On the outside looking in
If there’s one device manufacturer that has been there from the start, it’s HTC. HTC manufactured the first-ever Android smartphone, the Google G1, and later, also the first-ever Nexus device, the Nexus One. Since then, it’s been an uphill battle for HTC, as Samsung took over the reigns as the top Android manufacturer. Even with great devices on offer since then, the past year or so have been a struggle for the Taiwanese company.
Giving HTC the opportunity to manufacture the next Nexus smartphone could be exactly what the company needs to claw its way back to the top. Considering that HTC’s design policies, and the lack of a microSD card and removable battery, play right into what Google expects from a Nexus smartphone. HTC has proved that it can make amazing smartphones, and whatever the reason for the parting of ways previously, it would be great if Google gave HTC another chance.
What can we expect from an HTC-manufactured Nexus smartphone? Definitely a premium build quality, drawing a lot of inspiration from the form factor of the HTC One. Possibly a 4.7-inch 1080p display, 32GB internal storage, and of course, no microSD slot. The premium unibody design will also mean a non-removable battery. Think about it like this, the HTC One, with stock Android 4.2 (or 4.3 or 5.0), immediate software updates, and priced $200 cheaper. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Improbable, but not impossible
Sony, along with Motorola, are the only top Android manufacturers who haven’t made a Nexus device yet. Sony started off 2013 with a bang, releasing the well-received Sony Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, alongside the amazing Xperia Tablet Z set to arrive in markets soon. Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t managed to penetrate the U.S. market the way Samsung and HTC have. While the devices can be bought online at full price, Cincinnati Bell is the only network provider to offer the Xperia ZL at a subsidized rate.
A good way for Sony to establish itself in the one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, would be through manufacturing a Nexus smartphone. This year, Sony has proved that it is up to the challenge, and a Nexus device from the company could be pretty great. Sony began the year just like how LG had last year, so it’s not entirely unimaginable that Sony could get the chance to manufacture a Nexus smartphone.
What can we expect from a Sony-manufactured Nexus device? To start off with, definitely the name: “Sony Xperia Nexus.” We can expect a 5-inch 1080p display, other standard high-end specifications, and a great camera, which is one area the Nexus smartphone could do with an upgrade. Making the device waterproof would be a good feature, but may be a little expensive, so build material could be similar to the Xperia ZL.
A Nexus smartphone with a great camera would be the selling point for this device, and will definitely be the first choice for many.
Samsung continued its domination of the smartphone market in 2012 and cemented its place at the top, where it should continue to stay for a while. Moreover, with every subsequent iteration of the flagship Galaxy lineup, there has been a lot of speculation on Samsung distancing itself from Google, indicated by the host of proprietary S-features that the company packs its devices with. Conspiracy theories apart, Samsung is the only OEM on this list that doesn’t “need” to manufacture a Nexus smartphone.
Don’t get me wrong, a Samsung Nexus device, without TouchWiz and the bloatware, would be amazing! But, Samsung doesn’t need the additional “boost” of manufacturing a Nexus device, and could almost prove to be a burden, considering the number of smartphones Samsung already has in the works. While other manufacturers have been trying different and new things, Samsung has defined itself in a very specific way. It’s difficult to imagine a Samsung device not made of plastic, without a physical button, and with an unibody design. Regardless of the price range, you can recognize a Galaxy handset anywhere, and Samsung might not be ready to compromise on that popularity. Granted, a part of the company’s success can be attributed to the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus, and Samsung does manufacture the Nexus 10 tablet, but in the smartphone arena, Samsung may be maxed out.
That being said, I know a lot of you would love to get your hands on a Samsung Nexus device! So what can we expect from such a smartphone? A 5-inch 1080p S-AMOLED display, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, or depending on production and availability, the octa-core Exynos 5 processor. A plastic form factor would be in order, and it might be nice to see a throwback to the design of the original Galaxy Nexus.
There are a lot of Samsung fans in this world who would pick a Samsung Nexus smartphone without a second thought, so this will definitely be a good choice.
All the manufacturers on this list are more than capable of manufacturing a great Nexus smartphone. There are have been a lot of rumors surrounding the Nexus 5, with the latest one suggesting that LG would be the manufacturer. If true, it’s still a good choice, but this time around, I’d love to see HTC or Motorola step up to the plate. Both companies are due for a win, and there is no question about their capabilities.