As early as a few days ago, we talked about the best Android smartphones for the fall 2012 season. One device that caught my attention while I went through all the Android flagships already on the market (as well as those that are bound to make an appearance soon) was the LG Optimus G. For all intents and purposes, I see it as the best Android smartphone of this fall, and by the looks of it, Android maker Google shares this point of view!
Ever since the Optimus G was in its rumor phase, rumors began surfacing regarding the upcoming Google Nexus smartphone. As there were little factual rumors, most of them were based on speculation instead, one that seemed to imply that the LG Optimus G will serve as a base for the upcoming Nexus smartphone, for a couple of reasons that I’m about to detail:
a) The timing was about spot on for Google to announce and release the next Nexus sometime soon, given that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was launched roughly a year ago, meaning that it is probably at the end of its life cycle (not to mention that it can barely keep up with modern flagships)
b) Given that Google usually takes the Android smartphone with the best specs around and transforms it into a Nexus Android smartphone (the Nexus one was based on the HTC Desire, the Nexus S was based on the original Samsung Galaxy S, while the Galaxy Nexus was based on the Samsung Galaxy S2), the company behind Android seemed to have no other choice but to choose the Optimus G as a base for the next Nexus, unless it was willing to sacrifice quality.
As the Nexus program is not selling as well as many experts and hardcore Android fans think it should (this is applied only to Nexus smartphones, as the Google/Asus Nexus 7 tablet seems to be doing fairly well), the only way for Google to change that around is by not sacrificing quality.
As time passed and the LG Optimus G became official, we’ve witnessed an abundance of rumors that highlighted the Optimus G as a base for one of the upcoming Nexus smartphones. I say one of the next Nexus smartphones (as in plural) because one popular rumor claims that Google plans to revamp the Nexus program and allow any Android smartphone maker to launch Nexus smartphones as long as they adhere to specific guidelines. However, even if this Nexus program revamp rumor turns to be true, the LG Optimus G-based Nexus will still be the top choice, since the LG Optimus G is the top smartphone out there.
But what makes the LG Optimus G so well suited for a Nexus transformation? Well…the specs, what else?
Starting off with the processor and GPU, an LG Optimus Nexus smartphone would most likely retain the blazing fast Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC that is featured by the Optimus G. This means that the LG Nexus smartphone will probably use a 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait (Cortex A15-type) processor and an Adreno 320 GPU. To put it bluntly, this is the most advanced processor / GPU combination at the time being, as a few benchmark results clearly denote. Add 2 GB of RAM memory for true multitasking capabilities, and you get huge processing power.
On to the display, the 4.7 inch True HD IPS+ display on the LG Optimus G runs a 1280 by 768 pixel resolution (at a 320 PPI density), but according to some rumors and leaks, Google will use the same on-screen navigational keys that they’ve fitted on the Galaxy Nexus, meaning that most of the time you’ll be left with a 1196×768 resolution.
However, according to LG, this is not where the fun ends, as the South Korean manufacturer claims that the True HD ISP+ display will feature an entire set of breathtaking features such as:
A couple of additional notable features that the LG Nexus might borrow from the LG Optimus G include a higher density battery (2100 mAh but slimmer) with prolonged charging cycles, as well as a 13 MP primary camera sensor from Sony coupled with a 2 MP secondary (front facing) camera.
As all of the Nexus smartphones have introduced a new iteration of the Android Operating System, chances are that the LG Optimus Nexus will introduce Android 4.2, also called Jelly Bean. Rumors and leaks regarding the new features that are to be introduced in Android 4.2 have surfaced, although their credibility is questionable to say the least. What we can say for sure is that Android 4.2 can only build on the smoothness introduced by Android 4.1’s Project Butter, as well as introduce some smaller but useful new features.
Most of the people that have ever used an LG Android smartphone have a couple of major issue with LG: their UI customization and slow Android updates. Fortunately, if Google uses the LG Optimus G as a base for the new Nexus, both of these problems will be solved out from the start as all Nexus smartphones use the stock Android UI, and are the first smartphones to receive new version of the OS.
This is also likely to be the key difference between the LG Nexus and the Optimus G, as the latter will arrive with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board. While ICS is not a poor OS (by any means), the LG Optimus Nexus will be two increments above that.
I’m sure Android purists are getting overly excited right about now!
Note: although we find the following leaked pics to be credible, please take this info in with the proverbial grain of salt!
Now that that’s out of the way, here are a couple of leaked pictures of what the source claims to be the LG Optimus Nexus. I’m kind of worried that the design seems to be almost too similar to that of the Apple iPhone 3GS, as well as about what appears to be a very sizable bezel. Most Android manufacturers tend to introduce ever smaller bezels, to help with keeping the overall footprint of the device to a minimum while increasing the screen real estate.
This is obviously a subjective domain, but I’m hopefully rooting that these leaked pictures turn out to be false, as the smartphone pictured above clearly kind of misses all of the design cues for 2012 smartphones. On the other hand, perhaps this is only a fake impression due to the perspective.
While sale numbers will not skyrocket without a huge marketing effort from Google (and it looks like the Android manufacturers have managed to step up their game in this domain), if these rumors turn out to be for real, this is going to be my next smartphone, no doubts about it!
What about you guys? Do these prospects look juicy to you, or are you expecting something more from the next Nexus smartphone? Let us know which way you swing by dropping us a comment in the section below!