insisted that Google uses the Nexus program to offer and promote Google’s version of Android.5 There can be no denying that every major manufacturer has manipulated and altered nearly every part of Android on their phones to the point where the look and feel of each Android phone changes in varying degrees of subtlety and brazenness. The problem with this theory is that Google doesn’t need to show manufacturers what they think Android should look and act like; they know OEMs will just change it. Google also doesn’t need to show consumers what stock Android looks like because the vast majority of consumers don’t use stock Android.6

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What Nexus Means Now

Since the Nexus One Google has done very little to articulate why the Nexus program exists. We know why the Nexus program was started, but why does it continue today if not to demonstrate Android hardware, compete with features, or to push Google’s version of Android? I think the Nexus program exists for two reasons: so Google can develop Android on new hardware (which benefits both Google and its partners) and for developers to have cheap top of the line hardware. Google lets anyone purchase a Nexus device because it knows there is a small market for Android enthusiasts and developers, but it doesn’t push for Nexus devices to be heavily adopted instead of flagship devices from its partners.7

When I first started getting into Android I treated Google like my sports team. I liked stock Android most and I wanted Google’s version of Android to win in the market. I loved Google’s plan to essentially transform the American cell phone market into a sort of utopia where consumers chose a device separate from their carrier. It seems like Google’s efforts to keep the 700 MHz LTE spectrum open, their purchase of Motorola, and the continued release of Nexus devices are all indications that Google hasn’t completely given up on the original dream, but Google has done nothing since 2010 to show that they’re serious about disrupting the market as originally intended.

When I say that Nexus devices aren’t as relevant or exciting to me, it’s not because I’m an iPhone fanboy or because I’m out of touch with Android enthusiasts. I have a hard time getting excited about Nexus devices because I’m constantly reminded of what they could be. Google could compete directly with Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC with Nexus devices made by Motorola running software that is customized for those devices. They could work to get Nexus devices on every carrier and ensure that they receive updates when Google releases them. Nexus devices could also come with software only found on Google’s phones to further differentiate and compete with the other OEMs, but instead Google uses Nexus to offer cheap devices to developers and off-contract enthusiasts. Google could own the Android market with stock Android, but instead they’ve let Samsung become the de facto representative of Android smartphones to the world and Samsung and Amazon the representative of Android tablets.8

Perhaps it’s time that I woke up from the Nexus dream. It seems unlikely that Google will ever be able to accomplish their goals, especially in America. The carriers continue to have the control of the relationship between consumers and manufacturers and the FCC seems content to let that oligarchy continue. I still want to see Google’s version of Android succeed over the versions supplied by Samsung, Amazon, HTC, but it does not appear that Google is interested in winning market share with Nexus devices.

The word “nexus” refers to a connection between two things. Google’s vision of the Nexus program was to make a connection between consumers and top of the line devices running software and hardware designed by Google without the carriers. The goal was to disrupt the phone market and bring power to consumers, but the program turned into a way for Google to get new development hardware from a manufacturing partner in exchange for early access to the next version of Android. Google was trying to democratize what Apple did with the iPhone and Google failed. Now, the Nexus program serves as little more than a way for Google to continue developing Android on top of the line hardware and selling the devices at a low cost for developers and enthusiasts. Google has continued to develop Android and add great new features and Google services, but this development isn’t accomplished to advance Google’s version of Android. In fact, vanilla Android’s features and services are almost always replaced or sidelined by the manufacturer’s services and features. I don’t think it’s bad that Google makes top of the line devices available to purchase at low prices for developers or enthusiasts who don’t need the phone to have service or who are on AT&T or T-Mobile,9 but it’s a far cry from what I think Nexus devices should be.

1 I can’t overemphasize how important the Nexus One was for Google and Android. This device set the standard for what Android devices should look and work like in a way that no Nexus device has done since (except for the Nexus 7).

2 HTC released the Desire, a slightly modified version of the Nexus One, a month after the original Nexus’ release. With the Nexus S, Google partnered with Samsung to release a redesigned Galaxy S. The Nexus S was released just six months after the Galaxy S first hit the shelves. The Galaxy Nexus followed suit as a redesigned Galaxy S2 with a larger battery and an inferior camera, again six months after Samsung released their flagship for the year. The Nexus 4 was a redesign of LG’s flagship phone of the year, the Optimus G, sans LTE support. This year, it appears as though Google is once again using a redesigned version of LG’s flagship device, the G2.

3 I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing that Nexus devices follow behind manufacturers, but just that the Nexus program is no longer about Google showing off the latest hardware. That said, Nexus devices have tended to not only be deviations from an OEM’s flagship, but deviations with major flaws (usually the camera and battery life).

4 There were exceptions like the LG G2x and the Xperia Play. Both devices had minor variations to stock Android. Also, Motorola’s previous generation of Droid devices lost a lot of the skinning that was present before the update to Jelly Bean.

5 I don’t like the phrasing “Google’s version of Android.” As far as I’m concerned stock Android with Google Play services is the canonical version of Android, but forks and skins have muddied up the terminology.

6 It’s possible that the Nexus 7 has introduced many more people to stock Android, but we’ll never know until Google starts to release device sales numbers.

7 Some readers (and journalists) have argued that Google can’t compete directly with its partners. Historically device and software manufacturers that try to compete with their partners (Palm is the classic example) fail to maintain those partnerships. Eventually partners are spurned and turn to another platform instead of unfairly competing with the license holder. While that has been true historically, it also appears that the smartphone market has matured and plateaued to a point where there will be no major platform disruptions. It appears as though Android will continue to be the number one used OS with iOS in second. Blackberry, webOS, and Symbian have fallen into obscurity while Windows Phone continues to insist it is the alternative to iOS and Android. Over the next few years I think we’ll continue to see OEMs fall and be purchased for parts until the next hardware disruption happens that changes the focus from smartphones to something else. For more on why I think Samsung (and Amazon) can’t fork and create a legitimate competitor to Android and iOS, click here.

8 Again, it’s possible that the Nexus 7 is a major player in the Android tablet space, but Samsung, Amazon, and Google all refuse to give actual numbers. Based on the latest usage studies Samsung and Amazon appear to still dominate the tablet market.

9 I know the Nexus 5 appears to be able to work on Sprint’s network, but nothing has been confirmed.

  • A. Norman

    Okay, so I’ve read a lot of the comments, saw the podcast, and like some of the rest of you am really surprised by all the haters who seem to enjoy stomping on Ron for simply having a different opinion. I, for one, agree with him. I had an iPhone 4s, and decided to give Android another try (had a Droid Eris back in the day). I went with the Galaxy Nexus and liked it a lot, but went back to the iPhone when I just got frustrated with the camera and battery. Now I’m back with Android with the GS4. I’m on Verizon, and really tired of seeing comments that beat up on us Verizon users. They have absolutely the best service where I am and where I go, and I don’t feel like I should be talked down to like a child for getting the best service provider I can get for me. This is where Ron’s argument comes in. What I want is the absolute best Google Android phone (not Samsung, HTC, LG), on the absolute best hardware, on the best service provider for me. I hear all the arguments for what Google seems to be doing with the Nexus brand, but that does not change from what some of us WANT from Google. And I thinking the frustration comes from seeing a company like Apple do this with the iPhone. They have the advantage of controlling the hardware, but outside of that, they muscled their way into the phone space and have been incredibly successful with the iPhone. What I see Ron talking about is Google could do the same thing with a partnering manufacturer (or with the one they bought), and dominate with pure Android. That’s what I’d like to see. For whatever reason, Google is not doing this, and its just frustrating to those of us who want an option like that, but it’s not actually available. Like what I think Ron saying, I think Google could absolutely dominate with just the Nexus brand alone, if only they would push it to use for the masses. For whatever reason, they’re not.

  • br_hermon

    Not sure if there’s still any traffic in the comments here but… I read this article yesterday and today I may have had an epiphany. What if the Nexus program has shifted in it’s goal? What if it no longer tries to push the latest greatest technologies as before (Nexus One) but instead is now focused on getting quality tech in as many hands as possible?

    Consider what Google stated with android, “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.” That could be interpreted a number of ways but let’s consider some other projects Google is working on. What about the ‘Loon project? Google’s initiative to bring internet to the world, even those in 3rd world countries, because hey, everyone deserves the liberty of being on the internet (and consequently supplying their data to Google). Google Fiber? The same thing but here at home in the ol’ US of A. Also consider the Moto X. Google owned Motorola wants to create a device where specs aren’t king. Rather they want a solid, reliable user experience and make it available to the masses. We also know that with Google’s presence in other ecosystems that Google’s priority isn’t Android. They have but one simple bottom line, get user data, period. They’ll create as many opportunities as possible to get the information too. They give us Android phones, put apps in Apple’s app store, provide internet access and a slew of free services. They all result in the same thing, user data.

    Now let’s go back to what Google has stated with KitKat, “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.” Maybe Nexus isn’t about upsetting the system anymore. Maybe it isn’t about breaking the bounds of cellular innovation. Maybe the Nexus program has gotten back to Google’s roots, a viable opportunity to acquire data all in the veiled name of liberty and freedom.

    • That is certainly what Google is able to accomplish outside the US, but here they are limited to T-Mobile customers and anyone using unlocked GSM providers. They’re missing out on the vast majority of people in contract on AT&T and Verizon. The reality is they can accomplish that goal with or without Nexus products. Any Android phone with Google services does the trick.

  • Alexander Garcia

    Haha! Wow! What’s with all the hate around here? I’m with Ron on this article. I’m glad he wrote it and I’m even more glad that Kel approved and posted it. =)

  • malik

    They Proberly saw the LG G flex and said damm ahhhh. Make the LG G flex a nexus device!!!!

  • Ali

    You know being an Mac user and coming from iOS before. One of the reasons that I switched to Android was mainly because of the Stock Android experience, after using it I think It’s probably the best mobile experience out there.

    I used to own a Samsung Galaxy Tab, and I’ll be honest I always thought it was just an attempt to be more like Apple because of TouchWiz UI, which for me was off putting, the stock experience has always been better in terms of performance, and overall experience.

    So for me I love Nexus devices, and Nexus 7 2013 is a dream tablet for me, I’m glad I didn’t opt for another Samsung tablet.

    But It’s not all perfect, I feel Google can do better in terms of design, because while the Nexus line up is pretty nice, It doesn’t compete so well with an HTC One for example, or the iPhone even. So I think they can definitely improve on hardware design, but otherwise it’s awesome..

    Not much to complain about at the price points though, so It’s understandable.. I still think the Nexus 7 looks great!

  • Nexus is a matured program by Google. Most of the people think about the high-end spec sheet while purchasing a smartphone. Galaxy S4 showing noticeable lag even though it got the Exynos 5 Octa or Snapdragon 600 SoC, is that good for anyone ? i’m a Nexus 4 user since couple of months, the UI is light weight and blazing fast even on 1yr old hardware so Nexus 5 would be mind blowingly fast. I think Nexus branded devices and GPE devices are the only smartphones, which can compete with iPhones super smooth UI. Coming to the features, do you use useless features like smart scroll ? Samsung playing gimmiks to sell its phones. If you talking about Samsung software, after updated to Android 4.2.2 on Galaxy Grand, the phone getting unresponsive while getting call, is that phone you want exactly ?? A phone should be like phone first, it should be fast and should perform loaded tasks smooth. I personally don’t want sluggish, over modified UIs and i don’t want to wait 4-5 months sometimes even 1yr to update latest Android version. If you want all these bloody features than just buy Samsung or other phones. I will prefer Nexus devices over other high-end smartphones and one more thing, Nexus devices are quite affordable smartphones, don’t forget this.

  • PROlific666

    Is it just me or does this seem like a disgruntled loyal Verizon customer beating around the bush? Just come out and say “I’m pissed about Verizon being ignored by the Nexus program”

    • NexusOnly

      He admits as much in comments.

    • NexusOnly

      Actually, once I think about it after all these comments. . . Ron’s argument goes something like this:

      “I’m pissed the Nexus isn’t going to be on Verizon, and by not being on all carriers in *America* it’s irrelevant, no longer matters, and is so much less than it could be, and it should be a much better device and marketed much much more. .. . .but somehow google has to keep the price low. .. .

      but I’m getting the next iPhone no matter what anyway.”


    • Jason Smith

      I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around — Verizon kicked the Nexus program in the balls with its handling of the Galaxy Nexus, and so now Google is once bitten, twice shy. Google doesn’t feel the need to deal with a tyrant that did everything it could to make sure the gnex was a failure in the marketplace. I am another one of those disgruntled Verizon customers, but regardless the blame can’t be fully placed on Google.

  • BL4Z3D247

    I see Ron’s point, but it’s a Nexus. I’m not sure if the GPE devices get OTA updates from Google(though one would assume so) but I know for sure Nexus devices(minus the Galaxy Nexus) get fast OTAs. They also usually come with the newest Android OS. To me the Nexus program works just fine. They make devices that developers can make better via custom ROMs, kernels, radios, ect. Nexus devices are a base for developers to transform into their own. This is the reason I like Nexus devices, not because they have the best hardware available. Sure, one could purchase a GPE device but GPE devices are like $600-$650, not worth it to me when the N4 sold for $349 for the 16GB version and the N5 will be most likely cost the same. Hardware is only a quarter of what a Nexus represents. The other three quarters are software, price and the fact that it is completely unlocked. Sure Google could make a Nexus to trump every other device out there but then we’d be looking at a $600 phone off contract rather than $350. In my opinion Google is doing it right, make a phone with hardware that stands up to the competition, make it unlocked, sell it for cheaper without a contract and slap the newest version of Android on it with first dibs on OTA updates. Maybe I’m wrong and I’ve lost sight of the Nexus dream but maybe that’s all it was, a dream. Nexus devices still have the edge on all the others IMO.

    • jahsoul

      IIRC, I think GPE devices get their updates from the manufacturer. I, at least, remember reading something like that.

  • Skittlez

    how can you say that google CAN compete with Samsung, LG, and HTC? they do. S4 and HTC, 1080p and Snapdragon 600, $600-650. Nexus 5, Snapdragon 800 and 1080p for $349-$399. Am i missing something? Nexus is about having the best android experience. I have a G2 now, and i would still much rather have a Nexus 4. Everything just worked on that thing and had such a great experience with no lag, no lack of features, and best of all, no gimmicks. i have Q-Slide, and i never use it. i have google wallet, and i can’t use it. i’m sorry, but your opinion on Nexus devices seems a little off. i’m sure that if Samsung offered a device running iOS, you’d still want to get the device that comes directly from Apple. While other Android devices aren’t bad, like the S4, One, and G2, IMO, they won’t give you the experience that the Nexus gives you. Fluidity and function with great performance at a great price.

  • Matt Hunter

    The nexus is exactly what it should be. Open bootloader, first to get updates, any one can make a ROM for magic. I can boot up my Linux, sync up with Google, and /lunch my way to a ROM that I can tweak and make myself. The fact that Google understands this and let’s us have it is awesome and the nexus always delivers.
    That said Google is smart by not competing with its android partners. Like it or not googles willingness to abstain from market domination is what makes android #1. Apple can try to spin the facts all they want but android absolutely dominates the smart phone world. Every android phone activated is a win for Google and in the end a win for us. Letting the OEM’s do the advertising, hardware development, and competing with each other keeps android unbeatable. Google has dethroned apple and created an advertising machine the likes of which the world has never seen all in one stroke and the ultimate beauty of it?…. Google doesn’t even have to advertise it! The OEM’s do all the work for them.
    Android is king now, we won! Best part is Google still recognizes us… The tech nerds that embraced it from the beginning! Now accept your gift and be free, the way it should be. No contracts, no carrier interference, no limits. We are the few but the knowledgeable. We are the free, the open minded, the open sourced. Thanks Google and LONG LIVE THE NEXUS!!!

  • Cameron Wallace

    I think the big point that was missed here is the price tag. I’m not sure what the Nexus 5 will come out as… but the Nexus 4’s price tag really pushed the boundaries. I think Google is using the Nexus program to make a great Android phone available to as many people as possible without all the costs of a contract. This results in more Google available to more people… which benefits Google. I doubt Google makes much if any $ per unit based on direct price, but that’s alright, because they get another convert to the Google ecosystem.

  • Zak Taccardi

    Why are we faulting Google for Verizon or AT&T (Sprint will likely offer the Nexus 5) for not offering the Nexus line? It’s because it’s a phone that has no carrier control at all. If Google compromised on that stance at all, they would be offered on Verizon or AT&T.

    But that’s why I love the Nexus line – it is free of carrier bloat. It is completely my phone to mold, and my carrier can’t say a damn thing about it.

    • The reason is that Apple was able to pull it off. If Apple can do it, Google should be able to do it too.

      • NexusOnly

        That is a faulty, very faulty argument!

        Steve Jobs did it! Not Apple! While I’m not a fan of Steve Jobs, I can fully admit that the man was a great salesman/negotiator.

        Furthermore, if Google does “it” then they will be where apple is, small market share! Not where Google wants to be!

        Once again you show how faulty your reasoning is.

        • How would getting the Nexus on more carriers result in less market share?

          • NexusOnly

            Your arguement is they should be like apple and treat the Nexus like the iphone which would put them in direct contention with their hardware partners. . . . which would lead those hardware partners to support other platforms over android. . . .

            Android is number one because of those hardware partners and their marketing power. . . . you don’t break that!

            And let’s just ignore how you consistently want Android/Google to be more apple/ios like. .. . . uhg.

            Now what’s really annoying is, you’ve had this pointed out many many times in these comments and have responded in consistently stupid ways, full well knowing the validity of the argument — don’t piss off your hardware partners.

            It’s like you’re drunk or have alzheimers’. . . .

          • I’ve replied to this argument both in the original article, in comments, and I wrote an entire article about it here: http://www.droid-life.com/2013/02/27/the-samsung-problem-opinion/

            Do me a favor – if you want to continue this discussion, can we do it on Twitter instead of through 30 different comment threads? I’m @ronoffringa. Hope to see you there.

  • Zak Taccardi

    I’m on T-Mobile. I pay for my phone and my service separately.

    The Nexus program is hugely important to me – buying a $650 GPE phone is not an option for me – I like being able to buy a $350 phone and get better hardware for nearly half the price.

  • Dconstable

    Android is important to me for a couple of reasons.

    1. It is a philosophical shift from Apple’s business model. It represents freedom of choice. This is what drove the PC platform to dominance. 30 years ago Apple insisted on locking up their software and hardware. You had to buy Apple memory for ridiculous prices. You could get it for the PC for much less. The same was true for add on cards. The PC was an open and free system, Apple was not. Business, which invests in IT for success, could not justify Apple products. Apple was expensive and more software development was occurring for the PC. I strongly dislike Apple’s view of the world (past and present) and I will not buy their products.

    2. I don’t want a smart phone. I want a really good PDA and a dumb phone. My pay-as-you-go dumb phone is cheap, maybe $7/mo. My last PDA was a Dell Axim and I’m still using it. With my recent upgrade to Win 7 and an SSD(which you must really do, amazing!), the Axim will no longer sync with my PC. Time for a change. Nexus 5 will be my new PDA. If the future changes for me and I need more cell phone, then it’s likely that my Nexus will work on a pay-as-you-go service for $45/mo, (I’m hoping). The Nexus program is an incredible thing for me. I get a really good product for a really good price and I support a business model that appeals to me

    I’m confident that Google will eventually dominate the market (not that it’s important!). Because of Apple’s head start, it will take time to accomplish. Google needs Motorola, HTC, Samsung and others to get there. I hope Google will not forget it’s roots and never depart from a free and open system.

    • Skittlez

      Google already does dominate the market. Look at OS market share and not manufacturer.

      • dconstable

        Thank you for mentioning that. I had no idea. Good! I’m not as ignorant as I was yesterday.

    • A.Y. Siu

      I get the gist of what you’re saying, but as a long-time Mac user, I’ve never bought RAM from Apple. You can easily purchase RAM from NewEgg or TigerDirect or Amazon, and then put it into a Mac yourself.

      • dconstable

        As I mentioned above, that was 30 years ago. That’s how Apple operated then and I have always disliked the way they operate. Newegg didn’t exist then. For people that owned PCs, there was a very thick catalog/magazine that was published regularly and memory and cards could be purchased from them. The name escapes me though. Maybe another old timer remembers that pub.

  • Chris

    this will get downvotes but the only ones who really care about stock are the nerds and geeks.

    • Jeff

      My mom cares about stock Android, because she has a carrier phone that performs like garbage, has bloatware and a skin over it and doesn’t get updates, and she also has a Nexus 7. She can tell the difference between the two and is looking forward to me helping her get a new phone with stock Android. She is neither a nerd nor a geek.

  • Fake Coffee Snob

    I think you underestimate the impact of price: as someone who ditched contracts several years ago (and I haven’t seem numbers, but between the growth of MVNOs like Simple Mobile and Straight Talk and plans like T-Mobile’s, I’m sure this is an increasingly popular option), having similarly great hardware, even if it’s not the absolute tippy top of the line, at half or less of the price of any other flagship phone is kind of huge. It’s not obvious, always, when one is buying subsidized phones, but the difference in dollars is enormous.

    And Nexus tablets exceed all other manufacturer’s android tablets, in my opinion. Doesn’t the Nexus 7 account for something like 10% of all android tablet sales?

    • Price is huge, but not everyone can leave Verizon and AT&T contracts. Also, we have no idea how much of the market the Nexus 7 actually accounts for because no one releases sales numbers, but most estimates put it under Samsung’s numbers still.

      • NexusOnly

        Everyone can leave any mobile carrier once their contract is up. . . not like the Nexus line hasn’t been around a few years for you to make that choice.

        Nexus sales are IRRELEVANT! All that is relevant is market share and the Nexus line has most certainly driven Android market share — to state otherwise would be total ignorance — as it was meant to do.

      • Fake Coffee Snob

        The 10% figure came from google (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/494395/20130724/half-tablets-run-android-google-play-million.htm).

        Theoretically, everyone could leave contracts within the next two years, and plenty have within the last two. Unless one is on a family plan where parents are paying, I fail to see why “not everyone can leave” – although I do see the reasons that not everyone will. But with the prices of prepaid providers where they are, I’m sure the number leaving is not insignificant.

        • There’s family plans, people who are stuck on business plans, people who don’t get good service on T-Mo and AT&T, etc.

  • delusionalah

    Lol, speaking of that, ever thought of people in Asia like me? I got the top end phone top end hardware with half the price of a flagship, or iPhone, and GPE device is so easy to get in Asia as u think. Lol…

    • Chris

      america is the only country that matters with oiy america, android would not exist

      • GJV

        You are so wrong it hurts. Asia accounts for over 1/3 of the world’s population and some of the world’s fastest growing markets. There are over four times as many people in China as in the USA. Think about that!! Only naive Americans think America is the only country that matters. I am an American who loves my country, but I don’t live with blinders on either.

    • Yep. Asia is a very different market, as is Europe, Africa, and South America. That’s why I focused my attention on America, where Nexus phones have had far less proliferation.

      • NexusOnly

        So, you started with a limited enculturated view and then went from there — an American stuck on Verizon???? And now you wonder why you’re being torched and your conclusion is so invalid it’s painful?

        oh my!

  • Maikai_Guy

    Wow… this “tech writer” missed the point entirely. The Nexus program was never intended to be in competition with the rest of the Android makers. It was to live in harmony with it.

    He says it in his own article, but is so fixated on his pompous opinion that he misses the shear power of Google’s intentions. “…Google can develop Android on new hardware (which benefits both Google and its partners) and for developers to have cheap top of the line hardware.”

    By doing this, Google has taken over nearly 80% of the worldwide market share for smart phones!

    The writer goes on to say “It seems unlikely that Google will ever be able to accomplish their goals, especially in America.” Are you friggin’ kidding me?! 80% market share… WORLDWIDE! Uh… yeah… I think it’s safe to say they accomplished their goals.

    Nexus is not a brand. It’s a means to an end. It’s a tool. It always was. It always will be. If you want to be a tech writer, maybe you need to understand a company’s approach to market… and get a handle on how exceptionally well that approach has worked for them… before you start writing any more rubbish.

    • jahsoul

      Actually, Android has the market share due to the sheer amount of phones that run Android; it has nothing to do with the Nexus.

      • Maikai_Guy

        Seriously? So… their market share has absolutely nothing to do with any internal and external Android development work done on Nexus platforms? The success of Android would “just happen” without that? Please explain to us all how exactly that could happen. 😉

        Google uses Nexus platforms for their development and debugging of Android. They also provide/sell these platforms to the Android community / external developers. It’s one of the reasons we see Nexus phones with less than stellar peripherals. They’re not looking for cutting edge. They just want “good enough” to develop and debug the generic drivers. That’s probably why we hear the Nexus 5 won’t sport the 13Mpixel camera, as one example.

        Google also doesn’t want to compete with their customers. If they did that, Android would lose value for those companies and they would consider migrating to another OS. Only if they feel they have an even playing field against their competitors will this love-fest for Android continue.

        Android’s market share is a result of the Android developer community’s (both internal and external) work producing a quality OS. As a strategy, that OS is made available at a relatively low cost to competing phone companies. Those phone companies add differentiation in the form of peripherals and OS modifications to compete with each other.

        All this success springs out of the Nexus platform. The only reason for an “everyday Joe” to get a Nexus phone is for quick OS updates, because… obviously… the OS is being developed on these platforms and pushed out to the external developer community, so releases would be available on these platforms more often and more quickly.

        If you’re an “Everyday Joe” and won’t be doing any development work or using any developer ROMs, you probably don’t need a Nexus. You’d probably be happier with a higher performing LG equivalent… right now… today… no waiting! It think that’s the revelation the author came to for himself. He’s neither a developer nor ROM user and he’s started to wonder “Why Nexus?” But rather than understand what Nexus REALLY is, he assumes it’s just another phone for the public and questions it’s total existence.

        Do you understand now?

        • jahsoul

          No…it doesn’t.

          The #1 selling Android line in the world is the Galaxy S lineup running Touchwiz.

          Like I stated earlier, Android’s market share is huge because of the sheer number of devices that can run Android. It has nothing to do with anything Nexus.

          Android went through it’s first 6 iterations (1.0, 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, and 2.0.1 without a Nexus. Actually, off the top of my head, I can think of 3 devices that wasn’t a Nexus that received Android versions first. (G1/Dream, Moto Droid, and Moto Xoom).

          But I look at this situation objectively. If all of the success “springs” out of the Nexus platform, then what about the failures? Every Android device is not made equal, hardware and software. There are still bad Android phones out there. Who fault is that? If you place blame on the manufacturer for maybe their skin or hardware choices, then by the same measure, the success of a lineup (Galaxy S series is the top selling lineup since it has been out and ) should also go to the manufacturer and their developers. It’s one thing to get the base code but most companies choose their own skin which requires their own internal developers.

          And truthfully, the “Everyday Joe” is the reason Android is leading in market shares around the world.

          • Maikai_Guy

            [Sigh] Clearly not a developer.

            Think about what you’re saying. You’re saying Android is so popular because Android is used so much. That’s the same as saying it’s popular because it’s popular. :-/

            First, touchwiz is a skin for Android… an OS modification done by the phone vendor. It’s a differentiator… like I mentioned.

            Look, there needs to be a platform upon which to do development. Yeah, in the beginning there was no Nexus available, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a platform to work on. It may not have been called Nexus, but it was certainly the ancestor of what we see today. Over time, the platform itself became polished and was released into the wild so external developers could work in a somewhat pure environment. That platform was called Nexus.

            You keep saying the reason Android is so popular is because of all those vendors pumping out phones. Well… why did/do those vendors use Android in the first place? If Google did not make it appealing, they wouldn’t use the OS.

            Being popular… being used in lot of phones is a RESULT, not a CAUSE. Having a quality OS because they have a good development platform (Nexus) and a vibrant developer community is the reason you have that RESULT… that Android is being used in a ton of phones. That didn’t happen by magic. It happened because a plan was executed successfully. A plan which included the Nexus platform as a development vehicle for the OS. And Google’s Android OS is insanely successful because of that plan execution.

          • jahsoul

            So you think Android’s market share has to do with successful development used by the Nexus program? *sigh*

            So I guess you missed when Nokia had the market huh?

            And the reason Android is on so many phones is because it is cheaper to use Android as a smartphone OS than paying for licensing from Windows or building one from the ground up. It’s about economics my friend and not developing. Do I negate about how capable the software is? No but to say that development is the reason it had market share is off. Trust me, if Nokia didn’t let Symbian get stale during the smartphone revolution, they would still have a world wide presence. (and as a side note, that was gained through emerging markets and cheap phones, just like Android).

    • I’m well aware of Android’s total market share, but that has nothing to do with the proliferation of Google’s version of Android or Nexus devices.

      • NexusOnly

        You are backwards. . . Nexus devices are there to spurn market dominance, not sell devices, and they do that via several factors.


      • Maikai_Guy

        You totally miss the point of Nexus. From your article, it’s clear you believe it to be a brand to compete with Samsung, LG, etc… It’s not. It’s a development platform that consistently has not had the latest hardware.

        If it were a “brand” meant to compete with flagship phones from the likes of Samsung and LG, you would be correct in questioning the relevance of the Nexus “brand.” But since it is not a brand, but a development platform to advance the Android OS, your article is an epic fail and exposes your ignorance of Google, the Android OS and the overall market.

        If Nexus was meant to be a brand to compete with the likes of Samsung and LG, why on Earth do you think those same makers would want to make the Nexus phones at all?

        • 1. I don’t believe it is a brand to compete with OEMs. I believe it should be. There is a huge difference.

          2. I specifically stated that I believe the Nexus program is for developers and enthusiasts.

          3. They would make Nexus phones if they wanted early access to the next version of Android. That has always been the deal. If not, Google always has Motorola to fall back on.

          • Maikai_Guy

            1) If you believe Nexus should be a competitive brand, you miss the point of Nexus and you don’t understand Google’s approach to the cell phone market.
            2) Than why do you question it’s relevance? You can’t possibly be suggesting there is no need for a development platform.
            3) But they won’t care about early access to an OS if the OS owner was about to kick their arse with it. It would be like building a gun for someone wanting to shoot you.

          • 1. I do understand Google’s approach, I just disagree with it.
            2. I question its relevance for the masses, not for developers.
            3. What other choice do they have? They have nowhere else to go.

          • Maikai_Guy

            1) Then you disagree with amazing success.
            2) It’s not meant for the masses, so no need to question. 😉
            3) They have nowhere else to go only as long as Google plays nice. The day Google adopts your suggested approach is the day Ubuntu Touch (or any other now-laughable mobile OS endeavor) becomes a viable alternative, because they will have big friggin’ money behind them.
            These new mobile operating systems aren’t really laughable at all. In fact, they are very viable… if there were a place for them. Google’s friendliness and non-competitive nature with its licensees poisons the environment for these new upstarts who could otherwise become serious competitors.
            I suppose you think ARM should start making microcontrollers and microprocessors too? :-/

  • Wudien

    It took you way to long to make a compelling argument (it never happened) the majority of people do not run stock by choice, they are forced to run a bogged down version by oems. Period. The Nexus program is for stock android. Period. It is to combat locked bootloaders and poor skins of an amazing os.

    • I too prefer stock Android to the skinned, locked down versions, but Google can’t make that available to the majority of the people in America without getting Nexus devices on all four major carriers without restriction.

      • NexusOnly

        So, you are butthurt that Verizon is a terrible carrier and Google is tired of dealing with them?

        That’s the jist of it?

        then wait for LTE to be the standard. . . and every phone will work on every network.

      • Skittlez

        thats not google’s fault, thats Verizon’s fault

  • Richard Tubbs

    The Nexus program is producing phones that give you the latest specs for under $350 outright. My nexus 4 led the way with built in wireless charging, google wallet, and was one of the first premium phones to be made unlocked, allowing you to choose your GSM carrier. I think the program now is about carrier freedom and phone affordability without sacrificing quality. It’s not perfect, but seeing how phone companies have been trapping people for years into paying over $500 for a phone, either outright or through subsidy, I think what the program is doing to try to make quality phones affordable should be noted

    • Chris

      latest specs? really kid? is that why the nexus 4 lacked LTE?

      • Skittlez

        i think people are running it on T-mobiles LTE. it has LTE in it. i used mine on HSPA+ and it was plenty fast.

  • Simos Katsiaris

    so you don’t want a fast affordable phone that is certify by google that android can perform 100% as intended on it, both google edition had deadlocks and random lag, a real nexus never has those issues and is for developing on the latest version before the oems roll there updates in order to ensure that the apps will work with no major issues, when you stop playing with your ipad you can google what a developer device like nexus is

    • I didn’t say I don’t want a fast, affordable phone that is by Google; in fact I said that I do want that, but on all carriers.

      • Simos Katsiaris

        you do know that thanks to the usa system you guys will never have that? in my country all carriers are forced to allow the user to use all networks and are forbidden to lock the device since you bought it, you own it, you can launch it to space if you feel like it, in usa the phone is owned by the carrier unless you unlock it, you have to pay for tethering and worst of all you rent the phone you didn’t buy it and they will force you to upgrade in 2 years

        • 1. Yes, I’m aware that the carriers dominate the system currently. I wish the FCC would break up their power or that companies like Google would subvert it.

          2. You don’t rent the phone, you pay a subsidy. I have a drawer full of phones that I own. Also, they definitely do not force you to upgrade (on Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T you continue to pay a subsidy for the phone, though).

          • Simos Katsiaris

            since you bought the phone then why it’s illegal to unlock the bootloader in the states?

          • It’s illegal to unlock a phone from a carrier in the US without their permission. That has nothing to do with whether or not you own the phone though. Owning something does not give you permission to use it any way you like.

          • Simos Katsiaris

            if you buy it, you own it, if it’s illegal to unlock without permission you practically doesn’t own the device

  • michael bourgoin

    You guys need to stop letting Ron write for you. While, well written, there are so many holes in his argument that it makes swiss cheese look silly. I’m surprised i actually got through this article. Next Ron article is an auto skip from me. No more clicks for his articles

    • Chris

      Like one person will hurt anything

      • michael bourgoin

        it wont for sure, i’m just saying. I know others who feel the same way. Despite that, it will still be a very small minority. It is what it is.

  • John Waldorf

    First, you have to remember that Google is a software company, not a hardware company. Google makes their money through the gathering and presentation of information. Sure, they acquired Motorola, but many believe that acquisition was more about patents than hardware. Google’s real interest is ensuring their software reaches as many hands as possible, so it can do it’s job of gathering information from users.

    This, however, is not a reason to continue the Nexus program, that reason you hint at in your article. Google understands that the developer community is a huge untapped resource for innovation. Whereas companies have a way of stifling innovation in the interest of the bottom line, Google know that individual programmers will band together for little to no compensation to create something better. That is the whole purpose of open source and thus the whole purpose of the Nexus program.

    Sure these people could always do this using some company’s high end GPE phone, but these phones are priced in the $600 range; whereas a Nexus phone can be acquired at a third the cost; making it an affordable way for homegrown developers to do what they love.

    In addition, I would imagine that a vast array of Android development within Google happens on Nexus devices. Therefore, it is in the best interest of Google to have homegrown developers utlizing the same platform.

    Homegrown developers benefit Google in two ways.

    First, it gives Google a view of talented programmers without the risk of actually hiring them. It’s like having a farm team. Google sees who the talented programmers are and can court them to join the team. It is better than taking the risk of hiring someone, going through the cost of training them only to find out that they aren’t very good. Plus, high school graduates are cheaper than programmers with Master’s degrees.

    Second, it give Google a way to innovate without the risk. Basically, someone else spends the money doing the R&D for a program and Google acquires the stuff that is actually good. Think about it, how many companies waste money on the development of things that don’t work? With homegrown developers, Google has a chance to only pay for the stuff that does work. It’s brilliant.

    As such, keeping the homegrown developer community alive and well is what is in Google’s best interest; hence, Nexus is in Google’s best interest.

    • jahsoul

      The Android community had awesome developers a good bit before the Nexus program, nor did the Nexus program cause an influx of developers, so we can’t say that this is the purpose of the Nexus program.

      Ron stated the original purpose of the Nexus line. It was to show the power of Android on the best hardware. Look at the specs of the Nexus One compared to all other devices at that time….1GHZ processor (That was a HUGE deal), 512MB RAM (also huge), AMOLED screen, with the newest version of Android…man..lol.

      But I really doubt that the Nexus keeps the developer community going; I think that distinction goes to the awesome spec’d phones with bloated skins.lol.

      But at the end of the day, I won’t pretend to have a clear understanding of what the Nexus program is about, because it went from one thing to another. *shrugs*

      • John Waldorf

        jahsoul, Thanks for keeping me honest here. I overlooked Ron’s stated purpose of the Nexus platform.

        Like you there are a lot of things I don’t know about the purpose of the Nexus program and my opinion is generally speculation.

        As for whether there was an influx of developers into the community because of Nexus, I can’t say either; as Ron points out the G1 was essentially the first ‘Nexus’ device and essentially where the development community started (outside of the Open Handset Alliance).

        I do believe that Google has an interest in providing a well spec’d device running the latest OS at a reasonable price to the homegrown development community for the reasons I stated though.

  • Weber

    I have a Moto X. “Stock” enough for me, especially since I’m on Verizon. Coming from the GNex, the Nexus program is ruined for me.

    • Skittlez

      ruined? lol you had it on verizon.

      • Weber

        That’s what I’m talking about. They somewhat ruined it for me. My GNex is still sitting on 4.2.2 after 4.3 was released on July 24. Rooted or not, I still should’ve had 4.3 by now. So, maybe saying the experience was ruined for me might not be the best wording, but Nexus definitely doesn’t mean much to me. And I can’t switch carriers anytime soon since reception in my area compared to other carriers is far better on Verizon, and even then, it isn’t that great.

  • marco

    I bought my nexus 4 because its a super phone and was not expensive. All this philosophical discussion about the nexus program its interesting but its too much talking just for a phone.

  • Chris

    If I can’t get the N5 on Verizon, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t leave Big Red due to family plan restrictions. Is it really not supposed to come to Verizon?

  • Chris

    The Nexus 5 isn’t coming to Verizon?!?!?! I will be so depressed 🙁

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  • JD_26

    I have a single rebuttal to all the points … Price! Price! Price!.. .. maybe the states is not a very price sensitive market but I believe several other markets out there are … the nexus 4 is very popular in india .. and would do insanely better if available earlier and in abundance !

    • The price is huge, but it doesn’t matter in America if you’re stuck on a carrier that doesn’t support the phone. Google definitely has a larger opportunity in markets outside the US (and Canada).

      • JD_26

        what about ppl on tmobile or any other bring our own phone carriers ?!

        • For them it’s a great option, but the vast majority of people are on AT&T and Verizon. AT&T may be an option if you can go off contract.

  • Keith0606

    The nexus phones are the only way to get completely stock android with guaranteed updates in a reasonable amount of time on decent hardware for an affordable price without having to root/rom. I know that sentence is wordy but it’s this combination of factors is what makes the nexus line relevant and important in my opinion. Additionally I’d argue that the nexus 5 will be “highend” so that makes this next nexus phone even more relevant important.

    That said, does Google need to market more, absolutely bc a lot of average users are going to miss out as they don’t know what a nexus is.

    Also people need to stop being rude in the posts it’s getting pretty ridiculous, everyone is entitled to an opinion. You can disagree without being rude.

    • A.Y. Siu

      The only way? What about Google Play Edition?

      • Keith0606

        Yes the only way. Those Google play edition phones are not affordable they cost almost twice as much.

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    noun: nexus; plural noun: nexus; plural noun: nexuses

    a connection or series of connections linking two or more things.
    “the nexus between industry and political power”
    a connected group or series.
    “a nexus of ideas”
    the central and most important point or place.
    “the nexus of all this activity was the disco”

    I don’t know whitch one of these the Google Nexus isn’t

  • Droid 1967

    I have to say I understand why Droid life has Ron he writes very well.
    While that doesn’t diminish the fact that the nexus is a brand where you get the new os first and continue that way except for friggin verizon of course.
    And this is the full os. not as ios who claims to keep the os on all phones at the same time. Its called the same but it is not the same the os you get on iphone 4 is not the same ios7 on the iphone 5.

    The nexus is a line of phones it changes who makes it but its really another line.
    some like touchwiz (samsung phones) some like htc some like lg.
    when it comes to Nexus most dont care so much who makes it as we all know that google was involved to demonstrate their latest android creation and it will run the android version the best when its released. and they aren’t stuck with fragmentation as they can get the latest updates now not 4 months later.

    But i do agree with the hardware chooses they seem to take a flagship and dumb it down intentionally, for cost? To insure they dont piss off the other partners?
    Dont know But to take the G2 and downgrade the Camera,battery,screen and what else makes little sense. at leas with the Nexus 5 they will have the latest top tier processor.

    oh and i saw somewhere here where ron said iphone users use the browser or the internet more than android users, Im sorry i dont buy this for 1 second.
    Well again well written and you see why i dont write for this site.

    Would we live without a nexus device of course , But there is a market for timely OS upgradable devices and that is the nexus.

    and for anyone that has been around you find that the custom roms and features made by others on these devices have found their way into android or to other vendors skins. If you’ve been on custom roms drop down to a cell store and take alook at the G2 you will see many features that were previously only available on custom roms.
    The korean version (im sure will come to us version at some point) actually has built in ability to remove the softkeys to increase your screen size.
    Many bugs in android over the years have been fixed and submitted to google by these custom rom developers.

    These are the main reason why having a developer phone is indeed important to the android eco system.

    • Tahsin Ahmed

      Nexus 4 had THE top tier processor and 2 gb ram when it launched nearly a year ago. If you are talking about the camera, well , i have seen great photos taken with it. It’s the poor calibration of the display that really annoys me

      • Droid 1967

        im not much of a camera expert i thought the original droid took good pictures 🙂 Not really up on the nexus 4 But maybe they didnt downgrade stuff on it as much as they have from teh G2. But that doesnt state that its not gonna be a great device I even think people will be surprised at teh battery life they will get from the 2300mAh. I cant kill this battery on the G2 I expect the nexus 5 to last a whole day for most without difficulty.

      • Chris

        no LTE…

    • Skittlez

      screen size change isn’t a downgrade. thats preference, and the reason they change the camera sensor and battery is because if they keep it up, then the cost would still be $600. why would LG give the device to Nexus exactly like the G2. they want their flagship top spec’d device to have the LG skin, so they can sell more under their name, and not Google Nexus. besides, A. no one has seen pictures taken with the Nexus 5, and B. just because the battery is smaller than the G2, doesn’t mean it won’t last. the snapdragon 800 runs at a much lower voltage than the 600, and the HTC One with a 2300mah battery lasts a lot of people through the day. i’m sure this phone will be great at everything and cost way less.

      • Droid 1967

        I dont disagree with you. as i stated on all this. I was trying to give 1 props to Rons story. that was all.
        i have the G2 so as i stated the 2300 should be plenty for most everyone i believe. But it wont supply the same at the 3000 that just a fact. i am hearing the screen is not only smaller but also a lower quality screen that is why that comment. well see rumors are rumors but that is what ive read.
        camera wise as ive said i thought the original droid took good pictures so im sure it will be fine.
        I believe the nexus 5 will be a hell of a phone.

        • Skittlez

          ok i was just confused a bit. yea there’s a few things they brought down, but i think all those things they changed are worth far less than $250, and thats how much they brought it down. i like the bang for your buck features. To me, Nexus is the best smartphones on the market when they release. not because of the specs, but because of what you get for your money

          • Droid 1967


  • Jamin

    I’m glad we don’t have these strong carrier binding in Germany. Grab the phone you desire and choose any contract.
    Still don’t know why Americans tolerate the current situation.

    • Chris

      because we are americans, We don;’t have stupid, silly laws. just stupid people who make them

    • I wish we could do the same. Too many people are unaware that there’s a better way than the insane contracts and subsidies we have here.

      • NexusOnly

        Subsidies will die with LTE, Verizon and AT&T have admitted as much.

        All devices will work on any network and the Nexus will be there driving down prices and spurning adoption of the platform just like the N7 did for tables.

        You are just lacking vision. Good thing Google has some!

  • Tototototony

    I think all the analyses are meaningless here, because what
    we’re dealing with here is Google. I like this company not because of its size,
    innovation, or anything normal, but because it is unique. I feel like it has a
    very liberal culture and there is really a high level of disorder when you
    start trying to see what Google’s strategy is — like Parthenocissus tricuspidata. Yes I have to use this analogy to save time explaining. Google as a whole is like Parthenocissus tricuspidata, and the wall being the internet here. The only
    strategy that never changed for Google, I would say, is their effort in trying
    to reach every inch of the internet — by growing like Parthenocissus tricuspidata. The only reason they are doing is also quite simple – they want to become the internet; they want everyone that uses internet to be reached by this Parthenocissus tricuspidata, on which there are those famous “ads”, where 90% of Google’s income comes from. If you think of it, a lot of things Google had done did not have a consistent philosophy or strategy in common, because Google simply does whatever they want to do that best benefits the group – in this case the majority of its revenue. Why all these analyses are
    meaningless in my opinion? Because the author, and obviously us Android fans,
    are overemphasizing the significance of Android than Google target it. I mean,
    in my philosophy, Google can abandon Android tomorrow like they exited the
    China market if they feel like it – unlikely, I know, but what I really meant
    here is that Android does not mean that much to Google, the company as a whole
    (yes, even though the development department may treat the Android like its
    own child), because it really just is a tiny part of the big picture, of this
    huge internet propaganda Google is trying to push out here – they push
    internet to the world and want to be influential on the internet, so they can
    better provide ad services for the real clients, i.e. anyone that pays for
    their ads service. Much like a any other services, such as Google Fiber,
    Gmail, Google Glasses, and tons more, Nexus is just one of them in the big picture.
    Google is really just trying to get more ppl to access the internet anywhere
    anytime, as well as become ubiquitous on the Internet, so the potential of the
    internet can be further exploited and they keep making money and growing. This
    is what I am fascinated by this company the most, its non-traditional and
    maybe seemingly chaotic business model. Disorder is the order itself maybe?

    Anyway, a lot of ppl must have heard about this crap up
    there and already thought about it long ago. The reason I’m putting it up here
    and repeating over and over again is because we want us to see the big picture
    a little better, so we can stop wasting time trying to analyze what a minimal
    part of Google really means. You shouldn’t think in a traditional way when it
    comes to something that has to do with Google. The whole business isn’t
    something traditional. It’s like no other business now that I think about it,
    why use a traditional way to analyze. In an extreme case, Google can be
    impossible to predict. Quitting China market was probably as innovative as
    other genius innovative services Google offer, even though it seemed to be not
    as beneficial to Google commercially. The only thing we should expect from
    Google is disorder. If you keep that in mind, and only focus on the big
    picture of what the company is trying to achieve as a whole, writing this “waking
    from nexus dream” article becomes a waste of time, just like writing my super
    long comment with a bad logic here. But again, as human beings, we like doing
    what we chose to do, i.e. wasting time :p

  • M Connaughton

    Question on “pure android” tag, since most Android users don’t even know what that is; Is the “bloatware” really THAT bad in all circumstances anyway!?

    HTC sense (on DesireZ) was one I didn’t have a problem with (having used Samsung and Motoblur) and you could argue enhanced that particular Android iteration. Google should allow skins/bloatware that only adhere to particular standards or revoke the OS license.

    Think about it: How you going to start your own OS to compete with Android as an OEM from scratch? Android is that big now Google can afford to throw its weight around, and in terms of bringing top end hardware – being innovative – is something you’d like to think it would always want to make a point of doing.

    Even so, having hardware specs that are led by repackaging the latest (sic: most recent, which isn’t the same) flagship model of the OEM isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 90%+ of most consumers won’t be THAT clued up to notice the performance of a slightly faster processor, for example – so why bother compromising battery life (something they WILL notice)?! There is some mileage, not to mention a lot of sense, in the Nexus model today.

    Also – when the Nexus program was conceived, the world was a different place. It’s had to adapt and thrive in ever challenging economies where disposable income is diminishing. The author fails completely to point this out (had he even considered it?).

    This said, Google probably do need to make a decision about what its aims are for each flagship device launch.

    Convention says any new flagship product should at least – AT LEAST – match the competition in terms of technical specification and improve on design, and perhaps go a few steps further in some areas (i.e. camera).

    IMO, expandable memory and vastly upgrading the camera on nexus devices might just be their ticket to gaining more market share.

  • vcarvega

    Granted, I did not begin to pay attention to Nexus phones until the Nexus 4… but I do believe they are still relevant. The thing which caught my attention with that phone was the fact that a premium experience could be had at a bargain cost… This probably doesn’t matter for most consumers, as most still buy their phones on contract anyway. But for those that don’t, I don’t think there is any better value out there than Nexus phones.

    Also, the Nexus 10 was my first stock Android experience… I don’t see myself going back to a skinned experience any time soon. Yes, a lot of GPE phones have become available… but then you’re paying a premium for all the features OEM’s baked into their phones and/or cameras that are not able to be used in the stock experience.

    I do wish Google had a more aggressive marketing campaign for Nexus devices though… particularly the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Even with a few flaws, stock Android is still the best mobile OS out there in my opinion… I wish Google did a better job of pushing it.

    • Chris

      maybe they can get a bunch of nerds together and they can count the stripes in the wllpaper and the number of pimples they have in their mothers basement,.

  • M3D1T8R

    Sorry Ron but I could only get as far as this sentence:

    “Google also doesn’t need to show consumers what stock Android looks like
    because the vast majority of consumers don’t use stock Android.”

    This sentence is so idiotic, there is no need to read any further. At the risk of beating the dead horse, the logic here is: Why bother ever releasing a new product to the public, the public isn’t using that new product. Never mind that if Google doesn’t release this, the public won’t have the chance to see Android coupled with hardware exactly the way Google wants it to be. Ever. Nobody will have the chance to use this product, because most people might choose to not buy it. The logic is so flawed. It’s like Apple fans defending Apple’s singular way of doing everything as the best and therefor only valid way, never mind that some people might like things different. (“Think different”, anyone? Ah, the irony.)

    Ron seems to be revving the engine, spinning the wheels, only to dig the ditch deeper here, in what seems more than anything like only some desperate attempt to protect his ego (all those footnotes, really?), instead of simply righting the wheel and driving out of the ditch by politely apologizing for offending from his ridiculous outlandish statements. And I will say that until that last DL show episode, I almost always appreciated Ron’s take on things, “different” as it often is. But his pigheaded insistence on holding onto his crazy views this time is just too much.

    • jahsoul

      You know, while it might be an “idiotic” sentence, it is also factual. lol. How many devices run pure Android? What is the #1 selling Android phone series?

      While I don’t agree that consumers don’t see to see stock Android, I also looking at everything objectively, and understand that most users don’t care about pure Android.

      • yankeesusa

        Great point. Right now the most selling android phone is the galaxy lineup and its getting bigger. I also think that google isn’t doing enough to advertise their nexus phones and I don’t think they care. They make more money from advertisement than anything else. I don’t think that is going to change.

    • You’re ending the line of reasoning to early. Why doesn’t Google need to show consumers stock Android? Because they don’t have access to it unless it is on their carrier of choice. The next section (which you presumably didn’t read) made that point.

      • NexusOnly

        Because it’s about platform dominance, not the dominance of the Nexus device.

        Google != Apple

  • ανώνυμος

    If the N5 has features like the Moto X and then some WITH some nice future-proof hardware and fresh ideas, I’d be willing to shell out double what Google is actually going to sell it for.

    • guesswhat

      What features of moto x does it have ? No assist .no chrome connect. No Active notifications ..no gesture to launch camera .. No touchless controls like moto x n5 will be always listening only device is awake and unlocked ..

      • ανώνυμος

        Man, if you’re getting factual specs and information on the Nexus 5 please share it with the rest of us! Everything that we currently know about the Nexus 5 are rumors and only rumors until Google says otherwise. Not to say the rumors can’t be true but it’s not guaranteed.

        Plus, you missed the very first word in my post.

        • “If” is one of the most underrated words. If it would come to Verizon I would be happy. If it doesn’t I will be sad.

      • Jeff

        Active Notifications is the only thing in that list of features I personally might find neat, but it’s not worth going with a Moto X and missing out on all the Nexus benefits just for that.

  • nexuscult

    The Nexus program does seem pretty pointless now. The remaining members of the Nexus cult are really starting to remind me of iSheep, willing to change carriers just to chase after a certain device, obsessing over specs that are mediocre and outdated, all just because there’s a certain label on it.

    Android system updates are the main attraction, the device that releases along with it has become just an after thought. The Nexus 5 is pretty lame, there’s a phone just like it called the G2 with better specs in a few very important categories.

    I’m dumbfounded at the fact that people seem to have forgotten that you can customize Android, or maybe there’s just a new wave of enthusiasts who don’t even know how to flash ROMs or something. Why obsess about a Nexus device that comes with a stock Android experience when you can do this with pretty much any phone out there with the slightest bit of a development community behind it? I could only understand the obsession with Nexus if Android was a locked-down OS where you can’t change anything, then definitely it would suck to be trapped in a world of TouchWiz and Sense and not be able to do anything about it aside from when Google puts out a device. But that’s simply not the case. Learn how to flash a ROM and you can dry your tears about how much manufacturer skins suck.

    For everyone over hyped about the Nexus 5, just remember people were excited about the Nexus 4 at one point too. How much are they loving their phones at this point? They’re some of the most desperate ones to upgrade because they are sick of their phones. Ironically they’re running right back to the same line of devices to upgrade.

    People are sounding like they are willing to change carriers and stab their grandma all to be able to get 4.4 a little earlier than other people. The incremental changes we’re seeing in 4.4 hardly seem worth it. White icons. A few different app integrations like more services being combined into Google Hangouts. This hardly seems worthy of the hysteria and drooling over leaks. The only time Android made a huge jump that was worth wanting to have was ICS. Maybe 5.0 will be relevant again, but 4.4 just isn’t.

    Even if 4.4 rocks your world, the point is, that’s not a lasting effect. I wonder how many people will change carriers and do whatever it takes to get a Nexus 5, and then after the novelty wears off and 4.4 starts to feel like just another OS on your phone that you no longer even pay attention to, maybe you’ll start to realize you have a phone with an 8mp camera and a small-ish battery, maybe you’ll realize whichever carrier you switched to in a panic doesn’t have coverage in the same spots that you used to have, or the same speeds. And maybe after the first year or so the Nexus 5 will be just like the Nexus 4 where people will have realized all of its warts and can’t wait to change devices.

    I love stock Android myself, I just don’t see the obsession with the Nexus devices. I bought the original Nexus 7 because I thought it would be soooo cool to have a device getting immediate updates all the time. Sold it on eBay a few months later.

    I myself will be staying with Verizon, probably getting the G2, flashing whatever the hell ROM I want on it, enjoying the 3000mAh battery and stabilized 13mp camera. Sure maybe I be a part of the initial wave of people who get to experience the white status bar icons and other tiny changes of 4.4, but it’ll come soon enough, there are already one or two devs behind the G2 pledging that they’ll do what it takes to port it over.

    I wish you well Nexus cult. You’re really starting to seem like those “other” iPeople who are willing to pay 80 dollars for specialized accessories that only work with your device, or stand in line for something that has last year’s specs.

    The power of Android is that you aren’t at the mercy of whatever is on the device when it comes out of the box. You can go buy anything and make it into the stock Android experience that you desire.

    • Skittlez

      i stopped reading after the second paragraph. for you to say that the nexus 5 is dumb is ridiculous. it’s a flagship device with 1080p and a snapdragon 800 for $349 with the latest version of android. when the N5 releases, it will have 4.4 out of the box, and the G2 will still be on 4.2.2. Nexus devices are to showcase android and the way it should work. i can get a G2, but no ROM will be able to let me use google Wallet, but out of the box, a N5 at $349 will be able to do it just fine. In my experience, i have used stock android on devices that came skinned, and nothing, and i mean NOTHING, has ever run stock android with as much fluidity as a nexus device. even the Nexus 4 with the S4 Pro is a better android experience than my G2

      • NexusOnly

        There’s a lot of stupid going on in this article and comments. . . best to realize Ron’s junk here is for the itrolls that frequent this site now because of him.

  • Fadzil Mohd Ashari

    im a nexus user, but i agree. google also need to make their own hardware instead of depending on other company. like apple product.

    • Jeff

      Apple doesn’t have their own factories, they still have to have other companies make their products, and still use parts from other manufacturers. Apple is software and design, not manufacture.

  • Neil Fujiwara

    I think this topic creates a lot of fracturing among the Android community. I for one have never bought a Nexus phone device and I don’t foresee myself purchasing one in the near future (mainly because I plan to stay with Verizon). I agree with Ron that before a Nexus device was necessary to be the example product of what Android could be. However, I think after Froyo, skins started getting better and phone manufacturers were learning the potential of Android. I remember looking at ICS and remembering that a lot of the features were available with MotoBlur, yes the hated MotoBlur.

    I think that Samsung has used Android correctly and marketed it brilliantly to the point where it is not Android vs Apple, but rather Galaxy vs Apple. Google allowed phone manufacturers to do whatever they wanted with Android and the Nexus line was an introduction to the potential of what you can do with the most recent OS update. For me the Nexus device is more of a device that is the skeleton of a the next evolutionary step of a species, similar to Homo Habilis to Erectus. Considering that Kit Kat will debut on a device that is current tech, I can only imagine the possibility that lightly skinned/Touchwized phones will show in 2014.

  • interstellarmind

    …you guys continue hatin’ on the Nexus 5. It’ll leave more $300 state-of-the-art mobile computing devices for the rest of us.

    Bottom line: nexus is meant to get people involved in the Android ecosystem affordabley. That’s it, I don’t think there really needs to be any other purpose or stated goal.

    • not

      Someone wanting an affordable way to experience Android will go get a subsidized phone through a carrier with a contract. There’s nothing cheap about a Nexus 5 compared to going to get an HTC One or something at Best Buy for $50.

      • Jeff

        $350 Nexus 5 on a $30/mo non-contract is much more affordable than a $50 phone on a $80/mo contract. Do the math.

  • Roog

    I agree with many of your points, however the expectations that you have had for the Nexus devices seem in line with your experience with the iPhone, which, if I remember correctly from earlier postings, is your everyday phone (my apologies if I am wrong).

    Android spread quickly and accelerated past the iPhone (in number of phones) to dominate the market. I believe that by Google allowing the manufacturers to modify Android to suit their devices (for better or for worse), more devices flooded the market and overtook the iPhone sales numbers. That was a smart move. Meanwhile, Google quietly developed the Nexus line for the reasons you state. I look forward to the future of Nexus/Android devices, regardless of their unimpressive past development.

  • Bako

    Great article, I couldn’t agree more, I like your use of the term “spiritual” to mean “symbolic” as it does in Revelations.

  • John Brown

    The Nexus line keeps improving with every model .. Ive been an avid user of the Nexus S , Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 , and soon the Nexus 5 .. every model has been a dramatic improvement and I cant state how much I prefer naked android experience over the Samsung touchwiz (I own the note 2 and LOVE the hardware but DESPISE the software) … Cant wait for the Nexus 5 to get here.. 2nd gen Nexus 7 tablet is by far the best bang for the buck (screw u ipad minis!!) and hopefully the much anticipated Nexus 10 second gen will compete with the ever dominant line of ipads … whoever says the Nexus lineup is dying down… I say they are just getting started !!!

  • Rodeojones000

    I’m sure this will get buried in the mountain of comments on here, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this piece. While I disagree with the overall opinion that the Nexus line isn’t as important as it used to be, there are some really good points in here.

    I also want to add that the fact that you, Ron, are an admitted iOS user should mean absolutely nothing. It’s sad that there are those on here saying your opinion is invalid because of your phone of choice. I own a Chevy Avalanche and Chevy Impala, does this mean I’m not entitled to have an opinion regarding Fords or Toyotas?

    And regarding your iPhone choice, I now see where you’re doing from. I dropped my GNex 3 weeks ago and the screen shattered. I tried to give it a go, but it was too broken. I got an iPhone 4S for free from a friend and I’m really impressed. The decision to go with the Nexus 5 or stick with the iPhone will be very hard. A month ago I never would have guessed that.

  • aDROIDfreeworld

    “The carriers continue to have the control of the relationship between consumers and manufacturers and the FCC seems content to let that oligarchy continue.”

    And this right here is why Android will be unable to provide the cohesiveness of iOS. It is sad, it is true, but until Google changes it’s it’s priorities with Android as an operating system… This will always be true.

    Kellex, you nailed it on the head durr. We all appreciate your perspective on this issue, and continue to hope that Google will one day manage to further a stronger position over there carriers to achieve this goal.

  • Jordan

    So….I’m stuck w/ Verizon but I need a phone upgrade. What do I do?
    1) Wait it out for a while to see if the Nexus comes to Verizon before December
    2) LG G2
    3) Moto X
    4) Note 3.0

    • MikeSaver

      If you’re interested in a Nexus, I’d go with the Moto X since it’s basically stock android with some added features that arguably improve stock.

      That’s what I’m doing anyway. Not a fan of LG’s skin. Also have more hope for Google owned Moto to get continued update support through life of the device. Not counting on it though.

      • Skittlez

        i’d agree, but most of us are going to be coming from the Gnex with unlimited data, and i can’t justify spending $600 to keep unlimited, on the Moto X when the G2 and HTC One is available at the same price.

        • MikeSaver

          Why not? From all accounts I’ve heard, the Moto X is on par if not preferred over those devices.

          • Skittlez

            because they’re pretty much Nexus 4 specs with G2 pricing. i’m not saying it’s a bad phone, and what people need to realize is that when you’re actually paying for a phone, you’re paying for the hardware itself mostly. 720p? S4 Pro? 16GB? 2GB RAM? these were the specs of the nexus 4 last year when it released with a quad-core at $349. i don’t think active display(available in the play store) and touchless controls automatically bumps this up $250.

    • nomoto

      First I would wait just a few more days to see if an official Nexus 5 announcement does happen in October. If there is no mention of Verizon, at the very least a vague reference that a CDMA version will be coming at some “later date” after the GSM phones, then I would consider yourself in the clear to not wait to see the N5 on Verizon.

      I keep seeing people saying get the Moto X if you can’t get the N5. I can’t comprehend why people don’t realize to get the G2. It IS the Nexus 5, with a bigger screen, larger battery, and higher resolution camera.

      Who cares about LG’s manufacturer skin? Have people forgotten the entire point of Android? You can customize. CyanogenMod ROMs are finally starting to come out for the G2, even some 4.3 ROMs, and once the N5 comes out some dev will get to work on porting 4.4 over.

      If you get the Moto X you’re at Motorola’s mercy for releasing updates, and they have a pretty terrible track record of that especially with devices like the Bionic.

      Plus the Moto X is an entirely different device than the Nexus 5, meaning to get 4.4 working they have to layer Active Display, Touchless Controls etc on top of 4.4 and then get the update sent out. The LG G2 is such a similar device that porting KitKat stuff over should happen pretty quick. Only get the Moto X if you want a device with a screen size, display resolution, and battery life that was standard about 2 years ago.

      • Skittlez

        this may seem like a dumb reason to others, but i want to be able to use Google Wallet, and you can’t with the G2 (at least on Verizon.) lacks the secure element and no ROM will get that working, and its an annoyance, because thats something offered by Google that i can’t use. that being said, the G2 is a great phone, but i can pretty much guarantee that AOSP on the N5 will be better than AOSP on the G2. and what about the people that don’t want to have to root and do all that? some people are fine with plain stock and just want the direct, immediate updates. thats honestly what i want, and i could do without having free mobile hotspot.

  • Logan

    You people don’t even #holo. Android in general is for people that are “tech geeks” and “google enthusiasts”. People who don’t want a stock Android experience may as well just use iPhones. The only useful carrier overlay I’ve seen thus far is knockon on the G2. LG also happens to make the N4 and N5. Praise be Duarte.

    • Matthew Rebmann

      That was a very narrow minded post. I love stock and I do wish that is was the only thing available at times but why shouldn’t people have a choice? Despite all the uselessness involved, some of the customizations are actually useful. Android is great BECAUSE it’s so versatile.

      • Chris

        Exactly. I personally prefer Sense. 4.x and above. I really like Sense 5. I know some hate it, but does that mean i should go all crazy? Nope. I use what I like, others can use what they like. Android is all about choice and you can always root or install a launcher.

        • Tim

          I’ve only owned the OG droid and Gnex. So if I were to get the G2, if I were to put Nova L. on it would that get rid of their skin on the phone completely? I more than likely plan on getting the moto x once the motomaker is available on Verizon. But If anyone can answer my ? I would appreciate it. Thanks.

          • LionStone

            No it won’t change it system wide. ie. You can change icons, but the dialer will be the same. You can add swipe gestures, you can omit the notification bar, you can add 2-3 docks, customize your app drawer, folders and your unread counter, that sorta thing.

          • Droid 1967

            currently before verizon patches it the G2 is a nexus pretty much.
            It has the capability to do exactly what the nexus does although its a locked bootloader it doesnt appear to be with Loki. and we will have kitkat shortly after release on the G2. im betting that wont be true for the moto x and the specs on the G2 beat the moto x not by only hardware but by performance, battery life 32 gigs, wireless charging (not sure about the moto x on the charging and if 32 gigs is available)
            If you enjoyed the og and gnex for the custom romability you can have that on the G2 or have a pretty decent phone on the stock rom. Lg really did a good job on this phone.

    • Chris

      That statement might have been true a few years ago. but now everyday people are buying android based phones.

  • One point that I haven’t heard mentioned yet for a reason for the Nexus is Google’s device that first has the new version of Android. Okay, not in every case, but kind of like The Galaxy Nexus was the first to have ICS, that was a big deal. The Nexus 5 will be the first to have 4.4 KitKat, that’s a big deal.

    Ron, I appreciate your opinion and thoughts… I really agree with you mostly. Keep up the good work, we the DL community are lucky to have multiple and differing opinions, don’t listen to the haters.

  • Sir Alex

    The point about competing with your customers is just absurd.

    • By customers do you mean competitors? And what about it is absurd?

      • Sir Alex

        Everybody in the Android business makes you money. Even the likes of HTC make you money while they are bleeding to death themselves. Why do you want to kill that off?

        The guy that provides the infrastructure always make money. That is not the case for the guy that uses the infrastructure.

        • That’s actually not true. Google makes money based on ads and based on the most recent data Google makes more money on iOS than they do on Android despite Android’s market share. Analysts continue to insist that iOS users use the web far more than Android users. Right now Google’s strategy of relying on the OEMs isn’t working like it should. More market share should mean more eyes on ads, but that isn’t happening. If Google completely controls the platform then they can do something about it. Leaving it up the Samsung and HTC means they may not be able to do anything about it.

          • NexusOnly

            You keep spouting this nonsense!

            If Google doesn’t keep hardware partners Android dies and MS & apple dominate, and Google will be pushed out of all mobile ad revenue in time. I cannot believe you can’t get that!

            Their strategy is working just fine. Android is THE dominant platform! And that allows them a foothold in the market which they can leverage over time. Killing that is just plain stupid! — and that’s exactly what you suggest?!?!?!?

            Ron, you really don’t understand how Google does things, you’re stuck in an apple world. Google creates disruption in a market then outperforms everyone in that market, just as they’ve done in the mobile market. Then, once they gain dominance they will leverage that dominance to make more money. Just because the current state of ad revenue says one thing doesn’t mean that’s the future.

            I just cannot believe you are so thick that you can’t understand that Google MUST have hardware partners like Samsung — just like MS used partners to dominate the PC industry. . . . sorry apple has fallen behind and has become less relevant, but trying to convince others that Google should behave like them is just dumb!

            No wonder why so many people are so frustrated when you write and make comments. . . you can’t pull your head out of apple’s backside to get anything other than “apple’s way.”

          • Google is making four times more money on iOS than they are on Android despite Android having far more market share. http://gizmodo.com/5897457/google-makes-four-times-more-money-from-ios-than-android

            That means all those Android devices out there are not accomplishing Google’s goal of selling ads. The plan is actually not working.

          • NexusOnly

            Again, faulty logic!

            ios users are not Android users, just as Windows users are not Mac users — each group is very different.

            Nor does your argument include Google’s future plans.

            And as I’ve pointed out to you, Google needs platform dominance more at this point in time than it needs it to sell ads on its platform. If Android doesn’t dominate and gets pushed to a low market share then Google has NO leverage to sell ads on other platforms. . . and will have NO future — as you pointed out Android is their future.

            Therefore, platform dominance/market share is THE primary goal at this point in time. Monetizing it will happen. . . Google has shown they know how to monetize when the time is right.

            Apple tried, and failed, to push Google out of their ad market on iOS once, and they’ll try again.

            See, Ron, your premises are faulty from the start thus you end up with wrong conclusions.

            . . .

            Today’s ad revenues do NOT equate to future ad revenues.

            Nor do you have a clear vision of Google’s long term strategies — you are NOT a Google exec.

            Thus, your whole argument if faulty, invalid, unsound, and therefore comes to wrong conclusions.

          • The old argument of get market share now and make money later only works if you have an actual way to make money once you have the market share. Google has the market share now and they aren’t making the money they should. Speculating that Google has a plan to sell more ads isn’t a good argument.

          • NexusOnly


            That’s now your new argument? That in the past two years Google hasn’t turned Andorid into an ad whore?

            The mobile OS race is far from finished and Google knows they have to move slowly and precisely not to fubar the balance they have with partners.

            I’m astounded that you think the race is over, and Google can do whatever they want with Android now. . .

            My “speculative” argument, is a pragmatic argument (look it up) based on Google’s past ability to monetize products, and is therefore rather sound and valid — much more so than anything I’ve seen from you thus far. You are saying current ad revenue = futur ad revenue — I want your crystal ball.

          • Shawn Custer

            Hm those numbers are from 2011, but lets say that’s true today, I suspect with iOS7 changing the default search engine from google to bing… that will change.

          • That is a very real possibility. Surely Apple knows that Google has better results, so what better way to eat away at their revenue? I imagine that’s why Google basically hides Google search as a search provider for IE.

        • NexusOnly

          Ron can’t comprehend a different business model outside of apple’s. . . that’s the whole point of this article — Ron’s a closed minded apple fan that can’t think different.

  • OnlyNexus

    Dear Ron,
    Let me know when the iPhone reaches $350 unlocked!
    Until then STFU!

    • ToolUser

      Android is a tool to accomplish a task. iOS is also a tool to accomplish a task. Heck, even Windows OS is a tool, that may or may not be able to accomplish tasks. They are all great because they give all users a choice of tools to accomplish the task at hand.

      I’m guessing since your name contains “Nexus” you want to be a tool to and, by all means, you’ve accomplished your goal…. Only with you, we didn’t have a choice…..

    • Chris

      What a great and useful post. Nice contributing to the discussion there!

    • Chris

      Calm down there boy!

  • Anon

    “I have a hard time getting excited about Nexus devices because I’m
    constantly reminded of what they could be. Google could compete directly
    with Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC with Nexus devices made by Motorola
    running software that is customized for those devices. They could work
    to get Nexus devices on every carrier and ensure that they receive
    updates when Google releases them. Nexus devices could also come with
    software only found on Google’s phones to further differentiate and
    compete with the other OEMs, but instead Google uses Nexus to offer
    cheap devices to developers and off-contract enthusiasts. Google could
    own the Android market with stock Android, but instead they’ve let
    Samsung become the de facto representative of Android smartphones to the
    world and Samsung and Amazon the representative of Android tablets.”


    As much as like the Android ecosystem, I’m in total agreement with you here. Google has had a shining window where they could re-take control of the Android ecosystem in a way that pressures carriers (especially US ones) and phone vendors to work together for a unifying experience that makes users happy; orchestrated right, they could exert the level of control Apple has done with the iPhone and IOS. Whether one likes Apple or not, iOS 7 has already received *three* updates since release. My Droid MAXX has been out longer, and has received none, including the Moto X camera update that should be quite similar. I think that Google has a window of opportunity for this, but the window can and will close.

    Sometimes, I feel like Google makes such a huge stride in something that it does, only to hang back when they could really put the icing on the cake. This isn’t just Android –it’s so many of their products that are perhaps 75-80% of their true potential, kind of like a B-grade student capable of so much more. The only reasoning I can think of for this in the tablet/smartphone world is that their true goal is a lot different from the goals of true Android enthusiasts, and that if 75-80% of the experience gets theme to their goals, why go further?

  • jbdan

    My opinion of the articles opinion is that I appreciate the writeup regardless. I also am of the opinion that Apple “could be more, much more”. We all could. However, this reaffirms why I am a fan of Android 🙂 Now bring on the N5 Goog’s (please)!

  • Shawn

    Am I the only one who saw the nexus 4 TV ads ? I even saw it in a few auto ads one though I can’t remember which car it was for , was about an app for the cars maintence info the other was for the camery. The Camery one was about the car having a built in wireless charging the guy placed a nexus 4 on it to charge it.

  • starnovsky

    All I care about is that in the current iteration it’s a by far the best value in smartphones. Something that I can buy outright and use on prepaid carrier without a contract or other carrier crap. If not Nexus, then what else? GPE phones are too expensive. Lumia probably? Or iPhone 4s, God forbid.
    I don’t want to pay $600 for a phone, nor I want to get into contract.

  • Ryan

    I read this entire thing and I still don’t understand what Ron’s point was.

    • Tim242

      Nor do I. So many people have no idea what the Nexus is meant for, yet so many have their crazy opinions.

      • Chris

        many get worked up over a phone in general.

    • My point from the very first paragraph: “I believe [Nexus devices] could mean so much more [to consumers] than they do today.”

      • OnlyNexus

        Such as?

        And make sure it can be done at as low a price as possible to keep the product an attractive off contract purchase, not a over-priced status symbol.

        • jahsoul

          The Nexus One and Nexus S was $500+ off contract. It wasn’t always about a cheap phone.

          • NexusOnly

            That was a low price for the hardware at the time. . . .So, yes they’ve always pushed the price as low as they could.

          • jahsoul

            LOL….are you serious??

            IIRC, the Nexus S cost more than the iPhone 4 at release. At release, the first 3 Nexus phones were expensive. (many people forget that before Google started selling the 16GB online, the unlocked GSM GNex was almost $600). I see what they are doing now, but that was not always the case.

          • Skittlez

            i think he means to try and do that today. not 3 and 4 years ago

        • It would mean more if it was available to more and if Google tried to market it as something consumers should choose instead of other phones.

          • Chris

            This includes in store too as people do still visit physical stores.

          • NexusOnly

            anyone can go online and buy it, thus it is available to anyone. putting it in stores, more marketing, etc. increases the price and defeats the purpose.

            That’s what ron can’t get. the “average user” just wants whatever is pushed at them in the store, they don’t want and unlocked inexpensive device, they want subsidized.

          • Skittlez

            the galaxy nexus was in verizon stores(where i bought mine) and the nexus 4 was in t-mobile when i went to try it in person before i bought it. come to think of it, the only nexus phone that wasn’t in stores was the Nexus One. Hmm.

          • NexusOnly

            Who isn’t it available to? Anyone that wants to use it on a GSM network can buy it — sorry CDMA is not a world standard and Verizon sucks!

            you’re just restating the same thing.

            How do the do it and keep the price as low as possible?
            You can’t!

            More marketing = higher price and does NOT mean it is available to any more people than previous, only that it’s being marketed to them.

          • Skittlez

            and if you mean it’s not available to everyone since it won’t be available on verizon, just remember that there was a time when the iPhone was only available on AT&T, and that was the greatest selling phone at the time.

          • Yep, and Apple coerced the other carriers to put the iPhone on their network without Apple ceding control because Apple was able to demonstrate huge demand. Google cannot make the same argument.

          • NexusOnly


            The Nexus not being on Verizon means nothing to the Nexus program or Android as a whole. It only means you’re butthurt over it. That doesn’t make it irrelevant or lesser by any means.

            That argument is never ending. The iphone is irrelevant because it’s not on every network in the world, same for x device, etc. . .

            Ridiculous argument!

          • Skittlez

            Actually, it took the iPhone 4 generations to get their phone on all carriers and took the Nexus line 3. but we all know the reasons behind the iPhone getting on there. iOS is only available on 1 phone, so of course it would be the highest selling phone. thats because android has choices. but more importantly, Nexus isn’t about sales. it’s about offering. Nexus devices are used for showing their OS and what new features are, and offering it on a device that will get it in it’s purest form at great cost to let you enjoy their experience to the fullest, and the way they designed it to be. the fact that other phones will be running it with skins is a given.

          • Technically it took Apple 5 to get full T-Mobile support, but yeah, it took a while. Even when Google got their phone on every carrier they didn’t get the same deal Apple did – the carrier versions of the Nexus had to wait for updates to be approved.

          • Skittlez

            i see what you’re saying, but regardless, a nexus device on verizon is still a nexus device. there’s still the option to easily unlock/root and load the latest build. but i’d still rather have a slowed down nexus than no nexus

          • Agreed.

  • chisox

    This is about tracking what mobile devices are doing so that advertising can be targeted. More android phones is better. Google no longer cares who makes the phones, as long as they run android.

  • joejoe5709

    Ron… Time to lay low for awhile. Jeebus man you really know how to bring out the militant fanboys. I liked you better when you were our resident iPhone user and the ying to our yang. But this was unnecessary and I really had to read it twice to understand where you’re coming from. And I think you’re partially right, but the way your worded it is going to piss off a lot of people.

    Agreed that Google could really do some good with promoting stock Android better. It feels kinda icky knowing Samsung has really become Android’s Apple instead of Google being it’s own Apple – if that makes sense. Not that there’s any hatred toward Samsung. They’ve helped carry Android into the stratosphere and if it wasn’t them, someone else would have done the same. Android needed a visible leader like Samsung. Let’s hope the purchase of Motorola can reverse a little bit of that though.

    I thought the 2013 Nexus 7 was their best-handled device yet. Hype was created. Supply was not blasted by demand and there have been several commercials highlighting real-world uses. The specs are downright mind-blowing especially when price is considered. This was a properly executed, properly advertised, and properly sold device.

    They have yet to execute a phone release correctly. Let’s hope the Nexus 5 changes that. Let’s hope the Nexus name becomes a household name. Personally? As much as they want to be free of carrier control – they need to be sold by every major carrier in their brick-and-mortar stores. Selling (nearly) exclusively by Google Play is not acceptable.

    Properly advertised, I’d like to see Google use the Nexus program to show the strengths of Android. Sure, Samsung can do this and do that. But I want people to see how far Android in general has come. I want them to see the glitch-free smooth animations, the customization options, how useful Google Now is, how integrated it is with the Google ecosystem, etc. Let them see the positives of a stock Android experience not just the bang-for-buck promises.

  • rocs_macho

    Still trying to figure out how the G-Nex was a redesigned S2. What exactly did it borrow or have in common with the S2?

    • joejoe5709

      Actually pretty similar to what they’re doing with the G2/Nexus 5. Similar hardware in a different body. I think the US GNex was vastly different than the GSII. It even had a different processor.

      I think at this point, Google has no intention of taking a current phone and Nexusifying it. They have certain needs and standards and then see which OEM has the best parts bin to borrow from to make their phone. And really it’s all about optimization. Android 4.4 will be optimized to work best with the Nexus 5’s setup.

      • rocs_macho

        I get your point about what Google is wanting and or attempting to do w/ current and future Nexus phones…but keeping it related to the Galazy Nexus and S2, where is the S2 influence? Not even sure what the 5 is really using from the G2 other than screen tech. All other hardware is expected b/c that’s what other topped spec’d phones are using.

    • Some variants of the S2 had the OMAP 4430, Gnex had 4460; both were based on the ARM Cortex A9 processor. Both had 1 GB of RAM. You can argue that the Galaxy Nexus display was closer to the GS3’s and obviously the camera was worse compared to the GS2, but otherwise they had similar internals. Google obviously asked for more changed with the Galaxy Nexus than they did with the Nexus S. Also the Galaxy Nexus had multiple variants in terms of battery size and processor speed. It was a weird phone.

      • John Davids

        “other than pretty much everything in the phone, these two phones are identical”

        thats what i just read. But yeah, trying to claim the G-nex was a “variant” or even related to the S2 is just silly. It wasn’t, pure and simple. Your argument is exceedingly weak if your two leading, primary reasons why they are the same is “they have the same generation CPUs and the same amount of ram”. lol.

        • I never said they’re identical; just similar.

          • John Davids

            Uh, no, actually what you said was this:

            “After the G1 (which was essentially a Nexus) and the Nexus One, the Nexus program shifted from manufacturers repackaging Nexus hardware to Google repackaging flagship devices from OEM partners.”

            and then this:

            “The Galaxy Nexus followed suit as a redesienged Galaxy S2 with a larger battery and an inferior camera”

            That is quite a bit more than “just similar”. Sorry, but the G-nex was not Google repackaging the S2. You are categorically wrong. To think otherwise would be an exercise in willful ignorance of the facts. Also, you misspelled “redesigned”.

          • Thanks for pointing out the typo. I agree that the differences between the S2 and the Galaxy Nexus are more than I originally wrote. I do think Samsung and Google were working off of the basics with the S2, but they are definitely far more different than say the original S and the Nexus S.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    Nexus devices don’t matter, because Android is an afterthought as a brand name – even by Google’s own hand with continuing to use cutesy dessert names – and Nexus obscures that name further. Samsung has created a brand monster with the Galaxy name. Nexus isn’t on the number of devices the Galaxy name is. It doesn’t have the mind share… And to this day “Droid” still gets tossed around as though it’s the name of the operating system. They’ve fallen behind on brand name. And they may never catch up.

  • Jefferson Peak

    You’e completely missing the point of the Nexus line of devices. They are not and will never be meant to compete with their OEMS, talk about a monumentally stupid move. The original and probably still current goal of the Nexus devices was to set a base line to which all other OEMs had to be at or above. It’s to demo new technology and functionality and show there is a market for it that their OEMs need to meet, wireless charging anyone, nexus 7 for the tablet market? And yes it’s also to provide cheap good hardware for enthusiasts and developers that can act as a good baseline for plain android development.

    Heavily marketing and trying to compete with their OEMs would be the dumbest idea ever. Google are building a community with their OEMs and you don’t do that by pissing off all the other community members. But at the same time you need to set the community standards as the founder and keep the community towing the line and innovating. Google knows OEMs are fundamentally not interested in developing unless someone pushes them a bit and what better way than through the Nexus line.

    • anezarati

      “The original and probably still current goal of the Nexus devices was to set a base line to which all other OEMs had to be at or above. It’s to demo new technology and functionality and show there is a market for it that their OEMs need to meet”

      i think you are missing Ron’s point. Nexus devices no longer set a baseline for OEMS because they are just reconfigured devices from that OEMs current flagship. in fact nexus devices have probably taken some of the best hardware features off of the flagship devices they were inspired from.

      i think the nexus tablet line is what the phone line should be.

      • OnlyNexus

        Actually they do set a “baseline” for OEMs and developers.

        By putting stock optimized android on similar hardware Google shows how the OS “should” operate. . . which makes the skinned OEM stuff look bad, and it gives developers that one phone that should work “properly” to test against. . . etc. . . .

        If people can’t see those two things they are blind.

        We can also talk about how the subsidized Nexus line undermines the carriers’ control, since Google doesn’t have apple’s leverage. . .

        • anezarati

          We are talking about two different things here. My original comment was regarding hardware, you are talking about software.

          And I think we can agree that the Nexus line has become more about software and not hardware

          • NexusOnly

            it’s about pairing the two together in an optimal way for what is currently available at a reasonable price.

      • Jefferson Peak

        That’s fine it’s still setting a baseline. If OEMs are already ahead of that then that’s ok it doesn’t have to constantly be pushing the line because again that would just upset their OEMs. It just has to maintain that line even if it’s just copying from their OEMs. If the OEMs ever fall back then google can push the line again and make them catch up. It’s just a safety catch to make sure innovation happens not always be the flagship of innovation. If you try that you end up like Apple running out off innovative ideas and ending up looking like a fool.

  • Khary Anderson

    I will never understand how Google does not have the same power that Apple has over carriers (looking at you Verizon). As a Verizon android user since 2008, the best phone to have on Verizon (in terms of overall experience), is an iPhone..

    just got my Moto X camera update 2 weeks after everyone else

    • I think it’s because Google can’t demonstrate demand for Nexus phones like Apple was able to demonstrate with the iPhone.

      • LionStone

        Oh no I’m sure Google can, but they thankfully don’t force feed it on everyone like Apple does and pull the wool over its customers eyes. Google is Google and they’re not trying to be like Apple, and I doubt they care whether the Nexus program makes sense to everyone.

        • Not until they reveal device sales.

        • Chris

          and yet this is what many android fans here want. I’ve been an Android user since 2010 but do I want Google to force the stock look or nexus devices in peoples faces? Nope.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Android is open source and has less security than closed iOS. Meaning Verizon doesn’t want phones that customers want to complain to them about regarding the OS. This gives the image that Google is weaker than Apple in the sense that they don’t control their own OS and hardware(created by other OEMs). Plus Google isn’t very good at marketing their products well. They aren’t a massively worshipped brand name in the mobile phone world the way Apple is.

  • Stewie

    I stopped reading to scroll down at “Ron”… Nuff said, move along …

  • TheUI

    Y’all need Jesus. I awaited the new iPad announcement and after seeing what the mini brought to the table for $400 I gladly went out and laid down $260 for a 32GB Nexus 7.

    Agreed, focus on camera.
    Agreed, focus on battery life.

    Otherwise its just spec whore`n for the most part, and doesn’t mean squat.

    And as someone who is excited for an Android software event for the first time, because I know ill get it, I urge you to remember what life was like before Nexus. Word is bond.

  • Marcel Jeannin II

    Go back to your iPhone.

  • HeartStrong07

    I guess I am not understanding this article.. I am not necessarily an Android enthusiast… I simply want the coolest – high specs – device that runs well and is reliable.. I am leaving Verizon because I believe the Nexus 5 takes the honor in 2014

    • HeartStrong07

      2013 🙂

    • Shawn John

      Yeah 2013, in 2014 there will be more spec monsters on the block. Me personally, I’m a spec enthusiast, the more RAM and faster processor is where my attention lies. I enjoyed the N4 and everything it stood for, but after seeing the S4 and all the ‘bloatware’, I started to feel different about ‘bloatware’, that bloatware is what gives the phones the extra features and with more ram 3GB, the note 3 out the box already looking to trump the N5 which is slated to have 2GB RAM. …I dunno man, I just have to wait but I will be upgrading my T-Mobile N4 when the N5 drops either for the N5 or a note 3.

      • SplashMTN

        Yes, but the Note 3 is going to need that 3GB of ram to compensate for Touchwiz. There are some really great features that Touchwiz offers, but I’m willing to bet vanilla 4.4 with 2GB of ram is going to run smoother than Touchwiz with 3GB.

        I’m not trying to take anything away from the Note 3 – the phone is undoubtedly a beast.

    • If that’s the case then go for it. I would rather have the Moto X, but that’s fine. Like I said in the article, it looks like the Nexus 5 may buck the trend of poor hardware, but from the S to the 4 Nexus phones have had a lot of issues (mostly camera and battery life issues).

      • Nayners

        A lot of issues? I think that’s stretching a bit. Camera hardware, yes, it sucks. Battery, while not being stellar, is hardly a major issue. Along your same logic, I could say that Touchwiz or Sense UI is an ‘issue’. Hence why the only phones I choose to buy are Nexuses. Stock android FTW.

        • I completely agree that TouchWiz and Sense are an issue. 🙂

          • Nayners

            Thanks for coming on here to comment. You could have easily stayed in the shadows. Especially with everyone bagging on you. You might have written a crappy piece (to me), but you’ve got balls. 😉 Respect, Ron.

          • Tim242

            As is the mess that is iOS.

      • InclusiontoInnovation

        Well, I went to the Verizon store .. Moto seemed to small with average specs – maybe I picked up the wrong phone, Galaxy Note 3 to big with a plastically feel and cartoonish color (samsung galaxy 4 shares many of those traits) , Droid Razr Max no SD slot and loads of bloatware … Google Nexus 5 seems like a runaway winner … only competition – HTC One

        • Tim242

          You can make Amoled screens look however you want. Samsung has you covered. See screenshot below. I have mine set to movie, it looks just like an IPS display, but you still get true blacks.

          • InclusiontoInnovation


    • Chris

      right… because two months is sooooo far off

  • Yaniv

    Ok it’s getting late, wanted to wait and watch the Droid Live Show if there was one but after this article and all of this i think i’ll pass. Have a good night all.

  • Shawn John

    I completely agree with Kellex B, I too was a Nexus fanboy and loved everything it stood for, minimalist theme, no bloatware, pure android feeling with on-time updates to boot, BUT with all these other super-phones being launched, you would think that a phone created for developers would taunt ‘some’ of the bells and whistles (IR,wifi calling) these super-phones have, it’s hard to purchase a new phone and right off the BAT your behind the 8-ball when it comes to features/specs. I’m waiting for the phone to be released to see the final specs and then it will be between the N5 and the Note 3 for me. It’s gonna hurt not having a Nexus but I cannot sell myself short on common features…

  • Jeff

    I tend to agree with Ron where the nexus program is going. I’d also like to point out that if and when Google/Dish Network start the venture into the cell phone provider market which I’m sure they will. Why compete against other OEMS to create a better phone? If it still runs android Google is making money right? Why piss off that partner that will help you with making phones compatible with your network? Just some thoughts….

  • Gr8Ray

    Yet another garbage article from Ron the iFanboy pretending to understand Android enthusiasts.

  • trwb

    “but it doesn’t push for Nexus devices to be heavily adopted instead of flagship devices from its partners”, I see a commercial for the Nexus 7 (2013) about 5 times a day.

    • AbbyZFresh

      The commercial itself sucks though. The Galaxy Gear had a better commercial than the Nexus 7 to be quite honest.

    • The Nexus 7 might be an exception, like I said in the endnotes. They don’t try to push Nexus phones, though, to be heavily adopted instead of flagship phones from their partners. To that end, Nexus 7 ads are more about Google. They aren’t about getting a Nexus 7 instead of something else.

      • AbbyZFresh

        The Nexus 5 might change all that. Don’t forget that the 2012 Nexus 7 didn’t get nearly as much outside commercial advertisements as the 2013 Nexus 7 did. Neither did the Nexus 4 at the time.

      • LionStone

        I gave you a reply in DL Show comments and attached a YouTube link for a commercial for the N4, shown during the 2013 Grammy’s.

        • That commercial was far more about Google Now than the Nexus 4.

      • trwb

        Yea I understand what you are saying and I apologize for being so harsh in previous comments. But I still think that Google wants certain people to buy Nexus devices. They want all their demographics covered. The purpose of the nexus may be shifting into something different now and evolving but it is still crucial to Google and more importantly Android.

      • Skittlez

        because nexus really isn’t about pushing anything. they offer. they already make their money elsewhere.

  • Ian Smith

    someone please explain how Ron still has a job with DL….?

    • trwb

      His opinions, while thought out, are somewhat convoluted, biased and with error. This in effect is negative PR for the website.

      • Nayners

        I can’t quite tell if DL is relishing this little conflict regarding Ron. I just get the feeling that they’re stirring the pot a bit.

        • trwb

          Yea it seems it may be to drum up page views.


    Droid-Life suggestion: Make a special section for Ron where he can put his obviously very polarizing articles without derailing the true purpose of this site. #givemeonemorereason

  • Yaniv

    Sorry Kellen and Tim but this site has taken a turn for the worse.

    • Chris


  • John Smith

    Google doesn’t care. they don’t need to make a lot of money selling hardware – especially at the expense of their partners in the ecosystem. the big money/margins/profits for Google is in search and services. and that’s where the future is too. Google wants their hardware partners to be happy and profitable so they keep flooding the market with Android devices. Google does not want to be a hardware competitor. the Nexus line is a delicate balance of offering a reference design phone inexpensively and direct worldwide for developers and enthusiasts – not the unwashed masses. and that’s fine with Google. Google doesn’t care if Nexus doesn’t break any big sales records.

    • LionStone

      Thank you, great comment +100!

  • normmcgarry

    I thought the Nexus devices was mostly a device by Google that developers could reliably use as a standard for developing for Android. Pretty sure it is still that.

  • Brenden Keene

    I too want having a Nexus device to be envied by the masses, but at the same time I kind of like the rarity, exclusivity, and uniqueness that having one means too. I’m proud to support the Nexus program and not just sheep to Apple or Samsung. I like having something different than everyone else… and still something undeniably important.

  • yummy

    Two words: Editing

  • TheRobotCow

    Thank you Ron.
    I completely agree with you. I really want the nexus to be on top every time but it’s not. I’m sure that when the Galaxy Nexus came to Verizon and Sprint it had very low sales and it wasn’t viable for Google to sell these to the masses, especially on CDMA networks. Just look at what mostly everyone is buying, iPhones, iPads, Samsung Galaxy’s/Notes and the other popular phones. How many Nexus devices are actually being sold? Not a whole lot.
    I love the Nexus line but i actually prefer to keep it small like the way it is now.

  • MikeSaver

    Dear Ron,

    Because you said you read all comments. Don’t listen to all the idiots bashing you for not sharing their opinion. Keep up the great work and your columns are always my favorite to read on the site.

    • Nayners

      Ass kiss 101 right here.

    • TheRobotCow

      Same here.
      There are just too many stupid fanboys who think just because Ron uses an iPhone and expresses himself he’s automatically a fanboy that doesn’t know anything..

      • OnlyNexus

        No, he proves he doesn’t know squat via his articles 😉

    • trwb

      Ron is misinterpreting many things, and some of his conclusions are irrational

      • Which in particular are irrational?

        • LionStone

          That the Nexus program doesn’t make sense to you and that it should. If you don’t get it or support it then let it go bro 🙂

          • The Nexus program makes sense to me, I just wish it was about bringing Google’s version of Android to the masses, not just to devs and enthusiasts.

          • OnlyNexus

            Why should Google adopt your vision of Android?

            Should apple adopt my vision for them?

            Google seems to have done pretty well with their vision of Android???? What 80%+ of world mobile market????

            Maybe you need to write some articles about apple changing their vision as their market share dwindles?

            seems like you try very hard to find something to nitpick about Android. Maybe focus on the platform you prefer?

          • LionStone

            Oh dang, couldn’t of said it better myself!

          • NexusOnly

            Ron, we’ve covered how ad revenue per platform does not support your argument that Google ought to do what you suggest, and how your argument there is faulty.

            move on. . .. saying the same thing over and over doesn’t make it correct. . .

      • NBM

        irrational is like reading the authors name and jumping down to the comments to call him an iFanboy.

  • Mike Richichi

    The simple question is why can’t Google get away with Android what Apple does with the iPhone? No bloatware, instant vendor-supplied upgrades. Google the hardware manufacturer should be able to model Apple’s relationship at this point considering how important Android is in the marketplace. They could at least use that as a starting point for discussion.

    • JT3

      The problem is that “Google” in this instance only refers to Nexus devices. They really have no say what deals other manufacturers (Samsung, LG, etc.) make with their own handsets after licensing the Android operating system. If Google were to be heavy-handed like this, the carriers would simply get their android handsets from other manufacturers who aren’t. Apple is the ONLY iOS manufacturer, and thus doesn’t have to worry about this. The only way Google could get away with this like Apple does is if they stopped licensing out new versions of Android to other manufacturers, AND had some killer feature that made everyone want the new version over the old versions on existing handsets.

      • OnlyNexus

        what do you think you’re doing, bringing logic into Ron’s argument.

    • I think the big reason Google can’t do the same thing Apple did with the iPhone with Nexus devices is that Apple was able to demonstrate insane demand for the phone so they got it on the other carriers on their terms. Google can’t demonstrate that kind of demand.

      • LionStone

        That’s Apple’s goal not Google’s…to say they ‘can’t’ is asinine.

        • To say they can infers they will talk device sales.

        • Chris

          So Google doesnt want to sell their own product?

  • Yaniv

    Used to love coming to this site and watching the Live-Shows… iRon ruined it for me 🙁

  • NexusOnly

    Article by Ron on DL = click bate and nothing more!

    not to read the comments 🙂

    And no, Ron, I did not read this BS article as you are very ignorant when it comes to Android.

    • MikeSaver

      yeah because “waking from the nexus dream” is a title really suited for that…

      A click bait title would’ve been “Why no one should buy a Nexus device” etc. etc.

      Everyone and their damn conspiracy theories. I bet you were one of the one saying DL was being paid by Motorola because they liked the Moto X

    • KennyVeltre

      How is Ron ignorant to android? He has used it for years, he has also stated that he knows how to root and rom.

      • Nayners

        My 11 year old can root and rom. So…

        • Chris

          your point?

          • Nayners

            Does it really matter if someone can root or rom? Because you can (like my child), doesn’t mean you’re an expert at all things Android.

      • Yaniv

        Root AND Rom? Oh my…

        • KennyVeltre

          No need to be a jerk about it.

  • thewogltd

    Outside of Ron’s opinions, does anyone else think he just a bad writer? You can repeat yourself in slightly different ways only so many times in one article.

    • That is something I’m trying to work on. In college every professor overemphasized restating the general thesis of each paragraph, which drove me crazy. It helps for skimming and emphasizing the point, but it’s not my favorite style. I’m still weaning myself off of it.

      • thewogltd

        Most of the time I agree with your opinions on Android, iOS, and smartphones in general. You’re looking at the smartphone landscape from a center position, a position closer to that of the average consumer, but at the same time one who is more informed on the state of the industry. Its a view point I’d like to see more of in tech commentary.

        I must apologize for my pervious comment as it comes off far too harsh. I completely understand why it is you present your information in that organizational style of writing. Keep your point crystal clear, don’t deviate too much or else risk tangents that may hurt your argument or cloud your opinion. But there is a clarity that comes with brevity and economy in these opinion pieces.

      • thewogltd

        Most of the time I agree with your opinions on Android, iOS, and smartphones in general. You’re looking at the smartphone landscape from a center position, a position closer to that of the average consumer, but at the same time one who is more informed on the state of the industry. Its a view point I’d like to see more of in tech commentary.

        I must apologize for my pervious comment as it comes off far too harsh. I completely understand why it is you present your information in that organizational style of writing. Keep your point crystal clear, don’t deviate too much or else risk tangents that may hurt your argument or cloud your opinion. But there is a clarity that comes with brevity and economy in these opinion pieces.

        • I completely agree. The reason I’m often “forced” to go on is to make sure I cover all of my bases. If I say I don’t like the way something about Android is implemented many assume that means I hate Android. It’s easy to try and predict those objections than deal with it every time in the comments. Without comments I tend to be much more succinct.

    • I_haz_root_beer

      Moto X is for suxors!
      I bet you drive a Corolla.
      Ron rulez!
      Iphone 5C ftw!

  • MikeSaver

    The reason this is even a topic here is because Android enthusiasts basically want just the latest version of Android. I think they couldn’t care less about the hardware as long as its on par with modern devices.

    And the latest version of Android isn’t something that consumers even care about, they dont even know it exists. The common smartphone user mostly doesnt even update their apps.

    Unless Google can someway push the latest version of Android out to all Android devices at the same time and in a timely manner, it’s all a crap shoot.

  • Abgar Musayelyan

    Another good article by Ron. That said can you please just buy any android phone just to put an end to all this stupidity?

  • yusef spencer

    “Google also doesn’t need to show consumers what stock Android looks like because the vast majority of consumers don’t use stock Android.”<—-makes absolutely no sense whatsoever…

    • MikeSaver

      why does your mom with her S4 care what the latest version of stock android looks like? she doesn’t.

    • Chris

      Ask the average joe who has an android device what they think of stock android.

      and yes, its not 2009 anymore. Its 2013. there ARE average joes who use android.

    • NBM

      What doesn’t make sense is that you don’t understand something so obvious

  • JMonkeYJ

    I think Nexus devices are still hugely important and are again pushing a frontier that OEMs didn’t seem willing to push: price. Thanks to the Nexus program, consumers can get top of the line devices at greatly reduced prices. This new strategy started with the N7, N4, and N10, and at least the 2 former devices appear to have been very popular as a result. Amazon is playing this game, as well, now (before this generation the Kindle Fires were not top of the line), and other manufacturers have at least responded by cutting prices massively on their mediocre tablet hardware.

    This price reduction is yet another step in what I believe, and you mention, to be Google’s main goal: freedom from carriers. If Google can push prices for top-end smartphones down to near what the old subsidized prices were, there is no longer an incentive for consumers to get locked in to contracts. If people aren’t locked in to contracts, and can freely hop from carrier to MVNO and back, then suddenly the carrier market is very competitive again. A competitive carrier market, which presumably leads to reduced data costs, is a huge benefit to Google, it services, and its users.

    I think the Nexus program is still doing an admirable job accomplishing this (latest?) Google goal, and it will be interesting to see if Google Nexus phones continue to surge in popularity.

    • MikeSaver

      I think the price reduction comes at some sacrifices though. Like, battery life, camera. etc. Stuff developers dont care about, but consumers do.

    • Mike Hilal

      The N10 was not much cheaper than the then current Galaxy Tab. Maybe $50-100 at the most for the equivalent version. I dont think it’s about affordability as much as it is about a reference device for developers. It’s just icing on the cake that people other than devs buy them for end-user usage.

  • Ron is completely right. The Nexus program is a very clear example of how Google does not care about Android. Not in the way that we do.

    All of Google’s services are designed around search and ad revenue. Android is just another Google service designed to gather information about us to sell to marketers. Google is fine with the Nexus program as it is and with OEMs like Samsung dominating Android marketshare. Their OEM partners are driving users to Google services. That’s the end game.

    Think of Android the same way you think about Gmail, Drive, Docs, or any other Google service. Google is interested in building Google, not building Android.

    • Mike Hilal

      This guy. He gets it.

      This is the very reason that Apple devices have (relative) parity when it comes to Google Apps. Revenue.

    • Stupid

      duh. .. MS is interested in building MS, apple in building apple. . .

      stupid ass comment!!!!!

      No, Google should drop everything and spend every last sent on a free OS so they can go out of business and there will only be MS and apple, again.e.e.

      stupid ass comment!!!!

    • grumpyfuzz

      I agree with you, but they have to build Android. If they didn’t care about it, they wouldn’t be updating it and it would probably be left on Cupcake. But in the end, they work on Android to build Google.

  • Nayners

    I used to really like Ron. Now, I just find him a bit annoying. He’s found his niche on DL as this critical thinking, iPhone user, that uses every opportunity to throw stones at Android. All the while not even using a Android phone. While I think it’s good to have variety on a new site/blog, I think this is going to cause more stir among the ranks (DL readers), and polarize your readiship. I think this piece was a bad move, not for Ron, but for DL.

    • Yaniv

      Well said sir.

    • MikeSaver

      God forbid someone offer a different opinion. I think your taking things out of proportion.

      • Nayners

        I think you’re out of proportion.

    • George Davis

      How is he throwing stones at Android? If that were the case I would agree with you, but that’s not what I read in the article above. He’s making a very specific argument about the Nexus program and how it has changed, not knocking Android in general (or even knocking the Nexus program for that matter).

      • Nayners

        Do you ever watch the Droid-Life show? Right, didn’t think so.

        • George Davis

          As a matter of fact I do. Show me an example of Ron “throwing stones at Android”.

          • Nayners

            Re-watch the last several episodes then. Especially the last one.

          • George Davis

            You’re the one making the claim, so it’s on you to provide some evidence. And no, the fact that he uses an iPhone doesn’t count as “throwing stones”.

          • Nayners

            Screw you, George. How hard is it to click on the last DL Show?

          • George Davis

            I’ve already watched the show. You sure do get pissy when people challenge your unfounded assumptions. One specific example is all I asked for.

          • Nayners

            Pissy when you ask for something you could easily obtain yourself. I gave you your example.

          • George Davis

            I didn’t interpret any of that exchange with Tim as “throwing stones at Android.” Ron was arguing that the Nexus program isn’t as relevant as it used to be. If anything he had some criticisms of Google and how they’ve handled things, but that’s not the same as criticizing Android.

            I would probably have bought a Nexus 5 if it was available on VZW. The fact that it’s not an option certainly makes the Nexus less relevant to me personally. Plus we have the Moto X and its Droid variants now, which are very close to stock Android. I’m very happy with my Droid Maxx and would not trade it for a Nexus 5 at this point.

          • LionStone

            “Google can’t”…”iphone can and Google failed..”

          • George Davis

            Google != Android.

    • I’m not trying to throw stones at Android, I’m just trying to talk about how I think it could be better. iOS has lots of flaws (which I don’t get to talk about because no one asks me). A lot of people assume that because I use an iPhone that means I think iOS is better in every way. I don’t.

  • Daniel Flores

    Totally Agree…Nexus is just not that exciting to me anymore…I’ve had the G1, the OG Droid, GNEX, and now the G2. And, to be honest, I’m totally happy. My experience is totally fine. As far as updates?…sure I’d like to get them quickly, but I’m fine if I don’t. KK would have to have some major changes or new features for me to be wanting the update so badly.

  • MikeSaver

    Well said Ron.

  • MikeCiggy

    It would be incredible for Google to use Moto to make a top of the line next-gen Nexus device. Place it on all carriers, market the hell out of it, and promise updates directly from Google. If there was ever anything Google should take note of from Apple is that 1 device on all carriers with promised updates can capture every type of users enthusiasm.

    • Steve B

      Well, look no further than the Moto X. Moto X is selling like hot cakes. One device on all carriers (we’ll see how the updates go…) and Moto is marketing the hell out of it. I see more Moto X advertisements than Apple now. Google could pour this kind of strategy into the Nexus program and bitch slap the industry.

      • Godzilla

        I disagree with the “hot cakes”. It has sold roughly 6 million units across ALL of the carriers. Personally I am not impressed with that number in the least.

        • Steve B

          Damn, I thought I read somewhere they were selling much better than that. Too bad.

          • Godzilla

            It has really slowed down. If I am being honest I think people are realizing it isnt worth the asking price.

          • Captain Spaulding[2100+ posts]

            I agree with that statement because I was really looking forward to the Moto X, but was disappointed when I found out what the specs were. I completely gave up on the Moto X until I won one on androidpolice.com After owning it for about two weeks now, I must say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Moto X is by far the fastest, smoothest phone I’ve ever used. The battery life on it is great, usually 10-12 hrs. with moderate to heavy use. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s sad to see such a great phone being overlooked like it is just because we’re all spec junkies. It truly is an amazing phone.

          • Ronald Bernard

            I have to agree with you. I was holding out in hopes that the next Nexus by some miracle would find its way to Verizon. But when I found out about the unlimited data glitch I could not resist. I upgraded to the Moto X and have been loving it so far. I only wish Moto Maker was available at the time, other than that…no complaints. Love the touchless control and active display. I just hope this Moto G isn’t a beefed up X…then I may be a little disappointed. It’s not wrong for me to want a little more bang for my buck right?

          • Gr8Ray

            Or, like me, are waiting for more options on non-AT&T carriers, like 32gb and/or MotoMaker customization, in addition to a lower price.

      • MikeSaver

        Everything except the “updates directly from Google”.

        I’m betting the Moto X doesn’t see 4.4 for a looong time. Especially on Verizon, who doesn’t even stock it in their store..

        • MikeCiggy

          exactly what I came back here to say

      • Mike Hilal

        The X is close…just not quite there yet. Google needs to take the update process out of carrier hands like apple did, and run the updates through the play store.

  • mustbepbs

    I actually totally agree with Ron here: Nexus devices aren’t what they used to be.

    Hell, Nexus devices now (tablets anyway) are a huge mess! The N72012 was a great tablet that bought the farm after less than a year, plagued with QC issues like screen lifting, back light bleeding and unexplained lag. Now, the N72013 has a whole slew of QC problems of its own. The Nexus 10 had a severe memory leak and rebooting issue that took months to take care of.

    Google and their recent purchase of Motorola could shake up the Android scene and be a positive force in the bad PR they get for being cheap, fragmented, bug ridden devices. They could rival Apple in device launches, software updates (we all know Apple has no issue getting updates through Verizon) and mindshare. Who knows if they even care enough. Google is split in so many different directions, it’s amazing that they get any work done.

    Google seriously needs to crack down on these QC issues coming from their OEM partners. It’s embarrassing.

    • Chris

      because they don’t have stock right?

      • mustbepbs


  • Mark F

    I don’t know why @Ron but I agree with you this time. 🙂

  • cheese

    I get this feeling that Kellen and others on this blog are paid assets for Verizon. Just the way they hyped the Moto X. Very suspicious.

  • Steve B

    Can we start a petition to have Ron banned from ever writing an article again?

    • Jeff

      Nah, he’s providing us with entertainment and Droid Life with page views.

      • Godzilla

        That’s my job.

      • Steve B

        True true

      • Yaniv

        Page views 🙂 OK then.

    • Chris

      Who is holding a gun to your head telling you to read them?

    • Franklin Ramsey

      Hey, he makes some good points. We don’t have to agree with them, but we should at least respect them as long as they are well reasoned and not presented in a way it looks like he is trolling.

  • Jeff Jackson

    You keep using the term “Android Hardware”… There’s no such thing as “Android Hardware.” There’s hardware, and you can put software on it (such as Android). The Nexus program is about pure Android Software. Not hardware. I’m not sure where you get the idea that the Nexus program is about putting Android on state-of-the-art hardware. If anything, the whole appeal of the Nexus program to me is knowing that, even when my phone’s hardware is years out of date, I will still have software that is up to date.

    • Jeff

      You said that better than I was able to. I’m switching to the Nexus 5 mostly because I want a phone that will get continued support, as I’m tired of checking XDA to see if anyone has put out a new ROM for my phone that stopped getting updates 3 months after release, not because I want the top of the line hardware.

      Heck, with the optimizations they’re building into Android, top of the line hardware isn’t all that important anymore anyway.

      • Steve B


      • NexusOnly

        The S800 will carry the device for. . . well, a lot longer than you’ll probably keep it lol. . .

        quality+lowest possible price, unlocked (freedom from carrier control), optimized “vanilla” Android, and fast direct updates = Nexus.

    • The Nexus program was originally about good hardware (among other things like software). The issue of not receiving updates quickly didn’t really exist then. Since the Nexus One it has become less and less about that. Nexus 5 might change that again. We’ll see.

      • NexusOnly

        It was only about hardware in the beginning because Android needed higher specs, thus they had to push for that to make Android run smoother. . . but that was NEVER the core of the nexus program, nor Google’s long term goal of the program. Go back and read about what Google wanted to do with mobile devices and how the carriers reacted and you’ll get some long term insight into Google’s goals. . . and it’s not what you think it is. . .

        • I’m well versed in Google’s history. If you want to make a point, make it. Don’t make vague allusions to historical events without specifics.

          • NexusOnly

            then clearly you don’t know. . . but you should since you are writing such an authoritative opinion peace.

            but I did point it out in another comment.

  • Xunda

    Why is this idiot still writing for Droid-Life? I would think a place like mac rummors or iBGR would suit him better..

    • Steve B

      nobody knows…

    • Yaniv

      Look at how many comments.

  • ChrisI

    Because I love this picture, and any N5 publicity is good publicity.

  • Curtis

    Things are not headed in the right direction here!?

  • Kevin

    The only thing being talked about in this article and comments that i see are about the nexus phones, has no one thought to mention the nexus 7 or nexus 10? I am for the time being not going to switch to either AT&T or T-mo, so i will not be able to get a nexus phone. But I don’t have a tablet and will be looking at possibly getting a nexus 10 because the nexus tablets are the only ones that get software updates as soon as they are announced and will continue to get them even after the next 2 iterations have been released. I think that’s why the nexus program is great. The life span of a device isn’t nearly as limited as others are.

    • I mentioned the Nexus 7 three times in the endnotes and I used the word “devices” to try and include phones and tablets. I also mentioned that Samsung and Amazon continue to dominate in the tablet space with their own products. The article is generally about Nexus phones, but the tablets apply too.

      • Kevin

        Wow you are right! Completely skipped over that part. Im sorry about that. I completly agree with you as far as phones are concerned with the nexus program. The main point of my comment was just supposed to be that the only part of the nexus program that I think is really relevant to the masses is the tablets. Sorry again for the misinformed comment before.

        • Don’t worry about it! I agree that the tablets are the main devices that matter to consumers. I wish we had some actual sales numbers to prove it.

      • Kevin

        wow, you definitely did mention it in the endnotes. Sorry about that I definitely skimmed over the endnotes way too fast! The main point I was trying to make is that, to me the only part of the nexus program that can be relevant to me is the tablets (which do excite me) since I’m not on one of the 2 major carriers that currently support nexus phones. And since there are only 2 major carriers that support it, it’d be hard for most people to really be excited about it in the first place. Once again sorry for the misinformed part of my comment!

  • LoganLopez

    I thought the whole point of the Nexus program was to get a GREAT phone at a low cost. The idea was to move away from contracts and have the wireless companies beg us to join their network. Not lock us into 2 year contracts because we can’t shell out 6-700 bucks for a phone. To me, Nexus still stands for that and i think just about EVERYONE is missing that point.

    • fauxshizzl


    • JMonkeYJ

      I wrote a much longer comment above that says basically exactly what you say. I should have scrolled down farther 🙂

    • That was the original idea, but it’s basically dead now unless you’re on AT&T or T-Mobile.

      • LoganLopez

        And hundreds of small carriers. This program is sending a message. While currently not a strong one now but could get bigger. How many readers are leaving Verizon for the nexus 5? I am sure not a lot in the grande scheme but enough that Verizon might take notice. I am one of those people that has been with Verizon forever and hasn’t switched. Do you know why? I believe in the hype that if I switch, my service won’t be as good and will want to switch back, but won’t be able to because I am stuck in another 2 year contract. So really fear keeps me with Verizon. (I am exaggerating a little but you get the point).

        • I doubt it’s enough that Verizon will care. I would love it if it did change Verizon’s tune, but short of something similar to what happened with the iPhone only being available on AT&T I don’t see that happening.

          • LoganLopez

            Do you think there is a chance that in some small way LTE using a sim on verizon might be part of this? I am sure Verizon could have found a way around using a sim. Just throwing ideas out. Giving up on the “dream” of the nexus program is what I think the carriers want.

            Tinfoil hat time: Ron was paid by carriers to write this article 😛

          • 700 MHz is technically open for all devices to use, but not all Verizon LTE is 700 MHz.

        • NexusOnly

          Verizon told Google, way back before the original first Android device was released, that if they wanted to release an unrestricted unlocked device that could be used on any carrier that they would NOT allow it on their network, AT&T said the same I believe — yes, that’s illegal technically but the government lets them do whatever. Thus Google backed off and did the low key Nexus program in an effort to give people a low cost great Android device.

          Google can only do so much without it backfiring on them. . . but Ron doesn’t get that.

      • NexusOnly

        Actually, Ron, that is the long term goal for Google.

        Just because you stay on a very restricted CDMA network, isn’t Google’s fault or problem. They are giving users a great, unlocked, unrestricted, lowest possible cost, device — your fault for not leaving VZW.

        GSM is the world standard, stop being so enculturated to think that your view is everything. You are on a minority type network (CDMA) that doesn’t play nice.

        @LoganLopez:disqus is absolutely correct. . . if you would bother reading some history about Android, and the Nexus line you would know that. Unfortunately Google can’t break Verizon’s control until LTE is the standard, and all devices will be LTE ONLY — no GSM CDMA junk. . . and low cost unlocked devices will be the status quo, started by Google just like how they brought down the price of tablets with the Nexus 7. . . at least for Android users lol, apple users still getting the shaft.

        • 1. Where does Google state that that is their long term goal?

          2. When LTE becomes the standard that does not mean that Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, or anyone else has to allow the device on their network. I wish it were, but the reality is Verizon can deny a device access to its network.

          • NexusOnly

            seriously? Yeah, Google is going to publish a long term goal of “breaking the carriers’ control”. . . .
            Sorry, but that was STUPID to ask! Of course they are NOT going to publish such a statement!

            All devices will use the same LTE just on different bands, and by law in the US they actually do have to allow any standards device to access their network — again, something you should know!

            Seriously Ron, you are so uninformed it’s pointless trying to have any type of conversation.

          • 700 MHz LTE on is required by law to allow any and all devices, but not all LTE is 700 MHz.

          • NexusOnly

            You should look into why Verizon is looking to get rid of subsidies and their fear of being a “dumb pipe line” when LTE is the standard. They know LTE is going to be the standard and radio chips will be fairly universal, thus all devices will work on any network.

            I mean seriously, do you even think about anything or just try to say something that is justifying your position?

            Like phones now don’t cover more than one frequency. . .sheesh

          • Just because the technology is there does not mean Verizon has to let it on its network. It does with 700 MHz LTE, but not all LTE is 700 MHz. Some Sprint devices will technically work on Verizon’s CDMA, but Verizon will not allow them on their network. It’s not a technological question – it’s a question of the FCC enforcing open standards across the networks.

          • NexusOnly

            OMG, Ron. You think qualcomm is going to make a Verizon only chip?

            You just ignored what I stated and regurgitated the same thing — that’s a “believer” response.

            Verizon’s CEO has already come out and said what I’m saying here. The fact that you’re trying to twist it to support your argument. . . . that’s nuts!

            LTE != CDMA OR GSM

  • Franklin Ramsey

    Nexus – A means of Connection. A Link or tie.

    I think a lot of people are missing out on what the Nexus program really is by thinking about it in terms of what they want it to mean to them. Google used it with the original Nexus to push the hardware envelope to show people what was able to be done with Android. It helped connect hardware and software into a user experience. The Nexus program is still doing that now. A top of the line spec phone is no longer needed to provide a person with a top of the line user experience. The Moto X proved that. Google seems to have realized that and moved from using the Nexus program as an advancement of hardware to an advancement of how users interface and interact with their technology. It’s connecting people with technology in new ways.

    It’s connecting users with technology by giving us a decent price.

    It’s connecting users to new ways to interface with technology (IE: Google Now).

    It’s connecting people with technology in new ways allowing developers a cheap easy way to develop.

    The Nexus program has evolved, just as the Android OS has evolved. It’s no longer what it once was, but it is still relevant.

    • Steve B

      Ron, read this you moron. Franky boy hit the nail on the head.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Hey, I agree with some of Ron’s points. I just think people are missing what the Nexus program is because they are trying to make it mean what they think it should mean. I also don’t think Ron is a moron and respect his opinion.

    • I definitely think the Nexus tablets are still relevant to all consumers, but the phones are limited in relevance at this point. That said, I think you’re right that Google overall is about making connections with technology like Google Now. That’s the beauty of Google.

  • Josh Fischer

    Although there are many good point in the article, the Nexus program has changed (for the better) over the past couple years. The Nexus program is Google’s interpretation of what an Android phone can be. Affordable, open/unlocked, continuously updated in a timely manner, on decent to great hardware. They have chosen to make the best, affordable phone you can get while focusing on timely releases of software.

    I think many people are not feeling the Nexus program because so many great phones have been released recently on the current version of Android. But in 6 months when many of those phones are no longer receiving updates and are being replaced by the next big thing, Nexus phones will continue to see updates, whether incremental security fixes or bigger changes. Google is trying to change this by pulling as much as they can out of the core android system, but I would bet many people will be complaining when HTC and Samsung haven’t updated their phones to Kit Kat by next March.

    That being said, Nexus phones were always for the techie/developer crowd. That was the point, and I don’t see a need to create it for mass adoption. Those of us that like to be at the bleeding edge will continue getting them, and everyone else will be happy with whatever other Android solution they choose. That’s the great thing about Android, it gives everyone a choice to choose what they want in their phone.

    • Jeff Jackson

      Well said. Ron’s opinions seem like they are formed out of bitterness, and lack of understanding of what the future holds.

    • Nexus is definitely about the enthusiast/developer crowd now, but I think Google wanted it to be about everyone originally.

  • chjapa

    All of this talk of PURE Android makes me think of a bunch of techie eugenicists. As long as my device has speed I could care less if the Android is pure or has an Eskimo uncle.

    • Godzilla


  • Godzilla


  • Malik

    I would agree that the Nexus program has less of an impact than it did in 2010, but that is a good thing. OEMs have really stepped their game up so there’s less of a motivation for Google to sell “a glass of ice water to the people in hell”. Sure Nexus hardware isn’t top of the line but as you pointed out this was only the case with the Nexus One, not with the other 3 phones so what if the Nexus One is the outlier and the other ones more closely follow Google’s intentions? What if the Nexus One was created only to give Android a shot in the arm to revive it? Eric Schmidt himself stated there was no need for a “Nexus 2” because the Nexus One did its job.

    Google is in a very similar situation to Microsoft in that any inkling that they are trying to “compete” with the other OEMs is not going to be met kindly. They stand a lot to lose by coming out and making this high spec phone, advertising it and saying this is the best Android device money could buy. Could they do that? Of course. Would it be healthy for Android? Not necessarily.

    I think we all have an idea of what direction Google should take the Nexus phones in but simply because they aren’t following our trajectory doesn’t mean they’ve lost sight of their own. Google’s fine offering a reasonably spec’d phone at a cheap price and slowly persuading people to move to the unlocked experience then brute forcing their way through with some high end phone. The war won’t be won in a specs race because we know there are some poor devices out there with great specs. Instead, the user experiences will be the seller and at the price of the Nexus you are getting the cleanest experience at the best price. That’s the Nexus program’s new focus and it’s on Google to put that across.

  • Chris

    Heres a question. If a nexus is that important. would you rather have google pull an Apple move and only have nexus devices and make every app look and fell the same?

    Android is about choice right?

  • Alain Lafond

    It’s true that been a flagship device is harder and harder.
    I got tired of waiting for Nexus 5 and I bought a Galaxy Note 3 as a refrsh to my Nexus 4.
    Oh my!
    Can you beleive that I came back to my Nexus 4 and gave the Note to my wife that luckilly needed a refresh for her Galaxy Nexus…
    I don’t if I’ll buy a Nexus 5 as, from the leaks I red, seem to be a little step up.
    But for sure, Google is not very good as marketing something. At a moment the wait gotta end.
    Hoping that Nexus 5 won’t be like all others devices before. And the supply will be suffiscient. If not, I won’t buy an I-Phone… But I’ll go back to wired phone…

  • Chris

    I like android, but that doesn’t mean I get an erection over the nexus program like many of you seem to get….

  • geedee82

    Call me self-absorbed or too worried about what people think about me

    Your iPhone already does that for you.

  • George Davis

    I keep seeing the argument that Ron’s use of an iPhone as a daily driver makes his opinion irrelevant. Haven’t you people heard of the Ad hominem fallacy? Because that’s all this is. There’s no logical connection between his using an iPhone and the relative value of his opinions. Now if he’d never owned an Android device, that would be a different matter. But that’s not the case. Ron is clearly an informed tech enthusiast who happens to use an iPhone currently. I for one appreciate his perspective, whether or not I agree with him.

    • Buur

      Except this isn’t an ad hominem fallacy. No one is attacking Ron’s character or using irrelevant information to dismiss his opinion. He uses and prefers a competing device so his opinion on a device he doesn’t like and won’t use doesn’t really mean much.

      • George Davis

        How is the fact that he currently uses an iPhone relevant to his opinion of smartphones in general? He’s owned Android phones before, and he’s clearly well informed about them. That’s like saying I can’t have a valid opinion about wine if I happen to prefer drinking beer.

        • Buur

          He isn’t giving an opinion on smartphones in general. He is giving an opinion about a particular device and more so about a particular program. He is entitled to his opinion but to have a piece about it on an Android fan site is a bit ridiculous.

          • Chris

            its just a way to stir up discussion and perhaps give reason to ban people who get a little too crazy and have an aneurysm over a silly opinion.

          • George Davis

            The Nexus program is a subset of Android, which is a subset of “smartphones in general”. If the community here has grown so insular that different perspectives and opinions are unwelcome, that reflects poorly on the community rather than on Ron IMO. Just because this is an Android fan site doesn’t mean the posters all have to be fanboys.

  • Chris

    its ok for people to defend the nexus program and bash other devices but its not ok for someone bash the nexus program?

    people are just but hurt and can’t handle other people having an opinion.

  • blix247

    Nexus isn’t just about hardware innovation. Only the first 2 Nexus devices were really about pushing the hardware. Subsequent Nexus devices have been to show manufacturers that there is more to it than just hardware.

    Nexus devices need to exist for Google to guide the OEM’s. Sony and LG have heavily borrowed from Nexus stylings, and their devices are much nicer for it.

    The main reason for Nexus to exist is for Google to control the Android release process. Google can have an event and say here is Android 4.4, running on these devices. Instead of announcing it when no hardware runs it, or allowing OEMs/Carriers to announce it when its tested and ready to go on all devices.

  • WickedToby741

    So because the Nexus program isn’t what you think it should be, it just shouldn’t exist at all?

    There are logistical reasons not to go head to head with Samsung and HTC. The last thing Google wants is for Samsung to fork Android and for HTC to go crawling into the open arms of Microsoft or Amazon. Besides, when it comes to competing with Apple and other Android OEM’s, that’s why Google bought Motorola.

    I think Nexus devices are doing exactly what they need to be doing. They’re ideal development devices and Android enthusiasts at dirt cheap prices.

  • Butters619

    The biggest thing about the Nexus program is price. Sure you can buy a GPE device and get stock Android…..at $600. The Nexus 5 gives you better hardware and the same pure Android experience at half the price.

    • JRUIV

      South park tonight!! The episode that should have been on last week!

  • Godzilla

  • KB

    Ron is a Troll, skipped the article and came directly to comments.

    • jahsoul

      It was actually a legit article though..lol

      • NexusOnly

        not really. . . it’s just another lame attempt by Ron to say why Android and/or Google should be more like apple. . .

        he really does’t get the Nexus device line at all!

        • jahsoul

          From reading his first few paragraphs, it’s apparent that he knew what the Nexus line was founded on but everyone has their own views.

          Most people got into the Nexus phones (and later tablets) because they were cheap off contract but for us who has been around the OS long enough knows that it started with the Galaxy Nexus; the first 2 was expensive as crap and the One was tied to a CRAPPY contract. But this what I see it as now; carrier disruption.

          Some see the benefit of pure Android and timely updates. Funny thing is I remember wanting Rosie on my G1, but I digress.

          But if Android would mimic one thing Apple does, I hope it would be complete hardware/software optimization. I understand that it is impossible with “choice” but that could be a benefit reserved for the Nexus.

          • NexusOnly

            the Nexus seems like a well optimized hardware/software implementation to me?

            Sure, we have to exclude anything on Verizon. . . but the GSM GNexus was pretty darn good for the hardware at that point in time, haven’t seen the N4.

            And the first expensive Nexus devices were expensive because mobile hardware as expensive then an Google had to push the hardware because Android needed the higher specs — they were still under priced vs competitors.

            And if anyone understands anything about Google they are about disrupting markets. . .

    • George Davis

      So you’re commenting without having read the article, but he’s the troll? Makes a lot of sense. /s

      • Yaniv

        It’s enough to hear him in the Live-Show and to read the Title.

  • ApplesNAndroids

    lol, so many butt hurt android fanboys here. Calm down the defense, guys. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

  • Tee

    I’ve got to admit, this post kind of hit hard to a lot of android fans. Never really had a problem with Droid-Life’s opinion pieces, but the fact that Ron uses an iPhone as his daily driver should have been taken into consideration before this piece was approved. Not only does it make his opinion less significant, but in a way it’s putting a negative connotation towards Droid-Life.

    All that said, I agree with some parts of the article. The Nexus program certainly has stalled in recent years (although, I would hardly call it insignificant). However, there’s a few things to consider.

    1. Look at what happened with the N1. As far as I remember, google attempting to sell it on their own was a disaster. The N4 was a ‘technical’ disaster, but it was a major success in units sold. As was the N7. Ron REALLY discredits the N7 in this article, he gives slight mention to it but little else. The N7 was pretty revolutionary in the tablet market, and still is. To discredit its success because it’s a tablet rather than a phone is showing slight bias/fanboyism; A Nexus device is a Nexus device, period.

    2. The biggest point to consider is that the Nexus program was only revolutionary because of it’s time. It was new and different, and showed how serious Google was taking android. 1 Ghz CPU in a phone? Simply amazing! New version of a serious contender against Apple? YES! Not to mention the subtle things like the multicolored imagery, the marketing of a new phone line for Android. It’s grown stale because really, what else can Google do? Few people care about the difference between a S600 and S800, even tech enthusiasts. In reality it’s not going to make a noticeable difference.

    Hardware isn’t revolutionary at this point. A simple increase in power isn’t going to interest people like the first dual core phone, or first 1Ghz processor, or 1GB of ram. The only way Google can make waves with the Nexus line hardware wise is something revolutionary like the mobile equivalent of Sli/Crossfire, mobile SSDs, something of that nature. Ron and apparently the rest of the Droid-Life team is being a little unreasonable in that aspect concerning hardware.

    Additionally, people aren’t nearly as excited for new android versions because of two reasons:

    1. Fragmentation. Hopefully 4.4 moves more towards the implementation of Google Services to help with this issue.

    2. Nothing Revolutionary. It’s hard to be revolutionary when there’s not a whole lot of room left for major innovation. Google can make Android faster, quieter, simpler.. but there’s not much else to do.

    It’s not that Google isn’t pushing the Nexus line, or is neglecting it, or that it doesn’t serve it’s purpose. It’s not that it’s less important, or that it needs to be improved. It all comes down to the fact that Android has grown so big and outdid itself so many times that any new features or hardware aren’t really “WoWing” people. None of the devices this year really “WoWed” anyone, it has nothing to do with Nexus. They were nice upgrades compared to last year, but nothing revolutionary.

    It’s a problem with Android (AND iPhone!) as a whole. The new iPhone was pretty pitiful, even to a lot of iPhone users I know. The best part was iOS7 due to the UI changes, that was it. It’s a problem with the industry. Nexus still serves it’s SOLE purpose of being a developer device amongst all else.

    • 1. I mentioned the Nexus 7 by name three times in the end notes. Also, Google has never released any sales numbers for the Nexus 4 or Nexus 7. We really don’t know how well they sold.

      2. The Nexus program was revolutionary because it would have destroyed the carriers’ oligarchy. It also had amazing hardware and software (for the time), but the program itself was also going to be revolutionary had it been successful.

      3. While hardware improvements have certainly slowed, there is still room for the hardware to be a big deal outside of specs. Camera technology has room to improve dramatically as does battery tech (especially on Nexus devices).

    • NexusOnly

      tell me how it has stalled when they’ve sold more devices with each generation???

      People need to remove their opinions from reality! And stop trying to put their “should” on others — Ron telling Google what they should do is as rich as it gets. Google has done very well. . . much better than Ron or any of us commenting here.

      The Nexus program is doing exactly what Google wanted it to do. . . end of story!

  • Stone Cold

    Very well written Opinion piece.

  • Caleb Loop

    You forgot your ( Posted via iPhone. ) tag.

  • jeff manning

    “Why does the nexus program exist”?
    It offers a cheap alternative that doesn’t require you to have a contract.

    • jahsoul

      You know that just started with the Galaxy Nexus right?

      • jeff manning

        You’re saying that a marketing plan can’t change?

        • jahsoul

          Not saying that, but you are only stating something that just started with the 3rd Nexus. The Nexus One was all about hardware, because as a T-Mobile user with the G1 who had a family plan, their approach to contracts sucked. Out of contract, $550 (IIRC), and if you got it with a contract, even if you had a family plan, you would be forced on a 450 minute individual line.smh I don’t know when you got into Android, but I’ve been around since the jump (first day buyer) and I’m not saying that like “I’m the shizz. *OG” but saying it because I remember the us (as Android users) wanting better hardware to support the awesome OS. But looking back, I can say that the Nexus One achieved it’s original purpose of forcing manufacturers to put more focus on hardware.

  • cancerous_it

    As a VZW customer who is not leaving VZW any time soon, the Nexus program doesn’t mean anything to me. I used to get excited about Nexus news but now that I know it’s never coming to VZW, it’s like hearing news about the Iphone. It’s a “meh, whatever” reaction.

    I just installed a pretty much flawless 4.3.1 ROM in my S4. Nexus doesn’t matter if you have great devs supporting your device.

    • Ben Murphy

      Which ROM?

      • cancerous_it

        Dirty Unicorns 3.9. Its in the VZW S4 XDA Android Development forum. As long as you don’t mess with the Adaptive Display, it’s completely flawless.

  • Mike Hilal


    I think google could change the game in one fell swoop and force guidelines for how the UI should look and function. Then leave it for OEMs to add on features (like what Moto did) and polish.

    Touchwiz still has elements of gingerbread that need to go (ahem, SMS app/contacts/menu system), but the level of polish they’ve put on their version of 4.3 is fantastic…esp on the note 3. Imagine what they could do if they de-bloated their UI’s and just used AOSP with features tacked on.

    • William_Morris

      Actually considering that Android is Open Source (AOSP), they really don’t have much in the way of forcing guidelines on the operating system and the requirements of timely updates. This is part of the reason that updates for Nexus devices are easy because they are on open source technology (GSM) with limited carrier interference (a la ATT and T-Mo) but on CDMA (a proprietary technology) the owner of the licensing has the most power.

      Manufacturers might have more pull with the carrier to allow updates in a more timely fashion (similar to Apple requiring that all of their products be able to update, regardless of carrier) but even same-day releases aren’t happening for the most part. If they can’t get the same phone released on the same day (like Apple), do you think they’re worried about the update going out in anymore of a timely fashion?

      • Mike Hilal

        CDMA is a qualcomm technology, not verizon (sprint and us cellular use exactly the same tech…but not as fleshed out). They could pay QC for the license and tell verizon to piss in the wind if they were properly motivated (this is what apple did).

        It’s not that they are worried (we know they’re not), it’s that it was a customer service debacle for them…and forever tainted people on the nexus experience (wrt verizon).

        AOSP could evolve from open to semi-open and benefit greatly. The tricky part is the multiple device/multiple mfg hurdle. It might lead to more homogenous handsets (Im not opposed) and the end of midrange phones.

  • Buur

    I’m sorry but if the Nexus program isn’t exciting to you it is that you are out of touch with Android or you are an iPhone fanboy. Gonna guess most of the more popular articles on this site involve Nexus speculation.

    • Chris

      I like android, but that doesn’t mean I get an erection over the nexus program.

      • Buur

        Good for you?

  • fritzo2162

    I may be in the minority, but I also side with Ron on this. The Nexus program is inconsistent, doesn’t seem to have as many rewards as it used to, and Google only seems to have half a heart into it. The quality of other devices has improved so much that I’m not even sure a Nexus program is needed anymore.

  • Jeremy Martin

    Ever since the Moto X came out I don’t even care about the Nexus anymore. I get stock Android on a great Motorola phone. In the end that is all I wanted from the Nexus phones….stock Android.

    • Jeff

      The Moto X doesn’t have stock Android.

      • Adam Johnston

        It’s close enough to stock visually and functionally that the separation is minimal.

        • Jeff

          I was just pointing out that the Moto X doesn’t run stock, where Jeremy posted that it does. In any case, functionally the difference may be minimal, but the difference in how the phones are updated, and for how long the phones will continue to be updated will definitely not be minimal.

          • Jeremy Martin

            I was not pointing out though that its pure AOSP stock..its pretty darn close to stock Android and honestly I feel like its close enough.

            I have my Motorola Razr HD MAXX bootloader unlocked and play with CM on it..I have done the same with my Galaxy Nexus. There is always something missing with AOSP builds or even the CM builds. They either have performance issues or something is not quite working as it should etc… I accept that and move on. But with the Moto X, its as close to stock as any OEM before with a lot of actual useful additions. It does not take a performance hit and the vendor supports it quite well.

            As for updates you never know…Motorola has updated the Moto X pretty quickly with security and bug fixes. Time will tell how long the OS updates will come out for it but then again Nexus devices get dropped too eventually….

          • Adam Johnston

            The updating is frustrating for sure. I have a feeling that the Moto X is going to go straight to KitKat. And if it doesn’t they should just sell Motorola because if there ever was a phone besides a Nexus to get the latest android version in a timely manner it’s the Moto X.

      • Jeremy Martin

        I was going to reply to your post but Adam hit it on the head perfectly.

      • Jeremy Martin

        Just for you though I have added “very close” in my original post as to not confuse anyone else. I think though you knew full well what I was meaning when I posted 🙂

    • Same here. Moto X FTW.

      • NexusOnly

        nah, I’m getting an iPhone, but you should consider the Moto X!


        can’t believe you just put “Moto X FTW” in a comment. . .

  • geedee82

    Ron, show me where else I can get a cheap, unlocked, developer phone with top notch hardware and specs already running the newest version of stock android guaranteed to receive all updates…Please, show me, I’d really like to know…


    Not for any of the dumb reasons you mentioned. You are clueless dude.

    • Nicholas Ruiz

      Yes yes and yes.

    • jahsoul

      Like I stated a little while ago, the cheap unlocked phone came during the 3rd Nexus iteration. Up until then, they were pretty expensive..

      • geedee82

        Correct. Which is why up until then I had never owned a Nexus. 😛

        • jahsoul

          LOL…cheapskate..lol..but I feel you. I always wanted a Nexus but didn’t get the One because of the horrible plan and I was on Verizon when the Nexus S was released.

    • mcdonsco

      Problem here is not everyone can get it, some folks, like me, need to stick with Verizon…so the availability is DOA.

      Another problem is being “cheap”…in case you haven’t noticed, they are getting closer and closer to the pricing of buying other phones outright…not there yet, but getting there slowly but surely.

      I tend to agree that a Nexus phone should be a complete BEAST in terms of specs, on it’s release it should have the fastest available processor, the most RAM, the highest res 5” screen, massive battery etc…

      While I understand the developer comment, if Google was targeting developers only with their products; they would go broke.

      • geedee82

        I’d still classify it as WAY cheaper than buying any other phone outright, it’s not even close imo. Have you seen those GPE prices? But the moment they cease to be cheaper is the moment I stop being so interested. And I personally don’t care who Google targets, I can only speak for myself and those similar to me.

      • aBabyPenguin

        So the only problem is that it isn’t available on Verizon? There are lots of cool phones that aren’t available on Verizon, that doesn’t mean they are worthless. I really like the designs of the Sony phones, also the S4 active was great imho.

        BTW, Google could dump all their products in a landfill right now and they wouldn’t “go broke” :p They are bajillionaires.

    • 1. The other place to get stock Android is Google Play edition devices.

      2. The reasons I gave in the first section were from commenters like you. The reason I said it’s still relevant is for Android enthusiasts and developers who want a cheap, good, oft-updated phone.

      • Droidzilla

        I think you’re missing the point of Nexus devices, as is Kellen. I wrote a bit of my thoughts above in reply to Kellen, so I’ll leave it at this: the Nexus program isn’t what it was with the Nexus One, and that’s exactly as it ought to be. The hardware side of the Nexus program served its function a good long time ago.

        • NexusOnly

          Google always had the mindset of “breaking carrier control” with Android in general, and that’s a foundation of the Nexus phones however, like you state, the program had to evolve just like any business and or device line. . . and I’m sure it will continue to evolve.

          Sadly, DL seems to be showing some lack of understanding and insight on this topic in a major way.

      • geedee82

        1. You know darn well those GPE devices don’t match the criteria I listed.

        2. Maybe so, but those are definitely not the reasons why nexus phones “matter to us” nowadays. No one cares about a “nexus program” anymore. Lets say you asked everyone why big screen TV’s matter to us and the first couple answers you got were from some nostalgic weirdos saying things like, “well the manufacturers’ ‘big screen TV program’ is great because it shows the other manufacturers’ what big screen TV’s are capable of…” Of course deep down you realize that those are not the real reasons people are buying big screen TV’s anymore but yet you run off and write an article about it anyway? An article explaining why outdated information is outdated? An article designed to inform us that what something used to be is not what it is anymore? NO SH!T.

        You even admit that the real reason people are buying nexus devices nowadays and the real reason people are so excited for the nexus 5 to be released is because we all just want a “cheap, good, oft-updated phone”, and that is 100% correct. That’s why they are selling nowadays and that’s why they matter to us, it has nothing to do with why some program was once created and yadayadayada blablablah. And it’s not just android enthusiasts and developers buying them for those reasons, it’s everyone. Do you think non-android enthusiasts and non-developers care about some dumb old “nexus program”? Of course not. We all just want a “cheap, good, oft-updated phone.”

        • NexusOnly

          Notice how Ron doesn’t really directly and accurately respond to legitimate arguments and then ignores them after that?

          He’s nothing more than click bait for DL at this point — trying to convince everyone of apple’s superiority. . .. blah, blah, blah. . .

          • There are only so many hours in the day that I can dedicate to sifting through comments and responding to people. This isn’t my full time job and I’m definitely not required to respond to any comments.

        • 1. They don’t meet the cheap criteria I suppose.

          2. I made a decision to respond to readers’ and listeners’ comments so as to engage with the community. If you don’t like their comments don’t get mad at me. I addressed the major arguments I saw from readers and then made my own argument that they matter because they are cheap and updated often (which you agree with). I don’t see what the problem is.

          • geedee82

            I’m not mad at you. The article was just a frustrating read for me. It just seemed redundant in telling us things that we have already known for a while now, at least here at Droid Life. I felt that you had the wrong impression of why nexus devices mattered to us, when really its just the obvious reasons that even you acknowledge.

            I really need that damn nexus 5 to get here as soon as possible…

          • Hopefully we’ll see it soon.

    • Weber

      Easy on the “top notch” stuff

  • SpongeBobSquarePants

    Every company that licenses their tech to others NEEDS A REFERENCE PRODUCT.
    And Nexus program is exactly that. No, it doesn’t have to be the “king of all Android”: it just needs to be very good, with features not available elsewhere, and to raise the bar just enough not to scare the partners away.

    Look at Microsoft — they’ve learned their lesson and are now offering their reference product, Surface.

    Without the Nexus program, Google will soon see the same race to the bottom that is killing the Windows PC industry.

  • Chrisdroid

    Until they have a REAL long lasting battery and bigger screen I won’t be going back to the Nexus line, at this moment I own a note 3 and couldn’t be happier, and If I want the latest Android OS I just root my Note and put some AOSP software…But the battery on all the Nexus phones I have owned it has been Disappointing.

  • brkshr

    Maybe you could say that the Nexus program was successful… Manufacturers now offer the best technology that is available and they seem to be thinking outside of the box as far as adding new hardware/software.

  • BIG CAT #7

    I have been with Android for a very long time and I was always under the assumption that the “Nexus” brand was supposed to be the top dog per say from all things Android. Meaning the best of the best. This is although not true as the last two that were released were lacking and some of the specs and what not were even behind the times, and looking at the specs from the new Nexus 5 we are headed down that same road again…..

    I understand that it is hard to keep up with new technology but when you have a phone that is supposed to represent the face of Android and it comes out and is already behind the times well I guess it is very disappointing to say the least. Very upsetting IMO. Just my two pennies…

    • grumpyfuzz

      How are the specs of the Nexus 5 bad? Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM which will be more than enough for vanilla, 8MP camera with OIS. 8MP can be surprisingly good, just look at the iPhone 5s. The only spec that isn’t great is the battery. I think it will be fine though, the HTC One had the same size battery, a processor that wasn’t efficient, 1080p screen aswell, and skinned with sense. If that could last people through a whole day, I’m pretty sure that a Nexus 5 with vanilla android and a more efficient battery would do just fine.

  • Yaniv

    A guy who uses an iPhone is telling me that Nexus isn’t a big deal. Yeah…Right.

  • brkshr

    As long as they provide mostly top-tier specs, factory images, binaries and the latest Android version, I’ll be sticking with Nexus. Custom ROMS are always the most stable on Nexus devices.

  • Jeff

    ‘Google could compete directly with Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC with Nexus devices made by Motorola running software that is customized for those devices.’

    ‘Google could own the Android market with stock Android, but instead they’ve let Samsung become the de facto representative of Android smartphones to the world and Samsung and Amazon the representative of Android tablets.’

    So which is it? Customize Android on specific phones or keep Android stock? You can’t have both.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      Sure you can. Samsung and all the others already put their own things on it, so if Google keeps going down the road they are where they are putting features that used to be in the OS into the Google Play store, they could Have stock (free of ad on apps), and customize it in a Nexus made by Motorola, all the while leading a way for people to get a stock experience on a Samsung or HTC phone. You could have stock Android and download all the Google apps (IE: nexus experience) from the play store.

      • Jeff

        Depends on what you define ‘Nexus experience’ as I guess. I don’t think it’s the same thing as Ron does.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          I think a lot of people don’t realize that what the Nexus program is has evolved, just like the Android OS has.

    • I think you can have both. Stock, in my mind, is shorthand for Google’s version of Android. That includes the software and services that they license to OEMs, but they could hold some of that back for their own devices.

  • robotturkey

    Ron, Mac Rumors might be hiring

  • Alex Goings

    Well now I’m just sad…

  • Adam Truelove

    Nexus devices are the only way to get prompt Android updates straight from Google with no bloatware, or carrier/OEM interference of any kind. Is that so hard to understand? To me, there is nothing but Nexus.

    • MikeSaver

      That’s basically Ron’s point. So what’s the point of continuing to make them? They’re only relevant to a small portion of the market who care about android updates.

      Nexus devices could be so much more successful and give the mass android market a truly great experience us nerds love. It doesnt though, and so what’s the point to catering to such a small market segment?

      Release a nexus phone with a great camera and battery life on all carriers with an actual marketing campaign. Bam its relevant

      • Exactly.

      • NexusOnly

        The low cost of the device allows for a low entry point which is very relevant around the world — not everyone buys phones on contract.

        Just like the Nexus 7, the Nexus phones are designed to bring down the cost of entry in the long run. Sadly, in the US we won’t see that till LTE ONLY devices start rolling out and off contract devices become the norm.

        Doing what you and Ron suggest means the Nexus become the price of all other device and . . .BOOM it’s NOT relevant!

        Google’s goal is to drop the price of entry to the internet so everyone can use their services and click on ads. . . . not to be apple — Ron can’t understand that.

        • MikeSaver

          but not everyone uses it. Do they really make that much profit from ads on their nexus phones from just developers and android nerds?

          I’m considering buying a Neuxs too, but I don’t have any delusions that its a brand thats a hugely relevant thing in the consumer market.

          • NexusOnly

            It isn’t about ads via the Nexus line. It’s about ensuring:

            1. low cost of entry to the internet — just like the N7 drove down tablet prices the Nexus phones will ultimately drive down smartphone prices. Just wait till LTE is the standard! And ultimately breaks carrier control over devices.

            2. Google access to mobile platforms — without Android Google would be shut out asap. This is where their ad revenue lies, not the “nexus” line per say thus, they wanted/needed hardware partners to push the platform. Thus, they really need hardware partners.

            3. a platform device for “everyone” — this means devs have a device that is a baseline, users have a device that is free from carrier control, bloat, slow updates, etc. . . and everyone has a CHOICE (difficult concept for Ron’s mind).

            Add all of those up and Google is creating disruption in the mobile market that then allows them to get the “clicks” when people are on the web, whether that is via iOS, WP, or Android. Nexus phones are only one piece of that puzzle, and therefore, like any complete puzzle all peaces are necessary.

        • I’ve written multiple times about Google’s ultimate goal being to get clicks on ads. I wrote about it in detail here: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/03/29/dont-be-evil-opinion/

  • rthvk

    I think the N5 will go down in history as the perfect Nexus – Google seems to gave addressed all our complaints except battery life, and has managed to keep the N5 below $400 off-contract for all configurations. That point is amazing, and with the correct usage iPhone 4/4s users could truly be compelled to it.

    Good luck, Google.

    • Jeff

      Well, we don’t know yet about the battery life.

  • Jeff McLean

    You left out a MAJOR part of why people buy Nexus devices.

    Three words: fastboot oem unlock

    Had you included that in the article, I would’ve taken it much more seriously.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      i think you missed the point of his opinion (unless i missed it). He’s trying to figure out why the best form of android is not in the hands of every consumer. You told us what we already know, nexus devices are popular in the smaller tinkerer community.

    • I specifically mentioned that they are for developers and Android enthusiasts. I didn’t think I needed to specify why on Droid Life.

      • Jeff McLean

        If that were the main case, then why aim your article at mainstream phone users? Devs and modders are a very different userbase than the every day users. You guys know that. You can’t argue both sides of the fence on who nexus devices are aimed at and what their purpose is….

        • Nexus devices are for devs and enthusiasts, but I think they should be for the mainstream. I think that was Google’s original aim, too, but that they’ve given up on it now. That’s why there was so much focus on the consumer side.

          • grumpyfuzz

            I definitely agree with you on that. I’d recommend a Nexus phone to someone like my Dad anyways. He probably wouldn’t know what it was, but if it was marketed more, people would actually get the “true” android experience. No lag, no stutter, and an overall very good experience. People that I know think android is Samsung, which is why Google definitely needs to market their phones more.

  • Eric Whitaker

    It matters to me. Its the reason I am leaving Verizon when my contract is up in January.

    Google has put themselves into a tough position and they probably won’t change it unless times get tough. Then they will have a financial incentive to own the market. Right now they are making tons of money.
    Major companies will never do anything unless money is to be made. Right now they just make too much money the way things are.

  • Godzilla


    • Yaniv


    • Cory_S

      This has to be the one podcast where he didn’t have his Apple earbuds in.

      • There were a few. Those are my Palm headphones, though.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Ending note #7 is pretty much what I think. I believe Google bought moto so stock android can be pushed in a competing way. In a sense, moto is the nexus with numbers.

  • Chris

    “The Nexus 5 appears to finally match current generation hardware” But I am still going to use an iPhone…

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Flawless logic 😛

  • Justin Appler

    This article makes sense in the context of the Nexus 4, but it doesn’t really address the Nexus 7 which has been marketed as a consumer device. It’s simply the best small tablet there is and it sells to a non-developer audience. Check the Amazon.com ‘best selling’ list for evidence.

    The question is whether the Nexus program will continue to be the cutting-edge developer devices or become Google’s vehicle to drive the Play Store and the Google Experience. I think how Google markets the Nexus 5 will answer that question.

    • Like I said in the endnotes, the Nexus 7 is a good device, but we have no idea how well it has actually sold. Most estimates put it behind Samsung and “other” still.

      • ugh!!!

        How well it sells is irrelevant to Google if it puts more Android devices into people’s hands, and the N7 did just that. Prior to it apple dominated tablets. . . now?

        Don’t you understand Google, unlike apple, doesn’t care if they sell more hardware, only that they have access to all mobile devices, thus by selling more Android device other platforms can’t cut them out, and the Nexus line drives down cost of entry. . . . . etc. . .

          • ugh!!!

            Then the Nexus line (tablets, phones, etc) his HIGHLY relevant!

            You are so contradictory and confused. . . trying to turn Google into MS or Apple is your issue. They are doing just fine — with the dominant mobile OS. . . .

            So, really this article is just a hit piece by you for clicks? Or you don’t fully understand what you were talking about in that article you just linked to?

            It’s got to be one of those two, which?

  • Guest

    Ron adds no value to Droid Life

    • Ian

      Without consideration for competing views you then deny yourself any chance at a constructive discussion.

      • JoshGroff

        That’s a good way of looking at it.

      • OnlyNexus

        yeah, cause we can’t find competing views anywhere else on the web, thus we need them presented on an Android centric blog. . .

        click bate is all it is. . .and Ron isn’t really a stellar example of intellectual understanding on this subject.

    • rthvk

      You know what? I like Ron’s articles.

      I may not always agree with him but his points are usually pretty valid. I respect his opinion and don’t spend my time trashing him.

      As much as I like Android, I think Ron is a great balance for DL to keep the readers, Kellen, Tim, and Eric in check.

      To Ron: try to ignore this hate. Know that there are people out there who really appreciate you being part of the site 🙂

    • Joe Zollinger

      Guest comments add no value to anything.

      • CLICKbaitRONALD

        Is that because they conflict with your view? You may have more in common with the “Guest” than you think..

        • Joe Zollinger

          It was just meaning to be ironic. But really, to make such a negative comment under anonymity is pretty worthless. Own your comment. I disagree with Ron on this as well, but to say he adds, “no value” is just wrong….

          • CLICKbaitRONALD

            Kinda like this…Joe Zollinger adds no value to intelligent conversation? **I hope you get the irony**

  • runner30

    I liked your comments last show about the Nexus program, Ron. Was a nice break from the usually circle jerk and made the show actually interesting.

  • rs

    Nexus is really just Google’s line of devices. It isn’t a “program”, so stop calling it that. It serves as a reference platform for development, as well as a good platform for developers to use, without dealing with manufacturer specific extras.

    The other point is that Nexus devices get AOSP support, binaries, and factory images. Google Play edition devices don’t get that type of support.

    • Google has NEVER had their line of devices. There has always been another hardware OEM. Honestly people like you that come to sites and think they knew everything and make easily idiotic mistakes while trying to bash another is the pinnacle of ignorance. Nexus isn’t a platform, Android is. Please know your technology terms.

  • Joe Zollinger

    Great write-up! I hear what you’re saying… but you are completely wrong 🙂

    I think that you’re wrong about Google’s goal with the nexus program. I think Nexus devices offer a clear comparison for all other manufacturers. Without this program, I think it’s inevitable that Google would loose the ability to offer a clear standard for an android phone. They don’t need to have the “best” phone, they only need to set a base line for a “good” phone…. so many other thoughts

    • jahsoul

      Actually, the Nexus One was designed to be used as a standard for high end Android phone. At the time, the Nexus One had the best hardware and newest version of Android. Having the G1 at the time, I remember my mouth dropping when they announced the specs; a 1ghz process and 512MB of RAM…….512MB..lol. At it’s release, nothing could top that.

      I don’t agree with Ron most of the time but this is dead on. Am I saying “away with Nexus?” No but I wish they approached the Nexus phones like they did with the Nexus One.

      • Joe Zollinger

        That may be true of the Nexus One (I’m was a bit late to the smartphone scene) but I think Google realizes that having the “best” smartphone is not realistic. As it stands there is a really good selection of top tier smartphones, and if the N5 looks like we want it to, it will be another great option, but more importantly, it sets a high bar for next year’s OEM’s to out do. Most of the “this phone vs. that phone” reviews online pull in the current nexus device, because it is the standard.

        The only place Google has failed in the Nexus area, imho, is with Verizon…

        • jahsoul

          Actually, Google could have the best smart phone but then if they implement everything we want in one iteration, it wouldn’t be much to build on..lol.

          I think now, the Nexus line is about carrier/economic disruption and is looking at a master plan in the future of voice services, but I may be wrong, but think about it, Google Voice over Hangouts; who would need a carrier for minutes. Then boom “Google Cellular Data Services.”

          • Abgar Musayelyan

            google just needs to put up nationwide wifi and buy republic wireless. .. like now.

    • I don’t think it’s a reference device anymore. For example, the standard is supposed to be apps that follow Holo guidelines. Samsung and HTC’s software do not. Software buttons are supposed to be standard, but Samsung and HTC both use physical buttons still.

      • Droidzilla

        No, they don’t; but are you trying to say that you know Sammy, HTC, LG, Moto, etc. weren’t influenced by the look and feel of stock to update their clunky, cartoony, last-gen-feature-phone-esque skins? They upped their hardware game in response to the Nexus One, and now they’ve upped their software/feature/look-and-feel game in response to the continuing Nexus program. They’re still trying to differentiate, sure, but most skins are far more stock-ish in the latest versions than in any previous versions. I doubt that’s a happy coincidence.

        • That appears to mostly be in response to journalists and vocal enthusiasts insisting they want stock Android. Also, I would imagine part of it is about getting updates ready faster.

          • Droidzilla

            And where did the journalists and vocal enthusiasts get the idea that there was something wrong with the way the OEMs did their skins, or with the speed with which OEMs/carriers updated devices? Isn’t it at least arguable that they got this from the contrast of those devices with Nexus devices?

          • Absolutely. Journalists and enthusiasts want all devices to run stock so that all phones get faster updates.

      • Joe Zollinger

        But every blog and news site has a column to compare “new” phone to the current nexus. It’s like, new phone vs iphone vs nexus. Google is kinda like Apple in that they can release a phone, and guarantee that people will buy it. And in the Android world, that means that it holds a base line that any other flagship needs to not only hold it’s own, but stand out.

        Really, It is not to Google’s advantage to really have the best phone. Leave that to the OEM’s (including Moto) and just hold a standard for a really “good” device….

        • Blogs compare the Nexus to everything else because it’s always been considered Google’s flagship phone. You could argue that Google makes a good enough phones for devs, but I don’t think it serves as a reference device anymore.

  • ZeeX1

    Go moderate some i-life dot com for heavens sake!!

    • Chris

      get a life child

      • ZeeX1

        I already have one mr. big idiot! I’m not an i fan who is moderating an android site and continues to brag about android!

        • Chris

          maybe he likes both platforms. You can like both…

        • Jeff

          I think I am going to call the next person I need to yell at ‘Mr. Big Idiot’… and then probably fall over laughing at how sill it sounds.

  • elemeno

    Here’s why the Nexus program is exciting for me:

    Google software developers > Samsung/LG software developers
    Samsung/LG hardware developers > (nonexistent) Google hardware developers
    $349 << $650

    • But lately that is the Play Edition and Not Nexus programs as Ron stated. So I reiterate his point, if Google uses others to make the hardware but have stock android and call it the play edition, then what is the Nexus Program?

      • Droidzilla

        Play Edition phones are still very high priced, and they do not have the hardware included that Google specifically optimised the software for. It’s a significant difference for overall OS control. Nexus isn’t about introducing new hardware (well, maybe here and there), it’s about directing the flow of Android as an OS and ecosystem. I’m glad Google is focusing on software and letting the hardware OEMs worry about hardware innovation.

  • Godzilla

    Ron is like that guy who drives a Prius and says “Muscle cars no longer matter” even though muscle cars showcase performance for what Ford, Dodge, and GM can do with their vehicles.

    • Ian

      bad analogy

  • Ninja

    I feel like the problem here is a fundamental lack of understanding of what Google’s main goal is of Android. It’s not to put vanilla Android on as many devices as it can, but to create ad and search revenue by spreading that service around. With Samsung, HTC, etc Google is doing a great job of ensuring that they are creating profits for themselves, all while not having to worry about what other companies are doing with their software.

    Also, another problem with the common person’s ideology of the Nexus program is that they haven’t realized that Google is changing to keep up with the market for Nexus devices. To me, the point of Nexus devices has shifted from releasing top-end hardware to releasing the newest versions of it’s OS first (as stated in the article). By doing so, Google is minimizing the chances of failure for their devices while providing a low-cost device to many developers and users out there.

    At the end of the day, these companies have to be open to change for their product offerings. Google realized that there was no point in offering those high-end devices when they can just release Google Play Editions for users who want the top-spec hardware.

    • Google’s main goal as a company is definitely to create ad and search revenue, but study and study indicates that the majority of that money is not coming from Android, but from iOS. I think that was one of their goals when they bought and developed Android, but that is not what they’re accomplishing.

      • NexusOnly

        yeah, they should kill Android and let MS and apple rule mobile . . . .

        gee I wonder what Google’s mobile ad revenue would end up like then?

        $0 ultimately. . .

        You didn’t seriously just make that comment? Sometimes I wonder, cause you say things like this that are so clueless!

        • 1. I never said they should kill Android.

          2. Google is making more money from ads from iOS than they are from Android. A lot more. http://gizmodo.com/5897457/google-makes-four-times-more-money-from-ios-than-android

          • NexusOnly

            OMG!!! you keep banging that ad drum!

            current ad revenue does NOT equate future ad revenue! Get it through your head, that’s a faulty argument and means nothing! other than ios users like ads, maybe.

            Your comments and arguments imply they should just worry about iOS — imagine you pushing iOS. Or be “apple” and push hardware.

            I guess apple fans really can’t get it. . . .
            Google != apple

            It’s as simple as that, you’re stuck in your fanboy world and can’t see any other way being valid.

            You seem to be a “believer.” Like religious zealots that can’t hear anything other than their own beliefs, you do the same. Deflect valid arguments and reality, ignore the many faults of your own arguments, and continue hammering on the same “beliefs” as if that will somehow make them truth. . .

            best of luck with that. . . .

            Your arguments and premises have been shown to be faulty and invalid — you’re a butthurt apple fan that’s mad the Nexus isn’t coming to Verizon but you wouldn’t buy it anyway, because you will stick with the iphone no matter what. yet, you feel the need, once again to attack android and Google. . . . whatever!

      • Ninja

        Wow, that is pretty interesting! It seems though, that they are trying to change that with the introduction of ads in Gmail. Also, the advertisement potential in Google Now is ridiculous, but I think they are just trying to figure out how to introduce that without being too intrusive.

        • Yep. That’s what everyone is trying to figure out – how to make ads effective but not overwhelming as browsing shifts from computers to mobile. It’s a tough problem.

          • Ninja

            That is definitely true; with the much smaller real estate on the phones, it’s a daunting task to place ads in a non-distracting manner. We’ll see what they come up with (probably within the next year), it’s going to be intriguing.

  • sirmipsalot

    Softkeys + software improvements (google now) are the counter to your premise that the nexus line can’t show what android, as a platform, can do – as opposed to what the manufacturers are offering. In terms of pure software, you had things like lag improvements (butter) and photosphere (which works pretty amazingly… yet which is still pretty poorly adopted/cloned technology).

    So the nexus line is moving away from showing what the hardware can do and moving toward showing what the *platform* can do. This means change – which means, frankly, the nexus program.

  • Mordecaidrake

    Git outta hear you damn iPhone user! *raises pitch fork*

  • Godzilla

    *Sigh* Alright Ron look. I respect your opinion as a tech enthusiast. But the fact that you use IOS as your daily driver and are sitting here trying to tell Android lovers that Nexus devices no longer matter quite frankly pisses me off.

    • Jason Downing

      Why does it piss you off? There’s absolutely no need to take it personally. One mans opinion is one mans opinion.

      Having said that, can you really argue with some of his statements? I am a Nexus lover, but they will never sell as well as other Android devices (namely Samsung) and there isn’t really a clear direction.

      • Godzilla

        I am not claiming they will either. But that is not the point of Nexus. We can argue all day long but at this point it’s like Ron is that guy who drives a Prius and says “Muscle cars no longer matter”

        • Jason Downing

          In his opinion, they don’t lol. You can have your opinion and he can have his.

          Differences of opinion are what make things great.

          • Godzilla

            That is fine, and honestly if this was written by a person who uses android as his daily driver it might be a more acceptable point of view.

          • Kellen, Tim and I usually agree with almost everything Ron says.

          • Godzilla

            Well good for you all then, but I dont.

          • Fozzybare

            so, someone who has used plenty of android phones and has an objective view of the situation deserves all this hate? but if eric, kellen, or tim wrote this it would be fine? i dont get it.

          • Godzilla

            Did I say I hated him, didnt you see i said i respect his opinion as a tech enthusiast? The fact that he uses IOS simply devalues his opinion somewhat, to me.

          • Fozzybare

            it shouldnt at all.

          • Whoa there, slow down, E! I’d say we all have our clear opinions on things. In this specific piece, I do think Ron makes some very valid points.

          • Jason Downing

            Last comment from me because I can see where this is going.

            The guy knows what he’s talking about and just because he doesn’t use Android as a DD doesn’t mean his opinion isn’t valid. His opinion is what drives him to be an iOS user.

        • runner30

          From what I gather through the shows, he has used plenty of android phones in the past.

          Congrats on bringing the whole comments section down as a whole with your posts. I’m sure it is why you spend so much time posting obnoxious things.

          • Godzilla

            LOL, yes, because a bunch of other people were not thinking what I was.

        • You tell us then what is the point of the Nexus program. I can use anything in Ron’s statement to shoot you down mainly because he brings a lot of fact to it rather than just ramblings of someone of easily offended such as yourself. Use facts. And obviously you don’t know anything about Ron’s Android history because if you listen to the Droid Life pod casts, his background and current Android knowledge is sharp, to the point where he corrects Kellen and Tim quite a few times.

  • Since I know many have moved on without reading, I’ll at least toss my thoughts out as well, unless I decide to follow-up with a post too.

    I actually tend to agree with Ron that the Nexus program is not what it once was. It was supposed to be the king of all Android, but it’s no longer that way. It’s a niche project from Google for enthusiasts, tech geeks, and the Android team to have their own phones.

    While I’m a Nexus guy and probably always will be, part of me wishes that I walked down the street and saw a Nexus in everyone’s hands instead of a Galaxy S4. But that would take massive marketing, a push to carriers, and more, which Google maybe doesn’t even want to do.

    But I also feel like the program could be all that we love about Android – pushing the OS and hardware. Right now, it really is just “Hey, here’s the newest version of Android! …on someone else’s phone that we tweaked slightly.” The last few Nexus phones have had terrible cameras, one without LTE, and most with terrible battery life. That’s not exactly setting a standard.

    It could be so much more. Many of us are satisfied with the Nexus program because we’re geeks, but don’t you want it to blow your mind here and there?

    • Godzilla

      I read the entire article and I will even agree that the Nexus program perhaps isnt as strong as in years past, but in no way does it “not matter”

      • I don’t think he ever intended for that to be taken literally. He is just saying it has grown to mean a lot less than what it used to mean. It could be more, should be more, and that’s what he’s hoping for. That’s at least how I interpret it.

        • Guest

          I get you point Tim, but when it’s coming from Ron who uses an iPHONE as his daily driver it’s kinda hard to take seriously. Sorry but it is.

          • Fozzybare

            why is it hard to take seriously? i know plenty of people that are using iphones as their phones daily but love android.

          • EdubE24

            I’m that guy. I do love Android, but for the phone I use daily, I prefer the iphone. I enjoy the size, the camera, the battery and its consistent performance. Each android device I own there is something that drives me mad. The iphone may not be the best at everything, but it performs damn well in most things, and that I can live with!

          • It’s funny that you say it’s hard to take him seriously when using an iPhone as a daily driver and yet most Google engineers use an iPhone. So are you saying you don’t take the company Google seriously at all?

          • Buur

            How many Google engineers do you know?

          • Actually only one, Jason Wienzenreid. But I would like to point you to youtube and search any footage of workshops and keynotes of I/O.

          • Jeremy Martin

            I like general words without facts such as “most” and my favorite “they”. Although you didn’t use they in your statement but you used most…so I would like to point out that they say that most of all statistics are made up on the spot. See what I did there? Point is you have no proof to back up your “most google engineers use an iphone” statement so why say that?

          • Raj Bhatt

            Android Engineers? Doubtful.

          • Adrynalyne

            That sounds like an unsubstantiated comment. 😉

          • You haven’t watch any workshop footage or keynotes of an I/O have you?

          • Adrynalyne

            You based your comment for most google engineers on a keynote and other videos?



          • Trevor

            Personally, I think it’s nice to have an iPhone user’s point of view, as long as they are open-minded and not super fanboyish (I kind of hate that word). It’s just good to get another perspective on Android/Google.

          • jose

            I think it’s actually the opposite. I think Ron can be more impartial when he writes about Android devices and the ecosystem overall as opposed to say Kellen, who admits himself he has and always will be a Nexus guy.

        • Godzilla

          Then it should have been worded differently.

          • Alex Goings

            Its called hyperbole.

          • MikeSaver


        • aye_winchell

          And i think that’s the rub, i don’t think that the nexus line is less then it was, i think the market has matured around it. All the carriers are putting out flagship devices running the very latest that they can get, and are trying harder then ever to get updates to there phones faster. Moto’s offering are certainly more mature then when i got my DX and same can be said for Samsung and HTC. All of which have great flagship devices that you can get with stock or mostly stock android. Its just like with the Chrome browser, google didn’t create it to be a market leader, it created it to lead the market, if that makes any sense.

      • chjapa

        Im new to all this bleeding edge tech stuff, however, to me Nexus seems to represent value. Getting a great device at a great price. If it wasn’t for the first gen Nexus 7 I wouldn’t even own a tablet (even thought that experience has been somewhat dissapointing) and the 5 is a steal at $350.

      • I think I said it doesn’t matter on the podcast, but I definitely didn’t say it doesn’t matter here in the article. If I did say it on the podcast I think it was along the lines of “I don’t think it really matters anymore,” which is far less assertive.

    • That’s been my feelings towards the Nexus 5. Finally, a device that can compete against the S4 and the One in terms of specs. Now, if Google decides to market this device to the masses, then there is no person that shouldn’t want to purchase a (supposed) $350 superphone such as this. S800, 1080p, Kit Kat, LTE. It’s a beast at an unbeatable price point. I for one do wish Google would step their marketing game up, so Ron’s points resonate quite well with me.

      • Jaredsutter


        Really, who cares how many people have Nexus devices? When exactly did Google claim that the Nexus program was supposed to be “king of all Android” as Kellen claims?

        Google has to make a phone for their engineers to use and develop on. They have to make it nice enough for the engineers to want to use it. Since they are going through the effort of designing a nice phone and having it manufactured, they order a couple million of them and sell them at or near cost so that Android fans can have one.

        It also happens to be the best option/value for prepaid or off-contract users.

        Why does it matter if everyone else has one?

        • If you can have a great Android experience for just $350, then why not? If you like Samsung’s software or HTC’s, then that’s fine too. I just want people to be happy with their phones. I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended a phone to a friend or family member, only to have them come back and tell me that it’s janky. I’m sick of that. I want Android to be awesome and successful. So, my point is, I think the $350 Nexus 5 will be a sweet Android device that everyone should enjoy. That’s all.

          • Jaredsutter

            So…recommend the Nexus 5. If people don’t do their homework and just buy whatever is sitting in the Verizon store, that doesn’t hurt my feelings.

          • chjapa

            thats exactly what most do.

          • Dale

            This is the problem with Android right now. Someone is going to walk into the Verizon store, buy a $0.99 LG Lucid 2 because it’s cheap, and have a bad Android experience due to below average specs and a 4.1 OS that’ll never be updated.

            I love Android as much as anyone here, but Android gets a bad rep because of the sub-par phones that are still out there and because once your phone is a year old it stops getting updates (non-Nexus phones). I have also met a lot of uninformed people that don’t even know that their Galaxy S3 runs the same OS as my GNex.

            The Nexus program is a remedy for those issue. It’s affordable, could be sold at sub-$100 prices by carriers, good looking, and always up-to-date.

            IMO, the more Nexus devices that are in peoples hands the better.

          • patrick

            This a million times. I have friends who piss and moan about how much better iOs is than Android. When I ask what phone they had, the answer invariably comes back to some low end phone that was free with their contract. I try to show them what Android has evolved into, and it’s basically thanks but no thanks.

            It’s like saying you’d never buy a Ford because the Model T didn’t go over 40.

          • MicroNix

            There will always be those that buy the cheap phone. There will always be Walmart shoppers too.

            In the real world though, its not the LG Lucid that everyone talks about and hypes in the circles. Its all the top Android phones and for those that get off on simple, the iPhone. And its all of these phones *now* that are finally getting the love from the manufacturers after they found out the hard way that if you don’t take care of your customers, they won’t be coming back. I said this years ago in these forums and I’ll say it again….pump out a phone and leave it and the customers will be leaving you. I think Moto as well as HTC had their moments of rethinking their strategy after putting what seemed to be a priority on rushing out a new phone before perfecting the last. Customer retention is *everything* but is what so many fools fail to understand.

          • angermeans

            This is 100% correct and the main problem with Android right now. Even the high end devices from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola (hopefully this changes under Google’s roof although I think Google will be forced to dump them in the coming years) are released a version or two behind and never see more than one update (which is very late and usually full of bugs). People use these phones and can’t wait until their next upgrade because they won’t want Android as like you said, it won’t matter what Android can do as theyve already formed their opinion. Innovation isn’t just making a larger display and customer service is an absolute must in the industry. Apple is clearly playing a long term game and most Android OEMs still can’t see that they are damaging their overall brand by neglecting their customers. We can already see this in the numbers and iOS is not going down and the reason for that is they only play in the high end and take care of their customers. Whereas, Samsung and others are using new versions of Android as selling points and playing a dangerous game of releasing new phones and not letting their customers that just bought their shiny new phone six months ago out in the cold.

          • Revrant

            My Apple fanboy friend hit me with all this nonsense about Android phones because he used a friend’s middling Android once, people do have more negative opinions of Android based on experiences with bloatware and low tier devices where to Apple’s credit they have a very tightly controlled experience.

          • schlanz

            In all fairness the cheaper Android phones released now aren’t anywhere near as bad as they used to be. The Lucid 2 isn’t impressive but I had to use it for 4 months with work and never had any problems and it had fantastic battery life. For someone with very basic smartphone needs on a budget it’s not a terrible option.

            I get the point you’re making though. I think most people still form their opinions of android from 2+ years ago whether it was a low end or top end device it had issues. Most people I talk to who have an android from the last year have loved it whether its a razr hd, gs4, htc one, or whatever the case may be. I know the purists around here like to hate on sense and touchwiz but the average persons experience with it now is quite positive and doesnt taint androids reputation in any way.

          • angermeans

            Yes, but these same people then leave Android and never come back. Your only as good as your weakest link in this industry. This is why OEMs need to be more responsible and keep their phones updated because they’re losing customers and most of them go right to the iPhone where they don’t have these problems. Ive already seen it dozens of times in my own family and friends. I agree that they need to be smart consumers, but even Samsungs high end phones are only being supported for 6-8 months and then consumers are left with a phone for 14-16 months that they hate. Where do you think they go the next time they have an upgrade? We’ve already seen this trend in numbers the last year and half. iOS is growing and Android is planing out. The only market share that is being taken is from Samsung or the dying HTC or Motorola. That should be a huge alarm going off in Google. Hopefully they will make some changes as world wide market share means nothing when 90% of those are all cheap phones in developing countries and sold off contract. Even Samsung’s S lineup cannot keep even close in sales to any of the iPhones. This is why Apple refuses to compete in the low end. It is too risky, and most folks looking for a bargain are the most literal and end up churning back and forth anyways.

          • vcarvega

            Your point would hold more weight if Android’s market share were shrinking or stagnant… But it’s growing. There’s really no empirical evidence to suggest that people are leaving Android and not coming back. Both me and my father left iOS and haven’t gone back. To insinuate that ppl don’t experience problems on the iPhone is simply a lie.

          • carlisimo

            That’s true in most of the world, but in the US, at least with the larger carriers, the iPhone seems to be doing very well. Due to our subsidized phone contracts, some carriers try to give you a $250 Android phone for “free”, or a $450 2-year old iPhone for the same price. No surprise that the iPhone turns out to be better (or less bad, if you prefer).

          • vcarvega

            I live in the U.S. as well… And Android’s market share is still over 50%, while Apple’s is at 40%… There is no large uptick in Apple’s market share to support the idea that ppl get turned off by Android in any significant number. I’m sure it happens… But not en masse. The ame way ppl get tired of iOS and try out Android.

          • J Dub

            In the phone market I do just this. I point them to the best Android phone at the time. Usually this means a Samsung device. I then point them to the iPhone. Telling them to not skimp and get the latest and greatest due to most being locked in for 2 years on a contract. I tell them to try both in the store and see which one they like best. The tablet market is a little different. I always push for the Nexus tabs as they just can’t be beat on pricing or specs.

          • sk3litor

            See I think most of the jank comes from the oems and carrier moogie baloogie. Google should make it very clear that if you buy Samsung or HTC attached to a carrier its not really android, its samsung and htc BASED on android, and if they want pure android, they have to buy nexus. I know these guys helped android tremendously but for better or for worse its not pure android. And at what point are they now hurting android (with all th jank) as much as helping.

          • TheDrunkenClam

            B-b-but the phone knows when you look away and pauses the video for you!

            /unnecessary gimmick.

          • Wayne Peterkin

            I think it’s a nice idea and makes good use
            of the hardware that it’s already there. You don’t like it, you don’t have to use it. Ios users actually make fun of android phones because they have more features, don’t do that. Just because you don’t find it useful doesn’t mean some one else won’t.

          • ButcherChop

            It would be great for Google to step up and sell it to customers in their ads that they get a “pure Android experience” other than the rest, but there is no way of putting it without manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, etc.) being insulted.

          • angermeans

            It’s not just skins. Android has jank no matter the hardware you throw at it. I didn’t notice it (as much) until I started using iOS and even WP7/8. They are really behind the competition in this regards and the recent news that Google spent some money to correct this should show you that they indeed know its a problem. Yes, skins can make it worse (I don’t think Samsung is even physically able to create a lag free experience as they’ve dug themselves in a gimmicky hole they can’t get out of), but until Google can make Android as a whole run better and run a lot smarter we won’t see this problem change. Project Butter was an ok start and at least made Android usable, but they have a long ways to go to catch up to the competition. This should be all of their attention over 2014 if you want my opinion as before people dealt with the lag and have always said well, at least when we get dual core, or quad core, or 2GB of RAM, or 3GB of RAM it will go away, but it hasn’t.

          • vcarvega

            I haven’t experienced any more ‘jank’ on the Nexus 10 than the iPad… I’ve had issues with random freezing or rebooting, but it’s rare. Contrary to popular belief… iOS faces similar and random issues as well.

            I can’t speak for WP 7/8, but that’s a whole new crop of issues.

          • bob neumann

            B.S. I have never yet experienced lag on my Nexus 4. Never.
            My inlaws are all on Iphone 4’s and my Nexus 4 runs circles around them, both in features and performance. And it cost less than a used Iphone 4s did at the time.

          • O.o

            angermeans’ comment sounds like someone who just didn’t care too much for android and is justifying that choice. While I would agree that older versions of android had a lot of issues with stability, so did iOS. Remember the adage “Oh you have an iPhone? Wanna see what it’s like when your phone can actually make calls?”? iOS has had it’s fare share (and still does have) of issues. Let’s not act like iOS and Windows Phone (ha!) are head and shoulders above android. I have owned iPhones (actually got rid of the iPhone 5 for the HTC One. Shut up. I blame alcohol for the iPhone decision as I have always been an android guy.) and have an iPad. iOS 7, if I could borrow your term, janked up the OS. Crashes abound. I can’t speak to the quality of phone that Windows Phone has going on. As far as skins go I have to admit that Sense 5 is the first manufacturer skin I haven’t completely loathed and immediately dropped in favor of CM. I do bounce back and forth between AOSP roms and Sense but I tend to use Sense more than I thought I would.

          • angermeans

            So I have to say I agree that Sense 5 on my HTC One is a lot smoother than even vanilla Android is on my Nexus 7. It has come a long way, but it still has problems with jank no matter the hardware you throw at it. Yes, iOS 7 does have some issues as every 1.0 release does. It is a completely rewritten OS from the ground up so you have to expect some bugs. Android has had the same issues with touch screen latency (has to do with hardware and how software runs the code which I read that even the one year only iPhone 5 is 2.5 times faster than any Android phone on the market. I didn’t even read about the iPhone 5s which should be even faster. The same report even said the iPhone 4 was 1.5 times faster than both the GS4 and HTC One. The problem with jank is system wide and one of the issues with java and running through the Dalvic run time.

            Look, I love Android as much as anyone and will continue to love it, but even thought Android has caught up in some regards to iOS they still haven’t fixed the issues. Now that iOS 7 is out that would make Androids ceiling iOS floor. It is only going to get better. iOS was designed around always providing that 60fps and be smooth. They even didn’t allow certain options like not being able to change the wallpaper until they could keep the same speed. Android on the other hand bought the farm. They both have problems and advantages and I do wish iOS had some of the features like being able to set defaults and a better share menu because if it did I would have no reason to buy Android devices. Since, Apple isn’t ever going to allow for setting defaults I will more than likely always want to use Android as it is an excellent OS deserving of all its titles, but thats not to say it doesn’t need a lot of work (so does iOS especially now to iron out the bugs on iOS 7). I find it funny when people won’t admit to having jank and act like Android is buttery smooth because it simply isn’t. If you would go out and try another OS you would see that. Just like when you use Android iOS’ flaws are made shown.

            Google has some work and hopefully we will see an overhaul in the design of Android (vanilla) as it is getting long in the tooth. They need to focus all their attention towards touch screen latency and all keeping a constant 60fps frame rate. I would have felt by now they would have done that, but they haven’t they instead threw every feature you could imagine at Android and decided to then go back and make the OS run smoother. Apple on the other hand planned in advance and won’t release features until they know it will run extremely well. There is a huge difference there and it shows when using the OS. Android is once again playing catch up.

          • Wayne Peterkin

            Apple doesn’t wait for anything to be smoothed out. If this was true then u wouldn’t have the unholy mess known as ios 7

          • Timothy Sternig

            The last
            few Nexus phones have been kind of cheap janky phones in general as far
            as build quality and performance goes. How many people had to return or
            had problems with the Galaxy Nexus because of hardware/reception issues?
            Lots. Especially Verizon’s variant.
            More than tons of people were unhappy with that P.O.S. It was a
            disappointing phone to say the least. The Nexus 4
            wasn’t that great either as far as build quality goes with that fragile
            glass back and everything and No LTE. Another problematic phone that
            didn’t go over so well. Nexus phones just haven’t been that appealing
            because of how cheap they seem and because of their track record of
            being kind of low to mid-range crappy phones…

            I think phones
            like the S4, Note, HTC One, etc. appeal to people more because they seem
            like they are more high quality phones, and because people like the
            extra features. The average user thinks: “I can have stripped down plain
            Android or I can have Android with tons of extra features. I go with
            high quality and extras.”

          • PROlific666

            The HTC one I can see being considered higher quality… but the S4 or the S3… Despite beef many had with the nexus 4’s glass back the build quality was excellent as long as you didn’t drop it. As far as quality build goes, Glass > Plastic. If you hold a Nexus 4 in one hand and a S4 in the other the difference is immediately noticeable.
            The feel of the S4/S3 hardware can be easily described in one line, Plastic. Now to some people that is a plus, but for all the reasons it can logically be considered a benefit I find it nearly impossible to consider High quality one of them.

            The 3.5gb of “extra features” on a S4 my look impressive on a list but… in practice it equates to nothing more than bloatware. Most of those features that are actually useful are available in some form in the play store. But Samsung has went ahead and assumed I want those features and baked them into the OS. Meaning that I can’t delete them if I wanted to.

            The OS on a Nexus 4 comes with 3.7gb used by the OS. On a S4 that number is 7.2gb… So while the “average” user may see “Extra features” Many will see it for what it is, useless gimmicky bloatware. This was the reason I moved to the Nexus line and it only gets worse and worse every year. (At least with Samsung)

          • Wayne Peterkin

            Well at least on the s3 or s4 u get expandable storage that you can use to store apps. So Ur point is more or less moot.

          • anna willoughby

            I beg to differ on the fragile glass…I’ve dropped my Nexus 4 I don’t know how many times on concrete, blacktop, high-traffic carpet, wood, tile, etc and it still looks brand new. There may be a couple small scuffs on the edges, but the back and the screen are in perfect condition. I carry it naked with two little egrips on the back to keep it from sliding off of every surface (which have helped to limit the amount of falls, since the phone was a bit suicidal due to it’s lack of friction).

          • Wayne Peterkin

            What I have a problem with is the lack of expandable memory even though there is only like 12GB of storage. It seems they might address that this time around

          • Aaron Clow

            For me, that’s what it’s all about. Since I ditched Verizon after 12 years, I now want a phone where I DO NOT need a contract subsidy, and $300-350 seems to be the perfect price point for that for a new phone where I don’t have to have an extra $7 month insurance in case something happens to it. Who cares if it’s not extreme cutting edge technology? As long as it continues to draw a huge development base (and therefore I can flash just about anything in the world I want onto it), is not a full generation behind hardware-wise, and is completely and totally unlocked, that’s perfect for me. Yeah, I do wish it had more storage, and maybe a longer battery life, but I’m dealing.

        • normmcgarry

          Agreed. Except it wasn’t just for Google engineers. It was sold for everyone that develops for Android, including all app developers. It was a base phone that would provide the latest and greatest stock version of Android for development, so developers could include the latest features in their apps. Developing an app on Touchwiz, Sense and Blur weren’t really the best platforms that represented Android as a whole. They still aren’t.

        • Jeremy Deats

          Google has never made that claim. Nexus devices were always envisioned as middle of the road hardware devices with a stock Android experience. The concept being for Nexus devices to balance the necessary level of new tech/hardware to take advantage of the latest Android OS features with performance at the level Google considers the envisioned experience and to make that available at a very reasonable price point.

          They are stock reference devices designed to be just that…. Google Play editions of HTC One, S4 etc are along the same lines, the difference is these device weren’t designed as reference devices they are just available with stock Android configuration for developers who want stock Android on nicer hardware.

          • angermeans

            I disagree because what got me to love Android was the Nexus One. That was an excellent device and almost every spec on that phone was unheard of on any other device. Google made it the reference phone for how Android should look and run and it saved Android from becoming a low end OS for cheap smartphones (although there are still a good many of them in the market). The Nexus One is still my all time favorite phone I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning and that was in most because of the experience. It was so far ahead of its time.

          • Jeremy Deats

            I think with the Nexus One Google raised the bar and in the last four years it’s become a rat race between HTC and Samsung and LG (P.S. I have transitioned from the Nexus brand to non-Nexus Android devices)

        • angermeans

          I would agree except then there was the Nexus 4. If they want to make the Nexus line a dev phone (and for enthusiasts) then why keep them from LTE? Let’s face it Google is no longer flexing it’s muscle in the industry like it once was. They continue to let their OEMs get sued, rumors of not letting OEMs have access to early builds of the OS until they announce it (I never understood this if they want Android devices to be updated then give them the code), many have horrible cameras and batteries (how is this helping devs?), and worse of all they are more content with selling cheap devices then really pushing the market. I’ve owned a bunch of Nexus devices and most run like absolute crap (both Nexus 7 although the new one runs a little better it is still built with low end parts and is still too laggy. Their phones don’t run this laggy so that tells me whatever Google and ASUS are using in the Nexus 7 when it comes to memory, chip sets, motherboards, etc are very cheap and don’t hold up well). I know I would spend $600 off contract just like I did with the Nexus One (best phone ever made in my opinion and along with the Droid really launched Android to what we all love today no other Nexus has come close in fact all other Nexus devices outside of the Nexus 7 have almost become jokes because of the lack of LTE, horrible battery life, and worse of all horrible laughable cameras.

          I have to say I agree with Ron. Cheaper isn’t better and Google doesn’t seem to want to compete in the high end because they can’t so they compete in the low end. The Nexus 7 was only the beginning. With all this said Im sure Ill be picking up the Nexus 5 (or whatever it will be called) because I still love Android, want the latest version of it, and most of all I will not be caught dead using skins (although I do have the HTC One). Google needs to wake up though. The lag issue on Android needs to be addressed (I was happy to see Google’s latest buying spree and hope it equates as Android sadly runs slower than my wife’s iPhone 4s even with Snapdragon 800 processors and 3GB of RAM).

      • Jeremy Martin

        Specs…man i wish people would get away from that. I know it is hard really when people try to judge how great a device is. It reminds me of the great GHZ war on PC’s. People were so used to looking for the fastest processor and when Intel and AMD changed the way their processors handle data they found they did not need to strive for the fastest CPU’s…only the best performance. People were lost and some still thought a faster Pentium 4 was better than a slower Core CPU.

        • cheese

          specs are clearly still important. heck, Apple touts their specs all the time when publicly they say ‘specs aren’t everything.’

          Marketers will talk up specs if it benefits their product.

          Specs matter for me. I know that the Qualcomm MSM8974 found in the latest batch of phones is much more efficient in terms of battery consumption than the S600 and S4 Pro SoC.

          Specs matter.

          • Jeremy Martin

            I see what you are saying but I don’t think you see my point. You could have this awesome quad core phone with 8 gb of ram and 64gb built in storage but the over all use of it is laggy and choppy because the phone over all does not perform well due to integration of the components.

            Whereas a device that was made much better and integrated their parts more seamlessly so that the data flows from one piece of the hardware to another as if it were on a ship made of butter is a lot better and more useful. To the end user they really only care about apps opening and closing properly, no laggyness, and how well does it function. You might just get that high performance out of a device with a quarter of the specs from the previous phone if the phone is done right.

            A great example is the Moto X. I used that phone for a week and it blew away my S4 for what I did with it. Everything seems to just work so much better and smooth..the battery life? Awesome! That is all because of how the phone uses its components. On paper the S4 is a better phone…in my user experience it under performed.

          • cheese

            I do see your point. You’re saying that certain specs are irrelevant. Maybe to some it maybe irrelevant, to others, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal to me when a more recent iteration of the Snapdragon series has made huge gains in terms of battery efficiency.

            You’re talking about mainstream specs like the amount of memory, and storage space. That matters to some people as well, like the replaceable battery + SD Card folks.

            Different specs matter to different people.

            To just brush off specs is exactly what companies like Apple wants you to think. To stay ill-informed so the company can dictate to you why their ‘next phone’ is much better than their last.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Apple sells just fine to the iSheep crowd but those people never care about specs. The only people who care about specs are the people posting on this page 🙂 By far we are the minority. People should not care about how much something has more so than how well does it perform. The “how well does it perform” is what matters to me.

          • cheese

            Which is why I never cared for benchmark testing (and we all know by now how flawed of a metric that is due to the rampant cheating going on by the OEMs)

            I don’t understand what you’re trying to say really. Stay ill-informed? What if people like to look up specs, and see where the industry is heading? What if people are into it as a hobby? That’s like if you buy a car, and you say to yourself, ‘forget about the specs of the car, let’s have marketers dictate what I should like about said car.’

            Majority of people won’t care about specs. They won’t know where to start. But to insinuate we should be like the rest and not ‘care’ about specs is a bit, I should say, dumb.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Read my first reply to you..i think we are both sorta saying the same things except you focus more on the hobbyist and I am focusing more on the mainstream user who is trying to decide what phone to get from reading reviews.

            This is in my original reply post:
            our making a different specs type of post talking about the pure hardware within…now that I could agree with more so than saying “this ___ phone has _gb ram and __amount of cores”. Perhaps there is need for both..but the specs part needs to be refocused in reviews.

          • cheese

            I actually don’t think specs are for ‘hobbyists’ only. Specs exist for the consumer to read the specs and decide what phone they want based on that, if they so choose.

            We have to remember that specs isn’t just about the SoC, number of cores, etc. Specs can mean the size of the phone, the weight, the depth, screen size, etc.

            Those kinds of specs matter for people when choosing what phone to get.

          • Jeremy Martin

            Now you are just toying with words to continue your point. 🙂 I already defined what I meant by specs and I did not say at any time that size of the phone, the weight, the depth, and screens size were irrelevant. I also never said specs should be 100% removed either.

            Lets be honest here…OEMs sell phones…a lot of people want phones. Mainstream users do not care about what is inside more than how does it perform, what cool new feature it has, and how does it feel in my hand? They will walk into a carrier store and want to hold the phone (that should answer the size, weight, screen etc)in their hand. Some will buy it based purely on that. A smaller percentage of them will actually go home and Google the phone to find out issues and performance reports from users and reviewers. An even smaller amount of those users (those here) will want to break down the specs to a more granular level to see how it compares to other phones. Then even a smaller percentage like you (by judgement of your posts to others) who seem to understand at a more advanced level of how the components will match up with the other components already in the phone will buy based purely on the specs of a phone. In a way you are using the specs to know performance. I am not talking about people like you as you are a small percentage of who is buying a phone out of the population in the world 🙂

            I am talking about reviews for the ones who Google the device when they get home to find out issues and performance stats.

          • cheese

            Nah, i actually didn’t see your original post harping on how reviews are done. I only saw the replies you made from my original comment.

            I honestly don’t see many reviews that use specs as the sole decider of a phone. If that were the case, I would blacklist all of those review sites that did. Overall the review industry for phones is pretty good and fair.

          • Jon

            Don’t the good reviews explain how the specs improve or make worse the user experience or even which specific tasks? I know AnandTech does this often and sometimes goes into detail on what tasks benefit and how. In terms of marketing, specs will always play a role as one of the many ways OEMs can mislead customers.

          • angermeans

            I buy both Android and iOS and a lot of other people do the same and I can say I do care about specs and Apple does for the most part as well. They just don’t advertise it, but they care more about what components they have in their hardware than any other OEM on the market. They simply won’t ship or create a product until it meets a certain criteria (i.e the 10 hour battery life on the iPad lineup and lack of retina on the Mini because of it). If you still don’t believe that Apple cares about specs then look at the last two versions of their A series processors. Those are beasts in the industry and run better in both battery efficiency and power than any other processor on the market. They are the only company that hand clocks their processors for that reason as it simply costs too much. They do the same with their displays. I can stand here flat footed and honestly say the display on the iPhone 5 and 5s look better than the displays on much higher ppi displays on competing phones because again the technology that goes into them such as the in-cel display tech that no other OEMhas even tried and the iPhone 5 has been out for over a year now. Go over the Anandtech and read the reviews on the iPhone 5 last year and 5s this year. The A7 wipes the floor with any other processor on the market and does it while only running at 1.3Ghz and only 1GB of RAM. There is a lot more that goes into components then just raw speed or what Ghz they run, etc. This is in a lot of the Apple’s products they simply just don’t choose to advertise them as much and use them as selling points, but people take advantage of them everyday and no how important they are. Android OEMs on the other hand simply just throw as much mega pixels, Mhz, RAM, high ppi displays, etc into their products (which are made by other companies and not used in any way to further the exact device they go in).

            Apple’s way of doing things is much smarter. Get people using their products and Apple will continue to work just slightly ahead of Moore’s Law (this is debatable) and they have certain things each interation of their iProducts have to take. They all have to hit a certain battery life, the S series seems to have to double the speed of the version before it, and many other things such as implementing 64bit in iOS literally years before any of the competion has even thought about it. So, yes Apple does care about specs they just don’t their customers to worry about them as when it comes to their products specs don’t matter because when software isn’t optimized to take advantage of the hardware then the spec is nothing more than dead weight. I hope this is where Android OEMs will go next once the industry starts to mellow out on specs because Apple has shown time and time again that optimizing great hardware with excellently coded software will win every time over sheer horse power and no software to take advantage of it.

          • chihova

            yeah yeah….sounds like you should be at some apple fanboy convention. making up statistics and busting out jizz everytime you mention apple. give me a break already.

          • Michael Hildebrand

            He didn’t misunderstand you. He’s just pointing out that these days, everyone is starting to repeat the mantra “specs aren’t everything”, so much that it’s something that no one should care about.

            And that’s just not true. TRUST ME. WE DO UNDERSTAND YOUR POINT. My point is, 2GB of memory is simply more memory, double, than 1GB. 4 cores IS more cores, and 2GHz IS faster than 1GHz. There’s going to be a flat out advantage for phones that have better specs, which is why they are still important and relevant.

            For the most part, these specs translate to user experience (in general). Every once and a while, a manufacturer will go hard on the software and integration, and break the norm, making non-cutting edge phone hardware outrun the heavy hitters. THIS IS NOT THE NORM, and does not mean specs are meaningless. It’s just a good example that specs aren’t everything.

            And remember, I’m not annoyed by people saying “specs aren’t everything”, because I agree. It’s the people that say “stop looking at the specs” that get to me.

          • Jeremy Martin

            I LIKE CAPS TOO 🙂 I do not think all specs should be removed…but too much focus is on specs. What good does an OEM phone with the most awesome specs in the world do for you when in the end that OEM wont support the phone with new OS updates after a year? Also apps on the play store are not demanding in the system requirments in a phone. How many cores will be used honestly if the app does not support more than one core? In two years you might have a phone that, specs wise, would be great for the new version of Android out but your OEM has no plans to release an OS update for it as they have already moved on to the next best thing.

            No i see your point and individual component wise I can agree with stating its specs. However stating its specs as being superior over another phone is not a good way to review. On paper a phone might be great…while using it that might not be the case.

          • Michael Hildebrand

            Obviously you can’t know before you make a decision on a phone whether it will be supported for years or not, hence the consideration of what you DO know, i.e. specs (and if possible, go give it a test in the shop…still a limited trial time though).

            Sure, you can run most apps on most phones. I’ve seen my fair share of apps, though, that won’t run on inferior hardware, and I’d be pissed if I didn’t have good enough hardware to run it. This is completely relevant. And just because your phone can run something, doesn’t mean a better-specced phone won’t be able to run it better, launch it faster, and sport better graphics, because it will.

            Like lots of people here, I’ve read tons and tons of device reviews in my days, and I’ve not often seen any reviewer lean on specs to say that a phone is better than a competing device. They always have a section about performance and such, but always talk about everyday use and lag, and hardware/software integration. So using those is not how they are “reviewed” by sites. For us, the consumer, though, we can use those reviews, and the spec sheets, to make a decision. It’s not feasible to buy one, try it for a month, and then decide you want to switch.

            Sorry about the caps bro, but with no bolds or italics, I gotta get my emphasis in there somehow!

          • Jeremy Martin

            haha np on the caps…i was just posting back in fun with the caps to keep it light hearted.

            Most of what you replied to is fact regarding some of the write ups..the emphasis though to me seems to be the specs part of reviews more so than talking about hands on experience which is what mainstream users are googling for. Reviews like to compare to paper models of other phones based upon their specs. Some go as far as putting the device side by side (which I like) and review the devices doing the same things. I also don’t disagree with using specs in a review. My original post actually says something to that. Trying out a phone for a month too, I agree, would not be feasible. But I keep going back to the Moto X. On paper the S4 beats it…in my hands the Moto X beat the S4.

            I do want to reply to this though:
            “I’ve seen my fair share of apps, though, that won’t run on inferior hardware, and I’d be pissed if I didn’t have good enough hardware to run it. ” — This is true…but it is a slanted argument. There are apps that are geared towards certain hardware from the start. A great example is Nvidia and their Tegra hardware. There are apps that will ONLY run with that chipset (or at least they make you believe). There are also apps that wont run on old hardware and should not be expected to. However an app developer most of the time cares about 1 thing (two if its a pay app which is money) getting the app on the most devices. They are going to gear the app towards the most used hardware out in the hands of people today…not tomorrow. I do not expect many apps to run on my old OG Droid as it has long since passed its prime. With that thinking all apps on the market today should run just fine on any device bought today and used for the foreseeable future (within the next 2 years) with ease. After 2 years the people who care about specs when getting a phone will more than likely be getting a new one anyways.

          • Michael Hildebrand

            True. Except my point about loading times, lag, and graphics detail still stand. Lots of devs get the games to run on as many devices as possible, true, but allow for different versions of the game (i.e. Riptide GP2, and others like it, have much improved graphics on devices with newer hardware. older devices can run it, but the detail isn’t there like the new ones). And lag and load times, those are just things that everyone has to deal with in some apps and games; simply, better hardware cuts down on those times. But I see what you mean.

          • Tim242

            The Note 3 battery life is much worse than the Note 2. I decided to go back to my S4, which gets me slightly better battery life than the Note 3. The Snapdragon 800 is not as efficient as people claim.

          • Bionicman

            Ummm I get better battery than my note 2. I never got over 5 hours screen time on my note 2 like I do on my note 3.

          • Tim242

            I got 5-6.5 hours of screen on time, 23-26 hours of usage on the Note 2. On the Note 3, I never saw over 4 hours screen on time andit never made it past 14 hours of use. Exynos is more efficient. Not sure why they stopped using it in the US…it worked fine with LTE.

          • cheese

            You can pair a S800 SoC with a lower resolution display or smaller screen and it would have much longer battery life.

            Your complaint has more to do with Samsung than Qualcomm. The Note 3 is also crammed with 3GB of RAM, which adds more battery consumption to the mix, as well as their stylus pen and 1080p amoled display.

            I guarantee you a 4.7 inch MSM8974 SoC will perform admirably well in battery testings than on a bigger sized smartphone.

          • TylerChappell

            That’s unfortunate, my friend who got the Verizon Note 3 can’t shutup about how great his battery life is, and hes a moderate-heavy user.

          • Charles Nelson

            Specs are important but not to the point where is falls into “Progress for progress sake” at the expense of usability. It’s all part of a larger picture and to tunnel on specs alone is ignorant.

            What the nexus line is doing right now is filling a void of affordable, compatible and reliable Android devices. Essentially providing a baseline of stability and simplicity. There is a reason Apple still manages to sell computers despite being years behind in the computer market; simplicity.

            In this day simplicity is winning over the masses. Many of the more educated consumers will spend countless amounts of time pouring over specifications, reviews, benchmarks and details while the vast majority never bother to take any interest in the details.

            Are specs important, absolutely. But there is equal weight in the tangible nature of elegance and simplicity.

          • cheese

            Nobody is tunneling specs as the sole decider of a phone. I’m only making the argument that specs are still necessary and important to the customer if they SO CHOOSE to use the specs as a decider for their next phone.

            The reason why the Nexus line isn’t doing as well as it should is because it’s barely marketed at all, compared to juggernaut’s like the Galaxy line from Samsung.

            But that’s not the point of Google’s end game. Their purpose is to have as many mobile phones with Google search on it, sold/given to as many people as possible all over the globe.

            And guess who has the supply chain muscle to pull off selling/giving away as many android handsets as possible? Samsung.

            Google allowed Samsung to dominate the Android handset market because they have the clout to do so.

            Does anyone possibly think that if Google went at it alone, that they would have as much reach as they do now? I think Android consists of more than 80% of the market now.

        • Moss

          I look at specs. I look at the capacity of the removable and optional extended batteries. I also look at the largest storage the SD slot can hold. Sometimes I look if the physical keyboard has a ctrl key to make SSH and terminal sessions easier.

      • Drome

        I agree with you here.. The g nex and nexus 4 were both plagued with issues that prevented them from being the best phone. From what I have seen the nexus 5 looks to solve all of those problems. If it launches with bugs and flaws like it did last time (RE: battery problems, lack of LTE, cracking glass) maybe I will need to wake up as well. I do not ever see the nexus program over taking the galaxy line but if it wants to gain any sort of traction it needs to make it daily drivable for new and casual android users.

        As for the GE phones. These are no equivalent to nexus as the source is not released. This effectively kills most of the development on the phone.

      • cheese

        Wait, so a $350 unlocked, unsubsidized phone that is easily accessible to purchase from Google’s site is not as accessible as non-Nexus phones that are mostly binded to carrier contracts with confusing rates?


      • Cody Menlove

        I’m with you both on this. My views are admittedly skewed because I’m a Nexus fanboy. However, I can’t disagree with what Ron is saying, even if it hurts.

        There is one thing that I think is being overlooked. In a weird way, it seems like the Nexus program has helped OEMs get more recognition and, even though Nexus’ haven’t sold in the millions historically, a better customer base. It almost seems to be an unintentional side-effect of being the OEM to make the Nexus.


        1) HTC – Nexus One – It was a great phone, pushed spec boundaries and helped HTC break out as a major player in the hardware market for smartphones. Sadly, they don’t seem to be continuing in a dominant way even though they still make excellent hardware.

        2) Samsung – Nexus S – While it wasn’t the highest spec phone, it was shortly after this device the Galaxy S II came out and that Galaxy brand came into it’s own, turning into what untrained users now think is Android.

        3) LG – Nexus 4 – Who honestly paid much, if any attention to any phone LG released before the Nexus 4. When it was announced, many Nexus fans were up in arms because LG “makes crap hardware”. Yet, when most of us got our hands on it we fell in love with the build quality (glass-back excluded for Kellen’s sake). They certainly got my attention after the Nexus 4 and I have full confidence in the quality of the Nexus 5 sight-unseen, because of it.

        That begs the question: Google has never let any OEM make more than 2 Nexus’, so which OEM will be favored next?

        • Radgatt

          I am betting that HTC will make the next Nexus. If not them then Sony. And if not Sony then for this one time the firewall will be brought down and Motorola will make the next Nexus. Just a guess. I don’t see LG or Samsung being in the mix, especially Samsung since they are recognized as much as Apple is now regarding phones.

      • Alan

        I’d like to pay more to have an optional extended battery and expandable memory. The Nexus is more limiting in certain areas to make it not worth buying for some (ie. me). I don’t even mind “downgrading” to a Mot X8 chipset to get those 2 things.

      • NorCalGuy

        Can it really be considered a super phone here in america if the largest phone market can not even get it? Yes the specs are super but it will never get that wrap because it will be used by tmobile people who left Verizon because they wanted the next nexus ( yes all 2000 readers from DL). Who else really even knows about this phone yet? Definetly not the masses and those are the people who decide which phones are the best. Just like they turned the s4 into a super phone when most of it is a gimmick and not much improved over the s3.

      • starnovsky

        Nexus doesn’t need to compete on specs, it should compete on user experience. I’d choose Nexus 4 over S4 or One any day, although the specs are lower. Simply because I don’t need to root/ROM Nexus just to get it in a useable state.

      • Alex Boro

        The sad reality is Google doesn’t want everyone to have Nexus phones. They much rather use their marketing budget on the Moto X, where they can actually make a profit.

      • Lugnuts McGruff

        To be perfectly honest, I think Ron has the potential to be the biggest Nexus Fanboy the world has ever seen, and I mean that in the best possible way.

        For what it’s worth I think Ron addressed almost all of the points in the “what’s missing to make the Nexus program/devices the predominant force in the wireless sector” argument. I’d like to add a few more that I think are worth mentioning.

        1. Verizon has to migrate their voice service to VoLTE. Nationwide. Sorry to say but whenever I hear “But the Nexus isn’t available on Big Red???!!!” basically that’s simply another way of saying it doesn’t come with a CDMA radio and frankly it never will, nor should it imho. We all know you can’t introduce a CDMA device without the carrier buy-in unlike HSPA/LTE devices where yep, you can just drop in an activated sim and be off to the races. This in my opinion is the biggie and once this happens it will have the potential to open things up for the Nexus program. If nothing else Nexus phones are regarded as truly world (hspa pentaband) phones and with the rumor that the 5 will include a multiband LTE chip, this will open things up once carriers migrate to VoLTE, big red included.

        2. Google needs to leverage Motorola into the Nexus Program and be done with it. I agree with Ron, riding on the coat-tails of LG and Samsung’s flagship devices is perhaps doable but with a device manufacturer at your disposal why would you? and why should your for that matter? I’d like to think that the migration to Motorola is inevitable but a sign that it’s moving in that direction would be nice (does the moto-x count as a sign?)

        3. Lastly, the final missing link(s). Price and Marketing. I think we can all agree that a price point of $350 off-contract is about as compelling as it gets. Back that up with a slicker that sh*t “Brought to you by Google” Marketing campaign during Superbowl Halftime and watch out. Is a campaign necessary for the mainstream (read non-geek) consumer to jump on board? Unfortunately yep. Is it doable? Easily for so long as Google makes the committed decision to actually Do It.

        I suppose that last point “…for so long as Google makes the committed decision to actually Do It” is perhaps the cornerstone of all 3 of my bullet points. Why haven’t they done that already? I’m not sure to be honest, i wish that had. One hopes that they will find themselves going down that path as a natural conclusion to where the Nexus program is heading on its own.

      • Higher_Ground

        It’s going to take a heck of a lot of marketing to get any significant number of people to leave Verizon.

    • Jason Downing

      Agree here. I read the article and also agree with many of Ron’s thoughts… There’s not much to argue. All he’s saying is that it’s not what it once was, the devices won’t sell as well as other OEM’s are, and there’s no clear direction of what it’s supposed to be

      He’s right, but I’m still a Nexus lover and will continue to be.

    • aye_winchell

      Actually what you get is “Here is the next version of android….Actually running on something”. If it were not for the nexus program then all you would get is the release of the next version of android, and a whole lotta nothin while everyone waits for OEMs and Carriers to push updates. It doesn’t have to be about wither pushing the software, or pushing the hardware, its about pushing android as a brand.

      • Fair enough about a Nexus phone being one of the only to give us 100% pure Android. But is it really pushing Android as a brand if no one knows about it or can get it in that form? For example, my wife, probably has no idea that you can buy a Nexus phone from Google Play. But she sure as hell knows where to get the Moto X or Galaxy S4 or Note 3.

        • rthvk

          Another critical part of the puzzle.

          I think TMo and Best But will be selling the N5 this year – that could be pretty major

          • Derrick Jefferson

            “In my area” tmo is a joke… this is simply not an option, and it’s that way for a lot of people.

        • blix247

          Thats not what he is saying. He is saying that if it weren’t for the Nexus program, Kit Kat would be announced, demoed and then *nothing* for several months. There would be no devices running Kit Kat.

          • But that’s exactly what happens anyway. You get the small amount of Nexus phones out there in the wild with the new OS, and the rest of the world sitting and waiting for OEMs to get it ready for their phones.

          • aBabyPenguin

            Isn’t that out of Google’s control though? They can’t make the OEMs pump out the updates any faster.
            The only way I could see them solving that problem is selling MORE Nexus devices. Which I wish would happen but Google doesn’t like to toot their own horn for some reason.

          • aye_winchell

            But that’s not what happens for me, i have a nexus 7, so i get it immediately, which gives the opportunity to show those, less inclined to spend all day at work on droid-life, what the latest and greatest is before OEM carriers muck it up (if they do).

            A small amount of nexus phones in the wild is better then none, is it not? i mean at least i get to see it run on something in its pure naked glory first. Also perhaps its not completely googles fault, i would love a nexus phone, but i’m stuck on the big V, and i know exactly where to place the blame on that one, and its not with google.

            Also i am getting entirely tired of being called part of a “small” community of enthusiasts. Look at what the small community of enthusiasts did when Verizon screwed up a couple weeks ago and let people upgrade and keep unlimited, it was a ground swell, that forced verizon to not only respond to the situation, but was large enough that Verizon had no choice but to honor the mistake they made. You know if verizon could have in any way kept themselves from having to honor that mistake they would have. But there were too many to risk the Pr nightmare it would have been.

            BTW i have no issues with ron or his opinions, this was well written and appreciated, i just think the nexus line is not important in the sense that it has to be a flagship that competes with the iphone, but a guiding light that shows what it is at its core without oem skins or carrier bloatware.

          • Trysta


            I completely agree. Yes obviously it would be great if more people could experience the latest and greatest from google but without the nexus Google would have ZERO incentive (as opposed to the small but growing incentive they have now) to develop user facing features as part of the core OS. You would basically just have small nifty apps that made you give Google your data and tools for OEMs to use or more likely ignore as they see fit.

            I think the Nexus program has made Android sooo much better. I came to Android back during Froyo. Stock Froyo was not that great looking and the stock apps were just awful – no decent music player, really bad camera etc. Why? because Google has little incentive to develop things few consumers will ever see. Now that Nexus phones/tablets are on the play store at discount prices (much better than the situation with the Nexus One and Nexus S and GNex for the first part of its life) you are starting to see HUGE improvements in stock android with a much better look and great features like better multi-tasking and folders that I honestly don’t believe would have been developed if Google was just in charge of building a base for other manufacturers to skin.

        • Trevor

          I haven’t read the article in its entirety yet, so this may be addressed, but perhaps Google doesn’t push the Nexus devices because they don’t want to step on their partners’ shoes? If Goog start taking a lot of sales away from HTC & Samsung, maybe they would start thinking about using a new OS (slim pickins when it comes to OSes, but still, it could happen). Just spitballing.

        • David Nguyen

          I tend to disagree with that comment. I know for a fact right off hand 3 friends of mine asked about the Nexus phone and if they should wait for the next one and another 3 right off the bat got a N4 to my surprise. While I agree maybe in previous iterations might not have had mainstream appeal compared to the Droid for instance but with the Nexus 4 the branding has become more popular for a phone that isn’t even advertised. Sure there are people that ar completely clueless and will buy whatever is on the shelf…GS4, One, iPhone. People don’t really ask me if it is a ‘Droid’ anymore but if that is the ‘Google’ phone.

          I was on the train yesterday and spotted a guy using a N4. I was at the movie theater to watch Gravity and I noticed the couple in front of me both using N4. Everyone says oh it is only for nerds and geeks but not so. When I ask people with the phone why they decided to get this instead of the GS4 for instance and everytime it is that it will get the update faster. Clearly, sites like this and other have spread the word and people aren’t as stupid or dumb when they have the correct information.

          Secondly, while I really enjoy you guys and Tim but sorry but I can’t watch your pod cast anymore. It just irks me to see Ron self entitled bs about Apple. And frankly, I came to hear/watch about Android related news and topics. If I really wanted to hear his bs smug rant I’d just go over to iMore.

        • JD_26

          Marketing costs money right ,… big money .. correct me if im wrong… what was the samsung figure for marketing budget last yr .. 6 billion ? .. this would drive up costs …… for me nexus is a device that has to be Accessible to t every android enthusiast !

    • Raven

      I agree and disagree with parts. Personally, I have never thought the Nexus program had anything to do with pushing the latest and greatest hardware. I think it is more about pushing a yearly standard Android app development platform for software developers. If you follow that train of thought, then Google has been doing just that with the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5. Being the top hardware or even supporting all carriers doesn’t matter as long as it is the official software reference hardware for app developers and even wannabe hardware developers.

      • Tough to argue with that, for sure. But I guess that’s sort of what I dislike about it too. I’m not a developer, but I still want Google’s vision of Android on their version of the best hardware. I think with the Nexus 5 I’ll probably get pretty close to that, but last year was painful at times as I continued to stick with my Nexus 4. We also all know the disaster of the Galaxy Nexus as a consumer device.

        But maybe that really is all Google wants from a Nexus phone? And if that’s all they want, so be it. I’ll just try to think they’ll one day give it all to me. 😛

        • Boblank84

          i think that is what gpe devices are supposed to be for. Except for their version of hardware…

        • Droidzilla

          I don’t think the Galaxy Nexus GSM for $350 could be called anything close to a disaster. The other one, that Big-Red-headed stepchild, was Verizon’s fault.

          • JD_26

            agree with this totally ^ at that time it was grest value at 350! u want to compare it do it with phones in that price range .. not doublely priced iphones etc

    • Blue Sun

      If you believe that Google is gearing up to get in the wireless business (I’m still not convinced at this point), then the Nexus brand is still valuable. Google would would have complete control of the supply chain (pretty much).

    • s23

      We need a completely unique Nexus software and hardware speaking. Android 5.0 would likely seem to be the best for this. We need a nexus based off nothing, bleeding edge in terms of the mesh of specs and price.

      N5 = G2
      N4 = Optimus G
      GNEX = S2
      Nexus S = Galaxy S

      No manufacturer has gone ‘all in’ with the nexus program. If a company would place the same effort into their exclusive ‘nexus’ as they would if it were an S5, HTC One, Moto X, we would be seeing a revolution with the Nexus brand. The hardware isn’t up to snuff with the software, its just good enough to complement it. No manufacturer would rather currently would advertise a Nexus over their flagship.

      Thats why I see a Moto Nexus (in the future) to be the most promising. Google could team with Moto to release a phone that was intended to be a flagship for the entire Android platform, let alone a flagship in Moto’s portfolio. We need a Nexus with a $500,000,000 marketing budget. But we’re just content with any ‘Nexus’ these days and I can’t disagree.

    • Raj Bhatt

      Nexus devices exist to showcase every innovation that Google has baked into Android without the interference of carriers. It is important enough that many of us are leaving grandfathered unlimited plans on Verizon to get the Nexus 5.

      Pure Android with all its parts intact, along with the option to easily unlock and run custom ROMs using Google-provided source code. That’s what makes the Nexus so powerful.

      Ron: you’re allowed to have an opinion but don’t expect everyone to agree with you. Especially when your opinions are the antithesis of what it means to be an Android enthusiast. Dog people don’t get advice on caring for their dog from a crazy cat lady.

      • 1. I agree with you that being able to use Android in its full capacity (ROMs, unlocking boot loaders, etc.) is a major reason to get a Nexus device.

        2. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

        3. I vehemently disagree that my opinions are the antithesis of what it means to be an Android enthusiast.

        • CLICKbaitRONALD

          3. I vehemently disagree that your opinions are those of a true Android enthusiast. You have an unpopular view about something you don’t have complete comprehension of. Since when do true “Android enthusiasts” (especially when writing to a group of their “peers”) present their uninformed opinions as a topic deserving of widespread debate?

        • Raj Bhatt

          Thanks for replying. Perhaps antithesis is too strong a word. But it certainly doesn’t mesh with most of the power users that read this site daily.

          Perhaps your article would make more sense to the type of person that walks into a store and buys a low-end Android device and then needs to hear things like this to justify their purchase to themselves. This site just isn’t frequented by the type of people that do that.

    • Razball

      @Ron and Kellen I do agree, that the nexus program isn’t what it once was. But what if Kit Kat is going to change that. Yes we’ve seen a lot of it but we don’t know if any new apps are coming out for it. Or a new superior functionality or any accessories that only work with it. For instance something like the nexus devices that are compatible get the ability to screen cast on the chrome cast or something that everyone has always wanted. I think it would only take a few new amazing mind blowing features to set it above par. Just my 2 cents.

    • Trevor

      On one hand, I agree that it would be awesome to see Google really put the Nexus name out there and market the crap out of it, but on the other hand, I like the idea of owning a unique phone that everyone and their 5-year old sister aren’t going to be using.

    • Junaid Ansari

      I don’t know about you man, but I have seen many people in Canada here own a Nexus 4. I have seen more people with a Nexus than a Galaxy phone. In Canada anyways. At least 10 of my friends I know own a Nexus 4. They say its the phone they always wanted and it was super cheap!

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I think people are missing the point of the Nexus program. It used to be able pushing hardware to the bleeding edge. I think it has evolved to push the user experience to the bleeding edge. Look at the past few Android OS updates. It’s been increasing stability, speed, and the overall experience of using the device. You don’t need bleeding edge equipment anymore to have the best experience! The Moto X proved that. I’m sorry, but if you are a geek who isn’t getting blown away by the fact you can have the user experience you are receiving with Android or even iOS right now as opposed to even a couple years ago, you might not be an enthusiast anymore, and might just be turning into an entitled user instead.

      • Adrynalyne

        Pushing hardware is the same thing about pushing the user experience. It just so happens that back then, the software wasn’t as optimized, so they did it the only way they could. So, the focus hasn’t changed, the method of accomplishing it has. Especially now that they are eating some of the cost to sell them at such a low price. Before when it was more about the hardware, they were selling them for quite a bit more.

    • Google isn’t interested in blowing people’s minds with the Nexus program. That may have been the goal with the Nexus One, but not anymore.

    • OnlyNexus

      Wow. . . just lost all respect. You don’t know what you are talking about.

      The Nexus line at its core is there to break carrier control. The original had “high specs” for the time because it needed those speaks not to be an utter dog.

      You clearly need to go read about how and why Google got into all this mobile stuff and what happened between them and the carriers when they did. . .

      Google wants to do a whole lot more but they know the carriers will cut Android off at the knees if they do it. . . thus they are pushing slowly and consistently.

      Wow. . . so much clueless going on here!

    • MikeSaver


      Anyone want to start a Ron fan club?

    • Droidzilla

      The Nexus program has matured with Android. At first, smartphones weren’t really the mobile computing powerhouses they are now. The Nexus 1 helped to usher that era in with a cutting edge hardware profile because hardware was what was lacking. Once the OEMs got on board with giving smartphones decent hardware, there was no reason to “blow our minds” with hardware as it was humming along nicely. The Galaxy S series was one of the first of the greats; no real need to change that hardware (for its time), so Google moved on to what was important: software optimisation. Google is a software company (where Android is concerned); let Samsung, Motorola, LG, et al do the hardware. It’s a waste of time and resources to have Google work on processors when there’s all of the silicone concerns doing the ARM game. It’s a waste for Google to focus on screen tech with Samsung, LG, Sony, et al. It makes no sense.

      As hardware is now up to snuff and developing at a reasonable pace, software is king. Compare a Samsung Fascinate to a Nexus S. Compare a Galaxy SII to a Galaxy Nexus. Go ahead. I dare you to say the hardware wasn’t good enough for its time and that the TouchWiz experience was better than stock. We all know (or ought to) that TouchWiz, Blur, Sense, etc. have been affected by the maturity and smoothness of stock. And THAT’S what the Nexus program is about: influencing OEMs. Google did it with the Nexus 1 to influence OEMs to use top-tier hardware, and continues to do it with the Nexus program to influence the look, feel, and behaviour of Android in OEM skins. We get other goodies now and again like NFC and photosphere, but this is the crux of it.

      The Nexus dream is still alive; it’s just no longer a nerd fantasy of spec hype and next-gen hardware. It’s about the feel of the Android experience in its purest and most idyllic form. In that vein, I am very much looking forward to the Nexus 5.

    • zoobey

      Google Nexus program is changing the entire cellular landscape and everyone ,missed the point. How many of you were on a Pre-paid plan a year ago or were considering it? Not many. How many of you are Pre-paid now or strongly considering it? Considerably more than a year ago. Keep selling Nexus Google and I will keep buying and putting my money toward the true innovative carriers. T-Mobile, Net10, etc. Since buying the Nexus 4 I have tried T-MO, Net10 and Straight Talk. I love the freedom. I walked away from the sacred cow (Grandfathered Unlimited on VZ) and will never look back. Best decision I ever made.

      This is the last article I will read that Ron writes. He is clearly an iOS enthusiast. I am not sure what he is doing here, but I will not waste another minute reading his propaganda. He should try to get a job at iMore.

    • Ashton

      I would happily switch from iPhone to Droid if I could get a Nexus 4/5 on Verizon.

    • Ian Smith

      what is this, DroidLife “insult your readers intelligence” day? the circlejerk between you, Ron, and Tim is extremely off putting.

      • MikeSaver

        Entitled comments like that are extremely off putting.

    • Revrant

      The previous ones have, but we already know this one has a good camera, LTE, and leaked benchmarks confirm it has superb battery life, all for 350? That’s setting a standard. This is an enthusiast phone, for the right price(the price these SHOULD be) without an onerous contract and extreme monthly costs, it’s moving in that direction every iteration. I don’t want everyone to have it, because then it will be cheapened, the more people have it the more mass appeal something has to have and thus be less appealing to me, because I am not part of the group-think that wraps the high cost low feature two year contract noose around my neck with glee.

    • bos

      Has Google ever clearly and unequivocally stated what their real goals were when they started the Nexus program? Why assume it has anything to do with consumers or what we want? Isn’t it just as likely, or maybe more likely, that it’s a strategy to bring multiple OEM partners into the Android fold and grow them into highly successful purveyors of devices to push Google adware? Moto isn’t where the money comes from, and wouldn’t be even if they were making Nexus products. It’s all about the ads. And maybe content sales, eventually. Either way the hardware matters little. Software access to as many devices as possible in the hands of as many people as possible is what’s will make Google shareholders happy.

    • Greg Barrett

      How many people really care about a phone’s camera? I know I don’t.

      Just curious not trying to start a flame war.

    • bob neumann

      “unless you ask someone on Verizon… (who) wont ever have the chance to own one…” That’s the whole point: You don’t have to start with Verizon and THEN choose a phone. You can start with a phone and THEN choose a carrier. Personally, my large family had all been on Verizon for years. Until Google gave me the option to get a decent spec phone for an outstanding price. So I left Verizon behind.

      And I can’t wait for the next iteration of the Nexus product line.

    • John Wentworth

      The nexus line mass appeal potential lies in the prepaid market.
      Google should market to them, maybe even convince straight talk and other mvno’s to offer their phones, instead of the low end crap they tend to offer.
      (They do offer some high end handset’s, but price sensitive prepaid users generally can’t afford them, the nexus line is the perfect solution for prepaid users)
      I upgraded my girlfriend on net10 to a nexus 4 and she loves it.
      It’s so much better than anything offered by mvnos for the price.

      The growing prepaid market is where Google still has a chance to disrupt the cell phone market and I think the demand for the nexus 4 was the start of that.

      The postpaid masses don’t see it’s incredible value because they use subsidized phones. Even on T-mobile where its offered they inflate the price which removes it’s allure.

      I don’t think leading on hardware specs is important anymore, and I disagree that we don’t need Google to show what they think Android should be, how long did they push on screen buttons before some manufacturer’s started to jump on board, like motorola and lg. GPE devices are nice, but they aren’t the same thing as a nexus.

      Nexus probably will never disrupt the entire cell phone industry or be a top selling phone, but I think some of the expectations of the nexus line aren’t what Google intended, but what nexus enthusiasts projected onto the nexus line.
      It may not be as spectacular as the nexus crowd hoped, but the prepaid market is disrupting the traditional postpaid market, and a lot of that credit goes to T-mobile and their embracing prepaid. Nexus devices are a part of that.

    • shaylynnvacca321

      My Uncle Nathaniel recently got a nearly new red Chrysler 200 Sedan
      only from working part time off a home pc… find out this here J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Gustavo

    Move along people, nothing to see here.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Objective I see! Did you even read the article or just hate because it was written by a guy that likes Apple devices too?

      • Gustavo

        Yes, I did read. And I didn’t even know that the author liked Apple. Not that I cara about it.

      • Nayners

        *corrected, for your convenience* “Did you even read the article or just hate because it was written by a guy that likes ONLY likes Apple devices?”

        • Jarred Sutherland

          So, he is just like the majority of you on here. You ONLY like Android devices. Not sure about you Nayners, but the majority here act like they would murder a baby rather than use an Apple device.

          • Nayners

            I use an Apple device everyday at work. I have had several. I would also never spend MY money on a Apple product, other than a Macbook.

  • Ron, you should’ve stayed asleep. Keep the dream alive.

  • Jeff C


    • Right like so many app developers would make for them. May I introduce you to all the awesome apps on the gear. The biggest one they praised, Path, just let 20% of its staff go last week. Tizen is a pet project that, in Samsung’s eyes, is suppose to be Android the second coming. But if Android is always evolving, then there will never be a need for another Android when the original is always at it’s best.

    • I specifically mentioned this in the article and I wrote an entire article about it some time ago. Samsung can’t leave (at least not easily). http://www.droid-life.com/2013/02/27/the-samsung-problem-opinion/

  • Al

    Another filler article, yay

    • Nexus_FrEak

      Lol you are quick!

      • david allen stevens

        As are you!

        • Nexus_FrEak


  • david allen stevens

    I stopped reading after “By: Ron”

    • T4rd

      I know it’s sad that we judge Ron for using an iPhone, but I’m right there with you, lol. But seriously, it’s like working at a Ford dealership and driving a Dodge. Dafuq?!

      • Jeff

        I think we judge Ron more on what he writes in his articles and says on the podcast than him using an iPhone.

        • T4rd

          I would like to think that, but as you can see by all those upvotes and comments, it’s certainly not the case.

          • Jeff

            Well, in this case a lot of people didn’t really have to read the article because he already said his point of view on this subject in the podcast.

            So anyone seeing the title of this article and seeing who it was written by that listened to that didn’t really need to read it before knowing if they agreed with Ron or not.

      • Adrynalyne

        Thats actually pretty common for dealerships, LOL.

        • T4rd

          Yeah, I’ve seen it too and it makes me facepalm, hah.

          • Adrynalyne

            The Honda salesman who sold me my 2004 Accord Coupe some years ago was driving a Neon-SRT4. I was like…huh.

            Makes sense, I guess. Not everyone is going to buy a car just because of where they work, and they don’t give them out for free (would be cool if they did!)

          • Droidzilla

            As a WRX owner, can’t fault anyone for driving an SRT-4. For the price and feature set, the only reason to go with a comparable Honda would be a slightly nicer interior and a less “boy racer” look. But for the Honda, dat price . . .

          • Adrynalyne

            In my case it was the amenities, but yeah, the SRT-4 was one helluva bang for your buck.

          • Droidzilla

            It’s hard to beat the fit and finish of a Honda outside of the luxury marques.

    • Chris

      no one cares….

      • david allen stevens


    • Ryan Stewart

      I stopped reading after he spent half the article talking about the Nexus was supposed to be some sort of Android “Hardware” showcase. Its never been about Android hardware since, well, Android is software.

      It was a platform controlled by Google where they could curate the software experience and, specifically, make sure it was always up to date so developers could have something to work with to stay ahead of all of the other phones/tablets. Im pretty sure Google actually said that.

      Now the only real shift is, with the concept of selling them at cost, you are getting a new Nexus customer. Me, a person who just wants a good phone cheap that will be up to date until the hardware is obsolete. I get that in a Nexus. Its unlocked so I can put it on a MNVO, its cheap so I can afford it without subsidy and its packed with features that other devices sold at the same time are just now getting.