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12 months since the Galaxy Nexus, are we due a new Nexus?


It been almost 12 months since Google and Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Nexus back on October 19th 2011. If you remember though, the announcement ended up showcasing Ice Cream Sandwich more than the hardware as I think we can all agree that the Galaxy Nexus has its failings.

The "teaser" video for the Samsung unpacked announcement was released on October 4th, so if Google decide to keep yearly release cycles as it has with the Nexus S and Nexus One, could we be just a week away from a new Nexus announcement?

With that in mind, what could we expect from the next 'Nexus' phone?

Manufacturer
Who will get the gig this time? Samsung have produced the last two (Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S) whilst HTC provided the first Nexus phone (the One). As Google own Motorola, could they get in on the act? Also, Sony have recently added AOSP to the Xperia S, could they be looking to get involved?

Software
The release of a Nexus phone usually coincides with a new Android release. But with Jellybean (4.1) only released a number of months ago with the Nexus 7, is it too soon? Granted it was only a bump release of ICS, but what could 5.0 (Key Lime Pie?) bring to the table over ICS/JB? If 5.0 is a while away does that puts pay to a new Nexus anytime soon?

The Phone Itself
Does Google have to bring something special to the party regardless of when its released? In the past, the Nexus phones haven't really been that special, more 'workman-like' devices but with the lure of AOSP and instant Android updates.

When you think about the Galaxy Nexus it just lacks hardware sparkle when compared to other flagship phones released since - HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5. I suppose at the time, Samsung were never going to produce something that would trump their forthcoming Galaxy S3, so could they have been accused of intentionally dumbing down the Galaxy Nexus?

CPU/RAM/GPU
The CPU choice in a Nexus device is generally driven by the reference platform that Google is using internally, in the case of the Galaxy Nexus TI OMAP and the Tegra 3 for the Nexus 7. Does this mean the next Nexus is most likely to be Nvidia based? Google have apparently been doing a lot of work with Intel, is it feasible we could see a x86 Nexus?

1GB RAM is the norm now and arguably enough but we are starting to see devices with 2GB on board (and even rumours of 3GB). The more the merrier?

The GPU is generally dictated by what comes bundled with the CPU, but Android and it's applications are ever more demanding... the next Nexus needs to have enough grunt to shift things around 'like butter'!

Camera
It goes without saying that the GN camera is poor when compared to its peers, it’s not even has good as the Galaxy S2. We were really done over on this one weren't we? What could we expect from the new Nexus? Does it just have to be as good as the One X, S3 and iPhone 5? Which being frank are all much of a muchness aren't they. But a good muchness. Although recent reports claim that the Lumia 920 trumps them all. :)

Physical and Screen Size
Is the 4.7" ish screen here to stay? The One X, S3 and the Galaxy Nexus are all around this size. I certainly wouldn’t want any bigger than the GN, in fact i'd like to see a small drop in size. But at the same time keep the 1280x720 resolution as well as the software buttons?

How good will the screen be? Whilst forums are still full of "pentile hate", I've not had too many complaints about the GN screen. I think my biggest complaint is that it’s a battery eater. I think at the very least the screen has to be as good as the One X and iPhone 5 for quality. We are talking a flagship phone here after all.

Battery and Thinness
I for one am getting a little sick of this quest by manufacturers for 'the' thinnest phone, especially when the first thing that usually takes a hit is the size of the battery. It doesn't have to be that way though, the Motorola RAZR was 7.1mm thick with 1780 mAh, but for just 8.99mm thick they added a 3300 mAh lump to the RAZR Maxx. The standard GSM Galaxy Nexus is 8.95mm and 1750 mAh.

Storage
There has to be a larger option than 16gb on the new phone. Or at the very least add an scard slot on there. I appreciate Google are pushing streaming content (Music and Movies) and think people don’t need local storage, but in reality we still do. Look at the leak of the HTC One X+ with 64gb internal storage, WOW!

Conclusion
So over to you, what do you think should make up the new Nexus?
  • Any hardware you'd like to see?
  • Any features that are a must have?
For me, the LED Notification Light has to stay. (yes, its an obsession of mine) :)
  • Will the next Nexus be a stunning flagship or just another run of the mill black-brick?
  • Who will manufacture?
  • Can we expect Android 5.0 to be with us shortly?
This would be hilarious with many manufacturers only just providing ICS updates. ;)

Or are you simply happy with your Galaxy Nexus? With it likely cost at least a few hundred quid to upgrade to a new model (after selling and buying) is it going to be worth it?

Your Nexus will continue to get Android updates so can you live with its hardware shortcomings?

I'd 'like' a bit more storage, i'd 'like' a better camera and i'd 'like' a bit bigger battery, but am I willing to pay £200+ for it? I'm not sure?

For me, it would have to be a "stunning" flagship release from Google to make me jump ship. At the end of the day, for all its failings, my Galaxy Nexus still does a great job for me.

What about you? Where does the Galaxy Nexus sit today amongst its peers?

About the author

Zarch1972's Photo
Zarch is a veteran gadgeteer who has owned everything from a Commodore VIC-20 to an iPhone 5S and much of what came in-between.

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20 Comments

Like you say, the biggest draw of the Galaxy Nexus was ICS. If it had been a Gingerbread device I honestly think it would have been a bit of a flop.
With that in mind, and the lack of a new version of the OS on the horizon, it needs to be S3 levels of hardware advancement, at least as good as the One X+ leak suggests.
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I think we should all pray that the next Nexus phone is NOT another plastic Samsung, I really cannot stay the cheap look and feel of the last two. I really hope it will be a solid and premium looking device made by either Sony, HTC or Motorola. According to the rumors it is even possible to see multiple Nexus devices this year. One thing is sure - I'm not going to buy a Samsung made Nexus.
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Nice video of a wishlist for the new galaxy nexus and next android update:
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Storage on my GN is fine so that's not a problem for me, I'd prefer longer lasting battery, same screen size, much better camera, NFC still, faster CPU, maybe quad core? 2Gb RAM
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Nice video of a wishlist for the new galaxy nexus and next android update:

Nice post ayziaa, I like that guy, great minds and all that. :)
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The camera, just the camera is what I need improving. Everything else i'm pretty happy with!

P
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Don't forget that the Nexus line is meant to be for developers so it's unlikely we will be seeing unibody cases, brushed aluminium etc. Nexus is function over form unlike Apple which is the reverse :D
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Nice post ayziaa, I like that guy, great minds and all that. :)

Like a comment says "this guy speaks heart of every geeks on the planet!"
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Also the Nexus line seems to be a reference design for the other manufacturers to improve on. So I think any new Nexus is unlikely to have the best camera, memory, storage, etc.

If the Nexus devices had the best specs, what would be left for the other manufacturers to differentiate their own devices - would alienate them from Android?
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Oh no, here comes my rant....

I understand the importance of CPU type and speed and amount of RAM. But really, 2GB? Quad Core?

I just see it as a waste to 80% of the phone using community. Maybe that's the problem. People don't use it, or at least use it regularly to miss it if they didn't have it.

What that video highlights is the android manufacturers are treating this like the AMD vs Intel in the 90s. It's an arms race to put in the fastest processor, the most RAM etc. They've made people look at their handsets and feel like they should dump it and it's obsolete because it isn't quad core etc.

I've seen a lady in her late 40s in phone shops ask what processor certain phones have as though that's the most important thing to consider. But that alone does not make the phone
  • easy and intuitive to use
  • FUN to use
  • Smooth and capable to do the things you want (which is key - that lady above has no idea how much of a difference that makes)

They're using the specs as a differentiator. If they believed so much in TouchWiz or Sense THAT should be the thing that sells the handset.

I'll be getting a Nexus as my next device, even though I COULD go out now and get an S3 or One X (or One X+ shortly) to replace my Xperia Play.

The reason being I want a clean and simple to use phone that has only what I want on it and does the job I want with no fuss. Light gaming, taking photos, social media.

All of that could be done with the current nexus, bar the camera being below par.
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@doncoop About the hardware I really feel like the point this guy is making on his video is not about having the most powerful device as it is more to have a device that can live trough time. I think the hardware part with build quality and design is the same way of thinking, to have a device that can live trough time and that will still look good in a fews years.
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Photo
jonmall1441
Sep 28 2012 12:21 PM
I would be fine with an Xperia T like Nexus device. That phone looks nice and the camera is a huge improvement over the G Nex but then again so are most entry level phones. I think its too early to expect a Motorola Nexus phone without complaints from other OEMs.
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I would like to see more of a consumer design like the phones Sony can produce rather than a plastic slab. I would like the thinness of the S3 but certainly no bigger than the Galaxy Nexus, maybe even smaller. I think NFC will see growth and is a must even though it still isn't huge here in the UK and, whilst I'm not convinced we need quad core, I would like to see a modest processor bump to at least a 1.5 GHz dual core. The camera is a no brainer - it needs to be better - at least 8MP with a decent lens. Oh, and seeing as EE will soon be launching their new LTE network we also need that!
I think I would be very interested in an Xperia Nexus.
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@ayziaa

I do agree that you don't want a phone that's out of date in 6 months.

However he's being very specific and saying things like 2GB, quad core. Do we really think that our phones (remembering the 80/20 rule) will need 2GB? I'm just not convinced. Especially if this 'performance' increase just decreases battery life
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http://androidandme....e-next-30-days/

Android and Me rumouring next Nexus phone to be announceed at the "All Thing D: Dive Into Mobile" event at end of October.

Made by LG??!?!?!
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I'm an S2 owner and have been very happy with it, but waiting for leaks from Samsung so I can flash the latest OS is very frustrating! I've made my mind up that my next phone will definitely be a Nexus device - IMHO the best software running on pretty good hardware is better than pretty good software running on the best hardware. That said, I'm hopeful that the next Nexus will have a jaw-dropping specification :) I'd be very happy with:
  • Quad-core CPU - if Samung, NOT Exynos!
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1280x720 4.8" screen
  • Minimum 32GB internal storage, preferably 64GB, (assuming no SD slot)
  • Long-life battery - minimum 2500mAh
  • Very good camera - 12MP maybe, but more interested in the quality than the number of megapixels.
  • Thin and light :)
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http://androidandme.com/2012/09/news/rumor-next-nexus-phone-with-new-android-release-coming-in-the-next-30-days/

Android and Me rumouring next Nexus phone to be announceed at the "All Thing D: Dive Into Mobile" event at end of October.

Made by LG??!?!?!

As opposed to Google's own event? Weird.

P
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Sharp have today announced they have begun producing the world's first 5inch 1080p screen for smartphones.

LCD Panel Specifications
Display size 5 inches
Number of pixels 1,080 x 1,920 (full HD)
Pixel density 443 ppi
Application Smartphones


http://sharp-world.c...ews/121001.html
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5" HTC rumours, Sharp start 1080p 5" production, LG 4.7" rumours.

I really hope they don't go this way..... if people want a whopper, just get a Note II at 5.5" :)

I'm really hoping for 4.3 to 4.5 with 1280 x 720.
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Tegra chipset.

4.7" screen to not take away sales from Nexus 7, decent camera maybe, would really sell Google Plus
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