Jul 21st, 2012

With the Nexus 7 and Nexus Q released and out of the way, we can’t help but think about a certain topic we have been very quiet about for quite some time. Let me break the ice and say it, because I am sure these rumors are going to start making rounds across the internet anytime soon – what’s the deal with the next Nexus smartphone?

For those unfamiliar to the subject, a Nexus device is a smartphone (now tablets and media streaming devices, as well) built by a manufacturer in cooperation with Google. There is usually one released per year, with each becoming an official Google device. Originally meant for developers, these devices are supposed to be the first to get the newest Android updates, as it is supported by Google, carries to manufacturer UI overlays and is not limited by the carriers’ decisions (until the Verizon Galaxy Nexus came to be). These are also said to be a representation of where Android is headed.

With that out of the way, we can get to the juicy parts. If it all goes as usual, this device should be announced sometime during the last quarter of the year or the beginning of next year. The Nexus One, Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus have all followed this pattern.

Many of us believe the Nexus 7 may have shaken things up a bit, though. Mostly because we have seen no major leaks and rumors ever since the talks of 5 Nexus devices coming from different manufacturers (now that would be crazy).

Regardless of what the outcome will be, we have a certain set of standards. We must also remember that Nexus devices usually don’t come with the best of the best specs, something that tends to let us down. We tend to over-hype Nexus devices to a point where pleasing us would be nearly impossible. We must keep in mind that we don’t exactly need amazingly stunning specs. Nexus smartphones get updates in a timely fashion and run stock Android, making the experience as smooth and fast as can be.

With that out of the way, here is what I would like to see in the next pure Google smartphone(s):

A 1080p screen?

No. A 1080p display simply does not make a difference in a 5-inch or smaller display. Sure, it would be great marketing material. But seriously, those talking about wanting a 1080p display on a smartphone need to reconsider.

We are talking about 440 pixels per inch; this is for a 5-inch display with 1920x1080p resolution. Apple’s Retina Display features a Pixel density of 326 ppi. This makes individual pixels practically invisible to the naked eye (you have to really try to look for them).

A display with such resolution would only be a waste of processing power. Your smarpthone would function much better running a 720p screen, which looks just as amazing on a sub-5-inch display.

Quad-core Processor?

We have seen dual-core processors out-perform quad-core chips. The most notable example is the Snapdragon S4 compared to NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processors. An operating system could ultimately take advantage of extra cores, though, and Google could optimize Android to do so.

Tegra 3 processors are getting LTE compatibility later this year. NVIDIA’s lack of LTE compatibility is the main reason why manufacturers have been opting for S4 processors lately. When more processors start becoming LTE capable, competition should start getting fierce, especially in the US.

Also in line for LTE capabilities is Exynos Quad-core processors. This has been nothing but rumors and leaks up to now, but we are sure Sammy is cooking something up for all Exynos fans out there (which there are many of).

Regardless of the chip maker, we should definitely see some very good power under the hood. As mentioned above, though, remember Nexus devices don’t need too much power to run better than most high-end smartphones out there.

Larger Display

I must say, I am more than happy with the Galaxy Nexus’ 4.65-inch display. It is not small, it is not huge. But I do happen to be a fan of monsters like the Galaxy Note. With that said, I would definitely like to see a Nexus device with at least a 5-inch display. That is a personal preference, though, and a touchy subject for many. I am sure those with smaller hands would not appreciate it.

Regardless, size is not as important as quality. As mentioned above, I would like to see a 720p display. I would prefer to stick with AMOLED (and its variants), but I would also be happy with a good Super LCD display.

Wireless Charging

Google is all about the future of Android. Whether inductive charging is currently a gimmick or not, it happens to be a very convenient technology that will take off in the near future. I would love to see the next Nexus devices being officially capable of inductive charging. Preferably with accessories like the charging station being sold separately. This definitely needs some more attention.

Larger battery instead of thinness, please!

Manufacturers have been moving towards thinner designs, giving battery life and removable batteries less focus. This is a big issue for many Android users, yours truly included. I like being able to keep my device alive, so please do not start making Nexus devices with a non-removable battery and please give us a larger battery (even if that means keeping the device a bit thicker).

This is a personal preference, you might love thin devices. But even if that is the case, look at the Motorola RAZR Maxx; a super-thin device with the largest battery in the smartphone market. It is definitely possible to please the majority of us, so I would like to see some good options here. Make my next smartphone with a larger battery, if that is not possible, don’t stop me from going back there and changing things my way.

The Next Android Version

This is where it gets tricky. Nexus devices are usually released along with a major Android update, to which they hold exclusivity for a while. The reason why we believe the Nexus 7 may have pushed things back is because it was released with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is a major update. Unless Google has some good plans for Android 4.2 coming that soon, the next Nexus device might very well come with a very small update.

Wrap Up

Looking through my personal preferences, I guess my only advice would be to keep it simple and not have any over-expectations of the next Nexus device(s). It is nice to dream and be a nerd, but this also makes us upset when devices are finally announced.

We do need to move forward, though. The next Nexus should be better than the current one, and if we are lucky, it should come with some new awesome features. Something else I would like to see is Android@Home. I did not mention this because it is not exactly exclusive to the next Nexus (or Nexi), but seeing some Android@Home accessories and features built into Android would keep me more than happy.

Regardless, the device will rock, it will be awesome and it will even be the best Android phone available for at least a few months.

With that said, let’s jump into the fun part – what do you expect from the upcoming Nexus? Do you think Google will actually release multiple devices? Do you agree with my points? Is there something I didn’t include that you would like to have?