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October 5th 2012 12:15 am

Who would you want to build the next "Nexus" device and why?

In the recent months there has been tons of speculation over who will manufacture the next Nexus device for Google. Rumours have been abound for many manufacturers, most recently LG, but others pertaining to HTC, Sony, Samsung, and even Motorola.

Here is a brief rumour roundup with mockup photos of each

LG Optimus G Nexus could be seen in November. (mobilesyrup.com­/2012­/10­/04­/lg­-optimus­-g­-nexus­-desc...)

Spec-wise similar to the Optimus G, 4.7-inch HD IPS screen with quad core processing and LTE ready chipset on-board. 2GB of RAM.


Sony Xperia Nexus seemed to be leaked in Japan by NTT Domoco (www.androidauthority.com­/samsung­-galaxy­-nexus­-2­-so...)

This uses Sony’s signature hardware design. Specs of the Xperia Nexus allegedly are a 4.6-inch 720p AMOLED screen and a 13MP camera.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 had some camera photos uploaded to picasa as the gt-i9260 (www.androidauthority.com­/galaxy­-nexus­-2­-plus­-gt­-i9...)

4.65-inch Super Amoled HD+, which means no pentile. Samsung’s latest LTE ready Exynos processor. Possible 8MP camera. Samsung is rumored to be continuing the curved glass

HTC Nexus 5 is rumoured to be a 5 inch "phablet" (I hate that word). (www.android.gs­/htc­-nexus­-5/)

Besides the 5 inch display, this is rumoured to use a snapdragon processor.

Motorola Nexus RAZR seems to be the least likely of the bunch. Google has shown that Motorola is not getting preferential treatment in the Android market. Yet still some rumours have floated around.

720p 4.7″ Super Amoled HD screen. Qualcomm quad core snapdragon LTE chipset and a 3,000 mAh battery. This pegs it at just less than the RAZR MAXX in terms of battery capacity.


Where do I personally sit? Depending on how close you have followed my posts in the past, you know I am a fan of Sony hardware, yet not a fan of their UI/software. If the "pure Google" experience can solve my software woes with them, I would be very likely to get an Xperia Nexus.

That being said, I feel like all of these rumoured devices sound fantastic (even the LG Nexus, which I am unsure about). It will be an exciting october/november while we wait to see what is announced!

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31 replies

I personally would be disappointed if Google decided to continue forward with Samsung, as I'd much rather see a Sony Nexus (would be killer in my book). If not Sony I'd also take HTC.

However, there was a rumor awhile back that said that Google would launch something like 5 Nexus devices this year or something like that, so perhaps multiple devices (all from different manufacturers) will be what happens.

I guess we'll know soon.
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I do remember the rumour. I figured the Asus Nexus 7 and the Nexus Q (which admittedly I don't know who makes) counted as 2 of them

That may leave 3
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The Nexus Q is made by Google.
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I strongly agree with this one. If they went with another Samsung, it would really seem like preferential treatment.

Sony deserve a second chance after their failed attempt with what became the Xperia Play. They've greatly improved since then and could show potential as a Nexus maker.

However, I think HTC make the most solid Android devices (excluding the bloat of Sense, which tbh I'm still a huge fan of). If they made a vanilla Android device, it would be blazing fast and have an insanely beautiful and solid build.
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I don't care who does it but what I want is for Google to finally make a device they can put up head to head with the iPhone. These devices tend to be bleeding edge tech wise because they're more aimed at the developers but I want to see Google switch to making these devices the flagship phones of Android. This means a well constructed body, top notch display and a capable camera. Notice I how I don't mention processor or ram or NFC or any of that, Android doesn't need anymore of the spec wars. It needs to be a device with focus on the outside and not the inside.
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A capable camera has been one downfall of the Nexus line so far. I hope there is a focus too on design. In fact the curved glass of the Galaxy Nexus is probably the only part of it that felt premium. All that plastic did not help.

The positive sign is how wonderful the Nexus 7 is designed for its cost. The soft rubbery back, its simplicity of only a USB and Headphone port. No need to worry about other ports or microSD breaking the lines. (I know a few Nexus 7 and Nokia Lumia 920 fans may rage at that statement)

Of course there have been some build quality issues with them, screen lifting being the primary concern. However, it is in my opinion the nicest Nexus device so far and a step in the right direction for the line.
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Design for cost is one thing and it made sense with the Nexus 7 but I can't help but feel the next Nexus will be more of the same.
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Remember the Q? that was a google designed and built thing and it didn’t do so well. it was interesting and i think was a bit early. but my point is Google can design, build and sell a unique device. but on the phone side can they really or would they really risk alienating the OEMs. there are already rumors of more forked or new operating systems from companies like samsung.
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Something else i thought about, Apple only makes one “Flagship” phone and they don’t customize it or allow the carriers to add their bloatware. the Android OEMs do not have that luxury. they are making phones for specific markets, regions and carriers and they don’t have the weight behind them like Apple does to force them to what they want. I think Samsung is in the best position to do this but i don’t seem they trying.

of them all i think Sony could make the nicest piece of hardware that could complete with apple on the design side. But they are trying to make money and i don’t seem them taking that kind of risk right now with how they are financially.
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Oh man this is such a great juicy question. I love my Nexus S, but have been clamoring for something with more speed and have been holding out on the Galaxy Nexus ever since it dropped to $350 in the US (and I bought an N7). I think like TgD I dream of Sony (well Nokia first) but Sony a close second then I'd like to see HTC or even Motorola. A return to glory for Motorola would really be cool. I sometimes like their rather bland industrial look.

But more than anything I just want 4-4.3" screen squeezed into a body with small bezel not to tall or wide with a nice big battery in it like the Moto's Maxx devices. Great processor (and GPU), 4g, gorgeous screen, great camera and I'm more than sold TWICE (HDMI out, and micro SD would just be gravy on top). Is that soooo much to ask. But a guy can dream can't he.

In short I think the Sony suits me best if the rumors hold true. Very excited for the next few months to come!
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As an Android die-hard, I have some pretty strong feelings about this...

1. No more Samsung. They have the worst antenna engineers in the business. Every model of Samsung I have had personal experience with (whether I owned it myself or support someone who does) has had issues with antenna, both cellular and wifi. Granted, I am in one of those areas which has older Sprint towers, so maybe it isn't as big an issue in other parts of the country, but I generally tell people to avoid Samsung for these reasons. My coworker's GSIII gets terrible reception compared to my Photon.

2. I am on the fence with HTC. They make the best cameras in the Android market, but they also have the worst battery life fairly consistently. It's time we moved on past the need to charge a phone mid-day. If they can solve that, I would be okay with HTC as this would finally be a phone that is devoid of Sense, which I despise almost as much as WinMo 6.

3. Sony... I will have to defer to others on Sony as I have never seen a Sony Android device in person. They have good ideas, but their laptops of the past 5 years tell me their engineers aren't the smartest in the industry in terms of QA and thermal design. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, though.

4. LG gets such mixed reviews, and the bad ones are so bad, that I don't know if I could back them. They have great ideas, but it seems like their engineers are very erratic in terms of reliability based on things I have read.

5. Motorola would be an obvious conclusion, and probably the one I would lean toward personally. Granted, they do have QA issues, which means you may sometimes get a bad unit right out of the box (happened to me with the Photon), but they seem to be the only brand really devoted to trying to solve the battery issue, which is Android's Achilles Heel. They don't make great cameras, but perhaps they could swallow their pride and buy a sensor from Sony like the others that have good cameras. My Photon is tough as nails, has survived numerous drops, feels solid, gets the best battery life I have seen shy of the Maxx, and gets better reception than any other phone I have seen in our area. With a phone, those really are the most important factors.

So, I guess I will throw my hat in Motorola's ring for now. I just wish they would start posting details because I have messed up my headphone jack from numerous "cord yanks" and need to start looking at new hardware.
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My only concern with Moto is they tend to be very conservative when it comes to design and doing new things. I can imagine them taking the MAXX HD (UGH that name) and just slapping stock Android in it.
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i think you are correct on that one. my fear with Moto would be they just make a stock version on their "newer" phones. i would also be concerned that they would be more conservative an attempt to make sure that one thinks google is playing favorites with them.
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I'd like to see either HTC or Sony make the next Nexus hardware. I really like the design of their latest phones, all of which seem to be better quality than Samsung's all-plastic devices.
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It's a close tie between the HTC Nexus 5 and Sony Xperia Nexus. Overall I like the Nexus 5 design better, but I'm not sure about the 5" display. Might be too big.
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The thing about the designs, though, is that they're just people guessing based on existing hardware designs by those manufacturers. And do any of Samsung's other phones look that similar to the Galaxy Nexus? Sure, they share certain things (the back panel is a lot like the SII), but you couldn't have looked at any of Samsung's other phones and said (this is what the GN looks like).
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Personally I'm a big fan of HTC's industrial design (the nexus one was a game changer IMO) and its likely they will get their turn again. I do wonder if we will see Googlerolla/Motoroogle's new identity emerge with a set of Nexus-class devices. Anyone else find it odd that Motorolla hasn't announced a new tablet since the Xoom? Something's cooking...
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This is a fantastic question. First off, though, it seems that the way this post was worded that you think one manufacturer will be anointed as the next Nexus. My impression was that Google would take a different approach than they had previously and only allow listing in the Play store to phones running stock Android.

As someone who has purposefully only bought stock Android devices (well, the G1 doesn't count, it was the only one out in December of '08 :) ), I've been thinking about this a great deal. There are two ways I will be approaching this if all these phones end up getting releases:

1) I will avoid the Samsung - after using my Galaxy Nexus for a year, it's clear that Samsung and especially Verizon couldn't have cared less about this phone. The Verizon version saw NONE of the accessories that the GSM version did. I also just don't like the build quality. Perhaps I'd feel better about the Galaxy Nexus if I'd been using it on GSM, but I don't know.

2) I'm going to wait. First of all, I'm going to have to wait, as I'll be trapped into my Verizon contract for about 14 more months, but that's not the main reason. I'm going to wait so I can make damn sure that these "stock" Nexus phones really are stock phones. Again, this may be because I was burned by Verizon, but I want to make sure that these companies have the willpower to keep their own crap off the phones, and the attentiveness to push out updates on time.

After having the G1 and the Nexus One, I'll be tempted to go back to HTC. Sure, they don't have the sexiest industrial design, but I like their build quality more than these Samsung phones, and I personally would LOVE the screen size.

Again, great question, and I guess we'll see what we get soon (hopefully)
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My question was indeed worded that way. Unless a big reveal of multiple devices happens at once, somebody will be the first to reveal one. I as much as the next person would love to see all these devices hit market.

If they do, Google will need to further work on their Nexus branding in order to not dilute what it means or the "quality" they want associated with it.

As far as I recall, the Verizon version was the only Galaxy Nexus to have LTE. SO that is kind of a bonus, but I understand your want to have a stock phone
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I wouldn't mind seeing HTC, Sony, or Motorla's flagship devices on T-Mobile. Being a clean Nexus device would just be an added bonus. I could be way off, but I think part of the reason Samsung is so successful is because you don't have to deal with AT&T or Verizon to get their best device. Give people choices on phone interface AND carrier.
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To answer your question the Sony and LG are my top two choices.

but my concern isn’t who is going to make the next Nexus but will it really be stock, will the manufacturer release updates in a reasonable time frame and what restrictions if any will the carriers have on the phone (remember Verizon and google wallet mess?).

I have the Nexus on Verizon and i like the phone but i hate the fact that i had to get a custom ROM 4.1 because Verizon and Samsung had not released the 4.1 update in a timely manner.
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Google is working closely with LG to work on the next Optimus G. If LG does end up making a Nexus device using the Optimus G as the base, the new Nexus device will probably come shipped with Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean) out of the box, as opposed to the Optimus G, which is slated to run Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box.

- Sara
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But the Galaxy Nexus has become the 4.1 Jelly Bean hero device when Google unveiled 4.1 Jelly Bean. These rumors are for the next Nexus, which would presumably have the next major version of Android (4.2, 4.5, 5 or whatever it gets numbered).
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I've disliked the feel of the Samsung Nexus devices. Plasticy, cheap, and not worth the $200+ for the devices. I would love for them to go back to HTC. The HTC Nexus was a fantastic device and it sucks that the business model didn't catch on that well. The HTC One X is a harkback to HTC simpler times and is an absolutely beautiful device. It would be much more appropriate to have a Nexus device that also feels premium.
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This post is amazing. The possibilities!

My last 3 phones have all been Samsung.... I like their devices. I know what to expect. I just hope they would use a better display in the future. The Galaxy Nexus screen is the weakest point of it. Even my Samsung (OG) Focus had a more visually attractive display.

Of the pictures and profiles in this post, the one that looks most attractive is the Sony Xperia Nexus. Wow. That form, that screen, that camera. But I'd be a little surprised if Sony made the "stock" Google phone - a lot of what Sony markets its devices on is the value that Sony "adds" - I'd be surprised if they'd be able to throw their Playstation for Android or other apps on a Nexus. They take pride in their software, although I agree that it's usually more of a pain than a feature. I used to love Sony... so if they did it right, I'd be on board.

I don't think I'd trust an LG Nexus. :-/

HTC seems a little lost lately... their Windows Phone 8X looks amazing though. If the phone were more like that, I'd be more interested than in the phablet Nexus 5.

Nexus RAZR might be cool too, especially since Motorola works closely with Google. It's possible they could achieve a

So, in order of preference, I guess... Samsung or Moto... then Sony or HTC.

...unfortunately, it might not really matter to me. More important to me than manufacturer is carrier. I'm unfortunately stuck on Verizon, and not due to a contract: they provide the only reliable, modern service available in my area... (4G on VZW, AT&T offers EDGE and drops calls, Sprint doesn't serve my work well, and I haven't heard anything good about T-Mo around here.)

This year was the first time Verizon got a Nexus. And as we saw this year, "Nexus" on Verizon means nothing. No promotion for the GNex and a much later release than in other countries. Slow updates and fixes, slow upgrade to JB, no wallet, Verizon-mandated crap apps, and Verizon even got itself temporarily dropped from the AOSP program. If Google can't coerce they company that they indirectly saved with the Droid to follow its rules, there is no reason for me to pay up for a Nexus experience. And the way Verizon horribly bungled their Nexus device, I'd be surprised if Google decided to work with them again. So most likely my next device will not be a Nexus, whichever of these beautiful devices it makes.
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Can anyone read the text on the back of the leaked image of the LG phone today?

To me it looks like "FOR SALE BY REV 1.0 0821"

It really doesn't make sense. I was hoping "rev" was "nov"

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Never mind I solved it


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I'm presently contemplating a new Google phone. I have an LG G2x, which has been an experience beyond words, and I don't mean I'm breathless. LG has lost me as a customer as a result of their lack of support for the G2x from day one. I'll but this years Samsung before I buy next years LG.
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Quick update: Looks like the Samsung phone is not a Nexus. Reports and leaks are still strongly favouring LG at this point

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Actually I was referring to the present Samsung Nexus being sold through Google Play. Again my terrible experience with the G2x has turned me off to any LG mobile product. LG was TOTALLY unresponsive to any requests for resolution of the problems most G2x users were experiencing. xda-developers threads will bring my concern into focus.
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And another update, since I am invested in this topic.

Seems a "Sony Nexus X" has leaked to the internet

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