Sep 19 AT 3:37 PM Dustin Earley 106 Comments

Since roughly January of 2010, I have been loyal to the Nexus brand. The totally unlocked, off-contract, controlled by Google Nexus brand. I’ve owned every Nexus device released so far, with the exception of the Nexus 7. And I’ve spent very little time with anything else as a personal device. I already know what phone I’ll be buying next, as well as what I want to see in it. So let’s get right into it.


I could spend all day talking about what I want in a display alone. That’s mostly because I feel like there’s been some sort of major flaw in the display in each Nexus so far.

The Nexus One used an AMOLED display. The colors were great, and the text looked good on the now pint-sized 3.7-inch display, but there were some serious touch controller problems with the Nexus One. You can argue exactly how related to the display that really is, but it negatively impacted how I interacted with the screen on my phone. And it sucked.

Then came the Nexus S with Super AMOLED. Again, colors were bright, and there were no touch problems to be found this time around, but let me be perfectly honest here. Thanks to Super AMOLED’s wonky PenTile sub-pixel layout, text rendering, white backgrounds, gray background, gradients and edges looked like total garbage on the Nexus S. I got used to how bad they looked until I used a different phone for a minute, something like the myTouch 4G. The overall improvements SLCD made over first generation Super AMOLED displays made it hard to stick with the Nexus S.

The Galaxy Nexus’ Super AMOLED suffers from some of the same problems as the Nexus S. At 1280×720, the HD display on the Galaxy Nexus helps a lot with text smoothing, but gradients and certain colored backgrounds still look terrible. That’s still thanks to the PenTile sub-pixel layout of the Galaxy Nexus’ display. I could go on and on about how much I hate PenTile alone, but I’ll cut to the chase.

Galaxy Note vs Note II via GSM Arena

I’d love to see a Nexus phone that makes no compromises in the display. With the Galaxy Note II, Samsung has released a new screen tech that the company isn’t being very vocal about. Instead of their standard PenTile layout, the display on the Note II features a more standard layout. It’s still not entirely normal, but each pixel does indeed have one red, one blue and one green subpixel. Could this do away with all the problems generally associated with Super AMOLED displays? I’m willing to bet there’s a good chance. So I wouldn’t be totally opposed to another Nexus phone with an AMOLED display, but I’d rather see something like Sony’s new LCD panels.

The Sony Xperia V uses a relatively new technology in LCD panels usually referred to as “in-cell” (which Sony is calling “sensor-on-lens”). This method combines the top glass layer of the display and the touch sensor, doing away with the extra sensor layer usually sandwiched between the top glass and LCD panel itself. This makes for better clarity, greater luminance, more contrast, thinner phones and improved touch performance. If Sony could take sensor-on-lens technology and apply it to the 1280×720 4.55-inch Mobile Bravia Engine Reality display of the Xperia T, I’d be in geek Heaven.

LG is also coming out with killer displays I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Nexus device. In fact, LG might even be the better choice over Sony. The Optimus G uses the same in-cell technology the Xperia V does, paired with a 320ppi IPS+ LCD. I’ve been using a PenTile display as a daily driver for so long, I can’t imagine what it would be like to wake up next to the crisp clarity of an IPS+ display. It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

As for the size of this HD, in-cell, dream display, I’ve gotten really used to the 4.65-inch screen on the Galaxy Nexus. I do not want to see it grow in size, but I’d be OK if it were 4.65-inches again. I never thought I’d say that back when I first used the Galaxy Nexus, but I’ve come to feel that any compromises in one-handed usability are made up for in how awesome watching videos and playing games can be.


Back when phones like the original Droid and Galaxy S were first coming out, I was huge into processor tech. The difference between each new generation made older devices feel unusable. It was like that for a long time. Fortunately for consumers, not anymore.

For the most part, I couldn’t care less what processor goes into my next phone. Why? Because thanks to optimizations on Android, no one chip offers that dramatic of an improvement over any other. Sure, I want good graphics for games and want to be future-proofed for at least a year. I just don’t think I do anything that would need added power at what it would end up costing.

If I had the choice of getting a Nexus with a top-of-the-line processor for $500, or a Nexus with a slightly older, easier to obtain and cheaper to manufacture processor for $350-400, I’d take the cheaper one. If Google wants the Nexus name to succeed by any measure of the term, it needs to keep unlocked Google Play devices affordable. I’d much rather see the money it would cost to include the best processor available put into other things. Like the camera.


Where do I even begin? The quality of the camera on the Galaxy Nexus is yet another topic I could spend all day on. It’s so bad; there have been multiple occasions in which I have pulled out my phone to take a picture, only to decide I might as well not even bother. On its own, it sucks. Compared to other high-end Android devices, it sucks even more. I’m not saying it has to be better than any of the current flagship phones, it just has to keep up.

Exmor R sample image via Xperia Blog

The camera on the iPhone 5 is going to be great, no doubt about it: sapphire lens, IR filter, backside illuminated. The Xperia T uses an Exmor R CMOS sensor, which LG is also using in the Optimus G. The One X uses a backside illuminated sensor with an F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens, powered by a dedicated imaging chip. The Lumia 920 uses PureView technology, and despite some early marketing snafus, it already looks great. And the Galaxy Nexus has a Playskool quality, bottom of the barrel, basic camera that can’t even outshoot most tablets.

The next Nexus absolutely has to have a better camera. There is no reason whatsoever for the next Nexus to have the same garbage quality camera it does now.


Memory, be it RAM, internal or expandable storage, is another thing that isn’t high on my wish list. In fact, it’s another area where I think Google could keep it simple in order to keep costs down.

As for internal memory, 16GB is more than enough for me. Of course I use services like Spotify and Google Music to help keep it down, but that’s where Google is trying to steer you. Google is, and always will be, a cloud company. They were born in the cloud. They know syncing and online media management better than most companies. The quality of their cloud services reflect that. I have never had an issue with Google Music streaming, even out in the country stuck on an edge data connection. I’ve fully embraced online services for everything I possibly can, and I don’t regret it at all.

Having 1GB of RAM, as opposed to the 2GB going into some phones now, is also plenty. The tradeoff of any minute performance differences between 1GB and 2GB of RAM to higher production costs don’t add up. It’s the same way for the added bulk of expandable storage, and more than 16GB of internal memory. What they add to the overall quality and price of the end product doesn’t make it worth it. Google is working hard to make sure 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage are plenty. If you utilize the tools they give you to make limited storage work, you’ll never know the difference. I’d be perfectly happy with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage in the next Nexus if it helps keep it affordable and more accessible to a wider audience.

Industrial Design

Phone design has come a long way in the last year. At one point I may have thought the Galaxy Nexus was a good looking machine. But manufacturers have really stepped their game up.

It seems that most major manufacturers have found their rhythm in industrial design. Nokia is bold and bright; the sleek lines and rich colors integrate perfectly with Windows Phone. Apple is minimal and defined; the contrast of the flat, glossy glass face of the iPhone 5 and the matte aluminium back are truly impressive. HTC is clean and sleek; the white unibody of the One X, and the way it melds with the display make for just the right balance of modern and futuristic. The One X almost feels like a physical representation of Android 4.x.

The last two Nexus series phones have included a curved display, but other than that, they lack identity. I’d love to see a device like the One X retooled as a Nexus with a curved display. Some industrial design that ties the hardware and software together. Matias Duarte, the brain behind the design language in Android 4.x, also worked on the Palm Pre and webOS. He took the Pre, and designed it to fit webOS. It worked so well, years and years later we’re still using it as a reference for how good hardware and software design can work together.

I want the hardware of the next Nexus, my next phone, to look as good as the software. Jelly Bean has brought about the perfect blend of minimal flare and modern functionality: not too bland, not too gaudy. Let’s get the hardware to match.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. Those are some of the most important things I want in my next phone, the next Nexus. There are lots of other features and specs I could talk about — like speaker quality, removable batteries and notification LEDs — but those hardly matter to me at this point. Google and whoever they team up with can even leave the memory and processor alone, so long as they give me a better display and much improved camera, all put it in a great looking shell for a decent price.

Now I know there are rumors that there will be five Nexus devices available by the end of the year. A fall NTT DoCoMo roadmap showed a Nexus device coming from Samsung, Sony and LG. But that holds little weight with me. If that turns out to be true, I’ll most likely end up buying whichever one matches my wish list the best. I really hope though, that Google partners with one manufacturer, to make one phone, really well. Or if there is more than one Nexus phone planned for this fall, each one offers distinct advantages over the others. One for camera enthusiasts, one low-priced model, one super high-end. It could work, but it’d be best for consumers and Google alike if they could balance features and cost to make one great phone.

How about you? Do you plan on buying a Nexus phone this fall, or something else? What do you want to see in it?

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • vforvortex

    Great work. Well thought out article. I havent owned a nexus phone yet, but my next phone will be a Nexus. So i will be looking out and hoping these issues are addressed in the next release.

    • kazahani

      Don’t worry. He’s being a little overdramatic about the screen and camera issues. I use my Nexus camera as my main camera, and I do so because it takes BETTER pics than my 14 megapixel Olympus point-and-shoot. Faster shutter speed, better autofocus, and actually better low-light performance.

      As for the display, I just don’t get all the PenTile hate. I like the brightness of the colors on my AMOLED displays better than the small amount of extra clarity on an LCD. They just can’t reproduce colors the way AMOLED can.

      Yeah, tha camera could be better, and the screen isn’t top of the line any more, but this phone has been out for a year now, and it’s definitely NOT GARBAGE. He went way over the top in this article.

  • Tangent

    ” I could care less what processor goes into my next phone.”

    Me too! I care a lot about which processor goes into my next phone, which leaves me a lot of room to care less.


    /Pet peeve


    • Gabe

      The idiom “I couldn’t care less” is often mistakenly used as “I could care less”.. But I’m sure everyone knows the message that Dustin was trying to convey.

    • Daniel Brierton

      I too twitched when I read that line. A big pet peeve of mine too.

      • lukipedia

        I twitched when I read your post. Your pet peeve is the biggest, baddest peeve you have. You only have one (like a pet project), so saying “a big pet peeve” is tautological–”a” and “big” are understood.

        All this to say: lighten up a bit. Most people are pretty casual with language usage, and what he meant was pretty clear. :)

    • Homncruse

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    • ThePeninsula

      What about flare vs flair?! That one really grinds my gears

  • shadhussain

    Very well thought out and well written. I totally agree with the priorities you’ve identified (i.e., display, camera and industrial design, Google Play availability) for nexus to become a brand in itself.

    It’s a small feature but I do find the notification LED/trackball to add much value.

  • Dirge

    I personally don’t think the camera is THAT bad. It’s a decent 5MP camera. I use mine quite a bit and the pictures look good.

    Aside from that, I agree on most of the rest of the article.

    • Esoth

      Yeah the Galaxy Nexus really suffers in low light, but takes really good photos in bright light. Then again, you could say that for a lot of cameras. I didn’t think that the no-lag shots would be a big deal outside of a buzzword, but I’ve found it to be incredibly useful in day-to-day life. So I’m happy with its 5MP camera with a decent lens and no lag.

      • BruceCLin

        The no-lag shutter is a godsend for taking pics of my toddler.

        • kazahani

          AGREED. STRONGLY. No-lag shutter is the reason I use my Nexus over my digital camera now.

  • XanLoves

    This just gets me hyped for the new nexus announcement/ Hopefully it will fulfill half of what you wish for. I’d be rather happy then.

  • uknowme

    I would agree with most of your article. All of it is spot on except I would want more than 16GB. I feel like that isn’t enough for me. Some of the best games now are quite hefty.

    • iamXiV92a

      I’m actually ok without the Expandable SD but the size of some of these game
      Mini Motor ~ 200MB
      Juggernaut Revenge of Sovering ~ 400MB
      Bombshells: Hell’s Belles ~ 400MB

      And those aren’t the Tegra games either! Some of us DON’T want to keep everything in the cloud ::cough:: G+ instant upload albums I can’t delete off my device ::cough:: Stack that with pictures from a 5MP/8MP (and now 13MP) camera and 16GB won’t be enough for anyone eventually

      • Ken Marshall

        Yeah no exactly I used to feel 16GB enough.. but with 5MP pix, and because of the Gnex rapid shutter, you take a lot of pics.. also 2mins at 720p is like 120MB add a few modern games and some music, ive got like 2GB left and ive had to backup and delete stuff from my GNex.. an extra 16Gb would just about be right I feel even then youd wanna be careful if shooting in 1080P

    • Monk

      Other big point is that Google media services outside US are not available (only apps on play store), also the “cloud” is not omnipresent and data fees are very high. The space that a microsd slot occupies is non existent and its the only reason that I don’t carry a Nexus now. I have a 32GB card that I want to reuse if I change my phone.

      Also a developer phone without a microsd sd card slot is not very useful. I like to boot ROMs from my SD and copy files to the card if I brick it out something when wrong. My “nexus” now is a galaxy note with Paranoid 2.13

  • Nate B.

    I agree with everything for the most part. I would like a 1080p screen with in-cell touch if possible. I would like a 3300mah battery. I would also like an iconic design. Something marvel. I want like a really good quality camera. Something to brag about along with other phones that are taking awesome pictures. A15 processor if it’s ready. Otherwise slap that S4 Pro in their. 2GB RAM. You said keep cost down, but the SGS III was still 199 on contract and has 2GB RAM. US variant. I understand it’ll be off contract but if they keep the internal memory at 16 or have variants with 32 as well then they can keep the cost down still. There are a lot of features from upcoming phones I would like to see in stock Android. LG Optimus G has a few. SGS III has a few. 920 has a few. I want to see things to compete with that and things no other phone has that Google can come up with. I know they want to make a map for things, but they really need to take a dominant side and demand a few things here and there. Don’t just compete, but go past what others are doing.

  • NeoDaNeenjah

    I know this article is about the hardware and all, but how about just adding SIMPLE group discussion to the stock messaging app????

    • md

      Group messaging as in iOS is non-standard, meaning Apple made that crap up.

    • Homncruse

      Only if it’s obvious… It’s frustrating to receive a group message from an iOS user, reply to it, and not know that it was a group message, so it goes to a bunch of people. Fortunately, I’ve not sent anything TOO embarrassing to random strangers.

      • DroidRoca

        lol like…my test results are in….I now need a small comb and special shampoo

    • Jimmy_Jo

      GO SMS Pro and Chomp SMS have group messaging but the native app doesn’t… I always thought that was weird. And I HATE iPhone’s “forced” group chat. When I get a text from an iPhone user it always pisses me off. Gladly, the people with iPhones I speak to the most, my parents, use an IM client to GTalk me.

      Sidebar: When the Samsung guy with the GS3 is holding a spot on the iPhone line for his parents I was so offended that wasn’t my family. That truly could have been us. All my siblings us Android. My parents use iPhone. LOL and they always drool over my screen. They were drooling over my EVO 4G (the 2010 version) they’re actually talking about switching for the Galaxy S III.

  • Mix

    I think 16gb is fine so long as I have the option to use expandable memory, 32gb is where I don’t care if there is expandable memory. You can be on a plane for 6hrs and 16gb will go by quickly for watching movies.

    I sure hope that the next Nexus(s) is/are unveiled soon!

  • Adam Smith

    I just wish some Nexus news would be announced. I’m either going iPhone 5 or a Nexus product. I currently have a Windows Phone and I’m anxious to power it down for the last time. I prefer Apple products but hate the choice of carriers. I purchased a Nexus 7 to see how Android has evolved over time. I like it and think I’d like it more on a phone. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than it was.

    • bob saget

      Don’t understand your post at all. You can use an iphone on every major carrier in the US.

      That said, get the nexus… if you like your nexus 7 you will like it on a phone. ios is so boring you would grow tired of it very quickly. Plus with no google maps its going to suck until apple can get their maps app up to speed.

      • SGB101

        im no apple fan, but apple ditching google maps, is good for both iso users and google.

        the Gmaps app will no longer come preinstalled, apple maps will. but Gmaps will still be (it still is) available in the app store, this is great for both as now google have control of the app apple doesnt, so regular updates will occur.

        the iso app was trully out of date and this is good news all round.


    great article Dustin

  • jamal adam

    Personally, I think Dustin, you just hit it in the nail for the kind of Nexus I want next.

  • AceoStar

    Battery didnt make the list? I get 12-18hrs like the next guy on a custom kernel, but we could always use a fatter battery.

    • shadhussain

      wireless charging ala lumia 920 feature be too shabby.

      • shadhussain

        *wouldn’t be*

    • VagabondJim

      And, let’s it make it a replaceable battery — I like to carry a few fully charged spares when I travel.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      How about a better battery instead of a fatter battery??? A battery that takes up as much space as a traditional 2000-2200 mAh battery with a 3000-3500 mAh capacity. Battery technology is archaic compared to everything else. We have HD displays and Gorilla Glass and a barometer… A BAROMETER in our phones!!!! But the solution to better battery life is only get a bigger battery. We need more than a bigger gas tank. We need a more fuel efficient engine.

      • Ken Marshall

        Were getting more fuel efficient engines with each CPU/GPU generation: 54nm, 32nm all deliver more/the same power using less energy.

        we need more efficient fuel * storage*

  • Bpear96

    Love my HTC One X (AT&T model) running CM10 :D.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Lovely article great points for sure. I hope you get what you want in your next Nexus. I am happy with my 16gb Galaxy S3 with my 64gb sdxc class 10 card. I am also going to get the Galaxy Note 2 on day one of launch. I enjoy the extra features Samsung brings to it’s touchwiz devices. Nothing beats this in the industry. Stock android just doesn’t offer these features and never will. Touchwiz and jellybean is better than Stock android and jellybean. My opinion at least…

    • Orion78

      Stop your garbage already. Just few months ago you stated that nothing beats stock Android. Sorry but stock over cartoon whiz any day. Again, you’re confused as you are stupid.

      • Jimmy_Jo

        There have been numerous reports that Richard Yarrell is mentally challenged and reading his comments I believe the reports to be true. Let’s just move on. We all know he has nothing to say but replying to him only shows us to be foolish.

        • Orion78

          Replying to the ”fool” who replied to the fool is also foolish.

          • bob saget

            So what does that make you? The fool of a fool’s fool responding to a fool?

            I would guess that would make me the fool of the fool of a fool’s fool who responded to a fool…?

            Ok so that was way funnier in my head. After I typed it up I realized it’s super lame but I’m posting it anyway lol.

            ps. fool is a weird word when you say it that many times.

          • kazahani

            No, the tertiary fool’s foolishness cancels out the first two. He was performing a public service. YOU SHOULD THANK HIM.

    • snowbdr89

      Touchwiz better then stock jellybean? That comment pretty much sums up how stupid you really are!!

    • Homncruse

      I’m glad that you’re happy with your SGS3, but you’ve kinda missed the point of the article.

      • Sargon

        He doesn’t read them, Homncruse. He reads doesn’t read any of the articles, anywhere. He simply sees one, then spams the comment boards with whatever he has or more accurately, imagines to have. He’s an idiot, and thrives on ignorance and God knows whatever other fetishes he has other than the known ones. I wish AaM would ban him, it would clean up the boards.

    • Sargon

      My God, Richard. Somehow you manage to become even more ignorant and stupid by the day. If you had an imaginary One X, you would be spewing nonsense about the virtues of Sense (like you did with the Evo). If you had a Nexus, or a rooted device with an AOSP ROM, you’d be spewing things you know nothing about regarding stock Android.
      You are truly the ultimate idiot/troll. Even ‘normal’ trolls are at least consistent with their bullshit. Of course, you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, where you are, or even actually saying at any given moment. Richard, you arm-wrestle the English language every day and lose. You call people broke, jobless, bums, living in their mother’s basements which is a lot more than you had a few years ago because of your sick need for negative attention. You try to insult people and come out with your foot so far down your throat, your toes are sticking out of your ass. Watching you trying to argue is like watching a guy get punched in the face, and as a comeback, you hit yourself as hard as you can in the side of the head with a ball-peen hammer. It’s like watching a train wreck.

    • Mist

      Really? Have you ever used stock JB? No? Of course you haven’t. Look at Touchwiz, stock JB, and iOS. Which ones look the most alike, functionality aside? You’re a waste of DNA, oxygen, food, and any other natural resource you consume. I would call you a foolish idiot, but that would be an insult to foolish idiots.

    • renyo

      My dad has a galaxy note… Came with gingerbread… Touchwiz sucked then… I upgraded it to ICS… Now he’s cursing me…

  • Art

    I’m fine with my Galaxy Nexus colors. But the fact that they used some cheap protection instead of Gorilla Glass spoils everything. My friend has been using Galaxy S II for an year without any screen protector and his screen is doing great. I’ve been using nexus for a little over three weeks and already have tiny scratches. That sucks.

  • Craig

    I agree with you on the camera and the design, but I have no complaints about the current screen.

    I do wish the battery life was much better, I really hate the current battery life I get.

    Also, like some others have stated, 16GBs is just too small for me. I don’t use cloud services for music, I have a lot of games, and I also flash a ton of ROM’s and keep a lot of backups. Between all of those things I will quickly fill up 16GBs.

    Lastly I disagree with you on the processor and RAM. Like I stated, I play a lot of games on my phone and really would like to stay top of the line in the processor and RAM department to be able to keep up with current and future games.

    my .02 cents

  • SanzaBlancoAkA2C

    Great article. I agree for the most part because I love the idea of an LG Optimus Nexus but I’m scared after seeing the retail price of the Optimus G.


    I agree with everything you said. I’d like to see only modest bumps in the processor and ram is fine. I’d like to see a quality camera and I’d like to see Google use premium materials for the body of the device, along the lines of what apple uses. But I’d also like for them to come up with a design that is unique to only the nexus line going forward. What that is, I completely trust completely trust Duarte to come up with.

    • iamXiV92a

      I think the curved screen needs to be a “Nexus” thing… it makes for more comfortable head-phone-shoulder (when you need it) and it’s different from all the other slabs out there

      *Multi-colour LED is a must!

  • Ardrid

    Fantastic article. It hits all the major points/concerns. As to the questions posed, yes, I’m absolutely getting a Nexus. In terms of what I’d like to see:

    1. Display. 720p should absolutely be the starting point when discussing resolution. I’d also like to see Sony or LG’s in-cell LCD tech used for the display as it’s, quite frankly, superior to SAMOLED. In terms of screen size, I’m comfortable with anything between 4.65″ and 4.8.” Any more than that is excessive in my mind.

    2. Camera. Samsung absolutely gimped the camera on the Galaxy Nexus. With Nokia, HTC, Sony, and Apple all making major moves as it relates to camera tech, Google needs to ensure that the next Nexus is competitive on that front. I don’t think the camera needs to exceed what’s out there (though that would be nice), but it certainly has to maintain parity.

    3. Industrial design. This is another area where Samsung just doesn’t get it. I’m, frankly, over cheap feeling plastic designs. The next Nexus should be derived from a single sheet of material, either high quality polycarbonate like the One X and Lumia, or aluminum like the iPhone. This is a flagship device with top notch software and should feel like it.

    • Tamara (25), Florida

      I rather wait for the new iPhone 5. It has all the things you can dream of. Its the best phone ever, the NYT wrote.
      Im currently on iPhone 4 and cant wait to upgrade.


      • avi

        Personally I own the galaxy nexus and it is the fastest phone I my house (my dad owns an s3 And my brother s2…both of them my choice) so what I actually want is a better camera 8mp would be more than enough

        3k mah above battery (I really have to keep my phone usage low when I m out for a Day or two)

        And larger memory both storage and RAM. Net processing speed should be above 3ghz And that’s it

        I won’t be buying the next nexus(nexii??) But it is always good to see a phone from Google

        How about Motorola make nexus then there’s no problem of it being worse than the flagship coz it would be the flagship

        Also like the s-beam wifi direct should be used for NFC it is actually much Faster.

        Also Google plz try and give ur nexus some promotion its a good phone but most people out in the world don’t know about the nexus or don’t have them in their country(its not even here in India).

        P.s. sorry for the long post and thanx for bearing with me

      • droidguyuk

        Why do isheep come on here …. ? This is google and nexus’s chance to stick it to apple and make a better phone . The one x with a 2500 mAh battery or above that would be good because it was the only thing wrong with that phone , pictures were brilliant, the screen was the best ive seen on a mobile ?
        That or lg they have a sick phone due out with a 13MP camera and a quad core s4 I believe.. I doubt Samsung or HTC will get it I think either Sony, lg or Motorola turn unless each OEM gets to do a nexus each year now.

  • Bman

    Good article. Spot on for what I’d like to see in the next Nexus. For everyone asking for more, more, more in the next Nexus think about this. The original Nexus was used to set a baseline for what they wanted OEMs to start producing. Now it just needs to keep that baseline (ie: Nexus 7). The galaxy S3 is just fine for the power users out there, but to keep costs down and make the brand affordable, go with a little less and keep refining that android code.

  • Daniel Brierton

    I disagree about the processor. I would love to see a Cortex-A15 CPU (or the S4 Pro, which is quite similar) in there, but not for performance improvements. Cortex-A15 offers impressively lower power consumption compared to the current Cortex-A9 CPUs, while retaining the same performance levels. I’d imagine newer GPUs would have similar benefits too.

    Elsewhere, I agree. I’d definitely add improved battery to my wish list though. I wouldn’t mind if they made it a little thicker to add a few hundred mAh to the battery,

  • Ton Habraken

    I really really really want senseg ( technology in my 1080p display.
    I want to be impressed.
    I want innovation.
    I don’t want incremental improvements.

    Google use this thing on the web called uhm…. oh yeah Google and try and find scifi sounding tech and incorporate it in my next phone/tablet.

  • Mike C.

    Memory is an issue. Either you are streaming everything or you sync stuff to your phone. I’m a sync guy. The reason why I skipped the Galaxy Nexus was that it was only offered with 16Gb in Europe.

    Next Nexus?

    - Based on HTC One X
    - 2Gb RAM
    - 32Gb or 64Gb Flash
    - MicroSD
    - Wireless charging
    - Cortex-A15
    - Great GPU

    Do not try to be cheap. Go for perfection. A device that changes the game. Like the Nexus One …

    • westy

      Yeah and how well did the nexus one sell? Also no major manufacture would take the risk of pulling people from their own line of phones. Why do you think the all of the samsung nexus phones were all just a bit behind their flagships?

      Based on HTC One X
      - 1Gb RAM
      - 16Gb or 32Gb Flash (if you are lucky)
      - MicroSD (never going to happen on a nexus device. googles wants you to use their services. By giving you sd storage you would more like to do the latter)
      - Wireless charging (Not worth it. I would rather a better camera, better display, and/or more ram then a gimmicky plus. Is it really that important to have wireless charger? )
      - Cortex-A15 (This is possible but most likely Cortex A-15 with them over clocking the existing GPU)
      - Great GPU (look above)

  • Orion78

    If theres going to be multiple Nexus phones, I want one of them to at least go all out on the spec department.

    • aranea

      That’s what I was thinking. A 300 model can cut some corners in ram and cpu/gpu but a 500 model can be the best in both. The rest of the article I agree with.

  • Abe C

    I could not disagree more re memory. 16GB is not nearly enough, and no option to add more via external microsd is a deal breaker. The cloud does not reach everywhere and isn’t going to any time soon. There is no cloud on an airplane, in your car if you happen to drive through a rural area, or in many buildings even in major cities (for example, in my gym in downtown SF). I have better things to do with my life than constantly add and remove locally cached tracks on google music to avoid running out of memory.

  • heldros

    I want a very good camera and a 2500+ battery

  • Gf1 fanatic

    A great camera and great battery life. That’s my priority.

  • Ziggy34

    The “Cloud” is all good if you have 3g/4g service, I don’t. So for me a micro SD card for expanded memory is important so I can keep my music on my phone.

  • donger

    Great article, I have also owned all Nexus devices except for the Nexus 7(thinking about getting one still). I have both the GSM and 4G LTE variants of the Galaxy Nexus. I am more happy with the GSM version as it gets OTA updates faster than the Verizon one.

    The next Nexus should not be made by Samsung at all. Samsung is not going to make it better than their Galaxy S phones. For the the second year in a row they have proven that their Galaxy S phones are on par/ have better specs & hardware than the Nexus devices. Samsung makes too many phones a year already and they’re all shiny cheap plastic-feeling too. The HTC Nexus One was amazing, it felt amazing to hold, it never slipped out of my hands but both the Nexus S and GNex did. You’re right, it lacks identity, it’s made by Samsung who makes a bunch of the same phone in different sizes. Take a look at all their phones that they made for Android, it totals more than 30 devices including the Tab tablets. GNex’s 5MP camera, really? the N1 had a 5MP camera.

    I just want to see someone else make the next Nexus, let it be HTC, Sony or LG. Google needs to work with the manufacturer to make a better Nexus device and not just “hey build a phone so we can throw a new Andriod onto it.” I will continue to buy Nexus devices for the vanilla OS and google support.

    • iamXiV92a

      I was going to disagree with you on Samsung and the next Nexus until I read this line in your post
      “Samsung is not going to make it better than their Galaxy S phones. For the the second year in a row they have proven that their Galaxy S phones are on par/ have better specs & hardware than the Nexus devices.”

      And you are completely right. Thank you!

    • stringdidj

      I agree, a Sony Nexus phone would be a great idea! (are you listening google, I know you are!! lol)

  • renyo

    I don’t know why the Nexus always comes out with not cutting edge technology. It’s like there are phones with kickass hardware (I had a Desire HD and now a Sensation) but kinda sucky software (My Desire HD just died and my Sensation crashes at least twice daily) and then there are phones like Nexus which are awesome in terms of software reliability (People say so, didn’t verify) but not the latest in hardware… Is it too much to ask for a 1080p display (LG has already made the screen) with a Quad core processor (Powerful Dual will do too), 2500 mAh battery and 2 GB RAM? Of course a good camera, Bluetooth 4.0 etc etc.

    I mean am I missing something here? Is it impossible? Unfeasible technically or marketing wise? Do enlighten me…

  • disassembler

    I just got a Nexus and I have to say it’s a step up from my Sidekick 4G, which has low-end specs and is stuck on Froyo. You’ve made some great points and shed light on some key issues (in my opinion). I think a better camera and sleek, modern design are my two high hopes for the next Nexus. I don’t dislike the camera on the Nexus — as I said, it’s a step up from what I had before, but I when I saw the specs initially, I guess I expected something a bit better from a Nexus device.

  • Scott Swain

    I had a Nexus One and then stopped buying Nexus when Samsung took over. I’m curious why, after getting screwed over and over by Samsung, you keep buying Nexus? And why would anyone, after reading this article (which didn’t even mention all the problems with the last couple Nexus) would plan to buy a future Nexus? I mean yes, IF HTC or LG makes the next one then there is a chance the phone will actually, finally, be state of the art like the Nexus One was when it came out. And please don’t bring up the “stock + first to upgrade” benefit. Seems to be the only benefit and it is dampened quite a bit by the fact that rooting is not a hard thing to do.

    • David Kerkes

      Who got screwed over? I bought my Galaxy Nexus for 350 and wouldn’t trade it for any phone on the market right now. Samsung provided a great product for a decent price and we got screwed? Silliness.

  • Lambros Petrou

    Exactly what I want from my phone. I am on an HTC Desire now and I am waiting for this year’s Nexus phones to come in order to jump in.

    I just want 32GB of space or 16GB + MicroSD that’s all.

  • heeros

    That’s funny, because the reason I never considered the last few nexus devices is because of the complete lack of external storage. I can understand wanting to push cloud services, but I want the option to have more local storage if I know I won’t have data for a while. It’s stupid.

  • masterpfa

    Interesting reading, especially your thoughts on the processor.
    What I would like are

    1. The processor – I would like to see a 1.4+ GHz processor Dual or Quad core, hopefully with Arm Cortex A15.

    2.RAM – anything between 1-2 Gb with 2Gb being preferred

    3.On-board storage – 32Gb, although I have managed with 16GB but with HD games and their data more would be appreciated as I now have to be selective as to what have on board.

    4. Expandable storage – I have managed without so not a deal breaker.

    5.Camera – like yourself would appreciate the current industry expected standard, 8mp and burst shot capabilities

    6. Display – Anything from 4.65 to 4.8 would be fine, especially if edge to edge technology used to keep the overall phone size down and similar technology to LG or Sony are using on their high end phones.

    7. Better battery

    8. 4g/LTE available for worldwide coverage (as for example the SIII LTE)

  • cristian cristiandonose

    I own now the Galaxy Nexus and can say im happy with it but i dont like the speaker, the volume is to low. And definetly there is room for improvement in the camera and display department.

  • Steve Nutt

    Sony Xperia Nexus… Please…

    I would say that with the amount of games I play 16Gb disappears pretty quick, so at least 32Gb would be nice.

    So for me an Xperia T with the tech from the Xperia V as the/a next Nexus phone would be perfect (otherwise I’m probably going to end up just getting a Xperia T and CM10′ing it, like my SGS is).

  • MoSDeeb

    As long as the specs are leading the pack; I would like a beautiful looking device.

  • kinderdm

    I agree, keep it affordable while unlocked and pure google and it will be my next phone. I would much rather pay less than to have the world best processor that nothing can fully take advantage of.

  • simulant

    I want USB mass storage. MTP has been annoying and unreliable on every device I’ve encountered it on including the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus.

    I don’t want a huge phone, the Nexus S is the right size. The Galaxy Nexus was a bit uncomfortable to use with one hand. The Galaxy S III is ridiculous.

    I’m fine with the screen quality on the Nexus S and the Nexus 7.

    I’d like a LTE world phone but that may not happen until multi-band LTE chips are out.

    Could use more than 16 GB.

    I’d like low latency audio.

    I’d like improved battery life.

  • simulant

    Oh and I’d like to see a TPU case and a screen protector in the box instead of headphones.

  • bob saget

    I agree with most of the article except for the storage. Sure you can get by with 16gb and the cloud but with data caps being the norm now physical storage just makes more sense. Why not offer 32gb 64gb options as an upgrade and charge more (apple got this one right).

  • Laurentiu V.

    You forgot about battery (like Razr HD Maxx) and SD card.

  • Nathan D.

    I agree with what everyone is saying about what should be the next nexus. Although, I am a very power hungry person who likes to brag that I have best processor at the time. Only to make other apple people feel like they already been past by Android already :)

  • Alex Belko

    Great Article! One of the most wanted features for me is longer battery life, I want to play games and browse internet and not worry to be left without the charge

  • NamelessTed

    I totally agree with you on the screen, easily the most important spec on a phone in my opinion.

    But, I think you missed two major points that are big factors for me. Battery and Call Quality.

    For reference, I have a Nexus S as well as some Samsung flip phone, not even sure what the model is. I use the older phone for phone calls. It is a cheap throw away phone and yet its battery lasts ten times longer, and has better audio quality than most smart phones that I have used.

    I use my Nexus S to play music at work, it works great. But, I absolutely have to leave it plugged in or I will find myself with a dead phone in a fairly short period of time. I know CPUs and displays are getting much more optimized, but it isn’t good enough. I would absolutely rather have a phone that is .5mm thicker or wider or whatever and have a battery that lasts longer. But, I want it to fit with the whole phone and not have some cancerous growth that comes with buying aftermarket batteries.

    Now, call quality. Why is it that every phone on the market uses a piece of shit microphone and speaker? I am not asking for a lot hear. I understand when cell phone service was slow and new, you weren’t going to get great call quality. And, i understand we are dealing with size limitations. But why can the cheapest phones from 20 years ago sound better than $500 phones today? I know a lot of people don’t use their phones for actually talking anymore, but it should be a major focus point. It is like the whole industry just got to a point where they all just decided to use the same shitty piece of sound equipment and go with it.

  • kungpaodragon

    Speaking of Nexus… Does anyone have any updates on when Verizon will release Jelly Bean to Galaxy Nexus. I mean, this is ridiculous. I’ve never had this problem with Nexus devices while I was with TMobile. Verizon totally intervened the process and screwing it up for Galaxy Nexus. Is there something we as consumers can do?

    • David Kerkes

      It should be coming today :)

  • Slith

    I never knew how much I relied on my cell camera until I got the Galaxy Nexus. It is truly horrible in both full sun and low light conditions.

    I am really hoping for a great camera on the next Nexus so I can shove down the throats of the iPhone zombies at work.

  • Nwaf Alghamdi

    CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA ! I used to have GSII and then bought Galaxy Nexus, I was like really really disappointed, and shocked !!!!!! The camera was one of the most awful cameras I have ever seen in an Android Device

  • NeoJesus

    What can’t we just have everything be better? Sure, it might cost $600 but just wait a year and it’ll drop to $350.

    What’s the point of having a flagship phone whose most innovative feature is….its low price?

    If I want a $350 Nexus, there already is one….the Galaxy Nexus!

    It makes no sense whatsoever to just clone the Galaxy Nexus and give it really minor upgrades just to keep the price relatively the same.

    We are not iSheep.

  • Milind

    In no particular order,

    Better battery
    2GB Ram
    Dedicated camera button
    Kick stand
    Physical keyboard

  • Scoobie

    Frankly, my next phone will be the Nexus that’s already out. I mean, it’s now cheap, got a great screen, pure Google, quick Android updates, and so on.

    The camera? I have a 14Mpx compact point and shoot that runs circles around any smartphone camera. The phone camera is just for quick, convenient snaps. For things like vacation snaps, I take a real camera (crazy, I know!).

    And processor speed? Hell, what good does a Snapdragon 16-core Ultra Turbo Mark 9 processor do when the phone it’s in requires you to wait 9 months for the lazy manufacturer to tweak Android so you can finally get the newest Google Dessert? And then, will you wait on your service provider to finally get it out the door, as well? Meanwhile, the “old” 1.2 GHz dual-core in the Nexus is cranking along nicely on JB… but hey! My Turbo Mark 9 proc is really NIFTY!

    Well, IF there is a Nexus 2, I might consider it instead, but only if the price is right (read: LOW).

  • h0ruza

    Maybe we do ask too much when all our wants are put together but sometimes it’s the little things that I miss.

    For instance in the vanilla gallery gif’s don’t play back and popular video codex aren’t built in as standard.

    In stock vanilla why does the clock only have alarms but no timer and stop watch.

    I could get these things from the store but my nokia 3210 came with a clock, timer and stopwatch 13 years ago.

    I’m not keen on touch wiz but they include such things.

  • wesley baker

    I have a galaxy nexus an the biggest gripe I have with it is the perceived quality of the handset past the screen. looks quality having this all glass fascia but when the rest is clearly plastic on what is always suppose to be a top end phone it seems to be a big mistake. i like apple products but am an android devotee but you can’t deny the the handsets since the 4 have used or appear to use very high quality materials.

    the cheapness is worsened by the awkward cover for the battery. apart from that i love my nexus and to me the camera is amazing. people have assumed the pictures I’ve taken were captured on a DSLR an the shutter is so fast I love that I can take quick pics of things like a person with a metre long scooter the other day.

  • Daniel

    I’ve had two Nexus’ now, Nexus S & Galaxy Nexus. The later is clearly the best phone i’ve had, mostly due to Android OS, ICS & Jelly Bean.
    I think the camera is good, only slightly behind my wifes SGS3. My next phone will def’ be a Nexus, can’t beat pure vanila Android But i would agre with others that the plastic body of the phone does make it feel a little cheap, but then what do we want for the body…? more glass like the iPhones? they are marketed as a premium device and use polished aluminium or is it stainless steel (doubtfull). Such parts are expensive and become significantly more expensive when you want to attain the kind of curves on the nexus phones, not just the screen curve, but the bump (bottom rear) and the convex top and bottom. Note how the iPhone uses metal and has square edges…. I like my curvy Nexus, i like the look of the HTC One X.
    Just my thoughts….
    oh, and 4G & 2500mah battery, 4.65″ 1080 screen, dual core processor is fine, but can we have an extra core running at just 200Mhz for stand by. Kinda lke the new Penta core chips i’ve been reading about.

  • shlevy

    With the community attention and support, that phone will like forever ;)

  • dutrak

    One can dream

  • vforvortex

    Ya that was the main benefit i felt too with the trackball on my G1 (ahh memories). Maybe they can add a similar function to that of highlighting links when finger hovers over screen?

  • shadhussain

    i particularly liked assigning different colors to different types of notifications on the N1 trackball. didn’t have to turn the phone on, didn’t have to swipe the notification bar down … i just knew i had a google chat message that cud be ignored when i was busy!