Dec 19 AT 12:53 PM Nick Gray 32 Comments

Building the perfect Nexus phone: piecing it all together


Over the years, Google has built the highly respected Nexus brand. The idea behind the Nexus phones and tablets is to show off what Google’s vision is for Android. While Nexus phones feature most of the latest and greatest specs and an Android build straight from Google, the expectations of a Nexus phone from the Android faithful outshines what Google and its partner OEMs have been able to deliver. In our Building the perfect Nexus phone series, we explored most of the hardware components used to build flagship Android phones and what you think Google should use to piece together the perfect Nexus phone. A Nexus phone will probably never be the top selling device on the market, but a few improvements could lead to a significant increase in demand for Google’s flagship Android device.

In a perfect world, this is what a Nexus phone would look like:



Having people agree on the right SoC (processor) manufacturer was pretty easy. NVIDIA barely put up a fight. Qualcomm dominated the poll with 81 percent of votes. Qualcomm has had an incredible reputation for delivering well-balanced chips that offer great battery life and performance. We don’t know exactly what Qualcomm’s full roadmap looks like for 2014, but it’s hard to imagine that we’ll be disappointed.


Nexus phones have never been known to take great pictures, so we were not surprised when 83 percent of our readers cast their votes for a Nexus phone with “unique image capture approaches” as opposed to one that leads the megapixel race. Google has had a rough time coming up with a stock Android camera app that can take full advantage of the hardware used inside its Nexus phones. It’s time for a Nexus phone to offer something that’s one step ahead of the camera experiences Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG can deliver.


Getting readers to agree on display size and technology is just as hard as it sounds. Readers were split with 52 percent of the votes supporting LCD (IPS/SLCD) and the other 48 percent of the votes going towards AMOLED display technologies. When it comes to the size of the display, votes were all over the board. Rather than picking the display size with the most votes as the winner, we did a little math and found that the average screen size that would appeal to most of our readers comes in at 4.8-inches.



What’s the point of having the perfect Nexus phone if the battery can’t last a full day on a single charge? Most consumers are pretty happy with phones that sport batteries with roughly 2,200mAh, but we know that people who buy Nexus phones are not your average consumer. According to our polling, the perfect Nexus phone should feature a battery with more than 3,000mAh – if you want us to be more precise, that exact number comes in at 3,150mAh. There’s still a big debate over removable and non-removable batteries. Fifty-one percent of our readers said that a non-removable battery does not affect their smartphone purchasing decision.


Our need for more digital storage increases every year as our digital content libraries grow. Our average reader would be satisfied with 32GB of internal storage, but 57 percent of votes show that devices with expandable storage are still more appealing than the alternative. It will probably be another 2-3 years until most consumers will be able to kick that nasty external storage habit.


Finding the perfect hardware partner to build a Nexus phone is crucial. HTC, Samsung and LG have been chose by Google in the past, but the votes show that it may be time to try something new or return to the original Nexus manufacturer. Motorola was voted as our reader’s first OEM choice with 27 percent of the vote, beating out HTC which captured 26 percent of the votes. Both Motorola and HTC would be great choices and could deliver an incredibly designed Nexus phone with superb build quality.


The ideal price for the perfect Nexus phone lies between $350 and $450. However, more than 42 percent of the votes show that you would be willing to pay $400 or more and 10 percent of voters claimed they would shell out more than $500 for the device. At the end of the day, the magic price for the perfect Nexus phone comes in at $407 for a base model – $57 more than what Google is currently charging for the Nexus 5. While a cheap Nexus phone is extremely appealing, our readers seem to be willing to spend a little more for a bump in specs that would truly set a Nexus phone apart from the competition.

The Perfect Nexus phone spec sheet

  • Processor: Qualcomm
  • Display: 4.8-inch LCD (IPS/SLCD)
  • Camera: unique imaging approach
  • Battery: 3,150mAh non-removable
  • Storage: 32GB w/external storage
  • Manufacturer: Motorola
  • Price: $407

With 11 different polls and more than 13,000 votes from our readers, the perfect Nexus phone isn’t much different than what Google and its manufacturing partners have been pushing out over the past few years. The numbers show that the screen size, display technology and processor manufacturer are currently spot on. The changes our readers really want to see come down to a larger battery, a unique image capture approach and more internal storage (with the option for external storage as well) wrapped up in a device made by Motorola or HTC. The best part is that most of you wouldn’t mind paying an extra $57 for these upgrades.

With roughly 10 months to go before the unveiling of the Nexus 5′s successor, do you think Google will be able to deliver the perfect Nexus phone?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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