Which manufacturer should make the next Nexus (Nexus 5) smartphone?

by: Ankit BanerjeeMay 5, 2013

On the outside looking in


samsung galaxy s4 vs htc one one back aa

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-xperia-zl-back aa

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.

But it’s time for you to tell me your thoughts! Who do you think should manufacture the next Nexus smartphone? Answer our poll and sound off in the comments section below!   

[poll id=”280″]

  • HTC should be and I would definitely get my next Nexus if its by them. HTC is da bomb!

    • Allen Edmonds

      Agreed mate!

  • MasterMuffin

    Sony or Motorola would be nice, LG’s okay

    • I got 2 Sony phones. They are doing a poor job for some time now.

      • anops

        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.

  • crickcrick

    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

    • korbermeister

      Sony can’t make phones that people want to buy other than the Japanese.

      • disk Latvia

        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.

      • tux dillard

        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

      • crickcrick

        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.

    • vampyren

      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.

    • MasterMuffin

      Samsung makes uninnovative plastic design? Did you even look at G Pro or those F or L series phones? o.O

      • crickcrick

        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?

        • MasterMuffin

          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

          • crickcrick

            Key words there being “feel like”

    • Mike Bastable

      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

    • Arsenal™

      my thoughts exactly!!! :D

    • tux dillard

      No no no nexus hboot lol yeah right and aluminium no thanks aluminium is ugly worst material I like plastic

  • SonyFan

    Sony…Sony will be great…with Sony Design and Waterproof….woooooaaaaaahh!!!Amazing!!!

  • Kemuel Valdes

    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.

    • cycad007

      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.

      • Infinite7154

        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.

        • nick

          that’s poor battery life bro
          2-3screen times sux..

          frm a nexus 4user too..

          • Kemuel Valdes

            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.

      • Laborin_HK

        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.

  • Bas

    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


    • Siv

      Completely agree with you. A Vanilla Android experience on all handsets would be awesome.

      • Ivan Myring

        AHEM… Custom Roms?

        • Bas

          Custom ROMs are always being released several weeks/months after Nexus/stock Android releases… although mostly earlier than manufacturer ROMs.

          • TheSaw

            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.

        • Chris Eager

          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.
          ….just sayin’.

      • whoknowswhereor

        yeah except vanilla would be missing the touchwiz features.

      • Chris Eager

        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

      • Bas

        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.

    • 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?

    • Ivan Myring

      Good point

  • MariaxNY

    htc should make the next nexus they are all about quality

  • Biavela

    I’ve been expecting a Sony Nexus for so long…

    • khronos

      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.

      • Justin Rebar

        I would love a Sony Nexus

  • Nokia with it’s pureview technolgy please

  • kakatwee

    samsung dickeheads

  • Bone

    Build: Nokia
    Camera system: Nokia or 20MP Exmor RS
    SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
    DAC: Wolfson audio
    SW: Pure Google

  • Siv

    1. Sony
    2. HTC
    3. Samsung
    4. Motorola
    5. LG

    • disk Latvia

      My list slightly revised.
      1. Sony
      2. Motorola
      3. HTC
      4. LG

      • cycad007

        My list:
        1. HTC
        2. ASUS
        3. Sony
        4. Motorola
        5. Samsung

      • Justin Rebar

        I like this one the best

      • Siv

        Why is everyone so keen on Motorola? Their devices are pretty tacky compared to HTC/Sony.

    • Cole Raney

      My list
      2. Samsung
      3. LG
      4. HTC
      5. Motorola

  • HDK17

    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.

    • disk Latvia

      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

      • HDK17

        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.

    • Ivan Myring

      Agree. I was going to get a GNex as it was dirt cheap but then they announced the even cheaper and newer Nexus 4.

  • Dummy Account

    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.

    • Ivan Myring

      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

    • Ivan Myring

      I Agree!

  • 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

  • Ivan Myring

    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

  • disk Latvia

    HTC HTC HTC HTC HTC HTC just kidding Sony for sure

  • Adam Outler

    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.

    • WarGasm

      Why do you thinks so Adam?

    • Justin Rebar

      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.

  • OMGgary

    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.

  • wira

    Htc.. Without beats audio label.

  • Grimmjow

    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.

    • Infinite7154

      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

  • GrinigGammalGubbe

    ASUS first serious attempt to get in to the phabletmarket!

  • Anders Thomsen

    Nokia Nexus N would be sweet :-)

    • Justin Rebar

      With an upgraded 920 camera, and Id buy

  • Anders Thomsen

    Nokia Nexus N would be sweet :-)

  • Well, can you imagine Nokia going into Android with Nexus? Pretty awesome huh?

  • mukund

    Nokia should make nexus ..

    • Guest

      Or Blackberry.

  • Ørjan Baglo


  • Andrea Skogh

    Let Apple make one

  • Justin Rebar

    I would love a Sony one.

  • Cole Raney

    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.

    • Justin Rebar

      I would love if every phone came with an option for stock android. No forced bloatware.

  • Dave Weinstein

    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.

  • AndroidBrian

    I want HTC to make it. But I don’t mind LG making the N5.

  • nik

    Give HTC some love

  • APai

    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

  • WestIndiesKING

    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

  • Empanser

    LG won’t be making the next nexus, just because of the whole supply fiasco they had this year.

  • John C

    HTC/LG/Motorola are the ones i would go, they make the best looking handsets. with premium feels

  • Laborin_HK

    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.

  • Tarek Assaf

    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!!

  • Stephen Locker

    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.

  • Hanshen Jordan

    ASUS, anyone?

  • nishantsirohi123

    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)

  • Lue verse

    It might sound odd but i feel like the underdogs should do it so that they can increase popularity ..Like Lg

  • Preetham D. Phirangi

    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…

  • Preetham D. Phirangi

    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…

    • Preetham D. Phirangi

      Forgive for typing a large comment…

  • Sandeep C

    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