Nexus 4 (top) vs Galaxy Nexus (bottom)
We’ve seen some amazing flagship devices being released by Sony, HTC, Samsung, and LG this year, but Android geeks, or connoisseurs if you will, are still waiting to see what Google has planned for its 2013 flagship Nexus smartphone. There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to a Nexus device, such as a more than reasonable price for a high-end device, timely Android updates straight from Google, and continued software support for a long time. But nothing is more important than what defines a Google Nexus device.
No skins. No Bloatware. Just pure Android. No OEM-specific software features that eat up internal storage space, no UI skins and “enhancements” that hide some of Android’s best features (such as Google Now), and no pre-loaded apps. Just a “vanilla” Android experience. The increasing number of users favoring custom ROMs is a clear indication that a lot of people prefer Android the way it was meant to be, and that’s what you get with a Nexus device.
Nexus smartphones and tablets are sold off-contract directly from the Google Play Store and Google’s software engineers develop the software and are responsible for releasing updates. But, as far as the hardware is concerned, Google has been all over the place. The first ever Nexus device was manufactured by HTC, Samsung made the Nexus S and the very popular Galaxy Nexus, as well as the Nexus 10 tablet, while Asus got a chance to build the Nexus 7 tablet. And of course, LG manufactured the 2012 Nexus flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4.
So with the expectation of a Nexus 5, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Which manufacturer is going to make the next Nexus smartphone?” While we can’t tell which will, we can tell which should, and what they’d have to offer if given the opportunity. Let’s take a look!
LG had some great devices on offer last year with the Optimus 4X HD and the Optimus G, but really stepped out of the shadows after being given the opportunity to manufacture the Nexus 4. The company faced well the pressure of following the very successful Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and LG and Google got a lot right with the Nexus 4. After all, what’s not to love about a device with high-end specifications at a very reasonable price point, which was less than half the full price of other flagship smartphones. Granted, the 8GB version, which has only around 5.5GB of usable storage, was a let down, but the 16GB version was completely worth it for that price.
The anticipation and popularity of a pure Android experience was evident once again in the fact that the Nexus 4 sold out quite quickly, and the high demand led to Google being forced to admit to supply shortages. Those issues seem to have been sorted out, and the Nexus 4 is still one the more popular smartphones around. Given the success, it’s not difficult to imagine Google giving LG the chance to manufacture the next Nexus smartphone. In fact, if rumors are to be believed, that is exactly what is going to happen.
What can we expect from an LG manufactured Nexus 5? If the specifications of the Nexus 4 were similar to the LG Optimus G, we can expect the Nexus 5 to boast similar specs to that of the LG Optimus G Pro, (maybe the 5-inch Japanese version) or the rumored Optimus G2. A 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, and (hopefully) 16/32GB of internal storage. It’s definitely wishful thinking to hope for a removable battery and microSD slot, but we can always dream. More rounded edges as opposed to the rectangular design favored by LG, and definitely no physical home button that has shown up on the 2013 LG flagship.
LG has done it before with the Nexus 4, and with a few changes, the Nexus 5 should prove to be another feather in the company’s cap.
As far as Motorola is concerned, the question isn’t whether Motorola should be given the chance to manufacture a Nexus device, but rather, “why hasn’t this happened already?” Even though one of Google’s intentions behind the acquisition of Motorola was to bolster its patent portfolio, many of us thought, or maybe hoped, that Google was going to make a jump into the hardware game as well. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard a peep from Motorola in the last year, other than the Intel-powered RAZR i and the new RAZR M, RAZR HD and RAZR Maxx HD models. But 2013 is shaping up to be completely different.
The Motorola-made Google X Phone has been one of the most-rumored and hotly debated smartphones recently, and with good reason. Expectations have been soaring, and it’s crazy to imagine that Google may finally be developing a smartphone, technically, in-house. There have been a lot of leaks and speculation about this device, and while the Nexus tag hasn’t been bestowed upon this smartphone yet, the Google X Phone, when/if released, should definitely qualify as one. But, if the Google X Phone isn’t it, there’s always the possibility of a Motorola Nexus.
What can we expect from a Motorola manufactured Nexus smartphone? A large battery. A well-built smartphone that can endure the drop tests we’re definitely going to put it through. Somewhere between a 4.3-inch and 4.7-inch display, and top of the line specifications that should match up to the rest of the currently available flagships.
Without MotoBLUR and the lack of update issues that Motorola has faced in the past, a Motorola Nexus device could be absolutely amazing.
Read on to see the other major contenders!
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HTC should be and I would definitely get my next Nexus if its by them. HTC is da bomb!
Sony or Motorola would be nice, LG’s okay
I got 2 Sony phones. They are doing a poor job for some time now.
after the xperia X10, and getting a TL, both are fine devices, now im looking after the Z, but idk.. i should wait the hanami which sounds promising, like the HTC one
Something is wrong with ICS on their pones. It buggy. I answer m phone and it keeps ringing/vibrating for another 3 seconds b4 it answers. I keep getting the vibrating phone on my ear. Bunch of other faults similar to this one. Both phones are new btw. Bought in the last 6 months.
To be honest HTC needs to make a nexus device sooner rather than later, as it needs a device that is guaranteed to sell well. But personally would like to see Sony’s attempt at Nexus, also noticed that people have no love for LG for some reason, since last year to my mind they have made some of the best mobiles out there, Optimus G, G pro also the F series and new L II series look really great on the other hand would just hate to see samsung get another at nexus, they already are the king in terms of phone sales with their plasticy uninnovative design flowing through all their phones
Sony can’t make phones that people want to buy other than the Japanese.
The xperia z is selling like hot cakes in europe
For some reason in US people have strange tastes. They usually go in the opposite direction of the rest of the world :)
When the whole world was using SE and Nokia they were using almost only Motorola.
What really I want a xperia z really no one wants one I do there beats and beautiful phones get your head out ta your ass HTC and Samsung are both plain boring
LOL where are you from the states? people dont buy sony there cuz you lot are so used to getting phones for almost free with contacts. For the rest of the world sony phones are selling like hot cakes.
Sony would be a nice choice, their Z series is pretty nice even though i prefer the round edge of my S3/S4.
And for your info some prefer plastic cause it dont dent, scratches as easily. I have had iphone for years and sort of hate the aluminum so hope samsung dont get obsessed with it also. The quality of the phones is already great so no issue there.
Samsung makes uninnovative plastic design? Did you even look at G Pro or those F or L series phones? o.O
Well, at least LG’s whole lineup does not follow the same design language. S3 came out last year and everything samsung has made since looked the same, people might say plastic does a good job but must every phone from the entry level to the top end look the same?
They do it on purpose so that the people who can’t afford s4/note 2 can still feel like having a great device. And yes, LG’s whole lineup doesn’t look the same because they copy one company first and then from another :P
Key words there being “feel like”
You have obviously NEVER actually owned an LG phone….worst service ever, no updates, liars for employees, phones deteriorate at 12 months….the list is endless…..LG: life’s good …….should read ” lying gits” ….I believe that all those sad people running Android 2.3 in 2013 own LG phones from the Optimus range. No mac support either.
Really the next Nexus….anyone BUT LG please.
aluminum nexus by htc
my thoughts exactly!!! :D
No no no nexus hboot lol yeah right and aluminium no thanks aluminium is ugly worst material I like plastic
Sony…Sony will be great…with Sony Design and Waterproof….woooooaaaaaahh!!!Amazing!!!
LG by far! After owning two Galaxy phones, it’s refreshing to have have the Nexus 4 without glitches, freezing or the need to reboot constantly. LG did a better job than Samsung did with the Galaxy Nexus. Let LG reap the rewards of a job well done. This phone is an absolute dream.
Are you kidding me?! The battery life on the Nexus 4 *SUCKS* and the back panel is rather fragile. I would much prefer Samsung, ASUS, Sony, Motorola and HTC make the next Nexus before giving LG another crack at it. If LG makes the next Nexus, I’m sitting it out and purchasing something else.
Why does your battery life “suck”? What are you doing on the phone? How long do you expect the battery to last? My N4 has been great. When I use it a lot in a day, I get 2-3 hrs of screen time. When I don’t use it at all I get 24-26 hrs of battery life. And that’s without underclocking or any battery saving apps.
that’s poor battery life bro
2-3screen times sux..
frm a nexus 4user too..
This is the same battery life I had with my Galaxy phones. As for the back being glass, I bought the bumper and have had no issues. The phone simply works like a charm. There are no glitches. LG did a wonderful job.
I’d agree with the fragile back (heard so many horror stories), but battery life seems to have improved over the Gnex.
As a Gnex owner, I can tell you the battery life is ATROCIOUS.
I say Motorola, if only because Google should revive the popularity of the brand. Sammy is definitely out (too popular), and I’m not a huge fan of LG (the Nexus 4 has been their only truly good phone, IMHO). HTC has great build quality but a terrible Android experience, and I don’t want to see that rewarded lol. Sony… well, it’s Sony. Huawei makes some decent high-end devices, though their presence in the States is pitiable and their chances nil.
I’m not a huge pre-Google Motorola fan, but I would love to see Google give the finger to secessionists OEM’s and build excellent devices in-house. Imagine Google branded hardware, software, and support [swoon]. I think the upcoming Googlerola devices will be stellar.
What I do not understand (okay I am a marketer so I can relate to why they choose not to) is why manufacturers do not release stock NEXUS branded android firmware for their smart phones as alternative next to their own firmwares/skins… That way it does not matter which manufacturer makes the Nexus hardware!
Just imagine you are able to choose from:
- Motorola Nexus X
- HTC Nexus One
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus S4
- LG Optimus Nexus G
- Sony Xperia Nexus Z
Completely agree with you. A Vanilla Android experience on all handsets would be awesome.
AHEM… Custom Roms?
Custom ROMs are always being released several weeks/months after Nexus/stock Android releases… although mostly earlier than manufacturer ROMs.
So it’s either the several weeks wait, or no vanilla at all? I’m using CM, which is pretty close to pure Android, and I’m pretty happy with their release speed. Nothing to complain about really.
Many people are too afraid to root a brand new device and possibly void warranty…I’m on CM10.1 RC so I’m not one of them.
yeah except vanilla would be missing the touchwiz features.
Yeah or the choice to download vanilla later straight from your hardware manufacturer or Google…giving the consumer choice to swap firmware back and forth whenever we choose.
Yeah they can all do it in the same year.
Just wondering how that would work with the updates coming quicker for Nexus devices and not regular smartphones
That is the main issue here. Android has become to fragmented. That is why I would like for Google to change their policy regarding manufacturer ROMs. For example separated manufacturer launchers and non-integrated pre-installed software/apps. Every new android release will be immediately available for all phones and manufactures can update their launchers and software/apps on their own schedule.
Custom ROMs prove there is a huge market for stock firmware. And with custom ROMs installed manufactures lose control over the phone. With ‘nexus’ firmware they might allow for their own software to be installed. This way manufactures have to compete with stock apps and therefore development of innovative apps is being stimulated which gives customers a free choice.
Sounds good. I wish it would be that way.
You are a genius. :)
“Out of all the device manufacturers on this list, Sony is the only one that hasn’t made a Nexus device yet.” When did Motorola make a Nexus?
htc should make the next nexus they are all about quality
I’ve been expecting a Sony Nexus for so long…
same here. been questioning what prevented sony to become google partner in nexus line.
for quality, I have no doubt with sony.
I believe it’s all about cost.
it’s probably easier to get lower-cost nexus phone with Korean and Taiwanese manufacturer, rather than Japanese.
I would love a Sony Nexus
Nokia with it’s pureview technolgy please
Camera system: Nokia or 20MP Exmor RS
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
DAC: Wolfson audio
SW: Pure Google
My list slightly revised.
I like this one the best
Why is everyone so keen on Motorola? Their devices are pretty tacky compared to HTC/Sony.
It could be LG or Samsung, these two companies have the manufacturing capacity to produce large scale devices at low cost which is a trademark of nexus devices. HTC, Sony and Motorola depend on Lg and Samsung for their device parts which will eventually raise the price and would not be affordable for the company to provide a good price.
Ughh what “produce large scale devices at low cost which is a trademark of nexus devices” pretty sure this has only happened with the latest nexus line hardly a trademark
well the Galaxy nexus was launched for $349, nexus 7 for $199, Chromebook for $249, nexus 4 $299 and the nexus 10 $399. It is starting to make a trademark to provide devices at an affordable price.
Don’t forget we love the Nexus because it is a premium phone for a cheap price. Only LG can deliver this ATM. So i hope LG keeps making it.
Agree. I was going to get a GNex as it was dirt cheap but then they announced the even cheaper and newer Nexus 4.
Why is Google making nexus devices? What’s the purpose of it? Google owns Motorola, they should make their own devices. I don’t see a reason of letting other companies making their products, when Google owns Motorola. Android Authority please tell me why Google is making nexus devices.
So the development has a device with good specs and easy software modification, and so that there is a basis which android OEMs can compare their phones to
I guess LG should make next nexus.
Nexus 4 really feels premium and the looks are amazing
Lg has the potential to deliver
So my bet on LG this time
Mmm I want a galaxy Nexus again. You could say I’m a Samsung fan, but I see the fit that Motorola should get a chance. I just want a good spec 5 inch Nexus device. That compete with the s4
LG or HTC. Great build and design, great hardware and with googles software and great community support they are UN beatable. I hope its LG as they have done well and i think nexus manufacturers are doing 2 year cycles, but HTC could do with the boost
HTC HTC HTC HTC HTC HTC just kidding Sony for sure
A Nexus device ONLY NEEDS great hardware. Google takes care of the rest. As far as manufacturing goes, Samsung is the logical choice. They make great hardware.
LG was a mistake.
Why do you thinks so Adam?
Samsung is the reason I didnt get the Nexus S. I went with the EVO.
LG, motorolla, HTC, Sony any of those, just not samsung.
Regardless of who manufactures the next Nexus phone, to me one thing is clear judging from the number of comments in response to this article, by comparison to articles on other topics. Nexus devices now are clearly of great interest to a very broad spectrum of Android users.
Interest in Nexus even unites the Sammy4EVER crowd with the UGH_it’s_plastic crowd. This increased awareness is something that Google should really try to capitalise on more, and move toward making Nexus and vanilla Android into something iconic and easily identifiable to the ordinary man on the street, like Apple did with the iPhone and iPad.
Htc.. Without beats audio label.
All those people voting for LG forget the supply issues LG had and how some Google executives blamed them for it. They are definitely not working with LG again.
The issues were with Google who grossly underestimated demand for a $350 unlocked Nexus device. They didn’t order enough to meet the huge demand. I didn’t get my N4 until January and have loved it every since. I think LG should get another shot. The N5 with LTE and starting at 16gb’s of storage
ASUS first serious attempt to get in to the phabletmarket!
Nokia Nexus N would be sweet :-)
With an upgraded 920 camera, and Id buy
Well, can you imagine Nokia going into Android with Nexus? Pretty awesome huh?
Nokia should make nexus ..
Let Apple make one
I would love a Sony one.
I don’t think Motorola would make it. I think the most likely options are LG and Sony. Motorola is supposedly working on the X phone, which would run vanilla android. Motorola wouldn’t need to make a nexus device.
I would love if every phone came with an option for stock android. No forced bloatware.
They are already updating the Nexus4, since it’s a 4.7″ device, they should keep it (maybe call it the Nexus 4.1?) and introduce a 5.8″ and a 6.3″ Nexus 5 & 6.
Google HASN’T done enough to endorse large screen phones, and mistaken focus on a sub-5″ X phone distracts from what’s really needed. The Nexus 4 already fills the 4-inch niche, More of the same is NOT needed.
I want HTC to make it. But I don’t mind LG making the N5.
Give HTC some love
if LG is behind the delays for nexus 4. google should kick them for the delays. nexus phones have compromises and that’s not affecting the LG phone sales, LG’s problems are samsung, not nexus.
I’m betting on a 5 inch Snapdragon 800 with LTE Sony, altho’ I’d be happy if LG went with an Aluminum G2 and flexible display to thumb it in Samsung’s face
wasnt part of the deal for google to get approval to buy Motorola was that they wouldnt be able to make a nexus device with them until 2014-2015? I couldve swore that was part of the arrangement. If so how are soo many people forgetting this tidbit of information?
LG won’t be making the next nexus, just because of the whole supply fiasco they had this year.
HTC/LG/Motorola are the ones i would go, they make the best looking handsets. with premium feels
Like the top comment said, it would be so cool if all OEM made a stock phone. Then the people wouldn’t complain about the shortcomings of the one Nexus.
1. Motorola: Grown to love the look of their current RAZR line (especially the Razr HD/Maxx). Has a decent screen, camera and unique Great battery life. I think its time we moved away the rounded look of the Nexus line and adopted the MANLY DROID look :p
2. HTC: Seeing the One, I’d say they’d make a great nexus. Nexus one was a great phone for the time.
3. LG: Nexus 4 seemed alright, their own line up pretty good too.
4. Samsung: From what I’m seeing so far, they don’t seem to put build and materials in high regard compared to other manufacturers. Sure the hardware is there, but as the Nexus, the representative of pure android, we need the whole package.
5. Sony: Can’t stand their screens. Until they improve that, I can’t see this working well.
I think it would be great for HTC to do the N5, but I believe LG will be doing it again. And regarding the supply issues of the N4 I don’t blame LG.
Motorola won’t be doing any Nexus devices but will be providing stock Android.
Sony is a high probability but I guess they will be hold off for one more year.
Samsung won’t be doing any Nexus anymore.
Sony should make it!!
Only 5.5GB was a let down?
Ignoring people who use their phone for ‘gaming’ who actually uses the storage on the phone itself? Get with the times.
I think LG did a great job with the Nexus4
They made it look sexy…I feel the nexus5 is also going to be good, besides LG is one company that can take strong design based decisions(remember the Optimus 3D or the Optimus VU and of course the Prada phones)
It might sound odd but i feel like the underdogs should do it so that they can increase popularity ..Like Lg
I would love to see the next Nexus again from LG, coz they have the means to supply & market their devices unlike hTC or Motorola……. and Sony, well people aren’t really into Sony smartphones if it’s not for brand loyalty or the cameras in their phones, it would be like “A nexus is fine for me, but from , err, I don’t know about that….”… It really wouldn’t be the smartest choice Google could make… So as final LG gets the for me at least…
The thing I hate with OEM’s is that why don’t they let their bloatware and skin and whatever customisations they do to the vanilla android be removable. Well of course not just anyone should be able to do this or else it would lead to a lot of piracy, but at least to service – centers so that we can have the android experience the way we want it and paid for… They add everything to their phone but a way to remove what they added… Vanilla android is what every device should have, I mean deserves to have a chance at… Yeah part of the bloatware “is useful”, so how about keeping what we want and deleting what we don’t want out of the bloatware… It seems reasonable to ask what we would really like out of an android phone… These manufacturers build great pieces of technology but leave these sort things out of consideration. “Oh, what would a customer want more than this?”, maybe something a lot simpler and ordinary, or to see a device they want their way, to be precise… Well, I don’t even think they care that much about customer satisfaction… But seriously this should be thought about…
Forgive for typing a large comment…
Nexus devices seemingly have the limit of not having a sd slot, but with cloud services like copy where you get 20gb on signing up with this link and an extra 5gb on subsequent referrals…you really don’t need it anymore… https://copy.com?r=wVigDt